Monday, September 22, 2014

A day in the life of little JT.

I was always curious what it was like to live on a baby's schedule before actually having one of my own. I had heard it all. You never sleep. You never shower. 'My baby slept through the night at 2 weeks'. 'My baby is 2 years old and still hasn't slept through the night'.
At the end of the day, I realize every baby really is different, as I really can't equally compare our experience to any other that people have told me about. And while one of the wonders of the baby lifestyle is that it is ridiculously spontaneous (I mean, why not poop on a brand new outfit, or wake up 7 times to eat in one night?), we have gotten into somewhat of a schedule in the past week or two. Taking an average of the good days, the bad days, and the zombie on auto-pilot days, I have put together a little walk through of a day in the life of my handsome man/his busy mama.

12:00am: this is usually the time Jackson wakes up for the first time to eat. On our best night he has made it until 2am, our worst night he goes to bed at 9pm to wake right back up at 10:30. On average though, 12:00-1:00am is where our first middle of the night party is at. We eat, we cuddle, and he is back in his crib within half an hour or so.
2:00am: party number two (or one, if mama is lucky!) eat, burp, cuddle, and back to bed.
4:30am: wake up again. Usually after his 2am feeding, he goes back to bed, but not for more than 2 hours at a time. Our long stretch is typically when he first lays down to that first feeding, about 4 or so hours. If I want rest, that is when I'm gonna get it.
6:00am: despite partying all night, sleep is usually done for the night at this time. I let Jackson snuggle in bed when Mike leaves for work, and even if he is awake he is usually so content to cuddle that I can manage another hour or so to lay in bed.
7:00am: MOMMMM I'm hungry!!!!
7:30am: happy, milk drunk baby smiles, looks around and cuddles while mom drinks her much needed coffee.

8:30am: we go out for a run. I am so in love with my jogging stroller, I have already gotten so much use out of it. It is made to fit our carseat, so it clicks right in facing me, so I can watch my boy while I run. My little man LOVES being in the stroller, he is happy 99% of the time if he is going for a ride.
looking stylish and ready for my walk!

9:30am: mama showers, baby snoozes in his bouncer/swing.
checking out my mobile

9:35am: MOMMMM I'm hungry!!! I literally barely make it out of the shower before he demands more food. Luckily I am the master of quick showers.
10:00am-12:00pm: this tends to vary from day to day. Sometimes we go into town and run errands, sometimes we grab lunch with grandma, and sometimes mama tries to clean the house. On days where Jackson is particularly demanding, I am able to fold approximately 2 pieces of laundry at a time before he demands to be picked up/held/cuddled/fed. On those days, we spend a LOT of time on the couch..
im just going to keep spitting out my nuk and then crying for it. repeatedly.

12:00-4:00pm: again, this timeframe varies from day to day, but for the most part I get baby to nap for at least 2 or so hours during this time frame. While he sleeps, I clean, I cook, and when I'm feeling like it, I bake the goodies that I later blog about (brown butter banana brownies, mmm). People say nap when baby naps...
This picture says it all. Very occasionally I squeeze in a nap, but most of the time I squeeze in tasks that keep me feeling sane.

4:00pm: dad gets home and enjoys some baby cuddles.
4:05pm: MOMMMMM..(I think you all know what he wants..)
5:00pm-6:00pm: somewhere in here, we eat dinner. Usually the babe decides he is hungry right as we sit down with food in front of us, which means I stare at my plate of food while feeding him. I pass him off to Mike the second he is done eating and try to enjoy my meal before it is TOO cold.
6:00pm: TV. Mike and I squeeze in a show, talk about our days, or play with our baby. Real exciting things.
7:00pm: depending on the day, this is when we do bath time. On no-bath days, we wait a little later before switching into some baby jammies. You know, from his soft, comfortable, daytime baby clothes.
cuddly in my jammies.

7:30pm: baby eats meal number 50 (at least that's what it seems like) of the day. Some days we give him a bottle at this time so Mike can feed him, some days I just feed him because it's easier. He likes to constantly spit out the bottle, take burp breaks, and get distracted by shiny things, making his final meal of the evening an hour long process.
but mom I don't want to sleep, I just want to cuddle and stare at you
(seriously, how do I say no to this face).

8:30pm: if he doesn't fall asleep while eating, we go in his room and rock, while mom tries to sing. Despite my lack of talent, he seems to like it, and a couple songs are usually enough to put him out.
9:00pm: Mike and I squeeze in watching a show, or some nights I am off to bed almost immediately after baby. After all, only three hours until we wake up to do it all over again...
sleeping, for now..

This is a tentative schedule, and it can change so much from day to day. In fact, the last two nights he stuck it out in his crib until 5:30am, and only woke up twice (this is a good thing, compared to his prior trend of every 2 hours...)
I am working hard to ease into a schedule that I can transfer over once I go back to work, but not too hard. I am enjoying every day of being home with my little guy, and while I am pretty sure I am going to cry the day I have to go back to work, I think I will enjoy having an entire half hour over lunch to eat, uninterrupted.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Baby Boy Style.

I like to shop. I like to dress nice. I like discovering fashion 'finds'. It is pretty clear that shopping for a baby girl is easier than for a boy. Pink, frills, and bows. Easy, cute, done. Little boys...not so easy. I am not a fan of the shirts and outfits covered in animals, characters, and witty sayings. Unfortunately, this is about 99% of what you will find when shopping to dress a little mister. I started hunting the day I found out my little J was a little man, and have started to find the best go to places for stylish, quality clothes.

#1, similar here / #2 / #3 / #4 / #5

1. Okay, this isn't baby boy clothing, but I just absolutely love my diaper bag and have to share. Vera Bradley makes such great items, and when I found this bag at an outlet store in Nashville while I was traveling for work at 50% off, I had to have it. It may be covered in flowers, but with the blue, black, and white, it works for a boy or a girl. It has a ton of space, comes with a matching changing pad, and has been great for hauling around all the demands of my high maintenance little man.
2. I. love. these. jeans. Any baby jeans really. Their little booties could not look cuter than when they are rocking a pair of baby jeans. I love that these are lined with a cotton waistband, and also that they can be rolled. I have learned very quickly that babies are not ones size fits all! My little man is filling out, but he isn't exactly a chunker, but he is plenty long. Adjustable length clothing is where it's at.
3. I love these waffle knit onesies from Old Navy. I ordered it in red, and they are just so cute, and the little buttons really dress up the fact that your baby is wearing a onesie, yet it is still super comfortable for baby when you are lounging around the house.
4. I have always said that I love when baby boys 'dress like a grandpa'. This cardigan brings sense to that statement. I put Jackson in this sweater and some baby jeans and just about died. It is also soft and comfortable, and my main man was comfy all afternoon in this, and looked ridiculously stylish.
5. Fall weather kicked in early in Minnesota this year, and with our string of 50 degree days, this jacket has already come in handy. Macys always has crazy good sales and promo codes, so don't let high pricetags scare you. NEVER should you pay full price at Macys (or anywhere, really). This jacket has a fuzzy lining, is super thick, but can also be pulled off as a sweatshirt. We will be getting lots of use out of this, for sure.

I also want to point out, which is the best. There is almost always a promo code, discount, special, etc. going on for just about any website you can think of, and they are all housed on this website. There is also an app! I never need to print and cut coupons, I simply enter the store into the app and any current promotions or codes that they have are pulled up. This app has determined whether I make a purchase more than once (what's that you say, take an additional 30% off, well it's practically free, I just have to buy it now...)

Overall, I have enjoyed shopping for a baby boy way more than I expected. It is not as easy as little girls, but with a little searching and the goodness of internet searches, I have one well dressed little dude.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I try Pinterest recipes, some are seriously up to the hype.

Last weekend was technically the first weekend of fall (because Labor Day is the last day of summer, right?) and it felt like it! Friday was just perfect. If I could bottle up the weather and have every day of the year be just like that, I would. The little man did NOT sleep well the night before, so we had a lazy day. He went down for a nap around lunch time, and I decided to try out a Pinterest recipe. I had plans to run to the store for whatever goods I might need, but after our rough night I just didn't have it in me to take my babe out of his crib. Besides, he has to learn how to sleep in there eventually! So, I looked in my kitchen and saw..ripe bananas. I turned to my desserts page on Pinterest and found this. And I actually had every single ingredient on hand, which never happens. Ready, GO.

Let me tell you, this recipe is every bit as good as it is made out to be. The frosting is seriously so delicious, I was tempted to just eat spoonfuls and not put it on the dessert. I displayed some self control, and most of the frosting ended up in the right place.

I will point out the recipe calls for an 11x15 pan, which I don't have, so I just went with a 9x13. This made these very un-brownie like (not a bad thing). I would 100% say my finished product was a cake. That is fine by me, because really I can never say no to cake.

1.5 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter, softened 
***I only had 1 stick of butter and the frosting also calls for it, so I substituted 1/2 cup coconut oil. Tasted great and a little bit healthier!
2 eggs
3-4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
***I didn't have walnuts, so I threw in some pecans instead

1/2 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. milk

1. Heat oven to 375 Fahrenheit. Grease your baking pan.
2. Beat together sugar, sour cream, butter(coconut oil) and eggs until creamy.
3. Add in bananas and vanilla extract.
4. Add flour, baking soda, and salt.
5. Add nuts.
6. Spread into pan and bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown (For the 9x13 pan, I upped my bake time to 30-35 minutes).

7. For frosting, put stick of butter in a saucepan. Heat over medium until boiling. Let the butter turn a light brown, and once this happens remove from heat immediately.
***I was unsure about this, but if you watch it closely, you will see the change in color from yellow to brown. If you let it go too long, it will turn into 'burnt' butter, not good.

8. Whisk in the butter, vanilla extract, and milk.
9. Spread frosting over the brownies while they are still warm (this will help it spread smoothly). 

I would make these every day if I could. They make a great dessert, but would also be awesome with coffee/at a breakfast event. SO GOOD. I can't get over it.

For more awesome recipes, check out

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

One Month.

Not sure when this happened. It has already been a month since our little man made his grand arrival. It seems like forever ago, and it also seems like two seconds ago. Last Friday was his official 'due date', so we spent that day comparing how he is to what we think he would have been had he been born that day. He is packing on the pounds/ounces, and is becoming so alert. He loves to just stare, and give shifty sideways glances. Mom and dad are both serious people, so it only makes sense that he has already mastered his grumpy face. He does slip us a real smile every now and then. He reflex smiles all the time, usually accompanied by his little joker laugh. I'm not sure what's so funny, but his 'laugh' is adorable and he can do it any time he wants.

Age: one month
Height: 20.5 inches at his 2 week appointment, he has definitely grown since then, as is proven by his newborn sleepers being too small :-(
Weight: 7 pounds 6 ounces at the two week appointment. Not sure exactly where he is at now but he is definitely filling out, I am dying to find out his official number, we have to wait until his 2 month appointment for updates but we are for sure in the 8 pound, if not 9 pound range!
Milestones: He has started to hold his head up! This is usually just for short periods of time, but still exciting. It makes lifting him up/passing him off to Mike much easier and a little less nerve wracking. He is a strong little guy! He has also slipped us a few smiles that started around 3 weeks. They are pretty far and few between, but when he shoots you a big, toothless grin, there is no denying it!
Sleep: Sleep is not yet our friend. On the good nights he wakes up 3 times...I have figured out I need to go to bed myself by about 9pm, and at least that way I get a little extra shut eye before we begin our all night party. Everyone says 'nap when they nap', but if we are being honest, nap time usually means do laundry/clean the living room/cook dinner/sit on the couch by myself and enjoy the silence. I nap best when the little man is snuggled up on my chest, which might be part of the reason why he doesn't seem particularly impressed by being alone in his bassinet..
Best Moment: Those smiles! After a particularly sleepless night (which is every night, lately) I went downstairs to make some coffee, and the sunrise was really pretty so I went over to the window to let the little guy have a look. I was chatting away and explaining the sunrise to him (I'm sure he understands) and I looked down and got the BIGGEST string of smiles. It made every sleepless night worth it a million times over.
Worst Moment: I may have been changing a diaper at 3am, and he may have decided to go #2 mid change, and it may have projectiled so far that it hit the wall..
Health: He is doing fantastic. For being early, he had zero complications, no jaundice, no issues gaining weight, etc. He is just a little champ!
Eating: This is his favorite pastime. Sometimes, he seems to forget that he is eating and will start to cry, only to realize two seconds later the food is literally in his mouth at which point he quickly stops the crying and resumes the eating. He always keeps us entertained.
Teeth: No! Let's hope those hold off until he is on a bottle the majority of the time..

We love our champ more and more every day, and we can't wait to see how he changes in the next month!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day baking session

As we finally get into somewhat of a routine with a baby, I felt the need to do some baking. I LOVE to bake. I also love trying out new things and discovering new recipes. After hearing someone mention they had been craving black and white cookies, I was intrigued. How had I never heard of these? I did some hunting (on Pinterest of course) and found lots of recipes for these mystery cookies I had never heard of. I found a recipe that looked good, bought up the ingredients (most of which are likely already in your pantry) and dove in.

I was a bit surprised at how time consuming they were to make when it was all said and done. They weren't the most tedious thing I had ever baked, but they definitely are NOT your quick batch of chocolate chip cookies. For the 200th time since receiving it as a wedding gift, I was SO grateful for my kitchenaid mixer. To think I used to cream butter and sugar BY HAND. I am not sure how I survived, really.

One thing I really liked about these cookies was the slightly citrus flavor from the lemon extract. It added just a touch of additional tartness to contrast the more rich flavor of the icing. I would definitely make these cookies again, when I have a whole afternoon open, and perhaps once I have a baby that can take a bottle who doesn't demand a meal as I am halfway through icing ;-)


4 cups cake flour (I could not find cake flour at the grocery store, but I found a conversion online to use all purpose and subtract 2 tablespoons per every 1 cup. This worked fine for me!)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. lemon extract
1 cup milk

Glaze (both the white and dark)
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup water
5 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
milk, as needed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the cookies, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

In large mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar gradually, and beat on medium/high for about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Blend in the eggs, vanilla, and lemon extracts.

On low speed, blend in the flour mix and milk, alternating between the two, starting and ending with the flour mix. (so, add 1/4 the flour mix, 1/3 the milk, the next 1/4 of the flour mix, etc.)

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place six 1/4 cup globs of dough on each sheet (12 cookies total). This will use half of your batter (you will end up baking two 'batches', 4 sheets of cookies, for 24 total cookies). Moisten your fingers with water and gently press the dough into disks 2.5 inches wide and 3/4 inches thick.

Bake the cookies for 20 minutes, switching the racks the two sheets are placed on half way through a the 10 minute mark. Cool completely before icing.


Using a double boiler, or placing a bowl over a saucer of boiling water, melt down the chocolate. Set aside. (I found this shouldn't be done TOO soon, to ensure the chocolate doesn't harden.

Bring the corn syrup and water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the confectioners sugar and vanilla.

Add 3/4 cups of the glaze to the chocolate and mix well.

To ice, begin with the white glaze and frost half of the BOTTOM of each cookie. I read this and it seemed strange, but after completing them it makes sense, as the bottom provides a nice, flat surface to ensure you get the 'black and white' effect. Allow the glaze to harden, about 10-15 minutes.

Repeat the process on the other side of the cookie with the chocolate glaze.

Store in an airtight container.


mid icing/process, baby decided he was hungry, so Mike took over icing the chocolate side. at least a few cookies still turned out semi-pretty..ahh, a man's decorative touch.

These were definitely tasty. They are also big cookies, so they would be great to bring to a party or to make when you have guests. I usually pack up half of anything I bake almost immediately to be given to family, and these big, low calorie cookies were no exception. Their bellies (and my waistline!) always thank me!

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