Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Front Yard Discoveries

I don't know why I thought this was so cool, but a few weeks ago, I was out pulling weeds in the front flowerbeds. I got over to the flowerbed under a big tree that we have in our front yard. Not much grows there because the tree blocks all the sunlight, so I hadn't weeded there in quite some time. As I was going through the flowerbed, I noticed all of these little wood chips on the ground. I kept weeded, but I was quite perplexed at what they were from.
My mind starts getting quite creative, wondering where they came from. I had actually convinced myself that the tree had termites! But I kept looking up at the tree, and there was no sign of the tree being distressed at all. Finally, once I finished with my work, I started really looking at the tree, trying to find out where the wood had come from. I was so surprised to find this:

I knew the birds loved our house because we keep the bird feeders filled, but I had no idea we had a woodpecker! After I showed Josh, he told me that he had heard the bird outside. I guess I'm deaf, because I never heard it. It amazes me what a perfect circle they can carve out of a tree!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

5 Months

5 whole months. My baby is 5 months. And she looks so grown up to me in these pictures - it actually makes me a bit sad!! I was holding a friend's newborn a few days ago, and was amazed at how small she felt, and it was crazy for me to think that just 5 months ago, Abbi was that small!

At 5 months, Abbi:


  • Is almost sitting unsupported. She'll fall to the front or to the side after about 7 seconds, but I'm sure she'll be sitting up in the next month!
  • Wants to put everything in her mouth. Her favorites - wipe bags, cell phones, water bottles, mommy's fingers, actually any body part belonging to anyone!, burp rags and her toys.
  • Has really discovered her voice. She loves to make noises - especially her fake cough and a ear-piercing screech. I can't wait for her to get over the screech!


  • Is still a total thumb sucker. I can usually tell when she is getting tired because her thumb goes into her mouth. And she almost always sleeps with it there.
  • Loves her schedule. If we fall off of it for one reason or another, she gets crabby, but if we stick to it, she is such a happy girl!
  • But she still hates going to sleep. She'll usually cry for a few minutes after she is put down, but then will fall asleep. I think she just doesn't want to miss out on anything!


  • Loves to laugh. Things that make her laugh the most - when Max runs around the house like a crazy dog, when you blow on her face, and when you pretend to eat her toes.
  • Is getting better at letting other people hold her. People that she let hold her this month - my mom, my dad, Josh's mom, Josh's sister, and one of my sisters.




  • Loves her knees up underneath her. This is how she sleeps most of the time, with her little bum sticking up in the air.
  • Has started the beginnings of an army crawl. She still uses rolling as her main way to move - I think it's because she knows it's faster - but she will scoot to get things that are just beyond her reach.
  • Is still growing like a weed. In fact, I was carrying her in her car seat a few days ago and realized that I'm not going to be able to carry her that way much longer. She's just too big!


  • Was sleeping through the night, but has decided the last few nights that she wants to wake up once a night again. Hopefully she'll go back to all night again soon!
  • Although she's (mostly) sleeping through the night, she really only wants to sleep 8-9 hours a night. And it doesn't matter when I put her to bed, she'll wake up 8 hours later. Luckily, she'll go back down for another hour usually after I feed her, but I am learning to operate on less than 8 hours of sleep each night. (I really need to learn to go to be when she does!)
And the monthly chair picture. I love this girl!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Little Scooter

video

Abbi has been moving around for awhile now, but just by rolling. I've seen her roll across the room before. Sometimes when I am in the kitchen, I'll put her on the floor in the dining room/living room, and she'll keep herself busy, rolling around and playing with toys.

In the past few weeks, she has been getting her knees up underneath her. I knew crawling was inevitable, but I was still surprised to see her do this yesterday. She is starting to scoot around! Now I know that crawling is right around the corner. And I have to admit - I'm not really ready for it yet! Looks like I need to child-proof the house sooner than I realized I would have to.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mommy & Me - June 2009


I don't know if it is like this with you, but I have very few pictures of me and Abbi. And really, it's my fault. Sure, I'm the one who is usually behind the camera, and I enjoy being behind the camera, but the reasons I don't have many pictures with her are because of my insecurities. But I was inspired by a blog post that I read a little while back. It really struck a cord with me. She talks about getting into the picture with your children. They don't care that you are having a "fat" day or that your face is broken out. They don't care if you're not wearing make up or if you are wearing your sweat pants again. But I can guarantee that in 20 years, they are going to love looking back and seeing pictures of you with them.

So I have decided to make myself a goal - at least 1 picture a month - just me and Abbi. It doesn't have to be at a special occasion, but I want to make sure I document our time. And even though I hate being in the picture, I know that this is something I will look back at and be glad that I did.

And now I am extending the challenge to all of you. Get out your camera - set the timer or let someone else take the picture for once. But I want to see everyone else with their little ones!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Obsessed with Feet

Are any of you watching The Bachelorette? I haven't watched it, or The Bachelor, for many years, but somehow, I got sucked in by this season. All the drama, all the unrealistic dates, all the kissing... I'm seriously surprised with how many guys this girl is kissing!! Anyway, one of the guys has a foot fetish that he is very vocal about. He is a very strange guy in my opinion, even without throwing in all the foot fetish comments.

Well, I know I already posted a video with Abbi going for her feet, but she has a bit of a foot fetish as well, and I wanted to share more pictures. And not only is she obsessed with her own feet, but she is always trying to grab toes of anyone that is near. But no - I do not let her suck on anyone's toes but her own!

Monday, June 22, 2009

You Are Beautiful



I was actually going to post about something different today, but I just came across a blog that led me to this video, and I was truly touched. Ever since I found out I was pregnant with a girl, I knew one thing I wanted to do was to have a positive self image about myself so that I could be a good example to her. And I know that she is young right now, but habits are hard to break and hard to make, and I have been horrible about vocally criticizing myself. To be honest, I've always struggled some with my self esteem. I don't know where I got it from, but I do not want to pass it on to my daughter. And seeing this video and this project has reinforced my want to have her grow up with a good self esteem and it has re-motivated me to not be so hard on myself. I think this is something that could benefit every woman out there! For more information, and to see more of the notes being left, visit www.operationbeautiful.com.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!


My father’s feet will lead me
in paths I know are right.
My father’s knees will bend with mine
as we say prayers at night.
My father’s lap will hold me
when I need a place to rest.
And when I’m sad, I like to lay
my head upon his chest.
My father’s hands are big and strong,
and they work hard for me.
My father’s arms can lift me up
so I may better see.
My father’s lips will speak to me
with words of truth each day.
My father’s ears will listen
to the things I have to say.
I like to sit so very still
and look into his eyes.
I know he understands me,
and he is good and wise.
I’m glad I have a father
who guides me with his love.
He helps me better understand
my Father up above.

Barbara J. Porter, “My Father,”

Happy Father's Day to all of you fathers out there!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tasty

video
Abbi wants to put everything into her mouth these days. Including her toes. I can't believe she is so flexible with all of that chub!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hmmmm...

I don't get it. My food blog is my happy place. A place I try to keep positive and light. After all, it's about food, and food generally makes me happy. So why do people feel like they have the right (anonymously, by the way), to be negative and mean?

I got a comment yesterday regarding the Red Velvet Whoopie Pies I made. It said:
Taste and tell....well, I'll tell alright! May this be a warning: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BAKE THESE. There is a mistake in here. The cookie did NOT rise and the frosting was nothing short of horrendous. I followed this EXACT recipe. I've baked many difficult things in my time and almost all of them have been edible. This, however, was a disaster. A plague on both your houses!!! Please check this recipe before you prepare to bake!
Well, first of all, I made the cookies from the very exact recipe, and if you were able to tell, they worked for me. In fact, those are pictures of the cookies I made - from that same exact recipe - on my blog. The photos I take are always my own, from the very recipes I post. And obviously, the recipe worked for me. You know, I wouldn't have been annoyed if this lady (or man, not quite sure) would have posted a comment, letting me know (nicely) that the cookies did not work for her. But a "plague on both your houses"?? I don't quite understand that. And then I go to click over to find out who this person is, and of course, the name doesn't lead to a blog, and no email address is listed. If she would have left me a way to contact her, I would have gladly discussed the recipe with her to see what went wrong. But I'm left with an anonymous comment, and no way to comment. I would just take the mean comment off, but I don't want to be accused of only posting nice comments. I made a comment back on the post, being very nice, but I'm guessing this person doesn't really care to hear my nice reply. She only wants me plagued.

It all reminds me of a lady who emailed me once, asking if I had a good recipe for a chocolate cake roll after she read a post of mine about how I had tried this one recipe 4 times without luck. I told her that the one I had tried was the only recipe I had, but she wanted the recipe. I emailed her back, asking if she was sure, because I had tried it 4 times, and it didn't work out for me. She assured me that she wanted the recipe, so I took the time to type it up and email it to her, once again warning her that the recipe was probably wrong because it did not work for me. A few days later, I get an email from her. She basically chewed me out for sending her such a dud of a recipe, complaining that it was a disaster. Did she not read my previous 2 or 3 emails, telling her that this recipe did not work for me, so I was guessing that it wouldn't work for her?

People.... I just don't understand them sometimes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Opinions

I need an opinion on which photo you all like best. I'm trying to finish Abbi's room and want to frame a few photos, but I can't decide which of these I like best!


#1



#2


#3


#4


#5


#6

Monday, June 15, 2009

First Harvest

I picked the first of our harvest this morning!! I hadn't been out to the garden for days because of all the rain we've been having, but with the sun shining this morning, I set out to pull weeds that I knew were probably taking over because of the rain. Lo and behold, I find a good handful or two of ripe strawberries, and many more that should be ready to pick this week. And we've already got zucchini and squash that should be ready very soon as well! Gardening is a lot of work, but when you bring in a bowl of goodies like this, it makes it all worth it!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Anyone want some strawberry rhubarb jam???

I don't know why I do this every year. 2 years ago, I made a TON of peach and peach-vanilla jam. I still have half of it. Last year, I made strawberry rhubarb jam. We ate quite a bit of it, but I still have several jars left. Then my mother-in-law calls a few days ago and asks if I want some strawberries from their garden. Of course, I say YES and also ask for some rhubarb as well. So now I have even more jam. And no where to put it. Any takers??

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy Anniversary!


Today is my mom and dad's anniversary. 38 years together, 5 kids and 14 grandkids. They amaze me!

I took this picture a few weeks ago. I was sitting behind them and thinking about what great examples of love they are to me. I remember growing up, I never wondered if my mom and dad loved each other - they were very good about not only showing their affection for their kids, but for each other as well. And I think that is what makes a strong marriage. I remember my dad coming into the kitchen, giving my mom a kiss and then turning to us kids and asking - "do you know that I love your mother?" I always knew that if I could find a man that would show his emotions about me openly like my parents did for each other, I would have a happy and successful marriage and family. And to this day, my parents are always very affectionate and I know that the sparks are still there for them!

So happy anniversary mom and dad - and many more to come!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cousins


Do you remember this picture??




This is just about 11 months later. It's kind of crazy to see the two pictures together. It feels like forever ago that we were all pregnant, and now - here are the 4 cousins. We need to try this again since I this was the closest I got to get all 4 to look at the camera. It was the end of the day, and I think they were all ready to go home. Abbi had this same look on her face in all the pictures - it made me laugh. I can't wait until these kids get older to play together and become the best of friends!

Friday, June 5, 2009

3 Little Monkeys


I have lots of memories of jumping on the trampoline as a child. One of the first - I can't really remember how old I was - but my 2 younger sisters and I spent a few weeks during the summer with our cousins. They had a trampoline, but only 2 people were allowed on the tramp at a time. Now as a parent, I can see the logic in that, but as a child - that is just not very fun! I do remember once that we broke that rule and got in quite a bit of trouble, but for the most part, we tried to follow the rules.


Sometime after that, we got a trampoline at our house. We spent lots of time out there. We loved to play on it in the summer time, getting it wet with the hose and jumping on the wet tramp. Or putting the sprinkler underneath. And many summer nights were spent, curled up in sleeping bags, sleeping on top, telling scary stories all night while looking for shooting stars. It was one of these nights that I saw a UFO fly by. I'd tell you the story, but then you would all think I was crazy!


I never was very daring on the trampoline. But that is not surprising, considering I'm not very daring with anything in life that could get me hurt. (Go figure I would marry a man that is the complete opposite and thrives on activities that could end in danger!) I remember learning to do a front flip or a back flip - I can't remember which - but being completely terrified of landing on my head. I think I eventually learned, but was never very comfortable doing it. I was more content just jumping and running!


Now it's been years since I've even been on one. Which kind of makes me sad. I see the kids running and jumping, having the time of their lives, and it makes me miss being a kid.


Jumping carefree - not a worry in the world. If I had a trampoline in my back yard, I think I'd go out and jump on it right now, just for old times sake. Heck, maybe I'd even grab Josh and a sleeping bag and head out for a backyard campout. I'm sure Max would have fun! But unfortunately, I don't have a trampoline. (And I think my neighbors might think I'm a bit strange if they came out to see me jumping on their trampoline!) Instead, I'm going to find something to do tomorrow that makes me feel like a kid again. Any suggestions?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Chubbers


I just realized that I never did an update after Abbi's 4 month doctor appointment on Friday. So here goes!

She's still a big girl, weighing in at 16 pounds, 1.5 ounces. She is 26 inches tall. That puts her in the 96th percentile for height and 90th percentile for weight. The doctor told me that, although she weighs a lot for her age, it's nothing to worry about at all since she is so tall. It's all proportionate. In fact, he was quite happy with her growth.

All went well. We had to do more shots, which is never fun (for Abbi or me!) but she was a trooper and stopped crying after a few minutes. I actually wish I had my camera with me, because she made the funniest face when the nurse was giving her the oral vaccine. She much prefers the taste of milk!

I've also been asked a few questions in my last few posts, so I thought I'd answer them here.

1st - a few people asked how Max is with Abbi. He is really good. In fact, he loves her so much that he tries to kiss her too much and we have to make him stay back! I can tell that he is still a little jealous at times, but I try to give him lots of love and attention when I'm not tending to the baby.

2nd - Ryley asked about the butcher I posted about in my Zupas post. As far as prices go, I think they are pretty reasonable. Maybe not as cheap as Costco, but the quality is amazing. So delicious - now I wish we had bbq'd steaks for dinner!

3rd - Abby asked about the monthly onsies. I stole the idea from here, and they are pretty easy to make in Photoshop. But if you don't have Photoshop, I'm not quite sure! I'm not familiar with any other programs, so I'm not sure how difficult they would be in a different program. Sorry Abby!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Joining the Masses

I think I'm one of the very few people who has not read the Twilight series. I just haven't had any time to read lately, and I really never felt like I was missing out.

Then we had a girl's night out last weekend. My sisters, mom and sister in law all went to dinner, then most of us headed over to Kacy's to watch Twilight in her theater room. I had no expectations for the movie. I hadn't read the book, so I knew I wouldn't be disappointed in that respect - but I've heard that you either love or hate the movie.

I liked it. There were cheesy parts, but it was entertaining. I thought it would end there. But then I couldn't stop thinking about it - thinking that I want to know what happens next. So I broke down and bought Twilight while I was out shopping today. (Yeah, I could have checked it out from the library, but they are all checked out and I really didn't want to have to wait for it. I'm impatient like that!)

I'm guessing I won't read through it in 2 days like a lot of people, (I just don't have the time). But soon I will be able to join the Twilight masses!!