November 16, 2013

off the wagon

so, obviously I have fallen off the NaBloPoMo wagon...partly because everyone in our house has been sick with something or other all week and partly because there are just some days when I don't have anything to say :) I mean, I'm a pretty opinionated person, so I guess I always have something to say but not necessarily anything y'all would be interested in. 

I was hoping this weekend would be the tail end of the germ party that we've been hosting but, alas, Alden woke up with a stomach bug today and Nick was at the doctor yesterday with strep throat. 

Cheers to a weekend full of sick baby snuggles, lots of laundry, undone chores and tons of family couch time :) 

much love, L&N

November 9, 2013


Days at home with my boys are the best :)

Hope everyone is having a wonderful, relaxing Saturday! 

much love, L&N

November 8, 2013

8 months!

Alden's eighth month was pretty eventful! He started crawling on all fours, really began pulling up on everything he could get his hands on, tried out a lot of new foods and had his first Fall and Halloween experiences :) This was also the month that we started the dairy and soy free diet to help his eczema/allergy symptoms so that was a big change (more for us than for him, but still). 

Mama, I found the stroller! 

he figured out how to stand up behind his highchair and pull down all of his bibs :)
At the beginning of the month we headed over to Alabama for my cousin Anna's baby shower where Alden got to be the center of attention in a room full of ladies :) He flirted with pretty much everyone and had a great time watching (more like staring) at the little girls who were there. He thinks older kids are fascinating- pretty much every day as we leave his school, he wants to stop and watch the big kids play on the playground. It's like he's studying up for the day he'll be out there :) 

playing in the floor at the shower

Now that he's been out of the infant tub for a while for bath time, he's really started to take advantage of his bath freedom :) He's crawling, climbing and splashing the whole time- actually getting him clean is a process! 

He is so mobile it's hard to keep up with him! He loves to play with his stacking cups, blocks, and in starting to get interested in stuffed animals. When you read him a book he spends most of his time trying to take the book out of your hands so he can turn the pages :) He rarely sits in the floor and plays anymore, he's much too interested in exploring! It's like his whole being is so focused on the physical aspects of his development lately that the other stuff has fallen away for now. 

He spends lots of time climbing up me and Nick when we sit in the floor with him and he chews on everything, all. the. time. He has 4 teeth but numbers 5 and 6 are close behind. He loves sweet potatoes, avocado and bananas but he eats pretty much anything we give him. He's gone through some phases where he's been a little resistant to new textures (like when we thickened his pea puree) but he's typically ready to try again in a week or so. 

He "talks" a lot, especially in the mornings when he wakes up, and has started making "one-word" sounds. He usually says these little "words" when he's interested in something and wants to see it, when he's excited or when he wants to get our attention. I'm starting to be able to figure out what he wants based more on his vocalizations and it's pretty cool to see him learn how to use sounds for specific reasons. 

So many changes happen from 6-9 months, it's hard to keep up with them! I find that it's hard to even remember what was happening at 7 months, or 8 months vs. 9 months, etc. Everything happens quickly  and once they start doing something new it becomes the new normal so fast that things blur together. It reminds me that I really need to be better at jotting down little things in between my big monthly posts- I feel like there are so many little, wonderful things that I'm forgetting about. I can't believe how fast they grow up!! 

Onto the photos :) 

my little pumpkin with his 1st pumpkin!

1st FaceTime call with Mama

hanging out with Daddy on our Daddy Son Day :) 

first morning cold enough for a sweater! 

opening his Halloween treat from Mimi & PopPop.
Can't wait to get some holiday photos in that adorable outfit!

in my Halloween costume from Grandma & Far Far :)

he doesn't even sit still when he's strapped in! 

helping push the cart at Target :)

sneak peak of our family photos from this month.
we caught him crawling for the first time ON CAMERA! it was awesome :)

I've noticed that I have less photos on my phone from month to month now. This is not because I don't want to take a million photos of my little dude, it's because he never sits still! I'm just going to have to learn to love blurry little faces in all of my photos :)

Pretty soon, I'm going to be writing a 1st birthday post and it makes me sad that he's growing up so fast! I guess I have to remember to slow down and soak it all in a little more often :)

much love, L&N

November 7, 2013

Halloween recap

Is it too late to post a recap of our Halloween activities? Please say no and that it's perfectly acceptable to still talk about Halloween until at least November 7 ;)

We had a great first Halloween as a family of three and, even though I couldn't eat any Halloween candy (the dairy/soy free diet doesn't cooperate), we had a pretty great time with our little celebration! Alden decorated his first pumpkin, we went to a spooky themed baby sensory class at Treehouse , went to the pumpkin patch, and even managed to slip in a Halloween themed baby wardrobe week :)

Without further adieu, here are the photos of my little artist's first pumpkin!

We made the paint at home because Alden puts everything in his mouth and I was wary of using craft or acrylic paints in case he managed to get some down the hatch. It's a super easy recipe: 1 C flour, 1 C salt and 1 C water mixed together. Then add food coloring to get the color you want. I got some neon food coloring and we used the purple, neon green/yellow (grellow, if you will) and made a turquoise since they seemed like good Halloween colors. Alden definitely ate some of the paint but since it's so salty, he pretty much just sat there sticking his tongue out trying to figure out how to get the salt out of his mouth :) 

The spooky themed Baby Sensory class at Treehouse was a hit, also. Alden played with tissue paper ghosts, listened to some fun Halloween stories and got to play with slimy, gooey Halloween themed foods. He was pretty gung-ho for the lychee fruit, who would have guessed?! 

Onward to the rest of the holiday season! We are having so much fun experiencing this time of year with Alden. He's at a great age to be really interested in what's going on & even though he won't remember these holiday moments, I know he's enjoying them now. Traditions have to start somewhere, right? :) 

much love, L&N

November 6, 2013

my main men

Nick had to stay at lab late tonight so Alden and I did his dinner & bath & bedtime routine by ourselves tonight. He was exhausted and I was starving, but I kept reminding myself that there will be a time not long from now when he won't want to be cuddled by his Mama when he's tired and crabby. And that thought makes rough nights just a little less rough :) 

I can't imagine what my life would be like without these boys. I hope everyone is lucky enough to be loved like I am :) I am so grateful to be a part of our little family, it really is exactly where I was meant to be. 

much love, L&N

November 5, 2013

local love: Ideal Bagel Co.

Today we're going to talk about bagels.

In Athens, we have a fantastic local bakery, Luna Bakery Co., that bakes fresh, preservative free breads and supplies it to local restaurants and grocery stores. They have a stand at the Athens Farmer's Market every week and we have bought their bread many times. All of them have been delicious :)

Well, Luna has branched out and has opened a sister store, Ideal Bagel Co. right next door! (The bakery, Ideal Bagel, and Treehouse Kid & Craft are all in the same building!) Ideal doesn't seem to have a website up and running yet, but here's a link to their Facebook page.

We stopped by Ideal to grab lunch after our most recent Baby Sensory Class (here's where I talked about the first time we tried this class) and we were definitely impressed with the offerings! Since I'm dairy/soy free I went with a create-your-own sandwich on freshly baked Luna sourdough and Nick got one of their signature sandwiches on an onion kaiser roll, called the Tresper.

I had turkey with mustard, house made pickles (delicious!), lettuce, super fresh tomatoes, and onion. It was simple, fresh, and the perfect little lunch for a Saturday afternoon. The Tresper has roast beef, 3 pepper jack cheese, red onions, and spicy mayo. Since it was all dairy/soy'd up, I couldn't taste it but Nick said it was really yummy :)

We will definitely go back for bagels because I can't wait to try their smoked fish!

the magical place where they keep the house smoked fish, homemade pickles and other delights :)

Nick's Tresper

my create-your-own sandwich
Go try this yummy spot, Athenians!

much love, L&N

p.s. there is so much I have in the hopper for the blog! as soon as I can get all the photos off the camera, I have a pumpkin decorating post, Alden's 8 month recap, some food stuff, more baby stuff, etc. Keep reading! :) 

November 4, 2013

officially dairy soy free

Today we went to Alden's 9 month appointment and it's official, we are dairy soy free until at least his 1st birthday. 

His eczema is essentially gone and we think we have seen some improvement in his sleep as well. The chronic runny nose and occasional cough are still hanging around but our Ped thinks that there are enough other potential causes for these symptoms to warrant a watch-and-wait approach. 

What we know: eliminating dairy and soy has kept his skin clear and that's enough to make it worth it. We talked about the possibility of eliminating eggs and/or wheat at some point in the future if we really wanted to try and figure out whether the cold-like symptoms are linked with a food allergy but we're taking it one step at a time. 

There is much more to say but I'll have to write up a full post later. This Mama is tired and I'm heading to bed early :)

much love, L&N 

November 3, 2013

how things have changed

Alden, scheming his early wake up plan :) 

If you're friends with me on Facebook, you probably already know that, this morning, I was pondering how much our lives have changed in recent years. I guess this is always true, the only constant is that everything will change, right? But, you notice it so much more after you have a baby. 

Take this morning for example, since the time changed last night, we gained an extra hour of "sleep". In a house with an infant who is attached to his schedule, this actually means Mama and Daddy are up at 5:00 am because Alden is wide awake and wants to play. Thankfully, Nick got up with him and let me sleep for a little while longer, or else I'm not sure I could have stayed awake and been productive all day :) (Also, little man went down for a nap earlier than usual so Nick is catching up by snuggling with the puppies and having a little couch nap:) 

Just a few (we won't talk about exactly how many- nobody wants to feel old on top of being sleepy...) years ago, the fall time change meant an extra hour at the bar. (Ignore that, Mom ;) Now, it means we spend the day trying to "fix" our 9 month old's schedule so he'll sleep normally again. Weekends used to mean sleeping in, staying up late, eating out, grabbing drinks with friends, maybe a movie or two cuddled on the couch with snacks and wine. Now: catching up on laundry, cooking a week's worth of baby food in between naps so the blender doesn't wake Alden up, grocery shopping, spending lots of time at Target (seriously. why do we seem to end up there at least once a week?!), and, of course, hanging out with our little man as much as possible. Going to a restaurant used to be showing up late, relaxing with a glass of wine and leisurely eating and talking until we were ready to go home. Now, it's showing up early, asking for a highchair, feeding the baby, and eating quickly so we can make it home before it's too late to get him in bed without a fight :) 

So many things are so completely different but I wouldn't change it for the world :) 

This is exactly where I want to be. At home, buried in laundry and dirty dishes, playing games in the floor with my boys :) 

Cheers to the new normal! 

much love, L&N

November 2, 2013

24 hours in Baltimore

A couple weekends ago I went to Baltimore for a day for a conference.

Here are the things I learned:

-traveling while breastfeeding (without the baby) is a pain. but the airport, security, staff, etc. are really, really cool about helping you out

-traveling while on a dairy/soy elimination diet is exceptionally hellish. no snacks on the plane (soybean oil, blast you!), no Chick-Fil-A in the airport (wow, I really miss that chicken), and severely limited dining out options when away from home (though most places, including my hotel, the Hilton Baltimore, are very helpful and will go out of their way to make your meal work)

-FaceTime on iPhones is a fantastic invention. I got to wake up and see both of my boys' faces before spending the day at the conference. It was awesome :)

-Baltimore seems like a really cool place. I've already told Nick that we have to find some time to get back up there for at least a long weekend.

-my husband is amazing! He drove me to the airport (3 hours roundtrip), kept the dogs, the baby, and himself fed and happy, managed to keep Alden on some sort of schedule even though my travel times were crazy, had a fantastic Daddy-Son Day, and picked me up at the airport (another 3 hours roundtrip) all in less than 30 hours of time.

-I would prefer to go everywhere with my family :) A little time away is nice but experiencing new things and seeing a new place is so much better with my boys!

Nick is going to write a post about his first Daddy-Son Day but, for now, here are a few photos of my 24 hours in Baltimore.

Inner Harbor

walking around Downtown

at Edgar Allen Poe's grave

looking into the Orioles stadium from my hotel room

my Sunday morning wake up call :) 

much love, L&N