Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Summer 2013 Bucket List

Our summer has officially started!

Clare's list.  :) 

Go to the beach!
Read 100 books.  (Maybe even make another reading fort.)
Watch fireworks.
Go to the movies in the park.
Eat s'mores.  (Or I would even be OK with these.)
Grow a pumpkin.
Have a picnic at the park.
Go to the zoo.
Vacation bible school.
Play in the water fountains at the park.

What's on your list??

Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer Vacation

Clare's last day of school is today!
So here's my thought for the days/weeks/months of summer break ahead:


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

Linking up with Like Mother Like Daughter today...

round button chicken

Handsome baby boy.

Face paint from fun day at school!

Sleeping superhero. 

17 lbs. baby on bouncer seat.   

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Roasted Parmesan Green Beans

This is another recipe I got from my MOPS recipe exchange.  I made these with fresh green beans the other night for dinner and they were delicious.

Roasted Parmesan Green Beans

12 oz. green beans, trimmed - wash and dry
2 teaspoons olive oil
fresh cracked pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425.  Lone baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Lay green beans on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Toss to evenly coat.  Spread beans out on baking sheet.  Bake 10 minutes.  Shake pan to turn.  Bake additional 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Pre-K Commencement

Jude "graduated" from his preschool last week and is officially a kindergartener!  

At the graduation ceremony they read aloud information about each graduate...   

Favorite thing to do at Preschool: Play in the sensory table.
What are you most looking forward to this summer?  My Birthday
What do you want to be when you grow up?  A firefighter
(He usually answers a dinosaur, so we were impressed by his answer!)

(This picture sums up Jude's personality perfectly...)

So proud of our kindergartener!!!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Seven Quickies

Linking up with Jen today with life here at the moment...

1.  Jude has been perfecting his gaming talent with a Lego Star Wars Xbox game that is on loan to him.   These are pretty much the greatest days of his life!  

2. Michael isn't too interested in tummy time for his 17 lbs. self!

 3. We made avocado dip a few weeks ago when my sister came to visit.  I bought avocados the day before and they were in no way ripe.  After some googling, I discovered putting the avocados in a brown bag with an apple would speed up the ripening process.  They were perfect in 24 hours!  (And so was the tomato I stuck in there, too!)  All guacamole cravings will no longer be waiting on avocados to ripen!

4. We have officially hit the "big family" qualification when purchasing peanut butter!  It's a 4 pounder.

5.  I'm quite proud of myself for printing out a picture of Michael for "his" frame on the steps.  It only took me 2 1/2 months!

6.  Happy Birthday to my mom tomorrow!  Hope you have a wonderful birthday!!!!

7.  And a happy weekend to all!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Binks and Babies

Last night was night #3 of no bink for Miss Ellen!  We weren't necessarily planning on ditching the habit at the moment, but it just kind of happened.  (Unlike when the time came for Clare to let it go and we had a plan that was set up weeks in advance!)  Ellen was starting to sneak her bink during the day, which ultimately led to her losing the last one we had.  I seriously have no idea where the last man standing went...and hopefully Ellen isn't the one that somehow finds it!  

In other news, I'm taking Michael in for his 2 month check up today.  I'm thinking he's not going to have a problem hitting the 100+ percentile for weight!  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday!

Today our self-named "Best Guy" turns 5.  He has grown into a sweet little boy.  (I'll be the first to admit he invented the "terrible twos!")  He is my "baby whisperer" and is always the first one to go to Michael when he starts to fuss.  (And is quite good at calming him down, too!)  He is independent and laid-back.  He has a contagious laugh and gets compliments on his constant smile.  He is curious.  He is reliable.  He is a good friend.  He will most likely eat me out of house and home one day with his constant, and diverse, appetite.  He loves animals and Star Wars.  And he loves to play outside, rain, snow, or sunshine.    

Playing it cool while playing on the Xbox.

I have to agree with what Ryan said the other day, "I can't believe Jude is going to be 5!"

Happy Birthday Jude-Buggy!  We love you!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

5 Favorites

Happy Wednesday!  I'm joining Hallie via Grace and company today for my 5 favorites this week...

1. Jose Cuervo Light Margaritas.  Salted.  I was just pregnant last summer and didn't get to enjoy many of these once the warm weather was upon us.  To me these really are the perfect summertime adult beverage!   


2. Downton Abby.  I'm late in the game on this one (better late than never, right?!) so we've settled into a routine of watching one every night.  (Other adults in our house may not admit to partaking in this viewing, but I assure you they indeed are!)  Perfect activity when you're nursing and nursing and nursing a certain 2 month old to bed!

3.  This book.

From the cover you can tell I've had it (and referenced it) since Clare was born.  It's nice to get a refresher as to what Michael will be up to next.  I seriously forget what milestones we're approaching each time I have a baby.  And upon reading that Michael would enjoy black and white pictures, I have our favorite infant book on reserve for him at the library:


4.  Visitors!  We were lucky enough to have my younger sister, Aunt Margaret, here for a few days.  The kids enjoyed her visit very much.  I know she reallllly enjoyed listening to Green Eggs and Ham and playing Just Dance 4!    

5.  The hubs!  Ryan was on a 5 day business trip and is now home!  Hooray!  I think Ellen is the happiest of all!  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mr. 2 Month-Old!

It's hard to believe Michael is already 2 months old today!  He has traded in his newborn bird legs for some serious rolls and overall is a very good baby.    

Favorite pastimes: Coo-ing/talking and bath time.  
Newest accomplishment: Hitting the mobiles in the play mat.
Current nickname: Ellen says he's "Bubba."  (I'd go with the Michelin Man!)
What people say when they see him: "He's a big boy!"

Jude at the same age...
(The fun part of having 2 boys!)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Burlap Wreath

I had my Easter wreath up on our front door the entire month of April and decided it was time to exchange it for something new.  I found this idea for an easy burlap wreath on pinterest and got to work while Michael was napping this weekend.  I think the whole thing took me 20 minutes tops and with coupons from Michaels cost about $6.  

I used an 18 inch wire wreath form and 1 - 10 yard package of burlap.

Simply weave the burlap in and out of the wire form making large loops.  
Continue all the way around the wreath.     

Mine is plain for now until I head back to Michaels.  
I'm thinking of adding some kind of monogram to it...  

In the meantime it is already hanging on the front door.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Avocado Dip

We broke out the Mexican food early even though Cinco de Mayo is still a few days away...  Mostly because this dip is awesome...and mostly because we currently have an awesome houseguest!  :)  This is a lighter, almost whipped, version of a guacamole.  So delicious that there are no leftovers to be found here!  

Avocado Dip
1 package of cream cheese (softened) (I used Neufchatel cheese)
2 avocados
1/4 cup white onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper sauce (red hot) (although I didn't have any and this turned out just fine)
1 cup tomatoes, chopped

Combine all ingredients until well blended.  Serve with your favorite tortilla chips (and margaritas!).  

Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Favorite Things

At the end of every MOPS year, we do a "Favorite Things" meeting.  (Oprah-inspired, but on a much smaller scale.)  Everyone brings one of their favorite things, shares what they love about it, and then it's raffled off to someone in the group.  (Everyone ends up with one "thing.")  The items are all no more than $10.  It's always fun to see what everyone brings and to take home a potential new favorite thing!

Here's our list for this year:

Salted caramel chocolate chip cookies
(Recipe can be found here.)

Pepperidge Farm Milano Double Chocolate Cookies

Special K Chocolate Cereal

Malley's Famous Fudge Sauce
(From Cleveland, Ohio.)

(Similar to Baileys.)

Kona Brewing Longboard Beer
(Brewed in Hawaii and now found at some grocery stores as well as Red Robin!)

Tweezerman Tweezers

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs
(For pastey legs, only washes off with soap and water, won't sweat off.  Comes in a variety of skin tones.)


Jergens tinted moisturizer

Schick Intuition Razor
(Get a smooth shave without shaving cream or soap.)

Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub
(Refreshing in the morning and leaves skin feeling soft.)

Bath and Body Works air plug-ins and refills

Bath and Body Works lemon and peach foaming hand soap

Monogrammed Burlap Tote Bag
(Monogram tutorial can be found here.) 

Duck Dynasty DVD 
(I have not watched this series...but might have to check it out!)


Linking up with Hallie even though I'm sharing more than 5 favorites!  :)