Thursday, October 20, 2016

Filter Fun!

I'm so late to the Snapchat world, and technically I'm not reaalllllyyyy on it as I downloaded it just for the fun filters.  Charlie and I spent at least 30 minutes playing around with it.  So much fun!  Especially to see these little ladies with the filters, ha!

And then I meant to include these on Leni 5 month posts, but here are a couple fun collages.  The first one is of Leni & her changes!!  Look how grown up she looks.  I expected these changes from 1 month to 3 months but I'm shocked to see the difference between 3 and 5 months!  The second collage shows Miss Charlie on the left and Miss Leni on the right both at 5 months.  They look a lot alike but there sure are a lot of differences too!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Leni- 5 Months!

Starting to phase out the 6 months clothes and put Leni in 9 months.  For how "short" the pediatricians keep saying she is, she sure is growing like a weed! 

Everything is going great here!  Charlie got really sick this month and we managed to keep little Leni healthy again.  Hopefully we will be as lucky during the winter months.

Still going strong with pumping.  Leni still receives anywhere from 4-6 ounces of formula a day.  We introduced solid foods this month!  We started with pears (just like with Charlie).  She has hated every bite since, haha.  I'm sure she will take to it at some point just like Charlie, but we try a couple teaspoons twice a day.  So far, she's tried pears, sweet potatoes, and apples.  Carrots are next!  Leni gets 6.5 ounces in 3 bottles and her last bottle is 7.5 ounces.

Ah, crying.  Leni is a hard one to figure out.  Leni is such a happy smiley girl but at certain times, she loves to be handful with being fussy and crying.  For example, in the evening, most nights she is fussy.  It has been getting better and better but I cannot wait until this phase is over.  Other times she cries is when laying down for naps.  Most of the time she is fine, but other times she will cry and scream.  I cannot figure out if she is over-tired or not ready for bed.  This may seem pretty typical, but Charlie never cried when putting her down for naps, so it is new to me!  Other than these times, Leni is so happy and there isn’t anything Mama can’t fix :)

Changing schedules & dropping a bottle, laughing out loud, talking more, and starting solid foods!

Sleep is great!  We switched schedules about a week before 5 months, and Leni went down to the 2 naps and 1 cat nap schedule.  First nap is anywhere from an hour and half to two hours, second nap is always two hours, and the cat nap is anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.

We never know what position Leni will be in when we go get her.  She can be found on her tummy, side, back, or pressed up against the sides of the crib.  She's a mover while she sleeps!

Leni has been going down to sleep by 7:15/7:30 for the whole month.  I could tell she was getting way too tired to wait to go to sleep by 8:00 so we bumped up her bedtime and she was so much happier being in bed by 7:30.

We wake her at 7:30 each morning.  Most mornings she is asleep but there are a handful of times she is up and talking for a while.

Loves hands and faces.  While she loves being held and is a huge snuggled, Leni loves her alone time too.  Her favorite toys are the Lamaze Dragonfly, plastic keys, Sophia the giraffe, and Born Free green teething toy.  Leni also loves her baths.  I get more wet from her kicks than I do when giving Charlie a bath!

Evening time, going down for some naps, and solid foods

Other Thoughts
Leni, you’ve grown so much this past month.  You notice everything around you and are constantly straining your neck to look around.  You started talking more and blowing raspberries.  You love your family so much (including LuLu) and get so excited when you see one of us.  You kick your legs and shake your arms.  You have started laughing out loud too which is just adorable!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Starting Solids

Those solids sneak up on you, don't they?!  I received an email letting me know it was time to start last month and I about yelled at the computer screen.  There was no way my little baby was old enough for solids!  I pushed it off another month, and started it just before she turned 5 months (which is officially today :) ).  We skipped cereal/oatmeal just like with Charlie.  Since there is no nutritional value, I feel like there is no need to start there.  We started with pears, just like big sissy.  And just like Charlie, solid foods is the worst thing possible according to Miss Leni.

So far, we've tried pears, sweet potatoes, and apples.  All thumbs down and I'm pretty sure barely any has been swallowed.  It just clicked with Charlie one day after weeks of trying, so I'm sure it will be the same thing with Leni!

And just for Friday fun, I have a little comparison of the two girls for you:

Unfortunately, I couldn't get a quick snap in before Leni started crying, but love taking photos of Leni with Charlie's handed-down clothes.  Same lovable and VERY kissable cheeks :)

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Ohio Renaissance Festival

SO, I'm back at the whole blogging thing if you couldn't tell.  I have to say, for about the whole first year, I didn't think twice about not blogging.  And then this spring happened, and I thought taking blogging back up all the time.  I would go a little while and then just dismiss it because I didn't know how long the interest would last.  But then I thought, oh well!  It's my blog and if I want to do it, I should.  If there are lull times, then that's okay too!

Anyway, I'm super excited to be back.  

The past weekend we met my family at the Ohio Renaissance Festival which is exactly what you would think.  Definitely not a place for little Leni as there were loud noises everywhere (think cannon booms, jousting screams, bagpipes, etc.).  Leni gets very upset by loud noises, especially when she is eating and/or tired.  So while our Charlie Girl enjoyed every second of her surroundings, we left after a couple of hours to get the little babe home.

We met my brother and his family, who were in town from South Dakota, and my mom and her new boyfriend (yes, a lot of new news around these parts).  

We haven't seen my brother in a year and half so it was so good to see family and have Charlie play with her cousins!

My brother Cadet

A little background before continuing: I grew up on a farm in South Dakota with horses (we at least the first 5 years of my life).  Because horses were a big deal in my family, we always did rides, etc. SO, it was my goal this summer to get Charlie up on a horse because she seemed old enough.  Fast forward, I failed miserably and didn't get a chance.  You can imagine how excited I was when I saw they had actual horse rides here.  Charlie seemed so confident and said she wanted to ride all by herself.  I really wanted to take a ride myself so I kept asking her to be sure...are you sure you want to ride all by yourself?  Can mommy ride with you? ...You get the idea

Charlie is very hesitant in new situations.  Derek and I thought there was no way she would get up on a big Clydesdale all by herself and let a stranger walk her around.  WELL she proved Mommy & Daddy wrong.  There is my little Charlie Girl riding all by herself.  Talk about a proud Mama :)  She asked two things when getting off the horse: 1) Can she ride again and 2) Can Daddy buy her a horse.  Yes on both accounts, my love :)

I told her if she wanted to ride again, she had to take me with her!

More pictures from the day:

My mom made these adorable flower crowns for the girls and Charlie wouldn't take hers off.  She fell asleep within minutes of getting in the car and it fell down while sleeping.  Great moment for Derek & myself to share a good laugh and snap a photo.

Everybody came over Monday night for pizza and the girls played all night!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tequila Lime Shrimp Stir-Fry

The other night I adapted two Pioneer Woman recipes into one and you guys, the outcome was out of this world!  Seriously, Derek and I commented how this recipe was now a favorite in the house.  And healthy too.

First, you want to marinate the shrimp with her Tequila Lime recipe:
-Juice from 4 limes
-1 cup tequila
-1/4 cup olive oil
-2 teaspoons kosher salt
-1 jalapeno sliced
-1/2 bunch chopped fresh cilantro

-2 pounds whole jumbo shrimp (peeled and deveined)

Put all the marinade ingredients into a food processor/blender.  Combine the shrimp and marinade into a sealed bag and let sit in the fridge for several hours (at least 5).

Stir-Fry Ingredients:
-Butter/olive oil
-4 cloves garlic minced
-2 whole zucchini sliced
-2 ears of corn, kernels sliced off
-1/2 cup grape tomatoes sliced in half lengthwise
-1/2 bell pepper
-1 cup of Monterey jack cheese (optional)
-Salt and pepper

1) Heat butter or olive oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat
2) Add minced garlic
3) Add shrimp and season with salt
4) Cook for 3 minutes or until shrimp becomes slightly opaque (I used medium heat here as the recipe suggested; however, next time I'll definitely use a higher heat to get more of a golden crisp on the outside of the shrimp)
5) Remove shrimp to a plate
6) Using the same skillet and adding butter/olive oil if needed, add zucchini slices in a single layer and cook for one minute, turning once
7) Move zucchini to the edges of the pan and add corn kernels to the middle of the plan.  Cook for one minute.
8) Add grape tomatoes and bell pepper.  Salt and pepper the veggies and toss around
9) Add shrimp and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
10) Lastly, sprinkle cheese over stir-fry (if using) and Enjoy

We served ours over a bed of rice and it was absolutely delicious.  Cannot wait to make it again!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Easter 2015

Little behind...yes, I know!  Things have been crazy town around these parts.  But we had such a great Easter, I could NOT not blog about it.

I finally got an Easter basket for Charlie this year (mental note for next year- turn around the bunny ear so you are able to see the name correctly).  Anyway, we hid it in a very obvious spot assuming Charlie would not know how/wouldn't be into looking for a basket.  We definitely underestimated her Easter skills.

I had fun stuffing her basket with monogrammed things this year.  Including an adorable little apron she can wear while cooking in her kitchen :)  PS- how does she look so big?!

Charlie thoroughly enjoyed going through her basket and pulling out her new things!  Including those bunny ears....they did not come off all day!

Charlie is obsessed with jewelry and shoes (duh!) so bracelets were a must for the basket.

Derek had to work unfortunately so it was just Charlie and myself for the day.  We went up to my Mom's to see family and eat a delicious meal.

My Mom was smart and nice enough to plan a little Easter egg hunt for Charlie.  Again, Derek and I completely underestimated Charlie.  We thought she was too young this year to enjoy a hunt...we were wrong!!  Girlfriend picked up all those eggs in a few short minutes.  Oops, I know better next year!

Charlie is obsessed with taking the eggs apart, putting them back together, taking them out of her basket, putting them in her basket, etc. etc. even to this day!!

Hope you all had a great Easter!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Recipe: Chicken Wild Rice Casserole

I've got a super yummy casserole for you to make!  We don't make many casseroles in our house; but, you know those days when all you want is something warm, easy, and comforting, well this is a perfect recipe! Plus- Charlie loved it so that is always a keeper for me.  PLUS PLUS- it tastes excellent heated up the next day!

Original recipe from Pinch of Yum

1 onion
5 carrots
5 stalks celery
1 cup wild rice
3 cups chicken broth
1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
10 tablespoons butter (divided)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk

3-4 cups cubed bread (dry, sturdy, or day old bread works best)

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Chop the onion, carrots, and celery. Place in a large baking dish. Add the wild rice and the broth and salt & pepper. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.

2) When the rice is almost done, melt four tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, salt, and poultry seasoning and cook for one minute. Add the milk slowly, whisking to form a thick, creamy sauce.

3) If you want the topping, melt the remaining six tablespoons butter and toss with the bread cubes. (note from original recipe- I've also made it without the topping and it's still delicious).

4) When the rice is done, remove foil, add raw chicken and creamy sauce, and stir to combine. Arrange the bread in a layer on top. Turn the heat up to 450 and bake uncovered for another 15-20 minutes until chicken is no longer pink and the bread cubes are golden brown.