Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween.

Happy Halloween my blogger friends!  Leeland the friendly dinosaur would like to wish you all a very happy Halloween also.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Free cloth diapers.

 I personally love anything that is free, but it's especially fun when the freebie is actually a giveaway that you won.  I just love winning stuff.  Call me a dork, but even the smallest of prizes gets me giddy like a school girl.  I've posted on cloth diapering a few times, I think, or at least I thought about posting about it a few times.  I do remember doing this post last year after we made the big switch to cloth diapers when Leeland was around 5 or 6 months old.  A year later there have been no regrets though there has been some slight modifications here and there. 

I discovered pocket diapers this year and fell in love with them.  All of the pocket diapers that we have in our current stash are "one-size" meaning they should fit the average child from about 7 pounds to 35 pounds.  Essentially they are supposed to take you from birth to potty training, though I hear they can be a bit bulky on a newborn depending on how big the baby is at birth.  We haven't yet experienced diapering a newborn though I am looking forward to it when Hayden arrives.  Last year when we began our cloth diapering journey, I was using 90% pre-fold diapers which I still adore, but they got to be a bit cumbersome when Leeland became the rolling pin at changing time.  I have already created a cloth diaper registry which includes smaller sized pre-folds for Hayden and I am SO stoked about going back down that path. 

So what about the FREE cloth diapers?  This past month I won a couple of really awesome giveaways from All About Baby Boutique.  This is an online baby boutique that sells cloth diapers, mama cloth, baby carriers/wraps, breastfeeding supplies, natural lotions and creams.  They have a lot of really great stuff.  They are an online boutique that is thankfully local to my area, therefore I am able to get free "shipping" when I meet up with one of the ladies nearby to collect my goods, though I am excited to say that a retail store is in the works and should be opening in the coming months. Swoon! So in the past month (or so- this post is a wee bit behind schedule) I have won, not one, not two, but essentially THREE giveaways from them!  I'm a pretty lucky gal these days it would seem.  I keep thinking that they are going to ban me from giveaways.  But at the same time, all the fun and excitement really only makes me want to shop there more-- in fact, that is where I set up my cloth diaper registry for baby Hayden.  Now the next step is to get friends and family on board with actually purchasing off the registry (that is why I took the time to make it).

I won this super cute blue Charlie Banana one-size pocket diaper.  It has an adorable "construction" print on it. This was my first Charlie Banana diaper and I am quite impressed!  It is super soft and cuddly on the inside, we have had NO leaks with it, and it looks rather trim on Leeland's tiny rump.  I had previously mentioned in my wish list post a few months ago that I wanted some Charlie Banana mama cloth (not a need at the moment... pregnant) but after seeing how awesome their diapers are, now I really want some CB mama cloth! (And the added bonus: they make super cute prints!)

 Another win from AABB was this red Fuzzibunz one-size pocket diaper.  The picture and the indoor lighting doesn't really give it justice but it's a beautiful red.  I like to say that it's NC State red. OOO, or better yet, Christmas red! This is the 2nd Fuzzibunz diaper to be added to our stash, they are a pretty reputable brand and seem to be very well known.  They are very trim diapers which is really nice, because one of the common qualms of those debating cloth is how bulky they are on the baby. 

And the last win from them was in their "Schwag bag" giveaway.  The ladies from AABB had recently attended the ABC kids expo (title?) and were giving away some really cool reusable bags with samples of products and new products in them.  I think there were 6 total, and I happen to win one! Yay!  It was a reusable bag from iplay with Dr. Sears samples of lotions/body wash/rash cream.  A sample CD of "rock a bye baby" where they turn classic rock songs into  nursery songs.  And also a pair of Lula clips. Have you heard of Lula clips?  They are awesome!! They are little magnetic "hands" that you attach to your child's car seat so that the buckles can attach to the magnet and when you sit your baby in the car seat, you don't have to wrestle them out from under the child and around the child.  One of those inventions that you see and think, "wish I would've thought of that!".  You can find them here on the AABB website.  I will definitely be getting a 2nd set for Hayden's car seat. 

Thank you so much to All About Baby Boutique for their AWESOME customer service! And this Momma is LOVING the freebies!  Check them out friends, they are on Facebook or can be found at

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Patch.

Leeland and I went to the pumpkin patch with MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) today.  It was in the next town over at a church. The pumpkins were already picked and they had quite an assortment.  With our MOPS group, we just paid $2 and we got to go on a tractor pulled hay ride and Leeland got to pick a mini pumpkin to take home.

I must say it was pretty cute watching Leeland try to pick up every single pumpkin no matter what size it was.  He seemed to have a lot of fun and his very first hay ride was a success!  Unfortunately though, he makes it very tough to get a good photo-- I think out of the the 30 photos I took, he is looking at the camera in 1.  Last year was much easier when I could sit him and pose him wherever I wanted for cute photos.  Very interested to see how our family photos go in a few weeks-- I really hope we're able to get some good ones. Happy Fall ya'll!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy 18 months!

Our little man Leeland is officially 18 months old today! Didn't we just bring him home from the hospital yesterday?  Man how time flies!  He has grown into quite the little dude over the past few months.  He is getting to be very tall and VERY active. His vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds over the past couple months too and we tend to call him our little repeat.  He can even put together a few words and small sentences like, "Bye. Have a good day.",  "There you go." and "Love you."  He is a very polite toddler and says "please" and "thank you" 100 times a day.  He makes this Momma so proud!

If you would have asked me when he turned 1 about feeding him table food, I would've told you that I wasn't sure he would ever give up baby food, but I am proud to say that our house has been baby food free for several months!  (Hear the sound of our wallet singing praises.) He eats what we eat and he enjoys it.  I call him my little carboholic because he especially loves pastas and breads.  He has become a little picky when it comes to the vegetable department, but that seems to be pretty typical of the toddler years, we just continue to offer him a variety of veggies along with other items that he does like.

When I say that he is VERY active, I mean he could run himself silly.  He is very much "go go go".  It kind of hit me all of a sudden just in the past couple months how active he is.  His idea of fun is just finding a field somewhere and running in circles.  Though I think the Children's Museum would be a close second.  But he also has a nice balance of cuddly and sweet also.  He REALLY enjoys books and insists that he sit in your lap when you read.  And after you finish the book, he does the cutest thing where he opens it back up and reads it himself.  And he loves to shower Momma and Daddy with kisses. 

Knock on wood, but thankfully we also haven't gotten to the "selfish toddler" stage and he plays well with other children so far.  I know the day will come when he won't want to share toys with anybody but for now he's just very easy going and gets along with other kids just fine.  I think he is going to be a fabulous big brother! 

Daniel and I are definitely looking forward to many more milestones to come!  We are so amazed each day at this precious little boy that the Lord blessed us with.  I couldn't imagine life without him.  Mommy and Daddy love you SO much Leeland!  Hope that the past 18 months have been as awesome to you as they have been to us. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

It's a.....

 Yesterday afternoon I spent about 3 hours at my OB office.  I was scheduled for an ultrasound- THE ultrasound, the 20 week anatomy one where you get to see everything, if you know what I mean.  They also did some blood work, a pelvic exam, breast exam, and I got myself a flu vaccine.  I feel that I have mentioned this before but due to Daniel switching jobs back in September, this was my first visit to the doctor's office.  We have in fact known for the past 15 weeks that I was pregnant, I took a home test, and had an ultrasound done at the Care Center I used to work part-time at when I was about 10/11 weeks pregnant.  With the switch in jobs though, we wouldn't have insurance until Daniel had worked for 30 days which meant October 1.  We didn't want to risk them not covering anything and saying it was a "pre-existing condition" so we just waited.  With the 2nd pregnancy, you kind of know what to expect or at least know the signs that you don't want to see.  That is part of the reason I think that the visit was so long yesterday, it was like playing a little bit of catch up.  Here's some adorable ultrasound photos of our 20 week and 1 day little baby:
 We are going with a different OB office this pregnancy, and I was totally stoked to find out that they had the ability to do 3D and 4D ultrasounds which the doctor's office I went to with Leeland didn't offer.  So nice to see such a neat picture of the baby's face.  In case you are alarmed looking at this photo- it looks like something is coming out of the baby's nose, that is actually the umbilical cord.  The baby hid behind it the majority of the ultrasound. 

And I couldn't resist sharing this sweet little baby foot!  Leeland likes this picture too, he likes to point out the toes.  The ultrasound tech said that the baby is about the size of a Barbie and weighs around 12 ounces.  They checked out every part of the baby, took all kinds of measurements and thoroughly examined the baby-- the baby is very healthy and perfect. 

Oh! And for that important little tid bit that you are waiting for.... The baby is a BOY!  We plan to name him "Hayden Daniel".  He is so adorable and perfect in every way already and I can't wait till February to meet him!  We love you little guy!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Apple Festival

This past Saturday we went to the Apple Festival.  It used to be a sort of family tradition to go to the Wilkesboro Apple Festival but the past few years, the family has been so busy.  Sad too because part of my family lives up there and I'm sad to admit that many of them I haven't seen in probably at least 4 years.  Time just gets away from us sometimes doesn't it.

The Apple Festival is pretty much like any other big festival-- lots of food and things for sale.  Many of the items listed for sale are homey looking crafts.  Being completely honest, Wilkesboro is kind of in "the sticks" so there's lots of country folk and down home country decor and such to be found.  I didn't really find much to buy that day.  A few of the things that I liked were either 1) Priced too high or 2) I thought "I could make that myself."  Other than the few people who would cut off the stroller, I did enjoy some food and mingling amongst the crowd.

After the festival we stopped in at my Great Grandma's house to visit for a minute.  Another person in my family that I hadn't seen in WAY too long.  She'll be 90 next year. 

I lugged my camera around all day and didn't pull it out even once, so here are a few photos that I swiped off of my sister's Facebook page. Thanks Sis!
Leeland stretching his legs a bit after lunch.  He stayed in the stroller the rest of the day and was SO good.  So quiet and just enjoyed playing with the free flag he got from the Army booth.  I wasn't aware until we got home that evening that he had a 102 fever.  No wonder, he was so quiet and peaceful.  His fever has yo-yo'd all weekend and I'm looking forward to having my healthy little boy back.
Yes, that is my 19 week pregnant self enjoying a gyro!  Thanks for capturing my full cheeks Sis. :0)

 5 generations in 1 photo.  My Great Grandma in the peach, my Grandma in the blue, my Dad in the purple (ECU game day), My Step Mom on the end in blue, My older sis in the black and yellow with my nephew, and my niece in the gray in the center, then Leeland and I on the left.  (And I apologize that Leeland is covering the bump, thought about that after the fact.)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

He thinks I'm pumpkin crazy.

Hello October, and hello breezy, chilly air!  The past couple days have been quite chilly in NC and I am LOVING it.  Though I must admit that it makes me yearn for a bonfire, toasted marshmallows and a hayride.  Maybe before the season is over I will accomplish at least one of those things.  In the mean time, Daniel likes to think that I have gone pumpkin crazy!  I have made these  pumpkin chocolate chip muffins several times this season already-- a few batches just for us, one batch I took to a Mom's Night Out shindig, and one batch I shipped overseas to my brother-in-law in Iraq.  (Praying they're fresh when they arrive.) 

Now in the past week I have discovered 2 more pumpkin recipes.  One is a pasta recipe.  Last week when I went grocery shopping I spotted the October Rachael Ray magazine.  Dave Ramsey would call this an impulse buy, but I am choosing to call it an investment in my appetite.  I used to be crazy for her, but now that she has "made it big", has at least 5 different television shows that currently air, and her talk show is more about celebrities than cooking, I'm not as big of a fan.  Though I must say that around this time of year, each year, her magazine always draws me in.  I bet she has statistics to show it too-- I specifically remember purchasing the September or October catalog last year with a spread on recipes for apples.  Something about those red and orange colors, and the comfort foods of this season-- she must have a fabulous marketing team. So as I was flipping through I found a recipe for a pumpkin pasta.  She calls it "Pumpkin Patch Stuffed Shells."  The original recipe calls for ground beef, pumpkin, pasta shells, and spinach.  I tweaked it a little more to our liking and will share it with you. (Though, feel free to grab the magazine or look up her version, we preferred chicken and more cheese.)

Pumpkin Patch Pasta my way:
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Jumbo pasta shells (not a full box, I used around 25)
  • bag of fresh baby spinach
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4-5 chicken breasts baked and shredded
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin
Start by of course baking and shredding your chicken.  You want to get your chicken into pretty small bits so that you can stuff your shells with everything.  Boil your pasta shells to al dente and strain.  Cover them in the strainer, or in back in the pot with a wet towel so they stay moist.  Cook your baby spinach in a bit of water for a few minutes or until it wilts.  Drain the spinach, put it in a towel and really ring it out with all your might.  Chop the spinach so  you don't have a spinach clump. Cook your chopped onion in a bit of olive oil for about 7 minutes.   Add in your cooked chicken and mix.  Remove your pan from the heat and throw in your chopped spinach and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.  Mix well and let sit to cool.  Heat 2 cups of milk in the microwave.  In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, whisk in the flour and cool for a minute.  Then whisk in your milk a little at a time.  Bring the mixture to a boil and whisk for a minute.  Remove your milk mixture from the heat, add the rest of your cheese and your pumpkin.  Grease a 9x13 pan and smear about a 1/2 cup of your cheesy pumpkin sauce in the bottom.  Stuff your shells one by one with the chicken and spinach mixture and place into your pan open side down.  Once all of your shells are stuffed, pour the remainder of the cheesy pumpkin sauce over the shells.  Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, then let cool.  

When I told Daniel what all was in the pasta, he was hesitant to try it.  He literally put 2 shells on his plate because he was worried he wouldn't like it.  He said that he had only ever had pumpkin in sweets and it was weird that it was in dinner.  Well, let's just say he ate his words-- he LOVED the pasta!  Sweet victory!  It truly was delicious.  The pumpkin was very mild in the dish, but to me it was comforting to know it was there.

The next pumpkin dish was pumpkin (sort of) pancakes.  The pasta recipe didn't use up a full can of the pumpkin and I couldn't let that last bit go to waste.  I found a recipe for scratch made pancakes and attempted to tweak it.  I have never made pancakes from scratch.  I wanted to make them with wheat flour so I went in about half and half on wheat and white flour.  Added pumpkin and added spices like cinnamon and nutmeg along with some vanilla.  They were ok.  Nothing to write home about and not a recipe to share without tweaking some more.  They turned out SUPER thick, but they had nice Fall flavors to them.  And Leeland went nuts for them.  Maybe that will be something that I try again at another time with an actual recipe.