Friday, May 27, 2011

Nine Months

Yesterday Grant turned nine months old! It doesn't seem possible. This post is going to be lacking in the picture department. Grant moves so much lately that it's next to impossible to get some good pictures of him. Lately I've been trying to take him outside for pictures because he's still not entirely sure what to do when we put him on the ground. He looks all over but doesn't try to crawl away...most of the time. And he loves the way the grass feels on his feet. It's so adorable watch him kick his feet on the ground and then look puzzled when the grass tickles him.

Nine months old!
We know that Grant weighs 18 pounds 4 ounces (at least with clothes on) because of a second trip to the pediatrician for an ear infection. I'm not sure yet how tall he is but we'll know after his 9 month check-up on June 9th. I can't wait to see how much he's grown, it seems like he's getting so big. And all legs!

Grant is crawling everywhere and he's sooo quick. He's also much steadier now when he's upright. It looks like he's making moves towards walking too! When he pulls up on things (especially the couch, coffee table, or bathtub) he walks along the side of it using his hands to steady himself. But he's definitely not pulling himself along, he's walking when he does it. Or he'll have his hands on something (or someone) and turn to reach for something just out of his reach. You can tell he wants to get there without crawling but just can't figure it out. It's so crazy to watch because it's hard to believe he's big enough for that! He'll also stand, unassisted, for a few seconds and then he falls on his little bum.

Finger foods are going MUCH better. He actually put them in his mouth himself. He still makes a face when it goes in but he does eat it and reach for more. I tried some cut up bananas with him this week and that was a no-go. Pretty much all he did was pick it up, smoosh it in his hand and then rub it on his face. When I tried to put a piece in his mouth he clamped his lips together and turned his face away. Picky! I can't blame him...I'm not big on the texture of bananas. But we will keep trying!

Some more pictures from Grant's nine month "birthday" (I have the hardest time trying to get him to look at me! He's my curious Peanut):

So random but there was also a bunny out there while we were trying to take our pictures.

So the last thing I'll leave you with is a video :) We have what I have been told is called a "sunken living room". Which worked out well because it sort of acted as a built in baby gate. But he soon learned how to get up the step and showed off his skill at every opportunity. When the time came to get down...he ended up face down on the carpet crying. But now...he's sort of got the hang of it and it's pretty funny to watch!

Monday, May 23, 2011


We've recently had to implement some mandatory retirement at our house. It's funny how some things that we couldn't have gotten through the day without became completely impractical almost over night. When Grant started crawling we could no longer contain him in the bouncy seat or swing that we so depended on. And when he started pulling up on everything the baby gym was no longer safe. And so began our pile of retirement toys.

Grant in his bouncy seat on a few days old (!!!) and sleeping
in his baby gym (there he was probably 2 1/2 - 3 months or so?)

This morning I realized we'll be very shortly adding something else to the retirement list. The baby carrier/car seat. I was adamant that I would use the carrier until Grant hit the 22 pound limit. It's so convenient especially with the way my car is set up and perfect if my munchkin fell asleep before we made it to our destination. I just take the whole thing with me! But those days are coming to an end. This is what he used to look like in his car seat:

I think he was around 4 or 5 weeks old when I took this
(He is wearing his newborn size cute!)
This morning after Husband got him all strapped in, I pushed back the hood on the carrier and it covered his whole forehead. It almost looked like we had to cut a hole in the top for his head like he's the mini version of Lurch. "Crap" I said. "Looks like I'm going to have to give in to the big boy car seat". I have no doubt that Grant will be more comfortable in a larger seat. But I'm very much dreading having to literally get in the back seat of my car to put him in the car seat. Oh my Mom used to say, such is life. However, I am entertaining suggestions. If anyone would like to offer opinions - negative or positive - about what they use, I'm all ears! This is what I'm leaning towards:

It's a Graco car seat and my initial attraction was that it matches my car. Yup, I said it. Plus, I'm pretty stuck on their stuff and it hasn't let me down yet. The seat is kind's huge. But doesn't it look so comfy? I've read some reviews and the the only drawback people seem to have is the size. But they all say their kids seem happy and comfortable in it. So we shall see. I think I'm going to start my Car Seat Quest this weekend.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Recipe: Slow Cooker Beef Stew

I love to cook and I love love love my crock pots. Yes, that's pluaral because I have three. And I actually use all of them. I said that when I started using my big one that I'd get rid of one of the smaller ones...but I haven't been able to let go yet. Lord knows I need the cupboard space but I can't bear to part with either of them. They're all so useful in different ways! So, aside from the yumminess that it creates, a crock pot is awesome because I don't have to have my oven blasting all day when it's 90 outside (in MAY...ugh). I love a good, hot comfort food meal even in the summer time and today I got to have it! I stumbled across this recipe for beef stew - loooove beef stew - and I just had to try it.

I'm always nervous to try a new beef recipe because I always manage to make it tougher than leather but this was GREAT! The meat was fall apart tender and the vegetables cooked perfect (not to mention soaking up that yummy beef flavor). So here is the recipe - courtesy of the McCormick spice folks:

Slow Cooker Beef Stew
  • 5 cups cut-up fresh vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 package McCormick Beef Stew Seasoning Mix
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup flour
  1. Mix vegetables, water and Seasoning Mix in slow cooker
  2. Coat beef with flour. Stir into ingredients in slow cooker. Cover.
  3. Cook 8 hours on LOW or 5 hours on HIGH until beef is tender.
That's it. It's that easy. And super delicious. I served mine with some bread that I buy in the bakery section at Lowe's Foods. I can't remember what the brand name is but it's in a white bag. I guess that's not too helpful but it's yummy anyway.

  • I took the recipe's advice and used potatoes, celery, carrots, and onions. But I finely diced my onions because I'm not a fan of big pieces of onion. Make sure not to cut your potatoes too small.
  • I cooked mine on low for almost 8 hours. Everything was tender and seemed ready to eat by about 7-7 1/2 hours so I put the cooker on low while I warmed the bread.
  • This was so easy and had great flavor. I loved using their seasoning packet. I realized while I was looking for the beef stew mix how many other kinds they have so I'll definitely be making more of their recipes.
If anyone decides to try this out, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! (I'm already looking forward to having leftovers for lunch tomorrow.)

My First Mother's Day

Finally! Some time to post. I just wanted to share some pictures of my first Mother's day. It was a really great day...if you don't count Grant's continual bad mood. I won't dwell! So we woke up and my Sis cooked us all breakfast. She makes yummy omelets. Then she and I took Grant for a walk while Husband mowed the lawn. And then Husband's mom and stepdad came over for a cookout.

Flowers from Grant and Husband
Grant was very proud that he got me flowers
(and perhaps his only smile of the day)
Yummy start to the day

Grant sat with us for breakfast but required the
attention to be focused on him

Out for a walk with Auntie Shauna and Mama

Grant with one of my balloons from my Mother-In-Law
Grant with his Grandma
(and Grandma's jealout granddog Brodie)

We were aiming for a good picture but Mister Man refused to smile

Auntie Shauna gave Grant his dinner
I forgot to take a picture of our table covered with our feast but
I totally remembered to take one of dessert. Cake Mix Cookies that
I made and a yummy ice cream cake from my Mother-in-Law

Mmmmmint Chocolate Chip from Cold Stone Creamery. And a
solid chocolate Happy Mother's Day in the center. YUM!

My cards, flowers, and balloons

Poor little man was worn out. It's hard work maintaining
a pissy attitude all day. I know, I do it at the office.
 So my favorite picture from the whole day was one I took outside after dinner. I was trying to get a good picture of Grant's little outfit which was SO cute. He looked like a tiny man in it. The reason it's my favorite is because it sums up his attitude of the day perfectly (I really did have a great day, bad mood aside):

Happy Freakin' Mother's Day

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Year Ago Today

A year ago today I woke up early in the guest room of my Aunt Bonnie's house to my cell phone ringing. It was Aunt Bonnie and she was telling me that my Mom had passed away. It was an expected phone call, she'd been under Hospice care for about two weeks at that point, but still a tough one to get. Well, to be fair, it was almost like Hospice was assisting Aunt Bonnie because she did 99% of my Mom's care especially in those two weeks.

My mom was a great person. She loved her family and she loved being a mom. She spoke her mind about most things but also knew when to stay quiet to keep the peace (Gee, I must have gotten that from her). She had a song for everything and she loved to have fun. The big joke in the family was always what a klepto she was. Honestly, I think her entire steak knife set came from restaurants (and that's not all). But I think what I realized about her in the last year of her life that I, for some reason, had never noticed was what a great outlook she had. With everything she was going through I don't know that I ever heard her say that it wasn't fair or anything like that. She had her days, like anyone would and she was entitled to those - and more. But even when she called me crying because her hair was falling out she said that when it grew back she'd better have a head of hair like Julia Roberts. Right up to end my Mom dealt with her illness her way and pretty much did things her way and I think that, at least, was fair.

I thought I'd just share some pictures of my Mom. Most of them are older pictures but those are my favorites. Most won't have captions because I'm not sure what year most were taken or where they were taken.

This one and the one right below are probably two of my favorite
pictures of my Mom that we came across last year.

Seriously, if this was my Moms idea of sexy then
I'm amazed that my sister and I were born.
Mom and me :)
I'm thinking this was my first birthday
Mom and my sister Shauna
Mom and Dad at our rehearsal dinner

Mom and Aunt Bonnie on Christmas Eve of 2009. I'm really glad that
I went home for Christmas that year. It was our last Christmas all together and I was able to
tell her that she was going to have her first grandchild. She was so happy.
Funny how things work out :)
I feel like I have a pretty straightforward outlook on things. I tried not to kid myself bad situations. Don't get me wrong, when we found out my Mom was sick I absolutely knew that she had to get better. But when I was told, a little over a year ago, that she was going home on Hospice care I didn't let myself think that she'd get better. I was still emotionally unprepared to lose her. I know we all were. But I like to think of myself as lucky. I had a great Mom and I learned a lot from her. I was lucky to have her as my Mom for 29 years.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sister's Visit

As I've said in this post and this post that my sister, Shauna, came to visit and to spend my first Mother's Day with us. Those two posts pretty much summed up the highlights of our visit but there were some pictures I didn't get to post.

The day she came in we did some shopping at The Streets at Southpoint and for lunch we decided to hit The Cheesecake Factory. Grant was sleeping so we thought we could get away with leaving him in the stroller. He woke up right before our entrees came (while we were enjoying some fried macaroni and cheese...yum). So we decided to get him a highchair so he could hang out on our level.
First time in a restaurant high chair and he loved it!

Eating at the Cheesecake Factory
In addition to our museum trip (link above) we took some walks at White Deer Park (thinking about this place as the possible location for Grant's first birthday) and Lake Benson Park. They're connected by a crosswalk so you can do both parks. I love taking Grant there. Lake Benson Park has a small playground at the edge of the park that I like to take Grant to when we go for walks. Shauna liked it too:

We put Grant in the baby swing but he wasn't too happy about
it that day (it was Mother's Day and he wasn't happy about anything that day)
And I finally got to take some nice pictures of Shauna and Grant
While Shauna was here she did some of my house work for me. Grant got really excited and volunteered to help with the dishes.

 And my sister claims that Grant wanted to go home with her:

Oh and let's not forget the duck tub. My sister has been obsessed with the duck tub since she saw it on our registry. She kept threatening to steal it while she was here...

She has no shame.

Overall, we had a good visit and I hope she had a good time. I know she always loves to spend time with Grant and he got rather attached to her too.
Shauna hates this picture of her but I think it's cute...and it's my
blog so I can do what I want :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

First Bath in the Big Tub

I'm so far behind with what I want to post. Oh well! A few weeks ago I decided it was time to lose the baby tub. Grant is so mobile now that that tiny tub doesn't contain him very well anyway. The pictures I'm posting below are from round two of the big tub bath. Round one went really well but he seemed slightly intimidated and therefore just sat there. I probably should have taken pictures no matter how little there was to capture but I didn't. Just add that to the growing list of why I'm not going to be nominated Mother of the Year. I'm not going to lose sleep over it. Anyway, upon being sat in the tub for a second time Grant seemed to imediately realize how much room (and water) he'd been alloted and had much more fun - which did up my anxiety level a little.

Oh can we play that game again? The one where I try to soak Mommy from head to toe?

Shampoo Mohawk!
Having much more room in the tub now was not lost on Grant. And no matter how many bath toys I put in there it's always the water scooper that he wants to play with. He'll chase it all over the tub and will put down anything he's holding to go after the blue water scooper.

I tried to make it PG-13...Husband is tired of naked baby butt pics.

And of course Grant has realized that he can pull up on the side of the tub. 
His favorite things to do are to either peek over the side of the tub at what
I might be hiding down there (shampoo & washcloth usually) or take the water scooper
and beat it on the edge of the tub to hear the noise. He gets so excited about it. 
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