Thursday, July 28, 2011

What We've Been Up To

We had a play date earlier this week and Natalie got to enjoy her first dip in the pool since vacation.  She LOVED it.  She was splishing and splashing all over the place.  The water was a little chilly but the girl didn't mind one bit.  I think she was in there for an hour...and I only made her get out because I was bored...not her.  I'm thinking next summer I definitely need to get my little swimmer a pool.


You may recall a certain little one learning how to sit up on her own recently?  Here's some proof.



 I just can't get over how much she looks like a big girl!  And she's improving everyday.

 We've put the bumpers in her crib now as she's become a rolling machine and keeps trying to reach for things outside her crib when she's on her belly.  Plus, she was banging into the rails like crazy whilst it was time.  I think she's settled into her new little routine quite nicely!



We've been working on crawling here lately.  Natalie's really great about getting up on her hands...and getting up on her knees...just not at the same time.  I know with time she'll figure it all out.  She's starting to get really frustrated when she can't get to where she wants to go though.  Her new way to move is to get up on her knees, push her face into the floor, and basically flop forward.  Not sure how she thought of that...but it works.


 Girl is just the love of my life.  I could kiss those little cheekies for hours.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WW Update!

So...yeah.  It's been a few weeks.  You know what that means, right? 

Me too.

We went on vacation and then for some reason I really had a hard time getting back into things when we got back.  Perhaps it had something to do with the fact I was eating Twizzlers, fun size candy bars, and Starbursts for breakfast in Florida.  Not sure. 

But last week I finally got back on the horse.  I got serious at the gym and stayed within my points everyday.  So here's the update since I started...again, that was approximately 5 weeks after Natalie was born.

Weight loss since last reported:  5.5 lbs.
Total weight loss:  31 lbs.

Also, something exciting comes with this new weigh in.  I have finally reentered the world of ONE-derland!  Now, at first this was not something I was all psyched up to share.  Seeing as saying you have entered into one-derland is admitting that at one time you were actually in the TWOs.  Which no one wants to say.  But there you have it.  I was there.  Granted, I was there because I was pregnant...but I was still in it for 6 months after my sweetie was born so I can't blame her for everything now can I. 

Truth is, I've been there before.  I lost 75 lbs. before I got married and I vowed I would never be that heavy again.  I wanted to make sure I was at a healthy weight before I got pregnant so I would never have to see those numbers again.  Unfortunately, it didn't quite work out that way.  I gained some weight back during the first few years of our marriage (who doesn't?)...not nearly as much as I lost...but enough that when I got pregnant I knew I was going to see those dreaded numbers again.  It was frightening to see the weight come on as quickly as it did.  I found it incredibly easy to lose myself in pregnancy and not worry about what I was eating.  That is a mistake I will not make again.

I made a vow to Matt that I would not harass him about having another child until I reached my goal weight.  I have a long way to go but I feel like I'm in the groove.  I'm gonna do it.  I've done it before...and I can do it again.  And then the next time I get pregnant I won't have to lose the baby weight + all the extra fluff!  And there's motivation in another squishy little newborn :)

So how are y'all doing? 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Guess Who's 6 Months Old!?!

My darling girl,

You are six whole months old.  I cannot believe it has been half a year since your Daddy and I were in the hospital meeting you for the first time.  Some days it seems like you've always been here...and others it seems like you just got here yesterday. 

You are wearing size 3 diapers and mostly 6-9 month clothing.  The 6 month onesies are definitely on their last leg I'm afraid.  You're just so long!  Mommy also had to move your jumperoo up to the last setting because you had some sort of growth spurt.  I cannot believe you are almost out of that thing. 

According to the doctor, you weigh in around 18 1/2 lbs. (95%) and are 27 3/4 inches long (97%).  Such a big girl!  She warned us people would think you were older and wonder why you weren't walking yet.  Ha!  She also thinks you are very close to getting your first pair of pearly whites.  Eek!! 

You are still nursing and have yet to have a sip of formula.  I am so thankful everyday that I've been able to successfully breastfeed you for 6 months.  In fact, I'm a little sad thinking of the day when I have to give up our special time together.  You're not much of a snuggle bug these days so I have come to cherish our feeding sessions.  But it will be nice to have my boobies back.  You're kind of a hog.


This month has definitely been your busiest to date.  Here are just a few highlights:

  • At the beginning of the month we started putting you in bed without being swaddled.  You were constantly busting free in the middle of the night and Mommy was entirely too sick of waking up and reswaddling you.  It was time.  And you transitioned beautifully.  
  • You took your first trip to the park with your friends Braden, William, and Olivia.  You and Olivia chillaxed on the blanket and watched the boys play.  I'm pretty sure you loved it.  You also ventured to the zoo for the first time with miss Kennedy.  You didn't seem really into it, but you did take a good nap.  Ha!
  • For the most part, you are still only napping your in car seat or stroller during the day.  I have managed to get you to sleep in your crib one magical day (after about 5 minutes of fussing) so I'm hoping we can transition to this full time.  You are dangerously close to outgrowing your infant carrier so I know my days of moving you from sleeping in the car to the swing are drawing to a close.  Insert tear.
  • You're still a fabulous sleeper at night.  We put you down around 7 and you have been getting up around 6:30 or 7.  I can sometimes get you to go right back down for a little bit after you eat...but I fear that is becoming a rarity.   Unfortunately, you still scream bloody murder when Mommy isn't here to put you to bed.  Several times Daddy has had to put you down without eating because you simply refuse to take a bottle.  But only at night.  During the day you will eat from it no problem if you have to.  Seriously girl...mess with your routine and you are a TERROR.
  • You started solid foods this month!  You look like such a big girl sitting in your high chair.  We began with rice cereal and you took to it very well.  You are currently working on a box of oatmeal and are LOVING it!  You are eating twice a day, approximately 3 Tbsp. per sitting. 
  • Your grandparents visited you this month.  They are so in love with you sweet girl.  I just know you are going to be spoiled rotten when you're older.  Oh wait.  You already are.  They carry you around everywhere and your Grandmer makes you anything and everything you could possibly need.  You are a very lucky girl.
  • You have discovered your feet this month and are constantly pulling on them and trying to put them in your mouth.  It's fairly entertaining for both of us.
  • Also this month, you went on your very first vacation with Mommy's side of the family.  We all flew down to Panama City Beach and stayed in a condo with Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Jessi, and Uncle Dave.  You had a BLAST at the pool!  You kicked around just like a little fishy in there.  You weren't such a fan of the ocean but neither is Mommy so it worked out just fine.  
  • Once we got back from vacation, you started rolling over like crazy!  You looked like you'd been doing it forever.  I'm not sure what got into you!  You roll from your back to your tummy all the time.  It's become a little bit of an issue as you have started doing it in your crib at night and then get very upset because you can't get back.  Mama is not a fan.  
  • You also started sitting up all on your own!  We've been practicing for a while now and then all of a sudden you just lifted your little arms up and were sitting!  You had this look on your face like, "Hey Mom.  Check me out!"  You knew it was cool.
Sweet girl, your Daddy and I love you more every single day.  You have completed our little family in so many ways and we cannot imagine one single second without you here.  You truly are such a good baby and we are very, very lucky.  You have blessed our lives simply by being you.  And you always will.
Love you to the moon and back Natty Poo,

Monday, July 25, 2011

Menu Monday

When a person, AKA me, decides to start posting menus, it's usually on a day when you make a really fantastic meal and can't wait to share so all of your bloggy friends think you are just such a fabulous cook and they can't believe you don't have your own show on Food Network.  Right?

Well, the truth is...some weeks are just full of pre-packaged meals and making whatever the heck you can find from something hidden in the bottom of the deep freezer.  That, my friends, was last week.  We went grocery shopping after church on Sunday without making a list (which I despise) so this is what happened.  Note to self:  never do that again.

Monday:  Frozen Pizza

Yep.  Keeping it real here, peeps.  Doesn't get much easier than this.  We actually ate it standing up as Natalie was having a rough night and Matt was walking her around in the Baby Bjorn just trying to get her to GO TO SLEEP!!  As an aside...that didn't work.  But the pizza was pretty good.  I prefer a good pepperoni and sausage myself...but this was alright.

WW points:  15 points/4 slices (1/2 pizza)

Tuesday:  Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Did you really think this was going to be homemade?  Nope.  Not this week.  I microwaved it for like 4 minutes and then ate it.  Unfortunately, you could tell.  It was just okay.  Not sure I would ever buy it again.  But really, it took 4 minutes.

WW points: 13 points/serving
2 Servings
Hamburger Buns:  4 points/bun
2 buns
Total Meal:  21 points

Wednesday:  Taco Stuffers

We had a coupon for this stuff.  For a few weeks we couldn't find it in the grocery store because we were looking in the refrigerated and frozen food section.  You know, because it has meat in it.  Um, we found it with the Mexican food.  Not refrigerated.  Both Matt and I were seriously weirded out by this, but we'll try anything if it's $1 off.

Talk about easy...microwave the pouch for 60 seconds and you're done.  We put it in tortillas and topped it with Mexican cheese.  I thought it was kinda mushy.  All the ingredients seemed to meld together and the texture was a little strange.  It tasted fine...but I definitely would not buy this again unless the coupon was perhaps $3 off.

WW points:  6 points/servings
2 Servings
Tortillas:  3 points/tortilla
2 tortillas
1/3 cup Mexican cheese = 3 points
Total Meal:  15 points

Thursday:  Ravioli

This was the "reach into the deeper freezer with your eyes closed and make what comes out" day.  I had some leftover frozen ravioli that I cooked...added some spaghetti sauce...and presto!  Meal!  We also had some Texas toast as a side.  I figure a day when I use the stove AND the oven constitutes a legit meal, yes?

WW points:  13 points for 1/2 leftover ravioli and 1 cup sauce
Texas Toast:  4 points
Total Meal:  17 points

Friday:  Hamburgers with Potato Wedges

WW points:  6 points/5 oz. lean ground beef burger
Hamburger Bun:  4 points
3 oz. Potato Wedges:  3 points
Total Meal:  13 points

Saturday:  Grilled Steak w/ Grilled Corn on the Cob

Finally!  A real meal!  Matt bought some ribeye last time we were at the store so we grilled it up with the corn and it was AWESOME!  In fact when we finished, I suggested we begin eating exclusively steak.  Apparently, according to my husband, we do not have a money tree growing in our yard so I was shut down.  Story of my life.

WW points:  9 points/8 oz. of steak; 2 points/one medium corn on the cob
Total Meal:  11 points
I used spray butter on my corn so as to not add any additional points.  We did marinate the steak in a teriyaki marinade beforehand but I've learned the meat never really soaks up enough of the marinade to add any points to a meal.

Sunday:  Sweet and Sour Chicken w/ Brown Rice

This meal was pretty good.  10 minutes on the stove top and it's done.  But, it does NOT serve 3.  2...maybe.  I was pretty much still starving after my measly little serving.  I had to finish off the meal with a bowl full of strawberries just to get through the night. 

WW points:  9 points/serving
3 servings
Brown Rice:  4 points/serving
Total Meal:  13 points

Now, please come back next week when I cross my heart to make you actual meals that include recipes.  PROMISE!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Baby Girl is Growing Up!

I had Natalie's 6 month pictures taken yesterday at the house.  It took me a long time to decide if I should get a photographer for her pictures...I mean a LONG time.  Picture me, 5 months ago, nursing Natalie at some ungodly hour, agonizing back and forth about this issue.  I know.  I have problems.  And then came which photographer to get.  That was a whole other set of worries.  On a recommendation from a friend, I finally decided on Matthew Connors and he was fabulous!  It was so relaxed and easy and I could not have been happier with the experience.  He sent me a sneak peak this morning and I couldn't wait to share!  I simply cannot wait to see the final pictures!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baby Thanksgiving

On Sunday, our sweet little girl participated in a Baby Thanksgiving at our church.  We got to go on stage and the whole congregation prayed for her and for us.  It was a really awesome experience and I'm so glad we were able to do it.  Natalie usually stays in the nursery so it was her first time in the auditorium.  I loved getting to hold her and sing our worship songs at the same time.  

Per our usual routine, we headed to the grocery store after church.  The Super Walmart across the street is fantastic.  Don't you think Walmarts can be hit or miss?  I mean, some are super trashy and others are really clean and nice.  This one = awesome.  As you may remember, our church is a good 45 minutes from our house so we use this opportunity to hit up the store while we're out there. 

While we were shopping, a woman approached us and told us she saw us at church!  It was so weird...and I told Matt when she left I kind of felt like a celebrity.  Ha!  But it also made me think.  I've now stood up in front of probably a thousand people in our church.  A church where it is easy to get lost in the crowd.  But now, perhaps people will recognize our family.  Know us as those people who have that really cute little girl in the polka dot dress and pink headband.  But hopefully know us more as those parents who are raising their child in the church.  And just knowing that makes me feel like I'm being held accountable.  Which I desperately need and for which I am so thankful.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Menu Monday

Monday:  Spicy Tangerine Beef with Brown Rice

I'm not sure I can still call this recipe by it's original name since I actually used an orange instead of a tangerine.  Can you believe the grocery store didn't have one?  I thought that was weird.  Anyways, this recipe was super delicious.  And really easy to make.  It says it serves 4-6 which I find to be a total lie.  I would say 3 at the most.  Matt and I each ate a fourth of it on Monday and we both commented that there could've been more meat with the amount of rice we made.  (But honestly, when could you ever NOT say, "I could use a little bit more meat."?)

WW Points:  9 points/servings
Servings:  4

I also made these Sea Salted Caramels to take over to our neighbors for watering our plants when we were out of town.  The recipe was incredibly easy...make some caramel, put it in a pan, let cool, melt some chocolate, pour it over the layer of caramel, good to go.  Um, no.  When I went to cut the caramels into pieces my chocolate layer completely separated from my caramel layer.  AND the caramel layer was impossible to cut.  It got so hard.  Like the only way I was going to be able to break it into pieces was to throw it on the ground.  Needless to say I did not end up taking these over to our neighbors.  I did, however, eat the chocolate layer myself and send the huge block of caramel with Matt to work.  Dessert = Fail.

Tuesday:  Leftovers

(I finished these up myself as Matt was gone so I ate two servings of beef with one serving of rice and it was perfect)


Matt got home late again and he was supposed to pick up some booze as an ingredient for the recipe I was going to I pushed it back until Thursday.  I ended up eating nachos.  And ice cream.  Yep.  Not so great of a WW day for Jenny.

Thursday:  Bubba's Creamy Spicy Seafood Pasta

1.  This recipe says it serves 4.  Um, no.  It serves at least 6.  Probably more like 8.
2.  There is so not enough seafood in this dish for the amount of pasta.  If I were to make this again, I would definitely scale down the pasta to at least 12 oz. instead of a pound.
3.  Despite the above issues, it was really tasty!  The sauce had a real kick to it.  I just wish it had more seafood.

WW Points:  14 points/servings
Servings: 6

Friday: Menu Planning Fail

We were invited to a last minute cook out so we brought over hamburgers, hot dogs, and ears of corn.  Not a bad WW day, but it's always hard to calculate points when you're at someone else's house.  I mean, who really has the balls to say, "Hey, before you put that hamburger on the grill, could you please weigh that?  And could you get lite buns?"  Not me.

Saturday:  Cook Out...Again!

This one was actually planned.  Our neighbors invited us over.  Turns our neighbor is BFF with a guy Matt went to law school with in Virginia.  Totally random, right?  So he was coming up for a visit and we stopped over to say hey. 

I provided the Oreo Truffles and S'more Cookie Bars.  As always, the truffles were the hit of the party.  For something so incredibly easy to make, these things really get attention.  I get kind of sick of making them for everything though and I'm always looking to try something new.  Enter cookie bars.  They were AWESOME.  I do think they needed more chocolate so I will definitely add another candy bar if I make then again.  Seriously yum! They were, however, 7 points/bar.  With 16 servings.  Not so fab...but doable for one day.  Unfortunately, there are still some in my house.

Sunday:  Leftovers

Sorry for the lack of recipes this week friends.  But we all have those crazy weeks where nothing seems to go as planned, right?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy Half Birthday Natalie!

Today my little booger turns 6 months old.  She's been with us for half a year.  I just cannot believe it.  6 whole months.  I'm going to wait to do her official 6 month post until next week so I can get her stats (Natalie = giant...that's all you need to know) but I took some pics of her yesterday because I thought she looked extra cute that I'll share...because, you know, I can.



 She's just so gorgeous.  I love her to pieces!

And guess what she learned to do??

 She's sitting up all by herself.  She can only do it for a short time but she gets so excited when she lifts her little arms up and balances on her own.  I'm so proud of her!  She's growing and learning so much so fast.  I'm desperately trying to soak in every second with her before she grows up and thinks I'm completely uncool and won't even give me a hug.  Oh please don't let that day ever come!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

PCB 2011, Baby!

On the 3rd of July, we left bright and early in the morning for Panama City Beach!  My whole family is big into road tripping.  Me.  Not so much.  I think the idea of it sounds really fun.  But once I'm in the car for more than an hour I'm completely bored.  Luckily, Matt feels the same way.  So flying it was.

Enter Natalie's first flight.  


She did so great!  I decided to bring the boppy with me on the plane and it was the best decision I ever made.  It gave me a comfortable place to feed her and then she was able to fall asleep!  Girl slept almost the whole time on all the flights.  Passengers even complimented us!  Like we did anything...but it was nice to hear :)

Once we got settled in the condo, we headed downstairs for Natalie's first swim!  However, the girl was so pooped from her early morning flight that she fell asleep on the way down to the pool.  Ha!  I let her hang out with Grandma in the stroller and I got some much needed pool time with my sister and her hubs.  

But once she woke up, girl was ready to play!

She had so much fun!  The floatie we bought for her worked so well.  Until she discovered she could put her face down in it and suck up water.  Yeah.  That was awesome.  I finally decided to bring Sophie the Giraffe down to the pool with us so Natalie would be distracted with her and it worked.  Sophie, however, will never again squeak the same.  Ha!

We spent the rest of the vacation transitioning between the pool and the beach.  Natalie was not much of a beach fan, especially when Mama accidentally let a wave hit her.  Plus, the sand got EVERYWHERE!  We had to immediately hose Natalie off in the sink when we got back.  I don't think there was a spot on her body that wasn't covered in sand.


On the 4th, we watched fireworks from our balcony.  They shot them off from the pier and we had the best seat in the house.  And most importantly, Natalie didn't wake up at all!  We also celebrated with this yummy trifle my dad made.

I'm so grateful Natalie got to spend so much time with her family on this trip.  It's rare all of us get together, especially uninterrupted for a week so this trip was priceless.  

Plus, my sister got to experience Sonic for the first time!  We were happy to take her there.  Twice.  Maybe once right after we had Chick-fil-A.  Hey.  No judgies.  What are vacations for?

And yes, Matt did come.  I just realized he really wasn't in any pictures.  Ha!  He's not much of a beach vacation person.  He spent most of his time in the condo playing Monopoly on his iPad.  But as long as he wasn't working, he was happy as a clam.

Natalie took fantastic naps in her stroller by the pool everyday which allowed me some time to visit with my family and enjoy the weather myself.  She slept great in her pack 'n play and was just such a good little baby the whole time.  I will say, Matt and I were not fans of sharing a room with our little booger.  She's a loud sleeper and kept us up quite a bit.  And the early morning wake up calls weren't so much fun either.  But overall, she did a fabulous job during her very first vacation.  We can't wait to do it again!


Oh, did I forget to mention I chopped all my hair off??

Monday, July 11, 2011

Menu Monday...Vacation Style

Not so much of a menu for last week.  And don't even ask me about WW points.  We were in Panama City Beach on vacation so if you'd like photos of Twizzlers, Skittles, or cupcakes for dinner...I could share those?? 

Wait.  You don't eat like that on vacation?  Just me?

Sunday my BIL made homemade ravioli which was quite delicious.  We had a night of burritos on Monday and then my dad made his famous homemade lasagna on Tuesday.  I posted the recipe for it quite a while ago but I can't seem to find it now.  It will definitely have to be shared.  No other lasagna compares in my book.  Wednesday evening everyone went out to a late dinner whilst Matt and I stayed home with a sleeping Natty Poo.  My sister did bring me some fish and chips home which was incredibly tasty.  My mom stayed home with Natalie on Thursday so us kiddos could go out to dinner.  I had chicken and sausage jambalaya.  Seriously yum.  It was my (Matt's) turn to cook on Friday and we made Cheesy BBQ Sloppy Joes.  Anything with Texas toast in it is a winner for me and this did not disappoint.

I'll definitely be back to posting legit recipes next week.  Lord knows my thighs need it...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Menu Monday with a Twist!

Monday:  Leftovers from the weekend

Don't you just love a Monday of leftovers?  For some reason, I really dislike cooking on Mondays.  Perhaps I'm just not ready for the week to begin?  Not sure.  But the potato soup and pulled chicken from the weekend sure did hit the spot.

Tuesday:  Chicken Croquettes with Creole Sauce

This recipe is from Paula Deen.  Enough said, yes?  I thought it was super yummy.  It was basically a crab cake using chicken instead of crab.  Matt didn't eat any of the sauce that I made with it as it was mostly mayo and sour cream of which he is not a fan.  He chose to use BBQ sauce.  Personally, I thought the sauce was perfect with the meal.

I made 12 croquettes instead of 10 and thought they were plenty big
I used green pepper instead of red as we had some leftover...I also left out the onion because I thought we had some and then I couldn't find it (aka:  what happens when your husband cooks a night)
4 servings (3 croquettes each) with 1/4 of sauce
15 points/serving

Wednesday:  Leftovers

Thursday:  Baked Shells with Pesto, Mozzarella, and Meat Sauce

Pesto?  Mozzarella?  Meat?  Who could go wrong, right?  Although I thought this dish was really yummy, I think the pesto was completely hidden within the tomato sauce.  Which is sad because I could basically eat pesto right out of the jar.  It's one of my favorite things and to put it in a dish and not be able to tell is a complete travesty in my book.  Plus, it is a hellified amount of points due to the oil so I felt like it was a complete waste.

But other than that, it was quite delicious.  And got two thumbs up from the hubs which is always a plus. 

I left out the onion because, again, we ran out.  Since I didn't need to cook the onion, I also left out the oil. 
I changed the recipe to 5 servings instead of 4 because I wanted to have a piece of Texas Toast with my meal.  Upon further investigation, the servings could be dialed up to at least 6.  I mean, the meal completely filled up a 9 X 13 pan.  It was a lot of pasta.
5 servings
17 points/serving

Friday:  Leftovers

Saturday:  Find Your Own

Do you ever have days like this at your house?  A day where you don't have anything to cook or don't have any time to cook and you just say, "Honey...have whatever you can find?"  My mom used to do this and she called it "find your own."  So that's what we're doing tonight.  We're leaving on vacation in the morning so I want no leftovers in the house.  Enter "find your own."


Enjoy your Fourth of July friends!