Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Although their first interaction resulted in Brynn squealing loudly and Hadley in tears, I think these two little girls are fast becoming BFFs.  Smile Really… their mommas like to shop together, so they don’t really have a choice in the matter. 

Brynn is saying “hey there – it’s okay – I’m nice!”


“Oh – okay!” 

Hadley actually smiled at her! 


“Hey Hadley, can I have your socks?  Please?”

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What’s Cookin’ Wednesday: Garlic & herbed chicken, roasted italian potatoes and green beans

This will be a quick one, since Hadley is about to wake up from her nap, but I am trying to stick with this so I have a few blog posts about something other than Hadley!

Tonight I’m making garlic & herbed chicken, roasted italian potatoes and green beans.  It’s really not as fancy as it sounds.  All you need is:

Mrs. Dash garlic & herb seasoning

Italian dressing seasoning packet

Olive oil

2 chicken breasts

Potatoes (depending on the size of potatoes – I usually use 2 or 3)

Green beans (you can buy the steam in a bag ones or use fresh)

2 ziplock bags (for seasoning)

Use olive oil and Mrs. Dash seasoning in one bag – throw the chicken breasts in and toss to coat.  Place in casserole dish (sprayed lightly with cooking oil).  Cut up potatoes into “fries” or bite-size cubes.  Place in ziplock bag, drizzle olive oil and italian dressing seasoning packet.  Toss to coat.  (You can do the same thing with the green beans if you have fresh – or you can use the steam in a bag and just stick that in the microwave when you’re ready to eat). 

Place potatoes in the casserole dish along with the chicken and bake in the oven at 375 for 55 minutes.  Enjoy!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What’s Cookin’ Wednesday

This post won’t be anything exciting, but I am trying to stick with the recipe Wednesday posts, so I’ll post it anyways. Smile 

First off, I am LUCKY to even have anything ready to go today.  Hadley has been a hot mess lately.  She is pretty much all better after her cold and ear infection, but she must be going through a growth spurt (or just making up for lost time when she was sick), because the child wants to eat non.stop.  Not only is she wanting to eat constantly, but her napping & regular sleeping has gone out the window.  I have to prepare myself for battle every time I am putting her down for a nap.  Add all of that to the fact that the antibiotics she’s on have made for some not-so-pleasant diapers and 10x the amount of laundry to keep up with and I am one exhausted mama. 

So, with all of that said, I needed an easy recipe today, so I pulled out the crockpot.  Beef stew it is!


Picture from

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH
You Will Need
2 lbs. stew beef, cut into 1-inch cubes  (I just buy the stew meat at the grocery store – already cut up for you!)
5 cups cut-up fresh vegetables, such as carrots, celery, peas, onions and potatoes
1 pkg. McCormick® Slow Cookers Hearty Beef Seasoning
1 1/3 cups water

PLACE beef and vegetables in slow cooker.

MIX Seasoning and water until blended. Pour over beef and vegetables; toss to coat well. Cover.

COOK 8 hours on LOW or 4 hours on HIGH. Stir before serving.
Makes 8 servings.
IMPORTANT: For best results, do not remove cover during cooking.

That’s all there is to it!  Super easy, healthy and hearty.  Soup isn’t usually enough of a meal for Matt, but he loves this beef stew, so it’s a winner for me.  I usually serve it with some whole wheat rolls.  Oh – and this makes GREAT leftovers for my lunches.  I’m lucky if I remember to eat lunch, and when I do, I usually only have a couple minutes, so I love to have something quick and filling to heat up. 

On another note – I’ve gotten a few new followers lately.  Would anyone be interested in posting your own recipes and linking up for this?  I’d love to get some new recipes from people!  Let me know! (Or leave a recipe in the comments if you feel like it!)


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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Excited for Easter

Hadley’s Easter basket came in the mail today, and I have her dress ordered – it makes me so excited for another “first” holiday with Hadley.  Especially such an important one; I pray that she would come to know the meaning of Easter and love the Lord at an early age! 

Just wanted to share her basket with you!  Isn’t it adorable?!


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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Four Generations

We still have a sick baby on our hands, but she is currently napping (somewhat) peacefully in her swing, so I thought I’d post some pictures from this past weekend when my parents and my grandma came to visit.  It was really tough to get a picture with EVERYONE looking at the camera at the same time. 

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Sweet girl lookin’ up at her daddy

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Playing with poppy on the couch

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With her nana and poppy

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Hadley with her grandparents and great grandma

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Hadley was starting to get tired of pictures so we had to get out the paci

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Four generations!

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I think she looks like such a little diva with her glasses on!

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That’s all for now – I’m off to check on my sick little girl…

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What’s Cookin’ Wednesday: Spinach Asparagus Pasta

This was actually our meal last night, and not tonight, but close enough, right?  Even with a sick baby I managed to throw this one together, so that tells you how easy it is.  Plus, it’s pretty healthy (especially when you have to leave the cheese out of it!) and husband-approved. Smile  Enjoy!


Penne with Asparagus, Spinach, and Bacon

Cooking Light
Penne with Asparagus, Spinach, and Bacon
Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
This pasta toss comes together in a snap on busy weeknights. Complement it with a glass of white wine, such as sauvignon blanc, and garlic-Parmesan breadsticks.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups pasta mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese)


  • 8  ounces  uncooked penne pasta
  • 2  bacon slices
  • 2 1/2  cups  (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 pound)
  • 1 1/2  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 4  cups  bagged baby spinach leaves
  • (for those of you lucky kids who can have dairy)  1/2  cup  (2 ounces) pre-shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • **2 chicken breasts
**I added the chicken breasts this time to make it a little “heartier” for Matt and to stretch the recipe a bit so we’d have more leftovers.  I simply boiled the chicken, then shredded it and tossed it in at the end.  I also used the water that I boiled the chicken in to cook the pasta, which gives it a little extra flavor. 


Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; keep warm.
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble.  Add asparagus and broth to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Add pasta, spinach, 1/4 cup cheese, and pepper to pan; toss well. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and bacon.

Nutritional Information

363 (25% from fat)
10.2g (sat 4.2g,mono 3.6g,poly 0.8g)

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sick baby

Well, we have our first official cold/ear infection combo.  I’m sure this is just the first of many, many more to come, but it absolutely breaks my heart to see (and hear) my sweet baby girl feeling so poorly. 
At first I thought her reflux was acting up (well, it probably was, but the cold took over) on Sunday night because I could hear it coming up a bit and then she’d swallow it back down, and she was extra fussy.  The doctor called in a prescription for Zantac (which was prescribed to her back at like 3 weeks, but I hadn’t wanted to put her on medication unless it really seemed necessary).  When she woke up on Monday still fussy and sounding like she was having trouble swallowing, plus hiccuping constantly, I finally decided to try out the Zantac.  By Monday night she sounded SO much worse.  Coughing, spitting up (partially because of the coughing), stuffy nose, and I could hear the phlegm in the back of her throat.  We gave her her first dose of Zantac Monday night, but after being up most of the night with her I decided to take her in to see the doctor this morning. 
The doctor said he thinks she caught a cold somehow and that she has a little infection starting in her right ear.  (I really can’t think of where she could have gotten a cold – we don’t go out much, and even when we do, I rarely take her out of her car seat, and she hasn’t been around anyone who is sick [that I know of]). He said even though he’s not one to prescribe antibiotics, he didn’t think she could kick the ear infection on her own this time since she has a cold too, so back to the pharmacy I went.  We started the antibiotics this afternoon, so I’m praying she starts feeling a bit better soon.  Sweet girl has been sleeping most of the day away.  She’s definitely not eating as much as usual, but I figure she needs her rest just as much right now. 
I’ll leave you with a quick picture of my little trooper with her daddy from a couple days ago…
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What’s Cookin’ Wednesday: Italian Sausage & Penne Bake


I’m not sure if I’ll make this a regular “thing” or not, but since it’s Wednesday, and I just went to the grocery store, I’ve got meal planning on my mind.  Ever since I had Hadley, meals have been a thorn in my side.  Something I used to like doing – cooking, getting creative with meals and planning and organizing it all out – has become a huge chore and a stress.  Thankfully, our families helped out A LOT and made us lots of meals to be frozen, so up until this point, I had a lot of help.  However, my freezer has been emptied and with Hadley a little over 2 months old, I figured it was time for me to get my act together. 

It seems that Hadley knows when I need to cook.  She suddenly doesn’t want to nap, doesn’t want to play on her play mat and just wants to cry/be awake when mama needs to make dinner.  Even today, I thought “I’ll outsmart her this time – she is always awake around 6 when I need to make dinner, so during her afternoon nap I’ll get dinner all prepped and ready so all I have to do is throw it in the oven!”  Well – guess who decided she didn’t want to go down for her nap just as soon as I turned on the burner?  (Sidenote: I was able to get her down eventually – thank heavens for swings! – and managed to stick to my afternoon cooking plan.)

To add to the stress of planning/shopping for/cooking meals, I am currently not eating any dairy in an effort to help Hadley’s tummy out.  Most of the “easy” meals I know of consist of a cream of whatever soup, some cheese, pasta, a meat/veggie all thrown in a casserole dish.  Well, take out the cream of whatever and cheese and it doesn’t taste quite as good anymore.  So, with my recipe list cut in half (at least), I decided to start blogging (ha- we’ll see if this ever happens again on a Wednesday) about the meals I am making so I’ve got easy access to the ideas when I’m in a rut again!

So, all of that said, here’s what’s cooking for us today!

Italian sausage with Penne & Zucchini

image*image from Google images*

Penne pasta

1 zucchini

1 lb of italian sausage

1 jar of Tomato sauce (or make your own if you have the time!)

**If I was eating dairy, my favorite ingredient would also be in here – CHEESE**

You could also throw in any other veggies you like – peppers, onions, etc.  We’re not big pepper or onion eaters in this house, so I like to keep it simple. 

Lawry’s season salt

Oregano (I like to throw a little of this in the jarred sauce and the sausage)

Simply brown the sausage while you’re cooking the pasta (don’t overcook the pasta or it will get soggy when you throw it in the oven).  Once the sausage is done, throw it in a bowl to mix with the pasta and jar of tomato sauce.  I browned the zucchini in the same pan I cooked the sausage in to give it a little extra flavor.  I usually season zucchini with Lawry’s season salt too.  Once the pasta and zucchini are done, throw it all together and put it in a casserole dish.  **I would throw in about a cup of mozzarella to mix in, and top with cheese as well if I wasn’t leaving out the dairy**  It’s as simple as that!  I threw it all together and put it in the fridge, so when Matt calls to tell me he’s on his way home, all I have to do is throw it in the oven to bake it all together.  This is also an easy one to double and freeze half (or if you don’t like leftovers, put this in 2 smaller casserole dishes and freeze one for another day!). 

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

2 Month Photo Shoot– and a rough night…

So I actually wrote the previous post yesterday, after Hadley’s appointment, but before what was the hardest night we’ve had so far.  I’ll share a quick update on that, and then get on with the 2 month photo shoot (although I’ll never know if you just skip to the pictures… and I wouldn’t blame you Winking smile)

Like I said in the previous post, Hadley had her 2 month well-baby check up yesterday, which included 3 vaccines (2 shots and an oral one).  The doctor mentioned she might run a low grade fever, could possibly have some nausea/diarrhea (TMI? sorry… that’s the life of a mom), might be sleepier than normal, and might be a little fussier than usual.  Well, we have a fussy baby, I figured – “please… I can handle fussy… how will I even know the difference between her normal fussiness and if it’s from the shots?”  BOY WAS I MISTAKEN. 

Matt and I went to eat at chick-fil-a after her appointment and Hadley slept all the way through, all the way home, and then for another couple hours.  I thought – “great! She’s just going to sleep this off and then we’ll be back to our normal selves!”  Then 5:30 rolled around and she woke up SCREAMING.  Again, still not too worried, I picked up her, changed her and fed her thinking that was all she needed.  Well, she ate, and then proceeded to scream her little lungs out for the next hour… STRAIGHT.  I seriously think she only took maybe 20 deep breaths the entire hour because she was screaming so hard.  I have NEVER heard her cry like this before, we’re talking blood curdling wails.  As soon as the crying started, I gave her a dose of Tylenol and just prayed it would kick in quickly.  Thankfully, Matt was home, so I was able to take a quick mental break since I was crying just about as hard as she was by this point.  The only thing that would get her to stop for even half a second was to turn on every faucet in the bathroom on high, but that was just a temporary interruption, and the screaming would start again.  All of the packets about the vaccines said to only go to the ER or call if the screaming lasts 3 hours… THREE HOURS?  No way could I have handled it that long, and thankfully the Tylenol seemed to kick in about 30 minutes after I gave it to her and turned her screaming into crying, then into fussing and then into a whimper while she tried to fall asleep (the poor girl just wore herself out).  I set the alarm for 4 hours on the dot from when I gave her the Tylenol because I was not going to let it wear off completely again.  10p rolled around and I slowly woke her up and was glad to see she was only fussing a normal amount, so we gave her another dose of Tylenol, changed her and fed her again and the poor girl crashed again until almost 5am!  Ugh – it broke my heart to see her in so much pain and afterwards to see her so completely worn out.  I’m glad we have 2 whole months before the next round, because if they were anytime soon, I can guarantee you we wouldn’t be going back for them. 

Thankfully, my sweet girl woke up a little fussier than usual this morning, and a little sleepier, but seems to be feeling MUCH better.  She even let me do our 2 month photo shoot and gave me some smiles! 

Here comes the photo overload:

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This one cracks me up… like she’s saying “SERIOUSLY mom?  Enough.”

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2 Months Old


weight: 11lbs 13oz (75%)

height: 23 inches (75%)

head circumference: 15 3/4 in (75%)

She is still in size one diapers and wears mostly all 0-3 month clothing.  I actually packed up a box of newborn clothing the other weekend!

My poor sweet girl had to get 2 shots (one in each leg) at her 2 month check-up.  She also got an oral vaccine that she seemed to like the taste of (what can I say, the girl likes to eat).  I think she would have been okay after the first shot – she had almost stopped crying right before the second one.  But then came the second shot, and I have never heard her scream like she did after that one (and believe me, I’ve heard her scream… a lot…).  Daddy scooped her up as soon as they were done and she was just wailing, so I took her and nursed her before we left the doctor’s office.  Other than the shots, the doctor said she looks good and is growing right on track!  

We’re still not sure if she has reflux, a milk protein allergy or just an immature/sensitive stomach.  Because of that, I am not eating ANY dairy (did you know there is dairy in just about everything we eat?  Whey and Casein are also considered dairy – I dare you to check the ingredients on half of the stuff in your pantry and I bet you’ll find dairy in a lot more than you realized), or caffeine (it seems to make her spit up a lot more), or really any gassy foods, all in the name of trying to help keep her tummy happy.  On the plus side, it has been the best post-baby diet I could probably be on – I can officially button all of the jeans in my closet!

Hadley, you have done a lot of growing this past month!  Although you are still a pretty high maintenance baby, you are slowly starting to become a TINY bit more predictable.  You are still sleeping in our room in the bouncy seat – it seems to help with your spitting up, and since you won’t stand for being swaddled, I think it helps you feel a little more enclosed rather than being out in the open in your crib or pack & play.  Plus, since you are still eating every 3 hours or so, it saves mommy some time to have you right there for feedings. 

We have had a handful of nights where you have gone 6 hours between feedings (which means about a 5 hour stretch of sleep for all of us!), but that is definitely the exception and not the norm.  Typically, you eat between 8:30-9:30pm and then go down for the night, usually sleeping until 1:30 or so, then are up again anywhere from 3:30-5:30, then again between 7:30-8:30 and then we are up for the day.  The few times that you have dropped that 1:30a feeding have been glorious!  But, we’ve also had our nights where you seem to think it’s daytime and won’t sleep between midnight and 5am!

Although I am exhausted after that 8am feeding b/c we’ve been up and down so much through the night, that is usually when I get the best smiles out of you!  We got our first smile between 5-6 weeks.  SIDENOTE:  I think the first “real” smile is a lot like the first kick.  You think you felt/saw something, but you’re not quite sure if it was real until it starts happening a little more often.   Yesterday morning was the first time you actually smiled at me when I went to get you out of your bouncy seat!  Usually you are pretty grumpy until after you’ve eaten, but you opened your eyes, looked up at me and grinned!  It just melts my heart and all of my exhaustion is just wiped away! 

I’ve started taking you in the bath with me because it saves us both some time in the evenings and you seem to really like it.  I think you are like your momma, in that you don’t like to be cold.  As soon as I get you in the warm bath water with me you seem to totally relax. 

You have definitely found your hands over the past week or so, and along with that have started drooling a ton more!  I think we may have a thumb sucker on our hands because when you’re waking up to eat, I frequently find you going to town on your little fist with drool covering your face (once that thumb is big enough I think you are going to love it).

You tend to get pretty fussy in the evenings (right when momma needs to make dinner) – but the one thing that almost ALWAYS calms you down is the sound of running water.  If I’m holding you and turn the sink water on high you almost always stop crying (until I turn the water off – we may have some pretty high water bills over the next couple months!). 

Since we’re getting a lot more awake/alert time these days, we invested in a good play mat and so far, you seem to love it!  This is the one we got -


One of the things I really liked about this one is that the little mobile at the top with the lights/music/ladybugs is removable and can go on the car seat like this – hopefully when we start taking some longer car trips (if she ever starts going longer between eating!), this will be some good entertainment. 


Here are some pictures of Hadley enjoying her play mat and having some quality tummy-time! 


“Mom – what are you doing with that big black thing in front of your face? You’re interrupting play time!”


And a few others from the past month…

Listening to daddy reading a story


Silly girl after bathtime!


Smiling at me on her changing table!


SO much fun on the play mat!


Taking a good nap with her nana


Working on that pout – I’m going to venture a guess that she will have daddy wrapped around her little finger just as soon as she can say “bu bu bu daaaaddy… pwease?”


Smiling at daddy…



Meeting new friends


I really don’t put her in the same outfit every day – it just happens that I tend to have my camera out a lot one day and then not much the next. 

And, because this post is long enough already, I’ll save her 2 month photo shoot for the next one.  Stay tuned Smile

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