January 31, 2011

Car seat Dilemma

January 31, 2011
Updated: Claire will not be ready for a "big" seat until the end of May ... so we will not be making the move until then, which at that time I am sure Colton will be over 30 pounds

Original Post:

Before long it is going to be time to move Claire into a more permanent car seat (tear!) and I have a big dilemma as to what I want to do!

We currently have the Recaro Como Seat (in midnight desert though):

and we absolutely LOVE it.  We have one for both vehicles.

This car seat is good up to seventy pounds which Colton is no where near... I would be shocked if he is thirty pounds yet!  So he could stay in this seat for a while and we could buy a new one for Claire or... we could buy this Recaro Booster for Colton:
This seat is significantly less expensive and it will last until he is 100 pounds - in my estimation he will be big enough for no booster by the time he out grows this one.

So I am curious about what others are doing/have done!
Has anyone used this booster???

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January 28, 2011

Pecan Crusted Fish Sticks

January 28, 2011
The recipe I gleaned from a parenting magazine - its easy, nutritional and very kid friendly!

1 lb. cod fillets, rinsed and patted dry
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup torn whole wheat bread pieces or you could substitute whole grain crackers
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Coat a wire backing rack with nonstick cooking spray and place on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking pan; set aside.  Cut fish into strips and set aside (about 3"x1").
  • Place pecans, bread pieces and salt in a food processor (or blender); pulse until fine.  Place in small bowl.  Put flour and eggs in separate bowls.
  • Lightly coat cod in flour.  Dip in egg, and roll in pecan mixture.  Put fish on rack; coat with cooking spray.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.
You can use other types of fish, but the cod seems to stay together to best.


Fabulous Find - My Child's Health Journal

I love to organize - everything!  Not only do I enjoy organizing my home, but I also enjoy keeping information properly organized.  All the excel spreadsheets on my computer are a testament to my OCD notions when it comes to organizing.  I was so excited when I came across these children's health journals.  They are great because they're small enough to throw in your purse or baby bag when your're going to see the pediatrician, but also they go through 12 years old!

This journal will help you record trips to the pediatrician, milestones and of course memories!

Check it out!

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January 27, 2011


January 27, 2011
Claire has been doing the one arm army crawl for a while, but she officially started crawling on all fours yesterday!  I cannot believe my baby is crawling!

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January 26, 2011


January 26, 2011
I do realize that this post is LONG overdue, but better late than never - right?

Knowing how quickly the Christmas holiday comes and goes I put our tree up the second weekend in November and did not take it down until New Year's weekend!  We really enjoyed the tree and the lights, but I was definitely happy to get it down and get the family room put back together.

Every Christmas for the past 11 years I have woken up at my in laws house.  It has been a wonderful tradition for Chris and I and now we are sharing that with our two little ones.  When they get old I want them to be able to look back and remember how wonderful it was to wake up Christmas morning at Papaw and Mamaw's.  I will admit though that the day did not go as I wished - which with so many people, schedules and ideas that is to be expected.  That being said, we may do things a little differently next year.  I felt like the day flew by and was so hectic that it was harder to enjoy - next year I really want to slow it down a little... we will see how that goes! For now we can look back at pictures and remember just how hectic - and fun - the day was.

 Christmas Morning
 I love this picture!!
 This one is priceless!  Claire with her Poppy & Nanny (great grandparents)
Poppy does not like to share Claire - ha ha
 How many men does it take to put together a Radio Flyer!?
It was priceless how tickled Uncle Tom was when he walked in to find Chris in the floor putting this together... I am sure it seems like yesterday this was him in the floor putting together Christmas gifts.
 I think this may have been Colton's favorite gift!  A flash light set from Papaw!
 Not just one, but three flashlights!
 He loved his tricycle ... notice the flashlight and the boots - both Chrismas gifts that he had to try out!
 Ahhh... this is the life!  The bag - it had Colton's handheld flashlights because he was trying to hold onto to them and the handlebars at the same time.
 I think the "big kids" enjoyed the tricycle too ... Colton certainly enjoyed "trying" to push around Mitchell.
 My little book worm :)
 Colton was really more interested in trying to tackle and hug Evelyn than opening gifts.  I think he really just enjoys trying to "get a rise" out of her ... just like a man!
 Paul & Allison ... 
 The silly faces really work well for him!
 Claire really did not have much interest in Penelope :(
 But she did like the ladybug!
 Here he goes again!  Paul's face here is kind of priceless ... I think he is thinking he is going to show Evelyn haw to take Colton down! ha!
And of course the infamous UT vest that we all loved!

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January 25, 2011

Valentine's Day Hair Blooms .... Oh My Daisy Boutique

January 25, 2011

My new Valentine's Day Blooms!
The back has a sing prong alligator clip which can be worn alone or....
on a cute hat!
These hats are available in newborn/infant and toddler sizes.

They can also be put on a cute headband.
These are the crochet headbands....

 or you may prefer an elastic head band.
These are what I use most often for Claire.
 They are available in light pink and white.
 My favorite is the nylon headbands which are available in pink and white as well.

These blooms come in small and large. 
The small is approximately 2 1/2 inches and the large is almost 4 inches.
Each are adorned with a cute button in the middle!

Please leave a comment or email me for pricing info.

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January 24, 2011

{52 weeks} Week 3

January 24, 2011
Claire loves to clap... it is so cute!!

She turned 8 months old this week and I can hardly believe it!  
It seems like yesterday that Colton was this size!  
She is becoming such a big girl learning to hold her sippy cup all on her own!

No one can make Claire laugh like Colton!
He walks in the room and she lights up and just go nuts!
They already have a special bond.  If were going somewhere and Chris already has Claire in the car - Colton will ask "where is Claire bear" ... he wants to know where she is at all times - its like he misses her when she's not around.  For a while I could not leave him alone in a room with her for fear of what he might do - whether it be jump on her back or thump her in the head or try to give her "love" and thus hurting her.  Now he does such a good job with her and lots of times just ignores her and goes about his business.

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stream of consciousness ... Monday style

Please excuse my total randomness... Monday’s are just kind of that way!

I am working on the week 3 of my 52 week "challenge" and I hope to have it up later today.  This weekend was a little busy.  What I thought was going to be a lazy Saturday lounging around that house turned into a full out weekend project.  I have been dying to go to Hobby Lobby and Chris wanted to go to Lowes and get some desperately need new lighting for our basement so off we went.  What started as just putting up new lights in th basement turned into us rearranging and cleaning out the entire room which took our entire weekend.  By Sunday night we were exhausted, but happy with our progress.

I've been in a "nesting" mood, sort of like when you're pregnant, but rest assured I am NOT!  I do have some surprising news about babies/pregnancy that I will share more about in a later post so stay tuned.

Claire is becoming more and more mobile which is just an over growing reminder that she is going to be a toddler in no time at all.  I know it sounds so cliché, but time has seriously flown by!  It seems like yesterday Colton was this size.  Lately I have been thinking about her first birthday which is not until May and Colton starting preschool which is not until August - both of which are stressing me out!  The anxiety I feel over Colton starting preschool is overwhelming at time.  I know it sounds silly to most, but when you are a stay at home mom and you are with your children 24/7 the thought of them being away is hard; at least for me it is hard.  So for now I am going to try to do better about focusing on the here and now and enjoy every little moment I have with them.  I do not know how working moms do it – I seriously do not envy them at all.  I wish all moms that desire to stay home could.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and for some reason I am so looking forward to it.  Chris and I have never made a big deal out of Valentine ’s Day, but now that Colton is a little older we can have a little more fun with these menial holidays.  Pottery Barn Kids helps get you in the mood too – they have the cutest decorations!  Speaking of decorations I just received a canvas print that I ordered from Wink Flash.  I love canvas, but it is super expensive.  Winkflash was running a special so I ordered a 16x20 print of a photo from our Christmas photo session with my photographer friend Christine.  I am so pleased with the quality of the canvas and super excited at the fact that I only paid $35 for it!!  If you have some prints you want to adorn your walls then you need to check out Winkflash – right now you can get 40% off all sizes of canvas.

Now I’m off to figure out where I’m going to hang our print!

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January 21, 2011

Food Friday: Almond Bark

January 21, 2011
Since I have two kiddos 2 and under I now do the majority of my shopping online.  Not to mention I find a lot of great deals with online shopping, avoid the crowds and generally get not tax and free shipping!  I love free shipping!  With all that online shopping the postman and delivery guys are knocking at my door regularly, especially during the winter season when it is harder to get the children out.  Lately I have felt so sorry for those guys because it has been so incredibly frigid!  At first I thought I would try to meet them at the door with hot chocolate, but that is a little harder to time out - so instead I have been making bunches of Almond Bark... its keeps nicely in the fridge!

Here is how you can make your own:
  • 1 cup sliced almonds - toasted in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes
Bring to a boil on medium heat to the "hard crack stage" (this will require a candy thermometer) the following:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons water

Once you get it to the hard crack stage stir in your almonds and then pour into a lined jelly pan.

Pour on 1 cup of chocolate chips (I prefer milk chocolate) ... let the chocolate chips sit for a while and melt a little on their own then spread them out over the bark.

Put it in the fridge to cool - once it cools just break it up into pieces and enjoy!

I like to double the recipe and use a whole package of chocolate chips.

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January 20, 2011

January 20, 2011
Sweet Claire Bear.... 
A toddler in the making and I am not ready.

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January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - The Lord's Prayer

January 19, 2011

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January 18, 2011

Team Work

January 18, 2011
"A dynamic process involving two or more people with complementary backgrounds and skills, sharing common goals and exercising concerted physical and mental effort in the delivery of services."

Most things in life cannot be accomplished as successful when we are trying to do it by ourselves than when we are working in a team.  This never holds more truth than in parenting.  I never thought of Chris and I as a "team" so much until we became parents.  When thinking of working together I always think about our kayaking trip the last time we went to Hilton Head ... I always get a big laugh.  My mother in law ask Chris' brother if Chris and I had a good time (seeing how kayaking was not our idea) and Paul's response was "well, they fussed at each other the whole time - so yeah, they had a great time!".  I would not have called it "fussing" it was more like Chris telling me to just forget about trying to paddle (I was making it more difficult) and he would just do it all himself.  I had never been in a kayak before and I was certain that at any moment I was going to topple over (my camera in tow) even though the guide insisted I would not.  Ahhh... fun times!

I had never before noticed the face Chris was making in this picture!  I guess that said it all! ha ha!
The "pros" - seriously paddling and videoing - ok you show off!  ha!  Love you Katy bug!
I veered off a little, but now let me get back to where I was going... Teamwork!  Chris and I make a terrific team (if a do say so myself) - we compliment one another very well and that has never been more true than now that we have two children.  Whether were preparing to go to church or get away for a weekend at the lake we can pretty much get everything together for a family of four without much discussion.  Chris has tasks that he takes care of and I have mine.  For instance, he always packs Colton backpack for church (snacks, water, books, toys, extra pull up, etc...) and I, well, I just try to get ready on time! ha ha!

We have a major routine in the evenings, not one that has ever been discussed, but just kind of fell into place.  I generally start bath time with Chris quickly behind me bringing towels and wash cloths.  I wash Claire and hand her off to daddy, while I wash Colton he is getting Claire dressed for bed.  Colton is finished up with bath time and prefers for his daddy to get him out - Chris does so while putting Claire in the floor to play and I go and make a night time bottle (we supplement Claire at night) - Chris feeds Claire (kind of their "special time" together) while I get Colton's pj's on, brush his teeth and use the potty one last time.  Colton is then ready for bed, but not before daddy reads, prays, and sings songs - they are so cute together at night.  If Chris is home there is no way Colton will ever let me do bed time :).  Usually by the time Colton is down I am just finishing up nursing Claire and Chris will love on her a few moments before I put her down.  Ahhh... and then some alone time - were usually exhausted and barely make it to the shower ourselves!  It's great though - its great to have team mate! ... someone who knows their every move and how to adapt in case the "play" has been changed up a little.

Our teamwork activities are not just at bath and bedtime, but in everything we do.  Going to Knoxville shopping, packing up for a weekend trip, and like I mentioned before Church.  The best thing about it is that no one feels like they are "doing it all" (at least I hope Chris doesn't feel that way b/c I certainly do not) and it has made me all the more appreciative for my husband.

There are also the "looks" - do you and your spouse have those?  You know, where all you have to do is look at each other a certain way and you know what each other is thinking - "its time to go", "do not let him do that!", "I love you" and etc...

Do you and your spouse work together as a team?  What type of things do you do to make your home run more smoothly?

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January 17, 2011

stream of consciousness ... Monday style

January 17, 2011
Its Monday and I have a thousand things on my mind and a thousand things that I need to get done.... so please excuse all my randomness today!  Do you find that what you "want" to get done is often over shadowed by what "needs" to get accomplished?  Like the over flowing laundry or the dirty floors?  Yup, me too!

Since becoming a mom I have realized quickly that my purse/bag is not my own.  Proof of this: this morning I dumped the contents of my bag onto our dining room table because I knew it was in major need of a cleaning out.  The contents included:  big boy underwear (worn), baby spoon, 2 bibs, 4 pacys, a maxi, teether, mega block (just one - weird), 1 diaper, pretzels, under armor head band, cliff bar, and a whole package of unwrapped index cards - seriously!  Now I feel much better with a well organized bag.  Speaking of bags, I am really due for a new one (wink wink to my hubby who hopefully is reading this - big smile).

I have been pondering lately about how much I really want to share on my blog.  How much personal stuff am I really willing to put out there?  Part of me says to lay it all out there, but I'm not sure if I am ready for the reaction that will come from it... stay tuned to see what happens...

Quick question: do you sanitize your children's toy?  How do you do it???

I am secretly hoping for one more really BIG snow this winter!  I know, I'm nutso!  I just really want to take Colton sledding!

I found some awesome crafty blogs this past week - cannot wait to share them with my blogging "family".  Just realized that I have not posted any pictures from Christmas - I actually do not think I have posted anything about Christmas - how did that happen?

Speaking of Christmas - my wonderful hubby bought me a new laptop with a 17 inch monitor!!  I really loved my "old" laptop and was unsure if I could get use to this one, but never fear - I LOVE IT! .... and I LOVE LOVE Windows 7!!

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January 16, 2011

{52 weeks} Week 2

January 16, 2011

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January 14, 2011

{52 weeks} Week 1

January 14, 2011
I have been inspired by all of those that are doing the 365 project.  I have been wanting to do yearly journals for Colton and Claire - suddenly a light bulb went off and tada - 52 weeks!  So each week (my goal will be to post each Sunday) I am going to create a 12x12 photo page and at the end of the year have each one printed and placed in a nice album!  I am uber excited and wanted to share with all of you!!  When I thought about doing this I did a little googling and came across other bloggers who have also set out 52 week goals... some of these are pretty interesting:

Because I got a late start this is not as detailed as I would like, but hopefully I will get a better idea of what I'm doing and they will quickly improve!

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January 13, 2011

Thinking about having kids? Do this 11 step program first!

January 13, 2011
I saw this on another blog today and thought it was so funny and wanted to share it!

Lesson 1

1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the paper.
5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2

Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their...
1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.
Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3

A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...
1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)

Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4

Can you stand the mess children make? T o find out...
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5

Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.

Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6

Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.
1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.
Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7

Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8

1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.

You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

Lesson 9

Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking What's 'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 10

Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11

Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

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January 12, 2011

A Love Affair... With Books!! ... and a giveaway!

January 12, 2011
Colton loves books... I mean he really really loves books!  So books he has loved a little too much as you can tell by the many taped up pages.  When he was still in his crib he would not want you to get him out when he woke from a nap, he just wanted you to put books in his crib so he could look through them.  Sometimes he would sit there in his crib for thirty minutes just flipping through books.  Now that he is out of the crib it is not unusual to find him in his room sitting quietly on floor doing the same.  Our nap time and bedtime routine always consist of at least two books.  Colton was an early talker, at 14 months he could repeat almost anything and by 18 months he was carrying on full conversations with you - I contribute much of that to him being read to early and often.

Since he has such a love affair with books I am always on on the lookout for new books.  I started a thread in a blog from community I'm apart of and received lots of great new book ideas:

Colton has tons of favorites, but among them 3 of his first favorites were and still are: First He Made the Sun,I Love You This Much: A Song of God's Love and What I Like About You

Giveaway: In honor of this post about books I have an exciting giveaway!  It is an autographed poster from Jan Brett's most recent book, "The Three Little Dassies"

The giveaway will run through Monday the 17th.  You will get one entry for leaving a comment, an additional entry for tweeting and/or mentioning this post on your facebook page (just let me know in your comment that you did so) with the possibility of 3 total entries.  Meanwhile, share your favorite children's books.

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