Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Month 3 {Kind of}


You know what I love about the month of February? 
It only has 28 days. 
Well not this year -- with the whole leap year business 
but the best part is 
there isn't 30 days! 

That means Landon won't turn 3 months
He will just continue on in his little 2 month self 
and I will live in ultimate denial that my baby isn't getting old. 



These last three months have flown by
I blame it on the holidays and Oliver's birthday 
but the reality is 
when you have kids time does this strange thing 
where it actually speeds up 
and moments that seemed to have just happened...
actually happened months ago

Landon is growing to be a sweet little man. 
He is always smiling
It doesn't take much to get him to smile. 
Just a random dance from Oliver 
When Ryan tickles him
or when I sing "You Are My Sunshine
that usually results in a giggle, 
you'd understand if you have ever heard me sing. 



He spends most of his days awake
We move from the floor, 
to the jungle mat, 
to the bumbo, 
to the dining room 
where we sit and watch Oliver create all his masterpieces. 
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

He does nap 
but lately it's been the opposite of Oliver 
he likes to be awake with us during the day. 
I don't mind, I just move him with me from room to room. 
I was wearing him in the sleepy wrap for a time 
but apparently he's too cool for that 
and he wanted to sit up on his own. 
What do I know?!


There isn't much to share. 
He's turning 3 months - 
he's still pretty much a blob
But he is so darn cute

Favorites:
Oliver
Coloring on the Aquadoodle - 
{apparently to infants and toddlers this is hilarious. We help Landon hold the pen and color on the mat. Fits of laughter all around.} 
Eating
Baths
Cuddling 
Tickles
Trees
Music

Oh and I think I have actually called him Landon a total of 5 times since he was born. 
Here he's known as "Wrinkles" poor kid. 


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Monday, February 27, 2012

Dontcha Wish Your Soup Was Hot Like Mine...

...Sorry I have no idea where that title even came from - but from the moment I started writing this post, that song was stuck in my head. 
Lucky you. Or me. 

I love homemade soup. But I am over the everyday kinds like vegetable and minestrone. 
I recently discovered Skinny Mac & Cheese Soup over at SkinnyTaste
This soup is delicious. Warm and comforting and delicious. 
Did you hear me?! Delicious!


I've been trying a lot of different things since I've been on weight watchers. 
I rate the recipes on Oliver reaction to them. If he eats them, I keep the recipe - if he turns his nose up and run away demanding popcorn or goldfish, I know the recipe has to go. 

This soup he loves. Which is understandable seeing he would live on mac & cheese. 
Now we are a family that loves Kraft but I'm trying to branch away from the boxed and processed. 
This soup is helping me do that. 

Alright, enough with all the talk on how wonderful this soup is. 
Here is the recipe. 

Ingredients 
4oz of dry macaroni 
(I've used macaroni and small shells and both have been fine. So any pasta you have on hand should work)
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 tbsp light butter
2tbsp flour
2 1/2 cups low sodium fat free chicken broth (or veggie broth)
1 cup fat free milk
pinch nutmeg
1/2 tsp dry mustard
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups (about 10oz) broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 cups 2% sharp cheddar, shredded
2tbsp Parmesan cheese

Directions
Boil pasta in salted water according to directions on box. Drain and set aside.
Chop onion, celery, carrot and garlic.
In a large soup pot or dutch oven melt butter and add veggies. Saute on low heat until soft. 
Add flour and fresh pepper to the pot and stir until smooth.
Slowly add chicken broth, milk, nutmeg and dry mustard powder - whisking constantly.
Set heat to med-high until it comes to a boil.
Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.
Add broccoli and Parmesan cheese. Stir well. 
Adjust salt and pepper if needed.
Cook uncovered until broccoli is cooked.
Add cheddar - mixing well until melted. Immediately remove from heat.
Add macaroni and adjust salt and pepper if needed. 

The recipe says to eat immediately so the pasta doesn't absorb all the broth but I made mine earlier in the day and it was fine. Also, the first time I made this I didn't have broccoli so I used half a bag of frozen spinach and it was delicious. So I think this soup would work with whatever veggies you have on hand, or need to use up. 


Enjoy. 

Recipe found here


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Arrrrrgh Matey - Captain Oliver is 2.

I had so much fun planning this party. Last years theme of Yo Gabba Gabba was fun, but this party blew that one out of the water. 

I went back and forth between doing a Cars theme (cars in general, not the movie) or Pirates. Oliver loves them both but lately it's been pirates
so that's what I went with. 

Welcome to Captain Oliver's Pirate Birthday Party. 

For the backdrop I used some of the infamous drop cloth that I bought for Landon's curtains. You know that drop cloth has been used for so many things. So maybe it was a good thing that the curtains didn't work out. 


I made the bunting using my cricut. I cut out the triangles and hole punched the two top corners. I connected them with black ribbon and then tied strips of the drop cloth to the ribbon to make it look more 'pirateish'. For the circles I cut them out by hand. I don't have a plain circle cartridge. The letters were cut out using the Classic Font cartridge on my cricut. I glued the letters onto the circles than glued the circles onto the triangles and assembled the whole bunting. 

It was hung to the drop cloth backdrop with safety pins. 
The cloth hanging from the top and bottom of the backdrop is just random articles of clothing I stole from Ryan's side of the closet and cut up. Kidding. They are old clothes but it was from my end-of-the-world-I may-need-these-to-sew something-someday-stash. See Ryan - This was the reason I don't throw anything away. 

Alright Moving on….

The food table. Where to begin?


How about that nice little treasure chest smack dab in the middle of the table. That baby was made out of rice crispy treats. I just made a batch of rice crispy treats then put it into a 13x9 in pan. I let it cool for a few minutes and then cut it in half. I smushed the one square of it to make it rounded on top to make it look like the top of a treasure chest. Then I put it into the fridge to cool.  I used just regular chocolate frosting to frost it. Then Reese's Pieces to decorate it. The brown was used for the top of the chest and the yellow and orange were tossed inside to look like money. 


The cupcakes were dark chocolate with chocolate frosting. I found the pirate skull and crossbone wrappers at our local grocery store. Along with the gold sprinkles. The gold coins came from Party City. The Jolly Roger flags I printed myself. I found them here



The two red square bowls were from the dollar section at Target. I printed the skull and crossbones and just glued them on. 

The food and drinks were labeled with pirate themed names. I used my cricut to make labels then just wrote the names on with a black pen. 
The bottles in the background are empty beer bottles. I removed the labels and then wrapped strips of drop cloth around the bottle and secured it with hot glue. The reeds in the bottles were something I had on hand - originally bought from Pier 1 several years ago. 
The skull once had vodka in it. Dan Aykroyd makes it. I'm not sure what it's called. 
{we look like alcoholics}

We only had three kids attending the party so I made homemade play-dough {recipe at bottom} 
I colored it red to go along with our theme and stored it in plastic containers from the dollar store. I included a print out of the play dough recipe in case the parents wanted to make more at home. I tied it up with red yarn and placed them in brown paper gift bags also from the dollar store. I used more of the drop cloth to hold four pirate themed temporary tattoos and gold coin chocolates (both from Party City). I tied them up to look like a pirate pouch. They were also placed in the gift bag. I used black ribbon, red yarn and strips of drop cloth to tie the gift bags closed. The ship picture I found after searching for pirate ship clip art. I wrote the child's name in the top sail and a little thank you from Oliver in the bottom. 
Next to the gift bags I placed stick on mustaches (Dollar Store) and pirate themed noise makers. (Party City) 

The dining room was the main room that was decorated. But I wanted to carry the theme throughout the house. Over the front window balloons were strung up by threading thread through the ends. Then I just tied the thread to the curtain rod. 

Over the mirror in the living room I hung black and white streamers and a skull and cross bones banner I found here

I also hung balloons and streamers from the railing on our stairs 

The boys shirts were a gift from my Sister in Law. She lives in North Carolina and couldn't make it up for the party but had these made for Oliver and Landon. Aren't they adorable?!
She got them from here. Make sure you check Leslie's Etsy site out - she does amazing work. 
This is Oliver's 3rd shirt from her. They are all well made and hold up nicely. 



Oliver had a wonderful time opening gifts until he opened a Melissa and Doug hammering toy. After that all he wanted to do was play. So I finished opening his gifts for him 

After presents we sang Happy Birthday to Oliver and enjoyed some cupcakes. 


It was a great day. For a super sweet little boy. I think Oliver had a blast at his party. I had so much fun setting up and creating everything. It was a lot of work but it was worth it. 

Thank you to everyone who came. And a big thank you to my amazing husband Ryan for putting up with all the craziness and my bossiness (sorry). And to my Grandma and my Bestest friend Jessica for helping to wrangle my children while I set up. 
You all are awesomesauce.  


Play Dough Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water 
1 Tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar 
Food coloring by drops
Directions:
Add all ingredients but the food coloring to a pot and cook over med-low heat. Stir until a ball starts to form. 
Remove dough ball from the pot, add food coloring to the dough and knead for about 5 minutes.  Make sure to mix the food coloring in well. 
Store dough in a plastic container. 

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy Birthday To You....

Happy Birthday to you...
Happy Birthday to Oliver
Happy Birthday to you....



We had such a fun day for Oliver's real birthday. Ryan had to work in the morning but he got out at noon so we planned an afternoon of fun for our 2 year old. 

That morning we woke up early and let Oliver open his gifts.
He was still sleepy and wanted no part of presents.
I'm not sure he actually knew what was going on.



But after opening the clothes and new big boy underwear we let him open the toys
I honestly had no clue what to get him.
The kid has a lot of toys. We wanted something he could play with for awhile, not just a day or so and get bored with. 
We got him a remote control car. It's actually really fun - it's the one that flips over and you can drive on either side. Perfect for my destructive child. 
He loves it. 

After presents, I made him Cake Batter Pancakes. It was a Pinterest find from earlier in the week.

You can find the recipe here
They were delicious. Not as sweet as I was expecting. He loved them.
So did I.

Our birthday adventures continued after Ryan came home. We went out for lunch at our favorite hot dog place, Ted's. Oliver loves it there. I asked him earlier that day if he wanted a hot dog for lunch. He said, "Yeah, and french fries!" He knows exactly what we get, because we get the same thing every time we go.
This time, we got him his own big kid meal. It came with a fancy hat. And soda pop. This was the first time he got to have his own cup of pop. He kept telling everyone he was drinking pop. He was excited. 
To be a kid and get excited over the simplest, smallest things. 

After lunch we made our way to the aquarium. It's such a small place but big enough for Oliver. It's nice because he could run around and it's never busy so he wasn't in anyones way.

He loved the penguins. They were his favorite. He liked looking at the fish and the day before we watched Finding Nemo so we saw Nemo in the tank. He even pointed him out.


We walked around the aquarium for about an hour. Just the four of us. 
Then we headed home for some dinner and birthday cake. 
I think he had a great birthday. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Let's Have Coffee...and Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner...


Welcome back for another week of Let's Have Coffee..
Are you all still enjoying these weekly posts?

This week has been eventful. Oliver had his first cold, ever this week. Which would only make sense because it was his birthday week.
It started with a small cough last Friday and turned into a full blown out cold by Sunday.
The croupy cough scared the crap out of me.


I've had that Rihanna song, "We Found Love" stuck in my head for the past week. I liked it a week ago, now it's kind of annoying.



Did you all have a nice Valentine's Day? We don't do much. We just had a nice dinner and watched a movie, then Teen Mom.
We're real romantic.
But I did get this!!!
Only the best gift ever

The boys and I made chocolate hearts for family and our neighbors.
The sweet little old ladies loved them.


Oliver had a wonderful birthday - I'll share our day next week. Tomorrow is his birthday party I'm so excited I can't wait! I've been making decorations and setting up all day.
Here's a sneak peek


Alright, the moment you all have been waiting for.
According to Random.Org 
The winner of the handmade yarn wrapped wreath is.....
::Drum roll::

Congrats Melowe!!
Email me your shipping address Littlemudpies{at}gmail{dot}com
and I'll send your new wreath out to you!!

Giveaways are fun. I plan on having more in the future!  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Oliver Jacksen




Happy Birthday sweet Little Man.
You have been such a joy to us these past two years.
We love you so very much and every day we are more and more proud of you.
Thanks for being so wonderful!
Love,
Momma & Dada
{and Wrinkles too!}
xoxo

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