Sunday, August 27, 2017

Growin' like a Weed: Charlotte - 10 months


Height: 27" 
Weight: 19lbs 9oz

Likes: Mommy, Mommy's milk, and being held by me! Charlotte is attached to me, still, but is finding a bit more freedom with her new found confidence in standing.  She can stand for a good 30 seconds without holding on to anything!  I just keep waiting for her to try to move her feet! She is also into dumping toys and making a mess (which royally stresses this Momma out) but it keeps her entertained and off me while I fix dinner, so we go with it!  Ladies and gentlemen... Charlotte now LOVES the bathtub! PRAISE THE LORRRRRD! Hallelujah! Haha this little lady is also exploring with clapping and talking. Everything is "BUH" from Brooke, to fan, to toy, "BUH" it is! 

Dislikes: If Mommy isn't near she's not happy.  She also gets pretty darn ticked when you take something away from her that she's not suppose to be chewing on (shoe, small toy, toothbrush, toys Brooke and Taylor leave on the floor, mulch, sand, etc.). Hmmmm putting on jammies is a new struggle. Charlotte isn't a fan of getting changed before bedtime.  Also, she won't snuggle before bed, she just wants to be put down to rest.  Car rides, strollers, and shopping carts pail in comparison to my arms and HEAVEN FORBID I stand up to put away something when we're playing.  Oh silly girl!

Sleeping: Two naps a day.  2-3-4 schedule.  Wakes around 6:30, naps 2 hours after she wakes up (normally an hour to 1.5 then is awake for 3 hours takes a 2 hour nap that normally coincides with Taylor's (PRAISE THE LORD). Once she wakes, it's 4 hours until bedtime! She nurses, sleeps until 11:30-2 ish, nurses, and sleeps until wake time.  90% of the time she ends up in the twin bed in her nursery with me.  She's slept through the nigh twice, but not in a row. This lady has also boycotted morning naps a bit, but generally sleeps well.

Eating: Still nursing every 2-3 hours when awake and once at night.  I'm still "Momma Birding" foods and giving her fruits/veggies/table food. She's really not a fan of food yet.  I found out that she likes graham crackers... a lot! haha and my smoothies and kernel free part of popcorn.  Charlotte never misses a chance to chomp on an apple core or gum some juicy watermelon!  She has two bottom teeth and her top two could literally poke through ANY DAY NOW! Man oh man is she going to look cute!!! Praying she doesn't BITE ME WHILE NURSING!!! 

Playing: Charlotte loves dumping toys and putting everything in her mouth. She also likes electronic toys that play songs and attempting to pull up and climb on everything.  Slides, yes, outdoor slides.  Her little, scratch that, juicy, succulent, fantastically fabulous thighs grip on to the plastic surface and away she goes!  It's hilarious to watch her fearlessly go from bottom to top.  Taylor likes to tease her and try to come down as she's going up.  That booger. The fridge magnets are always on the floor, as is the "dishwasher contents" from the kitchen set.  Charlottttte! She loves books too. Especially turning pages in magazines, trying to rip out pages and completely destroy the bookshelf!

Big Sisters:  Soooo Taylor has joined in the nickname game! Drum roll, please! this past month Charlotte was affectionately called ... Chachie, Mink Minks, Ammie Georgo, and Taddy.  I'm sure I'm leaving some out but, there ya go! hahaha!  Brooke officially "started school" AKA we do about an hour a day of reading, writing, craft, Bible reading, geography, art, etc. She has truly grown in her interest to learn and focus.  I really enjoy our special time together.  She also is a HUGE helper for Charlotte! She's not AS wild around her (most of the time) and she can actually keep her entertained for short periods of time while I focus on dinner cooking, or tending to Taylor.  I am amazed at that sweet big girl and love, love, love how considerate she is and how her heart is bursting with Jesus.  Taylorrrrr is starting to get a little too big for her britches.  Yeahhhh we're dealing with an attitude and a half and disobedience, and periods of frustration.  But, she's 2. And she's trying to figure things out. EVERY DAY IS A LEARNING LESSON.  Praise God for his peace, patience and understanding.  Taylor and Charlotte love each other.  It's adorable!  Tay often pulls her down, steals her toy, or sits on her, and lil Mink Minks gets ticked but kinda fights back. haha due to their size similarity I feel like Charlotte see's Tay as a peer.  Goodness me.  I am amazed each day that I have the honor to pour life into these 3 ladies.  Y'all.  Even on our worst days, God is good and he shows me himself through those little faces.  Be blessed! 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

From our kitchen to yours: Yummy Black Bean Veggie Burgers



1 can no salt added black beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup cooked butternut squash or sweet potato
1 handful spinach
1 tbsp flax/chia
1 tsp grilling blend (black pepper, salt, garlic salt)
1/4 cup old fashioned oats

Pulse all in a blender/food processor until combined.

Scoop mixture into 1/4 cup scoops and shape into patties.  In skillet/frying pan, saute burgers in grape seed oil or olive oil (2 tbsp) on medium-medium high for 8 minutes per side or until a crust forms.  Splash with liquid smoke flavoring.

Monday, August 7, 2017

From our kitchen to yours: Cinnamon Sticks

Like the ones you get at a pizza buffet, but better!

Image may contain: dessert and food

1 ball HT whole wheat pizza dough
4 tbsp butter

Cinnamon Sugar - 1 tbsp cinnamon & 1/4 cup sugar
Salt - dash
Oil - a splash (tiny, I used grapeseed oil)

Icing:
Butter - 1 tbsp melted
Powdered sugar - 1 cup (add more to reach desired consistency)
Vanilla - 1 tsp
Milk - splash

Oven at 375°
Melt butter in 9x13 pan in oven.
Take pan out of oven and stretch dough to fit pan then flip dough so both sides are covered in butter. 
Set in hot oven for 2-3 minutes then let rise in microwave while you make cinnamon sugar mix. 

Take cinnamon sugar/butter/oil/salt mixture (resembles wet sand) and spread over dough. Pre-cut the dough into strips in the pan. Cut oven down to 350° bake for 10-12 minutes.

Icing:
Melt 1 tbsp butter, mix in vanilla, powdered sugar and milk. Drizzle over warm cinnamon sticks.

Enjoy!!!


Image may contain: food

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Growin' like a Weed: Charlotte - 9 months


Height: 26 1/4" 
Weight: 19lbs 1oz

Likes: Mommy, Mommy's milk, and being held by me! Charlotte is attached to me, still, but is finding a bit more freedom.  B and T went to Grandma and Grandaddy's house for 3 days and wow was she a different child! haha Poor thing was meant to be an only child!  She really likes splashing in water (a pool, tub of water outside, puddle) and exploring with her new found vertical mobility! She pulls up on EVERYTHING and cruises (while holding on to couches, tables, etc.) She has also found a love for shoes... like chewing on them... it's nasty, but if it keeps her happy, I go with it! hahaha poor 3rd child! 

Dislikes: If Mommy isn't near and her big bad sister runs up and jumps at her as she roars as loud as she can COUGH COUGH Brooke Grayson! Dear Lord help this phase to pass soon! haha Charlotte is traumatized by hr older siblings :(  She also gets pretty darn ticked when you take something away from her that she's not suppose to be chewing on (shoe, small toy, toothbrush, toys Brooke and Taylor leave on the floor, mulch, sand, etc.) Oh... and bathtime... she hates it.  As noted above, she loves water, but get her naked and put her in a warm (or cold) tub and she FREAKS!  Bath time is now less than 2 minutes.  Seriously. It's terrible! 

Sleeping: Two naps a day.  2-3-4 schedule.  Wakes around 6:30, naps 2 hours after she wakes up (normally an hour to 1.5 then is awake for 3 hours takes a 2 hour nap that normally coincides with Taylor's (PRAISE THE LORD). Once she wakes, it's 4 hours until bedtime! She nurses, sleeps until 11:30-2 ish, nurses, and sleeps until wake time.  90% of the time she ends up in the twin bed in her nursery with me.  Momma needs sleep too and her squishy snuggles are the BEST! Nothing has changed here this month! I keep thinking I need to try to get her to stop nursing at night and be in her crib, but... eh.  Maybe next month! haha Oh yes! And I moved her crib down finally! 

Eating: Still nursing every 2-3 hours when awake and once at night.  I'm still "Momma Birding" foods and giving her fruits/veggies/table food. She's really not a fan of food yet.  Though she does love veggie straws!  She took to a straw "sippy cup" very easily and gets to play with it/drink from it when her big sisters share.  She loves nursing, like loves it! I feel like she's going to go past the 13 month stop that both B and T self weaned at.  I've never had any issues with her refusing to nurse. She's a champ!

Playing: She's getting it.  She likes to put things in her mouth (pegs with foam board) and likes toys that make sounds (maraca, piano, wiggly giggler).  She can tear down a block tower before we really even build it, and finds magnets on the fridge and the metal door stopper thing absolutely fascinating!  Silicone muffin cups keep her entertained for a good bit as well as our toy ice cream set.  Charlotte is pulling up on ALL THINGS now and likes to try to see what her big sisters are into (though most of the time they don't let her in on the fun).  I'm SOOOO curious to see when she's going to attempt walking!!! Oh yes! And she can say MA MA and DA DA, and wave "hey gurl, hey!"

Big Sisters:  Debby, Debby Libs Grace Dowdy, Brief Butt, and Buffaloe are Brooke's nicknames for this month.  Brooke is still crazy and loud around Charlotte most days. She's constantly running up to her and growling, or smacking her rear or coming up behind her and pulling her backwards, or holding her arm a bit to long... has anyone else had this problem... it's killing us.  We're at a loss how to discipline/modify behavior because it's VERY evident that Charlotte doesn't like it (bless her soul).  It's just a bit much. Taylor always asks to hold Charlotte when she gets up from a nap, and will let Charlotte play with her face/snuggle her. They have a precious bond and Tay is just soooooo much more her speed.  She gets her and she doesn't really force herself upon her as Brooke does.  BUT Tay does get possessive over toys and manages to take EVERYTHING away from Charlotte.  Taylor is also the chief "I'm going to leave every toy in the house out and not pick them up especially those things that Charlotte can't have yet," I feel like I'm constantly asking her to pick up her things! Our girls are getting big! Like T is potty trained, day and night. WHAT?! And Brooke can wipe her own butt after she poops.  Big time guys. BIG TIME! hahaha Counting our blessings each and and surrendering it all to our precious Heavenly Father who is God of the hills and valleys (and I am not alone). 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Growin' like a Weed: Charlotte - 8 months


Height: 25 1/2" 
Weight: 17.6 lbs

Likes: Mommy, Mommy's milk, and being held by me! Charlotte is now mobile! Cheers to the chick who couldn't roll from tummy to back and is not running marathons via a pretty sick one legged power crawl all around the house (and outside and over legs, sisters, and basically anything in her way!) She's trying her best to stand and enjoys her new found mobility. It's soooo much fun to see her little personality bloom! 

Dislikes: If Mommy isn't near. She can sense if I'm not in her general vicinity. It's ridiculous. She also doesn't like getting clothes on, her diaper changed or getting strapped in her car seat. I'm talking screams/kicks/grabs until you are done. It's rather irritating!  She's also not a fan of snuggling at bed/nap time. Often she pushes me away... sad face!

Sleeping: Two naps a day.  2-3-4 schedule.  Wakes around 6:30, naps 2 hours after she wakes up (normally an hour to 1.5 then is awake for 3 hours takes a 2 hour nap that normally coincides with Taylor's (PRAISE THE LORD). Once she wakes, it's 4 hours until bedtime! She nurses, sleeps until 11:30-2 ish, nurses, and sleeps until wake time.  90% of the time she ends up in the twin bed in her nursery with me.  Momma needs sleep too and her squishy snuggles are the BEST! 

Eating: Still nursing every 2-3 hours when awake and once at night.  I'm trying her on foods now (pouches, applesauce, bananas, avocado, sweet potato) or anything I'm eating and choose to Momma Bird (chew up and feed to her). Her favorite food is Great Value brand Nacho Cheese chips... haha I kid you not!  She's a good little nurser still and I haven't tried her on a bottle or sippy cup yet.  I need to research more food options. I really only give her puffs, veggie straws, or something off my plate at dinner.   

Playing: With everything! The big girls are constantly getting told to put small toys away. Charlotte can, and will grab EVERYTHING in sight and put it in her mouth.  Though she's not a drooly kid (praise the Lord!) She tolerates the swing outside and REALLLLLLY likes splashing in a tub of water.  She's entertained very easily and truly is a joy to be around (except when I try to set her down so I can do something productive with two hands). Grrrr I lay/sit by her all day long and it does get frustrating that I'm not as productive/involved with the bigs. Like I can talk to them a lot and interact, but physically, I can't really lug ol' Jukey Cheeks aka Charlotte with me EVERYWHERE. This too shall pass, this too shall pass.

Big Sisters:  Debby (no lie Brooke calls her Debby more than she calls her Charlotte),  Debby Libs Grace Dowdy, Picky booty, and MoMo are Brooke's nicknames for this month.  Brooke is still crazy and loud around Charlotte most days. But she is also VERY sweet and loving. She's super helpful and always takes the initiative to cheer up Charlotte if she's fussing.  This is my main rub... Brooke is on/around her allllll day, which means she's constantly tugging at me because I'm holding Charlotte (or Charlotta as I call her a lot, haha) and it truly is annoying.  I lose my cool, a lot because it's just a bit much. Taylor always asks to hold Charlotte when she gets up from a nap, and will let Charlotte play with her face/snuggle her.  She's reallllly getting loud when she greets her sister from nap time, but is all giggles and joy-filled.  She is a monkey see monkey do kinda gal and we're praying she doesn't pick up on Brooke's "tendencies" and maintains a gentle nature.  Love, love, love these 3 and I couldn't imagine life without them! Praise God for our little loves. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Growin' like a Weed: Charlotte - 7 months


Height: 25 1/4" 
Weight: 16lbs 9oz

Likes: Mommy, Mommy's milk, and being held by me! Rolling. But only back to tummy, she can't do tummy to back.  She's trying her best to "crawl", so she sits, then leans forward, then kiiiiinda gets on all fours, then sits back down.  She reaches for EVERYTHING and she's incredibly grabby! We're talking Elastigirl type reaching here folks! NOTHING is safe around Charlotte! She sits in the tub now and splashes like crazy! She loves "chatting" and "singing" and gives big gummy smiles and acts coy if you give her attention.

Dislikes: If Mommy isn't near. She can sense if I'm not in her general vicinity. It's ridiculous. I do feel like she's rather "barnacle" like, but all of our ladies were like that at this age.  She also doesn't like getting clothes on or getting strapped in her car seat. Charlotte screams/kicks/grabs/etc. until you are done. It's rather irritating!  She's still not a fan of Brooke squeezing her and being all up in her face. And she will not stay in the stroller or shopping cart for long.
Sleeping: Two naps a day.  2-3-4 schedule.  Wakes around 6-7, naps 2 hours after she wakes up (normally an hour to 2) then is awake for 3 hours takes a 2 hour nap that normally coincides with Taylor's (PRAISE THE LORD). Once she wakes, it's 4 hours until bedtime! She nurses, sleeps until 11:30-2 ish, nurses, and sleeps until wake time.  90% of the time she ends up in the twin bed in her nursery with me.  Momma needs sleep too and her squishy snuggles are the BEST!

Eating: Still nursing every 2-3 hours when awake and once, maybe twice a night.  I'm trying her on foods now (pouches, applesauce, bananas, avocado, sweet potato) or anything I'm eating and choose to Momma Bird (chew up and feed to her).  Grandaddy really wanted to feed her ice cream the other day... chick was reaching for it! haha! I normally feed her a tad bit at lunch and dinner (after I nurse her).  I loveeee that she likes to lay down and nurse.  Afterwards she chats/sings/plays, it's adorable! 

Playing: I'm basically holding her all the time (helping her sit, helping her roll over, holding her at dinner, holding her while we walk/go places) still!  She's getting mobile and it's funny and frustrating! She likes to sit in a swing at the park, she enjoys always having something to hold/nom on.  She likes looking in the mirror, singing to music, and playing peek a boo under a blanket.  Charlotte is also pretty curious about animals and likes it when we do a "monster voice" talk in a scratchy low voice.  Brooke is discovered this for us, haha!

Big Sisters: Scrunchose-e-Munchose (while not to gently squeezing her thighs), picky booty, and Moo May are Brooke's nicknames for this month.  Brooke is still crazy and loud around Charlotte most days. But she is also VERY sweet and loving. She's super helpful and always takes the initiative to cheer up Charlotte if she's fussing.  The other day she fed Charlotte some of a pouch on a spoon. It was adorable! She was soooo proud!  Taylor and Charlotte have a unique bond.  Tay is calm and gentle around her and connects to her. Charlotte never seems scared or guarded around Taylor (eventhough T snatches her toys, lays on her, and knocks her down quite a bit).  All 3 of them are amazing. We often get stopped at stores. Most of the time, they are on their best manners other days... all bets are off folks.  I like this current stage, though I'm not going to lie, it's challenging.  These girls love each other, but also know juuuuust what to do to annoy each other and set Mommy off like a firework! Dear Lord, please give me your mercies new each and and continue to remind me to release my plans and expectations and look expectantly for your direction and discipline each day. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Growin' like a Weed: Charlotte - 6 months


Height: 25" 
Weight: 16lbs 

Likes: Mommy, Mommy's milk, and being held by me! Rolling. But only back to tummy, she can't do tummy to back.  Sitting, playing in water, the bathtub, her big sisters and Daddy making her giggle! I'm not sure where to put this, but I want to remember it.  Y'all.  Her hands. They have always been my favorite part of her.  They are soft, warm, and oh so perfect.  She touches me and I melt.  I know she's not intentionally placing her hand on my side/hand/arm but to me, it feels like God.  A touch that radiates deep to your soul and lets you know that He is good.

Dislikes: If Mommy isn't holding her or in sight (unless she is sitting and playing like a big girl).  If she's laying down, I can't get more than ehhh 6 inches away before she rolls onto her tummy and fusses for me.  BLESS.  She also doesn't like her carseat, STILL, and she's not a fan of anyone holding her except me. Haha we play this funny, but oh so mean game, where I'll hand her off to someone, she'll get big teary eyes and her bottom lip will quiver, then I'll take her back and she'll smile/be totally fine! After about 4 round, we end the torture.

Sleeping: Naps, eh. Normally 3-4, 45 minute "crap naps" as I call them.  Every now and then she'll take a good nap 1.5-2ish hours, but that's rare, folks. She always wakes up happy though! She only wakes once at night to nurse (between 11:30 - 3) and wakes up happy in the morning with a big stretch and some precious babbling.  She can sleep in her bed all night AND she's starting to wiggle around and sleep in funny positions.  Depending on how tired I am is if she ends up nursing/sleeping in bed with me.  I'm still sleeping in her room on the twin bed because... A) that bed is amazingly comfortable   B)Daddy snores.

Eating: Still nursing LIKE A BOSS!  She's been amazing. Doesn't spit up, doesn't comfort nurse. Just eats, eats well, and goes on.  She's so sweet. SO sweet! I really feel like I'm going to miss nursing her. We're definitely bonding!!! I've also given her table food this past month, mainly food off of my plate (sweet potato, cantaloupe, strawberry, avocado, banana, pea.) I'll give her a bite or two during meal time/to keep her occupied, but it mainly ends up on her shirt.  The only thing she hasn't liked was a cold pea! 

Playing: I'm basically holding her all the time (helping her sit, helping her roll over, holding her at dinner, holding her while we walk/go places).  She plays but not really.  I think I need to be more intentional about putting different toys around her.  She's hesitantly independent and it's a really hard stage to balance playing with the bigs and protecting the little.  I need to look on pinterest/back at pictures from facebook on what B and T did during this stage. haha B was the same, good sitter but couldn't roll both ways.  T... couldn't roll at all hahaha but was a good sitter.  So funny!

Big Sisters: Mouth rinse, Scrunchose-e-Munchose (while not to gently squeezing her thighs), and chunka monka are Brooke's nicknames for this month.  Brooke is... how can I put this... ANNOYING when it comes to Charlotte but she's soooo helpful and so loving! The girls RUSH into her room in the morning to love on their sister before I nurse her. Brooke is always eager to run into Charlotte's room when she wakes from a nap too, especially if i'm busy and can't get to her.  She'll go in and talk to her/give her a toy to entertain her until I can get there.  Taylor is starting to mimic Brooke's volume/nicknames.  But when it's just Tay and Charlotte, T is so sweet and gentle and just wants to rub her sister, hold her, and talk in a sweet/quiet voice.  It's hilarious how big Charlotte is when T hold her! hahaha  I am amazed.  God is SO good! I probably never pictured my life like this but PRAISE THE LORD for it! I am content and thriving.  My life is filled with goodness and my heart is surprisingly calm.  My days are filled and I'm not depleted at the end of the day.  I'm filled with gratitude for our sweet family and God's rich mercy.