Thursday, December 30, 2010

Where did MY baby go...

So the week after Blake turned 8 months old something happened...something crazy...she went from a non-fussy, non-crying, content, perfect sleeper to a fussy, crying often, non-sleeper.  In these past 2 tumultuous weeks our perfect little peanut, now wakes up 2 - 6 times in the middle of night screaming and during the day is pretty much fussy most of the time unless you are holding her.  She has done a complete 180 and quite frankly I don't like it.  I MISS MY BABY!  I miss the sleep 12 hours at night, love independent play, smile all day baby girl.  I don't understand what the deal is!  It's like once she mastered crawling she became a completely different person.  I took her to the doctor because I was sure something HAD to be wrong with her - and of course - we left with a clean bill of health.  Is this normal?!  Am I missing something here?!  I must admit I realize now I took her easy going attitude and great sleeping for granted, but hello God, I appreciate it now, you can change her back!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Merry 8 Months...

As of Monday, 8 months have gone by since Blake came into the world.  It bewilders me how time so can go by so quickly and this little person change so drastically.  She has developed quite the personality and I see so many characteristics of both Chris and I in her.  She's definitely a daddy's girl, which makes me so happy to see.  She gets SO excited when Chris comes into the room and she takes after him in so many ways.  She's extremely determined, laid back, energetic, easily bored with one thing, always moving, loves to be outside, and loves to laugh.  I also see so much of myself in her as well...she's quiet at first, but once she's comfortable in a situation you can't keep her quiet, she loves to eat new things, likes music or so it seems, a big fan of clothes, doesn't like when Chris tries to scare her.  In the last month she has learned to pretty much crawl (still slow, but almost has it down,) she can now go from being on her stomach to sitting up all by herself, she can pinch things with her two fingers to pick them up, says mama and dada (not sure if she knows what they are just quite yet.)  She can almost pull all the way up to standing by herself, she can feed herself crackers, mum-mums etc, can move around in the sit & step, has different smiles, and different laughs.  She is getting sooooooooo big!

8 month stats:
Weight: 17.5 lbs
Height: 28 3/4 inches

Here are the outtakes from our photo session:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Craddy's Kitchen - December Dishes

So I've been super busy in the kitchen so far this month experimenting and trying out recipes from friends etc.  Here are a few of my favorites so far.

Crock Pot Potato Soup:
This recipe is SO easy and perfect for a cold day.


1 (30 oz) bag frozen hashed brown potatoes (the chopped potatoes...not shredded)
2 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/2 c chopped onion
black pepper
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened

Add ons:
Bacon bits
Green onions
Cheddar cheese

Combine potatoes, broth, soup, onion and pepper.  Put in your slow cooker.  Cover, and cook on low for 5 hours.  Stir in cream cheese, cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until combined and smooth.  If you want a creamier soup, put in food processor or blender until desired consistency.  Garnish with green onions, bacon bits and cheddar cheese, if desired.

Artichoke Chicken

1 can of artichoke hearts - chopped
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup mayo
Garlic salt and salt and pepper - ab 1/2 a teaspoon o each
4 chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 375 
Chop artichoke hearts
Combine all ingredients in a bowl with the artichoke hearts
Spray pan 
Place chicken in pan
Top with artichoke mixture
Bake 30 mins
Top with paprika and fresh ground pepper

Oreo Cake Balls
Courtesy of Elizabeth Dains

be ware- these are VERY rich

melted chocolate (use a package or more of melted semi sweet chocolate chips)
1 package oreos
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

Put the oreos and cream cheese in a food processor and mix/chop! Put wax paper on a counter and make little balls of the oreo and cream cheese mixture. (I stuck them in the freezer for a little bit so they would harden) Then stick a toothpick in the oreo ball and dip it in the chocolate. Use another toothpick to loosen the ball from the original toothpick or just tap the toothpick to have the oreo ball fall on the wax paper. Then use a toothpick dipped in the chocolate to drizzle chocolate over the "hole" from the toothpick! Make a pretty design or swirl! Let harden then SERVE!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

And I creep yeah...

Blake has officially been "creeping" or doing the Blake Shuffle as we like to call it since last week and this child gets around pretty good considering she's still not really crawling.  It's almost like a cross between an army crawl and what it looks like in the movies when someone has been shot in the leg and they're trying to escape from the enemy.  She now can shuffle her way under the couch, under the chair, under the christmas tree, into the bathroom, up to the mirror, well you get the picture - she's mobile!  Yesterday I left her alone in the bedroom for 1 min. to get her a pair of socks - I came back in to find her over at the mirror playing with her reflection.  Today I found her just playing under the chair on the living room with her spatula (yes our egg spatula is her FAVORITE toy).  It cracks me up how far she can move especially on the hardwood floors.  We already have our hands full.  I'm so excited she's figuring this out, but boy do I miss just being able to lay her down and leave the room knowing she couldn't get into any trouble.....those days are LONG gone!  Here are a few pictures and videos or her doing the "Blake Shuffle" and playing with the reflection in the mirror.  I also threw in a few Thanksgiving pics.

The Blake Shuffle: Thanksgiving 2010

Booty in the air - practicing crawling in her sleep!

sleeping in the crib Chris' grandpa made for his dad as a boy.

Thanksgiving day at the Farm

Hanging out with Uncle Nathan

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm Thankful that I'm incapable of doing any good on my own...

With Thanksgiving right around the corner my thoughts have been filled with all the many amazing things I have to be Thankful for.  God has truly blessed Chris and I - this year has especially been wonderful.  There have been some of the largest challenges and changes in our lives, but they have been the absolute best.  I am thankful for my amazing husband, Chris, who is not only a loving, wonderful, supportive husband, but a FANTASTIC father.  I am so thankful for our beautiful, healthy, happy baby girl.  I am thankful for all of our wonderful family and each of their roles in our lives.  I am thankful to have the opportunity to be home with Blake this first year of her life to bond with her, experience all of her firsts, and work on our home and family.  I am thankful for the AMAZING group of friends we have, who are like family.  I could go on and on, but let's be honest the end of the day it comes down to this - if you look hard enough - there is a million things to be thankful for and at the core of all these wonderful blessings is God.  Without him we would have nothing and so often we seem to forget this.  To channel my inner old soul, "My cup runneth over."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

7 months!

Blake is already 7 months old - time has SERIOUSLY flown by!  She has brought so much joy to Chris and I over these past seven months, we can't wait to see what else is in store.  This pint sized person has so much personality and spunk already.  She is hilarious!  In the last month she has mastered sitting, learned to bang, can almost say Dada, and is REALLY close to crawling.  She can definitely move around quite a bit without actually crawling.  She sleeps 12  - 13 hours at night (from 6:30pm - about 7:00am).  She LOVES food, loves play and loves to be outside and try to eat leaves.

7 month stats:
Weight: 16.5 lbs.
Length: 27.5 inches

Here are her 7 month pictures in the "the chair."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

workout - smurkout

So at our MOPS meeting this past Monday two ladies came to speak to us regarding healthy eating and fitness.  The healthy eating portion of the segment really made a lot of sense and got me excited to focus more on this in my home for my family - the fitness portion made me want to punch the perky poodle in the tooth.  Is that bad?! When one of my favorite fellow mothers, Jennifer, posed the question, "How do you find time to work out when you have 3 children running around and you're sleep deprived?"  The crazy work out fanatic responded with a dumbfounded expression and "slide across your living room floor on paper plates."  I mean really?!  Are you for serious?!  Maybe I'm more of a realist, but I can't picture that happening or being worth while.  Maybe this is why I have yet to lose all of my baby weight, but at least I am enjoying each and every moment I have with her and more importantly - each and every calorie of delicious food I eat!  (Me jumping off soap box).

On a lighter note- instead of working out today I spent about 15 minutes making my daughter laugh so hard she snorted - this is just a snippet...her laughter is contagious!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

YOU ARE THE CURE Breast Cancer Fundraiser Trunk Show in honor of November Durst

As you know this is breast cancer awareness month and I'm sure most of you personally know someone who has battled or is battling breast cancer.  I have known several women in my life who have had the misfortune of fighting this fight.  In the last few years I have been fortunate enough to have met November Durst, an amazing mother and wife.  November is only in her mid thirties and has a precious 5 year old son, Jordan, and a wonderful husband, Jason.  November recently found out that her breast cancer came back in a short period of time went from non-existent to stage 4.  She is a strong courageous woman who has handled this with such grace, dignity and faith.  Here is a little more information on her amazing story:

I am hosting an online Stella & Dot Trunk show in honor of November and 50% proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen charity: and the other 50% will be given to November to help with medical bills and costs

The Show will run from today thru October 31st

So here's how it works - 
1.) go to to my website:
2) in the upper right hand side of the page under style watch you will see a link that says: Can't make it to the trunk show?  Find your Hostess - click on the find your hostess link
3) type in November Durst
4) you will then be directed to the trunk show page and all purchases will go toward this charitable donation.  
5) click on shop to browse and shop

This is a great opportunity to not only help out with a great cause, but also get your Christimas shopping done for your friends, sisters, daughters, mothers, grandmothers, teachers, etc.  

Please let me know if you have any questions.

For for info. on November please feel free to visit November's Hope:  

Alicia Andry
Stella & Dot Stylist
Stylist ID# 112153
Ask me how you can get free Stella & Dot jewelry!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday Ramblings and Recipes

Do you ever have those days where you have a million things to do, a million ideas and thoughts running through your head and you can't seem to focus on anything long enough to get anything accomplished?!  Well, that has been my life the past week.  All of a sudden it's like my brain just stopped working and I am officially flighty.  It may have something to do with the fact that out of nowhere Blake has decided to revert back to the early infant days and wake up up for several hours in the middle of the night, or it could be the fact that I've had 2 trunk shows almost every week this month, or it could be that I am trying to plan meals for the week, go grocery shopping, clean house and take care of everything else all at the same short - too many distractions!  Anywho, long story short I have had to revert to carrying a pen and note pad around with me at all times to write down what I need to do, and what I've finished.  I mean seriously - it's getting ridiculous!  That being said, I was trying to plan the meals for the week when I came upon two fantastic recipes that I often forget about.  These two recipes are super easy, super tasty and don't take a lot of ingredients.  In fact, most of the ingredients you probably have lying around your house already.

this one came from my friend Amanda and it rocks!!!

Spicy Chicken Spaghetti

8 oz package of spaghetti (I buy a full package…it’s normally 14 oz and put in around half)
½ purple onion chopped
1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup
2-4 chicken breasts cooked and diced – seasoned Tony Chacheres or Mexican spices (I have also used the meat from a rotisserie chicken)
8 oz of Velveeta (they sell smaller sizes, and you can also use cheese wiz in the jar…it melts better)
1 can of Ro-Tel

       *Optional Items that I found are pretty yummy!
Whole wheat spaghetti…it’s really good in here because it’s baked with cheese J
                Green Pepper
                A few jalapenos


Cook spaghetti according to the package.  Sauté onions in a large deep pan (you will use this to mix everything into) with a little butter and once they are done, add in the cream of chicken soup and Velveeta to melt. 
After you have a good mixture in your pan, add the chicken and then finally fold in your cooked spaghetti. 
Pour the whole thing into a 13X9 backing dish and bake on 350 degrees for 20 minutes. 

Baked Dijon Pork Chops

4 - 6 pork chops
3/4 c. olive oil
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. dijon mustard
2 tbs. minced chives or green onion
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 clove garlic minced

preheat oven to 475.  Arrange pork chops on in a baking pan.  spread mustard sauce over top of each pork chop and bake on top rack for 10 min.  Turn chops over, spread mustard sauce over pork chop and cook another 10 min or until browned and no longer pink at the bone.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

6 months already?!

Today is Blake's 6 month birthday and it SERIOUSLY baffles me that half a year has already passed since she was born.  I know she has changed so much from that tiny little nugget we brought home in April, but at the same time I can't even believe that she's already half way down with her first year of life!  It doesn't seem possible!!!  I must say - it has been the most difficult 6 months of my life, but the BEST 6 months of life!  I feel so truly blessed to have this amazing little girl in my life and to be able to spend my days at home with her.  I wouldn't change this for anything in the world!

So here's the skinny on her stats at 6 months:
Weight: 14 lbs. 12 oz. (25th percentile)
Height: 26 3/4" (85th percentile)
Head: 16 1/4" (20th percentile)

Major highlights in the last month: she has her two front bottom teeth.  She started eating solid food (she LOVES sweet potatoes and squash!)  She can sit unsupported for several minutes at a time now.  She can take her pacifier out and put it back in her mouth correctly most of the time. :)   She also attended her first college football game and didn't fuss at all!

Look at the comparison between her now and her the day she came home....hard to believe....
6 lbs. 7 oz. 19 inches long

Here are some more pictures from today when I was trying to get one good shot of her at 6 months....she is too funny!