Friday, May 25, 2012

Pool rules…

Eli and I headed over to grandma’s house today to do a little swimming. What? You didn’t know she got a pool?? You’re missin’ out! Yeah, she just got it recently and we tested it out for the first time today Smile. Here it is:


Before we got started though, we had to cover some ground rules, per manufacturer mandate:


1.) Absolutely, under NO circumstances were we to let Eli attempt any diving in his 2ftx2ft pool full of a whole 2 inches of water. (I’m sure glad they said something!)

2.) We sure were lucky Grandma works for the village because according to above, we needed to make sure we were in compliance with applicable pool fencing laws. Good thing grandma had a deck or we probably would have been S.O.L Sad smile.

We just narrowly missed a great day of swimming, but being the law abiding citizens we are, and wanting to set a good example for Eli, we made sure to comply with the rules and were able to let Eli enjoy his grandma’s new pool afterall Open-mouthed smile.


Just chillin’ like a cool cat.


He would have preferred grandma get in with him, but settled with just crawling out every second and a half to give her a full body hug instead.

Eli wanted to make sure I let you all know his recommendations for optimizing your pool experience:

1.) Bring bowls, because pouring water out of the pool is a blast!

2.) Make sure to give all you’re non-swimming/dry friends and family members hugs though out swim time so that they do not feel left out.

And lastly,

3.) make sure to wear your best looking speedo so that even if the ladies wanted to take their eyes off you, they couldn’t. (It’s a safety thing really).

That advice is free. Enjoy!

-Eli and momma.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Trying this better eating habits thing…

Darn kids change everything. After having Eli, my whole view on life has changed, (I would sure hope so!) Suddenly, I found myself caring more about this little human being than I have ever cared about anything else in my entire life. I would do ANYTHING for this kid…including, gulp, cook. (I tried so hard to type that last word without grimacing.)


Anybody else get an urge to wanna pat that bumper?

I’m not sure why, but I’ve never enjoyed cooking very much. Something about putting all that work into something that will only last minutes, I find disheartening. (I give mad props to those of you who are elaborate cake/cookie decorators! How do you do it knowing your hard work and creativity is going to be gobbled up and GONE in a fraction of the time it took to prepare it! Gah! I can’t stand the thought.) That’s why I’m a crafter. You get to keep these things and love on them for-e-VER Winking smile.

So back to my point of writing this blog post. Naturally, as with anything you hold precious to your heart, you research ways to keep it in pristine condition. You don’t let that vintage car that you meticulously wash, wax, and maintain regularly just sit out in the driveway exposed to the elements, do you? No WAY! You  don’t want to jeopardize the paint job (Ha! listen to me talk like I’m a car expert Winking smile). Well same thing for the mind and body of my little one. When it came time to feeding him big boy foods, it got me thinking about my own eating habits and how much processed foods I eat Sad smile. I don’t want him to eat the junk I eat! That, coming from a person who always considered herself to eat relatively healthy and not knowing anything about “whole” foods vs heavily processed foods. Boy was I wrong. I am NOT good at eating veggies, or varying my diet. I crave salt, sugar and fatty foods regularly. And here he was, eating anything I was willing to put anywhere near the vicinity of his little hands and/or mouth. Oh the power! (If you really want to know just how truly bad you eat, you should check out 100 days of real food . But then again maybe not, ignorance is pure BLISS!)

I feel God has given me a gift in Eli being a good eater so I need to take advantage of it. Even if that means getting out the pots and pans and spending a couple of hours in the kitchen at night after he goes to bed cooking wholesome, whole food recipes for him to eat for the week. Surprisingly, I’m liking it Smile. It’s fun experimenting with new wild and crazy recipes that pack a nutritional punch. And let me tell you, nothing beats the satisfaction I get from watching that kid gobble it up as if I’m a gourmet chef Open-mouthed smile. Muuuuah! Love you Punkin! Look at what he ate today:


A mixture of asparagus, sweet corn, sauteed onion, garlic, zucchini and quinoa. He loved it!

If any of you mommas have babies at home or baby sit babies (Hi mom!) here’s an AWESOME website that I reference daily! If you only look at one thing on that page, check out the 10 ways to save time in making your own baby food. Even if you’re crazy busy, this can work for you, (unless you eat out every day of the week for every meal, then it isn’t a miracle worker!) It gives you all sorts of advice on new foods to introduce and how to prepare them. There is an all natural cake recipe that I plan to make for Eli’s first birthday smash cake with no added sugar Smile. And if you have a kitchen aid mixer with the grater attachment, (I don’t, I just covet) I recommend the baby chicken fingers with apple. Here is the recipe directly from the website:

Infant finger food recipes - Baby Chicken Fingers With Apple (age 7/8 months+)

Infant finger food

8 oz (1 cup) ground chicken

1 medium carrot 1

medium apple

1/2 garlic clove
1/2 small onion
1 small egg yolk, beaten
1 oz (1/4 cup) fresh breadcrumbs
pinch crushed, dried thyme
pinch freshly ground black pepper
*Peel and grate the carrot, apple, garlic and onion. Place into a mixing bowl, along with the ground chicken. Add the beaten egg yolk, breadcrumbs, thyme and black pepper. Mix well. Take small balls of the mixture and roll into 8 little "sausages". Place on a grill pan (broiler) and heat under the grill for 10 mins on each side. Allow to cool. Serve, or store some in the freezer for future use (if you haven't already eaten them!)

Yumm-O! Make a huge batch because you’ll be dipping into these puppies as well and before you know it, you’re bargaining more cheerios for the last bite :/

Oh and don’t forget to check out the dirty dozen and clean 15 when giving baby produce.

Let me know if you try any of these recipes and what you think!

I leave you with Eli’s chompers:



Saturday, May 19, 2012

My first EVER t-shirt quilt.

Woooweee, I’ve been a busy girl this past week! One of my mom’s poker buddy’s granddaughter just graduated high school and was having a hard time parting with all her childhood sports jersey’s and t-shirts that she no longer wore but still had a lot of memories that held sentimental value to her, so her mom thought to make it into a quilt for her to take off to college. Awww. Enter: me Smile. I was propositioned to make this for her. My first one. EVER. I’ve done small baby quilts before and I feel I’ve learned new things with each one but I am by no means a seasoned “quilter”, and as my fellow sewers/crafters know, working with knit (aka, what t-shirts are made of) can pose many challenges because it stretches. But I like challenges so bring it. Queen sized??? Sure, why not.

Do you have any idea how BIG a queen size is? Bigger than my sewing table, that’s for darn sure. Then throw in batting that goes in between the quilt top and backing and we’re talking muscle building workout toting this thing around my work space, aka entire house. I seriously had to find bigger and bigger work areas to lay this puppy out. At one point I ended up in my kitchen (no worries, I did wash my floor first, I swear!) I had agreed to doing this for her and had the bag of t-shirts before I found out how big she intended it to be. In hind sight, I don’t think I would have had the cojones to say yes if I had known the size beforehand. All in all though, it went without a hitch (Thank you JEsus!) and I’m positively in LOVE with it.

Look at the size of this thing! I’m pretty sure it weighed a metric ton too (bonus points to anyone who knows which movie character is described as weighing “one metric ton”. I know grandpa Terry will get this right Winking smile).

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Eli liked it Winking smile

The girl’s mom said she liked the quilts with the borders around each shirt so that’s why I did the blue in between. She also said her daughter’s favorite colors were blue and red and that she liked tye dye so I bound the quilt using tye dyed looking fabric and backed it with red.

I originally thought I’d do the “tie” method to quilt this blanket since it was to be so big and I don’t have a professional quilting machine at my disposal (dang it! Any sewing shops wanna donate to a good cause?? Winking smile), which is a very typical method but honestly I’m not a huge fan of that look. I’m not sure why. But I feel it detracts from the overall beautiful quilt top you worked so hard to piece together, Here is a pic I took from the internet to give you an idea of what I mean:


See the blue tie? You place those regularly throughout the whole quilt which keeps the back layer, batting, and quilt top all sandwiched together. You would think those ties would get cut down to near invisible but they don’t. That’s how they’re “designed” to look. Bleh. I have my scissors in hand and reeally want to snip them through the computer screen Sad smile.

So instead I decided to try and muscle this ginormous thing through my very clearly not designed for quilting sewing machine and hoped for the best. Gulp. I just sewed lines through the blue borders creating squares on the back—nothing fancy but in my opinion, an option I could be proud of putting my name on instead of doing the tie method above.

Here’s a pic of the back to show you what I mean:

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I used a queen sized flat sheet so that I didn’t have to worry about piecing together the fabric for the backing and risk having an unsightly seam running down the center. It actually looked like a duvet cover when I finished which I found to be a pleasant surprise Smile.

That stuff on the bottom was from sleeves of her left over t-shirts so I made a little label by embroidering on the “9”a little note from mom and dad:

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Overall, I’m very excited with the way it turned out. It was really fun and challenging to have to figure it out ahead of time, come up with the correct math/measurements, and to not have to make multiple trips to the craft store. I literally had scraps of fabric left! Yay me Open-mouthed smile.

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Am I ready to start my next one? Not on your life! ha ha. I need a break Smile. And my hubby would like to see me again seeing as how I was totally preoccupied making this thing any time Eli was napping or down for the night. Honey, I’m back!

Night all,


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Eli loves his grandma…


We have my mom’s living room all blocked off and baby proofed but Eli succeeded in climbing over the little ottoman mom put up between the couch and recliner—the little stinkpot! It was super cute though so I wanted to get it on video. But alas, he found playing with grandma too fun so I couldn’t get it this time. You get the general idea how he ended up doing it if you notice in the beginning of the video he tries throwing his leg up onto it Smile. Now just picture him pulling his little body up and over and there you have it!

He’s really beginning to show a lot of personality. Love that kid.

Night night all.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother’s day…to ME!

Well my very first mother’s day (gosh I’ve been waiting to utter those words For-e-VER!) was wonderful Smile. I just love my boys. Daddy and Eli worked together to plan a day for me. First, we all went to church were Eli went into Kids World for the first time (and did awesome by the way!), then Daddy drove us to one of my favorite places, Starbucks, for a “drinky-drink”. Yumm-o! Then we drove around a bit so Eli could finish up his nap and ended up at the river walk in St. Charles where we had a picnic lunch and people (9)

Me and my bubs

We walked along the river and ended up at a playground where we found a set of swings and decided to let Eli try them out for the first time…He LOVED it! He just leaned forward staring at the ground below him moving back and forth, back and forth. Ha ha.

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Daddy got him to giggle:

Then we headed home for my time to spend with my mom and sister where we went to another one of my favorite places, Joanne fabrics, followed by a grilled dinner back at my moms house. Phew! Daddy took Eli for the afternoon while I was with the girls. And where do you think they ended up??? The Glider club of course!

I’ve been pretty emotional today and the 3 awesome cards I got from Steph, Aaron, and my mom just about put me over the edge. To top it all off, my incredibly generous and awesome sister got both me and our mom a 60 minute massage!!!! Can you say S.P.O.I.L.E.D?!?!?! I’m one lucky girl to have such an awesome family who would do anything for my son, and me, for that matter.

I think I may have gotten a little snot and tears on my computer screen. I apologize for that.

So overall, it was a very special day for me. Thank you all for the messages, texts, and phone calls wishing me a very happy first mother’s day. It means a lot. Open-mouthed smile


P.S Did you all read that “For-e-VER” up top there in your best Squints Pelledorous voice?????? And are you now quoting the rest of the movie in your head? Sorry ‘bout that. Winking smile

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Eli’s first vacation and plane ride!

We’re baaaaack! Did you miss us?!?

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Eli is too preoccupied trying to get his hat off, ha ha. I wanted to say I’m ghostly white because this is the first day there but who am I kidding, I looked the exact same way leaving Virginia beach…

So as many of you know, Aaron, Eli and I went to Virginia to watch Aaron graduate from Regent University. It just so happened that Aaron’s brother-in-law Rod also graduated at the same time from the same school so we decided to see if his family would like to join us in Virginia beach and make a mini vacation/celebration out of it.

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The graduates with Rod’s youngest, Danny. I was thoroughly entertained by this kid all week. Soooo ca-uute!

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Family shot

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Aldo being Aldo (hint: look at his right hand. Steph’s right hand is down by her side)

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That’s better. Look at Eli waving at the camera Smile

This lead to inviting the rest of his siblings, their spouses & kids, his parents, and me inviting my mom, sister and her hubby. That made 17 people! We rented a huge beach house to stay in. We figured since the weather probably wouldn’t be all that warm this time of year, we opted for a house not directly on the beach but one that had a built in heated pool instead. Turned out to be a good call because the ocean water was FUH-reeee-ZING!

Since most of you have already seen my pics on facebook, some of these will be redundant to you. But I am posting them for those of my friends who refuse to don’t have a facebook account…**CoughJacicough**.

Here’s the big boy holding his boarding pass for safe keeping:

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…and people watching while strolling around the airport:

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I’m happy to report that Eli was a gem on the plane there and back! A very active, curious, mobile gem, but gem none-the-less. Thank God grandma sat next to me on the plane because he kept crawling back and forth, from seat to seat, investigating all things new.

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What was our trick you may ask? Well, I made sure to swap out a new “toy” every 15min or so to keep him occupied. I nursed him going up and coming down (this assisted in getting him to nap for 30 min on the way there and for the last 50min of the flight on the way home, plus made sure to relieve ear pressure), but most importantly, I brought his favorite jungle gym person along—grandma.

I’m sure those around us were upset they got the seat next to a baby but he made me proud by behaving, and ended up making friends with the lady behind us and the guys next to us by giving them his cheesiest, charming grin and “talking” to them. Speaking of charm, I think I need to teach him to tone it down a bit because a flight attendant waiting for her flight on the way home took a liking to him in a very creepy, stalker kind of way. She sat right next to his stroller, talked to him incessantly, and grabbed his blankie to nuzzle it (not even kidding. I was waiting for her to ask me if she could keep it!) Then she asks me if she can hold him! Seriously lady?? Stranger danger! Ok, but it gets worse. The topper was when she says “would you like me to push him around the airport in his stroller while you wait, I have the time?” Um, thanks but no thanks. I confirmed that there were a few screws loose when she found out I was a nurse in the Chicago land area and wanted to know if I knew her nurse friend who worked at a chicago hospital. I mean, I guess it’s a natural thing to ask because how many nurses can there possibly be in the Chicago land area??? Naturally I must know her. Even in the most remote chance I did know her, my brain wouldn’t have had the capacity to check because I was already having a hard enough time not making it so obvious that I was staring at the hot pink lipstick smeared all over her front teeth…But I digress, like usual. Well, as long as we’re here, look what I found on my old camera I brought along with me:

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Look how young he was!!! Remember the great hair he was born with???

Ok, moving right along. We enjoyed sitting out by the pool with Eli’s cousin’s and soaking up the sun.

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I even picked him up a floaty toy for him to sit in which I plan to use at Auntie Stephie’s pool during the summer. It’s a patrol cruiser identical to the one his state trooper Uncle Pibe drives! Ok, so I’m kidding, it’s not identical . Smile with tongue out

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Us white folk seeking shelter in the shade…Wth, aren’t you supposed to have boobs while nursing!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! *short end of the stick= this momma*

These next 4 pictures are my favorite:

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So stinkin’ cute those two!

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Love! Eli posing with his other grandma, Shay.

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I love staring at these two.

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With mom #2, aka Auntie Stephie.

We also celebrated Aaron’s sister Brianna’s birthday while out there. Eli had a good time:

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Getting smooches from uncle Pibe

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being festive…

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Bri and her birthday brownies.

Overall it was a very nice trip. I wouldn’t say “vacation” because that involves zoning out and having not a care in the world in my opinion. The reality of it was that it was all a new environment to a baby where NOTHING was baby friendly. There were sooooo many breakable things in that house that Eli couldn’t get enough of. They had a portable play yard but don’t think he was happy being in there with all the big kids running about without him. That meant watching him like a hawk when he was crawling and constantly redirecting him away from stuff “not for babies”. A shout out to my mom for watching him, a LOT and for keeping him entertained most of the time so mommy and daddy could go out or veg by the pool. You, truly are the greatest!!! His little cousin Lizzy, aka “little momma” was also very helpful tending to his needs for constant attention. Thanks Lizzy!

Well that’s the gist of it. This post is already getting super long, which I have a tendency to do so I’ll cap it off here. Be sure to ask Steph about her airport experience. What a nightmare!