Friday, March 29, 2013

Five for Friday

Five little things I'm loving on this Friday....

1. In the past few weeks, when M sneezes, it's followed by a giggle and a smile. It cracks us up. Especially because if one of us sneezes, she will burst into tears.

2. Cinnamon Bun K cups. They are my coffee of choice this week. Also...remember when I didn't drink coffee? I am so glad that has changed.

3. Baby girl summer clothes!! My girl has a closet full of the sweetest dresses and bubbles for spring and summer and I cannot wait to put her in them. Now we just need that warmer weather to get here. I love this little outfit I got her last week.

4. Sushi Buffets! I know....this sounds like it could be a little bit sketchy....raw fish, sitting out....BUT! I promise it's not. My friend Sarah told us about a place nearby that has a sushi buffet at lunchtime and we went this week. I love being able to have a little bit of everything to choose from! 

5. And if I'm really being honest....the Thrift Shop song.Yes, I know it's horrendous, but I laugh so hard every time I hear it and find myself walking around singing, "I wear your Granddad's clothes."
 Not really sure why I just admitted that.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Embracing the Camera : week 2 (+ some antiquing)

I did my first "Embrace the Camera" post a couple of weeks ago, and thought I'd share a second installment this week. I really do love this idea.

Last Saturday we went to The Sleepy Poet, a fabulous antique store/mall here in Charlotte, to search for a piece of furniture for our foyer. While we didn't find what we were looking for, we did find an awesome bread box for the kitchen. Something we'd been wanting to find, and it's doing a mighty fine job storing bread (and holding up our collection of cutting boards).

Before we left the house to go shopping, M was in a happy mood, so I made J snap a quick picture of us. 

And I'm glad he did. I love that girl and her sweet smile. 

If you want to know more about Embracing the Camera, visit Emily's blog!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

5 Months

Sweet M girl, as of yesterday, you are five months old now. And your dad and I are loving every second of it!

Last month started out rough. You kicked off four months with a lot of fussing and whining, but around 4.5 months, you really mastered rolling from your back to your belly (you did it for the first time on 3/4, but it took awhile to really figure it out), and you have been so much happier since then. I honestly think your fussiness was milestone related. Even when you were going through your fussy spell, you really were a good baby. Most of the time you are happy happy HAPPY! You do a lot of smiling, and when you're not busy having fun, you're checking out the world around you. I can just look at you sometimes and see the wheels turning in that head of yours. You focus so hard on figuring something out, and it seems like each day you learn something new.

In this past month, you have changed a lot. You seem to talk more, even using a few consonants from time to time. You have gotten so good with those hands, and you really enjoy "playing" now. Toys (and other fun household objects like cups and measuring spoons) keep you very interested and busy. You also love to use those hands to grab the dogs. Layla isn't too crazy about it and keeps her distance, but Rosie is your bets buddy. We've had a few fussy evenings, where I just plop you down by Rosie and you go from fussy to crazy happy as you pull on her ears and fur. 

You still love for us to read to you, and I certainly love it too. I hope this is something that you will always love. 

We took out the doorway jumper at the beginning of the month, and in the beginning, you weren't so sure what to do with it, but just recently you've really started to "jump" and play in there. We also bought you a high chair (on 3/16) that you've been sitting in at dinner time, and you like to sit there and play while watching us eat. I can't believe you'll actually be eating in there soon. I'm not ready for it, but I think you'll love it. You've become very curious and study us very hard when we're eating or drinking something. You definitely know that we're up to something!

You are continuing to sleep really well at night! We had about 2 weeks back at the beginning of March where you'd sleep about 10.5 hours a night, but you're back to doing 12 hours now. I think it had to do with the some coming up in the morning and waking you up. After the time change, it has started to get better. I need to invest in some black out panels to put behind your curtains. Your naps are pretty short most days, and you take three 30-45min naps on a normal day. But every couple of days you surprise me with a great 2 hour nap. I am hoping that as you get older naps will get better, but if not, that's okay. You sleep well at night and that is important for everyone!

You are still a fantastic eater. We nurse 5 times a day, with the first four feedings being about 10-15 minutes, and your last feeding of the day before bed is closer to 30-40 minutes. You flat out refuse bottles now, but I know I'm partially to blame for this since I went too long between bottle feedings. I am continuing to try bottles, but so far no luck. You like your milk straight form the tap. 

Some other funny things to note: 
You found your toes this month!
You went through a period where you'd SCREAM in the bath at night, but it's getting better
You love to skype with our far away family and friends!
No teeth yet, but I am really thinking there's one coming soon with all the chewing and drooling.
You got a stuffed pig from a friend of mine, and you're a big fan.
This makes us laugh because we still call you Piglet or Piggie. 

We love you so much little girl! You bring us so much joy.

No doctor this month so height and weight were measured at home...
Weight: About 18 pounds
Height: About 26 inches
Diaper: Size 2 in disposables; in cloth, we now are one snap down, and 4 open snaps across
Clothes: 3-6 months, but a few of those are starting to get too small. We've tried a few 6-12 and 9 month things
Eyes: very blue!
Hair: It's definitely coming in, but it's very light on top, still dark in the back. Sometimes it almost has a reddish tint to it? 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Menu Monday

Another Monday. Another meal plan!

Link up below....

We had a particularly crazy week last week that involved a lot of nights where I ate leftovers on my own, or ordered something to show up from a delivery man. On the nights where J was home and we got to eat together, here's what we had...

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches topped with bacon, provolone, avocado, lettuce, and tomato!
Paired with sweet potato fries and cucumber salad.

Grilled Chicken sandwiches are one of my top favorite meals from the grill! And now that we have some extra daylight, I've busted out my grilling gear. 

Kate posted about these last week and I decided the next day that we needed to try them too! Another skinnytaste win. We served ours with brown rice and on lettuce. Also topped ours with peanuts....a great addition.

Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken with Snap Peas over Brown Rice, topped with green onions and sesame seeds

If you haven't tried this chicken from TJ's, you must. It's such an easy throw together meal. When I had M, my bible study bought us some frozen meals to help us out, and this was one that a friend gave us. We've been buying it since and have fun adding different veggies to dress it up. 

You're turn! Link up below....

Friday, March 22, 2013


I know this post will mean absolutely nothing to most of you, but to any fellow JMU readers...this is for you!

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Today my alma mater is playing in their first NCAA tournament game since 1994 against the #1 seed Indiana. We may be a 16 seed team, and chances are very likely that we will lose, but that doesn't take away from the fact that this is SO. EXCITING! I discovered the fun of filling out a bracket a few years ago (why did I wait so long?!), and now that I have a team in the big dance, I was giddy with excitement filling out my bracket earlier this week.

JMU won our conference (CAA) which bought us a ticket to the tournament, but the Duke Dogs still had to win a play in game to get to the tournament. We beat LIU Brooklyn on Wednesday evening, 68-55. Look at my little M as she cheered them on....already a Duke Dog!

Don't worry though. Just because we're in the tournament, doesn't mean we think we're instant sensations in the world of college basketball. This purple and gold poster being held by a student at the CAA Championship game truly sums up all of the feelings the Dukes have. Being good at basketball is kind of new to us (but oh so fun!).

I am so proud of University!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Off to see the grandparents!

Two weeks ago we packed up M and all of her belongings (which is a lot), plus both puppies and we headed to Virginia to spend the weekend with my inlaws. What is a 4.5 hour trip with no baby, and about 5-5.5 with a baby, took us 8.5 hours. A semi had overturned on the highway spilling diesel fuel on the road, causing all of the highway to reroute through one of NC's tiniest towns. It was not a fun start to the weekend, but we somehow survived. Poor M was not thrilled about it, but she did okay, all things considered.

We had hoped to arrive around 7 so we could enjoy dinner with them, but it was past 10:30 when we finally got there. Everyone was ready for bed! Thank goodness for lots of extra naps for this little girl.

Once we all got some rest, we had a nice time visting with J's parents for the weekend. 

On Sunday, J took us to my parents house and visited for a little bit, but then he and the dogs headed back to Charlotte. M and I hung out for a few days before my mom brought us back to Charlotte. One of my favorite parts of not working is being able to visit family and friends and traveling whenever I please. Teaching made it hard to do that for about 9 months of the year.

My parents' dog is obsessed with M. He spent every bath time just like this!

How fun are all of these old baby toys that my parents found in their attic? They all belonged to either me or my siblings. 

We got to see one of my good friends who I grew up with; she stopped by to visit with us. AND! She's having her own baby in September. A new buddy for M!

My mom and I also took a quick trip up 95 to visit my grandparents while I was in town. I just love these photos of M with them that my mom took.

And two more pictures of M with my mom back at our house in Charlotte! These new baby sunglasses crack me up.

My mom was kind enough to stay with M one night so we could go out for a date. We had a lovely time, but a certain little girl refused her bottle while we were gone...I've tried a few times since then and she's still just keeping her lips shut and saying no way! She's keeping us on our toes....that's for sure!

It was nice to visit family, but it's also nice to be back home and back to our routine. I don't realize how much I like being home until we're away for awhile. I love traveling and visiting people we love, but I sure love the coziness of home!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Menu Monday

I took last week off, but I'm back this week with our weekly meal plan!

Hope you'll link up below!

Marinated and Grilled London Broil, Green Beans, and Goat Cheese Potato Salad

MAKE THIS POTATO SALAD. It's simply amazing. I left the celery out since we're not big celery fans, but other than that I didn't change a thing. 

I made this soup for the first time a few weeks ago, and I think it's now one of my go to soup recipes. I love it! We topped ours with plain greek yogurt, cilantro, and avocado.

The orignal recipe calls for brocoli but we subbed in snap peas since I'm not too crazy about brocoli.

I know...I just made this! But I was craving it again. It's just so good. Also....we got to eat outside this weekend! Hooray for more daylight and slightly warmer weather!

Link up your menu! It can either be last week's or the upcoming week!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

green green green!

Hello hello!

I sort of took an unexpected week off of blogging, and it was a nice little break. We ventured up to Virginia last week to visit both sets of grandparents, and I left my computer here in Charlotte. It was nice to step away for a few days. 

I have lots of fun pictures to share from our trip to Virginia, but in honor of St. Patrick's Day, I thought I'd share some pictures from M's first parade yesterday! We all put on our green and ventured uptown yesterday morning to see the parade. J and I enjoyed the parade, and M was more or less unimpressed by it, and way more interested in sucking on hands and grabbing her toes. But the nice weather was enjoyed by all!

Happy Sunday! After a nice morning at church (M's first time in the nursery on a Sunday!), we're  planning to stick around the house and enjoy this pretty weather for the rest of the day. And maybe we'll enjoy an Irish stout or two!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

embracing the camera: week 1

One of my favorite bloggers who I've been following for a very long time, Emily Anderson, does a link up from time to time on Thursdays called "Embrace the Camera."

In her words, the purpose of this link up....

"One day I was looking for a picture of my mom and I together, growing up, and I realized that I hardly have any with her in them.  There are plenty of just me, but only a few with her.  I didn't want that for my kids.  I want them to have an abundance of pictures with us together.  I want them to remember me, and our day to day interactions. 
The fun times we had. 
The real times we had.
Our memories.
I wanted to make sure I was a part of those memories."

I love this! I want to be a part of my daughter's pictures and past, and it's all too easy to stay behind the camera because I don't like the size of my hips or my hair hasn't been washed in 4 days...but one day when I'm gone, I'm sure my daughter won't care about any of those things. 

So with that said, I'm going to do my best to start embracing the camera with my baby girl. 

Even if she covers her face up when I try!

Oh! One more thing...I got a blog facelift thanks to Aubrey at Kinch Designs. She was so easy to work with and I love how it turned out! If you're reading in google reader, head on over to my blog to see the new look!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

February Project: A new curtain for the kitchen

In an effort to hold myself accountable, I want to share my February project. One of my 2013 goals was to create something new each month, and February's was inspired by Young House Love.

When I saw this post by them back in the fall, I knew this was something I wanted to do for our kitchen. We don't have plans to paint our kitchen anytime soon, but I wanted to do something to add in a small pop of color. A pretty curtain over the sink was the perfect solution.

I purchased this fabric from Joanne's and got to work!

I followed YHL's tutorial (the card stock tip was SO helpful), so I am not going to post directions...just go read their's! I love my finished product. I like that I picked a light fabric that will let sunlight in the kitchen, but it still adds a little something to the room. This really was pretty simple...and thank you to my husband for cutting the wood and drilling it in place for me!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Menu Monday

Our weekend flew by (as usual), and I'm not really sure how it's Monday again.
Anyone else get that feeling sometimes? 

We had a bit of a lazy week wen it came to cooking. 
We ate a some leftovers and freezer meals, and had breakfast for dinner one evening. 
Here's what we ate the other nights!

A very solid risotto recipe! I used chicken sausage and topped ours with some fresh basil.

Not the prettiest picture, but it was still good! We've had this before, and it wasn't quite as delicious as I remembered it being, but still yummy.

I think Erin originally shared this recipe with me at least 3 years ago, but this was the first time I've actually made it. I don't know what I was waiting for. It was fantastic!

Link up your menus below!