Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Slow down

How is it really the last day of January? This month has flown by!
And all the time Isabella seems a little more little girl rather than baby. I think if she could say the phrase "I can do it myself" she would be saying that more and more.

I caught her in this juggling act the other day. Balancing her purse, drink, and trying to get her baby in the stroller. (Where has she seen that?)

Finally baby is in, bag is secured on her arm...

Time for baby to have a drink.

Slow down, baby girl. She will have years to balance a juggling act of kids, bags, snacks, home, relationships, work, school, etc. Isn't that what we women do? Sometimes I feel like my balls are juggling well, and other times they are dropping everywhere. I've done pretty well at accomplishing the goals I wanted to in January, and I enjoyed some down time too.
I will continue juggling through February, with 9 days of travel scheduled so far for our family!! A fun trip for me, and some work trips for Michael. I can get overwhelmed sometime looking too far ahead. So today I have tried to focus just on today.

We enjoyed a quiet breakfast at panera, followed by reading our favorite books and morning nap.

And it has been such a gorgeous day.

We headed to the zoo this afternoon. I forgot the stroller was in Michael's car.

So we walked

and walked

and walked... on the slowest trek to the giraffes ever. :) She had a great time exploring along the way. I was hoping to see the baby giraffe, but he wasn't out. We did see the new baby okapi.

Isabella said "Hi!! HI!!" to everyone we saw. She was saying hi to someone when I took this picture.

We ended the night eating dinner up at Michael's work with his office.

I love our small college campus by night.

She is growing up, but we still haven't given up the pacifier for sleeping. We will cross that bridge another night.
Goodnight January.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In the kitchen

I've been cooking and baking some this week, which is fun for me. Remember when I had a cooking blog? That's clearly gone by the way, and so has trying lots of new recipes. It seems for the last year I mostly do quick and old standbys unless I know I'm going to have extra time. I hope to get back into trying new and involved recipes some day, but that's not realistic on a day to day basis for this season of my life. But, that being said, I enjoy cooking, and think it is important to make time for the relationships you had (marriage, friendships) and things you enjoyed doing prior to becoming a parent.

So, here some things I made this week:

The last time I made these cookies from Annie Eats, I just cooked a few and then rolled the rest into balls, and placed them on a cookie sheet in the freezer. When they were frozen I put them in a ziplock and back in the freezer. Its great to have the homemade dough on hand to just cook a few when needed or more if people are coming over. This week I pulled some out and made heart shaped cookies.

I made a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Isabella LOVES these. This time I used half whole wheat flour and half regular and cut down the amount of chocolate chips. They freeze beautifully so they are nice to have on hand for breakfast or snacks.

Heather and I got together for a quick freezer cooking session on Friday.

We made up a batch of high protein pumpkin pancakes to freeze and have on hand for the girl's breakfasts. We adapted the recipe from this blog. We used greek yogurt instead of cottage cheese and whole wheat flour instead of dry oats.

We also made 2 batches of meatballs, Maui chicken, and honey pork chops. All of these recipes are from the book "Don't panic dinner's in the freezer". I own these books now, but they can also be borrowed from the library. I don't have a huge freezer, so part of what I liked about the books is that it details ways to freeze the meals so that they take up as little space as possible. I love having meals on hand that are ready to go or just need some sides added to them. I'd like to try to add in a couple hours of freezer cooking each week to make dinner prep go smoother. I'd had "host a meal exchange" on my 30 list, but didn't get around to it. But I hope to do that in the next month or so.

We had a family gathering to go to and I made my mom's Sunday Rolls. They are so good!

And I had a bit of dough left from the rolls, so I made it into cinnamon rolls for us to have for breakfast this weekend.
This week I hope to make our friend's amazing homemade spaghetti sauce and some delicious brownies.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Most Tuesdays Isabella and I go to lunch with my friends Heather and Katie. We all worked together for a couple of years.

After lunch I took Isabella to play at the park.

I can't get over how mild this winter has been so far!

I love spending the day with her.

I had read about some restaurants participating in downtown week. Here is the explanation from the website: "each participating restaurant will create special prix-fixe menus, featuring limited-time, 3-course dinners". I thought it sounded like a good chance to try a new place AND we had just received our first disbursement of the earnings from the ads on Michael's blog so we decided to use that to go out on a nice date. It's not like he will be quitting his job over it, it was just enough to cover our meal, but it was fun to have the meal paid for. I don't think either of us could have ever predicted that his blog would become what it has, but I'm proud of him for creating something he is passionate about. He receives an email almost every day from someone thanking him, sharing their experiences with their dad, or telling him how its made a difference in their life.

Heather and David came over to stay with Isabella and we headed out to dinner as it began to rain. We enjoyed a great dinner, were able to completely finish all our sentences, and we only had to worry about feeding ourselves. Sometimes its the little things... :)

My chocolate and salted caramel tart with a sugar haystack

Big thanks to the Roberts for staying with Iz and getting her ready for bed so we could have a dinner out together and come home to a clean baby all ready for bed! Weekend dates are better sometimes because you don't have as many responsibilities the next day, but week night dates are fun because they are a different change of pace in the middle of the week.
I loved the rain last night and hearing it fall on our home as we went to sleep! Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

16 Months

Isabella's 16th month birthday was yesterday, and I actually remembered to do her chair picture on the day!!

Look at that face! "Mom my nose is running, and these pictures are really starting to get old..but I'll oblige you anyway."

This past month has been full of Christmas, time with family, a runny nose, nice weather and cutting teeth. I'm hoping the 6 new teeth are just about in and settled until the next round. Isabella's new word from this weekend is "awesome", that she picked up from her Dad. Some other words she says are: all done, bye bye, hi, Mama, Dada, Nana, Mimi, Milo, Ava, Papa, flower, shoes, socks, orange, tweet tweet, chair, NO!, OK, seat, hold you, baby, book, night night, car, woof, outside, and sunshine. New foods she's been into are cutie oranges and edamame. But her most favorite food is chocolate chip cookies. She can say cookie now, and has woken up from naps saying cookie, cookie, or at other random times in the day.

So after our grocery run yesterday we popped into Pei Wei, because they have good chocolate chip cookies, and shared one for her birthday.

Happy 16 months sweet girl!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Saturday in Dallas

Saturday morning we ate breakfast in the hotel, then Michael left for work for a few hours. Isabella had her morning nap, and when Michael got back we headed out to NorthPark mall. It is one of my favorite malls! So many great stores. We will have to go back again soon when we have more time.

There are also lots of neat design and flower displays. Isabella had fun checking things out.

This is one of my favorites. There is a fountain on one side, and then turtles and ducks swimming on the other.

And since Isabella wasn't eating solids last time, I had to introduce her to Sprinkles Cupcakes this time around.

I'd say she was a fan. (Have I mentioned I love the instagram app on my phone?!)

Waiting for our table at Babes Chicken Dinner House.
We had been hearing the legend of Babes leading up to this trip from Michael's coworkers, and it was definitely an experience to be had. No menus, you just pick which meat you want from the list the waitress recites then sides are brought to your table family style.

After dinner we hung out at the conference for a while then Isabella and I went back to the hotel for her to go to bed. And after a wild and long bed time, she *finally* went to sleep. And then I took a million pictures of her sleeping trying out different settings on my new camera. But this was just on my phone, again using instagram. Sleeping babies are so sweet, especially when you've had to work hard to get them that way!

It's good to be home. I'm ready to get our home organized and ready for a new week. We are gearing up for a busy, but good week for our family.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I'm hanging out in a hotel room in Dallas with a sleeping baby while Michael is working. I had a chance to upload some pictures from my camera from this week.

We had some glo sticks that we thought would be fun to let Isabella use in the bath.

It freaked her out having the light out...Maybe we'll try again in a few years.

Totally not sure about all of that...

I was looking for some pictures to put in a 'who loves baby' picture book, Isabella has and realized I don't have many picture of Isabella with her Grandparents. I want to take more.

I got this one of Isabella reading with her Papa on Tuesday night when we were at my parents' house.

We still keep Ava at our house on Wednesdays. It is still amazing to me how much the girls have changed in a year. When we first started Ava was crawling and Isabella still wasn't even rolling over. Now they walk, talk, play, imitate, eat different food, and every week it seems they are doing something new!

Sweet friends

At one point they both wanted to get in the chair in Isabella's room. Then they wanted a blanket, and then books.

And then they jabbered on to each other with a bunch of unintelligible words, pointing at the pages in the books. I wondered if they knew what the other's babbling meant. :)

I'm glad we could join Michael for this weekend, even though he is working some, so we can still be together. Glad the weekend is here! Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Michael was out of town yesterday until late so Isabella and I hung out at my parents house in the evening. My mom got stuff for us to make a valentines banner. (My love for all things holiday came from her.) You need paper, wooden letters, glue, and tinsel or string.

Trace your letters on the paper you want to use and cut them out. Then glue the paper on top of the letters.
Be careful if the paper has a pattern that you reverse your letters so they go the correct way. I messed this up a few times.

Hot glue letters to your string.

And hang! Thanks Mom!

Monday, January 16, 2012

high & low

high- Michael was off work today!!

low- shortly after waking up Isabella threw up on the floor in our bedroom

high- we ate a yummy breakfast together

low- Isabella threw up on herself at the table

high- I went to target alone during nap time, browsed quietly with no one (ahem) trying to stand up in the shopping cart or saying "ALL DONE, ALL DONE!"

low- Michael text me Isabella had woken up and thrown up all over her bed

high- Starbucks in target still has the mix to make caramel brulee latte from their holiday drink line and I still had a gift card from Christmas. (Its always a sad day when they run out until next season.)

high- We had lunch together, I went to work for a few hours, work was good, Michael made dinner while I was gone, we ate dinner together.

low- Went out to run errands and Isabella (wait for it...) threw up all in her car seat.

high- Rented a movie to watch as Isabella was really tired and would be ready to go to bed early.

low- Got Isabella to sleep...she woke up 10 minutes later crying...because (you'll never guess), she threw up in her bed again...

low- so much laundry!

high- YAY! For my super cheap new homemade laundry soap!

high- Yay for such nice weather today that we can have the windows open to blow out the smell of vomit.

Ugh. So tired of throw up. She just has so much mucus that she keeps choking on which is causing the gagging---->throwing up. Michael goes to Dallas tomorrow for the day and evening, so let's hope tomorrow goes better. And I'd say that's enough talk about throw up for one day. The end.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Some scenes from our week


She's learning how to use a spoon to feed herself.

It's a work in progress. :)


Picking up some things at Whole Foods.

Loving bath time


Isabella's Christmas tree was the first decoration to go up, and the last to go down. I hated to take it down, but was ready to have the space back on her dresser. During her nap I strung these valentine heart lights my Mom got her last year. She was impressed when she woke up!

It snowed Wednesday night, so Thursday Isabella saw her first snow of the season- what was left of it anyway.


Holding hands on our way home from dinner at Smashburger

Friday night movie. Some day we hope to have a sectional, but its just not possible in our current house. So we pushed our couch and love seat together to watch our movie because we are fun like that.


Appetizers at my girls lunch at Victoria's pasta in Norman. YUM!

Playing at home Saturday afternoon.