Friday, October 30, 2015

Jack and Isaac, 6 Month Comparison

These two boys. They have my heart. 

The bigger Isaac gets, the more shocked I am at how much he looks like Jack. I didn't expect that. Can you tell who is who?
Glorious Chubby Cheeks
 First Day in Cradle Roll Class at Church
 Sweet Cuddles for Mama
 Gimme Water. Now.
Little Thumb Suckers.
6 Month Photos

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Daddy's Night Out

I am a little behind on blogging – life seems to get super busy starting around mid-September and lasting through the end of the year. Juggling two kiddos makes me feel busier than ever. Anyways, I will be playing catch-up this week on my blog.

Last Thursday night was Daddy's Night Out at Jack's preschool. This meant that the dads got to go spend an evening with their kids at school. 

It involved a craft, snacks and a chance for the kids to share their preschool life with their daddy's. Thankfully Daniel was able to make sure he was home for this.

Jack was so sweet the week before the big event. He would tell us that there was going to be a "Daddy's Night" at preschool and that all he could tell us was that it was at his school and the rest was a surprise. He was so excited!

Evidently Daniel is 100 years old and has gray hair, according to Jack (he thinks all grown ups are 100 years old).

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan

I want to be as transparent as I can on my blog, and this last week I didn't do a lot of cooking. After being gone for a week, I am still settling into normal life. We ate out some and had a lot of leftovers. Sometimes that is just life! Here are the links to the recipes I tried this week, along with my thoughts on each:

Pumpkin Pie
[recipe from the Libby's]
You can never go wrong with Pumpkin Pie. I made this to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. Jack and I gobbled it up over the course of the week.

Spaghetti with Meat Pomodoro Sauce
[sauce recipe via FoodieCrush]
This is the same sauce I used with gnocchi a few weeks ago, and it worked great with Spaghetti as well. I added crumbled Italian sausage for some protein.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
[recipe via Jo Cooks]
I don't make a lot of casseroles, mostly because they make too many leftovers and there is only so many times you can eat leftover enchiladas, but this is a good dish. 

Probably better for a crowd though! I accidentally bought a green enchilada sauce instead of the red, but it still tasted good. I served it with corn chips (maybe carb overkill since the dish has rice it in), very good though.

Brown Sugar Turkey Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes and Carrots
[meatball recipe via Six Sisters]
I actually made this to take to a friend. It is some serious comfort food. I will have to make it again for us. Definitely a winner for a quick comfort food meal.

Oatmeal Cookie Smores Bars
[recipe via Crazy for Crust]
Talk about a crowd pleaser! I made this for our small group and it we about finished the pan off... granted the were 16 people that dug in, this stuff went fast!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Isaac is Six Months Old

Half a year in, can we really be at the six-month mark already?

This littlest boy of ours, he just keeps growing, and getting sweeter with each passing day. I don't know why we waited so long to have babies (well I do, but both of our boys sometimes make me wish we had started sooner).

Like his big brother, Isaac is a little charmer. He grins at everyone and lights up every room. I went to a ladies night out at church recently and took Isaac with me. I think I held him for 5 minutes all night long. Every time I looked up, he was in a different woman's arms. I'm thankful that he is so easy going and willing to be loved on by anyone.

Reading back at my six month recap of Jack, it is crazy how similar these two guys are. The tongue sticking out, the grinning, the intentional desire to drink from a glass at this age, the sucking on the thumb. It's all killing me (in a good way).

Isaac has had a rough go the last week-and-a-half. We went on vacation to Florida for Jack's fall break and Isaac decided to cut two bottom teeth. This has left both him, and me, sleeping very little. I know we will be past this phase soon, but it is tough when you are in the midst of the seemingly endless sleepless nights.

Even with the teeth pain, he has been super sweet during the day. He hums a lot – I think the vibration of humming makes his mouth hurt less.

Isaac thinks his big brother is hilarious and Jack loves to ham it up for Isaac. It is so wonderful to see this new, silly side of Jack.

Isaac has only rolled over twice. Mostly he doesn't seem to care at all about this milestone and, honestly, I haven't been in a hurry for him to start moving. Can't he stay little forever?

He can sit up unassisted, and meal times are getting to be challenging if he is being held because he wants to grab everything in front of him. At restaurants this is lots of fun as I have to keep my food about 18-inches away from me.

Speaking of food, this guy is so ready. This is the week we plan to start introducing him to solid foods. Like Jack we will be following the Baby-Led Weaning process. Meaning we will not feed him with a spoon at all – he will be totally self sufficient, with us there to guide the process. I will write a follow up on that soon. 

This past month, we took Isaac on his first visit to a Pumpkin Farm and Apple Orchard...

he got to experience his first bike ride...

his first ride on our four-wheeler...

as well as a couple of hikes (Stringers Ridge and Prentice Cooper)... 

and his second trip to the beach.

This little guy is a joy to parent and we continue to be endlessly thankful for our rainbow baby. We feel so fortunate and blessed by our family.

End of month stats:

Height: 26 inches (50th percentile)

Weight: 22 pounds (100th percentile)

Clothes: Fills out size 12 month clothes and uses size 4 diapers [whenever we use disposable]

Foods: Plan to start introducing foods this week.

Words: Continues to babble a ton.

Movement: He is so big, he hasn't really moved much. Likes to bounce in his jumparoo and sits really well.

Teeth: Two bottom ones have broken through.

*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

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
(We used a quilt from Daniel's family for the Jack photos, along wit the Tonka truck from Daniel's childhood). 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Hiking with Kids: Prentice Cooper

The last few days have been perfect examples of how I expect autumn to be. The air is crisp, the sky is blue, the leaves are falling, and the sun is warm. It's my favorite time of the year.

With such a gorgeous day on our hands, we felt like we couldn't waste it inside, so we gathered our brood and headed to Prentice Cooper State Park for a little walk in the woods.

Initially we planned to do a short hike from Shackleford Ridge Park to Mushroom Rock.

Unfortunately, we took a wrong turn somewhere and didn't make it to Mushroom Rock. Jack was disappointed, but since we live here, it will be easy to go back again.

This was Jack's longest hike to date – completing just under 2 miles round trip.

Almost as soon as we got in the woods he started complaining about being tired. We have discovered that he just needs a little motivation and encouragement to keep moving. And maybe a game.

I suggested he pick up the brightest red leaves he could find. It was a good distraction to keep him from whining, but it morphed into him wanting to try to pick up every leaf on the trail.

It's fall, there are a million leaves on the trail...

He also likes to throw rocks. Since that is bad trail etiquette, and he could hurt someone, we are trying to stop this before it turns into a bad habit.

So we helped him find a walking stick. The stick also doubles as a sword, amongst other things while walk.

When he says that he is low on energy, we stop for a water or snack break and then say, "Power up and Energize" like the transformers say in the TV show RescueBots.

As soon as he says it, he always starts sprinting down the trail. So much for not having any energy.

Hiking with a 3-year-old is challenging because it takes forever and requires a lot of patience and imagination to keep your kid motivated.

As for hiking with a baby, I carry Isaac on these walks (for now) and he sleeps for half the hike. When he is awake, he enjoys looking at the sunlight filtering through the trees.

Daniel wears our bigger backpack carrier in case Jack refuses to continue walking, but he is starting to build up stamina and seems to enjoy our outings in the woods.

We wrapped up our day by driving out to Cracker Barrel for supper. Jack passed out in the car and slept right up until our food arrived.

After supper, Daniel taught him how to play checkers. It was a perfect day. Power up and Energize!

Family Hike at Fiery Gizzard

On Saturday we had originally planned to go on a group hike on the Fiery Gizzard Trail , but it was cancelled at the last minutes. So...