Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jalepeno cheese sticks... seriously

These things are seriously delish and they are just 80 nummy calories. Spicy cheese is one of my current faves so I thought I'd share. ;)

Monday, June 25, 2012


If you have good stuff people are like crazy zombies about wanting to get in on your action... for reals y'all.
Here are a few shots of what the girl has been up to these last few days... enjoy! :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Random end of the week updates

Hadley will officially hold her own bottle and isn't even fussing at us too much about it! Before, she LOVED having me hold her and give her the bottle and since it was our sweet snuggle time I was fine with her refusing to hold it herself. She's getting more independent and has been more than able to hold it herself for months now so it's been a nice change of pace around here the last few days.
Going from standing up (at one of the built-ins or her toy box or the couch) to sitting down has been a big fear for the munchkin. She would fuss and fuss and insist someone "help" her down. Helping her down just meant touching her so that she had security but she was not a fan of sitting back down and she let us know! In the last 2 days she has started sitting down from standing on her own like it's no big deal. It is too cute and I could not be more proud.
Yesterday, we had lunch with Jim in the park by his office and then walked around on some trails. It was fun and Hadley loved getting to see her daddy. We've had a great week and can't wait for more fun this weekend. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Double stroller.

In about a week and a half I will be caring for a 2.5 month old alongside Hadley during the week for our great friends. It's going to be great :) and thankfully we have all of the appropriate gear for a newborn {pack n play for naps, nap nanny for chilling around the house, snugabunny cradle swing, chicco infant carseat base, changing table, etc} but we don't have a stroller for two.
There are so many options out there and you really have to take your specific situation into account when choosing what will be best for you. For us, it's important to function both outside on the sidewalks in nice weather as well as in the mall for all of the nasty Minnesota winter days. Also important to consider is the comfort of both of the kiddos since if they aren't happy the walk or trip will be miserable.
With double strollers you have a choice between tandem (front to back style) and side by side. Tandems are typically really long and side by sides are, well, pretty wide so you really have to pick your poison there. You must also consider the type of infant seat that you have since compatibility is really important for ease of travel with a 0-9 month old. For me, another consideration is definitely the strollers that I have loved as singles since I have loves and definite hates... Love the Uppababy Vista (but Hadley HATES the tiny second seat option and who can blame her it's not that great unless you're just an occasional rider that's small). We also LOVE the Baby Jogger City Mini and of course the Bob Revolution SE. Peg Perego and Britax are not that great by my standards (but as a disclaimer that's just personal preference).
My favorite double options right now are the Baby Jogger City Select ($575), Baby Jogger City Mini GT Double ($669) and the BOB Revolution Duallie ($644). That's about as much as I'll make each month babysitting so not cheapo. :(
The Baby Jogger City Select is the most versatile of the options since it's a tandem that goes from a single to a full size double with stadium style seating and can be configured into 16 seating combos. It folds very easily like all Baby Jogger strollers which is a bonus. The cons are that it can be tough to get over curbs when fully loaded and the rear axel is straight across (so you may kick it in flip flops that's a killer). Being able to go from a single to a double and back to a single with 2 full seats makes this a really great option for our situation.
The Baby Jogger City Mini GT Double is a side by side super version of my beloved travel stroller the City Mini. It has forever-air tires instead of the hard plastic wheels on the original City Mini. The seats accommodate from a newborn (with a head/body snuzzler) to a tall 5 year old so this one likely has the most longevity. The cons are that it's wide and it doesn't convert to a single so if you just have one rider you're still pushing a wide stroller.
The Bob Revolution Duallie is the BEST option for all-terrain outdoors strolls/runs and fairs/festivals. It glides so smoothly over curbs and bumps and almost pushes itself. You can run behind it which you can't do with the others so that's a big plus. The Bob Duallie also has negatives though... it's wider, heavier and longer than the other options for starters. It's pretty much not made for going to stores/ the mall since it's so big. Also, you can't put a baby directly into the seat until they're 6 months at the youngest. While the other options have carseat adapters, the Bob is the only one that you don't have the option to put them directly into the seat until they're bigger.
Other options that I've considered that meet our basic requirements are the Chicco Cortina Together ($299) and the original Baby Jogger City Mini Double ($399). Both of these options are less than ideal for different reasons. The Chicco is a tandem and it is very heavy, doesn't handle bumps or curbs well and is easily the most quickly outgrown. The original Baby Jogger City Mini Double isn't ideal for all-terrain but otherwise it meets all of our requirements. For how expensive it is you would hope that it would fill all of the requirements but no option is perfect so it is still worth mentioning.
There are a lot of positives and a few negatives for each of them so now it's just a matter of processing everything and figuring out what's best in the LONG term (like not just babysitting but for our future kids too).
Since considering all of the above, I've called the store that our Uppababy Vista was purchased from last year and the owner offered a deal that's interesting. He said that he is interested in a "trade" of our Uppababy Vista AND our {wait who are we kidding it's really MY beloved} City Mini for a Baby Jogger City Select with a chicco carseat adapter. This is very interesting but I would be happier if a second seat was included not just the chicco adapter. ...BUT who in the heck else is going to be able to trade for this type of thing?
Jim needs to be consulted since he already thinks I'm certified crazy town as far as strollers go (since we have 1 child and 3 strollers). Yeah... I'm "special" but that's okay.

Horse Trough Planter

Jim is a gem of a hubby and agreed to cover our ugly weedy flower bed with 12x12 pavers and a horse trough to use as a raised bed planter. It looks amazing compared to the weedy bed we had previously!
Budget-wise, I don't want to give anyone the impression that this project cost a fortune but it wasn't incredibly expensive for the awesome impact it has on our backyard. Each of the 12x12 pavers was $0.99 from Home Depot and we used 15 of them to line the bed. The horse trough was $120 from Tractor Supply Co. Jim used soils and rock from our yard to half fill the container and it took about $16 worth of potting soil for the top layer to nourish the plants. The plants themselves cost about $55 but I got killer deals {since it's late as far as planting season} and a few are actually perennials so they will hopefully live into next year so less work and money for us! Total cost with tax was about $220... not bad when you consider how gorgeous it is now!
I planted ornamental kale, geraniums, marigolds, salva and a few other random items that I thought looked cool. By no means am I a gardening expert so we'll see how successful it is in looking beautiful through the fall. For now it's looking great and I really LOVE it.
Happy first official day of summer!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

15 months old

Hadley is 15 months old today and becoming more of a toddler and less of a baby daily! We have seen toddler tantrums and she is definitely forming personal preferences. That can be adorable or annoying depending on the circumstance but overall it's awesome when I think about her gaining her independence {slowly}. Yesterday she had her first haircut (le sigh.) and it just looks really cleaned up and not totally different than before but she is growing up!
She is consistently pulling up to stand now {on bookshelves, a dog, the dishwasher, etc} and has been doing so for the last 2 weeks. She has also began sidestepping/cruising sideways cautiously in order to get to desirable books and toys when she's standing. Getting down from standing to sitting has been a big deal {since it scares her and she fusses} but in the last few days she has been fussing less and just sitting down. :)
As far as whole milk bottles, Hadley takes two, 8oz at 7:30 am and another 8oz at 6:30 pm. In the last week she has been showing signs that she is ready to reduce the ounces per bottle but I'm hoping to wait to reduce the amount once we've gotten the okay from the pediatrician at her 15 month check next week. It's funny because when you're feeding your baby you feel like they'll need milk forever(!) but when she reduced her intake at 12 months it was really natural. Since she showed the same signs she is showing now it will soon be time to drop another bottle but we'll see what the doctor says. As a side note, Hadley still won't drink milk from a sippy cup only water.
Hadley's words that we are hearing a lot of these days are Da, Mama, thank you (tea-coo), ball (baah) and wah (not sure what this one means). She gives hugs and big puckered up kisses which melts our hearts.
All of our BumGenius diapers have been moved up to their largest setting in the last month. I definitely prefer using the all-in-one "Elemental" style the best although the pockets work great for sensitive teething booty moments. Who would've thought that teething can make their bums so sensitive?!
Speaking of teething, Hadley is working on tooth number 8!! We can see it and it's definitely being a little beast coming out but soon she'll be chomping even more efficiently.
Late last week, we found out that the tests that Hadley had to get at the children's hospital came back inconclusive which is awesome! Thankfully she will not need to go for another neurology appointment until October (when she's 19 months). She has a follow-up with the orthopedist in early August for her hip dysplasia and we will see if she needs to continue to wear the Rhino hip abduction brace every time she sleeps... we are ready to be done with bracing since she's been wearing it since December 23rd.
We are going to baby story times at two of our local libraries each week and making a weekly trek to the Children's museum in St. Paul.
We love our baby girl so much and it's amazing to see her continue to grow. :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

It's Jim's second official Father's Day and he has been working like a slave in the yard... his choice! Everything is looking so great!!
Thanks for being an AMAZING dad! We love you :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A bunch of blabber

I have a COLD in June: I've had a gross cold going on since Saturday night. :( Can't wait to feel better.
Yard Updates: We've gotten a ton of work done in the backyard this last weekend with the help of Jim's parents. We will soon have some awesome before and after pictures to share!
D.I.Y. Mommy stuff: I thought I'd try to replace the busted elastic on the Flip diaper covers that we were given BUT once I picked the seams and everything was rocking (or so I thought...) oops I have the wrong replacement elastics! I got 1/8th inch instead of 1/4th inch so this project is once again on hold.
Hadley: We are still waiting (2 weeks now) to hear back about tests that were requested by a neurologist that could explain some of her gross motor development delays. She basically is 5 months behind the average baby in terms of gross motor development (rolling, crawling, pulling up to stand, cruising, walking, etc). To help her, the pediatrician recommended going for weekly physical therapy so for the last two months she has been going and making great progress although she is still 5 months behind. Hopefully we will hear back soon about the blood tests to find out if there is an underlying reason for the delays so that we'll know one way or another.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Baby lunch sampler

I have been working on coming up with more creative lunches for miss Hadley so I thought it might be fun to share one... applesauce, ground turkey, blueberries, string cheese and goldfish!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bouquet love

So Crystal just texted me from her honeymoon to tell me that her photographer posted a few teaser photos from their wedding. Of the few sweet photos he chose to share right away, there it was!! Her BOUQUET(!) and its so gorgeous. LOVE it.
Go check it out:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

8th Grade Graduation

My youngest sister who just turned 13 in March has officially graduated from the 8th grade!! She's a major smarty-pants and is a whole grade ahead of kids her own age so this "graduation" is definitely notable as far as occasions go.
Congrats to Parker and all of the rest of the Breck 8th grade grads!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

We can now call them Mr. and Mrs. :)

Yesterday was Ryan and Crystal's wedding and all of the flowers and decor turned out beautifully. Once I get copies of her pro photos I will post them but here are a few teasers of the fun that was had.