Saturday, December 31, 2011


Jason and I were given this bottle of champagne by Linda, a close friend of my family for our wedding.  We had planned on enjoying it on our first anniversary, but I was pregnant at the time.  Then, we forgot it when we went away for our second anniversary.  On the last day of our vacation in Florida, Linda suffered a brain aneurysm.  She passed away the next day.  This was just one of the amazing, personalized gifts she made for us....and I'm glad that we waited until now to enjoy it. 
Cheers Linda.  We miss you.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cookbook junkie

I'm almost always guaranteed a cookbook for Christmas from my husband and I look forward to it every year.  I LOVE cookbooks and have quite the collection.  I don't enjoy reading for pleasure unless it's a cookbook.  I can easily curl up with one and read it front to back.  I love learning new recipes and techniques and getting ideas for creating my own culinary masterpieces :)  This year I got lucky and received two of them!  One from my husband (Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten) and one from my best friend (The Organic Family Cookbook by Anni Daulter).  I can't wait to try out new recipes!  Tonight I'm trying the Cheesy Grits from Ina Garten's cookbook.  I have pages marked in both and can't wait to try out new recipes and, of course, taste them!  I'll be sure to post the long as they turn out!

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Christmas weekend: Picture edition

The most creative way to give a Starbucks gift card....

Is that a Mocha Frappucino???  Nope, just some strategically placed napkins.  Seriously, my bff is the most creative person eva!  She's like Martha Stewart.....without the inside trading.  I think.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Christmas Eve

It's funny how having a child can change so many things about you.  I'm beginning to love Christmas again, just like I did when I was little - watching all of the magic take place through Redmond's eyes is amazing.  I know as the years go on it's just going to get more and more magical.  We had a nice dinner at home tonight - just Jason, Redmond and myself.  I made baked cheesy mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus & broccoli, bread and a New York strip steak for Jason.  Jason and I enjoyed a bottle of wine (each since we don't drink the same kind :) and good conversation.  For dessert we had (the easiest EVER) Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie.  Once Redmond was bathed and in his Christmas PJ's, I read him The Night Before Christmas.  Then, I wrapped presents and Jason put together Redmond's new tricycle (which is so badass btw). 

Now, we sit with Christmas music playing in the background enjoying our wine and each other's company.  I already can't wait until Christmas Eve next year.

Oh, and Redmond decided that today would be the day that he would take steps without being prompted by Jason or I.  Little man was walking all over the place!

Merry Christmas to all....and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

O Christmas Tree

We finally decorated our poor Christmas tree tonight.  We got it on Sunday, but we've been so busy visiting with Jason's brother when Jason isn't at work we haven't had time to decorate it.  Every morning I want to turn it on then realize that there aren't any lights on it.  Not any more!

Jason and I started the tradition of us going to cut down our own tree every year.  We've done it every Christmas since we've been together.  There's a quaint little tree farm in the town over from us.  If there's snow on the ground, you're taken out on a horse drawn sleigh, if no snow then it's a horse drawn wagon.  Either way, it's a lot of fun.  This year was Redmond's first time hunting down the perfect Christmas tree.

Riding on the wagon to find our tree!
Redmond and I have the easy job, we just have to find the tree, then watch Jason cut it down.

We found it!

It's the biggest tree that we've gotten yet.  Jason had to cut off part of the very top so that it would fit in our living room.

Merry Christmas!!!

Giving Back

Insipired by an online mommy friend, I decided to start a new Christmas tradition with Redmond this year; I wanted to supply a family or child with Christmas presents who can not afford them.  I remember in High School the local K-Mart had a tree inside the door that had names of needy kids.  You pick a name, buy a gift and then that child suddenly had a Christmas.  I couldn't wait to do a little shopping and send a personlized card to a child and just know that I made their day.  Since it's the week before Christmas I was worried that it was too late, but I found an "Angel Tree" in Wal-Mart.  It's set up by a place a couple towns over for abused/mentally handicapped children.  We walked up to it and Redmond instantly reached out to grab a card from the tree.  I didn't pay much attention until I had the card in my hand....that's when I noticed that it, along with almost all of the other cards on the tree had a donation envelope attached to it. 

Redmond ended up picking a card for 'Boy #14 - Age 17".  First of all, I hated the fact that this child was just given a number.  I totally understand not wanting to use a full name, but not even a first name?  Turns out that what this child wanted was a donation for a Nintendo system for the whole school to use!  Now, obviously, I don't know "the whole story", but it seems that there would be at least one thing that this child would want just for himself.  It makes me sad for all of those kids with their names on the tree with donation envelopes attached to them so maybe they can get one thing they can share with all of the other kids.  And, what happens with this money if they don't raise enough for this Nintendo? 

I don't know, maybe I'm putting too much thought into this, but I really don't even feel like it's teaching Redmond a good lesson.  Next year, I'll do research well before Christmas and see what other options we have around here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Busy, busy, busy!

We're home safe and sound.  I'm hoping to get a blog up soon (like, before Christmas) about our awesome, relaxing vacation to Siesta Key.  My brother-in-law and his girlfriend are in town from California, so we're trying to spend any extra time we have with them before they leave tomorrow.  And, of course there's Christmas in like 5 days(!) to prepare for.  Most of my shopping is done, but our poor tree doesn't even have lights on it yet.  But, we've got it up.  We're home for a whole 3 weeks before we head back to MD and I have so many things I'd like to get done before then.  Three things I must get done before we leave are:
  • Clean out/organize the pantry
  • Clean out/organize the bathroom/linen closet
  • Clean the guest bedroom
Now, if I can just find the motivation to do these things....

Sunday, December 11, 2011

There's nothing like a Siesta Key sunset...

Ahhhh.....this is the life....

We arrived in Florida on Friday for a week of sun soaking and relaxation.  Siesta Key is unlike anywhere else I have been in the US.  It's on the Gulf of Mexico, right by Sarasota.  The sand is amazing - you feel like you're walking on powdered's so fine and so soft.  Both Jason's parents and grandmother own condos here on the beach (free place to stay - score!) and my parents have a condo about 30 minutes from here.  Jason grew up coming here, my first time was for our honeymoon 2 1/2 years ago.  I immediately feel in love with this place! 

Redmond is loving the beach and playing in the sand, but his favorite is the pool.  We have a water baby for sure!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pyogenic Granu-what!?

As I briefly mentioned in my last post, we found out that Redmond has a Pyogenic Granuloma on his forehead.  Thankfully, it's nothing serious and is common in babies/toddlers.  We first really started noticing it about 4-5 months ago.  Jason swears it has been there since birth, but I disagree.  I've looked at pictures from early on in Redmond's life and I don't see it.  Anyhoo, when I took Redmond for his first flu shot back in October I asked the nurse about it.  She said that it looked like it was a mole and not to worry unless it grew larger, changed color, etc.  So, we just left it at that.

See the little red dot on his forehead?  This was before it opened up.
Fast forward about a month later.  We were visiting my sister in VA, walking around downtown when my niece Sadie (thankfully!) said "Baby Redmond is bleeding!".  Redmond was in a stroller with both Jason and I behind him, we looked down and sure enough, he had blood flowing down his forehead.  Thankfully, my sister is a well-versed, prepared mom of three and quickly got in her purse and handed me a wad of tissues and a band-aid.  Redmond must have scratched the granuloma and the bleeding was horrible!  Of course, since it is on his forehead that is to be expected, but seeing my baby bleed for the first time (from his head no less!) totally sent me into a panic.  The poor guy had to wear a band-aid on his forehead for about 4 days - which, in turn, resulted into him getting a rash from the adhesive :(  He scratched it open one other time before we got to the dr. yesterday, but thankfully the blood was minimal.

So, the dr. informed us that it's basically a skin tag.  She was able to pull some of the excess skin off (sorry, tmi I know) which, of course, caused horrible bleeding.  She said to keep a band aid on it for a couple more days, then if it doesn't clear up within a couple of weeks we have to go back to see her.  Then, she'll most likely refer us to a dermatologist so they can graze what is left of it off.  I'm hoping it doesn't come to that!

12 Month Check Up

Redmond had his 12 month check up yesterday - we had to do it a couple weeks late due to being in Maryland on/around his actual birthday.  We have a little peanut on our hands, but he's growing and is healthy!  He has consistently stayed within the 10th - 25th percentile in both height and weight since birth - his head has been in the 50th :)  Here are his stats from birth:

Birth: (done at the hospital)
Weight: 6lbs 11oz
Length:  18in
Head:    14in

3 Days: (all weights/measurements from here on were done at his Dr.'s office)
Weight:  6lbs 5oz
Length:  19in
Head:    13.75in

1 Month:
Weight:  8lbs 12oz
Height:  20.75in
Head:   14.75in

2 Months:
Weight: 10lbs 14oz
Height:  22.25in
Head:   15.5in

3 Months:  hmmm....I'm missing these, I'll have to do some searching!

6 Months:
Weight: 16lbs 1oz
Height:  25in
Head:    17in

9 Months:
Weight:  17lbs 8oz
Height:  28in (I knew when the nurse measured this it wasn't right, I think it was more like 26.5in)
Head:   17.75in

12 Months:
Weight:  20lbs 2oz
Height:   27.75in
Head:    18.25in

One thing that we did find out is that Redmond has a Pyogenic Granuloma on his forehead.  We thought maybe it was a mole, but it has since been scratched open (twice!) and bleeds horribly.  A separate blog with details is coming soon.  We're just thankful that it isn't anything serious!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fun with Beans

In my last post I rambled on and on about my son's first birthday.  One thing that I did briefly mention was the gift that Jason and I got for him - the sand and water table.  When we bought it, we knew that it wouldn't actually get used for sand and water until the summer, but we definitely wanted to put it to use.  Thanks to the amazing blog, Play at Home Mom, I got the idea to use it for sensory play with Redmond.  Let him feel/touch/explore different things.  While grocery shopping this morning, I saw that dried beans were on sale.  Perfect!

"Can I play?"
"Hmmm....I've never felt something like this before!"
"I wonder what happens if I put a bean in here?"
"I can shovel them too!"

"So many beans!"

I think Redmond really enjoyed this playtime.  Of course, his attention span didn't stick with it for too long, but we went back to the beans a few times throughout the day.  I think the next time we play with them I'll stick the beans in the freezer before dumping them in the bin. 

I look forward to letting Redmond explore more things - but I really need suggestions of items to use.  The only other thing I have come up with so far is rice and different pasta shapes.  I would LOVE some suggestions and ideas!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I'm SO excited!!!!

Jason and I ordered my new car today!  It was a long, grueling day spent in car dealerships, but I'll soon have my hands on a brand spankin' new Honda Pilot!!!  Yay!!!  We're hoping that it will be in early this week.  We leave for FL (YAY!) on Friday for a week so I won't get to fully enjoy it until we get back.  I'm so excited!!!!

And now on to designing/ordering Christmas cards :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to my little man!!!

Happy Birthday to our sweet little boy!!!
Okay, so this post is a week and a half overdue, but better late than never, right?  
I still can't believe that just one year ago we brought home a little teeny tiny baby and now we have a one year old!  The special birthday boy got not one, but two birthday celebrations.  Because we were going to be in MD away from family and friends for his actual birthday, we had his birthday party a week beforehand at our home.  It was small, but it was perfect.  Then, we just had a small little party on his actual birthday with Redmond, Jason, myself and Oliver (of course!).  For his party I decided on a Race Car theme because, well, he likes race cars :)  We had some of his favorite foods (pizza, fruit, graham crackers) and I ordered two cakes - one for us and a smash cake for him. 

He was less than impressed with the cake.  We tried to get him to taste it, but he spit it out - he was much more interested in feeding it to us!  (Who am I to say no to that!?)

He had a great time playing with his cousin Hannah and his little girlfriend Josie. 

He got LOTS of great gifts - he's one lucky little boy!

This is the gift Jason and I got for him - it's a Water/Sand table.  We won't be putting water or sand into it until this summer (outside!), but I'm looking forward to using it for some sensory play with Redmond!
All in all the birthday party was a success! 

His actual birthday was much more low-key.  Just Jason, Redmond, myself and Oliver.  He woke up in a good mood and had a smile on his face all through breakfast (cinnamon raisin toast with some pear).

He got to watch a little Elmo....

....and posed for the camera with mommy...

When daddy got home from work, it was time for presents! 

We had pizza (again!) and I picked up an Elmo cupcake from Wegman's - he was still less than impressed with the cake.
Happy Birthday (again!) sweet boy!  Thank you for the best year of our lives!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

In a little less than 10 hours I will have a one year old.

I'm so sad and so happy at the same time.  My little baby boy is becoming a little man.  All the clich├ęs about parenthood are so true.  There is no love like the love for a child.

Side note: I've been totally MIA and neglecting this blog (I've been neglecting my Tumblr blog too), but I'll be back soon.  Promise.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Halloween Pictures!

I just realized that I never posted my adorable little lion from Halloween!  Here are just a few:
                                         Roar!                                 Opening up his gift from G-ma and G-pa
                    Looking for trick-or-treaters                    And, finally, with crazy-eyed mommy!

I don't always have crazy-eyes :)

Family Picture Day!

Today we went and had our family Christmas picture taken, along with Redmond's one year photos.  I love, love, love a local photographer here in Coldwater.  She has a small studio in her home, lots of props and only charges $30 for an hour long session!  She does amazing work and the best part (other than she's so cheap) is that she just gives you all of your pictures on a disc.  You order what you want, when you want.  Love that! 

Redmond did awesome - he's such a ham for the camera!  I can't believe that my baby is going to be a year old in 2 weeks.  Time really does fly when you're having fun!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Redmond's first Halloween!

Halloween will be Redmond's last first holiday (you follow me?).  We carved pumpkins today.  Jason took care of Redmond's pumpkin:

(Love his little monster toe socks!!)

Scary scary!

He's going to be dressed up as a little lion tomorrow.  Thankfully, the costume is a hand-me-down from my sister.  I really wanted to dress him up, but didn't want to have to go buy a costume since I'm only dressing him up for my benefit  :)  He's going to help me pass out candy and then we're going to go see grandma and grandpa.

Can't wait to roast up some pumpkin seeds tomorrow!