Monday, November 30, 2009

What a great weekend we had!
Okay, I have a bunch of pictures to share so I'm just going to dive right in.

We left Tuesday night for upper state NY to visit Daryl's mom and step-dad John and we had a great time! Daryl's parents got lots of grandson-smooching, holding time and I loved seeing them LOVE on him so much. Wednesday I baked pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread for Thanksgiving and in the evening the five of us went out to dinner. Hunter dined on his bottle then was passed around the table as we all ate (he will not sit in his car seat if it's stationary!).
Thanksgiving morning was fun...we fed Hunter rice cereal for the first time
and he did such a great job! He took to the spoon like a champ and most of the cereal stayed IN his mouth, with minimal bits ending up on his chin and turkey-bib. Of course we got it all on video and in photographs! Momma-razzi wasn't about to let that opportnity not be recorded!
Friday Big D took me out on the quad through the orchards (his mom and stepdad have land on an apple orchard) and Tucker, our crazy lab, raced along beside us.
(Sorry for grainy pic...I took it on my cell phone.)
At one point Daryl had the quad up to 30 mph and Tuck held pace! It was amazing to watch and even though the Mom in me was worried about accidentally running him over, I did love watching him have SO much fun. It makes me feel guilty cuz I know we don't give him enough exercise so now I'm vowing to start playing with him a lot more!

Saturday we headed home around twelve thirty and it was a nice smooth ride. Thankfully no holiday traffic (I'm assuming most people would have been heading home Sunday). We spent the evening unpacking and cleaning up and moving furniture around the living room in preparation for...our Christmas tree!! Sunday afternoon we headed out to Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree Farm (isn't that the coolest name?) and picked out our tree. Hunter's first Christmas tree! The baby seemed to enjoy himself. I carried him in the Baby Bjorn and he was looking around, cooing and staring at all the trees. It was too cute!
So last night I spent hours decorating the tree (I'm anal about it, I admit) and the worst was the lights. But I'm thrilled with how it came out! And seeing my son's big, round brown eyes taking it all in once I turned the white lights on was PRICELESS.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Been busy lately preparing for the holiday!
I have lots of baby-stuff to talk about but saving that for it's own post.

THIS is what happens when you piss off an already super-cranky baby, who is possibly even teething. Oops.

Later today we are leaving for our my in-laws for Thanksgiving and I can't wait! I've almost completely packed for the three of us (four, if you count Tucker, but he's food and a his bowl. Ha!) and I just have a little more to do.

I might also make my pumpkin bread today (if I have time) to bring with us. I'm not going to bake my pumpkin pie till I'm at my in-laws.

I'm SO looking forward to relaxing with the family and Hunter's 1st Thanksgiving! I know he's too little to actually EAT any of it but I look forward to building traditions with him, for all the holidays. Every Thanksgiving I wake up and put the Macy's Day Parade on TV, and then make coffee and cinnamon buns for me and Daryl. Then I mostly listen to the parade (and pop in to look) while preparing my turkey. Since this year Daryl's mom is cooking, I'm looking forward to actually watching some of the parade with Hunter.

I'm so thankful for family and friends.
And our sweet baby boy!
So if I don't get a chance to pop back in on you guys I want to wish you all a:


P.S. Daryl and I went to see New Moon on Sunday and we both LOVED IT!!! I want to go see it again!

Friday, November 20, 2009

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Hosted by Cecily and JENNIFER

My baby.

My boy.

The love of my life.

The best thing I've ever done.

Well...I guess his Dad had a hand in that, too. Heh.

We love you, little man!

Monday, November 16, 2009

We pretty much stayed on track for last week's Menu Plan...there was only one day I didn't feel like cooking the pasta I'd planned so we threw a frozen pizza into the oven instead. But otherwise did great utilizing a lot of frozen meats and veggies, so that I didn't really spend much at the grocery store last week!
This week I've got a yummy week in store! If you'd like some more menu plan ideas go check this site out!
Oh and this past week I made a very tasty Pumpkin Bread that I wanted to share the recipe for. I enjoyed it so much that I'm going to make it again very soon. Enjoy!
Monday- Paula Deen's recipe for Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf. It looked SO good while she was making it that I salivated all over the TV screen. I'll probably whip up (pun intended!) some mashed potatoes and steamed corn, and Pillsbury crescent rolls, to go along with.
Tuesday- Whole wheat pasta, tomato sauce with sausage, and Texas Toast on the side. And since I always like to have at least one vegetable with dinner, I'll probably steam up some green beans.
Wednesday- A fabulously seasoned and marinated (with fresh garlic from a garlic farm) Pork Loin. Big D bartered with a chef he knows. He cleaned and serviced the guys boiler and in return got three of these yummy pork loins! I'll serve it with a delicious recipe I tried out over the weekend for Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes.
Thursday- Another pork night, which doesn't bother me in the least. I love pork! I think I might try THIS SLOW-COOKER RECIPE but if I don't end up doing it, I'll have Big D grill up the chops. And we'll have it with Spanish rice and peas.
Friday-Free Night! Maybe pizza? I told Big D I really want to try doing a pizza on the grill, maybe with some onions and peppers on it. Ooh, and sausage? That sound delish!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Just chillin' out on a Saturday morning in my drop-dead sexy (just ask Big D) flannel nightgown, listening to the sounds of white noise emitting from Hunter's swing as he rocks and naps.


Last night was fun! We had Lorelei over for dinner (this was her first time meeting baby boy!). I had a delicious glass of Merlot and boy did it hit the spot. As did dinner, Daryl grilled a pork loin (that a chef friend had already seasoned and marinated in fresh garlic from a GARLIC FARM. Who knew?) and I tried out a new recipe that was utterly fantastic...TWICE-BAKED SWEET POTATOES. Seriously, if you like (or LOVE, as I do) sweet potatoes? You. Must. Try. This. Recipe. Add in a side of steamed broccoli and you get a fabulously delicious meal.

My mouth is still watering at the thought of those sweet potatoes.

Not much else going on. Big D is out hunting this morning and then maybe we'll hit up BJ's (our friendly neighborhood warehouse store) later on. I'm DYING to go to the movies but since I know the second movie in the Twilight Saga, New Moon, is soon to come out (November 20th to be exact!) I'm saving up my babysitter usage for that night. I already told Big D not to make plans for that night!

Tomorrow will be low-key. I want to make breakfast for me and Big D, something yummy. There is some sweet-smelling maple bacon in the fridge calling my name. And at one, Hunter and I will be meeting with 'Chele at the 'Bucks for one of my all-time seasonal favorites...Gingerbread Lattes!

Daryl is heading out to work in the evening so my Mom may come over for a bit to visit. We'll probably watch a Christmas movie. Yes, you heard me said CHRISTMAS MOVIE. I'm in the spirit, baby. Daryl and I will be going out to get our fresh Christmas tree the weekend of Thanksgiving (we're spending the weekend at his Mom and Step-Dad's but we will come home Saturday so that we can put up our tree that Sunday) and i can't wait! I'm ready to start sloooowly dragging out some of my Christmas decorations to start sprucing up the house.

AND I'm very excited. I recently ordered, and had it arrive the other day, Hunter's very first Christmas stocking! I have monogrammed stockings from L.L. Bean for me and Big D so I had to get our boy his own monogrammed stocking! I am so, so excited for Hunter's first Christmas. And the creation of new traditions as a family, as well as the traditions that Big D and I have celebrated the last four years!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

'Tis the season for...baking!

Yesterday it hit me. The baking-bug.

I am normally someone who loves baking but through-out my pregnancy I just did not have the energy. And now with a baby in the house, it's hard to fit it in, time wise.

But damn, do I miss it! The recipes, the ingredients, the mixing (ooh, how I love my Kitchen Aid Mixer! I will be eternally grateful to 'Chele!), the warmth and yummy smells that permeate the house.

Yesterday I decided to tackle a Pumpkin Bread. I love anything pumpkin-flavored so I knew this would be a hit. I did alter the recipe a bit. I threw in my favorite staple, chocolate chips (and Daryl, when he heard, said, "Eww, chocolate chips in a pumpkin bread?" to which I responded that "Everything tastes better with chocolate!") and I omitted the cream cheese filling ONLY becuz I didn't have any cream cheese and I wasn't about to run out to the store for one missing ingredient! But don't get me wrong, I would have loved the cream cheese filling! Mmmmmm....

Anyway, despite my hubby's lack of faith, my Pumpkin Bread with chocolate chips came out delish! I decided I will make another one for Thanksgiving (I'm also making pumpkin pie) to bring to Daryl's Mom and Step-Dad's. We'll be spending the holiday with them in NY. I can't wait!

If you are interested you can find the recipe HERE.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm a tad sleepy.

My baby boy, Hunter (who had been sleeping through the night EVERY night for like a month and a half now) has taken to waking up a couple of times a night.

And I think it's my fault!

I decided about 4 or 5 days ago that I was going to change Hunter over from his swaddle blanket to a sleep sack. What brought it on is the morning Daryl walked into his nursery to check on him (he normally always woke me up in the morning with his little cries) and found Hunter with the swaddle around his ankles, turned completely around and facing his Mommy Bear, "talking" and giggling away as he waved his arms!

Hunter has been busting free of his swaddle for quite some time now but I was hesitant to stop using it, becuz he goes to sleep so nicely wrapped up all burrito-like. But here he was happy as a lark that morning, sucking on his little fists and fingers.

My other reason for deciding to use the sleep sack instead was due to Hunter's nighttime workouts...he is NEVER in the same position that I've laid him down in the night before. One night i went in to check on him cuz he was squawking a little bit...his poor head was wedged against the slats of the crib! And he was trying so hard to move that he almost completely rolled over to his belly. This wouldn't'have bothered me except for the fact that in the swaddle, he had no use of his arms or legs, and I worried about him smothering himself. (Yes, just call me anal Mommy.)

Anyway, the first night of the sleep sack I put Hunter into his crib with his Mommy Bear on, and his soother, and rubbed his belly. He flailed his free arms around for a bit and fussed but as soon as he realized he was able to stuff them into his mouth, he settled right down.

This might just work! I thought to myself, pleased, as I drifted off to sleep myself a few hours later. And then it began. The middle of the night crying that I'd almost (but not quite!) forgotten about! He'd flail his arms around and wake himself up so I kept going back in and soothing him and popping his pacifier in. And holy crap, was this kid moving all over the crib! I'd put him in the crib at night with his head at one side, then walk in hours later to find him with his head at the other end OR facing the side, right up against the slats again.

So obviously it wasn't going to be a quick adjustment to the sleep sack! Thankfully we are down from 4-5 wakings to only 1 a night, after almost a week. Last night, selfishly wanting sleep, I started to swaddle him back up but guilt took over when I thought about how he'd be cranky not being able to suck on his fists. So I left his little arms free.

And I woke up at 6:30am this morning to the sounds of giggles and crying!

Let's hope this keeps up!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Menu Plan Monday is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!
I fell off the wagon for a while. Now that I am currently job-less, I'm looking for/at ways to cinch up our financial belt. I immediately remembered how much I enjoyed MPM and how it helped me to not only be better organized with my grocery list and in my pantry BUT it helped me to save money by not spending unnecessarily AND to not let food go to waste or spoil (I'm infamous for that).
So I'm welcoming myself back! Organization and savings some $, here I come!
Monday- Shepard's Pie (one of mine and Big D's easy and yummy favorites).

Tuesday- Grilled chicken, steamed veggie mix and Spanish rice & beans

Wednesday- Kielbasa and baked beans

Thursday- Whole wheat pasta with meat sauce, steamed green beans

Friday- I think I will leave Friday as our "free night" since often times we'll just pick at what's in the house. OR sometimes it's pizza night. Even cinching up that belt doesn't mean I can give up my beloved pizza!

Now here's a little treat for you (and me)! A free Dunkin Donuts coffee sample. Yum!
Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin' keeps me blogging. Try Dunkin' Donuts Coffee For Free. Get a Sample

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I took a big step.

A big, scary step.



I quit my job.

Holy. Crap. This has been a long time in coming...something I've wanted to do for a while. But I could never get up the courage to make the change (I think I've mentioned before about my fear of change, despite the fact that the change always ends up being for the better).

I'm sure a lot of you remember me bitching about my job. You can catch up about some of it here and here or even here. (I have way more examples but I don't need inundate you with my whining, miserable work stress posts.)

My maternity leave has been winding to a close. I was supposed to go back November 23rd. Of course, I was having the "usual" new Mommy feelings about going back to work and leaving my baby. I've cried a boatload of tears over it. But unfortunately my job would not make any exceptions to my schedule. They said that they had no part time work for me. Fine. I sucked it up and told myself Just go back for now, but keep looking for part time work.

A phone call with my supervisor last week changed all that. I still don't feel comfortable going into details but let's just say, I was pissed off after I hung up that phone. I was angered and unhappy and uncomfortable about what I was going to be going back to on November 23rd. I shed some angry tears. Then Big D said the words that set it all in motion.

"Just quit, honey. I can't stand seeing you like this and that place makes you so unhappy. Just quit, and you can start looking for a part time job now."

The affect his words had on me was was like a crashing wave of relief washed over me. I wiped away the tears, looked down at my snoozing baby boy, and nodded.

It was time.

So here I am! Jobless, and mildly freaked out for a different reason.

But feeling so insanely relieved, calm and content, feelings I haven't had in such a long time.

And I couldn't be happier.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Dear Hunter,

It's official. You are THREE MONTHS OLD.

Slow down your speedy growth, buster--Mommy and Daddy can barely keep up with you!

You have discovered your hands...and what an amazing discovery it IS for you, little man. Mommy laughs when she sees you trying to jam your whole fist into your mouth, and she often has to pry it out so that you don't gag yourself! And then when your thumb ended up in your mouth for the first time after one particular hand-sucking episode, it was like magic! Your eyes seemed to widen in surprise. You've almost gotten the knack of sucking your thumb but you still manage to sometimes poke yourself in the eye at the same time!

Mommy hates Elmo but can't help but sing the Elmo tune to you because it makes you smile or giggle...EVERY SINGLE TIME. So I've taken to inserting your name into it, instead of Elmo's: Da da da da, da da da da...Hunter's World! Your other favorite past time is listening to Mommy and Daddy say "Ma ma ma ma" or "Da da da da" to you. Not only do you laugh in response, but you then try to talk afterwards.

You love your baby swing; it's the only place you will nap for a consecutive 2-4 hours. Otherwise, if anyone tries to put you down for a nap in your crib or pack-n-play, you are KING of the cat-nappers! Ten to fifteen minutes after we've laid you down, you are awake and NOT happy to be there. Mommy's newest trick to try to get you to nap in your crib? It's called a "Mommy Bear"...a stuffed teddy bear that plays "sounds of the womb". It sounded kinda cheesy but man, oh man, it works! I've gotten you to take a 45 minute and even an hour nap so far in your crib! Nana and I were both SO excited the first day it happened.

You went to your first fair, the Durham Fair, and it seems you approved! Not only did you stay awake the entire time, but your eyes widened in surprise when you heard the cows mooing. Your second fair was the Portland Fair (much smaller!). Mommy carried you in the Baby Bjorn so you were able to look all around and Daddy showed you the truck pulls, making sure to tell you that he can't wait for you to get bigger so you can see and enjoy so much more at the fairs!

You've moved up to Size 2 diapers--our big boy! As of October 22nd, you weighed 15 lbs 3 oz. You also experienced your first cold this month, poor boy, and it involved a lot of sneezing, coughing and pghlem...yuck! You also managed to pass that cold on to Daddy but he didn't mind in the least.

You experienced your first Halloween, little man! You were the cutest Pumpkin around. Mommy took you to the mall with friends and we watched as the big kids trick-or-treated. Don't worry buddy, your time will come.

You now grab at things in front of you, Hunter, and Mommy loves to see the surprise on your face when you actually can squeeze it: it being Mommy or Daddy's fingers, a toy hanging above you, a blanket over you. If I cover you with a blanket, you immediately try to cram it into your mouth or pull it over your eyes and giggle.

Mommy knows she is blessed as she relishes every single moment with you, whether it's nursing you, singing a silly song, rocking you to sleep or just staring into your warm brown eyes. Daddy loves to come home from work at the end of the day to your happy, smiling face. You always look so excited to see him!

So much has changed in the past month little man, and you've grown so much, but one thing that hasn't changed is our love for you. Every day it grows stronger and every day we stare in amazement down at you, so happy you are a part of our lives, a part of our hearts.

Love you always,

Your Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Happy (belated) Halloween, to all!

My tired little morning nap becuz we were on the way to the mall for
their trick-or-treating Saturday morning.

Sophia the kitty, Julia the princess and Hunter the pumpkin. Cuties!

Mommy and Hunter in matching orange!

Group shot of the kids!

Poor little guy got so overheated in the insanely hot mall that Mama stripped off his cute jack-o-lantern sweatshirt. Oh well. And then he zonked out!

Enough of the pictures, you devil Mama-razzi!

My happy Halloween boy on his very first Halloween. :-)
Hope you all had a fabulous day!

And as if I don't torture him enough, here is Mister Bear (we didn't wear this on would have been too tight with his clothes underneath...but it was a gift at my baby shower so I at least wanted a picture to prove Hunter wore it at least once!)