What’s for Dinner Wednesday

We’re all for simple dinners in our house.  Here’s a busy Mama’s dinner that’s easy to make and great for someone who is trying to eat healthy and also find something yummy for the kiddos too.

Here’s what you need:

 

  • Steel Head Trout (taste similar to Salmon, but yummier in my opinion!)
  • Lemon Pepper seasoning
  • Garlic and Parsley seasoning
  • Griddler  by Cuisinart (or Foreman Grill)
  • Cooking Spray
  • Steamfresh brown rice and veggie combo

Instructions:

  • Remove skin from fillet ( I do this with a butter knife and the help of running water)
  • Spray grill
  • Cook on 350 degrees for about 5-6 minutes
  • Add seasonings and cook for additional 3 minutes
  • Throw frozen rice/veggies in microwave for 3-4 minutes

Results: Yummy, Fast, Healthy dinner.  That’s what I’m talking about!

What are you doing for dinner these days?

Good Dog

I feel bad. Everyone told us this would happen. Our baby before the boys came around isn’t our baby anymore. We denied that it would happen to us, but it’s just hard to give our dog Lizzie as much love and affection that she deserves when there are two other needy persons. Occasionally though, we enjoy some horse playing around. She is SO good with both Parker and Mason and always takes extra care not to hurt them. I wish the boys took the same care. They jump on her and yank on her fur, and the only thing Lizzie does is do what she always does…give lots of kisses. She really is the best pooch ever.

After some fun wrestling time with the boys…she goes and hides. I don’t blame her!

 

Over the weekend

This past weekend was a little more eventful than usual, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to do a little blog entry. On Saturday, we had planned on a visit from my Dad, Step-Mom Rennie and brother Christopher. During the day, in addition to straightening the house for company, we made it to the park to soak in some sunshine before the boys went down for their naps.


We had Mason decked out in his cute little plaid shorts and hat combo. He was rockin’ the park attire. CUTEST. BABY. THERE.
On the way to the park, we got a call from my Dad wanting to ask me a question. I knew that he was planning to stay with my uncle Steve during his visit to Atlanta, but what I didn’t know was that my uncle Steve would ask to come tag along during their visit with us.  For those of you who don’t know, my uncle has been estranged from much of the family since the news broke of his elicit affair with the woman across the street from their family home, and then announcement that he was leaving his wife and family to pursue a relationship, and soon marry this woman.  The situation leaves a very bad taste in my mouth, not only because of the affair, but because the woman was a family friend, and all of the pain, hurt and division that this has caused in the family. Somehow though, the people pleaser in me made an appearance long enough to stomach a “Yes” answer, and he joined us for a cook out at our house.  Fortunately, he didn’t ask if his new wife could come. That would be too painful to even discuss.  We surprisingly, had a great time with him though.  It had been almost two years since we had talked, but we all had great conversation, and a good time enjoying ourselves, and the beautiful weather that God brought us on Saturday.  We had a nice cook out on our patio, soaking in the brand new cool fall air.  This was the first time Rennie and Dad had met Mason and they had a great time loving all over him.  Parker, of course, got plenty of love too.  Steve had a good time horse playing with him as well.  Overall, a nice visit!

Grandma and Grandpa came with gifts!

On Sunday, we spent some family time together and went up to Amicalola falls in north Georgia.  It was such a nice time enjoying nature and family time.  The leaves weren’t quite turned yet.  Just a few yellow or red leaves to be seen, but the weather was perfect, so it was nice to just enjoy the cool weather and a get some exercise walking to the falls.  Half way up, they have a parking lot where there is stroller and handicap access, so we didn’t technically walk the entire falls, but we just enjoyed the view from halfway without having to do all the work. One day, when the boys are older, we’ll take the hike up the entire thing.  But until then, we’ll settle for these amazing views.

Parker and Daddy throwing rocks.

Another pretty cool thing happened this weekend.  Mason started clapping!  He is growing up so fast, and I am just going to savor every awesome moment that I can.  Here I am, being a proud Mama, and enjoying my cute little guy.


InstaFriday

I’ve been slacking a bit on my InstaFriday posts. But,  I’m still going to link up with Jeannett over at Life Rearranged and post iphone pics to give a glimpse of my last few weeks.


Playdough fun




Parker LOVES his little buddy Logan.  They always have such fun together.  Here they are goofing around at Ms. Sarah’s house last week.





Parker had a blast at his first live show. We got free tickets to see Sesame Street Live. Parker had so much fun dancing and laughing and taking t all in.


So, we’re at Kangazoom just hanging out, chasing Parker around, and I look over at Mason and this is what I see. Seriously… he’s a clown.


Mason gets so happy to see Daddy after a long week of missing him. Here he is… all smiles.

Mason has been LOVING the swing at the park. Yes, he’s only six months old. This kid doesn’t do the whimpy little pushes. He does the BIG pushes that rivals the swinging his brother does. This kid is fearless, I tell you!



So, in case you didn’t catch the post below, Parker turned 2 this week. He had a blast opening cards and presents from family that live afar. He relived his birthday quite a few times this week between the celebration at school, his party on Saturday, and the gifts from family. Spoiled rotten, I’d say.

I like to send pictures of me and the boys to Dan while he’s traveling, and also to a few family members who don’t get to see us very often. Here we are cheesin’ it up, for your viewing pleasure.

How was your week?

life rearranged


Choo-Choo! Parker Turns Two!

We were so excited to celebrate Parker’s second birthday on Saturday.  We decided that this year we would have it at Gymboree Play and Music.  Parker took classes there back in January and loved it, so I thought we’d try it again for his birthday.  I loved that they had an instructor to lead the play time, and the fact that she also helped with the party coordination, set-up and clean up.  That takes a load off! Especially when you’re type A like me, and worry about every detail of the birthday party. Of course, I still got nervous that I would forget something, or that a few details would be missed, but I think having her there, took my anxiety level down a few notches.

The party was “Little Engine That Could” themed, since Parker LOVES trains, and is pretty fond of the book.  I’ve tried to get him into Thomas the train on TV, but he doesn’t seem to be a fan… and to be quite honest, neither am I.  Something about talking trains with corny British accents that don’t really do it for me.  He loves Thomas books and toys though, but not so much the show.

Parker and his friends had so much fun with all of the activities.  Some of the activities were even train themed too!  It was hard to capture some good pictures of Parker because he was busy running around on the play floor, climbing and playing and having a good time.  I did manage to get him as he was poking out of one of the donuts (above) with a cute shot of him in his birthday shirt.  Of course, with it being Mason’s half birthday and all, I couldn’t leave him out… We got a shirt for Mason too, with a little caboose on it.  Could my boys be any cuter?

All of Parker’s little friends were great, and brought so much joy and laughter to the party.  I’m so glad that they were all able to come and celebrate with us, and make it a special time for Parker.

Parker of course loved parachute and bubble time.  It was a lot of fun seeing how much the kids were enjoying it too.  After play time, the kids rode the “train” back to the snack room for some refreshments and birthday cake.  We served Parker’s favorites, which included white cheddar cheese puffs, raisins, bunny grahams, and mandarin oranges.

We weren’t too sure how Parker would do with the candles for his birthday when the time came to blow them out.  So, we lit a candle that morning and had him practice.  He got so excited he kept saying “more, more!” and so I lit the candle a few times, and he got a few giggles blowing it out.  Well, it may have been better not to have him “practice” because he kept trying to blow out the candle as they were singing the birthday song during the party.  I later realized that he also had a mouth full of snacks, but still managed to blow them out.  Attaboy! I don’t know why I ever doubted him.

Parker enjoyed the yummy cupcake, and spending time with his friends.  It was nice to have the friends that Parker likes to see during playgroup and church come together and celebrate with him.  Nannie also joined in on the fun, enjoying spending time with both Parker and Mason, and celebrating with us.  I think it was overall a great party.  I only wish the time in the “refreshment room” was a little bit longer.  It just seemed to be rushed a little bit, but maybe it just flew by more quickly that I anticipated.

From the party, we headed home for a yummy pizza dinner with Nannie, and opened birthday presents.  Parker was showered with lots of fun gifts from his friends.  We’ve been having so much fun digging into them today and playing with them.  Mommy and Daddy got him these two gifts:

 

He loves them both, as well as the many other gifts that he got.  Thanks friends!

On Sunday, as an added “Birthday” gift, I took Parker for his very first movie.  We went to see The Lion King.  He loved it.  He’s SO animated that he had a hard time understanding that he couldn’t hoot and holler during every exciting scene, so we had a few little mishaps, but overall, he loved it.  It is crazy how I remember watching this movie as a young teen with my little brother, and now I’m watching it with my own little boy.  I think he really enjoyed sharing a bag of popcorn with his Mama and having some special one on one time with me.  Afterwards, we both had a little walk around the Avenues and threw a coin in the fountain. It was a nice little end to the weekend. 

Has it really been two years?  Time is certainly flying by.  I’m so proud of the little boy that Parker has become.  Just over the last three or four months, he’s really taken well to Mason, taking direction from Mommy and Daddy, and understanding consequences.  He also has really started to show his caring and nurturing side.  He loves to pat Mason’s back when his fussy, come give me hugs and kisses and say “Wuv you too!”.  It really warms my heart.

Although there’s a lot of hype about the “terrible twos”, I’m not in the least bit worried.  I know that we’ll have some challenges, but I am confident that our little goofy Parker is going to bring us lots of happy and exciting times this next year, and I’m looking forward to enjoying the good times, and seat belting myself in for the bumpy times.  It’ll be an exciting time for sure.  If there’s one thing I can guarantee, it’s that Parker never makes for a dull moment!  Happy Birthday, Parker!  Mommy and Daddy Love you!

Happy Half Birthday, Mason!

Dear Mason,

It’s surreal that I am already typing this note to you on your six month birthday, and it literally seems like just a few months ago I was doing the same for your older brother, Parker. You, have been such a joy to the family. You’re very chill. I like that. Chill is good, especially when Mama is also busy chasing around a toddler.  You’re happy as can be all the time, smiling at total strangers while in your stroller, laughing at your brother being goofy and giggling when mommy does a tickle marathon on your belly and chubby thighs.  You’re such a loveable chunky legged cutie patootie.

From the moment we brought you home, we were so excited to snuggle you, love on you and officially have you be apart of the family.  You slept with us in our room, but in your own little bassinet for the first month.  We were such pro’s with you because it hadn’t been very long since we had your brother.  As soon as you would stir, I’d hop up and feed you, and then Daddy would be on hand to change your diaper afterwards, and then you quickly went back to dreamland.  We had a fast little system going that I would compare to how NASCAR has their tire and car check thing down pat for their cars.  Perhaps, you were our little race car. Your little gumdrop pacifier helped a lot too.  You hardly every cried, which I thought was pretty unusual, you would just whimper if you needed something.  I would feed you around the clock because you were SO big.  You needed much more food than the average newborn.  So, I decided I would feed you every 2-2.5hrs during the day, without you asking for it (even if that meant waking you up).  That way you would be nice and full during the day, and then let you tell us at night how often you’d like to eat.  That worked out great for us because you developed such a nice rhythm that you took great to naps and long bedtime stretches very early on.  We didn’t have to do any tough love and let you fuss to sleep or anything.  You have been a great sleeper with only waking at night when you really need something.  You were swaddled for the first seven weeks or so, but then you were rolling like a rolly polly all over the place, and so we decided to see if you would like to sleep in just a sleep sack, without being swaddled, and you did.  You really enjoyed your new found freedom.  You were always so good with change.  You took a pacifier, but most of the time, you liked to just suck your thumb.  You loved sucking your thumb.  If you were on your back in the crib and I came to wake you, you would just roll on your side and curl up and put that thumb in your mouth right away. It was the cutest thing!

And another thing you’re awesome at?  Eating.  I don’t think it comes as a surprise that you are a great eater and you can put away some food.  You were even trying to take Parker’s PB&J today at the park when he was finishing it up beside you in the stroller. You have been exclusively breastfed from the beginning, and you seem to love it.  It’s a great time for just the two of us to bond.  My favorite time is on lazy Saturdays when you squirm in your crib in the morning, Daddy goes and gets you and puts you in the bed with me to nurse, then moments later, brother comes screaming in and climbs all over us and we have a family snuggle time.  It’s one of the best of moments in our world.

We started feeding you solid foods around five and a half months.  Nursing you just wasn’t cutting it any more, and you were waking to eat more, so I decided to try some multi grain rice cereal.  You weren’t a fan at first, but now you LOVE to eat from a spoon.  You’ve only tried bananas, apples, and carrots mixed with your rice cereal, and breast milk, and you seem to really enjoy it.

When you were seven weeks old, we had a bit of a scare.  You see, your older bro Parker had a bit of a belly ache a few days prior, but otherwise was fine, so I didn’t think much of it.  Then one day I noticed that you were extra sleepy.  You hardly every cried most days, but this day you were especially quiet.  When I’d wake you up to feed you during the day, you would suckle a little bit, but I didn’t realize until the end of the day that you just weren’t eating much that day.  You were just super sleepy.  You felt a wee bit warm so I took your temp and it was over 101.  I called the doctor and they told me to take you to the emergency room to check you out.  You somehow caught a nasty virus from big brother.  I’m sure it won’t be the last time you caught something from him, but because you were so small, you had to get some pretty uncomfortable tests and it was really scary for both you and me and also your Daddy.  Your Daddy was on a business trip, but he rushed home on the first flight he could get on so that he could make sure you were okay.  He didn’t want anything bad to happen to his baby boy.  Through that I realized that you were different from your brother when you were sick.  You just liked to sleep, where as your brother would let me know by crying.  We were so relieved to find out that you were okay.

Your Daddy and I were just talking about how we took you on vacation when you were two months old to Destin… your first beach trip.  You were so awesome.  You were sleeping 8-10 hrs already at night, and you were so easy going and didn’t even mind that your brother Parker was throwing sand in your face while you were being nursed on the beach.  We strolled you everywhere, and you loved that we brought a little bouncer for you to lounge in on the beach and in the condo.  It was by far the best seat in the house.  It was your first vacation and you were such a pro at it.  You and your brother even napped at the same time on the way down in the car.  On the way back, we weren’t so lucky, but we had a fun time nonetheless.  We decided that the next trip would be a little shorter for our sanity, and yours as well.  This fall, we’ll be going on vacation just a few hours away from home, in Chattanooga.  I think you’re going to love it there.

You also experienced your first big holiday.  Although, Christmas is a few months away, and we look forward to seeing how you enjoy that, we had a great time during Easter this year, celebrating your first, and our first with two boys.  Of course, we were ultimately celebrating Jesus, who gave his life for us.  You’ll learn more about that as you get older.  We had a fun little celebration at Aunt Vickie’s house.  You and your brother stole the show with your matching outfits and adorable smiles.  You also watched brother do his first Easter egg hunt.  I can’t wait until you’re old enough to do your first hunt!

You seem to think your older brother, Parker is pretty funny.  Even though most of the time you guys are doing your own things.  Mostly, he’s running around doing his thing, and you’re rolling around on your blanket and jumping in your jumperoo, but when you guys get together, I love how you make each other laugh.  Parker LOVES to call you Mae Mae, and asks for you when you’re not around.  Today, I picked Parker up at school while you hung out with Nannie for a little bit, and when he noticed you weren’t there, he immediately asked for you.  He loves you so much, and I know that you guys are going to be the best of friends!

You have been making a lot of new friends that are your age already.  Since I am constantly taking your brother on play dates, you have met some little friends along the way.  It has been nice to hear about their mannerisms and how they compare to you.  It’s nice to have Moms that have older siblings, and other little ones your age.  I’m sure you will appreciate this when you’re a little older, and you guys can interact a little more.  Here you are with your friends Asher, Simeon, and Harper.  You have a few others around your age named Aidan, Amelia and Noah that I’m sure you will get to know through the years.

You have brought me so much happiness with your laid back personality and your happy smiles every day that remind me to appreciate the small things in life.  I can’t believe that it’s been six months, and I’m looking forward to the next six, the last months before we celebrate your very first birthday.  You’re just growing too stinking fast, and I wish I could just hold you and squeeze you in this moment for eternity, but I have to remind myself that you’ll just get older and more lovable as time goes on.  That’s what I have to tell myself to allow me not to get sad that you’re growing so quickly, outgrowing your clothes, and your car seat carrier, and that you’re doing awesome things like laughing and swinging in big kid park swings… rolling around from here to there and trying to crawl, sitting up just long enough for your big whopping head to tip you sideways or forward.  You’re just an amazing little baby boy, and I just can’t wait to see how you grow and learn, and see how our bond grows stronger through the years.  You make an amazing addition to this family, and I’m so glad that God brought you into our life.

Love,

Mama

InstaFriday

I’m linking up with Jeannett over at Life Rearranged again and post my week in iphone pics.

I made some more baby food on Tuesday.  I steamed some asparagus and pureed it, as well as some cucumbers and put them into icetrays to freeze.  I’m looking forward to seeing if Mason likes it!

I just love snuggling Mason after bathtime. There’s just nothing like a fresh clean naked baby!



The weather was a little overcast on Wednesday morning, but I took the boys anyways on a nice stroll around the two mile loop.

I’ve been on a bit of a smoothie kick lately.  I want to make sure I use up all the veggies I got in the fridge (some of which are for the boys), so I’ve been making a lot of smoothies for meal replacement during lunch.  The one above has strawberries, a banana, avocado, raspberries, blueberries, carrots, grape tomatoes, and kale, mixed with a orange carrot juice and ice.  It was super yummy!

Me and my cute little booger…



Okay, Parkie can make an appearance too.  Here he is waving “Hi”!


We met up with Mama Sara and her sweet boys Logan and Noah again at Cogburn Park.  The boys had so much fun…

Snacking…

Kickin’ it on the streets…

Look at the beautiful fall foliage!  The weather was perfect too.

My new favorite Lemonade

While Parker was at school, Mason and I reconnected with a walk and jog around the loop together.  He didn’t seem to mine me singing out loud to my iphone music blaring on speaker.  He was a happy camper the entire time.

Logan and Parker had so much fun today in the beautiful weather.  It brought out the giddiness in them.  Here they are laughing, singing and dancing.
Those boys are so stinkin cute!



Mason and Noah just hung out and watched their big bro’s play.  It was a beautiful day, and a nice week with playdates, friends, walks and school for Parker.

We’re looking forward to the weekend. Dan will be home the entire weekend, and we won free tickets to Sesame Street Live.  Should be fun!

How was your week?

life rearranged


Family Three Day Weekend and some more Bday fun

It was so nice to have a three day weekend with the fam.  We started it off on Friday night, celebrating Dan’s birthday.  We went to Olde Blind Dog for a date night and had a great dinner.  We had a few beers… and took a celebratory kamikaze shot.  Here’s a picture of us doing just that. (Yes, these are ALL iphone pics…so excuse the blurriness)

We took a nice stroll around downtown Crabapple afterwards, and we came across this…

I’ve seen this in the Verizon parking lot before, but somehow it’s SO much more hilarious when you’ve had a few drinks in you.  Danielle, do you know who owns this?  I’d hate to see what their cubicle looks like.

There was also some pretty sunflowers during our romantic evening walk.  It made me remember when I was a pre-teen and was OBSESSED with sunflowers.  Does anyone else remember Elizabeth Arden’s Sunflower fragrance?  Oh…really?  I’m the only one?

For Saturday, we I came up with this idea to go on the MARTA subway train…for FUN.  You see… Parker is obsessed with trains right now, and I was trying to think of something fun and unique for him to experience… So, we decided to pack the outdoor jogging stroller in the trunk, and head down to North Spring Station… go two stops to Dunwoody station and go over to Perimeter Mall and shop around (they have an awesome Disney store) and then take it back one more stop north to Sandy Springs.  We planned to eat at Max and Erma’s, but come to find out it was closed (and turned into Tilted Kilt…a restaurant that uses provocative waitresses to serve an frosted glass of irish beer).  Since that obviously wasn’t the best place to bring a family, we opted for Chick-fil-A instead, which was within walking distance.  Here are a few pictures that outlines our outing.

Parker LOVED the subway train.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVED!  However, he wasn’t much of a happy camper waiting for the train…for over THIRTY LOOOONG FREEGING MINUTES!  We really didn’t plan it very well since there was every UGA football fan imaginable on the train heading to ATL at the same time we were taking our “FUN” ride two stops. I know, I know… the subway looks empty… but that was on our way back. You should’ve seen it on the way there. Everyone and  their Mom was in red attire!

On Sunday, we decided that after church and the boy’s naps (ok, our naps too), that we would head up to Dahlonega to shop around and have a nice dinner at the Smith House.  After all, it is Dan’s birthday weekend..and the Smith House is a fav of his.  We had a great time.  I got a pretty little necklace, did some nice time window shopping with the boys (those stubborn shops aren’t very double stroller friendly) and had a yummy family dinner.  Oh…, and we got some fudge.  Can’t forget the yummy fudge!

Parker enjoyed window shopping with his feet kicked up.

In the parking lot of the Smith House, we spotted this ginormous pumpkin.  That is going to make one heck of a pumpkin pie.

After we came home and put the boys down for the night, we watched the movie called  I Am Number Four.  It’s a Sci-Fi flic, and normally not my style, but I totally got into it.  It was a great way to end the night.

On Monday, we just relaxed as a fam.  I’d love to say that we had this big production, but we didn’t.  We hung out…I taught Parker how to make a fruit smoothie, we watched some of Parker’s favorite shows, Daddy took Parker to Kangazoom for a bit to meet up with Campen, and his Daddy Ben.  Then after naps, we went to the mall to walk around, play, and eat dinner.  A nice relaxing end to the weekend.


How was your Labor Day Weekend?

Music Saturday

So… My friend Danielle at Danielle’s Dish is posting a Music Saturday. So, I thought I’d link up and share my fav. Okay…two this time. I couldn’t choose!

Here’s the first… Is this not freegin hilarious? Lord help me if I ever have a diva daughter.

Believe it or not, I like the following because of its dance-ablility. I just love dancing with my little guy Parker, and when I hear the Kid Bop version of the following song, It makes me want to go to Kangazoom and jump around and celebrate the end of the week.