Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pumpkin Dip!

                                                             FALL IS HERE!!

Finally fall has arrived. =) I'm so excited!! Fall is my favorite season. Halloween, Thanksgiving, pumpkin patches, baking cookies, it's the best of times. I just finished my decorating here at home. Well I say "finished" let's be honest I'm sure I'll add a ton before Christmas is here. LOL One of the best parts of fall, besides salted caramel latte's at Starbucks, is fall recipes. I love baking gingerbread men and having spiced cider. So I figured I share my favorite play-date snack for fall. 

Pumpkin Dip

3/4 cup (6 ounces) cream cheese
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
apple slices

Place the first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add syrup and cinnamon, and beat until smooth. Cover dip and chill 30 minutes. Serve with apples.

Serves 12...or a lot of toddlers.. =)


I always imagined when Connor was old enough to have play-dates that I'd have best friends who's kids were the same age as him. They'd come over and play gracefully on the floor while us moms chatted it up over coffee and muffins, and then reality hit me....HARD! For starters none of my friend's children are Connors age, most are younger, or much much older. So as I ventured into the mommy/kid play-date world, I knew no one. I was so excited when Connor and I got invited to our first play-date. Then that excitement slowly turned to anxiety. Should I buy a new outfit? Will he hit another child? Will he share? Will we be invited back, or exiled from the world I was so desperate to fit into forever!? After I got married I thought the dating game was over, boy was I wrong. Oddly enough trying to find play-dates feels like dating. Showing up to a strangers house....making small conversation, wondering the whole time what they're thinking, and praying Connor doesn't hit someone. So I have a few tips and guidelines on play-date etiquette for all you new mommy daters. =)

1.  The most important rule of all...RELAX! Take a few deep breaths and have fun, I promise you won't be "kicked out" of the mommy clubs.

2. Dress appropriately. My first play-date I bought a new outfit, my jeans we so tight I could barley sit on the floor. And trust me, you WILL be sitting/rolling/playing on the floor. =)

3. Don't feel bad if your child throws a fit. Every kid does it. Just relax and disciple them just like you would at home. We use time-out and it's the most effective when I'm in public, because Connor most defiantly does not wanna sit in timeout while the other kids play.

4. Don't depend on a schedule. As a mom I learned all to quickly that nothing goes as planned, or on time. If you're planning a play-date, make the time frame pretty big. Kids throw fits, spill things, need snacks...let's just say they're time consuming. So chances are people won't be there right when you want them to.

5. Bring snacks. I always bring some kind of snack to a play-date. You never know if the host was planning on supplying snacks or not and it's not good to show up with a hungry kid. Typically I try to bring healthy snacks, grapes, oatmeal cookies, apple wedges..but a little sugar isn't the worst thing in the world.

6. Last but not least. Don't forget to have fun!! This is a PLAY-date after all.

Hope this helps.. =)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Potty Training =)

Happy Friday!! <3 I love Fridays. Today is our first day of potty training! I've been thinking about potty training since I found out I was pregnant. Somehow after reading a million books and planning my potty training attack for the last TWO years, I'm still completely lost at how to tackle this whole situation. I've heard of so many different ways to potty train and I'm pretty scared I'm going pick the wrong one and end up with a 4 year old wearing diapers! (seriously, I have nightmares about that LOL). There are so many things to take into my toddler to young? Did I buy the right potty? Is he just not ready? Will I traumatize him if I let him run around naked? Can I SURVIVE him running around naked??? All advice appreciated!! I'll post next week with how things are going.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pediatrician Update

Connor's doctor's appointment on Monday went well. However he didn't even take the bandage off to look at his hand!!?? He just kinda peeked inside thru the top. His hand is looking better than before tho. It's starting to scab over so that's good. Hopefully we'll get to go to little gym this Saturday.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Breaded Chicken Breast

This has been SUCH a crazy weekend! For starters it was mine and my Husband's one year anniversary!! =) So we got a friend to babysit for us, cleaned up the house and got dressed. Not even 10 minutes before we were about to walk out the door, Connor gets a hold of a candle from the bathroom (I was sure he couldn't reach, I was very very wrong). He's standing there holding it and screaming because the jar is glass and HOT. So I start to run to him and before I get there he sticks his hand down into the flames and wax and it starts pouring all over him. This is by far the most traumatizing thing I've went thru as a mother. I run up there and knock the candle out of his hand and then I just freeze. I'm crying, he's crying..and I'm just horrified that I left a candle where he could reach it. If it wasn't for my husband screaming at me to get some ice, I'm not sure how long I would have stood there. Once we got it iced down and cleaned up it really wasn't that bad, a tiny little blister. He was up and playing almost immediately so we figured his hand just got into the wax, not the flame. After I scrubbed most of the wax of him, the floor, the wall, the sink, a basket....and more, the babysitter came and I told her what happened and we left. We went out for sushi and to a comedy club. Awesome time, especially since we haven't been out on a date in almost 8 months. But...theres always a but right? We get a text from the babysitter saying his hand is just getting worse. She goes ahead and lies him down to bed and we head home to check it out. Once she leaves, we go check on him. We were very very wrong about the wax only thing. He had three huge blisters and his had was bright red. So we loaded up in the car and headed for a night in the emergency room. It actually went pretty fast, they popped the blisters and wrapped his hand up. We finally head off to bed and when we woke up, more blisters. I call the nurses line and they said just to keep it wrapped. I don't know if you've ever tried to keep a full hand bandage on a 15 month old toddler...but it's not easy to say the least. First off, I'm no doctor, so after a few trips to CVS we finally have all the stuff we need and attempt to re-bandage his hand. I nor my husband have any idea how to do this, Connor's screaming the entire time and won't let us touch his hand, he's moving and keeps giving me a look that makes me want to throw all the bandages away and cuddle him. Once we do get it wrapped, it only stays on for about two hours before he's ripped it off, or soaked in the dog's water bowl, or stuck it in a stinky diaper as I attempt to change him. Plus it's got to come off at night and bath-time. We've made him an appointment with his pediatrician on Mon., I keep you posted on how that goes. However before all this crazyness happened we made chicken for dinner. =) && I would like to share the recipe with you. =D

This is dinner for 2+ a toddler

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
an egg or 2
salt & pepper
seasonings that you like (we did some spicy Cajun)

First mix breadcrumb, salt, pepper and seasonings in a bowl

                                                            Then beat an egg in a bowl
Dip chicken into egg then seasonings
Make sure its all the way covered. Wrap in foil and grill =)
It will need to cook for like 15-20 minutes
All done!! We also made some barbecue chicken (recipe by request)

Well it's finally Sunday and this crazy weekend is almost at an end. Have a good week. =d

Friday, July 8, 2011

Butternut Squash Puree

This is great for babies of all stages and ages, from start to toddler-hood. It freezes well and mixes with so many different things, peaches being one of Connor's favorite. =)

What will ya need??
1 medium size butternut squash
A pan coated in cooking spray
An oven heated to 400 degrees 

The first step is getting everything ready. As with all baking, it's much less stressful if you already have everything out (make sure to start the oven). Get your squash out and rinse it off. 
Place it on a cutting board.
Starting at the top, slice the squash right down the center to make two halves.

If you have a bigger squash this part can be difficult, I usually have my husband do it. 
Then your gonna need to remove all the "guts". I actually use a pumpkin carving scoop because it works so well. But anything will do, a spoon, an ice cream scoop...finger. =)
What you end up taking out should look like this.....
And after it's all cleaned up.....
Then place the halves face down in your greased pan and put in the oven for about 55 minutes. If you have a bigger squash you'll want to leave it in there longer. The softer it is the easier it's going to be to work with. 
You'll also wanna get a fork and poke lots and lots of holes in the skinned side.
After it's done baking.....
Now if your feeding this to a new solids eater your probably going to wanna toss it in the blender. However if you little munchkin can eat some more chunky food (and you cook it soft enough) you can just used your finger to squish it up. Messy, but fun for the toddlers to help with.
A recipe that Connor really seemed to like was peaches && butternut squash. 
2 cups peaches
1 cup squash

Happy fourth of July!!


I hope ya'll had a great weekend and such. We went to Patriot's Point, which by the way had awesome fireworks! Speaking of fireworks, I'd don't know it anyone was lucky enough to spend the fourth in New York City, but the bit I saw were gorgeous! 
This was Connor's second Fourth of July, however this is the first one that he actually got to see fireworks, & do sparklers. =)
The kids really enjoyed the fireworks.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mommy & Me + Daddy!

Hey! So here I am, back to boast on how awesome I think "The Little Gym" is. We are in our third week of mommy and me (+ daddy) classes and they get better every week! 
Connor playing ball!

These classes cover soo much it's ridiculous! I just can't get over it, really. They teachers are awesome and obviously qualified. & I love how much socialization Connor gets with the other "birdies". =) 
That's his little girlfriend (Baya) 

This past week we worked on doing the spider walk on a set of bars, he did awesome! I was so proud. =) The teachers also got out a blow up bounce thing and the parents and "birdies" sat on it while it blew up and then we bounced and jumped. They kids really seemed to love it. 
"Hi mom!"
This is Connor's favorite activity......the hanging bar.
MONKEY!! He hang there all by himself!
&& then of course must clap for himself. 

I really must say he's learning so much already and it's only the third week. He socializes much easier now. And seems like he's getting more outgoing. 
He loves the bubbles!
At the end of the class, they always get a stamp on their foot. This time it was a bumble bee!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Hiking We Go!

This past weekend we went hiking!! That's right Connor's very first hiking trip. I have to say it was a little rougher here in the lovely Carolinas than I expected, but still an awesome time. We were originally going to take Connor's stroller..haha glad we passed on that, as we wouldn't have made it more than a few steps into the woods. We used he trailblazer hiking backpack made by Evenflo. Fabulous product!! First off it's heavy, but not nearly as heavy as toting a 30lb toddler on you hip! The backpack has so many USEFUL features, a sun shade, padding, a backpack, toy loops (where we also secured our camera), side pockets...and the best Connor loved it!
It also stands on it's own!!
Now for the real shocker, it's only costs about $100 online, nice price for all you get right? Better than that we picked it up brand new at a yard sale for 5 BUCKS!! Yes f-i-v-e!! I just love yard sales, FABULOUS!!

So we decided to hike on Marrington Plantation at the Naval Weapons Station...great park. There we're a ton of trails to choose from. My one complaint was the trails weren't marked nearly as well as I would have liked. Hiking 6 miles into the woods with your toddler, you wanna be damn sure which one leads you out the fastest if the need appears!! We had a blast tho, Connor seemed soo interested in all of the nature. Thankfully we didn't see any alligators!! 
I did fall in love with this tree tho...
It was actually a pretty cool day that we went, about 97. I know right here I am calling 97 cool!! But the norm has been over a hundred here lately. Even with it being cooler than was HOTT!! 
Connor learned how to use the camelbak! How cute!!
He liked the vitamin water to!
Overall, I would SOO recommend the trail and the backpack to anyone wanted to hike the Charleston area!
I'm sure I will have a big post coming soon, as it's fourth of July. A big (early) thanks goes out to all our military and to my lovely husband!! THANK YOU! 


Friday, June 24, 2011

Sweet Potatoes! Sweet Potatoes!

This puree is great for babies first food, as well as toddlers. Connor is 14 months and still chows down on this. We actually made some earlier this afternoon, which is why I decided to share it with you.'s super simple, just grab a few sweet potatoes and heat up the oven.

What will you need??

An oven heated to 400 degrees
however many sweet potatoes you want, we normally do like 3 big ones
&& some, formula, milk, water...whatever you little one's into.

Poke some holes in the potatoes (the more holes, the softer it gets) and put em' on a pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until the peeling is loose and will come off easy, BUT don't try to peel them as soon as there done..HOT!! You should wait like 45 minutes, seriously..they stay really hot for a long long time. Once they are cool, peel and toss in the blender, puree to desired texture, adding liquid to thin and you're done!! This recipe will keep in the fridge about a week and freeze for about 3 months. ENJOY!!
                                                                 My little helper outerer!!


Ahh the days of toddler-hood. =) Playdough was one of my VERY favorite things as a kid. Remember sitting for hours on end rolling it out and tearing it up and starting all over again. Well we have reached those days and I'm proceeding with CAUTION! First off I committed to doing homemade playdough. I thought it would be simple..a little bit of internet research, checking out my favorite blogs and I'd find the perfect recipe and gracefully make it with my little man and play for hours....about that. Do you have any idea how many recipes are out there..?? Edible playdough, non-edible, salt, peanut butter, kool-aid..on and on and on!  After HOURS of internet searching and reading and re-reading eight million recipes and reviews I finally picked one. The simplest one I could find, and to be honest I was weary of whether it would actually turn out. So to the kitchen pantry I went, grabbing flour and salt and bowls, (my munchkin following my every step). After I got everything ready and started making it, camera in hand..Connor went crazy, threw a fit and ended up in the living room with dad. So I was left to finish the playdough all by myself. Even though my peaceful little fantasy of flour and bliss didn't turn out, Connor absolutely loved the playdough. =) It was the perfect amount, and texture. All in all it was a success. So here it are indeed scarce. 

What's better than making playdough with your toddler? It being simple and EASY!! & trust me this couldn't get much easier.

1 cup of flour
1 cup of salt
1 cup water

yup that't it..mix it all put and P-L-A-Y!!
Toss some flour on the highchair and let em' have at it.
We used spoons, spatulas, and even a infant tooth brush... =D
It kept him busy for hours =)

TIP: Is not going to harm the baby if he/she eats a small amount, however I would highly advise against it seeing as how it has so much salt. Also try to keep them from feeding you canine family members, as salt it terrible for them!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sick update

Hi. I'm sick..still. My poor little munchkin is also still sick. Some how my husband is not. I'm all stuffy and congested and feel so weak. Hopefully this passes by monday.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A little bit of it all

Welcome back! I told myself I was going to only post ONCE a week... But I really want this blog to be something Connor can look back on when he gets older. I want him to be able to see our day to day life, and big events, like his first birthday.

 So today I'm going to do a "everything" post. First I have a review on some Mommy & Me classes. Like I mentioned the other day, I recently took my son to a Mommy & Me class at "The Little Gym". One very awesome thing was he got to have a free class. That;s right, he got to go in and have a full 45 minute class with no cost or commitment. =) Pretty cool right? Well my first thought before we got there was "This is pretty expensive for 45 minutes once a week", but we went anyway just to see what all the hype was about. This class was AWESOME! Connor has such a great time, not to mention so did his Dad and I.
First off they had a sign up at the front desk welcoming their newest little "birdie" with his name and all! How sweet! Then he got a free "The Little Gym" sports bottle, and this is all before class even starts. The gym and the waiting area are separated by a glass wall, so you can either watch or go in and play (shoes off please!).
We went in with Connor. At first he was a little nervous. Then they started the "Hello song" with these little shakers, he loved it! =) They did a parachute activity, flips, pull-ups, bubbles, balls, songs and tons more. All and all we signed up for the semester. I definitely recommend this for mommy and me classes .
Connor James turned one year old on April 13th, 2011. However, I hadn't started this blog yet so I'm back tracking to that very day. As you already know, we are stationed in Charleston, SC and have no family here. I do have a cousin in NC tho, so we went there and had a small get party. I have LOTS of pictures =) 
Cake done by Amelia Claire's Sweets & Treats
We ate cake, open presents, went to Monkey Joe's, then...the tornado sirens went off. Yes a tornado hit Fayetteville that day. We wrapped up the party and booked it home! Seeing all the tornado damage on the way, not to mention dealing with all the wrecks and gridlock. But Connor slept the whole way home so it didn't bother him. 
We had a safari party for our little monkey!
In the end he had a really great time. =) I think this just about wraps up this post. Good night! =)