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Monday, April 30, 2012

weekend via instagram

I love playing with Instagram on my iPhone.
I also love enjoying the weekends with my little family.

So why not share both? I tried to capture it all.
Here's my weekend via Instagram...



I had a hot date with this little man on Friday night. 
Jake is sleeping 5-6 hour stretches during the night now. Yay!




 And this was first thing Saturday morning. Jake definitely woke up before J.B. and I did, so we all just snuggled up in our bed before getting up for the day.
I totally love this picture.




After finally hauling our butts out of bed on Saturday, we headed off to the dog park to let Denver and Delilah play with all their puppy friends. 




Lunch, then we headed to the Panoply Arts Festival downtown. 
 They had all kinds of great things to check out. 




Like kids' artwork from tons of local schools.




And lots of music.
Believe it or not, the Alabama State Fiddling Competition is a big draw. 
I'm not going to lie, some of these guys can really get down. 
{p.s. Only now am I noticing that this guy has a kilt on...}




Local dance studios put on some great shows. 
This was a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air act that I loved!




And of course, tons of local art!






I think Jake had a pretty awesome time.




That evening, we came home to finish up some yard work. 
My roses are beyond blooming!



Then we settled in to watch my new latest obsession - Downton Abbey!!
{why didn't any of you tell me how good this show is?!}



And before it got too late, we put little dude to bed.
{after giving him a mohawk}




Sunday morning was church time.




Afterwards I took a break from mommy duties to soak up some rays on the deck. The quiet time away was so peaceful! And I think my pale skin appreciated some Vitamin D!




Sunday afternoon, we went out shopping to pick up a few things. Bought Jake a beach hat for our trip to Florida next month. Looks to be a bit too big...




Sunday night I finally got back in the kitchen! 
I've been doing almost no real cooking since Jake was born, so we were all excited to have a legit meal. This concoction turned into a delicious pasta primavera.




After such a fun weekend, this sweet baby was sacked out. 
And so were we!


There you have it folks - a pretty stinkin' perfect weekend. 
Don't let Monday get the best of you!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

take note...



Just a bit of news on this Saturday morning.
The blog is moving over to a new domain name:


Don't fret. No real changes. Same old blog, same old me, same old name. Just a new address. Actually any former links that you have will still work. But feel free to update the address if you'd like.


Okay, now get back to your weekending!

Friday, April 27, 2012

our favorites: one month

As promised, here are a few of the things that we used constantly for Jake's first month.



The Boppy  - I don't know who invented this pillow, but I love it. And so does every other new mom. This thing has a billion uses - great arm prop, lounger for Jake, breastfeeding pillow, etc etc. It's a must have for all new moms. And there are a million covers out there to accessorize with.

Avent bottles - I'd heard good things about the Avent bottles from day one. It was also a no-brainer because we bought an Avent breast pump so these fit perfectly with those parts as well.  Our dude is bottle fed with half sensitive stomach formula and half breast milk {seems to be the best combo for his little belly}. And it turns out that these bottles have been a dream!

Desitin - We've only had a couple of brief instances of diaper rash with Jake, but I was ready with the Desitin on hand. And it worked like a charm on his chapped little booty. Have some ready!

A rattle - Obviously a newborn needs pretty much niltch in the toy department. But we've found that he really likes to look at and hear the sound of a rattle. It's calming to him and completely captivates his attention when necessary.

Baby Wise - I've talked before about being a Baby Wise mom. It's only been a few weeks {and yes, we do still struggle some days}, but I'm a firm believer in parent led ... everything! I like for him to be on a schedule. Not only does that help this Momma keep things straight, but its also good for his little system as well. His tummy digests things better on a regulated time frame and his internal clock  has a good idea of when to sleep and when to hang out with us. 

Cloud B Sleep Sheep - We have a regular noise machine in the nursery, but little man doesn't sleep in there yet. This sleep sheep is actually meant to be a travel item, but when it was gifted to us we immediately put it on his bassinet in the bedroom. Now every time he goes to sleep, he's used to hearing the sound of the ocean waves and he loves it! I definitely recommend some sort of noise machine to help soothe your baby off into dreamland.




I'm sure this list will change with every month as Jake grows. 
But I hope this list helps some of you mommas-to-be out there!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

things I haven't enjoyed lately

Last week I posted about a few of the things that I've really enjoyed lately.

In the art of fairness, I guess I should also post about a few things that I haven't had quite as much fun with...


 Like being up during the night.

I mean, seriously. This is sort of to be expected. My little dude is only five weeks old. No, of course he doesn't sleep through the night.
And p.s. I really hate it when random people ask me that.
He'd only been home from the hospital for a few days when the morons of the world started asking me that question. I can only assume that those people know nothing about babies if they think any infant sleeps through the night.
But anyway, I'm pretty big on the whole sleep thing. So I definitely won't be missing the late night zombie feedings, midnight crying sessions, or 4 a.m. diaper explosions.



Picnik closing down.

I think the entire blogging world had a collective meltdown when Picnik announced the closing of their site. The easiest, simplest online photo editing program was leaving the web? Noooooo.
I've been in a state of mourning for almost two months now. And with the official closure less than a week ago, my grieving is at its peak.
The good news is that I found a new simple, quick site to use that's super similar to Picnik:

PicMonkey

As bummed as I am about the change, I'm equally excited to have found a legit alternative!




Pollen
While I haven't actually caught much of the nasal/sinus/congestion funk this year {knock on wood}, I'm most definitely over pollen season. The black shutters on my house are yellow, my white front porch benches are yellow and my poor vehicle is yellow.
Double bummer on trying to clean it up since it returns half a second later.




My blog losing its domain name.

I believe I told you in this post about the sleazy-no-good jerkfaces that hijacked my domain name {www.livealittlewilder.com}.
It's been a complete nightmare. I can't believe anyone would do this. I'm so mad, sad, and offended about it. And amist the unfairness of it, I still tried my best to negotiate with these yahoos.
Latest Update: They've decided that they want almost $10k to release it back to me.
WHAT. THE. HECK.
I'm a stay at home mom with a new baby. What would even possess them to think that I would pay $10k?! {though I suppose I am flattered that they seem to find my site so valuable}. So now we're moving on to plan b! Keep an eye out for some changes coming soon!




Ok I'll try to keep my complains to a minimum from now on. Thanks for letting me vent!

Friday, April 20, 2012

one month

I'm so excited!!
A new monthly photo idea begins!

We've officially said goodbye to the little black dress.... 



And hello to the adorable infant!
{a huge improvement if I do say so myself}




                         Weight: 8 pounds, 9 ounces {as of 4/17}
                         Clothing Size: newborn
                         Hair: full head of sandy brown hair, turning a bit curly
                         Eyes: still blue
                         New Developments: lots more "awake time", he loves to stare at ceiling fans
                         Bad Habits: not burping! little man has tons of trapped gas and tummy aches
                         Sleep Schedule: still working on it... almost four hours max at a time for now.



I can't believe my little man is already a month old!
{I guess time flies when you're completely sleep deprived...}

Jake is up a pound and a half from his birth weight! But as you can see from this picture, he's still a lean little fellow. We initially had some trouble finding clothes to fit his skinny little butt - even most of the newborn sizes were way too wide. Fortunately Carter's makes some great outfits and sleepers for string beans like Jake.

For us, the entire first month has been a huge learning process. We're getting to know our little man and trying to figure out what makes him tick. On a whole, Baby Jake a super sweet fellow. He loves to snuggle, be sung to, and read books with you. He's a great shopping partner and loves to snooze in the Baby Bjorn when the we load up to go to the dog  park.
We're also slowly but surely discovering some of the things that Jake is definitely not into. The very short list is being cold. Whether it's a diaper change, wardrobe change, too chilly of a bath, or a breezy outside walk, Jake does not like to be chilly {I'm pretty sure he got that from me}. I just try to always keep him in long pants and socks along with whatever onesie he's wearing.

Another thing I've discovered is that a lot of people like to ask questions about what kind of parenting style we have with Jake. Having seen the demeanor of my kiddo and read a few of the latest and most happenin' baby books, I think I'm definitely going to be more of a "Baby Wise" mom. I like the fact that the little one is on a schedule and babies get on the routine of mom and dad {not vice versa}. We've just started to implement some of the concepts now. I have to say that getting Jake adjusted to this is coming along easier than I anticipated. The routine I'd like to stick to isn't far off what we were doing before, but hopefully just a little more structure will help both Mommy and baby be a better adjusted and well rested.

Being a mom is definitely the hardest, most tasking job I've ever had. It's only been a month and I already feel completely run ragged. There are days that I'd like to hid in the closet or just go walk around the mall and not have a baby attached to my every move. Sometimes I want to blast a stereo so loud that I can't hear the constant crying. I don't want to think about bottles or car seats or burping or diaper rash. And I most definitely am not good at getting up in the middle of the night.

But it's also completely rewarding in a way that I can't explain. That sweet little face and those big blue eyes - oh man, what a cutie! I'm so excited to see what new thing he'll do each day and to watch my little boy grow and learn. 

So we're ready to grab the next month by the horns! I can't wait to see what Jake will be up to next!


*Stay tuned next week for a post about my new baby must have items!*

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

giant growth chart {tutorial}

When I saw this growth chart from Pottery Barn Kids I knew it was completely adorable. 




But that was pre-kids, pre-nursery, pre-Jake. 

While browsing back through some of my saved "inspirations" a few weeks back, I found it again! Obviously now I knew I had to have one for Jake's room. Since it had been a few years, Pottery Barn no longer sold their $125 version {not that I would have paid that anyway!}.
Time for another knock off!





It was a pretty simple and inexpensive project too.

Supplies:
 - 6' long board {6" wide x 1" thick}
 - small can of wood stain
 - brush
 - ruler
 - pencil
 - black paint pen



First, stain your board...




Next, print off your numbers. A simple Word document will do for this. I found a font I liked and typed up the numbers 1-5 in the size I wanted.



Now cut the numbers out, flip them over and trace over the back of each one with your pencil.




Then use your pencil and ruler to measure out the marks you'd like on your growth chart. I made mine one inch apart - the "quarter" inch marks are 2" long and the "eighth" inch marks are 1" long. Does that make sense? Here's a picture...




Place the numbers onto your growth chart in the appropriate places.
Trace around the edges of the number. The pencil lead on the back will make the perfect outline onto your wood.




Something to think about: where you're hanging the growth chart. i.e. You don't want to start it at one inch if you're planning on hanging it off the ground, otherwise you're measurements will be wrong. Mine was going 8 inches off the ground on the back of a door, so I began the measurements on my chart accordingly.


Now trace over everything with your paint pen.
And hang!



It probably doesn't photograph well on the back of the nursery door, but that's where it's hanging!
The Pottery Barn  ruler was $125. I made this for $15.
Not a bad knock off if I say so myself.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Things I've really enjoyed lately ...

This book:



When this book was picked to be the April read for my book club, I was totally excited. I'd heard good things before and ya'll ought to know I'm a sucker for anything with a dog in it.
And wow, it was wonderful! 

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life...as only a dog could tell it.


Prepare yourself to do a little bit of the "ugly cry" through parts of this book. It'll get you...



________________________________________



This movie:



To be honest, I actually had pretty low expectations for this movie. J.B and I rented it Saturday night just for kicks and we were immediately sucked in.

The movie is an incredible story about a horse that is bought and sold, lost and found, traded and swapped so many times that it'll crush you. He's loved and abused. He's a hero and a friend. Yup, all that out of a horse... This movie seriously broke my heart in about 50 different ways, but it was wonderful at the same time. 
{I also decided that I most definitely need a horse now...}
Thumbs up the Spielberg. This one will have to go in the DVD library asap.



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This weather!




It has been absolutely glorious in north Alabama lately. 
 75, sunny, and with a slight breeze.

Baby J and I have spent lots of afternoons snoozing or reading out on the back porch just to soak up some of the gorgeous sunshine.

I absolutely love spring time.


______________________________________________


This little boy:




Oh c'mon, you know it was coming.

Jake has had his share of rough days during the past week. Poor babe has been fussy and gassy and all sorts of sad and uncomfortable. I'm starting to think that he might have a little touch of acid reflux, but it'll be a couple of weeks before they can tell for sure. 
But he's a trooper! He's been such a sweet baby through it all!
Generally he sleeps well and loves to snuggle!



I hope you'll be enjoying some wonderful things this week too!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

birth announcements

I was so excited to send out some sweet birth announcements for our little boy.

I browsed the web to find just the right one.
Here are a few of my favorites:















 


















I mean seriously. Pictures of adorable babies? Can I even go wrong here?? Of course not!!

But here is Baby J's birth announcement:





Oh how I love that smile!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hot Chocolate Cookies - recipe



I think that J.B.'s coworkers might be beginning to resent me.
See... I get these ideas to cook up a new dessert. And obviously I can't eat two dozen cookies myself. 
{well I could, but that's probably not going to help me lose any of this baby weight...}

So I make a batch, keep a few, and send the rest to work with J.B.. Problem solved.
But apparently I'm encouraging office weight gain... Oh well.

These taste as good as they look. Warm, gooey, and perfect with that bit of marshmallow on top!


Ingredients: 

1/4 cup of  butter
20 ounces of semisweet chocolate {I like to use the chips} 
2 ounces of shaved chocolate
large marshmallows {1 marshmallow per 2 cookies}
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 1/4 cups of brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract




Melt your butter and 12 ounces of chocolate in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir it until it's nice and smooth, then remove from the heat to cool for about 15 minutes.




Next, grab two bowls. In the first bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.





In the second bowl mix the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract.




After this second bowl is mixed up and gooey, add in your cooled chocolate from the stove.




 Now add in the flour mixture. Do this in at least two parts or else you'll probably end up with the flour-y mess all over your counter tops.

Once all this has been combined, stick your dough in the fridge for at least an hour. This will firm it up so you can form the dough into cookies.

When you come back, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. 
Then line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and form the dough into 1/2 inch balls. I also like to give the top of them a little smush with a spoon. 





 You'll want to bake the cookies for around 12-15 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack.


{Sarah Wilder - baking cookies too close together for 26 years now...}


While the cookies are in the oven, you can go ahead and prep your marshmallow tops. 
Cut the marshmallows in half and stick several chocolate chips into the top of each of one.




As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, press a marshmallow into the top of each cookie - chocolate chips down.




Bake for another 4-5 minutes, or until the marshmallows are softened.


{they'll keep "sinking" even after you take them out of the oven}


Allow the cookies to cool for at least ten minutes before you sprinkle the grated chocolate on top.




And enjoy!! These obviously are best served warm and gooey!!