Saturday, September 7, 2019

Something Saturdays (9/7/19)

This week was AWESOME.

Michael was off work on Monday so we just got to spend some fun family time. Tuesday and Wednesday James and I just hung out and got some stuff done. But then THURSDAY WE WENT TO THE CLEVELAND ZOO!!! Their African Elephant enclosure is amazing (and they're my favorite animal) and they also have a cool giraffe encounter where people feed giraffes lettuce. We saw so many animals and James had so much fun. The weather was also flawless and it was a slow day so no crowds, and Michael was with us because he took the day off. It was perfect. I don't work all this weekend, either, so hopefully we'll have more fun! James is always so happy when we're all together <3


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


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Something Saturdays (8/31/19)

Hiii. Hello. It's Labor Day weekend! I've been working the last few days but then I'm off tomorrow and Michael has Monday off so fun family time should ensue. And today was Michael's dad's birthday so we went out to dinner and had some cake and ice cream back at his house. James had an awesome time (and 4 scoops of mint chip ice cream). This past week has been super weird but great, though. Tuesday Michael worked from home so that he and James could come with me to my doctor's appointment and hear the baby's heartbeat. James was super excited to hear "baby heartbeat" and was so sweet and just grinning while we heard it. Michael also worked from home Thursday so he could be home with James when I had to go to work. So we've had lots of fun and I'm excited for this week!


Recipes from the blog that I made this week
Slow Cooker Amish-style Shredded Beef

Recent links bookmarked (visit my Pinterest for more)

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

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Something Saturdays (8/17/19) -and an ANNOUNCEMENT


Soooo....yepp! Explains why I've gotten even worse (somehow) at blogging! Here I am, about 12ish weeks (I measure 6 days ahead of my official due date so I'm either almost 12 weeks or almost 13 weeks, depending on how you look at it lol) pregnant with kiddo #2 . We're all super excited (even James, so far).

So, in addition to trying to have fun and soak up summer and do all the normal maintenance lifey things, I'm also extra tired and nauseous. Woo! 

We have been having lots of fun, though. Last weekend was our friends Amanda and Brian's baby shower and it was so great to celebrate them and the coming arrival of their baby girl. And, thanks to the balloons, James also had a fun time. Speaking of James-regression is officially over AND like a couple days later his 2 year molars started coming in. HA HA HA. Figures lol.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Something Saturdays (8/3/19)

So I knew I was behind on my Something Saturday posts but not HOW far behind-turns out I had a draft from July 6 that I never published *sigh*. And now it's August. It's been crazy! We went on vacation mid-month with Michael's family and it was lots of fun. And otherwise...I don't know. Life, man. But it's been fun! We've been trying to enjoy summer. James is just really cute and extra affectionate lately and I think we may finally be coming out the other end of his sleep regression so-yay!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Something Saturdays (6/29/19)

Last Sunday's church picnic was really fun, James got a sweet balloon teddy bear made that he loved and he got to eat chocolate so it was a win for him. The rest of the week is something of a blur, frankly, because James has been having trouble sleeping which means I've been having trouble sleeping so I'm very tired. Oh! We did go to see Michael's cousin's daughter, Ava, who is a couple months younger than James and that was fun. And yesterday we went to brunch with my wedding planning boss, which is always fun. This weekend I have to work but hopefully I'll get some fun times with the boys and hopefully some SLEEP.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

James-18 Months!

Date: June 10, 2019

Height:  33 inches (as of his doctor's appointment on the 13th)

Weight: 23 lbs. 1.7 oz (^ditto)

Sleeping Pattern: Pretty much the same as my last update, just with a smidgen less overall sleep time. James usually sleeps from about 12-2 (sometimes he naps a little shorter, sometimes a little longer). We start bedtime around 7pm by cleaning up toys and then I lotion him. Michael then has him say goodnight to things and then they read his superhero rules. We floss him and help him brush his teeth, and then change his diaper, put him in his pj's and sleepsack, and read a story. Then we say goodnight to his stuffed dinosaur and tuck it in with his pooh bear lovey on top of his bookshelf. Michael and I then take turns on which of us stays with James and sings to him before laying him in his crib (usually around 7:30). He then falls asleep around 7:45-8ish and (hopefully) sleeps until about 7. It's a well oiled machine and I LOVE that lol. (ha ha ha since I wrote this we seem to have hit the 18 month sleep regression...I don't want to talk about it, ugh).

Eating Habits: Every day is a new adventure. Overall, James still eats well BUT he is definitively more picky and is constantly changing up what things he'll eat on what day (although some constants he always will eat: yogurt, bread, berries...obviously if ice cream or chocolate is presented as an option he's all about that.) But I know this is all a part of him asserting his independence and figuring stuff out so I just keep trying to offer him things and he eats what he eats. There have been some meals where he didn't eat anything but it's always fine. He eats breakfast sometime between when he wakes up and 8am, generally. It's usually yogurt and bread with peanut butter (he's come to expect it as his routine, but sometimes it's different and he's usually cool with that). Sometimes we do a snack around 9ish, sometimes we don't. Lunch time is about 10:30. He then has a snack sometime after his nap, around 2:30/3. Then sometimes he has another snack around 4ish to tide him over until dinner. Dinner is usually at 5:30 (6 at the latest) and then that's it--unless he didn't eat dinner. Then he'll usually ask for a snack right before bedtime and I'll give him a little something. He's a good eater, though. He doesn't fight it or throw fits. He usually happily digs in or just plays if he doesn't want to eat it. The other day he actually ate a little slider burger like a big boy and it was maybe my proudest moment. He's a cute little hungry hippo.

Development & Firsts:  I mean he just keeps getting smarter and talking more and more clearly. James honestly blows my mind with how quickly he picks things up. He quickly learned body parts (knees, elbows, "beebo" aka belly button, etc.) We started working on colors one day and like a week later he knew all the colors (and is a complete pro now)-I also love how he says orange. He says "oonge". He got a toy to put different shapes into for Easter and less than 2 weeks later he had it completely down and knows all the names of the shapes. Now he's been working on identifying letters (he has little books with animals and letters so some letters he identifies as the animal-if he sees a T he'll say "turtle", for example.) He knows "M for mama! D for dada!" His mind makes awesome connections: if I say something about "my mom" he immediately says "Grandma!" and knows who I'm talking about. If the freezer is mentioned he goes "ice cream!" (HE ONE TIME HAD ICE CREAM FROM THE FREEZER AND NOW IT'S JUST WHERE IT LIVES TO HIM). One that really shocked me was there was a big box we'd had delivered and he walked to the kitchen, asked for the keys, then took them to the box and put the keys on the seam while saying "box!" BECAUSE HE WANTED TO OPEN IT. He had seen us use keys to open boxes and put that together. Insanity. Anyway I'm sure there's been other developmental stuff I haven't even thought of but let's move on. There have been a lot of new teeth. February 9th James got his 9th tooth (his bottom right molar), March 2nd his 10th tooth (his top right molar), April 7th his 11th tooth (bottom left molar), April 27th his 12th tooth (top left molar), May 3rd his 13th tooth (bottom right canine), and May 30th his 14th tooth (bottom left canine). On February 23rd he got his 1st haircut (it was just a tiny trim by mine and Michael's hairdresser, Patrick). He did not like it and cried but even through his tears the sweet boy thanked Patrick.  There was a sad first on March 15th when he got his first stomach bug (which I then caught...then Michael...then Michael's mom). It was not a fun one. April 17th was an auspicious occasion with his first ice cream. He had a baby vanilla cone but mostly went to town on mine and Michael's chocolate peanut butter cones. HE LOVES ICE CREAM. It's maybe his favorite food now. He had a blast and asks for ice cream all the time. And then on May 16th he went to the zoo for the first time which was so much fun. He loved it and is still talking about it. I can't wait to go again but to the bigger Cleveland zoo next time!

Mischief: James still enjoys exercising his ability to yell, scream, cry, and just call "MAMA MAMAMAMA  MAMAAAAA!" He definitely understands the concept of mischief and revels in it (that's Michael's boy). He'll pucker his lips and go "mmm" for a kiss and then when you're close he'll run away giggling (or turn his head with a smirk saying "no.") . If I ask him who his favorite is he gets this glint in his eye then says "grandpa" BECAUSE HE KNOWS I WANT HIM TO SAY MAMA AND THE LITTLE STINKER LIKES TO MESS WITH ME. He knows exactly what he's not supposed to play with or where he's supposed to go and he loves to have fun with that. He'll giggle as I chase him into the bathroom and he slams the door shut in my face. If I come into a room and he's grabbed the DVD's off the shelf (he knows that's a no no, and will frequently wave his hand in the direction of them or other things he shouldn't mess with and say "nooo" in a somewhat mocking manner) he'll throw the evidence away and run. (Which makes me laugh internally). He does say no a fair amount, usually very matter of factly lol (just a short dismissive "no.)  He's a big fan of throwing things in the trash cans and in the bathroom he likes to rip pieces of the toilet paper off so he can throw them away. Diaper changes are still a struggle that usually result in distraught crying and running away/attempts to run away mid-change. When he's not upset, though, he has figured out how to purposefully pee whilst not covered and finds it sooo funny. I find the bladder control a good sign (you can see/feel him purposefully forcing it) but don't love the results. Sometimes he stills throws food which is frustrating but it is what it is. Ah and if it wasn't clear he can open doors so the world is pretty much his oyster at this point-we did childproof the basement door so he doesn't tumble down the stairs and the doors to the outside are locked but otherwise it isn't a huge deal. 

Cuteness: Look I mean have you seen his cheeks and eyes and hair and just overall cuteness? It's undeniable. The sound of his voice is also adorableness personified. This section is always so hard because I frankly think everything James does is cute. All of the talking that's in the below talking section is amazing. He's so friendly and outgoing (he loves to wave and say "hii" to people) and such a little ham! He learned how to do "cheeeese" and frequently makes that cheesy grinning face (which is like looking in a mirror, let me tell you). He still furrows his brow when thinking or concentrating, and then he is so his daddy (also when he gets his mischievous face on). He's so funny, I love his sense of humor. He likes to go hide places and say "shh shh" (like if he and I are hiding from Michael or vice versa). He has a little spot that he fits perfectly into between 2 bookshelves that he likes to hide in, also. And it's hilarious to watch him back into it slowly. If you tickle him he'll eventually exclaim "Nooo!" but then when you stop: "More..." I also taught him to fist bump and make it explode. If you put your fist up and say pound it he'll bump it with his fist then either say "boom" or make an exploding sound. James will also imitate the way I say "Hm hm hmmm..." when I'm considering something-he now always does that when deciding on a book, what to eat, etc. He's gotten really into being a "big boy" and sitting on the couch or in a chair (if he's telling you that's what he wants he'll tell you by saying "big boy").  James also loooves to be a "helper". He'll see laundry or grab the broom and go "Helper!" It's very sweet and I try to encourage it, although it's not actually all that helpful usually. He is also so cute and will take his arms and hold them out wide and say "BIIIG" for anything, well....big. Particularly dogs or other animals. If he sees a "Biiiig dog dog" he is likely to talk about it for some time. He loves animals in general, but especially dogs. He gets very excited anytime he sees one. He still thinks smelling feet and saying "stinky" or "peee ewwww" is funny. In the car James likes to give me approval or rejections on song choices. There was a pretty large "Greatest Show" phase where James was constantly requesting the song by saying "Ohhhhh" (and not just in the car, pretty much anywhere anytime. It was our Baby Shark. Much preferred, no complaints). He sometimes kind of pulls on his eyelashes when he's tired or upset, I'm really not sure why and I'm always worried he'll pull them out but I have to admit there's something sweet about it.  He is so cute with his grandparents and aunts and uncles, he loves to see them, even just over facetime! Or in pictures. He loves to look at photo albums and identify people (including baby him, he'll point to the picture: "James", then himself: "James!") But most of all he likes to see pictures of his grandpa. That's usually how he requests a photo album he'll just point and yell "Andpa!" There was a lovely phase where we were cuddling quite a bit but that has been less frequent lately, maybe because of the warm weather? BUT there have been lots of kisses, usually anytime you go to him saying "mmmm" with pursed lips, then you get a kiss and say "uahh!" (so "muah") He'll do it too and anytime we see/hear it we come running for kisses (and hoping it's not a fakeout one). Sometimes we'll have little family kissing moments where Michael and I will smooch then James will want a smooch from each of us. Sometimes he'll literally shove Michael's face to my face for a kiss (IT'S SO CUTE). The other day he baited Michael for a kiss and then last minute redirected him to me hahaha. He also says I love you back when we say it to him most of the time which you know warms my heart and is the sweetest. I'll ask him how much he loves us or how much we love him and he holds his arms wide and says "soooo much!"  James also still loves to play with my hair and frequently smells it/nuzzles it and says "Mmmm!" He also says "Mmmm" and/or just nods emphatically anytime he eats something particularly delicious, like ice cream or a macaron. He's a smart, cute, sweet little nugget.

Nicknames: James-y, Jamesy-pie, Nugget (or Nug or Nuggy or Nuggy Nug or Nuggety or Nougat),  Noodle/Noodle-bug/Noodle boy, Hey you, Goofy or Goof-Nugget, Silly, Cutie McCuterson, Cuddle Bug, Snuggle Bunny, Mister, Sir, Bud/Buddy, Friend, Sweet Boy, Baby, Love (My love, little love, sweet love, lovey), Cutie patootie/pie, My Sweetie/Sweetie-pie, Little/Sweet/Baby Boy (or any combo with any of the other nicknames listed-particularly Sir Baby and Mister Boy).

Talking: HE IS SO TALKATIVE. This is my baby. James talks constantly pretty much. I love it. He still repeats almost anything you say to him but conversations are fairly legit. He really understands you and actually can recall a lot of things. If I bring up the zoo he'll talk about all the stuff he saw there "BIIIG turtle! walk walk, *penguin sound* *sleeping sound* otter!" Or he'll talk about something he saw his aunt do on facetime the day before and then proceed to list their 3 chihuahuas names (Pua aka Poo Poo, Kiki, and Pepper). He says more all the time, it's one of his favorite words (usually for food or something fun or funny you just did or said that he would like to continue). He asks for foods by name. Says please and thank you (usually when prompted but occasionally on his own). He can say like everyone's name. Mama and Dada, obviously. "Andpa" for Michael's dad, "Pop pop" for mine. All his grandmas are "Andma" but he also calls Jeanne "Nini" and my mom (whose name is Sandi) "Di Di". His Aunt Shannan is "Stinky" (they play a game and that's just become her name now hahahaa). He says his own version of Joshy and "Djilly" for my brother and sister-in-law. He usually calls his Uncle Kevin dada in pictures (they resemble each other) but always knows his Aunt "Em". He also knows his own name and points to himself and says "James!" He actually frequently does this when meeting people to introduce himself and it's the sweetest. He knows and can say the colors (red, blue, purple, green, orange, yellow, black, and pink). Shapes (circle, oval, square, rectangle, hexagon, star, heart, triangle...probably others). Body parts (head, ears, eyes, nose, mouth, lips, tongue, teeth, hair, neck, elbow, arm, hand, fingers, chest, belly, bebo, butt, leg, knee, foot, toes). So many animals and animal sounds (he started actually saying "elephant" in addition to being able to do its noise and it's adorable). He's getting pretty good at knowing his letters, he's got B, M, D, S, U, I, L, and O completely down and usually also gets (or calls by animal name that starts with it) H, P, R, E, J, N, T. The rest he gets sometimes. I taught him how to hold his finger up and yell "One!" So when I say "How old is James?" that's how he responds. He also counts to 2, ("One, two, one, two....") sometimes 3 but his "Night Night Little Pookie" had a part where they count "One, two, three-It's Me!" So he usually just points to himself and exclaims "Me!" instead of saying 3--and I find it charming as hell. Speaking of books-he has most of his favorites pretty much memorized and can tell you what happens on each page. In his Little Pookie books (by Sandra Boyton) he frequently will do the Little Pookie response parts (like aforementioned "It's me!") James went through a phase where his response to everything was "yeah" (I called him my "anti-toddler") and then one day it switched to frequent no's. Now he usually nods when asked something, but about 40% of the time he'll say no, depending on if it's very objectionable (ie "Can we change your diaper" has like a 99% chance of getting a "no!) But, yeah. He's just chatty. I'm constantly just listening to him babble on and on, sometimes after he wakes up in his crib he just like recaps the previous day essentially (or talks about the zoo, it made quite an impression). He's always going on just long enthusiastic chatty fits. It's so cute and so fun and I'm pretty proud of how good of a talker he is. And he makes me laugh. So it's wins all around.

Favorites: Me and Michael. His grandparents and aunts and uncles. People/friends in general. Dogs (he gets so stoked to see the neighbors dogs or dogs on walks or pictures of dogs...he just really likes dogs). Babies/other kids. Socializing, in general. Going on walks and playing outside. The zoo. Dancing/singing/music (less than he used to, though, which makes me sad). Reading. Playing. . Running and hiding/chasing or being chased. His dinosaurs (especially the mobile above his bed and his stuffed one). His baby doll and all his stuffed animals and toys. Making silly faces/sounds-especially if it's an imitation of us. Making animal sounds. Cuddling up with pillows and/or blankets or whatever he's decided is cuddly. Hair. Feet (particularly smelling them and saying "stinky!".) ATTENTION. Baths. Yogurt, cheese, fruit. Ice cream and chocolate. Batman.

Dislikes: Having his diaper changed (he doesn't mind having his clothes changed anymore! Yay! But diaper oh boy he hates it.) Being held or forced to stay still if he wants to go do things. Being taken from something he wants or somewhere he wants to go. Getting hurt. Not being paid attention to. Being in the car for too long. Most green vegetables, peppers, spicy food, eggs, tomatoes, and whatever he's decided he doesn't like that day *eye roll*. The exam table at the doctor's office.

Concerns: Same as last time-nothing really. Just normal parenting worries about if we're doing a good job and teaching him well and such. 

A Day in the Life: James wakes up around 7 and I go in and get him. He likes to play around a bit before letting me take him out of the crib and sit with him in the rocking chair to take his sleepsack off. He then wants to just sit and play and read books in his room and I eventually have to mention food to get him to go downstairs so I can get him breakfast. He immediately asks for water once he sees his cup and then I make myself toast while making him peanut butter bread (he calls it toast but I don't usually bother toasting it. Also I frequently give him plain bread while I'm getting everything else ready if he's impatient and asking for some) and then putting his yogurt in a bowl with a spoon for him. We eat breakfast, change his diaper (if I haven't already prior to that) and then usually say bye to Michael if it's a week day. James and I play, sometimes we run an errand or go on a walk or to the park or something. If we're not too busy/if he asks for one he may have another snack around 9. Then lunch is at 10:30ish. After lunch I usually change his diaper and we play for the little bit of time there is before nap-where I change his diaper again and put him in his pj's and lay him down around 12. He then will hopefully sleep for about 2 hours while I eat and enjoy my midday time of watching TV/Netflix and doing not much else. After he's up (as long as it's been at least 2 hours--if he wakes up before I leave him in his crib until it's the 2 hour mark) I got and get him and we repeat the reluctant to leave room dance of the morning. I eventually will give him a snack when he is ready, and change his diaper. We play. I probably make dinner. Michael gets home and then we eat around 5:30. Afterwards we play for a little bit and then start our bedtime routine. It's honestly great. I love every day with him.



Friday, June 21, 2019

Something Saturdays (6/22/19)

Well I meant to actually post this week (just a James update but still) but instead I started cramming the book Oh Crap! Potty Training so that's fun lol. The good news is I have actually photographed 2 recipes. The bad news is I haven't edited the photos and who knows when I'll have time. *le sigh*. 

But ANYWAY. Let's recap this week, yes? Father's day was lovely: we served Michael breakfast in bed (which resulted in James eating some of his daddy's breakfast in bed as well) and hung out, went on a walk, tried out James' new strider bike, I picked up dinner for all of us and...yeah. It was a good day. The rest of the week was mostly business as usual, although on Wednesday we went to storytime and James was so sweet and was sharing with the other kids (which, considering he has had very limited interactions with other children was very impressive I thought) and he looked like such a big boy. Then we went to Michael's dad's for dinner. Thursday was mine and Michael's 4 year wedding anniversary so we went out after James had gone to bed (Michael's mom stayed at our house). We got dessert at Twisted Olive first (SO GOOD) and then dinner and a stout for Michael at Royal Docks Brewing Co (meh). Friday I worked later than normal so I got home right at bedtime which stunk but James was so happy to see me which made me extra happy (especially since I'd been snubbed in favor of all 3 grandmas over the previous couple of days). This weekend I'm working again and then we have a church thing tomorrow for our pastor who is retiring. 

Recipes from the blog that I made this week
All-Butter Pie Crust

Movies/TV Talk (assume there'll be spoilers)
Jane the Virgin-Ohhh I'm loving it.

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

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Something Saturdays-on a Sunday (6/16/19)

Yepp. I'm doing so terrible at blogging lately that I can't even seem to keep up with my weekly recap posts. I have no excuse-just life is crazy busy and something has to give and that something is usually this blog. I appreciate all of you who are still here! 

Speaking of appreciation: HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!! I know everyone says they have the best dad but James really does <3

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Something Saturdays (6/1/19)

I'm sorry I missed last week's update! We've been so busy just going on walks, hanging out with family and each other, getting stuff done, etc. But life is good and we're enjoying this gorgeous weather! I hope you are too <3

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Something Saturdays (5/18/19)

So this week has just been THE BEST. Seriously. One of the best (if not THE BEST) weeks of my life. We started off with Mother's Day where Michael brought James to me in bed with a card they'd made together and James just smiled at me and stared at my face while I read it (*sob*) then we all made waffles together as a family. It was so fun and James ended up eating 3/4 of a Belgian waffle with peanut butter all by himself so I'd say he liked the end result. We spent time together and went on a nice long walk and to the park. Then we had takeout from one of my favorite restaurants for dinner. It was awesome. Then Michael took the week off from work so we worked on a bunch of house projects (which is so satisfying) including finally painting our horrendous yellow powder room a much prettier minty green. Michael's brother (who lives in N Carolina) was in town also so he and their sister and mom dropped by to play a bit on Monday, and then after that Michael's dad and stepmom came over for dinner. Wednesday Michael and I got massages (his first) which was great, then lunch at Canton Brewing Co (my first time there) and then the most fun of all we all 3 got to go to our local farmer's market which was so amazing. I bought so much good stuff and James was excited because he got to try free samples and saw lots of doggies. Speaking of animals...my favorite day was Thursday because WE WENT TO THE ZOO. THE ZOO! I love the zoo and James had never been! I prefer the Cleveland Zoo but we live closer to the smaller Akron zoo so we thought it would be a good 1st venture. It was such a beautiful day and we had such a great time. James essentially just skipped his nap and he was still SO happy and pleasant all day (even after we got home). The biggest highlight of the trip were the turtles. He's still talking about them. Friday I had to work (boo) and same today but we're hoping to get a bit more family fun in this weekend. It should be gorgeous out so I hope you're all able to have fun too!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Something Saturdays (5/11/19)

Life is craaazy but in a good way! I grocery shopped and did things on Monday, Tuesday I took James to visit Michael's mom at work (which is the high school we both went to so James was taken around to say hi to almost everyone lol), Wednesday night my cousin Audrey and her fiance' Kylie came over for dinner and stayed and played games after James went to sleep (so fun!) and other than that we've just been enjoying nice weather and getting things done. Today I worked and tomorrow is MOTHER'S DAY! Yayyyy! I'm so excited for my 2nd mother's day and I hope everyone out there has a great day.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Something Saturdays-on Sunday (5/5/19)

Last weekend was a fast but fun time with our friend Christian! His flight on Friday ended up being delayed so my plans for Michael and him to go to Studio Bakery unfortunately fell through-so we just ate some burgers I picked up from Swensons after I got home from work and James went to bed. Saturday the boys ordered pizza for lunch while I worked and then we went to our fave, Table 6, for dinner (and much deliciousness was had). The next morning we had breakfast at Twisted Citrus and then Michael took him to the airport. It was super nice to spend some time with him-and James had so much fun! On Monday I was still feeling bummed about missing Studio Bakery so James and I stopped in and had such a fun time catching up with the owners. James literally oohed at the cakes and macarons and I eventually caved and let the owner/baker Brittany give him a pistachio macaron-and boy oh boy was that a happy James lol. 
So we all got treats and were pleased about it. Thursday we went with Michael so James could see daddy's work and it was super nice and fun. Everyone was pretty excited to see James. Otherwise just lots of playing and fun times for us! 

Yesterday I worked and and then we went too Michael's cousin's gender reveal party (they're having a boy!) and after James went to sleep we went to my close friend (and like...3rd cousin? 2nd cousin once removed? I dunno)'s mom's celebration of life which was bittersweet. So it was a very busy very long day. Today I worked and mostly just tried to keep my head above water-here's hoping I get plenty of sleep tonight!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Something Saturdays (4/27/19)

Right now our friend Christian is visiting us from NY so I'll keep this recap short and sweet:

Easter was fun! James loved all the fun, as usual. The Easter eggs turned out really pretty, too. I'm going to share a post about it soon hopefully! Michael had Monday off which was super nice, then Tuesday we had dinner at his mom's (and after James went to bed I went to my friend Amanda's studio for a girl's night she hosted, so fun!) and Wednesday (she's a teacher and was on spring break) she came over to play with James while I cooked. I worked yesterday (and that's when Christian came in) and...yeah! That's mostly it! Hopefully he has fun this weekend!

OH and-it's this blog's 8 anniversary today! I'm lame and doing nothing but let me just say THANK YOU for being here through these 8 years. The rollercoaster ride of my life + lots of yum yums. The circle of life. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Something Saturdays (4/20/19)

Michael and I had a lovely brunch together last week, thanks for asking. The rest of the week was pretty cool but the big event was: JAMES HAD ICE CREAM FOR THE FIRST TIME. We took him to a local-ish ice cream place that has a location near us that we like (Handel's, in case you were curious) and he was a big fan. Super happy and pleasant and playful. He had his own baby vanilla cone that he definitely enjoyed but clearly he preferred taking bites of mommy and daddy's chocolate peanut butter ripple ice creams. It was a great time and I loved his little voice exclaiming "ice creaam!"

But let's talk about what we all want to know right now: what are we doing for Easter (if you celebrate--or if you celebrate a different holiday what did you do/are you doing?) Today we're dyeing eggs (I used this methodology for homemade dye). Michael and I loved how Christmas went so much we're replicating the same model for this holiday. We're hosting an open house at our place and our parents will stop in whenever is convenient for them/when James isn't sleeping lol. We're serving:
I'm really looking forward to it! What are your plans?

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs

Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs
I made dinner. It was daylight so I quickly snapped some photos while my toddler sat there angrily smacking his lips at me.

Hi. This is my life.

My son is a hungry little hippo who insists upon eating any and all food he sees, especially meatballs because he loves them. So I decided speedy photos were better than none and took these because GOSH DARN IT I OWE YOU ALL A RECIPE. And it's a good one, guys. You're gonna love it.
Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs
They're yummy. They're flavorful. They're pretty darn easy (thanks to our lovely friend the slow cooker--I know pressure cookers are like the big thing but don't even talk to me about them because I am TERRIFIED of them so I'll just live with the sweet torture that is the low and slow cooking machine. Luckily-this recipe only cooks for like 2.5 hours!). The meatballs are super tender and delicious and the gravy is creamy and has sour cream in it so you know that equals pure YUM. Just serve them over mashed potatoes or egg noodles and enjoy pure comfort food.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Something Saturdays (4/13/19)

This week has been so lovely-the weather has gotten nice so Michael and I took James to the park twice (his first time!) We're lucky and there's a park across the street from our neighborhood allotment so we're able to just walk over with the stroller and he can swing or we can help him go down the slide. Little man loooves it, and we've been playing outside a lot in general. It's been so so nice. I worked today but tomorrow Michael and I are going to get some brunch together and maybe run an errand while James naps. I can't wait!

PS-I'm planning on having a new recipe for you guys this week! Cross your fingers that I'm able to actually get it written and posted!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Something Saturdays (4/6/19)

This week, as per usual lol, was fairly uneventful. Mostly just James and I time (plus I had a dentist appointment on Tuesday). Today I had the day off and Michael and I did some furniture shopping during James' nap (Michael's mom came over to stay with him). We were able to find an entertainment center we love (under our max budget, yay!) and got some good leads on a new dining room set. Afterwards we picked up food then went home and hung out with Michael's mom, sister, and baby James-enjoying the nice day (woohoo 60's!) It was a great day-I hope your Saturday was just as good!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Something Saturdays (3/30/19)

Alright it's late but I'm getting this post in under the wire!

I realize I suck at blogging these days. I'm sorry. I have no idea if or when it will get better but all I can say is I'm living my life and when I can post I will <3

Now, speaking of life. Last weekend we did a little shopping and also went out to dinner at our favorite Mexican place, Tlaquepaque. James and I hung out and ran some errands Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday I took him to story time at our local library for the first time (it was fun but crazy--and most of the kids were a bit older than him). Today was super fun because our friends Amanda and Brian came over and we always love to see them (and we found out what their baby's sex is! So fun!) Tomorrow we're just going to church and finishing up tax stuff. Fun funnnn.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Something Saturdays (3/23/19)

Well last weekend was a real adventure. I skipped last week's Something Saturday because poor little James caught his first stomach virus (I presume from his doctor's appointment on Wednesday, it was only a day and a half later that it hit him). Then-I got it. Then-Michael got it. We were a mess. And poor James was all better on Sunday while I was weak from a night full of awful and Michael had just been hit. So we called his mom to come help us. And then she caught it Monday night! Gosh we felt awful. This bug is no joke. But, luckily, now we're all healthy and are just working on cleaning everything and playing catch up. Ugh. Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Something Saturdays (3/9/19)

Well last weekend was super fun. Last Saturday we had so much fun at baby Ava's 1st birthday (James especially) and then James woke up Sunday with another new molar (we're up to 10 teeth!) We went to dinner with friends of ours and their kids and it was fun-the best was that it was James' first time out in the falling snow and he loved it. He laughed and reached his hand into the air. The rest of our week was mostly just hanging out and running errands. I had an appointment with my new OBGYN's office (I switched because I didn't love my birth experience with James and heard amazing things about the midwives at this office) and I really liked it so fingers crossed! I had to work yesterday and today and tomorrow which is lame but I'm still making sure to get lots of time with my guys :) 

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Something Saturdays (3/2/19)

Hiiii. What are you doing today? I'm super excited because we're going to Michael's cousin's daughter's 1st birthday party (so clearly she's only a couple months younger than James) and it should be fun!

Last weekend was fun too-James GOT HIS FIRST HAIRCUT (*sob*) He was not a fan but the sweet boy, through his tears, still thanked Patrick (our hairdresser-he cut mine and Michael's hair too. Yay for family haircut day! Lol) with a cute little teary, "tank ooo" It took some getting used to but it honestly looks mostly the same, just a smidge shorter (and more uneven because the dang kid wouldn't stay still). Here's a fair summation in photo format:

We then stopped by Studio Bakery (our fave) and bought all the treats. Later on we went out for dinner at our favorite restaurant Table 6 so all in all, a good day. Sunday we just hung out. James and I ran a couple errands on Monday (including picking up birthday presents for this Saturday's party) and Tuesday we just played and then my dad came over for a bit after he got off work. Wednesday I worked so my mom came over to watch James but then I was off Thursday and we went to dinner with Michael's dad and stepmom. And yesterday I worked and my mom babysat again. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
Another baby/toddler approved recipe--that's also endorsed by the hubby. This oatmeal is awesome because it is super versatile, you can totally play around with it a bunch, and it's healthy AND tasty! And-bonus for a busy parent or any busy adult-suuuper quick and easy to make. You just mix everything together, spread into a pan, and bake!

I love baked oatmeal-I think it's so comforting and tasty and I like that it's not as messy as unbaked oatmeal, lol. James loved this too-it's nice and filling and flavorful. I haven't made it in awhile now and the only reason for that is a current "bopple" (AKA apple) obsession that little man is going through. No apples survive his appetites long enough to end up in anything else. He so much as glimpses an apple and he immediately starts clamoring for "BOPPLE BOPPLE BOPPLE!"

But I swear as soon as I figure out how to successfully hide an apple from his little eagle toddler eyes I will be making this again!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Something Saturdays (2/23/19)

Last week was pretty uneventful so here I am with a little recap of the last couple weeks! Mostly, we've just been enjoying each other! I had last weekend off and on Saturday Michael and I went out to brunch while James napped (Michael's mom stayed with him) for some much needed alone time. I'm off this weekend too and am super excited for more family time!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

James-14 Months!

I managed to skip 1 whole month of updating. Don't judge me. I just found myself thinking about all the amazing and awesome things James is doing and worrying I'd forget what he was like at this age soooo...here we are. I'm still only planning on occasionally doing these, whenever the mood strikes I suppose. Regardless, I love this boy and he gets even more awesome every day.

Date: February 10, 2019

Sleeping Pattern: A month ago we switched to 1 nap! Which is early but I always sort of assumed he'd make this transition early based on how his sleep stuff has always gone. His naps just started not going well so I took the leap and overall it's gone pretty well. James goes down for his nap around 12 and sleeps for (hopefully) 2+ hours. Frequently it's more like 1 hour 45 minutes-ish but we're getting better at hitting the 2 hour mark more. Then bedtime up until this week was the same it's always been (although if he has a short nap we do an early bedtime). But this week we cut out his bedtime nursing session and changed up his routine a bit. Now I lotion him up (he has mild eczema) and then Michael takes him around to say goodnight to everything on the way upstairs. They read his "superhero rules", then we brush his teeth, and then we take him to his room where we change his diaper, put him in his pj's, and then his sleepsack. We read a story and then turn out the light and I sing to him a little bit then lay him down. He then falls asleep within like 15 minutes and is down until morning (he usually sleeps 11-11.5 hours!)

Eating Habits: So, since he turned 1 I've been cutting out one nursing session a month. Up until this week he'd been down to nursing in the morning and at bedtime, but now we just cut the bedtime session so it's just the morning. Then he has breakfast (usually yogurt and toast or something like that). He can completely feed himself with a spoon, he's actually super good with it. He usually has a snack somewhere around 9 or so and then lunch(ish) around 10:30/11. After he wakes up from his nap he has a snack (sometimes after playing for a bit first) and then maybe another snack around 4ish and then dinner around 5:30/6. He's very demanding about his food though and will frequently just walk up to the refrigerator smacking his lips and asking for a "bopple" (apple) or "cheeeeese" or "nana" or something so his snack times are all very variable lol. But he's a good eater! He's gotten a bit more particular about wanting to eat certain things and not others but he goes through phases with it so we just keep riding it out, he still eats super well compared to most toddlers lol. Still messy, but not quite as bad as when he was younger! At this point most of the messes are caused by him throwing food which is usually a fully conscious toddler decision. 

Development & Firsts:  Developmentally speaking...omigosh I don't even think I could think of all the things that have happened over these past couple months. All I can say is he's gotten super good with blocks and his toys that are like that. He talks A TON (usually repeats just about any word) and understands even more. If I can't find one of his toys he'll usually find it for me or point to where it is. He gets things I ask him to get. One time we read the Hungry Caterpillar and he walked into the other room and got the butterfly from there (which is actually the one from the book but we've never told him that)-like...what!? He requests things that he wants (especially food lol). He has a full blown sense of humor-like...he understands absurdity and things that are silly. And I don't even know what else all I know is that he's crazy smart and becoming such a big boy (*sob*). He's running all over the place, of course. Other than that he got an 8th tooth shortly after turning 1 and has just been working on his 1 year molars ever since. He got to play in the snow for the first time (he loves looking at it and walking in it and sledding on it-does not love being submerged in it). Ooh! He had his 2nd Christmas but it was so much more fun and wonderful now than when he was 2 weeks old lol. He was so excited about all the presents and getting to see all his grandparents, he looooved it. And....mmmm...yeah. I think that's it. 

Mischief: James is vocal in all ways, including when he's displeased lol. He still runs away mid-diaper change, while naked (which is pretty cute actually hehe) but now he's also figured out how to unsnap his diapers. As soon as a snap comes undone he immediately starts maniacally laughing and running away as you go get him. There have been a couple times where he had the thing half hanging off him as he laughed and laughed. And honestly I laughed too. His throwing food situation has gotten much better but he still is going through it. Especially when he's full or if he doesn't like what the food is (hi broccoli GET THE HECK OUTTA HEEEERE) or is just cranky for whatever reason. Or if he's being playful. Meh, it's a work in progress. Another thing he likes to do is get into things he shouldn't. Particularly this one bookshelf. Honestly, it's not a huge deal-we tell him not to take the books off and he usually does but he doesn't do anything to them and we don't really care about them so meh. 80% of the time he's good about not messing with things he really shouldn't (namely pushing the buttons on the cable box, getting into the coffee table, etc.) but that 20% happens when he's desperate for attention (AKA mommy's making dinner). I also need to make sure the bathroom door is always closed or else he has too much fun with the toilet paper. He likes to mock us telling him now by either going "bowwww" or "nonononoooo" in a very exaggerated way. And the cutest (and arguably saddest) bit of mischief is his fake out hugs. He'll run at you with a big smile on his face, your arms are open and you're just sure he's coming for a hug: sometimes you're right! But sometimes he's faking you out and will run right past you or at the last minute swerve away to something else. RUDE.

Cuteness: This section is both the largest reason I want to write these updates and the hardest part for me to do. I don't want to forget any of the cute things he does but IT'S SO HARD TO THINK OF AND WRITE ABOUT ALL OF THEM! Ahhhhh. He is just so stinking funny-he makes the most hilarious expressions and sounds and has such a great sense of humor. He knows he's being funny and seeks it out. His grin is just the cutest best thing. He's also sooo EXTRA (that's my baby!) He'll just like raise his hands to the sky and look up and like squeal. He'll just jabber loudly and excitedly and make fun faces and scream and run at you. He sings to meatballs (he like just was eating meatballs at dinner and was so happy about it that he was like happily singing to them...) Sometimes we put this little Batman cape on him and he'll just flip it behind him so dramatically, it kills me. And even cuter is how he'll do this adorable waddle run while wearing it and it just flies out behind him. He wants everyone to pay attention to him always and he'll act as cute as possible to receive it (he's a wee bit attention spoiled, one time when we were at breakfast and the people at the table next to us were *gasp* just paying attention to each other and eating their food James made it his mission to get them to look at him and smile at him lol.) He just loves people so much! He gets so excited about visitors or seeing people when we're out. He even gets excited when he sees pictures of people (if I even mention his Uncle Joshy-my brother who lives in Hawaii and he met once when he was a month old-he points to the picture of him on the wall and gets excited. He calls his little photo album of people "pop pop" because he loves seeing the picture of my dad in it and exclaiming "pop pop!") And omigosh guyssss....James twirls. Like if there's music on (and sometimes when there's not--he also likes to just walk around and dance and sing "doo doo doo" to himself even when there's no music) he puts his arms out and twirls in circles. He even usually spots (aka keeps his gaze fixed on one point--usually me) when he does it! It's SO ADORABLE. He still just loves dance and music so much. It is just in him. The Greatest Showman soundtrack is a particular favorite. Something else that kills me is how James annihilates apples (and also how he says "bopple" for apple. I don't want him to stop ever.) I will seriously give him a whole apple and I have to keep a close eye on him or he will devour the entire thing, core and all (it happened once when I wasn't watching close enough). He also gets super super excited about getting to go play in the basement (it's essentially his playroom down there--don't worry, it's a nice finished basement lol) and will run to the door and excitedly giggle when you tell him we're going downstairs. Pretty much anything involving feet or socks will get a silly nose wrinkle and grin as he proclaims "stinky!" He'll also usually grab his foot and smell it and proclaim it "stinky". And then he's also so sweet. He's gotten really into cuddling soft things. He'll just lay on the floor on a pillow or blanket or a stuffed animal or even just like a soft sweater or something and go "mmmm." He's become such a cuddle bug. But a very active cuddler-he never stays still. He'll lay and go "mmm," then he'll change position "mmm," flip all around again, "mmmm" and so on. This is also the case if I'm laying down and he decides to cuddle on me: it's an interesting, and adorable, situation. The first day that he was down to 1 nap, James ended up gathering all the pillows and blankets in the living room and created a little nest to cuddle up and roll around in and there is like always a nest now. He'll even get a bit peeved if he finds you've taken a blanket from it haha. We still get occasional, wonderful kisses. But his affection in general has really ramped up-he'll just run and give Michael (and sometimes me) a tackle hug around the leg. Sometimes if I'm sitting and he's standing James will wrap his arms around my head and sort of nuzzle it. He likes to pat us on the shoulder when we're holding him and we still sometimes get those sweet slow dances. The best is that everyone and everything is identifiable now. We'll say "Where's mommy?" and he'll point to me. "Go give daddy a hug," -he'll run and hug Michael. "Where's James?" he points to his chest and exclaims proudly, "James!" (He actually says it really well!) IT IS THE BEST. Especially when Michael tells him to give mommy a kiss and he complies (he only complies about 40% of the time but I'll take it!) When one of us gets home from work he gets so excited and usually runs away right before we come in the door, like he's going to hide, but then he changes his mind and runs back so he's there to greet us with a big grin. He likes to put his little fits over his eyes and then take them away to play peek-a-boo! Oh! And he loves to play with this one ladle I have (he'll go "ladewlllll") and use it to stir a big pot with his toys in it (aka soup). He'll give Michael and I tastes of it or take a slurp himself and say "mmmm." SO CUTE. Michael's an accomplished whistler and James has gotten super fascinated and trying to figure out how to do it (you see his mouth try to make the shape and he'll like blow out or say "doooo"). Watching him try to learn how to whistle is so amazing to watch. He just loves to copy Michael in general (we call him his little "monkey do"-as in monkey see monkey do). James is still a fan of books and is super cute when I read "I Love You Stinky Face" (he gets so sweet and gives me so many cuddles and kisses while reading it!) He also still gets excited anytime he sees anything with Batman. He still makes the animal sounds anytime he sees the animal that goes with that sound (our neighbors have dogs and anytime he hears a bark he runs to whatever window is closest to the direction the bark came from and is panting and looking for the doggy). 

Nicknames: James-y, Jamesy-pie, Nugget (or Nug or Nuggy or Nuggy Nug or Nuggety or Nougat), Lumpkin, Noodle, Doo-doo (because he frequently walks around saying "doo doo" in reference to music/musical toys), Goofy or Goof-Nugget, Silly, Kid/Kiddo, Cutie McCuterson, Cuddle Bug, Snuggle Bunny, Kookaburra (because he's cooky), Mister, Sir, Bud/Buddy, Friend, Sweet Boy, Baby, Love (My love, little love, sweet love, lovey), Cutie patootie/pie, My Sweetie/Sweetie-pie, Sweet Pea, The Baby, Little/Sweet/Baby Boy (or any combo with any of the other nicknames listed-particularly Sir Baby and Mister Boy).

Talking: Yeah he talks A TON. He'll repeat almost any word you say to him and you can actually sort of converse with him. He listens (sometimes) and responds and it's just insane. People are usually pretty impressed with how well and how much he talks. He says lots of food words ("bopple" for apple, cheese, "toto" for toast, "nana" for banana, "bawk bawk" for chicken, oatmeal, etc.) and says please and thank you (sometimes, and in his own little toddler-talk way). He calls people by name. Of course he still says "Dada" but he's started using "Mama" more again and calls my dad "pop pop" and is starting to sort of say "papa" or "ampa" for Michael's dad. His grandma is a work in progress and sometimes comes out like "nana" and sometimes like "andma" He says "sha sha" for his Aunt Shannan and "doshie!" for his Uncle Josh(y). He also calls Josh's dog by her name "Kiki!" And we can't forget our stuffed animal friends "Ala" (Nala), "Dasmine" (Jasmine), "Tiggooo" (Tigger) and "Di di" (dinosaur). He has a pair of Incredibles pajamas that he points to and exclaims "Jack Jack!" (he doesn't have screentime so he has no clue who that is, we just told him it was Jack Jack, but soon! lol) He also has Dumbo pj's that he points to and says "Dumboooow". We've been working on identifying body parts-he has nose (or "bose") down and usually gets (and says) eyes. He like always can point out hair (because he weirdly loves it) and usually knows where ears and bellies/belly buttons are. His feet he knows and usually sniffs haha. Mouth he gets about 65% of the time. And then he sometimes can also point out (and say) neck, elbow, and cheekies. The rest we're still working on. His animal sound game is on point. It includes (but is not limited to): waddling and making a little penguiny sound for penguins, and doing a similar thing with more of a quacky sound for ducks, he roars for dinosaurs and lions, he blows air through his lips for an elephant, he clicks his tongue for a crocodile and smacks his lips for giraffe, cows go "mooo", he shakes his head and blows out air for a horse and snorts for piggies, sheeps say "baa", monkeys go "ooh ooh" (and sometimes pounds on his chest lol), he says "blub blub" for fish, makes a sort of "arf" sound for a seal, makes a crowing sounds for a rooster, soooometimes he makes sort of cat cry, and of course he pants (and sometimes uses his tongue :P) for doggies. He's hilarious. But yeah, in summation, the child talks a lot and talks really well for his age. 

Favorites: Me and Michael. His grandparents and aunts and uncles. People/friends in general. Babies/other kids. Dancing/singing/music. Reading. Being tickled. Playing. Toys (especially balls and his trains, currently). Running and hiding/chasing or being chased. His dinosaurs. His stuffed Tigger, anything with Jasmine (from the Disney movie Aladdin-I have a few things with her on them), and my old stuffed Nala (from The Lion King) from when I was little. Making silly faces/sounds (sticking his tongue out and wiggling it in a goofy way is a new favorite). Sniffing (either faux-angrily because there are flowers nearby to be sniffed, or because he's pretending things are stinky.) Making animal sounds. Cuddling up with pillows and/or blankets (or the vest from his one buffalo outfit...I dunno). Hair. Feet (particularly smelling them and saying "stinky!".) ATTENTION. Baths. Food (fruit especially right now-apples and bananas and strawberries!). Batman. 

Dislikes: Being changed (clothes or diaper)-he still freaks out almost ever time, especially for the diaper. Being held or forced to stay still if he wants to go do things. Being taken from something he wants or somewhere he wants to go. Getting hurt. Not being paid attention to. Being in the car for too long. Most green vegetables, peppers, spicy food.


Concerns: Not really! Just trying to make sure we do a good job and are teaching him the right amount of stuff/playing enough with him, etc. Normal parenting stress but he himself is great. No concerns.

A Day in the Life: James wakes up around 7 and I go in and get him. He happily sits down so I can get him out of his sleepsack and then I take him out of his crib and I nurse him. After that he usually says hi to daddy and maybe plays in our room for a couple minutes then we go get breakfast. We then play and get things done/potentially run an errand. He has lunch around 10:30-11 (and usually has a snack sometime between breakfast and then). Then he goes down for his nap around 12. He hopefully sleeps until at least 2 but regardless I don't get him until after then, just in case. He's usually up by 3 at the laaaatest. Then we play for a little bit until he decides he's ready for a snack. Then I usually work on dinner and sometimes he has another snack before that. Dinner is around 5:30 or 6 and Michael usually gets home shortly before that. After dinner we have happy family time then bedtime routine starts around 7-7:15ish (unless it's an early bedtime day if he napped poorly) and he's asleep between 7:30 and 8. Then we start it all over again!  


Saturday, February 9, 2019

Something Saturdays (2/9/19)

Ahh what a busy week! Sunday James, Michael, and I went to church and got to play outside a little and just generally enjoy family time! On Monday, James and I went and had brunch with my boss and friend, Val. Then Tuesday we mostly just hung out and went to the grocery store. I had to work Wednesday and yesterday (and today and I have to work tomorrow too) but I got to spend Thursday with my sweet little nugget. Michael's been getting home earlier which has been so fun, we love getting to hang out and play. And it makes James get ultra affectionate and sweet which I adooore.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
HIII. I have a new recipe. It's a miracle, I know. Having a kid is hard, and I am in awe of the bloggers who do this thang with their tiny humans running around. They're the real MVP. I have a hard time but when I can get something for you I will! And here it is!!

There are two camps of macaroni and cheese lovers: baked or stovetop. I'm a baked mac and cheese fan myself, I like the crisp top and thicker center. But Michael is firmly team stoveop, so when I saw this recipe I thought it looked like it would be right up his alley (and I certainly wouldn't kick it out of bed either)!
Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
It's quick and easy, uses only one pot (hi hi hi have I mentioned I'm a busy mom? All important facts for me!) and is seriously creamy and flavorful and just downright tasty. And you can absolutely jazz it up with different seasonings, or by mixing up the kinds of cheese, or mixing in veggies or a protein (OMG NOW I WANT TO DO BEEF AND CARAMELIZED ONION MAC AND CHEESE BECAUSE I HAVE AN ADDICTION TO THAT COMBO). Am I still #teambakedmacandcheese? Yes--but this recipe comes a close second! And it makes my boys happy so...I'm really #teamfamily. 

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Something Saturdays (2/2/19)

Hi hi hiii! I'm one of those people who lived through this week's polar vortex-anyone else? Admittedly, it was like it never happened for James and I because we literally did not leave our house from Tuesday-Friday. On Monday we went to Studio Bakery again before the cold hit to get treats (macarons, ccc, pecan bar, cherry pie, and cassatta cake-natch) but after that we just stayed in! It was also soooo nice because Michael got home much earlier than normal all week which gave us lots of fun family time and James adored it (so did we). Michael's mom and sister came over for a bit on Wednesday (they both were off from school-his mom teaches high school and his sister is in college-because of the polar vortex) which is always fun. And this weekend I'm off work still so it should just be fun family time! Plus we had play date today with a little boy just a month older than James whose mom used to work with Michael (we went to their house a month ago and this time they came over here)-James loves getting to socialize and play and Niko is a sweetie so it was great.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Something Saturdays (1/26/19)

Well we survived the snowstorm of last weekend! We definitely got a lot of snow but luckily we had nowhere to be so we just sort of hung out. Which was wonderful, of course, and I was super glad it was a 3 day weekend (Michael had Monday off). Tuesday my dad came by to see James. Wednesday I worked. Thursday I went to my beloved Studio Bakery (seriously, if you live in the Akron/Canton area GO THERE. I have insanely high baked good standards and their stuff never fails to astound me. Their chocolate caramel tart that I got this trip is one of the most delicious things I've ever had. Their macarons are the best. Just...so much yumminess.) Later, my cousin and her daughter (who is 10 months older than James--the same age gap as between her and I) came over and they had so much fun playing together! It was too cute. Friday we just hung out and James gave me an awesome nap (since we switched to one nap last week a good chunk of stress has been spent over how long he's been sleeping for that nap) so that was great. This weekend I have to work but not for long so I'm still planning on enjoying my time with my boys!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

UPDATED Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings--with Slow Cooker Method

5 years ago I hit publish on a blog post for a recipe I was pretty lukewarm on. As evidenced by the fact that I didn't make it again for 5 years. These days I'm constantly searching for something new to make for dinner thanks to the fact that I eat a ton (thanks breastfeeding) and so does Michael and now little James. So I unearthed the chicken and dumplings recipe I'd made so many years ago. And decided to try making it in the slow cooker. And it was awesome. Michael loved it, I loved it, James loved it.

So now the internet should love it too, right? It's creamy dreamy comfort food: perfect to warm you up on these cold January evenings. And using a slow cooker makes it even simpler to make.

Check out the original post here:

https://www.cookingactress.com/2014/04/southern-style-chicken-and-dumplings.html

Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings-Slow Cooker Method
Makes 6 servings.
Ingredients:
  • 8 cups (64 oz) chicken stock/broth (or 8 cups water + 8 tbsp. bouillon)
  • Approximately 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
  • pepper, salt, dried basil, garlic powder, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (or substitute)
Preparation:
  • Put chicken, broth, and seasonings in a slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours.
  • Remove chicken and shred. 
  • Skim any fat/scum off of the liquid and discard, along with the bay leaves.
  • Turn heat to high.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, and baking soda. Stir in melted butter and buttermilk. Place on a lightly floured surface and roll out to about about 1/8" thickness. Cut out 2 in. shapes (or just tear them off).
  • Plop dumplings into crockpot and put on the lid, cooking for 20 minutes on high. Stir occasionally.
  • Add shredded chicken and stir until combined. Serve warm!
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Something Saturdays (1/19/19)


Well it's been a snowy week (finally!) James was so excited about it and had a bunch of fun playing in it last weekend. We went to brunch then just had snow fun on Sunday, then the rest of the week was spent working on things at home and running errands, etc. We also started trying out a 1 nap schedule for James, so that's been a bit of an adventure. This weekend we plan to just hunker down ans enjoy our snowy time together <3.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Baby Must-Haves (7-12 Months)

It has been QUITE AWHILE since I shared with you some of my recommendations for things for babies! So here we are, it's time! I will say from the get-go, I haven't recommended a ton of toys because, frankly, I don't think kids need a ton of toys and there's so dang many and they're usually pretty pleased with most things. So yeah. You do you. But everything on this list has been a total hit/really works for us so I hope they're helpful for you too! (Disclaimer-there are some Amazon affiliate links which, if you click on them and purchase anything, I get a small commission from at no extra cost to you!)

  1. Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup
    Our favorite sippy cup (and the fave of pretty much every other parent/kid I've met). It's just super easy to use and pretty much spill free and great. James has been using it since he was about 6 months old and figured out how it worked within a few days.
  2. Kid Basix by New Wave Safe Sippy 2
    Our other favorite sippy! It has capabilities to be used as a spouted sippy or with a straw (we usually use the straw for variety's sake) and it has another travel attachment so nothing can come out. Thusly it is what we use when we go out. 
  3. Tommee Tippee Easi Roll Drip Catcher Baby Bib
    Fave bib: it catches  (most of) the million and ten things that get dropped when James eats and is easy to clean (yay!)
  4. Baby Loves Science books by Ruth Spiro
    THE BEST book series for babies!! Michael and I (and, most importantly, James) love love love them. They're so cute and fun and informative.
  5. Baby University books by Chris Ferrie
    More awesome ways to teach science to your baby-every one starts with "This is a ball" (which, since James loves anything with a ball, means they're off to a strong start) and then they proceed to explain super intense concepts in a way that a baby can understand. Mostly. Admittedly I still can't wrap my head around general relativity. 
  6. Baby Banana Infant Training Toothbrush and Teether
    James is just now starting to get the hang of actually using this as a toothbrush but he's always loved chewing on it so it's the perfect intro to teeth brushing for your little!
  7. Babyganics Eczema Care Skin Protectant Cream
    James has mild eczema and generally dry skin (sorry buddy, inherited from me) and this lotion helps so much.
  8. Honest Diaper Rash Cream
    I love that there's nothing gunky or bad or dangerous in this and James loves that it actually works when he's got some discomfort in the diaper area lol. And it hasn't messed with our cloth diapers (bonus)!
  9. Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone - Award Winning Durable Wooden Musical Pounding Toy for Toddlers
    This was our only non-book Christmas gift for James and he adores it. It's the first toy he plays with every day and he is consistently amused by it. There are balls that he loves to throw and roll around and play with. There's a musical/xylophone component (music is always a fave). A wooden mallet is of course great to a toddler. And he's learning his colors from it (I'll ask him to go get me the red ball, then the blue, etc.) So-big fans.
  10. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn 3-in-1 Smart Car
    James got this for his 1st birthday from Michael's dad and it's been fun times ever since! James loves to push it around, be pushed on it, and bounce on it (hopefully he eventually figures out how to ride it on his own). I love the music. Seriously. There's a particular song I love to groove to, lol. In the scheme of kid's toys, it's actually pretty fun and not annoying. And James has fun with it. What more can you ask for?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Something Saturdays (1/12/19)

First of all-I intended to have a post for you guys this week but I was going to write said post on Tuesday night to post on Wednesday aaaad...the power went out. So I couldn't. Then we were worried James would get cold in the night so we ended up camping out on the floor by his crib until the power came back on (from about 1am-3:30am). It was miserable and we were exhausted (except for James who had no idea we were there *phew*). End of story is...I didn't get around to the post. 

But next week! Maybe...probably!

Anyway. Back to what's going on outside of blog-land. Last weekend we had so much fun with our friends when they came over (and made homemade pizza! Yum!). Sunday we went to church and Michael's mom tagged along, then his dad and stepmom brought dinner over later. So James was pleased with all the grandparent love. Monday we just hung out. Tuesday Jeanne (Michael's stepmom) came over and hung out a bit which was nice, and then we had the aforementioned power outage in the evening. Wednesday I was just worn out and it was kind of a blah day. Thursday we had dinner out with Michael's dad and stepmom which was fun (James loves going out). Friday we ran some errands. Today I work for the first time in a couple weeks but otherwise it's pretty chill!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Something Saturdays (1/5/19)

Happy first Something Saturday of 2019! How did your new year's go? Ours was the chillest-it was in fact just a normal night and I went to bed at 11 lol.

But let's back up. Last week James had his first play date with the son of a former coworker of Michael's and it went well, the little guy was very sweet and it was fun! My cousin Emily (who used to live in NY when I did but now lives in Boston) came over to visit which was so nice (we usually only get to see her once a year). New Year's Eve, as I said, was uneventful. New Year's day we just spent time together and Michael's mom came over and Michael got us all dinner from Twenty/20 Taphouse. Wednesday James and I just hung out and went grocery shopping (he actually had so much fun and whilst shopping I kept getting in his face and saying "I love you!" and then he started responding and saying it back! It's more like "A ya ya" but trust me, it's clearly I love you. So we did that back and forth like nonstop because when your baby starts saying I love you, wouldn't you do the same?? Of course he'll rarely, if ever, say it now *sigh*. Thursday my friend Jenna came over and met James and that was super fun. Friday we didn't do much, except I did get my driver's license renewed. And now it's Saturday! Our friends Amanda (the amazing photographer who has done James' last two portrait sessions) and Brian are coming over for dinner and hanging out, which is always fun so yay!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Best of 2018 on Instagram

It's 2019! And I'm so excited to see what this year is going to hold. But today I want to take a look back at 2018. It was a big year, the best year yet. My first full year of being a mom, watching James grow up has been the most amazing thing ever. Other good stuff happened too but James was definitely the highlight of my 2018 (and I'm sure 2019 will be no different <3).

 I started sleep training James at the beginning of the year (you could say my 2018 resolution was sleep lol) and it went great. I miss staring at my adorable tiny baby burrito!

 My brother got to meet his first nephew (and godson)!

 The tiny little sir got baptized.

 I was on a billboard!



 Had our first date night post baby at Gervasi.

 The joys of babies as displayed by us and our cousins + their new baby.



 My first new dessert post-baby: {Gluten-free} Salted Chocolate Chip Pecan Blondies


 I got back into the swing of wedding season with Perfectly Planned!


 My best friend got married and I got to be her matron of honor!

 This cutie was in a commercial with his mommy and daddy.

 As always...I love Table 6



 We went on our first vacation with Michael's family to Conneaut Lake, PA.

 I got to work the coolest wedding (the groom's name was Tyler Rex! T REX!)

 The yummiest of brunches was had at Twisted Citrus


 I found a favorite bakery! (Studio Bakery if you're in the Canton, OH area!)

 James turned 1 (*sob*)!


And we had the best Christmas ever.

2019, you have a lot to live up to! Let's do this!
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