Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This Man

This man who loves his family enough to get up and go tirelessly to work to provide us financial stability.
This man whose chest is the perfect pillow for a stuffy nosed child and strong arms comfort when the world seems dark.
This man who has worked hard the last six months to apply for graduate school.
This man who is committed to devoting himself to family and work is once again a student.
This man is officially a member of the Fall 2011 UGA Executive MBA program. 
And I could not be more proud of him.

This family is now committed to doing what we have to do to get him through these next few years.

Because it what is right for us and our future.

Congrats my love, we are so very proud of you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Great Holiday Stress Out

I have a love affair with the holiday season. I absolutely love everything about it, the traditions, the decor and even the cool weather. Christmas trees should be accompanied by a fire and hot cup of cocoa.
 However, I don't need the snow. It's pretty and all but I prefer to not feel like my limbs are going to freeze off. A few years ago, Craig and I spent Christmas in Colorado and let me tell you I had quite the perfect picture in my head about how wonderful a white Christmas would be. I was dead wrong. It is not for me. It was down right cold and I did not even leave the condo on Christmas. Not to mention, we did not exchange any gifts. We did it before we left so we wouldn't have to travel with them and it really felt like any other day. It was downright weird. It was not a favorite memory at all. I missed my family, I missed the hustle and bustle of waking early making coffee and cinnamon rolls and opening gifts. This Southern Gal likes "her Christmas" cool but not frigid and full of family.

My only complaint with the holidays is undoubtedly there is stress. Presents for friends and family, getting the decorations up, parties and Christmas cards. Last year, I failed at Christmas. I ordered pictures too late so I had to come up with new presents literally the day before Christmas. I was wrapping at the final hour and the Christmas cards resulted in me staying up way too late one night texting friends for current addresses and addressing envelopes. I am pretty confident that most got there card after Christmas. It was nightmare. I vowed to never repeat it.

This year,I started coming up with presents early fall and by December 1st my gifts were bought AND wrapped. We put up our tree and I immediately placed all the gifts under it. Santa is in hiding. Our decorations are out and this year I am having fun with the holidays. Baking cookies, watching movies and relaxing. Relishing in what should be done this season not stressing out. And when I realized we had no good pictures for the Christmas card and that we would need to take a few and then that would mean cards arriving too close to Christmas to not cause stress I came up with a new plan. The New Years card. I think its fantastic and it just may be our family's thing. It will arrive after the masses. Not to mention NYE is a very special night to me. It is the night not too many years ago I met my dashing man sporting a bow tie and the rest is, well, history.

And the holiday season will be low stress because I am not ruining the season over a card, presents or decorations ever again.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A perfect day

Yesterday was a perfect day. It began with quiet cuddles, eggs and a warm cup of coffee. EJ and I let Daddy sleep in while we lounged in our pjs and did laundry. Later, we got dressed and headed to the mountains in quest of the perfect Christmas tree. Winter arrived just in time for us to step out of the car and realize that our trip would be brief but completely worth it. After checking the selection we picked our tree and bought it, grabbed a quick cup of cocoo, a few family pics and headed home.

We decorated the tree, relaxed and watched football. While EJ and Momma naped Daddy blew leaves and after the babe was in all snug in his bed for the night we built a fire and relaxed together. By 10pm we had both dozed off and headed to bed. It was quiet day of family fun. But it was perfect.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Farm Boy

I am pretty sure that within the next few years the boy will be begging to go to the Farm constantly. Its a good thing he is the apple of my parents eye. I have sneaky suspinion that all it will take is a phone call to Gammie and farm bound he will be. He is right at home in the dirt, mud, puppies, tractors and ducks. Needless to say he is all boy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Stores are decked to the nines, carols are softly playing and for me the mental list is ticking...

Top of my list is of course presents. And with a highly photogenic little boy I know that a cherished gift will of course be one with his handsome face on it. I am big fan of personalized gifts. I think it shows you care. There are some great gift ideas out there that one can personalize and places like Shutterfly are a mecca for these items. They have an array of goodies that will satisfy even that person on your list that has everything.

They have the cutest desk calendars I have ever seen. The design process is super user friendly and the quality is unmatched. I was so impressed with my purchase.
This summer one a dear friend of Reel Daddy got married and they had the cutest rehearsal dinner invitation . The event planner in me quickly turned over the invite to see who the designer was and I was shocked to discover it was Shutterfly. I had no idea that they were doing print material and was very impressed. They have some great designs this holiday season for the ever important Family Holiday Card.
I love canvas art. I mean LOVE.IT.  I love the clean lines and the look on wall. Plus I love looking at pictures that we took. It makes me happy. It makes it home to me. And you can not go wrong with shutterfly's canvas prints. Yes, they are more pricey than some sites out there. But let me tell you the quality that I have seen is superior. Bite the bullet spend the money and trust me you will not be sorry.

I hope this helps your christmas shopping and if you want to check out my fav's see below.
Christmas Cards
Desk Calendars
Canvas Wall Art

**disclaimer** Shutterfly is offering bloggers free holiday cards for promotional reviews. However, all these thoughts are my own & am great believer in their products. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Manic Meal Planning

I have been doing it on and off for the last few months... Meal Planning that is. And when I do it successfully I am always so thankful. Yes, I stay at home and one would think I would have plenty of time to dream up meals on the fly.
But guess what? My child ate my brain.
It started off slow with bouts of preggo brain. "Oh I forgot to renew my car tags." "Oh I forgot to clean the bathroom before company." Minor things that were fixable, not a huge deal. However, it has progressed into full on motherhood dementia. Like I left the water running in the sink and left the house for 2 HOURS. You read that right, for 2 hours the water in my sink ran NONSTOP. Awesome.
And guess what my least favorite time of the day is around 430... its EJs cocktail hour. And normally results in him being fussy which makes Momma fussy. And the strong desire to throw my hands in the air and yell "I just don't care.. Take-out it is" results.
Which completely counteracts my desire to be waistline and budget conscience. I started slowly with making lists on Sunday when the sales come out. Planning our meals accordingly and attempting to shop ONCE each week. No daily 20 dollar runs for dinner. I am by no means an expert but its been working. Yesterday I score $150 worth of groceries for 90 bucks by sale shopping and using coupons. And no I do not buy a bunch of junk. I am big on staying away from processed foods, the result of growing up in a Cardiologist's family. I grew up believing that salt was the devil's dust.
Because I am nice I thought I might start sharing some of my easy recipes that work great for meal planning aka if you so choose you can make ahead and heat up. But in return please share some of the goodness you make. Variety is key. I have a spreadsheet going of all my meals and it helps me lots.
Our dinners this week looks like this..

Sunday- Gumbo and Cheese toast
Monday- PW's 16 minute Beef and Bean Burritos (I use ground turkey)
Tuesday- Ginger Chicken with Zucchini and Onions (a throw back to yummy goodness that is Benihana's)
Wednesday- Kabobs (its predicted to be 80, seriously fall where are you?)
Thursday- Night out
Friday- Meat Ball sandwiches (turkey and homemade rolls)
Saturday- Deconstructed Chicken Pot pie

And that's our week, you should also know I make the husband breakfast (breakfast sandwiches) and his lunch every day. His coworkers know when I fail to send breakfast because is mood is that bad and if left him to eat lunch on his own he either skips it or eats french fries. Which is a no go when trying to diet, which he is. So my family eats ALL its meals for around 120 a week. Pretty good, huh?

So if you want specific recipe let me know and I will post it. Do you meal plan? What are your tricks?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Photo Playdate

EJ and I are members of a wonderful playgroup here in Atlanta. One of my favorite aspects of the group is, of course, hosting my own play dates. Craig and I love to entertain and with my past life in the event industry I have to put my best foot forward. Not to mention I love doing it. 

It was supposed to be an afternoon in the back yard with all the kids decked out in their Halloween gear for a photo op and some playtime. As fate would have it Atlanta got hit with some horrid storms that day so I moved the play date inside. Space was a bit more limited, but we did the best with had to work with and I know EJ had a blast. 

We snacked on pumpkin muffins, fruit, and pumpkin dip with ginger snaps. The kids played with EJ's ball pit and millions of toys and the moms were able to visit. 

Here we have a homemade cupcake tower. Yes that is cans of soup with scrap booking paper and cake plates with scrap booking border glued to it. Affordable and easy. I made the muffin toppers with the same paper and border. Easy, easy and very cute if I do say so myself. 

Homemade sign. An hour with some glue, paint and paper. A nice quiet nap activity. If you want instructions on how to make your own let me know. 

 Photo Op set with a black sheet tacked to the wall and some homemade poms. I moved our planters from outside and Voila cute photos. My kid wasn't interested in posing so my pictures leave a bit to be desired but there were some cute ones of the other less squirmy kids.

Pumpkin Patch

The day begun with a slight chill in the air and seemed to be the first taste of fall. Ready to embrace this new season we made plans to head to the country and take EJ to a pumpkin patch. We dressed in anticipation of a cool day and lots of pictures. By the time we arrived at Southern Belle Farm the chill had faded to humidity but even in the heat we had a wonderful day. Craig put it perfectly when he said "That day was a great day" and a great day it was.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Morning Cereal

Its been 16 months. 16 months today, I woke up in the wee hours of the morning to shower and started the processes of meeting my little man. By 10am my water had broken and at 3:05pm he flew into this world. Today, I am in awe of the difference a few months makes.

I awoke as I do many mornings to the pitter patter of feet playing and a call for "Momma". As I open the door little fingers appear from behind and he stands up to be hugged. We laugh most mornings and he runs down the hall to pear into Daddy still tucked into bed. Food is first on the agenda and as aways bananas are the favorite. We laugh, we play and we send Dad to work.

On days like today, we relish in being lazy. As I sat down with a bowl of cereal EJ appeared at my feet and crawled into my lap. And this morning while Elmo bounced across the screen we shared. One bit for me, one bit for him. Every time I tried to sneak a second bite "No Momma mine" exploded from his mouth. When the last bit had been taken, he grabbed my face and planted slobbery kiss right on my lips and smiled.

Its only been 16 months but what an amazing 16 months it has been. Happy Birthday my love, you have no idea how much you have changed your momma and daddy's lives.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Since EJ has killed yet another Mac cord I am limited to the photos already backed up and I must admit I am way behind. So here are some fun vintage photos.

My brother's wedding... Don't the husband and I look ridiculously tall? We laugh every time we look at the photo.

EJ sporting his adorable smocked bubble. I love it!

My baby this time last yr.

My baby at the pumpkin patch this year. And yes I am aware he is not so much of a baby anymore.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thankful on a Thursday

Our days are getting shorter and shorter. Rising early to a beautiful sunrise is simply not the norm any more. My alarm goes off and the darkness of the world inspires me to snuggle down, close my eyes and hit snooze over and over again. Gone are the days of pool play dates and wanting to hide inside to escape the heat. We have traded those days in for cool mornings and warm afternoons, pumpkins and changing leaves. Stores have exploded holiday decor and news stations have started the shopping days to Christmas countdown. This is my favorite time of the year. I love the smell of the crisp air as the world prepares itself for winter and watching the leaves slowly turn bright orange and yellow as they prepare to fall to the ground.

I love cooking for the holidays and look forward to the day when everyone comes to us. When our family plays host and everyone gets excited to come join the fun, food and football. I love the Macy's day parade and love watching Santa roll in. In that moment for me Christmas can begin. The hysterics of Black Friday get my blood rushing as the promise of a great bargain inspires me to get up way too early and hit the stores. Christmas carols and beautifully decorated trees make me smile all the way down to my toes.

Its this time of year that reminds me I am so thankful for a family that I love and the little family of three we have made. As I watch EJ grow and start to understand things the promise of the holidays to come excite me beyond belief. I can not wait for the day when our family holidays are full of cousins and siblings. When the days are focused around the kids and making their memories special. Gone are days of sleeping to 10 and slowly opening presents while we recover from way to much wine from the night before. We may still be recovering from too much adult fun but the doors will be knocked on and excitement will rise us early on Christmas morning.

What a wonderful day it will be. And I am so thankful for the promise of the days to come. For my big extended family and most importantly for the family I made... my husband and my boy.

I am thankful for pumpkins spiced lattes, pumpkin bread and pumpkin patches.
I am thankful for afternoon hikes alone with my husband even when I get attacked by chiggers.
I am thankful for the pitter patter of my son's feet playing quietly each morning as he waits for us to come get him.
I am thankful for fall and the promise of the holiday season.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blogging Break

Hi Friends!
I know we have been missing for a bit, please excuse the impromptu blogging break. The last few weeks have been a mix of fun, busy and challenging and before I knew it quite a bit of time had past since my last post.
We have gotten our house together and it officially hit the market on Sunday. After a whirlwind week of deep cleaning, pressuring washing, removing all window screens and bleaching all windows our house was photographed and hit the FMLS. We have shown it twice but with nothing to report, hopefully someone will fall in love with it soon.
Craig has taken the GMAT. My bladder and kidney have been giving me fits again and I have been battling one heck of bladder infection for the last two weeks. EJ has discovered he can climb on everything and has managed to have multiple near death experiences, well not really but in my eyes... terrifying.  He also has discovered the art of communication and has become very opinionated. In perfect EJ fashion, he decided to cut not one, not two but THREE molars all at once. Needless to say there has been lots of screaming, lots of temper tantrums and lots of stress on Momma. My mother has been here for a week dealing with brother issues and he is finally out of inpatient care. Only time will tell what the next step will entail we all are truly hoping for the best. And to round out these fun filled weeks the entire family, including my mom contracted the flu. Craig and I spent the better part of Sunday throwing up with chills and basically dying. It was no fun at all. So as you can tell life took over and we have been doing our best to just stay afloat. But, bear with me I plan to get it together this weekend and you just wait I will lots of fun things to share. Have a wonderful day and fall weekend!
EJ latest accessory... bowl hat. Watch out fashionistas he just may be starting a new trend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thankful on a Thursday.

Life has been busy lately. We seem to go from one place to another. Spending our days with one project after another to complete. And as each day passes by a little too quickly, I seem to feel more of a loss and less completion.

I am one more day away from babyhood turning toddlerhood. One day, the sight of me will not bring a huge grin and great big bear hug. One day, I will be boring old mom who doesn't get it. I will be uncool and will need to walk three steps behind him. My heart breaks a little for those days to come. I was reminded this week that these are the best days of my life. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with life, bills, toddlerhood that I swear it can't be true. But, if you take step back and look at the generations that have walk this road before the majority have nothing but fondness for these days. Yes, they have more money, more stability, and more things but there is always a special place in their heart for the memory of life as young family. Its bittersweet but I try to soak it in and remember that there will be a day I will miss this moment. Even yearn for it.

This week, I have tried to live in the day. Ignore the mess that is our bathroom. Ignore the disaster that is our laundry room. I have stayed home everyday and done a lot of nothing. I rediscovered my love for creativity, designing some labels and thought ahead to our holiday card. I took a nap because I was totally worn out from playing outside all morning with my kid.  We have had a family walk at the park the last three nights and they have been amazing. Craig enjoys the quiet and peace of the outdoors. I enjoy the togetherness of our family with no other distractions. I squashed my mild panic attack as it occurred to me that there is no way EJ will make his bedtime if we take a walk every night. Instead, I centered my focus on what really was important... that we were being active as a family, that we were together and that we ate healthy every night even it meant staying up an extra 30 minutes so I could cook. I overcame the urge every night to freak out that my precious schedule was being tampered with and just enjoyed us.

I snuggled with my husband instead of popping out of bed. I have just enjoyed my life this week.  We have laughed, we have made messes; we have just hung out. I am vowing to be better about staying still, being home and keeping my cleaning freak-outs minimal. Because I am so blessed.

This week I am thankful that I get to be a wife to a wonderful man, that I was blessed to be a Mom and that through thick and thin “our” little family is really all that matters.

Thankful on a Thursday is brought to you by The Outdoor Wife.
Check her out she is all kinds of inspiring.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


My poor little man is cutting 2 molars at once. We have a pacifier that has ridges on it and he spends all day rubbing it across his gums. It really is heartbreaking to watch him drool and chew on anything he can get his hand on to. Yesterday, I looked over and EJ had pulled a bookend off our book case and was chewing on it. Yes, the wooden bookend seemed to feel awesome on his hurting gums.

I have been trying to help him as much as I can with Infant Motrin and a number of frozen goodies. His favorite so far has been frozen blueberries. He ate almost a whole bag yesterday. As you can see from the pic, he needed a bath after he was done and lets just say the poo has been... well interesting.

I also have been making use of my frozen baby food that he will not eat anymore. Throw it into a mesh feeder and voila tasty, healthy teething toy. Today, I am letting him enjoy some frozen watermelon. I have heard the high water content of watermelon makes it a great frozen treat for teething.

What are your tried and true tricks? How do you keep the family sane and the pain at bay when the teething monster strikes?

Monday, September 13, 2010

A shift in priorities

I have been halfway participating in Blair's McFatty Monday for last 8 months. It hasn't really been working for me. Others have had quite the success stories and me, well, not so much. It is not all my fault. I screwed with my hormone stability after EJ's birth by inserting the Mirena IUD that was a really.bad.idea. I mean REALLY.BAD.IDEA.

I was wreck. I was certifiably batshitcrazy. I was miserable. I could not loose weight. In February, I wised up and removed the rod of Satan and things started slowly improving. Hormones can kick your butt. When I am jacked up on hormones I am a different person. No, seriously, I am. And guess what? I really do not like that person. I am short tempered. I hate my awesome husband for no reason and the worst side effect I am chubby. So let's just say I cannot wait until the last baby arrives and hubs gets sniped. He can whine all he wants. LA on hormones strains our marriage and I went through childbirth. We will not even discuss the months leading up to it. That's the least the men in our lives can do.

:: Steps off soapbox::

Regardless of the reason, I just have not been able to be successful in my attempts and that has been very discouraging and resulted in a lot of throwing in the towel.

Until today.

Until I watch the Doctors, a show I typically hate.

After watching a super healthy doctor eat a crappy diet with no exercise for 5 days and the affect it had on his body and mind something clicked. WOW, that is me.

My energy levels are not what the used to be.

I have a love/hate relationship with the greasy food I love. Hate the way I feel after said meal. Love the way it tastes so I go back for more. I used to be so healthy, so energetic, and so happy and care free.

Today, I am sleepy a lot. My skin has seen better days and life can stress me out in two point five seconds.

Yes, a lot has changed. I have child that I am responsible for. My job is at home now. Things have changed but my zest for life should be the same or greater and its just not.

So, today my priorities have changed, no more desperate attempts for scales to produce a certain number or for clothes to look a certain way. No more staring at old pictures and lusting after that flat, firm belly.

I am a Mother. I baked a baby for 10 months. I birthed him. I nursed him. I wear the armor of motherhood... loose skin, stretch marks, wider hips and not-so-perky boobs. But, I have a walking and talking product of my deep love for my husband. A child who stares back at me with my own eyes.

Instead of working towards a number, I am working towards health. A better blood pressure, an active life style and diet free of junk.

S0 what are your long term goals? How have your priorities changed?

All Smiles Here

My little guy is one resistant little boy. After days of whining, drooling, wanting nothing more than to cuddle and just all around unhappy, his fever broke.

Saturday we woke up to this...
A very happy and energetic little boy!
And he rest of the weekend he was back to his old self. 

Loving his food.
Playing outside.
And back to running. Lots and lots of running. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Plague

Today I am running on empty. I am tired, irritable and emotional. I cried while cooking breakfast and honestly did not even react when my kid pulled my hair. Its been one of those weeks.

EJ is sick for the first time ever. And really that is crazy. He is 14 1/2 months old. But, beside a few minor colds and an ear infection that we did not know he had, he has been perfectly healthy. And no, I am not a germ freak at.all. Y'all my kid eats dirt. I have no choice, get over germs or lose my mind.
See DIRT all around his mouth.
Until this week when he started running 102+ fevers. I get its a virus, it was bound to happen. But man am I tired. Emotional drained from worrying. Physically drained from a serious lack of sleep.

Welcome to Motherhood! I am sure the day that he wakes up in the middle of the night yakking everywhere and in my dazed state I find myself cleaning vom off the floor will be worse. But, for today, its the worst we have had and Momma is tired.

Sick or not, the kid is pretty darn adorable. Don't you think?

My very first Guest Blogging Appearance


Head on over to Life of a Sippy Cup Mom and I promise you will not be disappointed.

Thanks so much Sippy Cup Mom, I am so honored to be posting on your blog!

Ready... Set... GO!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Homework from my gal Jess

Have you visited Straight Talk with Jess? She runs, she is a lawyer, her daughter is a model in the making and after losing her momma to cancer she has a life mission to kick cancer to the curb. She hails from Texas and shares my love for all things music and cooking. Recently, she created a green chile recipe for a cooking contest at Whole Foods Austin.
The Green Chile Throwdow
Doesn't that look so good? This gal is awesome and I am pretty darn lucky to call her a friend.
Earlier this week she gave me a few questions to answer. Its been one of those weeks here in Atlanta so it took me a few days to get it knocked out. But, with further delay here ya go!

1. What is your favorite memory from High School?
It was a fall of our junior year, and the college crunch had begun. I had spent the better part of my life hearing SEC tales of football, parties and sororities from my parents and I couldn't be more excited to attend a state school in the South. Even though they went to Alabama, I had my sights set on checking out all the great schools and my first visit was to the University of Tennessee. My oldest, dearest and best friend's dad was an alum and he took us up for a football game. We toured the school, visited his frat house and went to the UT vs Bama football game. We sat right behind some of the football hostess. I decided then and there that I was going to Tennessee. I was going to rush and I was going to be a football hostess. All things that I accomplished. And let me tell ya it was a great experience.

2. What's your favorite thing to do with "me" time?
"Me" time is a work in progress. I forgot how to have it for a bit and was pretty obvious. I have learned the hard way that we can't be everything to everyone and that stopping and passing off the babe is very needed at times. Now that I have learned the magic of MDO, momma is finding time for herself. So far I have gotten a pedicure, walked Target with a Pumpkin Spice Latte (oh how I love fall) and sat in a completely silent room reading with coffee. I loved it all, a lot. So if I had to choose a favorite, I would say anything involving quiet, its pretty darn amazing.

3. What gets you through a crazy, stressful day?
One word- BEDTIME (and maybe a goblet glass of red wine ;) )
I just focus that the day will be over eventually and tomorrow brings a new day. And hopefully things will be better. They aren't always but eventually they are.

4. What is your favorite indulgence?
A Mani/Pedi. That hour and half makes me feel pretty, relaxed and human again. It is the best 40 bucks I spend every month.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Overnight EJ morphed from a baby boy to a little boy. There is no doubt that he is all boy either. He is covered in bumps, bruises, cuts and scrapes. I honestly don't know where half of them come from because he is one tough cookie. A scream only occurs if he knows I am watching or if it REALLY hurts.
The weather has cooled just enough that we can comfortably play outside again in the afternoons. And like most little boys, he is happiest when he is exploring the world. Yesterday, I grabbed the camera and snapped away as he was hanging out in our backyard.

So annoyed that focus is on the leaves.
Finally figured how to climb up the slide.
The blower provided quite a bit of fun.
This kid kills me, smiling at his reflection in the window.
Telling me all about something, I wish I knew what he was saying. It was very important.
Finally decided to just chill for a few minutes. EJ agrees this weather is amazing.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hunger strike

Reel Baby is now a Reel Toddler. He talks nonstop even though most of it is gibberish. He is prone to frustrated screams and went from eating almost anything you put in front of him to refusing everything. He shakes is head no and spits food out. Yesterday's love will be tomorrows hate.

It didn't not take long for me to realize this is part of the gig with a toddler. There is something about realizing that you are an independent person  that inspires a fierce desire to push back. And when meal time rolls around pushing back is the main experience. I admit that I am weird about his food. I want it to be healthy and I try very hard to make sure he has fresh food. I make as much as I can from scratch but sometimes you have to go with what works and for our picky toddler here are some of the stuff that "works" for him.

If you are going through this stage these might give you some ideas to try or if you have been here and have some advice I would love to hear it.

1. Baby Food Pouches
 EJ will NOT let me feed him anymore. He is way too independent for that kind of momma help. He bats the spoon away or grabs it out of my hand. Which results in puree everywhere and even in places the dogs will not clean up. But, he also hasn't gotten the spoon down enough to not spill  puree everywhere. Now I hand him a pouch and voila he can drink it. Plus, he gets veggies which is something I have always struggled with getting him to eat.

2. Yogurt Smoothies

Another item that he can drink. I just pour it into a sippy cup and off he goes. I buy the Yo Baby simply because it is full fat milk and my kid is skin and bones. We need all the fat we can get. I have some great recipes for homemade smoothies but it tends to make too much and a big mess so I just buy it, I know lazy.

3. Homemade Muffins.
I can throw anything in these muffins... veggies, fruits, whole wheat flour and he will eat them. Instead of oil I use applesauce, I always use regular butter and Greek yogurt works well instead of sour cream. I make a big batch and freeze them in a Ziploc bag. Pop it the microwave for 10 secs you have quick and easy snack or breakfast.

4. Breakfast Casserole Muffins
I discovered over Christmas that EJ loves our family holiday casserole. It is nothing more than bread, eggs, milk, a bit of butter, cheese and ham. It's easy and good but makes a huge casserole dish full. It would take him months to eat a whole one and for some reason its doesn't work to make a small batch. One of my favorite food blogs sent out this recipe and it got my brain working. I adapted it to my Mom's classic dish and it was perfect. Again freeze what you don't eat and you have an easy meal full of protein and tasty enough to inspire a picky toddler to ask for more.

The one thing I have learned is adapting any and everything so that it is in a form that he can handle and feed himself. Independence is key.

OK,  Mommas what are your tricks? I would love to hear them!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dancing in the Rain

This is one amazing woman, I dare you to read her blog
 Have you stopped and looked at life through your child's eyes? Really paused and tried to see the world the way they do? I try really hard to pause and soak in the wonder of playing in the rain or the first taste of chocolate milk. But, the business of life robs me of this act more than I would like to admit.

Our to-do list couldn't be longer and the reality that our family's fall seems to be busier than our summer this year doesn't help. I seem to be drowning in world of boxes, touch-up painting and cleaning out.  Instead of seeing the joy in my son's eyes as he climbs in out of a big box or dumping my freshly folded laundry on the floor I find myself boiling over with annoyance. Selling a house is hard work but needed. Is it imperative that we sell it? Absolutely not. Will it make our lives easier to move out to the suburbs? Certainly. We are just throwing our hat in the ring and seeing what happens but I am overachiever. If I am going to do something then I put 110% effort into and do it right.

I broke down this week and ugly cried for hours... like snotty, stressed ball of mess. Along with getting our house sell ready, I also decided to move the baby boy to a toddler bed. Mr. Monkey Man climbs right out of his crib with zero effort and does what he wants. Banging his head on our hard wood floor haunted me so onto the toddler bed we went and it was awesome... for about 2 weeks. He slept better than he has slept in months. And then a switch flipped and refused to stay in bed would trash his room, play and scream for hours. Well the screaming has about sent me to a mental institution.

Last night, I screamed "uncle" and put the crib back together in hopes of resetting that switch. He has at least forgotten how to climb out of the crib for now. My plan is that he will learn to sleep again, recover from the sheer exhaustion of many sleepless nights and then we will retry the toddler bed. Hopefully with more success this time. The house is getting there and I even got the hubs to agree to spend all weekend helping me get this house in ship shape. We are getting there slowly but surely and I am just excited to see the light at the end of this tunnel.

This Thursday, I am thankful for loving supportive families. One that offers to drive hours to take a child for a few nights so that you can breathe and get some sleep even if they know I will not take them up on it. A husband who tries to see life from my perspective even if he doesn't really get it. A perfectly beautiful son whose zest for life is intoxicating. Whether it be dancing in the rain, eating his Great Grandma's homemade fried chicken or telling me who's really boss when it comes to bedtime, I am so thankful for his energy for life even if it leaves me exhausted.

So this week, vow to be a cliche. Stop and smell the roses or dance in the rain. It is those little wonders that can turn an ordinary day extraordinary.

Dancing in the Rain in his brand new rain coat.
No, you may not take my chicken bone, its way too yummy!
I want to be just like my Daddy!
Yes, I am a Monkey... that's all.