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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Owen's 1st Easter

We had so much fun celebrating Owen's 1st Easter!

I absolutely love the Easter season & can't wait for future Easters when Owen comes to know the significance of Easter & can share in the joy that Easter brings.

We went to church on Easter & Owen wore a sweet blue Feldman Brothers one-piece outfit with sweet little buttons & adorable detail across the top. It was a sweet gift from Mrs. Kay Sims & he looked just precious in it (I know I'm just a bit biased).

Of course, a photo shoot ensued following church. The weather was gorgeous & I took about 100 pictures outside in our side yard. I got some great shots of Owen and his photo partner, Buddy the lamb (an Easter gift from Uncle J & Auntie Cheri). We even managed to capture a few smiles on camera!!!

There were so many good pictures, but here are a few of my favorites. About 3/4 of the way through the photo shoot, Owen dribbled on his "fancy suit", hence the wardrobe change for a little more of a casual photo shoot.

Clearly the Easter bunnies (yes, it takes multiple bunnies to deliver this many goodies!) were so good to Owen. We have 3 new books-Green Eggs & Ham, The Poky Little Puppy, & The Little Engine that Could. Owen has some new toys-an Easter rubber duckie, a blue & green football, & of course, Buddy the lamb. He also has 2 new adorable 6-month size outfits.

And, another Easter bunny came the next weekend bringing more fun gifts! He loves his new super soft bunny, but I couldn't get my silly boy to even look at the camera. Owen's bunny is so soft, has nothing attached that he could choke on & can be washed in the washing machine (genious idea!!!). We love him & we love our new books too!
Thanks again to all of our Easter bunnies!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Back in the kitchen...

Because we have such amazing friends & family, I was able to spend the 1st 2 months of Owen's life anywhere but the kitchen! Literally, I went about 9 weeks without cooking a meal!

Don't get me wrong, I love to cook but it can certainly be time-consuming & would have taken away from the time we had to spend with our new little man.

Since being back in kitchen, I have been trying out some new recipes-many of which can be traced back to my guilty pleasure, Pintrest!

I wanted to share the links for a few of our favorite Pintrest recipes & another new recipe courtesy of my amazingly talented dad the chef.

Egg Rolls- We enjoy cooking & eating lots of stir-frys. Occassionally, I would 'treat' us to accompanying frozen egg rolls. They weren't nearly the same as restaurant egg rolls, but weren't bad. Well, if you try this recipe, you'll never buy frozen egg rolls again. I was intimidated at the thought of making them, but they were super easy & they freeze so well! I used ground chicken this time, but will try ground pork next.

Chicken & Rice Casserole- This is definitely my new favorite chicken casserole. It does require a little prep, but it is so worth it. I even snuck in a few chopped carrots for extra nutrition & color. It would be great for pot-luck dinners & to take to friends & neighbors in need.

Low Country Boil Kebabs- I love how summery they are & they were delicious! I boiled the potatoes & corn completely before we skewered them & put them on the grill.

Chicken Parmesan Crescents- A twist on chicken parmesan that was easy & fun. I did not use the frozen fried chicken tenders it called for, but instead seasoned & breaded my own boneless skinless tenders & baked them before using them for the recipe. I also opted out of the pasta with spaghetti sauce on the side.

And, what's cooking without a fun sweet treat here & there...

Cheese Danish- Another wonderful use for crescent rolls...these are frighteningly simple & so delicious! I think I've made them 3 times already...great for coffee dates with friends, brunches, or entertaining weekend guests (which we do a lot :-o).

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Trifle- Imagine a giant peanut butter cup smothered with whipped cream deliciousness. I made it for our Easter meal with Chris' co-workers & it was definitely a hit. Be forewarned, it is time-consuming (prepping the pudding, unwrapping & chopping the Reeses cups, baking the brownies, & piping on the whipped cream) but sooo  worth it if you want a beautiful, delicious chocolate desert!

And last, but definitely not least, Not Your Average Breakfast Casserole (that's what I've named it!). When we were in Conyers in March, my dad served this one night for dinner & when I asked him where he got the recipe he told me he made it up! He has a knack for doing that, but luckily this time he was able to remember how he made it so it could be duplicated. It sounds odd, but trust me, it's delicious!

1 bag of seasoned croutons
6-8 slices of bacon, cooked & diced into small pieces
6 eggs
1 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of milk
2 dashes of onion salt
1/2 tsp. mustard
2 dashes of pepper
2 cups of shredded cheddar & monterrey jack cheese

Grease an 8x8 pan. Spread the croutons on the bottom of the pan (it may look like a lot, but use them all). Sprinkle 1 cup of the cheese over the croutons.
Beat the eggs well & add the heavy cream, milk, onion salt, mustard & pepper. Pour the mixture on top of the croutons.
Sprinkle the top with bacon pieces & remaining cheese.
Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.
(You can also prepare it ahead of time & cover & refrigerate overnight until baking.)

Yummy, yummy, yummy!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Aunties & Uncles

Owen is so fortunate to have 4 aunties & 2 uncles who love him so much!
They have all been lucky enough to meet Owen at least once & have enjoyed playing with the little guy.
They are spoiling him greatly too with gifts of toys, books, & clothes.
These are some of our favorite pictures of Owen with his aunties & uncles. We love you all!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

cloth diapering

Lots of people have been asking me how cloth diapering is going.
The overwhelming majority of people ask & are thrilled that it's going well, but there may be a few skeptics out there who ask & I think may be secretly hoping that I've given it up already.

Well...it's going great & there's no chance of us giving up cloth diapering any time soon.

I started using the cloth diapers with Owen consistenly when he was between 4-5 weeks. Because we had some issues with weight gain & were feeding him so frequently=I was getting so little sleep, I wanted to overcome that hurdle before jumping fully into the cloth diapering adventure.

We are using cloth diapers made by BumGenius. We use both the Econobum diapers (prefolds with waterproof covers) & the BumGenius 4.0 (pocket-style diapers).
There are pros & cons to each. For instance, the Econobums are not made to hold moisture for 6 or 7 hours meaning we definitely use the pocket diapers (double-stuffed) at bedtime.

I've gotten into a pretty good routine of laundering the diapers. I wash diapers on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday nights. The process is lengthy as we wash 1st with a cold cycle, then with a hot cycle, & then rinse with cold water again. I tumble dry the inserts, but line dry all of our covers.

In the interest of full disclosure, we do not exclusively use cloth diapers. There have been nights that if Owen decides to revert back to his newborn sleep schedule (up every 3 hours) that I am exhausted & stick a disposable on him. If we're going out for a long period of time or travelling a great distance we use disposables.

When Owen goes to WBC preschool starting in September, they have graciously agreed to use our cloth diapering system. I'm so excited about that!

So, all of this to say that yes, we love using cloth diapers and will definitely keep it up with Owen & Owen's future siblings!

Thanks to all of our cloth supporters!!!

I just love...

I just love how you very rarely cry when you wake up in the morning or from a nap-instead you just starting babbling, or what mommy calls "singing". It's a sweet sound to wake up to!

I just love the big smile you give me every morning about 6:30 a.m. when I walk into your room & peer over the side of the crib & say "Good morning Owen"...it's the sweetest smile I've ever seen!

I just love how you often grab so tightly to my shirt when I'm holding you or rocking you that if you fall asleep, I usually have to gently pry your little fingers open so I can lay you down.

I just love the way you stroke my arms & my hands and grab my fingers while I'm nursing you.

I just love the way you need me like you need no one else & I secretly love the way that when no one else can soothe you, I can.

I just love that you are the happiest, smiliest little guy I know.

I just love...YOU!!!
(The sweet, happy face I get to wake up to every morning...he makes catching his smile on camera quite difficult, but it's priceless!)

Monday, April 9, 2012

picture catch-up

Whew, we've been so busy lately & I'm obviously way behind on blogging.
Here are some recent pictures from the last few weeks until I can find some time to blog more again!
(Some of these probably also appear on facebook)
Playing on the play mat is such hard work!
Owen is learning to hold lots of things-toys, shirts, bibs, burpcloths, hair...his hands are always very busy exploring!
We have frequent photo shoots around here. This was a pair of pajamas I wore as a baby & mom loaned them to us for us to take Owen's picture wearing them too.
A recent trip to Babies R Us resulted in Owen being the proud new owner of a pair of cool shades. Oddly enough, he loves them & never tries to take them off!
All dressed up like a little man for my 2nd trip to church!
Sadie is slowly warming up to Owen. Yes, she's nearly licking his nose!
Owen still loves bath time & is learning how to splash! He also enjoys hanging out in his super cute bathrobe after bath time.
Owen loves nothing more than sitting up like a "big boy". His head control gets better by the day, so he thinks he's Mr. Big Shot when we play like this.
Daddy celebrated his 29th birthday this past Thursday. Here's Owen watching daddy open his gifts from us!
And, a picture from today...Owen with "Buddy" the lamb (a gift from Auntie Cheri & Uncle J). He absolutely loves Buddy. He holds him, pets him, tries to chew on him (only out of affection I'm sure!).
More to come soon, I promise!