Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Growth Chart Moments-So Soon!?

It hasn’t been that long since my last growth chart moments post, but new skillz are popping up every day around here!  So, here we go on another Growth Chart Moments adventure.

  • Just last night, Jack blew on his food to cool it down.  It was the cutest thing!  I usually blow on his food before I put it on his plate, but he’d never noticed or cared about that before.  Last night he picked up his green beans and blew on them before he put them in his mouth.  We thought that may have been the cutest thing we’ve ever seen! 


  • He recently figured out that some of his toys have strings attached to them.  And those toys that have strings attached to them also have wheels on them.  He finally put those bits of information together and has now started pulling his pull-along toys.  He has pulled his wooden puppy and xylophone along behind him as he walks all over our house.  It’s the cutest thing we’ve ever seen!

DSC02081 *Check out his pegged jeans and scrunched socks! His pants weren’t staying rolled this day and I was so done with them! ! *and check out the poor ‘dead dog’ being pulled along.

  • I’ve started counting with Jack recently.  I’ve counted toys, buttons, people in pictures, more toys and more buttons.  It only took a day or two and now he’s counting everything too!  He points to the things he’s counting and then makes the same counting inflections as we do when we count.  It took me a while to figure out that he was counting, because he doesn’t say numbers or even the same sound as he counts, but his inflection is spot on. He likes to count our buttons, his toys, his food, and pictures in his books.  Sometimes I think he just likes making the counting sounds.  It’s the cutest thing we’ve ever seen!


  • Jack likes to BONK his head.  If we say the word BONK, he’ll immediately bonk his head with whatever toy is in his hand.  If there isn’t a toy in his hand, he’ll hit his head on the nearest object.  Sometimes that’s Daddy, sometimes it’s the window or furniture, and sometimes it’s the floor.  It’s the cutest thing we’ve ever seen!

I can see where this bonking thing might become a bad thing – We were at a mall play area yesterday (for the first time), and Jack was playing along nicely by himself and then with another little boy who was there playing too.  Everything was going well until Jack decided to BONK his head.  He stopped what he was doing, leaned down to the floor (can you touch your head to the floor while still standing on your feet??) and bonked his head.  Several times.  Many times!  He would run a little, then BONK!  Run some more and then BONK!  Yes, mine is the crazy child hitting his head on the ground.  Time to go, honey!!

So, as you can see, we are enamored with our son and think he’s the cutest thing we’ve ever seen.  We say to each other, “just when you think he can’t get any cuter, he DOES get cuter!”  I’ve been made fun of from the beginning for saying “he’s so cute!” all the time.  It’s not that I’m bragging.  It’s that I’m totally in awe of how cute this son of ours is.  You don’t even have to agree with me. I’m the Mom and I may be  blinded by love!!

God certainly blessed us with a great little guy!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Jack received this present from his Grandparents at Christmastime, and he LOVES it!

Meet Scout:


He sings, lights up, and knows Jack’s name, favorite color, food and animal.  He’s a LeapFrog toy, and his paws all do something different.  They’re very easy for Jack to push, which I think is why he enjoys playing with him so much.  Scout is very much loved by our boy.

Case in point-

Last night, Jack wanted to take Scout up to bed with him.  I usually don’t bring him up, simply because he’s loud.  His many songs and activities have no volume control, and since it’s a time for quiet, I haven’t wanted to bring Scout up to bed with us.  But, last night, Jack really wanted to bring him up.  He gave him a big hug, a few kisses, and walked to the stairs, ready for bed.  So, Scout joined us for bedtime last night.

It took a few extra minutes for Jack to get to sleep because of having Scout with him (he also asked for Monkey, so he had two friends in bed last night).  Eventually, Jack got to the point where he would sit up, push Scout’s paw, then lay back down.  He did this for a while, and then finally fell asleep.  I thought about removing Scout for the rest of the night, so he wouldn’t wake Jack unintentionally if Jack accidently hit his paw or something.  But, I figured that if Jack really wanted Scout to be with him, I should leave him in there.

Around 10 o’clock, I checked on Jack, Scout, and Monkey.  I think walking down the hall must have made Jack stir, because when I opened his door, I heard Scout going through the start of all his songs as Jack’s foot was doing the ‘horse-foot-stomping’ thing.  I turned Scout off and picked up Jack to snuggle him back to sleep like we usually do, but things were different this night.  Instead of wanting to snuggle into my shoulder, he pointed back to Scout for me to lay him back in his crib!  He wanted to snuggle in with Scout – not Mommy!  Okay!!  I’ll take that!  He wrapped his little arm around Scout’s neck and went right back to sleep.  We didn’t hear from Jack again until much later.

Could it be that we’ve finally found a comfort toy for Jack?  I hope so!  

Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa W!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

One More Thing….

I forgot about this Growth Chart Moment on my last post, and I didn’t want to forget to mention it here.

Jack is shaking his head “no” when he really means no.  It’s adorable!  When he doesn’t want something to eat, he’ll nod ‘no’.  When we say no to him, he’ll nod ‘no’.  It’s so cute.  And it’s very exaggerated, so it’s even cuter than just a plain old nod.  It’s also extremely handy.  It is so helpful now that he’s able to communicate his likes and dislikes. 

I just thought I’d share that with you.  And it allows me another post in which to add an adorable picture! 

We went out in the new snow today.  We now have a little more than a foot of snow.  That sounds like a lot, but most places around here have over two feet!  We’re kind of jealous.  We really wanted the snow!!

Growth Chart Moments

It’s time for me to stop and look at how my son is growing and developing now-a-days.  I love these posts.  I’m always amazed at how much he’s learning and how quickly he’s growing. Here are a few things we’ve noticed in the last couple of months.

He is understanding simple commands.  When we say “Jack, pick that up” or “Jack, can you find the so-and-so?” he does the command or finds the object without any hesitation.  Okay, so he doesn’t always follow the command, but he knows what we’re asking him to do.  What amazes us is that it’s not just the repetitive things he’s able to follow – things we do all the time.  It’s the things we come up with that he either hasn’t done or hasn’t heard before that make us aware of how smart he is.  I love when you say “let’s go change your diaper,” and he goes straight to the stairs.  

I mentioned that he’s learning sign language now.  What I didn’t realize is that he’s using these new signs in ways we didn’t expect.  He is signing “all done” when he wants us to pick him up or get him down from somewhere.  After wondering about it for a while, we figured out that we always take him down from the high chair when he signs ‘all done’, so it makes sense that he uses that sign when he wants us to get him up higher (like onto the back of the couch so he can look out the windows), or when he wants to get down from somewhere (like from the back of the couch when he’s done looking out the window). 

He’s a good eater.  He eats *almost* everything we put on his tray.  The only things he won’t eat are eggs and cottage cheese. Other than that, he’ll eat most everything else we offer him.  And he can eat normal bite sizes for the mot part too.  We don’t have to make sure everything is super tiny when he eats.  He likes big mouthfuls, and he does a good job of chewing most things.  Though, he does swallow things whole more often than we first assumed.   His diapers prove that.  Oh, and he LOVES vegetables.  He loves all vegetables, but his favorite is broccoli.  Isn’t that weird??  We love it, but we’re surprised by it.

He has the cutest babble recently.  He says “bee-da bee-da bee-da bee-da.”  That doesn’t come through as cute as it sounds.  Say it really fast, hardly moving your mouth, just your lips, and you have a hint of how cute it is.  It makes us laugh each time. 

His one year molars are coming in now.  He has 2 molars that have finally cut through.  It took them around a month, but it wasn’t too traumatic for us.  He didn’t loose a ton of sleep, but he did chew on everything that he could get his hands on.  I’m glad to see them coming through.  Now he’ll have a bit of relief before the bottom two come through.

Another cute thing he does is that when he finds something he wants to play with (usually my cell phone, keys or sunglasses) he says, “Oooohhhh!”  His inflections with his oooohs and awwwws, are just so adorable.

The biggest news is something that just happened last night.  He slept through the night!!!  This is the first. time. EVER!  I hope this lasts for a while, but my hopes aren’t too high yet.  His night was different last night.  Because of our Valentine Date, Aunt Beth got to put him to bed last night.  That may have been what made the difference.  I’m pretty sure she won’t want to drive down to my place every night to put my son to sleep, so this may have been a one-night occurrence for him.

Our little guy is growing up so fast.  We love seeing him change and develop as he grows, and I love sharing what he’s doing.  He’s a special little guy, and we’re blessed to have him in our lives!

(His mom was a math teacher and his Daddy a CPA.  His love for that calculator comes honestly!)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine’s Day

My husband and I don’t do much for Valentine’s Day.  Every year we do less and less.  Last night he jumped in the shower at 4 pm after a day of nothing-ness, and I asked “what are you doing?” He said, “I have to shower before I go out and get a card.  I figure you’ve already gotten me a card, and I need to get one by tomorrow.” 


But I told him that I had in fact not gotten him a card, and that all I had planned to do was bake him a little heart shaped chocolate cake. 

He put his sweats back on and relaxed the rest of the evening.

But, today, we do have a date planned.  Thanks to my BFF Beth!  She got us tickets to the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey game today and is kicking us out the door, so she can stay and play with Jack.  She says it was a gift for us, but I’m sure it is just a ploy to get Jack all to herself for the evening.

So, we’ll be cheering on the Blue Jackets as they play against whoever they’re playing against today. (I have no clue). We’ll have our Arena food and my super yummy –but oh so super expensive- slushie, and we’ll try to enjoy each other’s company while wondering how our Boozle is doing with his first (in 11 months) babysitter.  *Sure, my sister watches him when I go to the dentist, and my BFF Heather watches him when I go to the Chiropractor, but those are all for such a short amount of time I’m not sure they count. 

So, we’re off to our second date since Jack’s birth.  We really should work on this.

Go Jackets! 

Blue Jackets

Thanks Aunt Beth!!!


Thank You, Mandy!

I thought I’d take just a moment to show you my gift from a fellow blogger, Mandy.  She had a giveaway that I won a few weeks ago, and my package arrived yesterday.  It’s always super fun to get a package in the mail.  It’s even more fun when you have no idea what it is!  I completely forgot that I was getting anything, so it was like a little surprise present in the mail for me. FUN!

So, here is the sign, in my home, up for everyone to see. 


We have Rick’s Grandparent’s old secretary, and it has a beautiful bookshelf with glass doors on the top.  I couldn’t get a good picture with the doors closed because of the reflection in the glass.  I display my Willow Tree collection on these shelves, and thought the color of the sign matched the colors of the Willow Tree figurines perfectly.  It looks very nice sitting on that top shelf!

So, thanks again, Mandy!!  I think it adds a little something to our family room. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Master Chef

Last night, my husband paid me the best compliment in the world – at least to me.  He said I had turned into a Master Chef.  Evidently, he has been enjoying my cooking for a while now, and last night threw him over the edge.  He could barely speak through the groans of yummy pleasures he was uttering. 

I had a huge grin on my face all through dinner, put there by the pride I could feel oozing from my husband’s pores.   Of course, the smile was quickly misplaced when I came down from Cloud 9 to see all the dishes waiting for me to clean.  But I enjoyed the moment while it lasted. 

Some of you may need to hear something like this coming from your husbands and family, so I thought I’d share what I made.  It all started with a simple Christmas gift from my sister….


She gave me this….


And I’ve since been trying every dish in this thing!  Some are too Southwestern-inspired for me,which I’m not a huge fan of,  but a lot of what she makes is just good old fashioned comfort food.   (If you don’t know who the Pioneer Woman is, you haven’t been around blogs much, have you? It’s alright.  She’s fun to read – hope on over and check out her site sometime when you have OODLES of free time at your disposal – The Pioneer Woman

I made her Chicken Pot Pie last night, with her Perfect Pie Crust on top.  She has her pie crust online, so I’ll just share the link with you here Perfect Pie Crust Recipe.  But her Chicken Pot Pie recipe is not on her website, so I’ll type it out.  I must admit that I didn’t use white wine, because we never have it in the house, and I’m CLUELESS when it comes to picking out a wine to cook with (unless it says “cooking wine” but EVERYONE says never to use cooking wine in your cooking – Go figure!).  I also left out the chicken bouillon cube, because I didn’t have any left in my pantry.  Oops!  And finally, when it came to the seasonings, I pulled out an Herbes de Provence that I got as a wedding gift (5 years ago!) that hasn’t been used much.  I never know what to use it in, and this seemed like the right thing to do. 

But I’ve made it before, and it is great as is.

The Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Pot Pie

3 celery stalks

3 medium carrots, peeled

1 large yellow onion

4 Tbs (1/2 stick) butter

½ cup frozen pees

2 cups cooked chicken

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 chicken bouillon cube

¼ cup white wine (optional)

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp ground thyme

1 tsp kosher salt, or more to taste

Black pepper to taste

1 pie crust

Preheat oven to 400̊. Begin by finely dicing the vegetables. Slice the celery stalks into narrow strips, and then slice in the other direction to create a fine dice. Repeat this process with the carrots and the onion. Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and peas. Sauté until vegetables start to turn translucent, a couple of minutes. Add the chicken and stir to combine. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the vegetables and chicken and stir to combine. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring gently. Pour in the chicken broth, stirring constantly. Stir in the bouillon cube and wine, if using. The flour will combine with the chicken to create a delicious gravy. Pour in the cream and stir. Allow the mixture to cook over low heat, thickening gradually, about 4 minutes. Season with the thyme, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Be sure it’s adequately salted! Pour the chicken mixture into a deep pie pan or small casserole dish. Roll out the crust so that it’s 1 inch larger than the pan. Place the crust on top of the chicken mixture and cut small slits in the top. Press the crust gently into the sides of the dish to seal. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Use a large spoon to serve.

Let me know if any of you try it! I’d love to hear what your family says.!  

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sweet Kisses


I don’t do this often, but I’m inspired today!

Over at I Heart Faces today, the assignment is KISSES.  The kissing theme is in honor of Valentine’s Day.  Oh yeah, I guess there is a Halmark Holiday coming up!  (we’ll be going to a Blue Jackets hockey game thanks to my friend Beth!)

Anyway, here is the photo collage that came to mind when I saw the topic today.  It’s quite possibly my favorite collage I’ve made of Jack so far.  I didn’t do any touching up to the photos, so I’m sure it could look better, but the joy comes through loud and clear.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Becoming Thrifty

Since I’ve become a SAHM, and since we’ve gone from two really good incomes to one pretty good income, I’ve done a lot of things to try and save our family money.  It’s been a ‘baby-steps’ process for me, but it’s coming along, if I do say so myself.  I was inspired by this post by a woman who’s blog I’ve read for a year or so now.  She listed how her grocery list has become shorter (and therefore cheaper) because of all the food she’s making from scratch now.   Here are just a few things that I do to save us money.

  • We use cloth diapers.  I LOVE them, and I could go on and on about how adorable, easy, and practical they are,  but I’ll spare you my spiel.  After just a year, we’ve already saved money on diapers. 

  • I am starting to make my own bread now.  I have gone through spurts of making bread, but they never seem to last.  I usually get discouraged, because we eat the bread so quickly, that I end up making bread every other day. It seems the time I save from having to make it every other day is worth the cost of the healthy bread from the store.  But really it isn’t.  Bread without high fructose corn syrup is expensive!  Organic anything is expensive!  So, if I make it myself, we get the healthy bread for a fraction of the cost.  Hopefully I’ll stick with it this time.

  • I’ve finally figured out how to make yummy garlic bread on my own.  It may be a no-brainer, but it took me a bit of experimenting to figure it out.  I add a couple cloves of minced garlic and some Italian seasoning to melted butter, brush it on my bread, then broil it until toasted.  SO SIMPLE!  But I couldn’t get it figured out for a long time.  Garlic powder just doesn’t work the same.  I imagine it would be even better if I roasted my garlic, but who has the time for that?

  • My newest adventure is making my own pasta.  I’m not there yet.  I have only tried it once, and it needs some work.  But I can tell that this could become a good thing for us.  It’s fun to make it, super fast and easy, and I’m hoping worth the effort.  We’ll see.  I may have to get back to you on this one.

  • Rick has always made his own cocoa mix.  He uses cocoa powder and sugar.  Imagine that.  It really is simple, and he makes it by the glass, so I don’t have to worry about storing it.  It’s a small thing, but in the winter time, it saves us a bit of change.

  • I make my own pancake mix.  I’ve found a yummy Buttermilk Pancake recipe mix that I love.  I suppose it’s not all that healthy, but it’s homemade, so it saves us money.  I should make a whole wheat recipe, but that’s going to take a little time.  Saving money is my first priority, then eating healthy is the second. (at least when it comes to yummy pancakes!)

  • One big thing I try to do is not eat out at all.  Dinners are easy enough for me.  I meal plan and have a good dinner every night.  But lunches are another thing.  Jack and I go out almost every day, and it’s such a temptation for me to stop at a drive thru and get something quick to eat.  I take it one month at a time.  I don’t stop for anything for a month, reward myself with a fast food lunch, then do it again for another month.  I know, it’s a little corny, but it works for me.
This list seems simple enough, but I think it’s helping us in the long run.  Rick said we came in under budget for the month of January!  Now, I could go through another list, just as long of how I’m NOT saving us money –like every time I return something to Walmart I spend even more money on other things.  But let’s not focus on the negative, and stay proud of the positive. We may switch to cloth napkins someday and even stop (or cut WAY back on) using paper towels.  That’d save us money, right?
What else can I do to save us money?  Any suggestions?
If you read this entire post, you should be rewarded…so here are two pictures from Jack playing (really he just stood there) in the snow yesterday.  DSC01725(PS1)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs...

So, have I told you recently that I have the smartest 12 and a half month old on the block?  Yes, it's true! Okay, so I'm his mom, and I would say that even if he couldn't point to his piggies, belly, hands, nose and tongue.  I would even say that if he couldn't make the sounds of a duck, dog, cow, sheep, elephant and lion.  But I have to be honest with you.  He is impressing me!

When he was just starting solid food at around 6 months, I was determined to teach him sign language.  I started with 'more'.  That's all I worked on for weeks and weeks.  Then, I slowly added in 'all done'.  I just knew he would be signing 'more' in less than a month.  When 8, 9, 10 and 11 months rolled around, and he hadn't shown any signs of improvement, I decided it wasn't worth it.  Every once in a while I would sign 'more', and pretty regularly I would sign 'all done', but I basically gave up on my son ever learning sign language.  I wasn't consistent, so I figured he would never catch on.


Just the other morning, during lunch, he did the 'more' sign.  I looked shocked and squealed a little.  He ended up laughing, because I reacted so much.  I gave him more banana, and he was happy! I kept asking him if he wanted more - signing it- and he kept doing it back to me.  I'm not sure if he really wanted more after a while, but every time he did the sign, I would give him more. He even did 'more' and then pointed to the cupboard where I keep the Cheerios!  I was amazed!

Needless to say, every chance I get, I'm teaching him more signs.  He has signed all done, more, milk, eat, and vegetable.  He may not remember them all tomorrow, but we'll keep practicing them every chance we get.  I'm so proud of my little Boozle!!!!

All done
(with two hands, because he started to do 'more' but then fixed it to 'eat')

I Won!!

If you know me at all, you know I love to read blogs.  I love to see what is going on in other women's lives, and see how other moms survive.  Every once in a while I come across a giveaway or two that look like something I'd want to win.  In the few short months I've been blogging and reading others' blogs, I have entered my fair share of giveaways.  I've won three things!  I won a CD - that probably won't get a ton of playing time in my CD player, but is interesting to say the least- a onsie that has a picture of a pirate on it and says "AAARRRGG!  Surrender Yer Booby!" - that I have YET to receive, and it's making me really sad, because I ordered it in the size Jack was just going into, but he has since grown out of - and a hand painted sign that says "FAITH"- which is the reason for this post!!  *deep breath - that was a LOOOOOONG sentence!!

One of my first non-friend/non-family readers Mandy from Mommy Musings,  just had her one year 'bloggaversary' and decided to do a giveaway to celebrate.  She has been a regular commenter on here, her little girl is only a few months older than Jack, and she has given me two awards (one of which I have yet to post about - maybe I'll get to it this month).  She hand painted some signs that say WELCOME, PRINCESS, FAITH, and COUNTRY.  I won FAITH!  How exciting!!  (so glad I didn't win Princess. Hehehe)

I just thought I'd say thank you to Mandy, and introduce her to any of you who like to find new blogs to read.  Her little girl is SO STINKIN' CUTE!  Her pigtails will make you giggle out loud!

So, thank you, Mandy, and I hope you have many more years to celebrate! Who knows, maybe one day you'll be as big as The Pioneer Woman!


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