Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Breaking In the Kitchen

Well, last week was our kitchen's maiden voyage on having me be the chef. Brad has cooked breakfast a few times, but that is it. Yes, we have lived in this house for 6 or 7 weeks and I had not stepped foot in the kitchen with my apron on. Brad has been traveling a ton, and I don't want to just cook for myself. And on the weekends we tend to eat out more. So yes, last week was it. I cooked dinner on Tuesday night last week and it was yummy! Baked chicken with a delicious marinade that I created myself and steamed veggies. Then on Wednesday, I got really busy. I made a hashbrown casserole, green bean casserole, chess pie, and caramel apple cheesecake. And I must say - they all tasted delicious (if I do say so myself)! You can find the recipe for each item by clicking on its name :) And of course, here is a picture of my creations. I think my favorite side item was the hashbrown casserole and dessert was the caramel apple cheesecake! Delicious!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Binky-Free Zone

In an effort to keep Katie from becoming that 5 year old that still requires a binky, we decided this was a grand opportunity to take it away. I asked her pediatrician, I scoured the Internet...I did research. Should we just go cold turkey? Should I try to explain it to her? Should I cut a small hole in the tip so it couldn't suck? Well, in the end, I decided cold turkey was the best method. She is used to it being in the same spot on her changing table/dresser, so I put it in a drawer so she couldn't find it. And we went about her bedtime/naptime routine as if it were not in the picture. Last night was the first time - it took her a little while to fall asleep, but she finally did! (could have also been her nap until 5:30) This afternoon's nap was a slightly different story. I had a feeling naptime would be more difficult. I layed her down and she whined and cried for about 10 minutes. Brad gave in and went up to calm her down...and it worked! She went right to sleep!! Here's to hoping we make our house a MAM 2+ month binky-free zone for good!

Friday, November 26, 2010

18 Month (almost 19...) Post

I just realized I never did do an 18 month post for the little lady! Better late than never...and I guess she is officially still 18 months until Monday, so whew! There are two words to describe her at this age - WILD WOMAN! She continues to develop her own personality. She is so affectionate (I'm enjoying it while it lasts). Katie talks SO much - I just wish I knew what she was saying! I mean she gets those hands going and looks like she's preaching. And her facial expressions when she is talking are just amazing - she can go from being so serious to such a goofball in a split second!! Here are her stats at this age....

Height: 32.25 in (65-75%)
Weight: 28 lbs, 11 oz (85-95%)
Size Diapers: 5
Size Clothes: Mostly 2T - she still has some 24 month things that fit, but for the most part she is in 2T!
Eating: She loves to eat (as evidenced in her size)! She has to have a banana and mini pancakes for breakfast. She is also trying to feed herself. She gets frustrated very easily and wants us to help her. I am hoping over the next couple of months she will get really good at the self-feeding. For now, I certainly don't mind assisting and teaching! She still drinks whole milk. We just transitioned into the hard spout sippy cups because the others were starting to leak everywhere. Hopefully she can get the drinking out of a straw down pat and begin drinking out of her straw cups! She is still hit or miss with protein - except refried beans! She loves those.
Sleeping: Like a champ. She goes to bed at around 7:30 and will sleep until anywhere from 7:3o to 9:30!
Favorite Book: Her Elmo "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" book - it is little, so it is just her size! And she has started singing along with the song too - love it!
Favorite Toy: She still really loves her gear toy. When it is warm enough, she loves to go outside and slide too. And she loves to read - LOVES it.
Activities She Loves: She loves dancing, especially to Black Eyed Peas songs. Like I said before, she has started singing. She loves climbing the stairs. Dot paints are her preferred craft method so she doesn't get messy. She also really likes to do sticker art. And running around like a crazy child never gets old to her either :)
Melt My Heart Moment: She was pointing to my nose, eyes, mouth, etc and then just leaned in for a kiss. Also, she recently starting saying "I Love You" - it is PRECIOUS! And she has become quite the expert at blowing kisses too. Oh and she runs up and grabs my knees and gives me big hugs :)

Photos Courtesy of Jessica Cherry (stay tuned for a post with all kinds of amazing pictures she took for us!)

Annual Mother-Daughter Shopping Event

The day after my birthday was the annual shopping event that my mom and I do. This is our third annual venture, and I think it is safe to say we are becoming professionals. Luckily, Katie was at Mother's Day Out, so I didn't have to worry about her walking (they don't allow strollers) or carrying her. Mom and I definitely had some good finds and split a lunch at our normal location. Delicious! I always find a few treats for myself and typically manage to get a little Christmas shopping done too. It really is so fun!

I didn't get a picture the first year, last year, we did manage a picture of Mom, me, and Katie. Well this year, I carried my camera intending to get a picture of me and Mom. Well, this is the only one I ended up with. There is an ENORMOUS rocking chair there and I felt like a big kid sitting in it (and of course had to get a picture)!

I am already marking my calendar for next year's event. I can't wait!!

My Birthday Week

So, it seems I am always playing catch up on here. Anyways, my birthday was last week (the 17th), and it seems the celebration tends to last almost a week (which I have no problem with)! The celebration actually started out the night before - Brad brought flowers home for me!! It has been a while since I got flowers, so that was a real treat!

On my actual birthday, Brad took the day off of work - it was so wonderful! He got up and made french toast (one of my faves)...and we actually got to eat breakfast just the two of us! Katie decided to sleep in, which was definitely a special treat.
We had planned on a family fun day at the zoo, but it was too chilly that morning. Instead, we shopped around looking for some things for our house (I do plan on doing a post about my new house, but I am hoping to get it in as good of shape as possible before that - hopefully soon though!). We had a relaxing day and then went to dinner with family - it was delicious and very fun! I had the yummiest cake ever. I am so blessed by such a great family!

The Friday night after my birthday, we went out to celebrate with friends. We went to a trendier spot that I had wanted to go to for a while - and MAN was it good! They had delicious drinks and amazing food. I'd definitely go back again!

I have such great friends for sure!

I guess turning 27 isn't too shabby. I'll take having a birthday anyday if this is what it's like! I am so blessed. xoxo

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tailgater Extraordinaire

Earlier this month, we decided we were way overdue for a visit to The Plains - yes, that's right! Katie made her first roadtrip to Auburn!! It had been 2 years since we had gone, and man has it changed! There are lots of new buildings on campus - and more stores in the area too! We were lucky enough to have a place to stay...and they have an 8 month old and a 1st grader, so Katie was in heaven with all of the toys! We arrived and were able to get a good night's rest before heading out to the tailgate spot. I think Katie loved seeing all of the people and dogs and festivities. We didn't actually go to the game because we didn't want to buy a ticket for Katie, but we had a great time for sure! We tailgated through the first half and then headed to one of my favorite restaurants, Niffers, to watch the second half. What made the weekend even better was an Auburn win over Georgia!! WAR EAGLE!!

Katie taking in all of the fun things at the tailgate spot - and this was the only "full dress shot" I could get!

The tailgate!

Katie loved the toys and snacks!

Our view of the stadium from the tailgate

The crowd gathering for Tiger Walk!

We visited some friends' tailgate - here is Katie playing her friend! So cute :)

Katie with the shaker - she loves it!!

What a sweet picture...
Obviously, that's me :)

The flyover before the game!

She could only hang for so long...
The stadium during the game

And, of course, Niffers! Yum!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Heart GNO!

Not too long ago, this group of ladies (myself included) finally got together for a much-needed girl's night out, or GNO! We headed to a trendier location for an event called "Wine Down Wednesday". For $20, you get 8 tickets for individual wine pours (no, none of us used all of our tickets) and all you could eat from this buffet of flatbreads, pizzas, hummus, dips, etc. It was a great time - fun to go out with the girls and enjoy some delicious food and wine! The next time we get together will be for our annual ornament exchange - can't wait for that!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

State Park Weekend

A couple of weekends ago, we headed out for a night at a state park about an hour away. It was so much fun! We stayed in a "villa" with my mom and brother for one night. My aunt and uncle and some other folks stopped by for some visiting as well! We enjoyed the fire, smores, burgers and hot dogs, and visiting...so fun. We really will have to do that more often - it is so close and very reasonably priced. Here are a few pictures of the fun...

Family shot

I love smores :)

...and Brad loves fire.

Such a sweet girl...

...and oh so silly.

I love this one!

Katie was playing on the tree stump!

Cute picture of my aunt and uncle!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lots of Play!!

So as the cooler weather is quickly approaching, we are trying to find some fun things to do that are indoors, while also enjoying the outdoors as much as possible!! We went with some friends to the indoor play space at the mall not too long ago - it was great! The only negative about it is that there is no "door" - it just has an opening, so that means kids can easily escape and try to run in the mall. Let's just say Katie enjoyed that way too much. She is definitely becoming much more willful and throws herself on the floor when she doesn't get her way. I was wondering when that would begin. I don't like it. And I'm trying not to give in.

Katie and Carter taking a break from playing to hug! Carter's mommy and I have been friends for over 20 years!!

Katie and her intense running face!
Later that afternoon, it warmed up enough to play in the backyard. I love afternoon outside pictures. I also just love afternoons outside. And so does Katie (and Sadie)!

She has become quite the expert at climbing up her little slide and then going back down.

Such a happy, silly girl!

She loves finding all of Sadie's tennis balls and playing with her!

So nice - she just gave it to her. Didn't even make her chase it down! :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Halloween Fun: Part Two

And finally, the Fairy Pictures!! That's right! This year, our little lady was a Fairy for Halloween. I wasn't too sure how she'd like the costume since it has tulle on it, but she did great! Right after I put it on her, she tried to take it off. But once she realized she looked adorable, she loved it. She was such a ham - both Cee Cee and Grandma came over to eat pizza with us and see the cute fairy before we headed out to trick or treat. I really should have gotten a picture of them with the busy fairy, but she would not sit still!! Anyways, here are some pictures of the fairy before we ventured out to trick or treat.

Crazy fairy!!

The back of the costume

She was so happy - this is what the front of her costume looked like!

Love this one :)

So we left our house about the time the sun went down (yes, we left candy at our front door for the kids - and the bowl was empty and still there when we got home!). We went to some friends' house just around the corner and headed out. Katie lasted as long as the big kids - and once she figured out she got candy, she loved it!

Our initial plan was to have her ride in this little car. She would have none of that.

Then we tried our friends' wagon. Nope, still not happy...as you can tell.

I love this picture. I know it's blurry, but it is the only one of the two of us from the evening!


Yes, Katie was either walking or being carried the whole 2.5 hours of trick or treating. She would plop down on the sidewalk about every 3-4 houses and take all of her candy out of her basket, piece by piece, and look at it. She loved it!

And she's off for more goodies!

"Come on, guys, hurry up!!"

I loved that lots of people were sitting outside and handing out candy. That meant not as many stairs for mom and dad to climb :)

And of course, after returning home, she had to try out some of the goodies. She is definitely my daughter - she LOVES chocolate!

"WOW! This is all mine?!?"
Needless to say, I think she will absolutely love Trick or Treating next year. And no, she didn't eat all that candy. Mommy and Daddy helped some :) And Daddy took some to work!