Friday, October 31, 2014

5 on Friday

O     N     E

We are on the mend...thank goodness!

I feel like all of the sickness is almost gone from our house, at last.  Gil, though, is still rocking the jaundice.  This morning, I took him to get his second heel prick (he got one last week).  He is still having a little trouble with our blood types.  I'm a positive and he's a negative, and this can be one of the side effects.

But he sure looks cute smiling, yellow skin and all!

T     W     O

This is our first year to celebrate Halloween!  

I didn't grow up celebrating Halloween and didn't think I wanted my kids to celebrate.  But after hearing two different people make similar arguments (William Bondurant and Alex Watlington--I'm pretty sure neither read my blog!), I thought we'd try this year.

Jack and Gil were Sully and Mike from Monsters, Inc., one of Jack's favorite movies.  I think Jack had a great time!  He actually trick or treated three times--once at Grad housing, once at school, and once with friends last night.

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But let's not forget that today IS Reformation Day!

Here's a quick little informative post, in case you have no idea what I'm talking about.

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I know I talk about Fall all the dang time, but one of my favorite things to do in the fall is to make chili. Bech was sending signals (and by signals, I mean telling me) that he was a little tired of my tried and true chili recipe. So this week, I changed things up with this white chicken chili recipe.

(photo from the linked blog)

Y'all, this chili is SO good!  It is the perfect amount of spicy and creamy.  I made it for dinner Wednesday night, and it was a fairly big batch.  Bech, Jack and I ate it for dinner, then Bech and I ate more yesterday, and I just finished it off.  That's how good it was.

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About two and a half weeks ago, we finally got back into the cloth diaper swing of things.  I had 22 pocket diapers (bumgenius and fuzzibunz) from when Jack was a baby.  I wanted to add a couple of more to the mix, so I decided to try some prefolds and covers.

We are using Thirsties Duo Wrap Snap covers, along with Osocozy prefolds and Snappis.  And I love them!  I was a little hesitant, because this is a pretty old school method.  But I think they do a great job. We haven't any blowouts, and they don't leak anymore than the pockets.

I am still glad I have the pockets (and that I used them with Jack).  We got such a great deal on them, and they are so easy for daycare workers to use.  But these are pretty fun for me!

We are headed to DC in just an hour or two, so we can spend the weekend with KK and Big Dave.  I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fun Fall Weekends

I started getting regular in my blogging and then disappeared again! 
Right about when my family left, Bech started getting sick.  He seemed to get better, then I got sick for about a week.  Then I got better and he got sick again...this time with pneumonia!  Now it's been a week, and he is finally on the mend (he ran a fever for a week straight!).

Last weekend, as I was getting better and Bech was getting sick, we headed to Wasson Farm for their fall festival.  Last year, we got our pumpkins from Way Fruit Farm (which was really fun), but I wanted to try out another local farm.

Wasson Farms is beautiful!  The hayride was really long (much better than Way's).  Bech got a whoopie pie (Pennsyltuckyians LOVE them for some reason) to split with Jack, and I sampled some local wine.  We skipped the petting zoo (and Jack has no's better that way!).

Look at all of the pumpkins!!!

My two sweet boys.
Jack takes pumpkin choosing very seriously.

Also, he needs a haircut.
After Wasson, we headed to a friends for a chili lunch.  This is Jack's best frienemy, P dawg.  The boys love to play together, and by play together, I mean fight.
I love this little wild man so much!

This past weekend, my sister and brother-in-law drove up from DC to help me out.  Katy kept offering to clean or cook, but I can do that.  What I needed was some help getting both boys out of the house this weekend so that Bech could have some peace and quiet to rest.

Fun story--Katy showed up in this oversized, monogram top with gray leggings.  I looked down...I was wearing the exact same outfit!  Great minds...!  Don't worry--I changed!

We headed to Harner Farm to check out their corn maze.  I have a weird obsession with corn mazes.  Plus, we hit up Wasson Farms last weekend

It's actually a "scary" corn maze, so I wasn't sure at first how Jack would do.  But I think the scary aspects were totally over his head.  He thought everything was just silly.  Like this "blood bath" in the picture.  We called it a dirty bath, and he laughed.  I don't think we will be able to get away with this maze next year! 

Jack LOVED having KK and Big Dave here this weekend.  He thinks they are the coolest, and he literally stood at the window and bawled when they left on Sunday.  Here he is with his two best friends.

My little cowboy!

Saturday night we watched the Ole Miss game.  Here are Jack and KK teaching you how to put your "fins up" for the landsharks!

I am normally not the hugest football fan (at least compared to Southerners).  I usually just check the scores online; I rarely actually watch the games.  But this year has been different, because we've actually been good.  It was really hard to lose Saturday night.  But LSU is our biggest rival, and I knew that anything could happen at that game!  I just hope our team doesn't get defeated.  Now onto beating Auburn and State!  Hotty Toddy!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Jackie Boy

I feel like my sweet firstborn has kind of gotten the shaft lately.  So, Jackie Boy, this post is all about you!

This is Jack on his first day of preschool.  Needless to say, Jack was the only smocked child there.  But doesn't he look cute?

He is loving preschool and doing really well!  Sometimes he doesn't want to go in the morning, but I always have to drag him out when it's time to leave.  He eats really well there (I think peer pressure helps his picky eating!), plays well, but rarely naps.  I think he's napped 4 times.  

And I can already tell that he is learning some too.  He's never been too interested in letters, but he has started saying more of them.  And he likes to count now too!

This is how Jack chose to walk in the first day of school.  And I totally let're only 3 once, right?  Why not wear your Thomas blanket on your head?

Jack is doing Soccer Shots at school, a special program where you leave the classroom for an hour every Friday and learn soccer skills.  We went to watch him a few weeks ago--so cute!  He was really serious about all of the directions the coaches were giving.  

Jack continues to be our little wild man at home.  He is struggling right now with obeying us right when we say it, but we are working on that.  

He loves to play outside.  Graduate housing has a playground, and he loves playing there in the afternoons.  He is also very into puzzles and legos.  Oh yeah, and the Lego movie!  He seems to be almost over his trains, which is sad to me.  He will still play with them some, but he prefers his legos.

He loves reading books with us (maybe I'll have a bookworm?).  His favorites right now are Corduroy and Pat the Bunny (I pulled it out for the baby and Jack has reclaimed it!).  He also really loves books where you find things (like Where's Waldo).

Jack has been an AMAZING big brother.  I am continually amazed at how sweet he is to his brother.  He wakes up in the morning, runs into our room, and immediately asks, "How Gil going?"  He loves to give Gil hugs and kisses and he loves to hold him.  I am so thankful!

Jack, you are our little wild man, and I couldn't love you more!  You make me laugh constantly.  Thanks for your sweet hugs and cuddles.  You are my favorite.  I love you to the moon and back!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Favorite Baby Gear (thus far...)

I did a similar post after Jack was a month old.  After reviewing that post, I am amazed at how different my list is this time around!  Perhaps it's that I am only focusing on the new things that I love (I mean, I still love my boppy pillow), but also each baby is so different.

So here's what we are loving this time around:

Aden + Anais Swaddle Blanket

from Amazon

I absolutely LOVE Aden + Anais.  I think they are an amazing brand.  We have several of their baby items, including their baby shampoo.

With Jack, we didn't use one of those swaddle only blankets, because he could bust out of the velcro.  We just wrapped him up super tight in Aden + Anais muslin blankets.  But this swaddler has snaps instead of's amazing!  No busting out of this blanket!

Baby Gowns

We used gowns with Jack too.  Love love love these!  Gil wears a gown every night.  They make middle of the night feedings SO much easier!

Mam Pacifier

I know, I know...nipple confusion, whatever.  With Jack, I was much more worried about introducing a pacifier too early.  But Jack was always a great nurser, and we dropped the pacifier pretty easily at 23 months old.

So this time around, I am not stressing the pacifier issue.  And these are Gil's favorites.  We tried some of the "soothies," but he wasn't having it.  Plus, I think these are better orthodontically (or something like that), so that's a good thing, right?

Boon Grass Drying Rack

I feel like everyone who has a baby has this drying rack.  But last time around, we didn't get it.  I didn't think we really needed it.  

This time we got it, and I LOVE it.  At this point, I mostly use it for drying pump parts, but we have given Gil a couple of bottles.  And it is great.  Your bottles dry really fast, plus it looks really cute on your countertop!  Win win.

If you are going to have a baby anytime soon, I highly recommend all of these items!

Friday, October 17, 2014

5 on Friday

My favorite day of the week in blog world!

O     N     E

I know I already talked about all of my favorite fall things, but I have a new favorite (surprise, surprise).

Trader Joe's Spiced Cider

I've been heating this cider up in a yummy!

T     W     O

Last week I talked about how my first solo bedtime wasn't too bad.  

Well, as my Nana (or, to be fair, God) always says, "Pride goeth before the fall, and a haughty spirit before destruction."

This past Saturday night, I went to the store with Bech and the boys, dropped Bech off at the studio for another late night firing kilns, and came home.  Jack and I made homemade cocoa and had it heating up over the stove while I mixed up some batter for pumpkin bread.  Gil woke up ready to eat just as the cocoa was ready.  I poured some in a cup for Jack with strict instructions not to drink any just yet because it was really hot.  I grabbed Gil to feed him and heard a shriek and clatter from the kitchen.  Jack did indeed try to drink his cocoa then proceeded to drop it all over the floor.

I had two crying kids and hot cocoa everywhere.

Oh well...I think this might be a bit of my new normal!

T     H     R     E     E

Speaking of hot cocoa, here's the recipe I made.  It was really yummy, but a little too rich.  I think that was because of the condensed milk.  I want to make it again, but skip the condensed milk and maybe even the half and half.  But I loved how the recipe called for marshmallow creme to be added in.  Plus, the spices taste amazing in the hot cocoa!  If you are a white chocolate fan, you should make this!

F     O     U     R

Not sure if y'all know this, but my Ole Miss Rebels are currently ranked #3 in the nation!!!

The thing is, the SEC is a really hard conference to be in.  But, even with that, Ole Miss hasn't had that many really good years.  And we haven't been this good in a while.  You don't really cheer for Ole Miss because you think they will be great.  And you don't really go to the games because you think Ole Miss will always win.  You have to love the Ole Miss experience--Oxford, the Grove, the people.

But this year we are good, and it's been really fun to experience, even from far away.  It's really something when I am watching football games on a Saturday, not because my family is around.  Even if we don't finish the season as strong, I think this is the start of a change for Ole Miss (and Miss State) football!

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I am so ready for this weekend.  We have some fun plans...margaritas with neighbors tonight and the pumpkin patch tomorrow!  I love fall, and I can't wait to enjoy some fall weather and fall activities!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

1 Month Old

Baby Gil is one month old!

Gil weighs 10 lbs, 6 oz.  I have no idea on height.  Even though he's gained a bunch, Jack had gained more at this point.  Maybe Gil won't be quite as chunky as his big brother was!

In the past couple days, he has completely switched into 0 to 3 month clothes.  He wears size 1 disposable diapers, but yesterday, we switched him into cloth.  He's in the lowest setting for his Fuzzibunz and Bum Genius diapers.

During his 2nd and 3rd week, he settled into a fairly consistent 2 1/2 hour schedule during the day.  In the past couple of days, he has switched to a 3 hour schedule during the day.  At night, he is still waking every 3 to 3 1/2 hours (although we have had a couple of 4 hour stretches).  I have to admit, I am exhausted!  But I looked back, and Jack was about the same.  And Jack was sleeping through the night (with a dream feed) at 3 1/2 months...there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Gil is a sweet baby.  He loves to cuddle and be held.  He's definitely a little fussier than Jack ever was, but honestly, how could he not be?  Jack was a dream baby, as far as temperament!

And he has started smiling a little.  Of course it's at Bech.  Because I don't, literally, keep him alive or anything (No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?).  Seriously, though, Bech has the magic touch and Gil has smiled at him yesterday and today...I need to learn Bech's secret!

Gil has a rash on his face (poor Bud!), but we went to the pediatrician on Monday.  She told us to put hydrocortisone cream on it, and we are already noticing a difference.  Gil is also still jaundiced.  He has a negative blood type and I have a positive, so it is creating some sort of effect.  But his numbers are (very slowly!) going down, and the doctor isn't concerned.  I am really curious for his jaundice to go away so I can see how dark he is!  He seems like he is going to have a darker skin tone than Jack.  He definitely has darker hair!

Gil already has a million nicknames:  Gilly Billy, Gilly boy, bud, and brother.


cuddling, being held and walked, being swaddled, his pacifier


being put down, being cold, diaper changes

Gil, you are an absolute delight.  
We are absolutely smitten with you, and Jack just adores his baby brother!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Visitors to Happy Valley

I mentioned this in a previous post, but we just had a whole slew of visitors!  After Bech's mom and my mom came (well, my mom was still here), my brother, dad, and grandparents arrived.  My grandmother refuses to fly (also, she doesn't know how to swim...that's a whole other story!), so they all drove up here.  After spending two days on the road to get here, I think they had a lot more sympathy with me for doing that drive 1 1/2 times by myself with Jack!

So here's what we did with our visitors...

Gil got to meet his great grandfather...

and great grandmother!

I think it is such a blessing that Gil has 4 great grandparents still living!  And when we come home for Christmas, he will get to meet the remaining two, Bech's paternal grandmother and my paternal grandmother.  

Also, that's some dang good DNA Bech and I have!  I think we will live to be very old...!

Bella shared, but she still needed some Gil snuggles.

Gil's face in this picture is hilarious.

I took Nana and Papa (and my dad, not pictured) to the Berkey Creamery for some famous Penn State ice cream.

We spent a morning out at Bellefonte, driving around and looking at Victorian houses as well as taking lots of pictures in Talleyrand Park.

Aren't my parents cute?

Also, Blaise, I am so sorry that I have no pictures of you.  I don't know why.  I think mom has some on her phone.

Gil approves of Talleyrand Park!

We took my grandparents to the Arboretum.  In hindsight, I should have allotted more time (oh, like ALL day) for this activity.  My grandparents love plants and flowers and trees, so they wanted to see everything here.  And the PSU Arboretum is really nice and big, so there was lots to see!

My mom has a "favorite street" in State College, full of lots of beautiful old houses.  One house on the street had this gorgeous tree.  The last afternoon they were here, my grandparents, Jack, and I all went to have a little impromptu photo session.  We stayed on the other side of the sidewalk...that makes it okay, right?

We also spent a day glued to Game Day (in Oxford) as well as the State and Ole Miss games.  We spent another day in Lancaster County, stalking the Amish (and stopping for some Sonic!), but, due to dropping my phone in a sink and forgetting my big camera, I don't have pictures from that day.

Here's Bella with Gil on the morning they left.  

Sidenote, how cute is the wreath my sister made for Gil?!?

All in all, Bech, Jack, Gil, and I had wonderful 3 1/2 weeks of visitors!