Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer is HERE!!

This LONG weekend was just lovely.  Friday night we stayed in and made a good dinner at home.  Saturday we both did outdoor runs (he did 7, I did 4.5), ran a bunch of errands, cleaned and did laundray.  Sunday we went to church in the morning (I sang with B and the choir this week), and when we got home N&K (B's brother and sister in law) were here with their new baby, Leah.  They came up to visit as K is still on maternity leave, and they needed to get out of town for awhile. 

After they arrived on Sunday we went over to our newest neighbors' house to hang with them and their families and friends for awhile.  They were supposed to have an outdoor bbq, but unfortunately it started thunderstorming just minutes before their party.  So we hung out inside instead and had a ball.  The bbq'd smoked pork was the BEST I've had, EVER.  So, so, so good.  We've already hit them up for the recipe as B and I have a stovetop smoker and love to use it!  We came home after a few hours and B&J came over for dinner.  We had beef tenderloin, grilled corn, grilled new potatoes, and broccoli.  I also made a angel food cake with lemon curd and strawberry sauce.  It was nice to just sit around and chat with everyone!! 

Monday morning the boys went golfing so K& I took care of the babies, went on a walk, and ran an errand.  We all had lunch together and then were outside the rest of the afternoon.  The weather was FINALLY nice, so we were able to plant the rest of the flowers, blow up SYT's little pool, put together his water table, and then just sit around on the deck and hold the babes.  I adore K (B's sister in law), and it is always so amazing to have her around.  We are similar in a lot of ways and get along so well.  It's lovely!!

We went out for dinner Sunday night and, since it was 90 degrees here, I was able to "go out with" Lilly and Jack.  Yep, ladies, it's officially summer!!  That probably means I need to PUT MY SWEATERS AWAY!!  Ugg.....I hate switching clothes for the season.  It just reminds me that I really need to purge some stuff and also reminds me that I really have very little clothing options right now.

Because I can't go a few weeks without sharing news about the little guy......here are a few pics from Monday.  You can see all four of his teeth in these pics.
Happy, happy babe!

Constant drool, constant hand in the mouth.....I think a 5th tooth is coming soon!!

So interested in grass, leaves, flowers, trees.  He loves being outside. 

Combing his hair (backwards).  He always takes the comb from me and tries to do it himself.  Too cute!

I hope you all had lovely weekends as well.  Here's to a super short work week and hopefully a great summer to come!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Our project is done (well, almost!!)!

We've been working for awhile on our laundry room and 1st floor guest bathroom.  The bathroom was hideous and since the laundry room was right across the hall and only needed a little bit of work, we decided to tackle it as well. 

In this picture of the laundry room the floral wallpaper has been almost completely stripped off, but you can see it in the upper corner and it gives you a good look at the color of the cabinets.
Here's the wallpaper in its full glory.  It covered all four of the walls.  It was in fine condition, and we didn't hate the cabinets, but it certainly wouldn't have been what we would have picked out had it been our choice.

The laundry room now.....

Above you can see the just barely pink walls and the window that looks onto our front yard.  Below is the doorframe where we will be marking the heights of Spence at each year! 

Presenting the (previously) ugliest bathroom in America....ours!!!  Yellow walls with burgandy and forest green splatter paint, burgany countertop, gray sink and toilet, ugly mirror, gold fixtures.  UGGG..... 

And here it is now!!
Really, really pale pink walls, new mirror, new light fixture, quartz countertop with a white sink and white toilet, all new polished chrome fixtures..........ahhhhhhhh

We also painted the cabinets a really deep, dark gray and the trim an ivory.

(I'm not sure why it looks like we have a plaid grid on our wall.  There are not really lines there.  AND the back of the door we kind of forgot, so we're working on that one!!)

The gorgeous countertop!  I love, love, love it!

We are planning on redoing the floors in both these room and the entryway.  We're going to do a large gray tile with gray grout.  We also need new light fixtures (which have been ordered but are backordered til JULY!) for the laundry room and two in the hallway.  I would like to get a some kind of artwork or decor for the laundry room but I haven't found anything I'm interested in yet, so I'm just going to keep my eye out for awhile.  I also need to get new doorhandles for all the doors- ours are currently shiny gold and they don't match the *new* look.

I do have to say how proud I am of B- he installed the toilet, the sink/countertop, and the light fixture all by himself!  He's becoming quite handy since we've become homeowners.  Thank goodness for youtube videos and google.  We'd be lost without them!  I'm really happy with the changes we've made and I'm excited to finish the rest!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Spinach is delicious!!

Spinach is a great vegetable.  It's loaded with vits A, C, E, B12, B6, and K.  It also has a high iron and calcium content.  Definitely a food that I would consider a "super food".  I try to use it in a lot of different meals around our house.  I'll use it instead of lettuce on a sandwich, I'll throw it into lasagna or my homemade spaghetti sauce, I'll put it in soups, etc.  I'm always looking for new ways to use it and I figured some of you might be too!

In case you are part of a CSA or are getting spinach from your local farmer's market, or if you just love spinach as much as I do, here are a few recipes I thought I'd share.

Holy moly, This Green Monster smoothie has become the BIGGEST hit at our house.  I've had it for breakfast every morning this week and SYT absolutely adores it in his sippy cup (diluted with some water).  It's incredibly healthy (I don't even add the honey as I think it's plenty sweet without it and none of us need the extra sugar), it's easy for babies to drink, and it's quite filling.  Spencer has decided that he is completely not interested in drinking at all (like literally, we are currently counting how many sips of water he takes a day and he won't even put a milk sippy cup to his lips), so the fact that he will drink this is awesome.  I know he can't have more than 4 oz a day of juice, but at least I know he is getting something seriously healthy when I give him this and, because I dilute it for him, he ends up taking 8 oz of something throughout the day which is better than the days of trying to get only one oz into him!  I would definitely urge everyone to try this- it's seriously that good!

This lemon and herb pasta salad recipe from Rachel Ray was one of the side dishes we served at Spencer's birthday party and quite a few of the guests asked for the recipe.  It is so good, really easy (it's Rachel Ray, so you know it's not going to be too time consuming), and perfect for summertime menus!  Instead of adding the arugula, I add spinach.  I think it adds a better flavor and is more nutritious.  I also make it the night before as I think it needs time for the flavors to meld together and add the eggs right before serving b/c they break apart so easily and they're much prettier when they stay together.

Have you tried either of the recipes above?  Do you have any other favorite recipes I need to try that have spinach as an ingredient?  Any tips for getting Spencer to drink anything besides the green monster smoothie?

Have a delicious Friday!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spencer's Birthday Party

We had a few of our friends and their kids over on Saturday to celebrate Spencer's first birthday.  We were hoping the weather would be nice enough to grill out, hang out on the deck and watch the kiddos play in the backyard.  Unfortunately it was 56 degrees and raining, so we all hung out inside instead.  We just rolled with it and everyone seemed to have a good time!

I didn't necessarily have a theme as Spencer doesn't really like anything in particular yet, so instead I bought a bunch of seersucker fabric and made banners to decorate the house.  I also made a onsie for Spence to wear for the cake eating and set up the hutch in the dining room with a picture from each month of his life.  I also bought a bunch of balls at the dollar store which I am SO glad I did.  There were balls flying everywhere in the family room and living room and the kids loved it!!

We had burgers and hot dogs on the grill, a fabulous pasta salad (I'll have to share the recipe-it's perfect for summer), grilled vegetable kabobs, a fruit salad, munchie mix, a wine punch, beer, juice boxes, sodas, cake and cupcakes.  B made the burgers on the grill, and they were some of the best burgers he's ever made.  Overall, I think the meal turned out pretty well. 

My precious boy is ONE!

Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercreme frosting (both from Annie's Eats blog)

Yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting (again from Annie's Eats)

In his one year onsie with his cake

Some of the kids blowing out Spencer's candles

Settling in with the cake

First bite

Really going for it

Chocolate mustache!

Now it's everywhere!!

Happy Birthday little buddy!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spencer is ONE!

Today my baby turns one!  I absolutely cannot believe how fast this year has gone.  I wonder how it's possible that we've gone from a sweet little newborn that fits cross cradle in a sling to a one year old that is taking his first steps! 

First day of life

First day home

1 month

2 months

3 months

4 months

5 months

6 months

7 months

8 months

9 months

10 months

11 months

1 year

Being Spencer's mom has changed my life completely.  Making him smile is the highlight of my day.  Watching him learn new skills every week amazes me.  It makes me wonder how the brain works and how it is possible for such a little person to learn so much so fast.  His little brain is fast at work all the time, and you can see the concentration in his face as he tries to solve problems and get himself into and out of different situations. 

He is standing on his own and has taken two steps from a standing position before falling.  He can go from crawling to a bear crawl position to standing without much effort now.  It really won't be long before he is walking confidently (though I think it will be awhile before walking is faster than crawling).  He is busy- crawling into drawers, taking everything out of cabinets, pushing kitchen chairs around the house, crawling down the step to get outside, crawling up and down the steps, etc.  His absolute favorite thing to do is play with balls- throw them, catch them, crawl after them, and watch them bounce.  It's all a delight to Spencer!

His verbal skills aren't quite up to par with other babies his age.  He says "dada" and "mama", but not strictly for us.  He had moderate hearing loss because of all his ear infections, so on the 6th of May he got bilateral ear tubes to help with both his hearing and for prevention of further infections.  I am praying it helps!  In the past week I have noticed that he has "talked" a lot more and made more consanant sounds than prior to the surgery.  I am hoping that his verbal skills will come along nicely from here.  We're definitely working on it and will watch him closely.

He will eat all kinds of foods.  The only foods he's had so far that he doesn't seem to like are cucumbers and pineapple.  He loves chicken, cheese, toast, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach and pears, yogurt, spaghetti, cantelope, peas, etc.  He is no longer drinking out of bottles (his choice) but also refuses breastmilk and regular milk from a sippy cup, so right now his only daytime liquid is water.  He likes it okay but is not having nearly the wet diapers he used to.  It's a transition time this week, so we'll see how it goes over the next few weeks.  I know he would LOVE juice, but because I know he'd never drink anything else, we're choosing not to give it to him at this time.

We have his one year apt on Tues, so we'll find out then how much he weighs and how long he is.  He has grown a lot in the past few weeks that we've noticed and right now we're struggling to find clothes that fit.  All his 12-18 months sizes are summer clothes and we've had a very cold, very wet spring, so he can't wear those without freezing but his warmer clothes are all 6-12 months and much too short.  We're praying for better weather here for so many reasons, one of those is to see my little guy in his cute summer stuff!!

Happy Birthday, my buddy!!  Daddy and I adore you and feel blessed every day for the chance to watch you grow and be your parents.  We love you, SYT!!