Tuesday, November 15, 2011

4 months!

I can't even believe that the first 4 months have already passed!  Alexa has, um- how shall we put it, quite the personality.  She is such a sweetheart, but make no mistake, she is the boss.  Just ask her, she'll tell you!  
Hey- I said no photos!

If you insist...
 She loves to cuddle, smile and coo.  She is friendly and fun but she still is a little mystery.  From the color of her eyes, to her likes and dislikes- it all seems to vary depending on the day.  I'm enjoying the surprises she brings!

This duo cracks me up!
Ellie is absolutely fantastic with her.  You can really tell she enjoys being the big sister.  I'm not sure how she'll take to being bossed, but she's a laid back kinda kid.  Plus, I really do believe that the younger siblings are ALWAYS bossy.  Mine was!  (Sorry, Adrienne- you know you were!)
Meanwhile, Princess Ellie is coming into her own.  She is quite the girlie girl, and I am surprised to say that I am absolutely loving every minute of it!  If I'm being completely honest, I always thought of myself as a mama who would have sons.  Being a mama to two girls has probably been the best gift God has ever given me.  If I knew how much fun they'd be or how much I would truly enjoy them, I would have saved myself the anxiety that I had when we learned their genders  Who knows, maybe I'm more of a girlie girl than I ever thought!  Not necessarily a bad thing...

She made me put every bow on her head!

October Outings!

Boy, I have to say work has been downright cah-razy!  I'll save that for another post, though.  The month of October was fantastic.  We are at the point where it seems like with both of our children, each month is better than the last.  Lil' Lexie Lynne turned a corner at the 3 month mark and with the Holidays fast approaching time really seems to fly.

This is my favorite time of the year.  I enjoy the south Florida fall.  Plus, Thanksgiving is right around the corner and that is my favorite holiday of them all.  I like that it is a time to be with family and to celebrate them all without the expectation of presents. 

We took the kids to their first Pumpkin Patch.  Truth be told, it was my first time as well.  We all had a great time.  It is something we will do again next year for sure. 

Do you know how hard it is to get to kiddos to sit still?

Take Two!

I'm in LOVE with this bald lil' head and chubby lil' cheeks!

...and so is Daddy

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Switch

Wow!  I can't believe that it has been over a month since I've posted.  It has been crazyhecticbusy with me going back to work and all.  Even with all the insanity, I've been feeling uninspired.  But this weekend was great and worthy of a post!

I'm 3 months!!
Alexa had an awesome weekend.  Wonderful, actually.  I swear that there must be a switch that flips when my children reach the 3 month mark that causes them to stop fussing.  She has consistently been sleeping through the night.  The night time colic has virtually stopped and I feel my blood pressure returning to a normal level.  It is funny because Ellie was the same way.  Tears and screaming are replaced by smiles and cooing.  This is the part of mommyhood that I love.  She's not a "newborn" anymore.  I can't say that I'm sorry to leave that phase behind.  I know all of the wonderful things that are coming and I'm so excited to watch another first year unfold.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


We had a great weekend.  My in-laws came down to stay with the girls while Marshall and I took our belated wedding anniversary trip.  Our anniversary is in May, but I was very pregnant and very miserable (just ask him) so we decided to wait until after Alexa arrived to take a little getaway.

We were gone for two nights and stayed at Il Lugano, which is a fantastic little hotel on the intracoastal and only about 8 miles away.  I am so glad we ultimately decided to stay nearby.  The two days were just what we needed to reconnect.  We relaxed, had some delicious meals, got asked for ID when we went to the wine bar and had such a great time.  It was nice to get away and be us.  It is amazing that we still know who we are independent of being a parent.  Sometimes you lose yourself in that role and forget who you are.  I try to look parenthood as adding another layer to who I am  rather than replacing myself entirely with the updated "mom" version of me.  I mean afterall, being a parent does change you, but it doesn't change you completely.  Frankly, I don't want it to.  I like who my husband is and I assume he likes me most days.  That's probably why we got married in the first place.  Why should all of that disappear?

I know how hard it is with the girls, the house, our jobs to stay connected.  Marriage is hard by itself, let alone adding everything else into the mix.  Anyone who is married knows that.  I do not want to be the married couple who after the kids are gone realize that we don't know each other outside of the role of "parent" and during these years we have drifted so far apart that we no longer have anything in common.  Afterall, we are the foundation of this family. 

Sometimes it's easy to forget the root of it all especially after seeing how far you've come in 3 years.  I'm sure as the years go by it will get harder.  We will be more wrapped up in their lives.  School, extracurricular activities, Saturday night stake outs when they're on a date with a boy who you just know is trouble.  (Beause they all are, of course!)  All of these things will keep us occupied.  So it is especially important every now and then for Marshall and I as individuals to get together and remember why we decided to do all of this in the first place.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Daniela and Aryana's visit

When I think back on my life so far, I have a feeling of joy.  I don't have really any complaints about my childhood, which is great when you all the craziness that came along with it.  Hell, if I came out of my youth unscathed hopefully my children will too.  :-)    College was a great time for the most part and I must admit, I am enjoying my thirties more than any other period of my life.

Thankfully, I've had a friend who has been there through most of it all.  Daniela and I met in junior high school when I would copy off of her science homework every day.  She was kind of shy and quiet and I've never met a stranger, so I am positive I talked her ear off.  I still do.  Let's face it somethings will never change.  Once highschool rolled around, we became inseperable.  We had the best times together.  We were yin and yang.  She was definitely someone that I looked up to. 

She went off to Memphis for college after highschool graduation.  At that point, it probably would have been easy for us to fall into our own lives and drift apart.  But it didn't happen.  When we did see each other, it was like we hadn't missed a beat.  It is still that way to this day.

We were in each other's weddings, we've seen our children grow, we call each other after a fight with our mothers.  Daniela is a wonderful mom of 3 children, so she is my trusted authority on all things baby.  She has answered her phone in the middle of the night when I'm driving around a screaming child and I'm crying myself because in that moment I don't think I'm cut out for motherhood.  Everyone should have a friend like this.

She and her daughter Aryana came for a visit last weekend.  Aryana is 20 days older than Ellie.  Eventhough we live in different states, it was so awesome to go through pregnancy with your best friend.  It was so cool that we both had daughters and that they are so close in age.  I get to see Daniela and her family roughly twice a year, sometimes more, but we have promised ourselves that we will get all of our girls together every year for a weekend in Florida.  This is a tradition that I am so excited to begin.

These little girls had a blast.  I don't know if they had more fun or if Daniela and I did.  They sat on Ellie's little princess couch, shared everything from toys to sippy cups, and chattered in toddler babble.  It was such a crazy thing to see, the two of us with our daughters.  These are the things we as girl's talked about growing up.  "When we get married..."  "When we have kids..."  Now we are those women.  It is almost beyond my comprehension.

I wish so much for my daughters: happy healthy lives, much success, friendship, love, wonderful families of their own one day.  But I also wish for them that they have a best friend like I do.  Someone who knew them during their formative years, someone to share a limo at their proms, someone to visit when they all go to college, to stand beside them at their weddings,  to share the joys and frustrations of marriage, parenting, and everything else, someone to call up and bitch about their own crazy mother... 

Monday, August 22, 2011

1 month! (Sort of...)

Alexa was 6 weeks and 1 day when I took this photo, but I didn't have the stickers for the onesies yet.  Woops, sorry Alexa.  Your mama stinks.  The second child syndrome is already setting in.  I notice how different I was with Ellie.  I was on top of it all.  Okay, not really- but I was way more diligent with things like this.  Alexa is lucky she got a baby book, and even luckier that it is somewhat filled out.  Maybe it is a blessing for her.  Sure, she'll get all the hand me downs, but won't we be more relaxed since we are supposed to have a better clue as to what we are doing with our second.  Or are they so close together that it won't even matter?  I guess we'll have to wait and see.

I'm feeling more comfortable with 2 children.  It seems like we've almost hit a stride.  Well, not a full on stride, more like a limp or a hobble but we are making progress is the point I'm trying to make. 

So happy 1 month (6 weeks and 1 day) to Alexa Lynne.  I'll do better at your 2 month photo, I promise!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ellie's 1st Birthday

I know that her birthday was in May, but I really wanted to show it on my blog.  I know first birthday's are more for the parents than the actual child and this birthday was no exception.  I wanted to really celebrate her first year and go all out.  I wanted to celebrate her life, the love she has given us, and the fact that she appears to be doing very well.  Although it is too early to tell what permanent damage she has suffered for having me as her mom.  :-)

The dessert table
We went with an owl theme.  I did a lot of the projects myself.  I had so many more ideas, but like I said in my first post, I lack execution- so we had what we had!  I made the banners and the topiary that was on the dessert table as well as her high chair banner that we ended up placing behind the high chair.

It says "I am 1"

Ellie's little birthday outfit was so stinkin' sweet.  I ordered the cutest onesie, hairbow, and personalized owl bloomers from Bella Claire Baby and I made her tutu myself!

I tried to make her smash cake all by myself.  Lord knows I tried, but I failed!  I can't ice a cake worth a damn!  So off to Publix I went with photos of my idea and they made it happen.
Ellie's smash cake
 Needless to say she enjoyed her party!!

Monday, August 15, 2011


I'm new to the whole blogging thing, but I do plan on adding photos here and there.  Especially for my recipes.  I'm a visual person and I prefer to see a picture of what I'm making.  Just a head's up.

Ellie's First Beach Day

What a great weekend we all had.  The weather was absolutely beautiful.  We decided to head up to Palm Beach, initially just for the night, but we ended up staying the entire weekend.  On Sunday, we took Ellie to the beach. 

Ellie and Uncle Luke
She's been to the beach a handful of times, but this was pretty much before she could walk.  She'd tag along with us in her carseat.  But this time was a blast.  She was a little afraid of the tide at first- when it would wash ashore on her little feet, but she is fearless!  In no time she was splashing around like she was born to be in the ocean.  It was so sweet.  Uncle Luke says he's going to teach her to surf, and when that time comes- I have no doubt she'll love it.  She's not much for getting messy, though.  When the sand would get on her hands she'd make a little scowl on her face and hold out her hands.  She really is a hoot.

Alexa stayed behind.  Gigi and Pawpaw (Marshall's grandparents) watched her for us while we went.  It is so funny the way you change when you have your second child.  We always toted Ellie along wherever we went, having someone else watch her wasn't really an option for us.  I was like a mama hawk and there was no way I was letting my little Ellie out of my sight.  Now, we have no problems asking someone to watch over them while we do this or that.  Not that Gigi or Pawpaw mind.  I know they love spending time with our girls and we are grateful for that!

Friday, August 12, 2011


This reflux business has been very trying on our little family.  Especially since our special angel won't sleep because of it.    Thankfully, we have a great pediatrician.  She gave us some medicine (Zantac in a liquid form) for Alexa.  On Monday she told us that we should have some relief by the weekend. 

Last night and the night before were great.  I don't know if it is the medicine doing it's magic or the fact that we have her swaddled tighter than a crazy person in a straight jacket, but I'll take it.  I am waiting for 4 good nights in a row before I declare a success on this front.

Sweet Ellie has a mild fever.  Don't think for one second that it is slowing her down.  I love my girls so much. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Ellie as a newborn

I have to be honest, I am not a fan of the "newborn phase."  I can't really tell what they need, why it is necessary to cry at 2, 3, 4 a.m and why they sometimes take 4 days to poop.  Nope, not a fan.  Ellie had colic and that was just God awful.  There is nothing like thinking or feeling like your baby hates your guts.  She was completely inconsolable from the hours of 4-7p.m every day for about the first 3 months of her life.  I prayed like hell that Alexa would not have colic.  It appears that God answered my prayers, but not how I had hoped...

Alexa has reflux.  Let me tell you that in almost every way this is worse than colic.  She cries all the time, she rarely sleeps and if she does it is in the afternoon, and she is extremely fussy.  She does not like to be put down.  The days are long and the nights are even longer.  I actually WANT to go back to work. 

This phase seems like it will never end, but then I think about how quick Ellie's first year flew by and I know this will be over in a blink.  Thank God for that. 

Maybe tonight will be the night where we actually sleep...

Monday, August 8, 2011

So I have this journal...

I had this idea to start a journal before Ellie was born.  I thought about what I would put in it and planned on giving it to her when she was 18, or possibly older.  About 6 months ago, I bought  this adorable journal from Barnes and Noble to put this great idea into action.  Needless to say, it is still sitting on my bookshelf; blank and I guarantee that 6 months from now that journal will still be blank.  Oh, and by the way Ellie is already almost 15 months old and she also has a newborn sister, Alexa, so this is probably my best bet at an attempt to chronicle anything of my journey into motherhood.  I often have great ideas but I lack execution.  I'm sure they will learn this about me soon enough.  Hopefully they will never learn that I have no clue what I'm doing...
Ellie when I had the idea to start a journal
Ellie when I bought the journal
Ellie when I actually started

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Alfredo Sauce

 This is a basic recipe for Alfredo sauce.  I warn you, it is delish!  If you make this you are likely to have it requested again and again.  Experiment with additional ingredients, more whipping cream, more cheese, garlic whatever!  And trust me on the nutmeg.  :-)

*tip- I make this with chicken and broccoli.  I do not add garlic to the alfredo sauce but I do add it to the chicken while it is cooking in the skillet*


-1C heavy whipping cream
-1 stick of butter
-1/2 C shredded parmesan cheese
-1 dash of nutmeg
-salt & pepper to taste


Melt butter over med-low in a heavy bottomed skillet.  Add heavy whipping cream and stir.  Slowly stir in the parmesan cheese.  Season with a dash of nutmeg.  Stir frequently.  Sauce with thicken.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lone Star Black Bean Soup

I've been making this for years.  This recipe barely lasts a day in my house...

-2 large cans of black beans

-3 celery stalks (chopped)
-3 carrots (chopped)
-1 med white onion (diced)
-1 small package of diced ham
-1 large box of low sodium chicken broth-like Swanson's
-2 tbs of diced garlic
-1tbs cumin
-1tsp cayenne pepper

sautee onions, carrots, garlic and celery in pot on medium low until almost cooked
add the cumin and cayenne pepper; cook for about 1 minute.
add the chicken broth to the mixutre, turn heat up to medium and simmer
add one large can of black beans
puree the second can of black beans in a blender and then add to the soup. simmer for about 30 minutes. Skim the top of the soup before serving.

Easy Baked Chicken

This is one of Marshall's favorites.  You can use this for pork chops, too!

-4 Chicken Breasts
-Ranch Dressing (for marinade)
-Italian Bread Crumbs

Preheat oven to 350.  Place the Ranch Dressing and the Italian Bread Crumbs in 2 separate plates.  Coat the chicken with the ranch and then coat with the Italian Bread Crumbs.  Bake for 30 minutes or until juices run clear.

Crock Pot Pulled Chicken

This recipe is super easy delish and healthy.  It uses chicken breast instead of pork. 

-5-6 chicken breasts (I use frozen)
-12 oz BBQ sauce
-1/4 c brown sugar
-1/2 c italian dressing
-2tbs worcestershire sauce

Place chicken breasts in crock pot.  Mix other ingredients in a bowl and pour over chicken.  Cook on low 4-6 hours.

Simple Crock Pot Roast

This crockpot recipe is tried and true.  It was initially made with brisket meat, but now I buy whatever roasting meat happens to be on sale.  You can add root veggies (rutabega, carrot, potatoes) and play around with the lipton soup packets. 

-5lbs of roasting meat of your choice (brisket, boston butt, etc)
-1 package of lipton onion soup mix (I use beef & mushroom)
-1 can of sliced mushrooms; undrained
(optional: potatoes, carrots, rutabega)

Lay meat fat side up in crock pot
Mix soup mix with the can of undrained slice mushrooms, pour mixture over meat
Cook over low heat 8 hours or until fork tender