Baby #2, Pregnancy

Pregnancy reveal!

I recently shared about the family photoshoot we had done last month when my grandma came for a visit (which you can see here) but I conveniently left out a few choice pictures. 😉 Alex and I announced our pregnancy to my family right smack in the middle of it!

One thing I regretted a bit about how we announced my pregnancy with Jameson was that we didn’t capture any of the reactions of our family members. So this time I wanted to change that. And the timing couldn’t have been better! We found out we were expecting when I was about four weeks along and three weeks later was our family photo session with our photographer friend, Erin of Graced by Light Photography. So Alex and I decided to wait until then to announce our news (much easier said than done!).

A day or two before the shoot I messaged Erin and asked if she could help me out with the reveal. She was SO excited and so eager to make it perfect for us! We decided to do it midway through the session so that everyone would be comfortable and having fun. As we walked from one location to another I whispered to Erin that I was going to do it as soon as she was ready. She set us up at the new location, took a few test shots, gave me the secret signal we had set up (really just a thumbs up haha), and then right before the next shot I stepped forward and shouted, “Hold on!!! Before we take this next picture there’s something I want to say… We’re having another baby!!!” And Erin immediately started snapping away. Just look at these reactions! Totally worth keeping the secret. 🙂

IMG_2304IMG_2307IMG_2308IMG_2311IMG_2314IMG_2317IMG_2319IMG_2321IMG_2322IMG_2323IMG_2326-3IMG_2331IMG_2334IMG_2335IMG_2343

I’m so thrilled with how the pictures came out! They’re even better than I imagined. Many, many thanks to Erin for capturing these priceless moments for us to keep forever! ❤

Baby #2, Pregnancy

Our second baby story

IMG_2465IMG_2461WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!! I can finally announce it loud and proud! We’re expecting Babeski #2! Is this for real?! I still feel like I’m in a state of shock, but the best kind of shock there can be. We’re having another baby. We’re having another baby! I am so dang excited!!!!

We told our families when I was about 7 weeks pregnant, but we’ve known since I was around 4 weeks. It was HARD keeping the secret, especially from my sister aka my bff aka the person I tell everything to… but I knew we were getting family pictures taken the next month and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to surprise everyone at the same time AND capture all their reactions! It just seemed too perfect a coincidence to not take advantage of. So we waited. 😊 And it was SO worth it!!! I’ll be making a separate post about the photoshoot reveal very soon, so stay tuned!

Anyway, now that I’m in the second trimester (a little over 13 weeks to be exact) we felt comfortable announcing our beautiful little blessing! And today I’m sharing a bit about our second baby story with all of you. 😊

The journey to pregnancy has been completely different this time around. With Jameson it took us a little while to get pregnant (you can read more about that story here). There was a lot of frustration, a lot of tears, a lot of negative pregnancy tests. I was assuming the next time would be exactly the same, if not even harder. But oh man, did God bless us with this child.

For a while there I was really really really content with our family life as it was. Just Alex, Jameson, and me. (And Charlie.) I wasn’t ready for another baby and I couldn’t really picture a time in the future where I’d be in the same place I was before Jameson…that place of wanting a baby so badly that it just consumed me from the inside out. There were times, sure, when I’d catch a brief stint of baby fever but it would be gone several minutes later. I was just really thankful for the happy little life we had, just the three of us.

But at the same time, I knew I wanted our kids to be close in age. Two and a half years or maybe three at the most was our ideal age difference. But since it took us so long to have Jameson I was worried it would be a much bigger gap. I was expecting ovulation tests and checking my basal body temperature every morning and trying for months on end like we had to do with Jameson.

So you can imagine my surprise when, based on pretty much NO evidence at all (zero symptoms, barely even late, we weren’t even “officially trying” yet), I took a pregnancy test on February 20th and…it was positive. I wouldn’t have even taken the test at all if it wasn’t for the fact that I happened to have some cheap tests in the cabinet just waiting to expire. I pretty much just took it to prove to myself that I wasn’t pregnant. I actually remember leaving the test in the bathroom for the three minutes and walking away saying to myself aloud, “You’re not pregnant. There’s no way you’re pregnant.” I walked back in a few minutes later and the two pink lines were right there. No denying it, I AM pregnant. 😊

So after I practiced some deep breathing and my head stopped spinning and Jameson stopped freaking out because I was being super weird and sitting on the bathroom floor saying, “Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Okay this is happening. Oh my gosh.” I got Jameson into the wagon and we went on a walk so I could clear my head a bit. I was SO excited and so in love already but also just plain confused because, like I said, we hadn’t spent months trying and we hadn’t been planning everything out like we had with Jameson. I wasn’t expecting this for at least another six months or so, probably even longer.

But even as all the questions and half-formulated plans flooded my brain (are the kids going to share a room? Should I go to the same midwifes as last time? What am I going to do about my best friend’s wedding in August, for which I am a bridesmaid and for which I will now apparently be almost 7 months pregnant?!)…I was also oddly at total peace, which I can only say is the grace of God. He knows my heart and my needs better than I know them myself. He knew I’d never get to the place of being ready to officially start “trying” for a baby again. Is anyone ever entirely ready to give up their special time with their firstborn? I didn’t know if I’d ever be. He also knew how scared I was to start that difficult process all over again, all the disappointment and the planning and the stress. So he just said, “This is your perfect time. You’re doing this now.” And here we are again. I’m reminded once more, but in a totally different way than with Jameson, that I’m really not the one in control. And for that, I am SO thankful.

Half an hour after I took the test, Alex got home from work and I told him the news in a totally non-cute way. Basically I was just like, “Hey, so I have to tell you something. I’m pregnant.” And he immediately grabbed me in a hug and then we just looked at each other, slightly confused but so so excited. He asked how I was doing because he knew I’d probably be freaking out and then he grabbed Jameson and added him to our family hug, our first one with all four of us.

One thing I’ve learned from all of this is that we really don’t know when we’re ready for things. We might think we know, but that’s usually not the case. With Jameson, I thought I was ready for such a long time and I wasn’t. God had better plans. With this baby I really thought I wasn’t ready at all. Again, God had better plans. 😊 We are given what we need when we need it, whether we agree with the timing or not. We can be wise and thoughtful with our actions, sure, but ultimately the Lord is the one who directs our steps. To me that is an incredible blessing and a huge weight off my shoulders. I don’t have to know or plan everything.

Praise God for his goodness! We are so thankful for this second precious life He’s given us. What great love the Father has lavished on us!

See you in six months, little one. ❤

17991880_10155336737337474_5516318849284874380_n.jpeg

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Holidays & Special Events, Out & About

Family Pictures // March 2017

Last month my grandma came for a visit from Pennsylvania. She comes out every couple of years and this year my parents wanted to do something extra special. So they hired a photographer friend (Erin Tandler of Graced by Light Photography) for a family session. And what a beautiful job she did!

We went out to Lost Dutchman State Park right around sunset; it was pure magic! The scenery was gorgeous, the weather was lovely, and the light was just perfect. Today I wanted to share some of my favorites from the shoot. 🙂

IMG_2216IMG_2221IMG_2234IMG_2254IMG_2275

IMG_2298
Mom & her girls

IMG_2468-2IMG_2482-2

IMG_2511-2
“Have you seen a program called ‘Naked and Afraid?'” – Grandma as this picture was taken

IMG_2514

IMG_2541
Four generations of girls.

IMG_2559-2

IMG_2574-2
Muth family inside joke hahaha.

IMG_2576-2IMG_2594

Jameson Monthly

18 Months of Jameson


I’m a little late with this post (sheesh, it’s hard work keeping up with this kid) but I can’t believe we have a one and a half year old! Jameson is really coming into his own now, and we see bits of each of us in his looks and personality…plus a whole lot that is all Jameson. 🙂 He is extra sweet, so kind and thoughtful, very silly, adventurous, brave, and smart, and very much a rule-follower (which I personally thank the good Lord for). He’s always looking for ways to make me proud or get me to smile and we have way more good days than we ever do hard days. Jameson is all we could have ever asked for and more.

Here’s where we stand at 18 months!

Weight & Length: At his checkup last week he weighed in at 23 lbs, 1 oz (which is exactly two pounds bigger than he was at 15 months. Slow and steady with this little guy!). This puts him in only the 34th percentile for weight, even though he seems big. He’s actually quite the little peanut. He’s 2 ft, 7.25 inches tall which is only a quarter of an inch taller than his 15 month appointment, keeping him all the way down in the 14th percentile. His pediatrician isn’t worried at all though, as both my husband and I were small kids. Jameson will likely hit his growth spurt later than most, but then he will shoot up to around 6 feet or a bit taller, just like his daddy. I just hope he doesn’t mind too much about being small for awhile. I know how frustrating it can be for a kid to always be the smallest.

Clothing: He’s in 18 month stuff now, or 18 month-2T if the sizing runs small. I just got him some new stuff for the summer since it’s already warming up over here and it’s all sooo cute! (Thank you, Gymboree.) He still needs a couple more things but then he should be set until the fall!


Hair & Eyes: He’s always getting compliments on both of these things. I would probably call his hair strawberry blonde, although sometimes it’s more strawberry and sometimes it’s more blonde. My sister just gave him his third haircut and ohhhh he just looks so handsome and grown up! He loves to comb his own hair (aka mess it up after I’ve already combed it) and even though the banana curls are gone, his hair still has an adorable wave to it on the top where it’s longer. His eyes are a dark hazel with the looongest lashes.

Sleep: This is pretty much all good, or all bad haha. He goes through phases where he’s waking up several times a night, every single night, and crying until we go in and sit down next to him (he doesn’t need or want to be held, he literally just wants someone in there with him). And then he goes through phases (like right now) where he sleeps perfectly peacefully through the entire night with no wakings at all. I think he’s just very sensitive to certain things, like teething and growth spurts, and his sleep just reflects that something bigger is going on with him. He still naps once a day, sometimes for a couple of hours but usually more like an hour and 20 minutes at the most.


Eating: Homeboy is so picky, but because he aims to please us we’re able to get him to at least try different things. Although even when he likes a certain food he sometimes still refuses to eat it for reasons I have no idea about. But we’re pretty consistent with him and he has to eat enough or try a bite of a new food before he’s allowed to get up. His favorite things to eat are all types of fruits, Pirate’s Booty (his absolute favorite snack), Mac ‘n Cheese, french fries, pasta, French Toast, pizza, smoothies, scrambled eggs, and desserts of course. He hates most meat (except chicken nuggets, but are those really meat?) and won’t go near most vegetables unless I disguise them or hide them in smoothies.


Milestones: He’s got 12 teeth now (his four molars are in) with his incisors breaking through just last week. He runs literally all the time, can jump a little bit (doesn’t get very high haha), loves doing all things by himself, tries his best with his t-ball set, and is learning so much so fast. He copies almost everything Alex or I do and he especially LOVES to copy his cousin Madelyn, which is sometimes great and sometimes causes trouble haha.


Communication: I just realized how big of a leap he’s made in this area since 15 months! Last time I wrote an update he had about 10 spoken words and 10 signs, and now I just counted and he’s up to 65 spoken words, tons of animal sounds, and he still signs 5 words. And he’s learning a new word almost every single day. He’s started combining two words together (“Uh-oh, Mama” or “up please” or my personal favorite “my do”) and once or twice I’ve actually heard three words in a row (“oh, my wawa!”). Most often, though, he speaks in strings of gibberish with random real words thrown in there. I really think he’s learned so much from how much we read, and he loves to recite books he’s memorized along with me (our current favorite being “Breakfast by Molly”). He’s also gotten really good at relaying stories to us about events that have happened. He has a great memory! For example, if he falls down and gets a little owie he’ll take my hand, lead me back to where he got hurt, look me in the eye and explain an entire story in gibberish while pointing and telling me about his owie. It’s amazing how much he can explain and get you to understand even without saying very many real words. We’re currently working on some colors (he can point to a few correctly but still has yet to say them) and some shapes too. He knows the letter A as well but that’s the only one haha.


Loves: Copying his cousin Madelyn, loving on his baby cousin Benji, watering the garden/playing with the hose, dancing, Curious George and Thomas the Train, swings, playing with both sets of grandparents, bubbles, all things outside (he’s constantly shouting “back? back?” because he wants to go in the backyard), chasing Charlie, and anything that allows him to get his little body moving!


Hates: When he can’t get something to work on his own, sitting still (church is especially a challenge right now), any food he deems unworthy, and long car rides (kind of goes with the sitting still thing).


Things I want to remember: Watching your daddy show you how to hit a baseball, the way you tell us you want a snack or a bite of something (loud slurping noise), the way you yell “Mama?! Mama?!” when you need to find me as soon as possible, your gibberish stories that have perfect intonation and facial expressions to go along, how you always say “oh no!” when things go wrong, how you say “I dunno” when you’re not sure of the answer, how gentle and sweet you are with your cousin Benji, how you say Chuck (“duck”) and Madelyn (“danna”) and Uncle Colby (“CoCo”), the way you wake me up every morning by kissing my cheek multiple times, your little slide to the side dance, the way you say belly button (“bucket”), how Charlie sleeps under your crib for every one of your naps because he doesn’t want to leave you, your happy kicky legs when Daddy pops up next to your window in the car and surprises you, how you squint one eye shut while we pray and say “amen” at the end, how you randomly wave and say hi to us throughout the day, and the giant proud smile you get on your face after you do something cool or help me with a chore. Oh there are so many more things I could list! Eighteen months is so much fun.

We love you so much, Jameson! You are the very best part of every day. ❤

Save

Save

Holidays & Special Events, Recipes

A sweet treat for your valentine 


Valentine’s Day is over and gone, but these little treats can be made all year long! (If you end an argument with a rhyme, it’s convincing all the time. I learned that from “How I Met Your Mother.”)

Anywho! I brought these mini heart-shaped pies to a ladies Valentine’s event for my church and the girls all flipped for them! They were gone almost right away. I had to make another batch later that week so I’d have more to share with my family. Wrap them up in a cute little bag, tie it with a string, and you’ve got the perfect Valentine’s gift!

With a sweet jam center, golden flaky crust, and the cutest little heart shape, these babies are sure to make all your friends and family smile. Or, you know, make you smile as you eat an entire batch on your own. (I definitely didn’t do that. Or did I…….)

The best part is… they’re so super easy to make!!! I am no baker extraordinaire but I pulled these off, no problem. I promise you can too! (And let me know if you do, I would love to hear how much you love them too! Look at that, more rhyming.)

Mini Heart Pies

Prep time: 15 minutes

Bake time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  1. One box of pie crusts (or homemade if you’re fancy. I’m not.)
  2. Your favorite jam. (I used the Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserve for one batch and the Bonne Maman Peach/Mango Preserve for the other batch.)
  3. Egg wash & a sprinkle of sugar
  4. Heart shaped cookie cutter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Roll out your dough and cut out the hearts. (One pie crust yielded 10 total mini pies for me.)
  3. Place a small amount of jam in the center of half of the hearts.
  4. Gently brush a little bit of the egg wash (1 egg beaten with a little water) around the edges of the jam. This will help the two crusts seal together.
  5. Use the remaining hearts as the top crust. Place each one directly on top of the jam hearts and crimp the edges with a fork.
  6. Brush more of the egg wash on top of each mini pie. Add a sprinkle of sugar on top.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy! 😊❤🍓

** Credit for the idea goes to Kristen Mittler (@oldjoy on Instagram) who shared a similar treat on her profile.**

Aaaand this post wouldn’t be complete without a few personal photos from our Valentine’s Day!

Hope you all had a lovely love day! xo.

Save

Save

Holidays & Special Events, Life with Jameson

The best Christmas.


I LOVE the holiday season. Some years are better than others, but this one really blew every other year that I can remember out of the water. For real, this has been my favorite Christmas.

A lot of different things played into it to make it extra wonderful… the fact that Jameson was old enough to open his own gifts and get excited about them. Spending the morning reading the Christmas story from our Bibles on my parents’ bed like always. Having a delicious dinner with my parents and Alex’s parents all together. Christmas being on a Sunday which let us celebrate with our church family at night. Getting blessed out the wazoo with such generosity from friends and family. Going to see Alex’s brother and our sister-in-law up in Prescott the Friday before Christmas. Spending Christmas Eve with my grandma and tons more family.


It was all so so good. But I think my very favorite part was when I gave my parents their gift. A few months ago I decided to get all my parents’ home videos digitized as their present for Christmas. They had been sitting in the garage for over twelve years (since we moved to Arizona) and even longer before that at our house in New York. The video camera that was used to record them broke a loooong time ago, so we hadn’t been able to see any of our memories for closer to fifteen years, probably over twenty years for some of the oldest videos.

So when my parents went out of town for a few days last month, I stole all the tapes and sent them off to Legacy Box to be converted into DVDs. They JUST made it back in time (two days before Christmas) and I was so so SO happy with the results. All of our childhood memories were right there in front of me, videos I had never seen before and videos I had forgotten all about. Hours of footage from all our best moments and tons of ordinary moments too (which actually turned out to be my favorites). Videos of me and my sister playing together in our backyard with our old family dogs. Videos of each of our newborn days. Videos of our birthdays and school plays and tap recitals and baton performances and snow days. Videos of inside jokes we quote all the time but haven’t been able to see in years. It was all there.

Needless to say, I cried like a baby watching it all through. And I was literally giddy with excitement to give it to my parents on Christmas morning.

It was the last present under the tree and I handed it to my dad while my youngest sister recorded on my phone. His reaction was the best thing ever and I’m so glad we caught it on video! He and my mom were absolutely shocked and thrilled. Oh it just made me so very happy!


They asked to watch the videos right away so we popped one in and all our memories came to life as if no time had passed at all. I’m still blown away by the care and thoughtfulness my parents used as they filmed our lives. Each clip was so obviously done with intention and with the knowledge that our childhood days would be fleeting. You can hear my dad saying multiple times in the videos, “We’ll watch this in twenty years and laugh!” Or “Maybe someday God will bless you with a baby and then you’ll know how I feel right now.” They knew time would slip by so quickly, and it did.

So this next year I’m making it a point to record more everyday moments with Jameson. Not just ten second clips for  Snapchat or a quick video of something cute he’s doing for Facebook. I want videos of our life just as it was and just for our family, because if I learned anything this Christmas it’s that the time God gives us with our children is so precious. Not every moment is “extraordinary,” but those aren’t always our best moments or memories anyway.


I hope your holiday season has been oh so very merry!

Love, the Iwanski’s

Save

At home, DIY

DIY // The easiest raised garden bed ever


Ever since we bought our first house a few months ago I’ve been itching to start a little patio garden out back. It’s been a sort of dream of mine for awhile to grow fresh produce for my family…for health reasons, for teaching purposes (homeschool curriculum down the road?!), and just for the fun of it! I wanted to start while Jameson was young to make sure I got a handle on how things are done by the time he’s old enough to learn about it. And since Arizona has two growing seasons (spring and fall), October was the perfect time to get started.

We have this big old slab of concrete off the patio where the previous home owners had a hot tub, and it’s the perfect little corner for a raised vegetable garden. Good sun exposure, close to a water supply, and empty/ugly enough to need a little spruce up. (Eventually I’d like to add flowers and wall vines and other pretty things like that, but maybe in the spring.)


When I brought the idea of a raised garden bed to Alex, he had two criteria:

#1. It had to be easy to put together. And…

#2. It had to be relatively cheap.

(But not in that order. Ah, my sweet penny-pinching hubby. ❤ I love him so.)

Anyway, challenge accepted. We originally planned to build it completely out of wood, but why do things the easy way when you can find an even easier way? Laziness, my friends. This plan stemmed from laziness. When all was said and done, our raised garden bed was made entirely without the use of any sort of tool. 

And it only cost us about $67.

This is way cheaper than any DIY raised garden bed kit you can find at the store. (The closest I could find was $88 and it wasn’t even as wide or as deep as I wanted mine to be). Following this method allows you to get creative with the size and even the shape of your raised garden bed without costing you a fortune. Plus it looks super cute! Sort of a mix between farmhouse style and urban industrial, which I really like.


We got all our supplies at the good ol’ Home Depot. Probably the only time in the history of our marriage that we went in and came out with everything we needed and avoided an angry whisper argument in the middle of one of the aisles due to our confusion and/or our inability to make quick decisions. (We’re really not the home improvement types.)

The supply list for this do-it-yourself project is very short. Our garden bed is 3 feet wide by 6 feet long, with a depth of 1 foot. In total, all we needed were six pieces of redwood (2in x 6in x 6ft each, four of them being full length and two cut in half) and eight planter wall blocks (two for each corner, stacked on top of each other).

After we decided how large we wanted our garden bed to be, the rest was easy. We chose redwood for our lumber because of its resistance to rot and warping ($8.27 per board, but there are even cheaper versions if you’d like). We had a guy at Home Depot cut two of the six foot boards in half, we grabbed two more full-length six foot boards as well as the eight cement blocks ($2.87 each), and we took it all home.


We stacked two cement blocks for each corner of the garden bed (making it about a foot deep), used a little heavy duty glue to keep them solid, and slid two boards in the grooves on each side. Tada! All done!



The most challenging and most expensive part of this project really came after everything was built. We invested in some good, organic soil (in addition to some soil amenities) to make sure we’d have rich, healthy crops. This is where things can get pricey. But that’s for another post. 🙂

This project was really so easy and so much fun. And we already have cute little sprouts popping up all over the veggie garden! Jameson loves to look at all the plants and even give them kisses, and I’m so excited for our first harvest!


Good luck to anyone planning to give urban gardening a try! Trust me, if Alex and I (two of the least handy people on the planet) could get this project rolling…you most certainly can too. 🙂

Jameson Monthly, Life with Jameson

Fifteen months of Jameson

Processed with VSCO with g2 preset

It’s been awhile since I wrote one of these updates, but Jameson just had his 15 month well-visit and I thought it was time to document all the new and exciting things in this boy’s world. 🙂

He’s grown a TON since I wrote his 12 month update, in every way possible! Oh, he is just the sweetest little guy. Full of cheesy smiles for everyone, so so smart, determined to learn new things and gain independence, generous and kind to all his little friends, and an incredibly good listener. I could brag on this kid all day but I better get to the update. 🙂

Weight & Length: He weighed in at 21.1 lbs, which is almost exactly what he weighed at his 12 month checkup. But he grew two inches since then (he’s now 2’7″ which is adorable), so I think he’s just staying the same for weight because he’s so active now. Still getting bigger, just losing some of his baby chub. He’s in the 40th percentile for height, the 25th for weight, and his head circumference is in the 15th percentile (little peanut head <3).

Processed with Snapseed. Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

Clothing: Honestly right around the same as he was in the last update. 12-18 month range for clothes (or just 18 month stuff) and still size 4 for diapers. Gymboree and Target are my favorite places to shop for him; all the winter lines are just so stinkin’ adorable!

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

Hair & Eyes: Everyone always comments about how light his hair is! Some say it’s red, some say light brown, I see more of a strawberry blonde. He got his first haircut about a month ago (November 16th, it was a bittersweet day) so most of his cute little curls are all gone. But! As his hair grows out I can see it getting more and more wavy, so I think the curls will be back someday. As for his eyes, they’re super dark…sort of brown, sort of hazel, with eyelashes for daaaays.

img_2896

dsc_9634
Before his haircut. Those curls! ❤

img_2839img_1622

Sleep: Honestly this has been so hard lately! He’s in this phase right now where he wakes up several times a night crying for us. Sometimes he can get himself back to sleep, sometimes one of us has to go in there and pat his little tushy until he calms down. One night he was up from 1am-5am, oh it was just the worst. We transitioned him to one nap a day hoping this would help him get more solid sleep at night but it really hasn’t done anything at all so far. He does nap for longer periods of time during the day (sometimes, hah) so hopefully his nighttime sleep will improve soon too.

img_2126img_1673img_2303

Eating: We’ve definitely seen improvement in this area, although he is still super picky and finicky about food. He eats three square meals a day (with some snacks in between) and nurses once during the day and once before bed. I’ve thought about trying to wean him completely (he’d probably be fine nutrition-wise) but he’s still so happy to nurse and I love it too so we might keep it around for a little while longer.

Processed with Snapseed. Processed with VSCO with s2 presetimg_2160

Milestones: He’s got 8 teeth total now and he’s blasting through physical milestones! He runs and climbs and does daredevil things that terrify me all the time. He can eat with a fork or a spoon, he tries to jump (mostly just lifts his shoulders up haha), throws balls and tries to catch them too, he’s figured out how to open doors (that’s been real fun), and he loves climbing all over the playground and going down slides. He’s really not afraid of much!

Processed with VSCO with s3 presetimg_1333img_3069img_2506

Communication: This is my favorite area right now! Wow, this kid is smart and so quick to learn new words. He’s picking up vocabulary left and right and he understands a ton. He follows directions so well (“go clean up your toys” or “give this to Daddy” or “do your cheesy face!”) and his sign language amazes me! Honestly. I counted the other day and realized he can actually say at least 10 words and he can sign 8 other words! Plus he knows like 10 different animals sounds and a few vehicle noises as well. I am very impressed by him all the time. And I love all his other forms of communication too, like pointing, high fives, giving knuckles, waving, blowing kisses, playing peekaboo, giggling with his friends, etc. It’s so sweet watching his personality blossom.

Processed with VSCO with s2 presetimg_2974

img_2315
Saying “no no no”

Loves: Going to playgroup, reading, music and dancing (especially to “Oh How I Need You” by All Sons & Daughters), animals, being chased/wrestling/playing rough, copying everything (there’s nothing like a copycat toddler to let you know what you do and say all the time haha), Charlie, playing with all our DVD cases, his cousin Madelyn, playing with kids his age, playing outside, watching airplanes, trying to sweep with my giant broom, hanging out with his family, checking out our little garden, watering the plants, and eating pizza!

qfog9447Processed with VSCO with s2 presetProcessed with Snapseed. Processed with VSCO with s3 presetimg_1829Processed with VSCO with s3 preset

Hates: When I brush his teeth for him, sitting in his carseat for too long, really sitting still anywhere for too long, and getting his diaper changed (along the same lines of sitting still haha). Mostly he just hates being still.

img_1697

Things I want to remember: The way you tell yourself “no no no” (wagging your finger and saying the words at the same time), how you bust out of the bathroom after a bath so you don’t have to get dressed, how sweet you are to your friends and how you love to share, how you kiss the plants in the garden, how you immediately start dancing when my dad sings your Mister Man song (and how you dance to really any music as soon as you hear it), how you say “yes” (very quietly with a big smile), how loud and weird you get when people come over or daddy comes home because you’re just so excited, how you say “that” when you point to something you want (“dat?!”), the way you nod your head up and down very slowly, all your cute little animal noises (especially your monkey noise “ah ah!” and your kitty noise “mouw”), how you speak with such confidence in fluent gibberish, and the way you start waving night-night and signing “milk” when you want to go to sleep.

tdsi4190njis9876slau9677img_3194img_3193pimj8451img_3080img_3082img_3114Processed with VSCO with s3 presetimg_3032

Processed with VSCO with g2 preset
First time at the zoo!

img_2846img_2864img_2844img_2775img_2702img_2534img_2528Processed with VSCO with s2 presetimg_2470img_2451img_2421Processed with VSCO with se3 presetimg_2334img_2118img_2116img_2060img_1982img_1700img_1692Processed with Snapseed. Processed with VSCO with s3 presetimg_1623Processed with Snapseed. Processed with VSCO with s2 presetdsc_9967dsc_9935dsc_9372dsc_9280dsc_0110img_3269Processed with VSCO with se3 presetProcessed with VSCO with c3 preset

Oh Nugget, we love you so! You are such a joy to be around. You light up everyone’s day with your happy smiles, your silly spirit, and your kind little heart. We love the person you are and the person you’re becoming. Happy fifteen months, Jimmy Jam! ❤

img_3021

Save

DIY, Uncategorized

DIY // Brown Sugar Body Scrub

Ohhh my friends. Is your skin getting super dry this winter? Are you looking for a great homemade gift for the holidays? Do you need a snack while you shower? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your search ends here. I present to you the simplest, most moisturizing, most delectable homemade body scrub on the inter webs. 

Only three ingredients and ready in five minutes. This stuff is about to blow. your. mind. (And your taste buds, oh man it tastes just like a cookie.) You might already have all the ingredients just chillin’ in your pantry, waiting to be combined into pure magic.

I don’t know about you, but I love body scrubs. I love how they exfoliate, I love how they moisturize, I love how they smell. But I really can’t justify spending $25+ on one little tub. It’s over too quickly and then I have to shell out more money for another one. This handy sugar scrub recipe, however, takes care of that problem. It’s quick, easy, and made from all natural ingredients…so natural that you can literally have a quick taste while you’re using it. (Or two tastes. Or three.) Yum! That’s my kind of body scrub. 🙂  Homemade beauty products for the win.

Stick it in a cute mason jar ($8 for 12 at Target), add some ribbon and a cute tag (or make one out of cardstock paper and fancy tape like I did), and you’ve got yourself a great holiday gift for your friends and family. Yippee! (Speaking of which, if you’re reading this and we’re friends in real life…act surprised when you get your scrub for Christmas.)

Brown Sugar Body Scrub

Yield: fills one 8oz mason jar

Total time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (soft but solid)
  • Splash of vanilla extract
  • Optional add-ins: cinnamon, a little honey, essential oils, vitamin E oil, etc.

Instructions

  1. Soften coconut oil in microwave for a few seconds, if necessary.
  2. Add all ingredients into a standing mixer, food processor, or mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk together on medium-high speed for a minute or two until the coconut oil begins to break down and mixture resembles creamy cookie dough.
  4. Place in mason jar and make it look pretty. 🙂

Note: If you mix it for too long, the coconut oil will start to melt and your scrub will be almost liquid. No worries, though, just put it in the fridge or freezer for a few, wait for it to solidify, and whip it up again.


Store your scrub at room temperature. I keep mine in the shower and so far our bathroom has stayed cool enough for the scrub to remain in its creamy/solid state. Over time, though, it may melt down and become runny because of the steam in the shower. Again, just pop it in the fridge for a bit until it returns to the consistency you prefer. 


Enjoy! xo

Save

Save

Save

Recipes

Sugar and Spice Baked Oatmeal

Okay get ready. If you’re a fan of baked oatmeal (or oatmeal in any capacity) you MUST stop what you’re doing and try this recipe right now. No I’m serious, RIGHT NOW. (By the way, I’ve never posted a recipe on my blog before and I’m really not much of a chef, so that should tell you just how yummy and simple this dish really is.)

I’ve been on a major baked oatmeal kick as of late. There are so many tasty versions floating around out there (like, a ton) but fear not! I tried a bunch of them over and over to bring you the best (it was a huge sacrifice, but I did it all for you). I took what I loved about each recipe, added my own ideas, and tada! This is my favorite recipe by far; sweet sugar and spicy cinnamon come together for the tastiest combination. Legit the most comforting comfort food you could make and perfect for cold, wintry mornings (or, you know, 80 degree afternoons like we’re currently having in Phoenix). 


It’s so easy to make and reheats really well, which means breakfast is quick and delicious every morning. Even Jameson, the pickiest little eater ever, gobbles it up. And it’s freezable! Just cut it up into square portions and you’ve got meals for days. But the best part? Cheap. This probably costs $5 at the most. 

Sugar and Spice Baked Oatmeal

Yield: 8 servings (9 x 13 inch pan)

Prep time: 5 minutes 

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats (quick-cooking oats work too)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. In a standing mixer (or mixing bowl) whisk together all ingredients. 
  3. Pour into prepped baking dish and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, or until oatmeal is set in the middle.
  4. Serve and enjoy! (Oh I’m so excited for you to taste it.)

Optional: Serve with milk or cream, yogurt, fresh fruit, a sprinkle of cinnamon, whatever tastes right! 

Freezer instructions: Portion into squares and store in individual plastic baggies. Thaw in microwave on low power for about a minute, add a splash of milk, and then microwave on regular power for another minute. 

What are you waiting for?! Please give this a try! And then let me know how much you love it. 🙂

Save

Save