Happy Easter!


Griffin is 8 months old!

Griffin, you are 8 months old!
The Stats:
Weight: Guessing between 15.5-16lbs
Height: probably about 26.5inches
Clothes: all of your 6 month shirts fit, but the pants are too short. I'm moving you to mostly all 9 month clothes!
Diaper: size 3
Eating: Griffin, one thing is for sure, you LOVE food! I'm crossing my fingers that this means you will continue to be a good eater.  Right now you are drinking four 7 ounce bottles a day.  I think we are about done with all of your pureed food! I am finishing up what I have made for you in the freezer & then we are just going to be doing finger foods. This month you finally figured out how to feed yourself! You love meal time & expect to get fed anytime we are eating. You eat 3 solid meals a day and usually 1 or 2 snacks.  You've tried SO many foods and pretty much eat what we eat (wiithin reason).  Your new favorites over the past couple of weeks have been quinoa, blueberries, kiwi, & turkey burger. The only food you don't love is butternut squash. You snack on crackers, cheerios, yogurt melts, frozen waffles (a favorite for your teething gums!), & mum mums. You have also learned how to feed the dogs from your booster seat & they love to sit right beneath you & catch all the food you drop!
Sleeping: You are sleeping from about 7:30-6:30/7:00 every night. However, that doesn't mean you don't wake up at all. You still cry a few times during the night and very rarely sleep 11 hours straight. Most of the time you will only cry a few minutes before you fall back asleep but sometimes it lasts longer. We only go in your room if you get hysterical. The main reason for that is because it take FOREVER to get you back to sleep when we try to rock you. You are one stubborn baby! Most of the time you sleep on your belly or your side; just like big brother did! You've also learned how to sit up in your crib...that's interesting! Every night you sleep with your monkey lovey & about a thousand pacifiers. You take 2 naps a day; 9-11 and 1-3.
Firsts this month:
  • You can almost crawl.  You've perfected the backwards crawl & are now working on moving forward. When you get frustrated, you just roll & roll & roll until you get to where you want to go! It's pretty funny!
  • Learning how to pick up food and actually put it in your mouth. This has made my time during meals much more pleasant since I don't have to feed you AND myself. You seem to enjoy it, too!
  • You have learned how to pull yourself up into a sitting position from your belly. It's still hard for you to do, but you figured it out about a week ago!
  • You have figured out to really move in your walker! I really only use it while I'm getting meals ready & you just move all over the kitchen. Sometimes your big brother pushes you & you think that is pretty funny...and sometimes scary! 
  • You played in the sandbox for the first time a couple of weeks ago when it was warm outside and you LOVED it. This makes me happy since we're going to the beach in June!
Right now you are loving:
  • All dogs, especially yours. You just light up when you see dogs & love when they lick you. Gross, but true!
  • Sitting in Grayson's bed with him after he wakes up. You adore your big brother & get so excited when he wakes up. You think he is so funny (he is) and watch his every move!
  • Feeding yourself any kind of food!
  • Being outside & going on walks in the stroller. 
  • Doing Patty Cake & clapping your hands!

 Right now you are NOT loving:
  • Being in the car for more than a few minutes--you hate being contained!
  • when I take away your food...you get SO mad! 
  • our toy ball pit. I set it up since we are all getting cabin fever & you are terrified of sitting in it. It's pretty pitiful!
 You have the best little personality & brighten our days! Griffin, you love to talk to us and I wish I knew what you were saying! You are a busy, busy baby and are always moving. I am a little nervous for when you are actually mobile! I think you will keep us on our toes! You are into everything & we have to really pay attention with all of G's toys out.  
I can see with each month that passes you lose more of that baby look & start looking a little older. Your hair is starting to get longer, thicker, & really blonde! You still only have 2 bottom teeth but I think you are working on some more. I'm savoring your gummy smiles!
You know I love a good comparison picture. Grayson & Griffin at 8 months old. Grayson's hair was so much longer & he already had 6 teeth! He had also just started crawling. Griffin looks so much smaller than G to me! They still look so much a like but I see more differences as Griffin gets older.
Happy 8 months, Griffin! You are such a sweet baby & we love you more than you know!


The Great Easter Monies Hunt

Our Sunday School class got together last night for a class Easter egg hunt. It was the first warm-ish day we have had & it was actually really nice out! By the way, it needs to be known that G calls the Easter Bunny, the Easter Monies. When I picture the "Easter Monies" in my head, I picture Flava Flav with big bunny ears. Doesn't that sound about right?! He was so excited for the Easter Monies Hunt with his church friends!
 He always finds his buddy, Gray! They were both so tired & looked like they were going to crash at any moment.

 Most of the kid crew! I love how this picture shows all the personalities!
 This was G's first big egg hunt & he loved searching for the eggs!
 Eli & G
 Griffin was pretty curious about that monkey basket full of eggs!

We are so thankful to have friends that are in this same stage of life as us. I'm pretty sure all the kids enjoy it, too!


Grayson: 2.5 years old

My first boy is now TWO AND A HALF YEARS OLD! How did that happen?!

I almost hate to do an update because I could talk about this child forever & don't want to leave anything out! 
 Two and a half. It's an interesting age. Some days I think it may do me in. Most days I think this age is just way too much fun. Grayson is talking ALL THE TIME now & I love hearing his sweet little voice. He will copy anything you say. He's a parrot--watch out!
Two and a half has brought a lot more independence. G wants to do everything himself. "Me do it" is his favorite phrase! It also brought a lot more bravery. Grayson has always been a little timid, but he's starting to break out of his shell more and more. Our neighborhood has a huge playground with a 2 story slide. He has always been afraid to climb up the ladder alone until recently. He did it once last week & is now an old pro! I was so proud of him! I love watching him try new things. He is learning things so quickly!
Grayson is all boy.  I'm pretty sure he would live outside in the sandbox or in the dirt if I allowed it. At 2 1/2, his favorite things to do are:
  • dig in the sandbox
  • play with his trucks in the mulch outside
  • all things lawncare (more specifically: weed eating & mowing the lawn)
  • playing baseball & basketball
  • taking long walks & ending them at our neighborhood playground
  • going to school
  • driving your Hummer
  • all things fire truck & firemen!
  • singing songs
  • play with his best friends, Gray & Eli
One of my favorite qualities about G is his sweet disposition. He is a rough & rowdy boy, for sure, but he's also so caring. He loves "his baby" so much & always runs over to Griffin when he is crying to comfort him. He'll usually pat his back and say, "it's okay, baby. It's okay!" Talk about tugging on a mama's heart strings. It's so sweet! I love his heart! We found baby bunnies in our yard last week & I had to protect them from our dogs. Every time I would pick them up to move them out of our backyard Grayson would say, "aawww! So tiny! Sweet bunnies." Bless him. He's definitely my child--animal lover!
One thing is for sure...Grayson has the memory of an elephant. HE FORGETS NOTHING. He is still talking about the time his Nana spilled chocolate milk on our kitchen floor--that happened the day Griffin was born EIGHT MONTHS AGO.  His memory cracks me up. He remembers things at the most random times. Yesterday we were in mid_conversation when he remembered how we saw a Santa riding on a motorcycle in December. So random but it always makes me laugh!
I feel like I have blinked and 2 1/2 years flew by. This boy has stolen my heart & I love watching him grow up. Although, I do wish time would slow down just a tad!

Happy Half Birthday (a week late), G! We love you!


So What! Wednesday

So What Wednesday

This week I am saying SO WHAT if...

  • I packed up all the warm clothing last week & woke up to snow on the ground this morning?
  • I am almost 28 years old and I just now learned how to make a hard boiled egg?
  • I am bummed about missing my 10 year high school reunion this summer? See also: HOW HAS IT BEEN TEN YEARS?!
  • I felt like my ears were bleeding after the Maroon 5 concert on Sunday? Look above. I AM OLD. 
  • I legitimately want to throat punch Jillian Michaels when I do her workout videos? She. Is. Crazy. 
  • there is a BALL PIT set up in my living room right now because we are so sick of playing inside & needed something new? We have a bad case of cabin fever.
  • seeing all of these new Twitter babies gives me newborn fevah? Then I remember my almost 8 month old still isn't a great sleeper. Poof. Fevah gone.


Build 'Em Up: The Joy of Playing With Your Kids

build em up_button_2 
I'm linking up with Erin, Kelly, Jennifer, & Courtney again for the Build 'Em Up series!  Today is all about playing with your kids. I've got 2 of those, so allow me to dive right in...

I have a confession: sometimes I think it hard to play with my boys.

Let me back up. I was a 1st grade teacher until G was about 9 months old. He was in daycare full time & I thought it was so hard.  I left work as soon as I could every day & couldn't wait to spend every single second before bedtime with my baby boy. I didn't get to play with him all day, every day & sometimes I think that made me appreciate that time so much more.

Now, I am a SAHM to a 2 1/2 year old and a 7 month old.  I'm with my boys all the time. The play time is never ending & there are more times than I'm proud of that I'm not fully "there" while interacting.  I actually already wrote about this back in January. Not fully being present was something that the Lord has really convicted me of doing.  I'm a work in progress, but I have really been mindful of putting my phone away while I'm with my boys & I only use my computer when they are sleeping. 

Grayson is at such a great age right now & he deserves my full attention. Guess what I have realized now? HE IS SO MUCH FUN. Okay, I already knew that. BUT? It really is so much fun to play with him & see how his little mind works. I love watching his imagination run wild. I also love how excited he gets when I sit on the floor with him & play trucks. I'm excited for the time when Griffin starts interacting more & he can really play, too.

So, basically, over the last few months I've realized that my toddler wants to play with me, not a mama who is attached to social media. I'm so thankful for that conviction I had at the beginning of this year because I am enjoying playing with my boys so much more now that I am fully engaged. It is fun!


Menu Monday

I'm linking up with Rachel again for her menu link up! Go check out her blog--she always has great dinner ideas! 

I've got a lot of solo dinners this week since Ben will be working late, so I have a few repeats. :) That's just how I roll! Here is our menu for the week:

Monday: Veggie quesadillas (Peppers, onions, mushrooms)

Tuesday: Taco Cups

Wednesday: Veggie quesadillas

Thursday: Sweet & Sour chicken (batter used from this recipe & buying the sauce!) with Trader Joe's veggie fried rice

Saturday: Pretzel Chicken with baked sweet potatoes (I always tweak this chicken recipe & cook it at 400 so the pretzels get crispier)

Sunday: Hamburgers for Ben & G/Turkey Zucchini burgers for Griffin & I (he gobbles these up!)


So What! Wednesday

So What Wednesday

This week I am saying SO WHAT if...

  • we have THREE different types of toddler toilets in this house & G is not interested in ANY of them?
  • my 2 year old wears his snow boots almost every single day?
  • my work outs aren't as good if I don't have my 2000s Hip Hop Pandora station playing?
  • I took about 67 Easter card pictures yesterday & only got 3 usable ones? I call that winning. 
  • we have lived in our house for 4 years and I am just now hanging curtains in the family room?
  • Our garage looks more like a parking garage for toddlers than it does an actual garage for adults?
  • the only way I get G to willingly go on a walk in the double stroller is by convincing him we'll see a gazillion animals on the trails? This came back to bite me this week as we had a run-in with a SKUNK. Luckily, no one was injured. Or stinky.
  • I hide all the people on Facebook who constantly share every single dumb photo they come across? ALL THE PEOPLE. 
  • if I was genuinely sad when we lost one of Griffin's baby shoes at Costco?


The Hunt for Easter Cards: a Tiny Prints review

One of my favorite things is snail mail. There is just something so fun about receiving cards in the mail from friends and family. Once we had Grayson, I started sending our close friends & family cards for every holiday. I will take any excuse to send out pictures of our cute boys! 

This is where Tiny Prints enters in. I love their products! I've been browsing their website because I have Easter cards on the brain. Have y'all seen their Easter collection? Everything is so cute!


Easter Cards He Is Risen - Front : Violet

Easter Cards Spinning Splendor - Front : Heather
 Easter Cards Glimmering Glitz - Front : Dark Gray

 I love how simple & colorful all of their spring designs are. You can also add mailing labels to coordinate! Be still my snail mail loving heart! 
Easter Address Labels Glimmering Glitz - Front : Dark Gray
How cute are these?! Do you think my all-boy home would approve of the glitter eggs?
Easter Party Invitations Freshly Hatched - Front : Chenille 
 I love this egg hunt invitation, too! We have 3 Easter egg hunts in the next 2 weeks & I wish I had thought about these invitations sooner!

I also love that they have seasonal thank you cards. These Easter thank you notes are adorable & I also saw lots of designs that Grayson would love! (I'll give you a hint: one set had TRUCKS!)
Tiny Prints has a huge selection of Easter cards & invitations. They are such a great company to work with & you just can't beat the quality. That's my favorite part! I hope y'all take the time to check out the Tiny Prints website...I know you'll find something that you love!


Menu Monday

Here's our menu for the week!

Tuesday: Memphis Style Pulled Pork -- this is a crockpot meal & is one of our favorites!

Wednesday: hamburgers for the boys & Turkey Burgers with Zucchini for  me! I'll probably make some oven fries to go with these.

Thursday: Quinoa Stuffed Peppers -- these were so good! Even Ben liked the filling & that says a lot:)

Friday: Honey Seared Chicken with fried rice -- if you have a Trader Joe's, do yourself a favor and try their veggie fried rice. It is just as good as chinese takeout!

Sunday: We are going OUT! I have a date with my hubby AND Adam Levine that night!

Go link up with Rachel at In No Simple Language & get some great dinner ideas!


Things I Don't Know How I Survived Without The 1st Time Around

I did a few posts when G was a baby about some of my favorite essential items. That list has grown & changed. Some things I am not really sure how we survived without! Here is my new list of things I think every mama needs when they have a baby:

 A bottle warmer. I nursed for 6 1/2 months this time but Grayson was bottle fed for ELEVEN MONTHS. Why did we not have one of these?? We bought this Munchkin brand one for Griffin & it is so much easier than running the bottle under hot tap water for a few minutes! 
 Tommee Tippee bibs for easy feeding. HOLY COW. I am in love with these things. I bought some really cute plastic/fabric bibs for Grayson when he started eating & they took forever and a day to dry. I love these bibs. You can just wipe them off! Genius.
Twitter. You might think I am joking, but I am not. I have about 200 other mamas at my fingertips that I can now talk to about motherhood.  I really am not sure how I parented Grayson without the help of all my friends that live in the computer.

 A cheap, plastic booster seat. We had a pretty, wooden high chair for Grayson. We specifically registered for it because it would match our kitchen table. It looks nice but babies are MESSY eaters. Really messy eaters. At least mine are. There was always so much food stuck in all the little nooks that I could never get out. We switched to a booster seat when G was 1 and I'm not sure why we didn't do it sooner. Griffin was switched at 6 months and it is about 100 times easier to clean. Do yourself a favor 1st time mamas: register for one of these & not a high chair. Another plus? These are portable and are great for trips!

My beloved Keurig. Oh, man. I love this thing.  One thing you should know is that I suck at making coffee. I had an actual coffee maker when G was a baby but I could never get it right. I got this bad boy for Christmas when I was pregnant with Griffin and it has been life-changing. LIFE-CHANGING. Okay, I'm a little dramatic. BUT? It makes it so much easier to make my coffee with a clingy baby and it always tastes good. I'm not sure how I survived the sleep deprived months without one of these. 

That's all I've got. Have I forgotten anything major?! Is there a new product I still don't know about??


So What! Wednesday

So What Wednesday

This week I am saying SO WHAT if...

  • I like to share Griffin's mum mum crackers with him? They taste like rice cakes!
  • We don't correct G when he calls the Easter bunny the "Easter Monies?" Haha! I'll correct him eventually. Maybe when he's 18.
  • I put all my calories for the day in MFP first thing in the morning so I know what I have left for snacks/dessert?
  • Dr. Phil is on my DVR?
  • I think little boys look RIDICULOUS in chevron pants or jon jons? Ridiculous. 
  • I miss breastfeeding mostly because bottle washing is my least favorite chore?
  • G keeps telling me he wants a baby sister? Oy. This is my year NOT to be get pregnant...remember?
  • I took my dogs on a walk last weekend for the first time in TWO AND A HALF YEARS? So glad they run around in our backyard because that is pitiful.


Build 'em up: Bringing Faith to Life

Grab button for Blue Eyed Bride

I love the idea of this link up! I feel like there is always so much talk about the "mommy wars" but we never talk about actually encouraging one another.  Being a mom is hard work & I know I probably wouldn't survive without the support/listening ears of my fellow mama friends! 

The topic today is about bringing your faith to life. I became a Believer when I was 13.  There have been many times that I have strayed on my walk with the Lord but as I've gotten older I have realized more and more that I'm not the one in control. I need a Savior. I am totally inadequate & have to rely on the Lord. One thing I want my boys to understand from an early age is that being a Christian is more than just going to church on Sunday mornings. It's a relationship & you have to work on it constantly...not just one day a week.

Kids learn so much through observation. I didn't really realize this until Grayson became old enough to copy things we did & things we said.  I became really mindful about everything: what I said in front of him, what I watched on tv in front of him, what music we listened to in the car.  We actually  talked about this in our Sunday School class not too long ago & one of our teachers reminded us that "what goes in is always going to come back out."  If you are filling your kids' minds with yuck, that yuck is going to come back out.  If you are filling their little minds up with good things, that good stuff is going to come back out.  I've been really  mindful as Grayson has gotten older to be more open about my faith in front of him. If something is on my heart, we have prayed about it together; even if it is in the middle of playtime on the floor.  Our walks on the neighborhood trails have become a time where we listen to my Chris Tomlin Pandora station & we sing worship songs together.

2 1/2 is a pretty challenging age. Grayson is such a talker but he still has a hard time expressing himself. I always wonder when we are reading his little toddler bible before bed how much he actually understands.  I think the times he gets it the most are when we use teachable moments. (WOW. buzz word! That totally brought the 1st grade teacher back out in me!) I remember a few weeks ago when G was acting like he was afraid of the dark before bed. He has a night light in his room but he still told me it was dark & he was scared.  I told him that he doesn't need to be afraid because God is always nearby & he just needs to talk to Him if he is ever scared.  Those are the moments that he really listens.

This topic is one that honestly makes me nervous. I just want so badly for my boys to know Jesus & to live a life that brings honor to the Lord.  I'm always afraid that I'm not doing enough to plant those seeds in their little minds.

What are some ways you bring your faith to life as a mom?Make sure you go check out Erin, Jennifer, Kelly, and Courtney's blogs today! Thanks for the link up, ladies!


Menu Monday

I'm linking up again with Rachel to share our menu for the week! Menu planning is the one thing that really helps me stay organized throughout the week. When I don't plan ahead, I end up at Publix 4 times during the week. When that happens I get a little uneasy thinking that the staff assumes I keep coming back for the free cookie. The cookie is for the toddler, by the way.

If there is one thing I must tell you about our menu last week, it is 
this: YOU MUST TRY THE CAJUN CHICKEN PASTA.  It was so good that it required all caps. 

This week we are having:

Tuesday: Chicken Burrito Bowls (including this Fiesta Lime Rice)

Wednesday: Chicken Parmesan with roasted garlic cous cous

Thursday: Taco Cups

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Breakfast for dinner...Green Pancakes for St. Patrick's Day!


real life.

Having two kids 2 & under is no easy task. I still laugh at myself for thinking it would be. I was in such a great routine with keeping the house looking decent...and then I had a second baby. Now? There is no cleaning routine. You know those houses on Pinterest that look SO INCREDIBLY TIDY? Well, those pictures don't come from my house.


Real life for us right now looks a little like this: 
  • 4 dirty burp cloths on our coffee table.
  • A gazillion trucks parked in our family room. 
  • Clothes drying on every single barstool. (Okay. They are dry and have still been sitting there for 3 days.)
  • More dog hair on the floors than I care to think about. 
  • CRUMBS GALORE under the kids' kitchen chairs. Always. 
  • Probably 84082309 random toddler socks all over the house because G always has to "take my focks off" while playing. 
  • A disorganized bottle drying rack that takes up a ton of room on our counter.
  • Approximately 27 pacifiers scattered throughout the house.

Sure, I browse Pinterest & think it would be AWESOME if my house could look perfectly clean & organized 24/7. Heck, it would be awesome for my house to get cleaned and actually stay clean for more than 30 minutes.  However, this stage of life we are in is messy. It is loud. It's pretty crazy & can leave me pretty frazzled.  But? It's also full of fun, love, and the sweetest little laughs. I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Surely I will eventually miss that bottle drying rack & 749572 pairs of toddler socks all over the house, right?