August 27, 2013

stupid Mommy articles

An article, titled 7 (Annoying) Moms You'll Meet at the Park (or Wherever Else You Go), from The Bump, showed up in my inbox this morning and, despite my best efforts, I was intrigued enough to click into it.

I try to avoid these kinds of articles, especially on Mommy sites, since they're not actually that useful and trend towards petty (two qualities I like to avoid)...but this one got me thinking...

If there are 7 annoying kinds of Moms that we're all bound to meet at some point in our parenting years, doesn't sheer statistics imply that most of us would fall into one of these categories ourselves? Like the joke, "Every group of friends has a weirdo. If you think your group doesn't have one, you're the weirdo." If you think every other Mom is some sort of annoying "type", doesn't that imply that you're probably a "type", too?

To keep it real, I think every Mama has a little bit of all of these in her. We all worry about our babies' development, share war stories with other understanding Mamas, and wish we had more money in the bank or a less achy back at the end of the day.

Further, why does being a "type" have to be a bad thing? It takes all sorts of folks to make this world what it is and, honestly, I'd really like to be friends with a Mom who carries a giant Mary Poppins bag of stuff everywhere. Because when I forget an extra diaper on our "quick" trip to the store or can't find the burp cloth that I swear is somewhere in my bag, she would be able to give me one of her extras :) Actually, I'd like to be friends with any and all of these "types" of Mamas. We all have something to add to the conversation and we all love our babies. End of story.

I have a major problem with media that uses tag lines like, "Be prepared, new mom. These other mamas are lurking around every corner." Are you kidding me?!? It's like we're all lions waiting for the weak antelope Mom to walk through the door so we can rip her to shreds (and some days we all feel like the weak antelope, which is even worse). That has not been my experience or the experience of any new mom I've met. Why are there so many articles trying to create conflict within a community that can be so beautiful? As women (because I'm pretty confident that a man did not write this article...) we could be creating such amazing communities, relationships, and cultures with each other, our children and our families. Why spend time trying to find things to criticize in each other when we could be enjoying each other's support, laughter, and camaraderie?

I can guarantee that all of us, even on the days when we're "The Whiny Mom" or the "Faux Brag Mom", love our children to pieces and are generally thinking about their success and growth far more than we're thinking about our own.


Keep on keepin' on. You are doing a bang-up job of raising that little person (or people) and who the hell cares what "type" you are?!? Keep lovin' your baby and doing your thing. I promise, it's working :)

much love, L

p.s. if you are a local Athens Mama, I would like to extend a sincere thank you for helping to make this town such a haven for Mamas of all types. I cannot imagine a better place to be a new Mama learning how to navigate the crazy world of parenting :) Also, let's hang out! :)

August 26, 2013

local love: Bear Hollow Zoo at Memorial Park

This weekend we spent part of our Saturday at Bear Hollow Zoo at Memorial Park. We didn't even know that this little gem existed in Athens until earlier this year when we were invited to celebrate a friend's little boy's 2nd birthday there.

The park is literally 2 miles from our front door and there is a lake, picnic shelters, a pool that's open in the summer, and a little zoo! The zoo is an outdoor walking path that snakes through various exhibits and habitats of native Georgia wildlife. There are aligators, beavers, deer, turkeys, a reptile house, an aviary with hawks and bald eagles, pheasants, bobcats, and BEARS. Of course, Bear Hollow Zoo has to have bears :) The bears are our favorite part because they're usually sleeping or otherwise ignoring the people staring at them and it feels like you're actually seeing what bears would do during their day.

It's a small place but we find it really relaxing and educational each time we go. The first time we were there Alden was only 3 months old and, obviously, he didn't really get in on the action but this weekend he seemed to really be starting to enjoy himself. He was fascinated watching the beavers swimming in their pond and building their dams :) Even if Alden spent more time playing with his sippy cup than learning about animals, it's a great way to get outside and enjoy the sunshine!

much more interested in his cup than Mama :)

inside the zoo

checking out a snake in the reptile house

he really loved the turtles!

Daddy showing me some animals :)


sleepy bear

happy family :)
If you live in the Athens area, you really should head on over to Memorial Park and spend some time. It's a great way to enjoy our little town :)

much love, L&N

August 22, 2013


you can find me on bloglovin'!

I have officially claimed the blog as my own :)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Bloglovin' is a great website that consolidates all of your favorite blogs into one place; making reading all of your "regulars" even easier :) It's free to sign up and it keeps the recent posts from the blogs you follow on your home page. It's super easy, too. Just sign up (you can even use Facebook), add blogs to your following list, and then read away :)

Soon, you'll be able to find a Bloglovin' follow button in the sidebar on The Primary Fiddle and at the bottom of each post to make sharing posts even easier!

much love, L&N

things we couldn't live without: 3-6 month edition

Here's our, slightly belated, list of the things we couldn't have survived without during months 3 through 6.

Your baby changes so much and so quickly in these months that it's hard to make a concise list, but I'm going to try :) Mostly it's the "essentials", things you'll use every day, so not a lot of toys or other things that will vary from baby to baby.

This phase is such an interesting one since at 3 months your baby is still essentially a lump; holding their head up but still laying down most of the time, playing with very basic toys, etc. But by the end of this phase, they're (at least for Alden) sitting up on their own, playing with more toys, much more coordinated, and full of personality!

This list progresses from 3 months to 6 months so the things at the beginning of the list are most useful when they're still younger.

1. Bouncy seat: We have this one but we didn't have one at all in the beginning. I questioned whether we would ever need one, since it seemed like just one extra thing to take up space, but once Alden was old enough to want to be in the same places as us but still too young to sit on his own, we figured out that we needed something to give us a little freedom (for things like making dinner) but still keep him involved and active. Enter the bouncy seat. He loved to play with the toys hanging from the bar and had a blast kicking his legs to bounce the seat. It's definitely something that you will only use for a short period of time but while you need it, it sure is worth it!

2. Bumbo seat with tray: Alden only used this for about a month and a half (which made me happy that we bought it used for $20 from a local family); it took him a while to tolerate being in it and he grew out of it pretty quickly, but for those few weeks that we used it, it was awesome! Alden was emotionally ready to sit up long before he was physically ready. He used to get SO frustrated when he couldn't see what was going on or be right in the middle of the action. The Bumbo helped give him the freedom to sit and play or to watch the activity around him without one of us needing to hold him the whole time. I think it also helped him to develop his core and back muscles so that sitting up was a cinch once he was ready. He got a kick out of banging his toys on the tray to make loud noises or throwing his toys off the side and leaning over to get them. *Remember to ALWAYS, ALWAYS stay with your baby when they're in the Bumbo, even if it's on the floor. They're stable but not foolproof and active babies can definitely wiggle themselves into dangerous positions if they're not supervised. **Also, if you buy an older, used Bumbo seat make sure to contact the company to get a kit that retrofits the seat to have a lap belt.

3. Jumperoo/Exersaucer: We have this one that we bought secondhand from a local Athens family (which speaks to Rule 2 here). Alden loves this thing! It gives him a space where he can jump around like crazy without us having to worry about whether he's safe. It plays music, makes sound effects and has a million things attached to it for looking at/ pulling on/ chewing on. Alden usually spends a few minutes in the jumperoo in the mornings while we get bottles ready, pack the diaper bag, make lunches, etc. and he's usually pretty happy to talk and squeal along with the sound effects and try to grab the little monkey that hangs off the side :) I probably never would have bought one at retail price since you never know if your baby will like them, but snagging it used for $35 made it totally worth it!

4. Chicco Liteway Plus stroller: I got real sick of our giant whale of a stroller (the Chicco Cortina travel system with the KeyFit 30 infant seat) because it was huge and unwieldy and heavy and, did I mention, huge? We quickly jumped on the more-like-an-umbrella-stroller-but-can-still-hold-our-infant-seat stroller bandwagon and boy am I crazy happy that we did! I absolutely LOVE the Liteway. I mean, honestly, the first time we used it, I looked at Nick and said, "This stroller just changed my life." And I meant it. Really. It's that much of an improvement. Now that Alden's out of his infant car seat, it's even better! He can sit in the stroller and enjoy the happy parents that are pushing it around instead of having to fight it through doorways and around corners :)

5. Wet bag: If you're a cloth diapering family, you already have some version of this because they are pretty much indispensable. If you're not a cloth diapering family, you should have one because it's also great for dirty clothes post-blowout, wet swimsuits after the pool or beach, and the multitude of other disgusting things parents have to carry around (spit up covered burp cloths, anyone?) We have these PlanetWise bags, in medium and large, in the Orange Woods design and I like them. I feel like maybe there are better ones out there but these function well- keeping stinky and liquids in-and the fabric is cute. The medium one stays in his diaper bag/goes to daycare and the large one is what we use in his room at home. I do wish the zippers had pulls on them (even if it was just a little piece of leather cord or something) and I do feel like the fabric has started to wear a little faster than I would have liked (a quality you would expect your wet bag, which has to get washed a million times a month, to not have). Overall, we like them and I'd probably buy them again if I didn't find something exponentially better.

6. Nuk pacifiers: Alden still takes a pacifier to fall asleep, mainly because if I didn't give it to him, he'd nurse for 3 hours in his sleep :) He still likes to have one when he's bothered and it's become his most favorite teething toy. Even though he's starting to use them less and less, we still consider them a necessity. I'm hoping that he continues to wean himself away from them but I do enjoy the fact that he can now decide when and if he wants it. At night, he'll get himself almost asleep then take it out of his mouth and lay it in his crib. Periodically, he'll stick it back in his mouth for a little while but pretty much all the time, he sleeps without it. It's those 5 minutes when he's falling asleep that really matter ;)

7. Sophie! This teething toy is astoundingly expensive for something that's made to be chewed on but, I assure you, she's worth every penny. Within minutes of us buying ours, she was in Alden's mouth, happily squeaking away as he gnawed on her head :) Alden loves her, she's soft but durable and, surprisingly, the shape of a giraffe is perfect suited to being chewed on. Her knees, head and long neck make her easy to hold on to and give the baby a lot of options for places to chew. In short, get one, you won't regret it.

8. O Ball: We actually got this ball after I read a great post on the blog, Mama OT, about her top 15 baby toys for the first year. We, incidentally, already had a lot of the things she mentions (like a mirror, stacking rings, blocks, baby gym, etc.) but there were a few inexpensive things that we picked up after reading her list. The OBall rattle was one of them and I think it's in the top 3 of our best buys for Alden. He plays with it all the time and the way he plays with it is evolving as he grows. When he was really small, it was great for him to practice grabbing, transferring, etc. since it's so easy to hold on to; when he started teething, he could easily chew on the soft plastic; when he learned to shake, he could hear the rattles making noise; and now that he's learning cause and effect and his playtime is getting more involved, he's learning to roll it and throw it. For less than $5, I'd say it's a definite return on investment :)

9. Beaba baby spoons: These spoons are great for beginning solids. They're super soft so they don't hurt tender gums and they're really easy to clean. When we first started solids, we gave Alden a spoon to play with so he could get acquainted with them and he immediately took it straight to his mouth- since these are so soft, I wasn't worried that he would hurt his mouth. Also, now that he has teeth that are coming in, he loves to bite down on these during dinner :) They are definitely 1st stage spoons, though. Once your baby learns gets adept at eating from spoons, the bowls of these are a little shallow. We're actually getting ready to put them away for good since it seems like Alden has already grown out of their size. Totally worth it to have them at the beginning, though.

10. Plastic linking rings: This is another toy we grabbed after reading Mama OT's list and they're certainly worth the $4! We started out attaching them to Alden's car seat and he would grab at them and hold on to them while we were shopping or riding in the car. Now, he can pull them apart, chew on them and shake them to make noise. We keep short chains of them everywhere; the diaper bag, his toy bin in the nursery, our bedroom, and the living room play mat. He used to be pretty fascinated with them and would mess with them for long periods of time- now, his attention span for any single toy has drastically decreased, but he definitely still picks these up and I notice him playing with them more than some of his other "baby" toys.

11. Foam play mat tiles: Speaking of the play mat, we bought a set of these right before Alden started sitting up on his own. We knew that he was getting close and we wanted him to have a place in the living room that was soft to play on for those early sitter topples :) I think ours are just precious and they're super easy to clean. Best of all, you can buy as many sets as you want and they all connect to each other so if you have a really large space you'd like to make soft for baby, you can buy as many sets as you need. We got ours at Target for about $13 on sale.

12. Inchbug Custom Orbit labels: These are soft, flexible, non-toxic personalized "labels" for bottles, sippy cups, water bottles, etc. You can custom order your color and name/words, plus you can even add icons if you'd like (like stars, basketballs, etc.). This is one of those things that changed our lives the day we started using them. If your baby goes to daycare, school, play group, or even if you have two children close in age that drink out of the same brand of cups/bottles, etc. Inchbug labels should be on your list of necessities. They're completely washable (dishwasher safe), can be boiled and are so snug that your baby can't take them off. We have the pumpkin color and we just ordered some in the blue jay to add to our collection :) We also just ordered some of their personalized stickers so we can label his bowls/ containers for meals and am expecting their quality to be just as high as the orbit labels. We love these!

13. White noise machine: If you read our last "things we couldn't live without" post, you remember that we had a white noise app on our phones that we used for Alden to sleep. This worked great until he transitioned to his crib (around 14 weeks) and he was in a separate room. When Alden first moved to his crib, we would just leave one of our phones in with him since he didn't sleep in his room all night and it was easy to just grab our phone when we went to get him. Once we went on vacation, though, and knew that he would be sleeping in a separate room for naps and for part of the night, we decided it was time to get him a dedicated noise machine. This one works great, has a few options for sounds and even has a little night light built in, which I like.

14. Motorola Video Monitor: You would think that since monitors are such a useful device in most homes with babies that we would have put this on our newborn edition list, but Alden slept in his bassinet in our room until he transitioned to his crib and the monitor wasn't necessary. So we started really using this piece of astounding technology when he was about 3 1/2 or 4 months old. The monitor amazes me- it not only has video and audio, it lights up when the noise level changes, tells you the temperature in the room, has night vision and is remotely controlled so you can change the direction of the camera from the other room. Also, it has a walkie-talkie feature so we can creep Alden out at night and pretend like we're the voice of God ;) It's not cheap by any means but we got it on sale and plan to use it for a future kid/kiddos (we read a million reviews before we bought it and this one seems to last pretty well) so the cost, overall, isn't too crazy. We use it ALL the time, the range is great, and we think it was a sound investment for the peace of mind that it gives us. Plus, it was a lifesaver during the sleep training days- we could watch him and know that he was fine even though he was upset- I really think just those 3 weeks would have made the purchase worth it. Otherwise, I may have been in and out of his room 35 times a night :)

I can't believe I'm already writing this list! It feels like yesterday we were bringing our tiny little guy home to meet the puppies for the first time and now he's trying to crawl!! Crazytown.

much love, L&N

August 20, 2013

blog pause

Hi everyone! Just wanted to drop in to say that even though things have been quiet on the blog front lately, I've got stuff in the hopper ;)

I have a million posts that are sitting as drafts and just have to be finished- a bunch of them are informational (cloth diapers, another "things we couldn't live without", etc.), a couple are just about life, and another couple are part of a new series I'm trying to start called Local Love where I'll feature posts about Athens-based businesses, services, etc. I'm also in the process of working on my Simple series but it turns out that cleaning out/simplifying every room in your house takes a whole lot longer when you only have nap times to work with ;)

Also, I'm in the process of moving the blog...which is the real reason things have been so bare. I'm not a huge fan of Blogger so I'm trying out other options and am moving really slow with the actual decision-making.

Moral of this rambling story: stay tuned!


much love, L&N

August 7, 2013

blueberry oatmeal muffins

As most of you know, I'm a baker.

I love to bake, sweet or savory (though I haven't ventured to bread, yet. it's on the list!), big or small, party or simple homemade treats, I love it all.

I have always gotten stuck in a rut with savory cooking and have never really enjoyed the daily grind of figuring out what to buy, cook, and eat. Yet another reason why I married the perfect man for me, he does all (well, most) of the cooking and I'm free to make the stuff that I really enjoy. Listen up ladies, this is a fantastic arrangement! I get gourmet-quality food (yes, Nick is that great in the kitchen) and he gets sweet treats in return :)

Here's a recipe I tried this week:

Oatmeal Flax Blueberry Muffins from Pinch of Yum

The recipe is in her blog post, but I reposted a screen shot below. (Not sure how easy it is to read, but it serves as reference nonetheless)

I set out to find a recipe for Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins because the blueberries have looked so delicious lately and I was craving something hearty and oatmeal-y. When I saw Pinch of Yum show up in the Google results, I knew it would be a great one to try since I had read and heard about Pinch of Yum in the past. Fast forward a few hours, and these puppies were sitting on my counter :)

final product

Progress photos:

love to find recipes that only require the pantry!
soaking the oats
fresh blueberries, dry ingredient mixture, soaked oats

batter ready to go in the pan, sans blueberries

filled muffin cups with and without crumb topping. 

I doubled the recipe to get 12 muffins so we could both eat them for breakfast this week. I added brewer's yeast (about 2 tbsp.), on top of the flax, since I figure if it's in the pantry it never hurts to add in a little extra nutrition :) Also, when you're breastfeeding it's always nice to hide some galactagogues in your recipes :) Flax and brewer's yeast are both milk boosters, plus they are both really good for you, so double the nutrition points! Oatmeal is also a galactagogue so these muffins (with my addition of yeast) are a trifecta of milk boosting yumminess for breastfeeding mothers who want to increase or keep up their milk supply. *there is conflicting evidence that any of these things will truly make a difference in your milk supply but, I think, there is enough anecdotal evidence to support trying them. They're not going to hurt you and they'll only add extra nutrients to the recipe, so why not, right? :) 

The only things I needed to buy for these muffins were the blueberries and fresh confectioner's sugar since I'm kind of a weirdo about old confectioner's sugar. I swear it can make the whole recipe taste like stale, weird, plastic bag. We eat a lot of oatmeal, so we already had that (I would recommend either raw, rolled oats or steel cut oats) and I already had the basics (flour, baking powder, etc.). I also keep brown sugar, ground flaxmeal, and brewer's yeast in the house, making this recipe a quick Monday night experiment. I used milk with vinegar instead of buttermilk (we hate buying buttermilk for one recipe and watching it go bad in the fridge). I also added some lemon juice to the glaze since I think lemon and blueberry is a match made in heaven and I wanted some acidity to complement the heartiness of the oats and flax.

There's a lot of hand mixing in the recipe and I found myself wishing Alden was just a little older so he could have helped me. I'm sure kids would get a kick out of getting their hands gooey in the kitchen!

Final verdict:

Yummy but not what I was looking for. If you expect these muffins to be sweet, cakey and light like a typical blueberry muffin, you'll be disappointed. I wanted something with a little more heft, which is why I looked for something with oatmeal, but these were just a little too hefty. As an afternoon snack, perfect, for breakfast, not so much (for me anyway). I do think they are delicious and a much more nutritious version than the giant sugar-soaked muffins you can grab at Starbucks or the grocery store, they just weren't what I was in the mood for this time. I will probably try them again, maybe with cranberries in the fall, when the weather calls for a sturdy little snack :)

Things I'd change next time:

more glaze per muffin, the lemon flavor got lost; use real buttermilk, I think it might affect the texture of the oats; try cranberries instead of blueberries; maybe up the flour and decrease the oats to try for a cake-ier feel. Also, I used paper cups that I had in my cabinet to save me some flouring & buttering time but the paper cups end up moist after being stored. Next time I would cook them directly in the pan.

Thanks to Pinch of Yum for the inspiration!

much love, L&N

August 4, 2013

5 months!

Alden's 5th month was a pretty busy one. From the Fourth of July, to my parents' house in Alabama, to a week in Tampa with Nick's parents, plus some sleep training and some serious developmental milestones thrown in there, our little man was a busy dude!

I keep feeling like I'm late with this post, and I guess I'm about a week behind where the other monthly updates have been, but there is controversy in our house over how to count the months in the first place, so I'm cutting myself some slack :)

speaking do y'all count your baby's age? by weeks or by the date on the calendar? Nick thinks it should be by the calendar (which makes sense) but I get confused because if there are 4 weeks in a month, then 20 weeks should be 5 months, 24 weeks, 6 months, etc...Since not every calendar month actually has 4 full weeks, I realize that this is a flawed system as well. Most baby books, etc. use weeks as the developmental "markers" so using the calendar months can be confusing...just a glimpse at the things we talk about in our house now...I also realize that this really doesn't matter, just something we're wondering :)

We're getting ready for Alden's 6 month well-check and vaccines next week and I am super excited to see how tall he is. It feels like he's grown 6 inches in the past couple weeks (hyperbole, but, you know) so I'm definitely expecting some height changes. I never really know about his weight, he's such a long and lean kid that sometimes it feels like he's not gaining weight when really he is.

This past month we had some rough weeks. Alden essentially stopped sleeping for a few weeks; very few naps, waking up every 3 hours or so at night, asking to eat all the time., etc. Looking back, I think we can attribute most of it to a perfect storm of variables, but I think at the core, a lot of it is just growing pains. From 4-5 months there is a HUGE period of brain growth and our little babies are just trying to deal with their worlds changing so quickly and so dramatically. I wouldn't sleep well, either ;)

We were working the sleep training pretty well and then we went on vacation. twice. We knew that changing up his routine would mess with the sleep training accomplishments we had already notched into our belts so in the two or three weeks surrounding our trips, we essentially did whatever we had to do to get him to sleep. We were at my parents' house for a weekend (which wasn't that bad. he didn't really nap but the nights weren't horrible) and then back home for a week, then on the road to Florida for a whole week. While we were in Tampa, there were a couple days with bad naps and a night that was pretty rough (like screaming for an hour, even while being held, absolutely refusing to go to sleep kind of night). Most of the issues were in the first couple days and I think the new environment plus the higher-than-usual stimulation during the day was the main culprit. By the middle of the week we happened to figure out the morning nap sweet spot. I never expected vacation to lead to a sleep breakthrough, but Alden not being at daycare during the days really gave us a chance to reset his system and to figure out what type of schedule worked best for him. Turns out, this kid is a serious morning napper! If we catch him when he's tired in the morning, he'll sleep for a good hour and a half and one morning, he slept for 2 and a half solid hours. Crazytown.

Since we've been home, (knocking on wood) he's been sleeping AMAZINGLY! We made some adjustments and it seems like we may have found our groove. These are the things we changed:

-No more sleep sack. *this was a semi-contentious issue. I thought he should be out a long time ago, Nick thought it was still helping him sleep...I will, officially, say, "I was right," and my husband would agree :)

-Earlier bedtime. Moved it up to 7:00 instead of 7:30 (which had been moved up from 8:00), really and seriously has made a much bigger difference than I ever thought it would.

-A carved-in-stone nighttime routine. We had been letting life dictate our nights sometimes (errands, playtime, etc.) and once we finally sucked it up and forced ourselves to respect a strict schedule, everything has been much smoother. There are nights where we feel rushed after getting home from work late but having a well-rested baby is worth an hour or so of craziness in the evening. *this is something that I realize is completely our fault. It took us too long to recognize that our baby needs a distinct schedule, not all babies do and maybe we were subconsciously hoping that Alden was one of those I'll-sleep-anywhere-take-me-to-restaurants-at-9-pm kind of babies. I'm glad we learned our lesson...

-Blanket in his crib. I know, I know. The recommendation is for no blankets, pillows, etc. in the crib until they're older but my kid really likes sleeping with a blanket, so he got a blanket. I did force Nick to keep them out of the crib until he could confidently turn over in both directions and I was comfortable that he could move himself if his face got covered. But, we really think this has made a huge difference in how well he falls asleep on his own.

Some milestones this month:

Sitting up on my own!

First solid food

Alden has also really found his voice lately and has decided it's super fun to scream at the top of his lungs pretty much all the time. He does have a cute little Tarzan yell, though, so we forgive him ;) He has, in just the past couple of weeks, started eating solid food, starting sitting up on his own, been transitioned out of his sleep sack, is much more coordinated with his toys and pacifier (he essentially moves stuff around wherever and whenever he wants), and has very obviously grown taller. It's been a big couple of weeks!

All of the major changes have made us feel like we all of a sudden have a little boy instead of a baby. Even Alden's teachers at school have mentioned how much he's grown up in the past few weeks. It is just such a joy to watch how he changes and grows into his own little person :) He makes us laugh every day and we literally can't stop talking about how awesome he is. Maybe we're a little biased ;)

Some photos from the past month:

reading with Daddy

holding my own bottle

Happy 4th of July!

always chewing on my hands :)

watching horseshoe crabs at the aquarium

swimming for the first time!

checking out Adalynn at the aquarium

watching the fish!

Good Morning! 

playing at school

making his wish list at IKEA :)

in the pool with Daddy

playing with my cousin, Adalynn

sitting up in the cart like a big boy!

first solid food

loving outside time at school :)

modeling his sweet new outfit

playing with his new GloWorm

We're starting off month 6 pretty fantastically and we're excited to see what's in store for our little man next month!

much love, L&N

August 3, 2013


We spent the weekend after the 4th at my parents' house in Alabama, which was wonderful and relaxing even though it was a very short visit. Then, last week we spent a whole week in Tampa with Nick's family, which was equally wonderful :)

The weekend in Alabama was great. We got to see my maternal grandparents, Aunt, Uncle, Cousins as well as my cousins and Aunt from my Dad's side. My mom and I spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen, making dinner on Friday for her family, making sides for dinner on Saturday for my Dad's family (since we got delicious ribs from a local BBQ guy) and whipping up some Coconut Toffee Blondies, Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding, and a couple of ice cream pies. You don't think we have a sweet tooth in this family, do you? ;)

Since it rained most of the weekend, we were inside a lot but we got to play with Alden plenty and we even had time to go up to the farm and run with the pups a little. It was a nice kind of busy, plenty of people to see but still some time to just sit on the couch and talk. The only bad part of the weekend was that I took maybe one photo the whole time :(

After a work-week at home, we packed up a million pounds of stuff and headed out to Tampa. We left on Saturday evening (hoping to take advantage of Alden's nighttime sleep) and got into Tampa around 3:30 am. It was an exceptionally long night and boy were we tired by the end of it! Alden did pretty great, though, and I feel much less anxious about traveling long distances now that we've got one major trip under our belts.

The next seven days were spent visiting with family, shopping, cooking and playing in the pool. My brother and sister-in-law, Kristoffer and Lea, came down the same week and we got to meet our niece, Adalynn, for the first time! It was so fun to see the babies together and we had a blast hanging out with them!

Some highlights:

in the Florida sunshine

with Far Far :)

cousins meeting for the first time! Adalynn at 8 months, Alden at 5 months

sisters with our littles :) 

sitting up for the first time!

two sweet families :) Us with Alden and Kristoffer and Lea with Adalynn

kicking like a pro!

the boys and the babies :)

warm and snuggly after a swim with Grandma

so funny! we'll tease them with this picture in a few years ;)


checking out fish at the Florida Aquarium

the girls and our babies :)

snuggles :)

watching the fish in the big tank

with Daddy at the Florida Aquarium

a chair my size at IKEA

first time swimming! 

cousins :)

playing with Mama in the car

first time in my big boy stroller

hanging with Daddy at Mimi & PopPop's house in Alabama

playing at IKEA

Baby Crockett

with Uncle Austin
We had two wonderful trips and many sweet moments with lots of family! Can't wait to see everyone again :) 

much love, L&N