Monday, April 28, 2014

No... I'm not Mexican, but close

I've been secretly getting excited about Cinco De Mayo.  And no, I'm not Mexican.  (I am however Spanish) Apparently, to most people in this country it's pretty much the same.  We all speak Spanish, eat rice and beans... you know the same thing.  During my college years, I was very defensive that Mexicans and Spaniards were two different sets of people with very different ways of life.  I mean, if anything the countries are on two separate continents! ... but as time went on, I've learned to embrace the similarities and most of all Cinco De Mayo.  Another excuse to enjoy some delicious Mexican food and drinks! Who doesn't love a good themed dinner?

So in honor of Mexico and their culture we will be celebrating too.
For dinner, we'll be having some yummy quesadillas since apparently I make too many enchilladas as it is. (For you Andrew) Also some Mexican street corn.
For dessert, how about my personal favorite; churros - which by the way I had as a child living in Spain.  I have so many memories of the crunchy and gooey dessert dipped and super thick hot chocolate.  Personally, I claim them as being a Spanish dessert, but who really knows.

I like to use the Betty Crocker recipe you can find here. It's easy to make, doesn't have too many ingredients and you can dip them in whatever you want to make the super fancy.
Noah and I will also rock our festive wear too.  My "fiesta like there's no manana" sweatshirt and Noah's 'wanna taco 'bout it" shirt.  Similar here. Pictures to follow I'm sure.

What will you be doing for Cinco De Mayo?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Week 45

I feel like every week that passes is my favorite week.  I wonder if there will be a week where I enjoyed him less than the week before.  His night time snuggles are the best.  He's really starting to figure out this walking thing and it's getting me so excited from playing outside in the summer.  He never sits still and has to be doing something at all times. Is this just a boy thing or a baby thing? I know it can't be just a Noah thing.
I've given up on taking these weekly pictures without a toy; some kind of distraction.  He just rolls over and goes away!  Here we have his favorite toy in the whole wide world.  Rufus the dog.  He sleeps with it every night and sucks on the tag on his butt.  lol. He will hate me for this one day.  At least he doesn't take a pacifier, right?
  • Noah is how big?: 24 lbs, 31.5in
  • Stats: Size 3-4 diapers | 12mo or 18mo clothing | Tries to do sit ups || Stands holding on to objects | Can sit to stand | Still only army crawls | Starting to put things together, stacking cups, stacking rings...etc | Walk holding onto objects | Takes 4-6 steps on his own | Sleeps with his butt in the air |
  • Sleep: Sleeping consistently from 7:30pm to 7:30am. Naps three times during the day. A morning, an afternoon (both 1.5-2hrs) and a cat nap (45min)  We're slowly starting to drop that third nap. Some days if he naps longer the first two we cut the third one out.  He should be at two by his birthday.
  • Milestones: He took like eight steps this weekend unassisted.  Both Jeff and I looked at each other very impressed. 
  • Mom Check-in: I feel like I've been working every weekend lately and it's starting to get a little old.  This weekend will be my last until the fall! About time.  Not looking forward to work in the summer, it's just so slow. This however means I'll be taking tons of time off to spend with the boys.
  • Best Moment of the Week: He was great all Easter day and was really fun to hang out with.  He loves his parents so very much.  It's good to finally feel loved by your child. Now we have to get him to say I love you.
  • What I’m excited about/looking forward to: I really should be packing for Mexico.  It seems so far away, and it's not!  I got to get it together.  I did order some cute summer skirts from Old Navy last week.  Excited to get them in the mail.  I also bought two post pregnancy bathing suits I'll be rocking for the first time so that should be something to get used to.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Sunday

How was your Easter weekend?  I'd like to say we had the whole weekend to enjoy this nice weather but both Jeff and I had to work on Saturday, boooo!, so we made the best of Sunday and spent most of the day with the family.   We had a great Easter brunch and Noah even had his own highchair.  Thank goodness too because I was coming in thinking how big of a mess it would have been otherwise. 

We had Noah all dressed up in his Sundays best but it only lasted about an hour when it was time to play.  He did make a great entrance though.

After brunch we came back home to open up Easter baskets, do our egg cracking contest... (did not win unfortunately), and just hang out for a while.  We tried to have Noah take a nap in his pack and play but he pretty much refused.  He must have just wanted to hang out with the fam too.

We put Noah in some comfier clothes and went outside to take some family pictures.  Note to first time parents: if you want to take nice pictures, probably not a great idea to wait 'till the end of the day.  That should be the first thing you do!
We're lucky to have so much family together for holidays. Happy first Easter Noah!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Party Planning

It's getting close guys! We're about seven weeks away from Noah's first birthday.  As I've said before, it's such a big deal for me. I've been waiting for this since he was born.  I was just never meant to be a mom to a baby. Toddler I can handle, but I just do not have the kind of patience it takes to take care of a newborn. So, in a way, this is a celebration for me too. (Not to mention my birthday is the day before anyway.)

So thoughts of this party started to swirl around about a month ago.  Should I do a theme, a color? What should I serve, how many people should we invite?  I think the first birthday is a little different than the rest.  There are milestone birthdays and this is one of them.  So we're planning on inviting all the family in the area, and some close friends.  It's a lot of people. We've decided to do it graduation style, that way anyone can come and go as they please.  We'll put the time of the cake smash on the invitation if anyone wants to watch. Otherwise, it'll be a come and go party. 

So about a month ago, I drew this:
With all my thoughts and ideas. On the tiniest piece of paper I could find.  lol. No idea why.  And I came up with a color scheme I liked and threw out the theme idea because I kind of thought that was a little cheesy.  Especially since Noah doesn't really know what's going on and the adults are the ones to enjoy this party anyway. 

We're going for black and white and silver with pops of blue. So this weekends I've gotten super crafty with my time and got to work!

So far, we've got the NOAH black letters for the food table (I also found the cutest cake stand at PIER1), the cake topper, the "one" banner for the high chair and some little cupcake toppers.  I found the best glitter paper at hobby lobby for most of the projects.  It's much thicker than regular paper and holds up much better.  I also purchased a great black and white runner to put on the food table, some stripped straws in blue and silver for the guests, and a great silver garland.  I think all that's left is the food and the balloons and we should be ready to roll! Who's getting pumped. 

I will be enjoying a cold beverage for sure on this birthday. Yay Noah for turning one. Thank goodness I've almost made it!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spinach Sausage Frittata

I came across a frittata recipe a couple of days ago that looked super easy, but the ingredients just weren't something I'd eat.  Frittatas are so simple that making changes doesn't really affect the way it'll turn out.  You can use this basic recipe to make your own and then change up the toppings as you please.

It's a healthy alternative for dinner and you could even make it meatless too.

8 Eggs
1/2 Medium Onion
6 Pre-cooked Sausage Links
1 C Spinach
1/2 C Milk
1 C Cheddar Cheese
Salt + Pepper

1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
2. Whisk all your eggs in a large bowl. Add milk and mix.
3. Cut your sausage links into pieces and all to egg mixture. Add onion (chopped) and spinach.
4. Mix all ingredients in the bowl and pour into a greased pie pan.
5. Cook 40-45 minutes until it's set and not jiggly in the middle.  If you're unsure just grab the pie pan and give it a lite wiggle and see what the middle does.  Maybe you need to put it in for a couple more minutes.
6. Enjoy!

One of the easiest things you'll ever make!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 44

Here we are starting our 45th week!  Less than two months 'till Noah's birthday and it's been a long countdown for me.  I've been waiting for his first for what seems like forever.  As much as I've been wishing this first year away I've been trying to hold on to the moments too.  With all the moving around Noah's been doing bed time comes fast for him.  He's so tired at the end of the day that even our fun baths he's so over.  We've been doing major cuddling before bed which I've loved every moment of.  Finally last night he was so tired that he fell asleep on me after our bedtime bottle.  And that never happens. Tuckered little boy.

  • Noah is how big?: 24 lbs, 31.5in
  • Stats: Size 3-4 diapers | 12mo or 18mo clothing | Tried to do sit ups || Stands holding on to objects | Can sit to stand | Still only army crawls | Starting to put things together, stacking cups, stacking rings...etc | Walk holding onto objects |
  • Sleep: Sleeping consistently from 7:30pm to 7:30am. Naps three times during the day. A morning, an afternoon (both 1.5-2hrs) and a cat nap (45min)
  • Milestones: He's finally starting to get a little more ballsy with his walking. Still cautions but takes some calculated risks.  Instead of being parallel to an object while walking he will now walk side by side and make the corners. He's taken a couple of steps unassisted but quickly needs to hold onto something to be steady again.
  • Mom Check-in: After working fourteen of sixteen days I was ready for a break this weekend and unfortunately did not feel like I ever got one. I'm thankful for Jeff to be home for the next couple of days.
  • Best Moment of the Week: Oh man, he's been so grumpy. Maybe he's teething again? Going thru a growth spurt?  Who knows.... but those bed time cuddles are just too good.
  • What I’m excited about/looking forward to: Less than a month 'till our Mexico trip!
And finally, in honor of this warm weather I've been asking for at least five months, Noah and the fam enjoyed some much needed sun.  And of course I had to put him in this ridiculous outfit because there is only so much time in a childs life when you can pick their clothes without their whining.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pulled Pork Wonton Rolls

Occasionally, Jeff and I do get to go on dates, and when we do we love to try new things. Especially at the fancy restaurants.   A while back we tried something very similar to this recipe and Jeff LOVED it.  So when these ingredients were just sitting in the fridge, I figured, why not try it out?

These are super easy and we had them more as an appetizer. Just one of two is enough.  If you wanted to make this into a meal though, making a couple more takes like five more minutes.  Add a couple of dipping sauces and a side salad and it's a great full meal.

Olive Oil - Or whatever cooking oil you use
Wonton Wrappers - big ones - they look like 4x4ish
Leftover Pulled Pork
Shredded Cheese

1. Assemble your wontons rolls. Start by laying the rolls out flat. Add about a quarter cup of pulled pork and some shredded cheese.  With your finger, dab some water on three sides of your wrapper.  This will help it stick to itself so it doesn't open and leak. Close the sides of your wrapper starting with the side without water, the two other sides, and rooolllll it up. Kind of like a burrito.

2. Once your oil is heated, drop your rolls in.
3. Turn over until all sides are golden brown.  Depending on how the roll settles you may cook it on three sides instead of two.
4. Serve and enjoy!
Just like the restaurant! Ooewey gooey and full of yumm.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

College Buddies

Rewind back now ten years... ya TEN! and my younger, childless, unmarried, looking for fun self arrives to college a week early, because you know, you gotta go to work "early".  Except you take a secret trip across the country to see your boyfriend of a month you only met at a club.  Then you tell your new roommate that if your mother calls, (because we only had phones attached to the wall at the dorm) to tell her you're busy at the library studying already.  Now fast forward to now, and she's still my friend!  So either she's crazy or I was pretty darn awesome.

I tell you this story to set up the following pictures ten years later.  I went to visit my friend Shannon this week to catch up and see each others children.  And we never do this enough now because life is busy and we live way too far away from each other.  But regardless, we finally made it work! And can I just say "my oh my, life has changed!"  Ten years does a lot to a person!

Here we are a year after we met:

And yes, I am wearing bunny ears, and there is a creepy guy we picked up at our dorm to take to McDonalds only to find the next morning he left some crazy looking pills in the back seat.  And this was how we entertained ourselves during Spring Break because we were too poor to take a decent trip.  (And I actually did work a lot this week, Mom =)

But look at us now:
Baby Bear Shirt - Maisonwares

All grown up with kiddies and the craziest thing we did all day was trying to wrangle our houdini children to take just one picture. And the best we could get was one with electronics in their hand. Ha!

And looking at these pictures just makes me so grateful that we had such a great time in our early years of friendship.  I miss those times, a lot, but I can say I didn't miss out at all.  It's nice to live a different life now; it's just a fun, maybe a little harder, but much more rewarding. Plus who knows, maybe our children will end up being roomies in about sixteen years.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Easter Spirit

We're getting in the Easter spirit here at the Stoll household.  I did some Target shopping and found the cutest little bunny hat for Noah.  I'm walking down the isle, and I spot the hat and immediately think, "I've got to have that!" Plus how can you pass it up when it's in the dollar section?! Then I get my hands on it and think, "geez, this looks rather small, I think Noah's head is much bigger than this." but I still drop it in my cart, because, again, you can't pass up things in the dollar isle.  I should have listened to myself.  I'm craking up just looking at this picture.  I don't know why I thought this ever had a chance fitting this noggin.

Poor little ears sticking out and all. Haha. Noah, maybe your baby sister will be small enough to wear it someday.

On another note, I feel super accomplished to have finished his first Easter basket, and better yet, early! I really struggled with what to put in it though.  Obviously babys can't have candy and I'm not a huge fan of candy in baskets anyway.  People eat so many sweets as it is, I rather just not have the temptation.

I did end up finding some great things at Target though.  Most of their items are also on sale using the Cartwheel app. Bonus!  Always nice. I snagged up this cute little bunny sippy now that Noah's really starting to get the hang of it.  They have other colors for girls as well a a cute little lamb. Also some cute Pjs he can wear into summer.  Some pastel/spring t shirts, a fun peek a boo book, and of course a remote.  Noah's been obsessed with all of our remotes and will grab them any chance he gets.  I should have looked for a phone too because he's all over those as well!  I will say, phones and remotes are so great for walking bribery.  You can get him to go almost anywhere by moving them in the path you want him to walk.

Overall, I was very pleased with the options Target gave me.  Especially these cute little felt Easter baskets.  I'm sure this one will be used for a long time.  I liked them so much I almost bough one or two more for future children... I decided to wait though.  If I did that with everything I'd have a whole room full of stuff just waiting for me to pop some more kids out.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Week 43 & Ten Months

Double digits here and my big boy will be ten months this week. I'm loving everyday he grows up more and more. Sometimes I think he's so close to walking and then other times I feel like he'll take forever.  He's so cautions when he walks and he knows if he's wobbly and refuses to not walk steadily.  He gets really mad if he's not walking completely perfect.  He is very stubborn.  Which brings me to in general, he's just a stubborn kid!  He's only happy if he's doing exactly what he wants... problem is you never know what that is. So he gets clingy and cries. Although that just means more hugs for me, and I'm loving them lately, so I'll take it.

  • How old is Noah?:  43 Weeks & Ten Months
  • Noah is how big?: 23 lbs
  • Stats: Size 3-4 diapers | 12mo or 18mo clothing | Abs of steel | Stands holding on to objects | Sit to stand | Can finally crawl | throws anything you give him, balls, cups, utensils... | Walks on objects |
  • Sleep: Sleeping consistently from 7:30pm to 7:30am. Naps three times during the day. A morning, an afternoon (both 1.5-2hrs) and a cat nap (45min)
  • Milestones: Can really walk for a long time holding on to people of objects.  And that's pretty much all he wants to do too. He's also learned how to open drawers and cabinets... so you know, every time he's in the kitchen you have to walk behind him and shut them all again.

  • Mom Check-in:  Doing pretty good.  Working a lot of weekends which is good because I get a lot of home stuff done, but not awesome because that means Jeff is probably home and I'm not with him. I'm really starting to get excited about our ideas of building a house and am seeing promise in the floor plans we've been looking at.  Next step is waiting for the architect to re-draw our plan with some changes and move on from there!
  • Best Moment of the Week: Noah has been a cuddle machine.  We've been laying on the floor, watching the tigers and munching on his burp cloth for 10-15 minutes at a time and it's been sooo nice.
  • What I’m excited about/looking forward to: Really excited to the mail, I've been waiting for this guy to arrive in a couple of weeks and I'm already thinking that's all I'm gonna wear for months. Just in time for Cinco de Mayo and perfect for the chilly summer nights.

Can I also just say mom fail for this picture?  I literally snapped three pictures and although he can cruise just fine most of the time, he falls straight back and thumps his head on the floor.  I felt so bad too.  Gotta pay close attention even if you're taking pictures I guess... just never know what Noah will do next!  At this point I've learned to put my leg/foot somewhere behind him so I can go-go-gadget my limbs and catch him anywhere in the living room.