Wednesday, October 31, 2012

HB at 6 months

I can't believe six months have already gone by - it seems just like it was last month that we were loading up to head home from the hospital with our first born.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a full time stay at home wife and mom now; this new season of my life has been rewarding and I am so so glad to be able to witness the rapid changes in my son's growth and development.  I want to savor the sweet things he is doing and each milestone that we reach.  I record as many details as I can in his baby calendar but here are a few of my favorite memories so far as well as a few favorite pictures from the past month or so.

HB -
  • You abhor baby food.  I think I try to hard to push this new stage on you but I'm sure we'll eventually make it through.  Until then, here's to many messy bibs, clothes and high chair trays.
  • You are sitting up so well now.  I absolutely delight in this.  You look so big and independent as you sit on your blanket in the living room and reach for toys.  You also have started sitting up in the tub and we have to be extra careful to keep you from baby swan diving into the water as you lunge for your floating rubber ducky.
  • You love going outside and looking at all the livestock.  You especially love Johnnie Reb (momma's Queensland Heeler).  You laugh when she retrieves the ball or frisbee and comes back.  You think she is doing it especially for you.  She has figured out how to throw her ball or frisbee into the foot compartment of the stroller.
  • Momma is obsessed with your feet.  They are so cute!  She always calls them "stinky feet" and then kisses them.  You laugh every time. 
  • You now have your two bottom center teeth and look absolutely adorable.  Momma and Daddy could do without the accompanying crankiness, but again, this too shall pass.  With teething we have come to learn you pretty much hate anything going in your mouth and this includes Tylenol, teething tablets and Orajel.  Momma feels like she is wrestling an alligator as she tries to give you something to relieve the pain.
  • We started going to story time at the library once a week and you love this!  You grunt and giggle the entire time and your little arms are swinging around like a windmill as you watch and listen.  {Thanks Emily for inviting us!}
  • You are starting to show more and more of your likes and dislikes for certain things - you enjoy the swing but hate being buckled in.  You also don't mind sitting in your carseat but hate the actual strapping in part.  You grab the five point harness and start biting it and grunting/growling.  It's quite humorous and a bit challenging now to get you strapped in.
  • Your smile is contagious and so is your laugh.  You bring light and laughter to our home and family.  Thank you for being the joy that you already are and will continue to be.  We love you baby boy.

Having lunch with Grandpa G and cousin Bassie.

Learning to sit in the high chair.  Dinner time is much more fun having a "seat" at the table!

Helping momma with laundry.

Attempting to eat sweet potatoes.  I think more ended up on your bib.

The official 6-month photo.  Happy fall!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Creed Speaking Champ

Brandy competed in the Buckeye FFA Creed Speaking contest last night...and came out victorious!  She won first place and earned one of two spots for her chapter at the district contest in November.  We are so proud of her!!  At the beginning of the school year we told her she needed to compete in one speaking contest this year because we thought the experience would be valuable in helping her better her speaking skills and develop confidence in front of crowds.  She has totally embraced speaking in front of others and is eagerly looking for other speaking contests to compete in.

Kelly was on shift so he wasn't able to be there in person but he is still just as proud.  HB did pretty well considering the event lasted almost an hour and a half past his bedtime.  The "late night" combined with lots of clapping brought tears to his eyes, and they weren't happy tears either folks.  He totally wanted to tear into Brandy's certificate so I had to hold his little arms down in the picture.

I made salted caramel brownie deliciousness for the dessert reception following the presentation.  They were easy to make and tasted pretty good!  Enjoy the recipe posted below, complements of Cooking Light.

Salted Caramel Brownies

3/4 cup flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Caramel topping:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons evaporated fat-free milk, divided
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate (I used bittersweet chips)
1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine flour and next four ingredients (through baking powder) in a large bowl.  Combine 6 tablespoons butter, eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Add butter mixture to flour mixture, stir to combine.  Scrape batter into 9-inch square pan (I used parchment paper so I could lift brownies out of the pan easier).  Bake for 19 minutes.

3.  To prepare topping: melt 1/4 cup butter in saucepan over medium heat.  Add 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons milk; cook 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add vanilla and powdered sugar.  Stir with whisk until smooth.  Spread mixture over cooled brownies; let stand 20 minutes or until set.

4.  Combine 2 tablespoons milk and chocolate in a bowl; microwave on high for 45 seconds or until melted, stirring after 20 seconds.  Stir just until smooth; drizzle over caramel topping.  Sprinkle with sea salt; let stand until set.  Cut into squares.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dental woes

For those who live close enough to listen to me complain about my sorry teeth, I apologize for even bringing this up.  However, I like to keep the few friends I have in blogging world updated too.  HB's pregnancy was riddled with every type of discomfort that you can imagine - I won't list them but for those of you who have been pregnant you understand and can fathom what I am talking about.  After delivering my son this past April I was really looking forwad to some reprieve from said discomforts.  However, almost six months later I am still working through some issues.

I didn't know this before I was pregnant but I definitely know this now - pregnancy can absolutely ruin your pearly whites.  It did mine.  I started my pregnancy with zero cavities; I ended my pregnancy with 10 cavities.  TEN.  I had seven of them filled at one time, that was my first mistake.  It took way too long to complete all seven.  24 hours after I had sat in the examination room, I had one filling fall out while flossing.  Just up and fall out.  After having that filling repaired I proceeded to have 12+ weeks of extreme sensitivity and headaches.  It was great.  I ended up seeing an endodontist (a root canal specialist) where he informed me that it can take as long as 12 weeks for a filling to heal.  I had no idea.  Go figure.

Just recently I was starting to feel better and started resuming my normal consumption patterns - crunchy foods, chips, more meat (it was hard to tear when my teeth were killing me).  However I must have gotten too bold because I had a second filling fall out on a flight to Sacramento with my sister.  I was floored.  I've never actually known anyone to just lose a filling and here I lost two in about 12 weeks.  Surprisingly I had little to no pain after this second filling fell out.  I think my teeth roots are getting stronger. 

At this point I still have three cavities remaining and waiting to be filled.  I am considering a new dentist.  And praying my next pregnancy is easier on my teeth!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Flowers for Momma

The first time Kelly brought me flowers was on the Friday before my fall break as a teacher in October 2010.  I had actually taken a student to an FFA event so I was gone for the afternoon but when I returned to my classroom I found a beautiful, hand picked bouquet of Black Eyed Susans.  They were wild and pretty and I was absolutely delighted to find them sitting on my desk!  Now two years, to the day, later my husband helped my handsome 5-month old son pick his first bouquet for me!  Again, I was delighted to see my baby and my hubby walk in the door with a small bunch of yellow and pink lantana.  I proudly displayed them on my kitchen windowsill in a mason jar the entire week!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

September in Pictures

I had lots of ideas for blogging through the end of September but somehow ran out of time.  I thought I'd do a "month in review" through pictures though so I can fill in some of the gaps that I didn't blog about. 

Kelly and HB enjoying the little ditch that runs through my parent's property.  We made a quick trip to Cottonwood to look at the property we have in escrow.
Brandy got asked to the BUHS Homecoming dance by a young man.  Here's how our conversation went:

Dad and Mom: How do you know this young man?
Brandy: Oh, well, we eat lunch with the same group of friends.
Mom: What's his last name?
Brandy: I don't know.

Kelly and I laughed - oh how the definition of "knowing" someone has changed.
HB "playing" with his cousin Bassie (he is three months older than HB) when my sister had us over for dinner.  They remind me of dinosaurs as they slowly reach out to each other.  Once HB can crawl, their playtime will be more real.

Amanda, one of my best friends from college, got to meet HB for the first time!  We live in her hometown so thankfully we can sneak in visits when she comes home to visit family.  It was SO good to see her.  It was also really special to share my son with her.
After 16 years at the City of Chandler's Fire Station 3, Kelly bid his company goodbye and started a new chapter at Station 9.  Thus far the change has brought (slightly) slower shifts and fewer trainings because he is now only on a TRT (technical rescue team) where he used to be both on a TRT and HAZMAT team at Station 3.  Pictured above is his former company on their last day at Station 3 with their multiple rigs: (L-R) Mario Maldonado, Kelly, Bryan Warne and Britt Burns.
HB loves bathtime!  His hair was so long that I loved shaping it.  The "cupie doll" look is one of my favorites.