Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Six Months and Some Change

Babies just grow up so fast.  Leighton seems to be growing up even faster than Paige.  I don't mean more advanced or baby genius or anything, it is just going by even faster than it seemed to with Paige.  Maybe its because we are watching two little girls grow and change before our eyes!  

Leighton is really blossoming into her personality!  She is such a happy, snuggly, playful baby!!  She is so ticklish, loves to cuddle, is enthralled with her sister and is "talking" nonstop!!!  

TONS of people told me our second born would be more docile and different than the first child.  All signs point to this child being equally as outgoing as Paige!  She even gets frustrated when Paige and I carry on a conversation and don't include her.  She will start "yelling" at us to include her!  She loves me to sing and dance with her, probably her favorite thing.  

She has been sitting up for several weeks, going from laying to sitting, doing lots of crawling type activities but hasn't quite mastered the traditional crawl just yet.  She is plenty strong enough--she does a pretty awesome Downward Dog (yoga pose) several times a day!  I can't believe how strong her arms are and she has been pulling up in her pack and play and on anything she can get to since last friday!!! 
She loves her family so much too!  Not just us but all her grandparents and Aunt Tiff and Uncle Bubby....and her puppy dog Oscar! She loves petting him now...and posing on his back side! Found this pic on the camera last night, daddy must have taken these:)  

She has been sleeping on her tummy for quite awhile now and has turned out to be a great napper!  She occasionally will wake up in the night but hopefully now that she is starting solids she will stay full in the night and be a champ sleeper!  

She has been eyeing our food since she was 4 months old!!  Its obvious she wants to know what its all about!  I follow the recommendation of our pediatrician and the majority of nutritionists and wait until 6 months of age to introduce solids.  Well last night she got to have cereal for the first time!!  She LOVED it!!  She did kind of practice the pushing the food back out like babies do but she actually ate the whole bowl of cereal!!  Paige and I kept telling her it only gets better from here!  I can't wait to start making baby food again! 

Disclaimer: I just finished hot yoga and look a mess and Paige just finished a battle with ketchup so is only half dressed...we may or may not usually look like this but I'd like you all to think otherwise:)

 I like how both of us have the same expression here! HA!

 I Love my daddy so I have to stop and smile at him!
 Look daddy, I FINALLY got REAL food!!
 And here's my tongue daddy!  I sure love my tongue these days too!  

Just when I think it couldn't be possible to love her more I do!  I was looking at the girls yesterday and I could literally feel my heart grow and swell!  Its amazing how much they love each other and each day get closer.  We love you so very much Leighton Kennedy and are so blessed to have you in our family!  I can't even imagine life without my girls and its had to even remember life without them!!  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Flowers Bring Butterflies

"Creating and maintaining a garden can be one of the most enjoyable things you'll ever do.  It's satisfying partially because of the results and partially because of the process itself.  Gardening calls on and develops skills that might otherwise lie dormant.  For example, designing a garden brings out the artist in almost everyone." -excerpt from Complete Home Gardening

I completely agree with this quote!  Each year I get a little better at picking things, placing them, buying enough, keeping alive, maintaining and working around my perennials.  It actually takes a WHOLE lot of brain power to work gardens, not to mention the physical power!  Its so amazing to see things come back in the spring and watch your garden fill up over the course of the spring/summer!  There isn't anything fancy about our flowerbeds but we sure love them and get lots of enjoyment out of them!  Paige spends tons of time digging, planting and learning about all of the creatures that take part in our gardens.  She loves chasing butterflies and hearing about them, bees, rolly pollys, worms, etc.  She has her own gloves, shovel, sun hat, watering can and flowers to tend to. She never picks our flowers and despises weeds!!

Why not use a dust pan in your gardening?!
 Flip flops are really comfy worn on the wrong feet, she promises! 
Hope you are enjoying the beautiful outdoors!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Every Day is Mother's Day...

The greatest gifts of my life was my husband and children!  The day I found out we were pregnant with Paige was indescribable.  That feeling you have when you are 5 years old and its Christmas morning...that's nothing compared to the feeling you get when you realize you have God's greatest gift...a new life.  I would do anything in this world for them, to protect them, to teach them, prepare them, show them, lead them, guide them, but most importantly--love them.  The day I found out we were pregnant with Leighton was equally amazing.  We prayed for these children and the Lord gave them to us.  I will never be grateful enough.  

 But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." Ruth 1 16-18 

Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful mother's out there, today, tomorrow and every day.  For those that yearn to be mother's, we fervently pray that you receive your request.  We pray for healing for those that have lost children.  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Baby Gypsy-4 Months

Where does the time disappear to?!  Leighton is 4.5 months old but we just went to her 4 month checkup on Friday since our doc was out of town.  She is so healthy, happy, wonderfully delicious and beaming with personality already!  I was going to do her 4 month post on Friday afternoon while Paige was napping but I literally could not stop kissing Leighton!  It is so incredibly difficult to put into words how much one loves their child(ren). I cannot imagine our family without her and its so special to see the bond between two sisters!  We are so incredibly thankful for both of these girls and how perfectly complete our family is with these girls!  

Here are some fun facts

Age: 4 months, 2 weeks
Weight: 16 pounds
Height: 26 inches
90% Height/90% Weight/90% head circumference 

Favorite toy: a plastic, hollow ball that is super colorful and easy to maneuver with her chubby little hands

Favorite food: mommy milk, but she looks at human food longingly for just one taste:).  We won't be starting solids until 6 months though so she will have to wait a bit longer! 

Activities: Rolling all over the place-she starting rolling over before she was 4 months old. She's ready to chase her sis! She even army crawls a bit.  Loves her exersaucer, snuggling, playing with Paige, taking naps in her stroller

Sleep: She is a great sleeper, still in our room for a bit longer.  She wakes occasionally for 1 night feeding lately (seems like a growth spurt) but will probably be ready to sleep in the pack-n-play in the spare room soon.  Since she and paige are going to share a room, I am going to wait to move her in there until they are on a pretty similar schedule.  As of now, they go to bed the exact same time but Leighton wakes at 5 am to eat then goes back to bed until 9:30 am.  I definitely don't want Paige up at 5 or Leighton getting woke up at 7:30 when P gets up!  Paige had this exact same schedule as a baby but it was not too long before she gave up the 5 am feeding. 

Development: Laughs hysterically-got her momma's laugh, reaches for things, awesome grip-has taken a few handfuls of Paige's hair out!, sucks her thumb occasionally to sooth herself, doesn't like pacifiers much, just like P but will occasionally take one for about 45 seconds then spits it out just as she falls asleep-this is wonderful to me, don't like the idea of having to break pacifiers!, sits and stands with support.  This little gal is so strong!  I guess she is just going to do things so fast because she watches Paige. I just can't believe how she is blazing through milestones.  I just want her to cuddle and be tiny a little longer:).  

Hair: Her dark hair fell out very early on and she has soft blonde hair now, with a tiny dark brown mullet in the back.  I will be cutting it off soon.  

Personality: She is such a delightful creature!  I know I am partial but I cannot take my eyes and my lips off of her!  Recently she and I went to pick up some food to go and a man and his wife (late 50's) stopped me because they couldn't stop starring at her and the man said "She is ever bit as cute as my own grandkids, that is one beautiful child!" I thanked him and he turned around and said "That baby is prettier than my grandkids..." as he was continuing on his wife's eyes got big and she said 'Honey, you can't say something like that!!  Come on!!" it was so funny!  Her tiny eyes just twinkle and you can see her gums from molar to molar when she smiles.  She lights up as soon as she sees her daddy!  Squealing and reaching for him!  He loves this age.  

She already knows her family!  When people hold her that she doesn't know, she doesn't cry but will keep an eye on me but she knows (and loves) her grandparents, aunt and uncle and several of our close friends.  She has a special bond with her pappy (Tyler's dad) and has the funniest look on her face every time he holds her.  Kind of like "I can do anything I want when I'm with this guy, don't mess with me!" HAHA  She is also mesmerized by Elmo and basketball on TV.  

Nicknames: Muffin, Baby Gypsy, Cake, Muffie, Susan Jr., Cuddles, Tator Tot

We Love you so very much Miss Leighton and love watching you grow & learn!!  You add so much to our family and our hearts, life is so much better with you in it!!  Love, mommy, daddy, paige & Oscie

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Quick & Easy & Delicious & Family-Approved

I have been dreaming up a beef stroganoff recipe for awhile. What type of beef? What method--crockpot or stovetop?? When taking my first go at it, turned out exactly how I wanted it to! Everyone in the house loved it!!! It made a ton too! Paige ate it for 2 days after for lunches-because she begged for it!

1 lb ground beef (season to taste)
1 bag organic egg noodles 
1 can cream of mushroom 
1 carton fresh mushrooms (sliced) 
1/2 cup sour cream 
1 packet beefy onion Lipton soup mix (the powder) 

 Brown your meat and get your water boiling. Once the meat is browned and seasoned with Lipton mix. Add in your mushrooms to start cooking. Once the mushrooms are partially cooked, drop your pasta. Add the cream of mushroom to your meat mixture and simmer a few minutes until heated through and mushrooms are cooked. Add sour cream at the end until warm then add in your noodles. If your sauce is too thick add a tiny bit of your pasta water to thin out a bit. I liked mine the way it was so the sauce was nice and creamy, not soupy. Served this with broccoli and crusty sourdough bread! So quick and simple and yummalicious!

UPDATE--I made this again today and used about a ladle full of pasta really depends how much water your mushrooms put out!  I thought about adding spinach this time but we have had enough spinach today i think!  

Things I Didn't Know I Loved...

Three years ago:

This beautiful deep green super food is packed with vitamins that are oh so good for you!  It has just the right crunch and is so yummy added to soups right at the end.  Trying it in a smoothie with peanut butter later from Jo the Baker's new cookbook my darling pal Leah sent me!!
My first experience with kale was  in the Zuppa Toscana soup from Olive Garden.  I make that soup exclusively at home now and fill a bowl with 2 or 3 huge handfuls of fresh kale then pour hot soup over it!  Divine!!!

YUM...I could eat lentils every day!!  I love lentil soup and this particular rice/lentil medley from Whole Foods.  So creamy and delicious!!
 I can't remember exactly what my first experience was with lentils.  I remember reading about them a lot a few years ago when I started researching feeding our family better and trying to come up with healthier dinner options.  They sounded very weird. I think lentil soup may have been the first...I haven't ever gone back!!  Bought this rice mix a while back and everyone in the house loves it!!

Almond Milk
I did some research on the coffee creamer I have been using for two years.  I knew all along it wasn't good for me but after trying out regular milk and having no luck--the milk gave me a tummy ache and wasn't tasty in the least!!  So I kept going back to the over processed, preserved, sugared, bleached coffee flavoring.  When I recently read more about what I was drinking, I decided it was enough to make a change.  I prayed Almond Milk would be a good enough substitution.  Of course it wasn't as delicious as the coffee creamer but like everything else, after a few days, I came to really like it.  I used half creamer/half almond milk a few days then threw out the creamer and did only almond milk and a tiny bit of sweetener for a couple days.  Now I use vanilla almond milk with my coffee, no sweeteners!!  I DID NOT do this to cut out calories, I did it for health purposes.  But, an added bonus is almond milk has a TON of calcium and about 1/4 the calories of the creamer I was using.  Paige and I also like it in our cereal when we run out of our cow milk!  We have no intentions of giving up cow milk but its good to know we have a backup!  

My Girls
Okay, this was supposed to be a food post but when I was re-reading the title I realized 3 years ago I never knew how much I would love these creatures!!!  I was pregnant with Paige and already loved her so much but in no way did I ever understand how much!!  Each day I love them more and with Leighton my heart grew even bigger!!  Here they are watching cartoons together and holding hands.  Completely un-prompted! Heart melted right onto the floor...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Food for Thought

In a society of "ME" centered people, it is important to have constant reminders of the people and situations that surround us.  I harp on this topic not to beat it into the 5 peoples heads that read my blog (ha ha ha) but as a constant reminder to myself and hopefully my girls will someday read my blog and have little reminders that it just isn't all about them.  Have you ever caught yourself judging someone or their situation? "Oh I would never...".  Be careful, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." John 8:7  

Below is an outline of Dr. Fowler's guest appearance at a local church.  Words to live by! Notes graciously provided by Nonny. 

The Essence of Christianity

Notes from:

The Transformative Power of an Enlightened Eye—Who is my Neighbor?
Dr. Ronald T. Fowler, March 25, 2012

Based on Luke 10

We must become a community of “Healers of the Wounded”
We must have eyes to really see the pain and struggle that others are going through.
We must give people reassurance that they are not alone.
We must remind them to give God the opportunity to do a work in their life.

Give them Shelter
The shelter of God’s word. Give them a scripture to hold onto.
The shelter of our arms. Love them every way you are able.
The shelter of the Father’s arms. Remind them of God's unconditional love.

Most important:
*Don’t let another person be devalued because of his current condition.
"A friend loves at all times." -Proverbs 17:17