Wednesday, September 28, 2011

13 Months (1 Year and 1 Month? Whatever)

I debated on whether or not to keep doing monthly updates. I wasn't sure if it was annoying or not past the first year. Then I decided that I don't care if it's annoying.

13 Months

Sometime in the past month I had a conversation with a friend about how annoying it is when parents refer to their kids age in months past the first year. I said that I wasn't going to do that...and I don't when someone asks. Grant's a year old - the end. Except for the purposes of these posts...then I'll probably do it in months, annoying though it may be (even to me).

So anyway, not much new to report. Grant had his first hair cut, which was much needed and he looks. And he is doing better with real food and we seem to have phased out all baby food. He just got to a point where he won't eat it. Which is great because he just eats whatever we have for dinner. He's doing really well with the whole milk although we still have to use a little strawberry nesquick in it. As long as it goes in his belly, I don't care. We're totally off the bottle. He stopped the nighttime bottle right after he turned 1 so he has milk while I read him his bedtime story and then he goes in the crib awake and puts himself to sleep. That's where it gets tricky. For the most part, he sleeps well. But lately he's been no one is sleeping well. But over all, it's been a good month to be a toddler :)

We tried out the sandbox again. Pretty much the same reaction as last time. But this time I got a shot of Husband IN the sandbox.

He hates me.

Please don't let go of me, Daddy!

He does like the squirty toys it comes with but if you notice
his bottom lip is poking out and he's about to start crying.
 We also got to take Grant to second hockey event, the Caniac Carnival. His first one was Fan Fair back in January when the NHL All Star game was played here in Raleigh. All of my excitement about going to the Caniac Carnival was to get Grant a Hurricanes t-shirt because we plan to take him to his first game this season (8 days until the start of the regular season - woohoo!). But guess what? There were NO t-shirts for boys smaller than a 2T which Grant could use as a nightgown. But they did have pink t-shirts for girls that were 3 - 24 months. Maybe they were out, who knows. But it sure didn't look like there was a spot for them. And as a mom of a boy, I have to say that it kind of makes me mad how much more stuff there always is for girls than boys. But anyway, lacking a t-shirt to buy for him I spied a stuffed mascott, Stormy the Ice Hog, and showed it to Grant. He immediately reached for it and wouldn't let it go. $21's now at the house being ignored. But it made him really happy that day.

Grant & Stormy
Grant also got to eat at Chargrill for the first time. He only had a
grilled cheese (and half my fries) but he seemed to enjoy it!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Messy Marvin Has a New Talent

This past weekend was a really good weekend. We went shopping Saturday and, by accident, found Grant's Halloween costume then we went home and had a yummy homemade dinner. Sunday morning we got up and went for a family walk where Grant scored some playground time. We had breakfast together, ran more errands together and then had another yummy dinner. And any gaps in both days were filled with playtime with Grant. Like I said, a really good weekend.

But the highlight of Grant's weekend was probably his mid-day bath on Sunday. A bath (a.k.a. splashy playtime) in the middle of the day? What did he do to deserve that?

He had ravioli for lunch, that's what. I've seen him eat a lot of messy stuff. But I have never seen him this messy. He was coated with that sauce and in his impatience to get down from the highchair was getting even messier. After a general wipe-down he was still so orange from the sauce I decided nothing would clean him well enough but a bath. But I didn't get him in there before he decided to once again display his new talent for me. With his sauce covered finger.

Maybe there was one more noodle up there?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Recipe: Cheesy Chicken Casserole

I have lost count of how many recipe websites have my e-mail address. But there are enough that I get at least 20 new recipes in my e-mail every day. Some I delete because I know I'd never attempt to make them and some I delete because they just don't look good. But the ones that look yummy AND Grant friendly? Keepers. This recipe for Cheesy Chicken Casserole I saw in an e-mail and I made it the next night. It's a little bit like the Chicken Tetrazzini that I posted a while back. Nothing went to waste, it was super yum.

Cheesy Chicken Casserole
3 to 4 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
(you can use the meat from a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store deli)
1 (16 oz.) package egg noodles, cooked
1 (24 oz.) container light sour cream
2 cans Campbell's Healthy Request cream of chicken soup
1 (8 oz.) package shredded cheddar cheese
1 (8 oz.) package shredded mozzarella cheese
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
1/4 cup margarine, melted

  1. Combine chicken, noodles, sour cream, soup, and cheese in a large bowl.
  2. Pour into a 13" x 9" baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Mix together cracker crumbs and margarine and sprinkle over the top.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the crackers are golden brown.
Adapted from:

Toddler tested. Toddler approved.
  • My only real problem with this recipe was that it needed a vegetable added to it to make it feel like it was better for me. Only that didn't occur to me until we were eating it. Next time I'll probably add some broccoli and/or maybe some carrots because that's Grant's favorite veggie.
  • Reheats well for lunch the next day. And then for dinner again. It's kind of a huge casserole. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Grant's 1st Hair Cut

Oh the day I had been dreading. The first hair cut. The only thing I had "hoped for" when I was pregnant - besides wanting a health baby - was that our little guy would have his Daddy's hair. Guess what? He does. I think that little head of blond hair is just the sweetest thing. And I knew that would make it so much harder to cut. Grant had so much hair when he was born and seems to have grown at an alarming speed. It had gotten to a point that I really wanted to cut it but he was so young then I couldn't. And in the past few months it has become shaggy but adorable. His "surfer look" as so many people have pointed out. But I did it, I made the appointment. On a Saturday so Husband could go and we could make a little event out of it.

The night before I had tried to do a mohawk on Grant, but his hair is so fine and I didn't have the right stuff. So it just looked messy:

And then Saturday morning we headed to the hair place. They put a little cape on him and he sat in my lap. He was nervous and didn't like having his hair wet down with the spray bottle but I knew things would go much worse if he washed his hair first so I nixed that. He gets his hair washed every night anyway. So with his little head damp she set to work.

He did really well. Only fussed a little but when Husband came around to one side to take more pictures Grant saw him and wanted to be held by Daddy. So we switched places.

At this point he'd had enough. So we gave him a cracker to
keep him busy until she was done.

All done! My little handsome man!

Later I tried to get him still long enough to get a good picture
of him with his new 'do. But this child is barely still for
anything anymore. Always on the go!

I have to admit that it looks so much better. And the hair cut went much better than either of had thought. We figured he'd be pitching a fit the whole time trying to get down. But until the end he did well and the girl who cut it was super patient. I'm glad it went well and I'm glad I'm happy with it. The only problem is that it makes my guy look so much older :(

Friday, September 16, 2011

An Office Treat on Friday

Yesterday it was 90 outside. Today I'm not even sure it hit 60. Yesterday when I got ready for work I was wearing a short dress and sandals. Today I wore jeans and a sweater. I absolutely love fall and I love the days that "feel like fall". I knew yesterday that it would be a little cooler today so on my way home I bought the makings for s'mores. S'mores remind me of sitting around a campfire on a chilly night and they're so comforting. So this afternoon I put together s'mores at the office for us to have a little afternoon treat :)

Gooey goodness!

I ate two and I don't feel the least bit guilty! I love me some s'mores.
 Of course they weren't as amazing as when you get to roast the marshmallow over the fire on a stick you just found in the woods. But still very tasty.

P.S. Random fact about me: the only time I can eat a whole marshmallow is in a s'more. I can't stand it in anything else, not even a marshmallow swirl in ice cream. And I can't eat a naked marshmallow all by itself - yuck.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

New Recipe: S'more Rice Krispie Treats

There is just something about rice krispie treats, isn't there? Every once in a while I just crave them. While cruising for recipes (love that site) I came across several new recipes for rice krispie treats. Rice krispie treats have become so much more than cereal and marshmallows.

So, the purpose of this particular recipe hunt was because I wanted to make something for the women who take care of Grant every day. He's only been at this new day care for a few months but we've been so much happier with this facility than the last one. This day care has been so helpful to us and its so nice to not worry about how he's being cared for every day. Even after the head bump (let's face it, that could have happened at home). Baking is the way I say thank you. So I thought I'd bake them a little treat for them to enjoy after the long weekend. S'more Rice Krispie Treats! 

S'more Rice Krispie Treats
3 cups Mini Marshmallows
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup Graham Crackers, broken into coarse pieces
1 cup milk chocolate chips
  1. Butter and 8x8 inch square baking pan (or just spray it with cooking spray)
  2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, place the marshmallows, butter, and vanilla in the microwave until the marshmallows begin to soften - about a minute.  Mix with spatula and microwave for another minute until the marshmallows are fully melted. Add the rice krispies until just mixed together. Add the graham cracker chunks and chocolate chips to combine.
  3. Press the mixture into the prepared pan. Allow to cool. Cut into 16 squares.
Recipe source: Tasty Kitchen Blog

  • I doubled this recipe and used a 9x13 inch pan so that there would be enough for all the day care ladies.
  • I didn't melt my marshmallows in the microwave because I didn't have a bowl big enough for a double batch. So I used a large pot on the stove (like I've always made rice krispie treats) and it worked fine. But if I was making just one batch I would have used the microwave.
  • I did get to taste one, but it wasn't a big taste. Husband and I split a very small piece but what I tasted was yummy. And the container came home empty and Husband got many thank-yous when he picked Grant up that day. So I think they were a hit.
I'm looking forward to trying more new rice krispie treats recipes. I hope you enjoy this one!

Friday, September 9, 2011

New Recipe: Crock Pot Chicken Taco Meat

Like my new look for fall? The weather is starting to show signs that fall is coming and fall is my favorite season. So I thought I'd do a little redecorating for my blog :)

Another crock pot recipe! LOVE my crock pot! We had a mexican themed luncheon at work recently and my friend, Henri, brought some yummy shredded chicken for us to make tacos with. I provided the mustaches:

 Ha! Ok, back to the chicken. I had a huge package of chicken in the freezer so over the weekend I decided we'd have chicken tacos on Monday (and Tuesday because we had a lot of leftovers).

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Meat

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 package fajita seasoning or chicken taco seasoning
1 cup chicken broth
1 can Rotel tomatoes, undrained (I used mild)
Garlic powder to taste, optional

  1. Dissolve taco/fajita seasoning in chicken broth. Mix in Rotel if you're using it.
  2. Place chicken breasts in crock pot and pour chicken broth mixture over the chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. With two forks (or you can just use your hands) shred the chicken into bite size pieces.
  • To freeze: Place shredded meat into freezer bags with the juices. Press out all the air and seal.
Recipe adapted from:

  • I used twice the amount of chicken (because that's just what was in my freezer) so I doubled the amount of chicken broth. The other ingredients could be doubled as well but since I was planning for Grant to eat it as well, I didn't want it to be too spicy. (But he didn't have much interest in it.)
  • Check out the original recipe reviews for some great ideas on how to turn this into a soup. I'm sure it would be really yummy.
  • I'm told this freezes well so it would be great to double up on and freeze half for an easy weeknight meal.
  • I used a low sodium chicken broth. I always try to use a low sodium chicken broth but they usually still have a lot of sodium in them. Through a friend I found a VERY low sodium chicken broth. I found it at Harris Teeter (for anyone reading this that has one in their area) and the brand is called Pacific. It's an organic broth and I usually don't buy into all that organic hype but this only has 70 mg of sodium per serving compared to others that have close to 500 or more. It's a little more expensive but so worth it - and still tasty too.
  • Check out some other recipes from my friend Henri: Pork Tenderloin (also a crock pot recipe) and Chicken Tetrazzini (great make-ahead meal)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sandbox Trauma

I had said in my previous post that Grant got a sandbox for his birthday and that I'd do a separate post about it. It's an adorable turtle shaped sandbox that has a moat with little floating squirty toys. So on Sunday during one of Grant's naps, I set up the sandbox. First I dragged the sandbox up to the deck. Then 100 lbs of sand. Then I filled the moat with water and put the squirty toys in it and waited for Grant to wake up. When he did, I put his little swimming trunks on him - my excuse was that A) they're adorable and B) he'd be playing with water toys and needs them, yes? - and brought him outside to the sandbox.

It was all downhill from there. I picked up Grant and stood him in the sandbox. As soon as his feet hit the sand he screamed like I was throwing it at him. He was so loud that Nate came out of the house and asked if Grant had fallen on the deck. So we sat him down and tried to show him it was ok.

But it was apparently not ok.

Oh wait, there are toys. Maybe it is ok.

Nope. It is definitely not ok.
At this point, Nate got in the sandbox to show Grant that it's fun (I should have taken a picture of my Jolly Green Giant husband in that little sandbox). He stood there and stomped in the sand "See buddy? It's ok. It's fun!"

"Oh yeah? If YOU like it so much, it's YOURS!" 
 The whole process only took about 20 minutes. We were afraid to let it carry on too long because Grant really was so loud that the neighbors were probably getting suspicious. We have yet to try again. Maybe if it's nice again this weekend we'll give it another go.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Grant's 1st Birthday Party

Yes, I'm FINALLY posting about the party.

This should really be called "Grant's 1st Birthday Weekend". Since his actualy birthday was on Friday, August 26th. So even though I had a ton of stuff to do to get ready for the party, Grant could not go to daycare on his birthday. I couldn't let it happen. And we had a great day together, even though we didn't leave the house (Grant didn't seem to mind). He even got to have his first scrambled egg with toast (egg was a first, toast was not).

So the "birthday weekend" comes in because of the hurricane. I've probably been planning Grant's birthday party for his whole first year (I say "planning" but I mean "thinking about"). It's kind of a long story - short version: I'd waited a long time to do this. So of course, on the most planned day of my year...hurricane Irene decided to party too. Which meant that our  monster themed party in the park moved to our not-so-spacious house. However, I sort of think that was a blessing in disguise. It allowed me (and a very patient friend) to decorate the night before which saved me a boat load of time on Saturday. Some of the decorations:

Kitchen table with some decorations

Some monster silverware holders I made (idea came from

A picture board of Grant's 1st year

The pom-pom garland which wouldn't have happened without
my Mother-in-law's help in making the pom-poms.

The birthday banner I made (that I may recycle for birthday's to come)
I am sure that Husband is super annoyed that, over a week later, almost all those decorations (and some I don't have pictures of) are still up. But, as my friend Elizabeth who took time out of her very busy Friday to come help decorate, pointed out: my house is decorated for fun - why take it down?

The party turned out to be lots of fun (at least I hope everyone had fun!). We were able to celebrate Grant's 1st birthday with a lot of family friends who were able to make it even though the hurricane tried her best to keep people away. We did have some that couldn't make it due to more severe weather in their area than ours but thankfully everyone made it through the storm.

We had a cookout lunch (after moving the grill from the deck to the garage - poor Husband trying to please to high-strung wife) which Grant got eat too. He loved my pasta salad and mac & cheese. And then he got to open his presents (pictures courtesy of my Mother-in-law).

(A separate post about this sandbox coming soon)

That is a giant stuffed dog (a.k.a. a new wrestling partner)

We got Grant the little tikes cozy truck. Thank goodness he
loves it because that thing was super annoying to put together.
We did cake after presents. Grant got his smash cake: 

As soon as I blew out the candle and before I could stop him
Grant grabbed the top of the candle and burned his little hand.

But he got over the burn real quick.
And everyone else got to eat this:

I'm pretty excited how it turned out - and it only took me about 10 hours :)
 Immediately after the party-goers left, Grant crashed. Hard. He must have slept for two hours only waking up because we woke him up for dinner. And then, because of the storm, he had more visitors on Sunday and some during the week. My spoiled man!

I wasn't able to get any good pictures of Grant wearing the shirt I made him (that matched his invitation and his cake). But I managed to get one at some point that weekend.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Irreconcilable Differences

Judge: "Why are you seeking a divorce?"
Me: "He won't kill the spider that's right outside my bathroom window."
Judge: "Excuse me?"
Me: "In my defense, judge, it's a really big spider."

I really don't like spiders. I'm not as afraid of them as I am of somethings, spiders I will actually kill. Unless, of course, they're so big that I could shake hands with them. And we have quite a few that fit that description living around our backyard. Last Sunday, after Grant's birthday party (I promise to post about that soon), Husband and his step-dad were outside fixing our minor hurricane damage.

Very minor considering what others are dealing with.

So Grant and I went out to check things out and, really, just to be in the sunlight for a minute after two straight days in the house. As soon as I rounded the corner of the house I saw a large gigantic spider hanging out between the house and A/C unit.

I took that myself, it's not something I stole from Wikipedia. I'm told that
it's called a writing spider. That creepy zig-zag thing in the web is part
of it's artwork. I've had two people tell me "Don't show it
your teeth or he'll write your name in his web!"
I said to Husband that after the roof is fixed, he can work on killing that spider. And he said "Oh, you should have seen him a couple weeks ago. He was only about half that size two weeks ago. He's been eating good." Probably a small child from the neighborhood, judging by the size of him.

Spider update: there are now two - yes TWO - large sacks near the web that make me think we're about to have a whole new generation of writing spiders living in the yard. Fantastic. Can't wait.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...