Friday, November 20, 2015

Isaac is Seven Months Old

When Jack was a baby, every new milestone was thrilling and we were in a hurry to encourage him through each new stage. With Isaac I have a strong desire to go slow. It's partially a form of laziness (I know what is coming and the work involved), but mostly I want to savor these baby moments. I have been pretty lax in tummy time for our littlest boy and while we have begun to explore food, I just haven't been in a big rush to head down that road (after all it creates more work for me!).

Isaac is still not sleeping consistently through the night. We did have 3 nights in a row with 7-hour stretches, but teething and back-to-back colds have created setbacks. I know he will figure it out one of these days, but in the meantime, this mama is getting weary of waking up every 2-4 hours during the night.

While I haven't gotten on a consistent solid food schedule, we have introduced Isaac to quite a few foods this month. He still has a bit of a tongue thrust, so that can make food a challenge. We have tried avocado, oatmeal, mashed carrots, banana, pureed butternut squash with onions, mashed green beans, greek yogurt, pancakes, and pineapple juice (a tablespoon in a bottle really helped him get over some congestion). He loves to grab the spoon and is willing to taste everything. He made the funniest face over the butternut squash – he was not a fan, but allowed me to continue feed it to him.

Isaac is rolling over a bit these days, but really doesn't care about the tummy time process (my fault, see above). The thing he excels at is sitting. He is so big he has a good solid base to sit on. The first time I discovered he could do this, I had him reclined on a cushion on the couch and I walked away. I came back and he was sitting up completely unsupported, happy as could be!

This little guy has discovered a fascination with remote controls, cords and our cell phones. We have to keep them out of reach at all times! He also continues to love bouncing in his bouncer and anything that involves interacting with his big brother.

This month marked Isaac's first Halloween experience. We dressed him as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (so many rolls!) and as a fireman. As with most things, he was pretty chill about the costumes.

He is also starting to make little friends at the Y and at church. It is so sweet to see him lay on a blanket and jibber jabber with another baby. We recently had a group photo of the babies at our church and he was hugging on one of the little girl babies. It was so sweet.

He is definitely a little flirt. He grins and smiles big for pretty much everyone. That little tongue of his is always out. Jack did that too. Isaac loves to buzz his little tongue between his lips and will mimic us when we do it to him.

We have discovered that Isaac is ticklish and loves to laugh. He especially loves to laugh at his big brother and pretty much thinks anything Jack does is hysterical. If you laugh (or do any kind of partial laugh), Isaac immediately bursts into hilarious giggles. I think he is going to have a wonderful sense of humor.

When Isaac gets excited, he buries his head in my chest, but quickly looks around to find whatever it was that amused him. I love seeing his littler personality emerge.

He hasn't got any more teeth in, but he has discovered that he likes to bite my shoulder. Thankfully that is the only place he bites me. I just hope he doesn't turn into a biter. We didn't have to deal with that with Jack and I might need tips on how to deal with it if it becomes a problem! Right now Isaac is fighting off a cold and a mild ear infection. Hopefully that will be the extent of his sickness for the year!

*As with Jack, I will be posting monthly updates of Isaac on a quilt (inherited from my Grandma), next to a yellow Tonka truck (a toy from Daniel's childhood). 
Isaac at One Month  |  Isaac at Two Months  |  Isaac at Three Months  |  Isaac at Four Months  |  Isaac at Five Months  | Isaac at Six Months 


A Look Back:
Jack at One Month  |  Jack at Two Months  |  Jack at Three Months  |  Jack at Four Months  |  Jack at Five Months  |  Jack at Six Months  |  Jack at Seven Months
(We used a quilt from Daniel's family for the Jack photos, along wit the Tonka truck from Daniel's childhood).

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan

Thankfully I have a 4-year-old who will eat almost anything (or at the very least try new things). I am a big believer in introducing as many kinds of foods as possible to my kids, not to mention I just like to try new things. So really, by default, my family kind of has to try new things. Here are the meals I cooked recently:

Loaded Steak Nachos 
[recipe from Delightful-E-Made]

This meal was a winner with everyone in our family. It was a quick and easy mid-week meal. Daniel had to eat it rewarmed because he worked late, but it still tasted good reheated in the oven an hour later.

BBQ Salmon and Crispy Chickpea Salad
[recipe from How Sweet It Is]

Jack is rarely interested in soups or salads, so for him I typically make a deconstructed version of our meal. In the case of this meal I let him skip the salad part and served it with a side of rice along with the corn and roasted chickpeas. 

The salmon had a pretty strong BBQ rub on it, so I was surprised that Jack gobbled it up. Daniel and I both really enjoyed the combination of flavors in this dish.

Mexican Tortilla Casserole
[recipe adapted from A Cup of Jo

For a twist on Taco Tuesday, I made this Mexican Tortilla Casserole and it was a hit. I made it to share with a friend and it was easy enough to double the recipe at the time of assembly. Instead of doubling the beans, I chose to add browned ground beef instead. This dish works great as leftovers.

Rotini With Butternut-Sage Sauce
[recipe adapted from A Cup of Jo]

When making this dish I decided to add crumbled sausage for some extra protein. Also since Isaac is in the beginning stages of learning to eat, I saved some of the pureed butternut squash and onions for him to have separate from the pasta. He ate a decent amount but made a face every time I spooned it into his little mouth!

This dish is a healthier version of homemade Mac-N-Cheese. The pureed squash serves as the sauce instead of cheese. I barely noticed that there was no cheese in this dish and Jack gobbled it up without a second thought.

Naan Personal Pizzas

So this recipe was a repeat from a couple of weeks ago. This time I used Naan bread instead of Pita. I think I prefer the Pita. Both are delicious though. I chopped up mushrooms as small as I could before sauteing them, in an effort to sneak them onto the pizza. Both Daniel and Jack noticed. You win some, you lose some. 

This meal is great if you need to make something quickly (plus it is easy to customize). I actually ran out of cheese and had to grate little packets of cheese – oops!

Chai Latte 
[recipe from Live Simply]

I recently dug out an espresso machine that I received for Christmas several years ago. I have been treating myself to daily lattes. I decided to try out a Chai Latte in my machine. It worked out fairly well – I just placed the tea bags and spices in my coffee filter and then steamed my milk as usual. It turned out pretty well. The linked recipe tells you how to make this drink on the stove top without an espresso machine.

Monday, November 16, 2015

TopConTn 2015

This past Saturday I took off my mommy hat for the day and spent the entire day wearing my designer hat. Since entering the freelance world and become a full-time mommy, I really don't get many opportunities to immerse myself in the design world. I spent my day with a fellow designer at the TopCon design conference here in Chattanooga at Track29.

The day was a little tricky for me in that I am still nursing Isaac, but Daniel and I were able to coordinate so that he met me right before lunch and then again right before the last speaker of the day. Getting to hear speakers in my field was inspiring for me, and Daniel (along with the help of his sister, Amy) had a fun day with the boys. Isaac did melt down at the end of the day, but the witching hour is always hard no matter who is with the boys.

James T. Edmondson sharing his process for creating fonts.

From a strictly design point of view, my favorite speakers were James T. Edmondson of OhNo Type Company and Bethany Heck from Microsoft. Overall fine artist, Wayne White, did a fantastic job of wrapping up the conference encouraging the attendees to find the things they love and pursue them – even if it is crazy puppets.

Bethany Heck questions the rules regarding typefaces.

Illustrator, Logan Faerber, shared some of his failures and mistakes on his journey as an illustrator, and art director, Adé Hogue, shared his 6 crushing doubts. Doubts and mistakes are things all of us can identify with at some point in our careers.

Wayne White shares his crazy adventures in fine art including his work on Pee Wee Herman.

James Edmondson shared his process for developing typefaces and Bethany Heck went into depth about not being afraid to break the so-called rules of only using 3 typefaces in one work. I think the more experience you have under your belt (and more understanding of the design process) it becomes easier to break these rules. Fresh out of college, it is easier to make mistakes just by not having a good grasp of why you should or shouldn't combine certain elements.

 Logan Faerber shared some of his failures and mistakes, working with Marvel.

Adé Hogue shared his 6 crushing doubts and ways to stay creative.

It was fun getting to screen-print our own t-shirts. Print-making was among my favorite classes in college and I have always thought it would be fun to pursue again at some point. Fresh out of college, I actually purchased the equipment, but I didn't have a good space and I never really got it going. Maybe as my boys get older I will be able to create a studio space at my house. Who knows?

I am feeling very inspired and looking forward to implementing some of what I learned on Saturday into some of my upcoming projects. I have to say that I feel very blessed to have the clients that I have and that I am able to combine a lifestyle of being a stay-at-home mother who can also continue to freelance and keep my creativity flowing. 

Motherhood has maybe been a slight step back for me professionally, but it hasn't meant losing myself, or my profession. I am so grateful to be able to do both.

Friday, November 13, 2015

S'mores with the Moores Birthday Party, Jack's 4th Birthday Party

For some reason October through the end of the year always feel extra crazy. This is the fourth time we have had a birthday party for Jack (though a first time to do it with friends) and we were still scrambling to put it together in a timely manner.

How do birthdays always sneak up on us? Are we alone in this mad scramble?

Anyways, this year we decided to invite a few friends over to celebrate with Jack. He had one specific request: he wanted a pinata. We went to a party earlier this year with a pinata (he called it a piranha) and he was enamored. 

Daniel and I quickly decided on a woodsy-outdoors theme and sent out an invite via Facebook (I'm falling down on the job, there were no printed invitations this year). 

I then said a little prayer that the weather (in November no less) would cooperate and then started perusing Pinterest for party ideas.

Besides the plan for S'mores, I thought an outdoor nature scavenger hunt would be fun, and then of course, we had the pinata.

While Friday was sunny and warm, Saturday we experienced a huge drop in temperature, along with rain. Boo.

This basically meant I had to scrap the S'mores and scavenger hunt idea. At the last minute, I found some animal silhouettes that I printed off and set out on the table, along with kraft paper, glue, markers and leaf stickers. I figured I couldn't go wrong with stickers. We also moved Jack's tent from our screened in porch to the living room.

The kids arrived and had a blast. They weren't bothered by what we didn't get a chance to do. And when they started to fight over who got to play with what, I directed them all to the dining room table for my last-minute craft. The kids decided they were making treasure maps – sure, whatever you want to make is fine by me!

After our craft, we celebrated with Owl Cupcakes that Jack helped to make (thank you Pinterest!, though mine were not nearly as pretty as the online photos I found). But they were delicious!

And finally we let the kids hit the pinata. Jack had a blast, and I'm pretty sure his friends had fun too. I am working on relaxing a bit and enjoying the party and going with the flow. 

I will probably always do a bit of decorating and making things (nothing wrong with that), but I'm trying to find balance and not go overboard.

We still have all of the ingredients for S'mores with the Moores... 
I guess we just have to save that for another day!

Birthday Parties from Years Past: 


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