Monday, March 31, 2014

Glued to an Outlet No More



I kind of hate the fact that my iphone battery drains so quickly and I'm always aware of my battery life (or lack there of).  I have always paid attention to business men and women who have these portable chargers when I travel.  They seemed so cool and clever with their latest gadget.  I'm not usually a fan of gadgets - other than my iphone/ipod - but this one caught my attention.
 
I've been intrigued with the idea of portable phone chargers for a while now and am thinking I'd love to have this option for myself.  I do not travel for business, but am often on the go.  I'd love to be able to not worry about my battery life knowing that I have a charger in my bag.  I already own a car charger but I find myself giving it the evil eye because A. the cord is SO short and B. it charges soooooo s-l-o-w-l-y.

I think I am finally ready to take the plunge and buy a portable charger.  
 
Do you have any recommendations for me??  I did a little research on Amazon and this one seems to be the most popular and most affordable.  I love that this one by Anker is advertised as lipstick size and that it's under $20.  I only wish it came in other colors :)  Maybe a kelly green or GOLD??

Our Routine

Ever wonder what a normal day looks like at my house?
Let me tell you
{mostly because I'd like to remember this years down the road :)}

7:00 AM My Olive alarm clock goes off and I make her a bottle.  I go into her room to find a smiling, standing Olive waving hello to me.  Kevin talks to us a little in the morning and he heads to work by 7:45.  She eats, snuggles and I rock her back to sleep.  She goes in her crib with her bunny, blanket and paci.  I usually head back to bed, too.  Ahhhh, the perks of having one kid :)
9:00-9:30 AM Olive wakes up for good and we both get up for the day.  We watch some PBS kids while Olive plays with her toys and I grab a bite to eat.  She's started looking at my breakfast with hawk eyes lately.  She's so interested in all food, so much to her satisfaction, I inevitably give her a bite or two.

10:00AM I make oatmeal for Olive and put her in her high chair to eat.  I try to spice it up a bit and mix fruits into her breakfast.  I'll do bananas, berries, peaches, etc.  She loves oatmeal and takes advantage of this time to give herself  an oatmeal facial and hair treatment.  I have to thoroughly hose her off when she decides she's done with breakfast.

11:00AM Olive crawls all over the house.  She loves her toys but finds particular pleasure in finding things to play with that aren't hers.  She'll pull on computer cords, can spot a phone charger from a mile away and is anxious to get to my pantry and play with soup cans or boxes of rice.  I keep bathroom and bedroom doors closed to help contain her and we just purchased our first baby gate to section things off a bit.  If she's playing well and fully occupied in one spot, I'll read a few favorite blogs, link up and check my email.

12:30 PM  Olive will take another bottle and usually fall asleep for a cat nap.  She's consistently been a 45 minute napper her whole life.  Well all 10 months of her life so far :)  She has taken less than ten 2 hour naps and it's glorious when it happens.  It's pretty unpredictable so I always plan for a short one.  I shower, get ready and do some things on the computer or make phone calls.  Sometimes I'll sneak in a little Grey's Anatomy, a quick workout or something on my to do list :)  The cats pretty much sleep the days away.

1:30 PM Olive wakes up and we make beds, tidy up the place and start thinking about dinner.  I write out a menu for each week and my husband likes to pick what we have for dinner or we'll agree together.  Some days we run errands to get out of the house for a bit.  Olive is a great traveler and seems to attract a lot of attention wherever we go.  She's started waving at people, flashing smiles at strangers and just enjoys the change of scenery.

2:30-5 PM More playing, reading, crawling and babbling.  If the weather is nice, we'll go for a long walk around the neighborhood being sure to say hello to any neighbors or dogs that cross our path.  Snacks for baby, bottle and lots of time together playing on the floor.  I usually text Kevin pictures of Olive during the day and we talk once during a break in his schedule.  If I forget to send a picture, he'll text asking for one.

5:00 PM Kevin gets home from work and Olive is thrilled that her incessant requests for Da-Da all day long have finally come true.  We have a snack together, watch the 5:00 news and talk about our days.  I'll show Kevin any new tricks Olive has mastered and he'll debrief about his day at work.  He always asks Olive, "Were you a good baby for Mommy today?"  She'll smile at the question and then I tell him about her day.

5:30-6:30PM Time for dinner prep and play time for Olive which usually includes some rough housing with her dad.  He rolls around on the floor, chases her in slow motion, plays peek-a-boo and their play time is LOUD.  Dads sure do play differently than moms.  I find myself smiling listening to them play and I appreciate the extra set of hands.  It's nice to focus on dinner and know that Olive is completely entertained.  Olive usually takes another short nap around this time.

7:00-8PM We sit down for dinner.  Olive wakes up sometime during this hour and either plays or sits in her high chair to eat while we eat.  We are introducing more and more solids into her diet.  Her main source of food is still formula but she's having fun figuring out her likes and dislikes of solid food.  We talk about our days, what we want to do that evening and enjoy a meal together.  We'll watch the news or favorite TV shows.  I do the dishes while Kevin entertains Olive.  Then we just spending the evening together.

8:30-9:30PM Things start winding down for Olive.  We do baths, read books, and let her get any last wiggles out for the day.  She starts rubbing her eyes to let us know she's tired and I rock her to sleep.  She takes her last bottle of the day and usually goes right to sleep.

10-11:30PM The cats come out and want some attention after they know Olive is in bed for the night.  They are usually purrrrrrrrring in our faces and can't get enough of us.  We catch up on our favorite TV shows, watch sports or something on Netflix.  We'll also talk about anything important going on, make plans or talk about anything we've got in the works.  Kevin will sometimes have work to work on and I'll read blogs, check emails and work on my blog.

11:30-1:30 AM Kevin heads to bed and I stay up late to get a little alone time.  I will tidy up the whole house putting away toys and making sure everything is in its place.  I work on my blog, watch some TV and try to get some things done that didn't get done during the day.  I feel guilty multi-tasking when Olive is awake so late night work sessions are the IDEAL time for me to get things done.  My bed time is varied depending on what I have to do but I always enjoy being up late.  The last thing I do for the day is to sneak into Olive's room and give her a kiss goodnight.

We are thrilled to get to spend our days together!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Would You Rather...

Would you rather...
climb a tree or have a tree climb you?
have red hair or yellow hair?
eat ice cream for every meal or cake?
drive a school bus or fly an airplane?
play in the rain or in the snow?
wear a dress or a skirt?
paint your toe nails or paint your face?
get a shot or go to the dentist?
go to time out or be grounded?
eat a vitamin or a tomato?
eat a candy bar or a hot dog?
play basketball or ice skate?
jump in the creek or run through the forest?
play in the sand or collect rocks?
go to school or go to church?
watch a movie or go outside and play?

I played this silly game with some little girls last week
and it was SO MUCH FUN!!
You can play it with ANYone ANYtime 
just make some adjustments to the questions.
My husband and I end up playing this funny game on most of our road trips.

The weather was perfect and we spent the afternoon at a local park.
We were all giggling and laughing at our answers.
They got the hang of it pretty quickly and started firing back their own would you rather statements.
Enjoy this easy, free, fun game!!

Weekly Highlights

The best parts of my week were...

1. I found the perfect Easter basket for Olive at Target!!  I used the 10% off cartwheel discount and got it for around $10.  I love the size, color and liner of the basket.  It's going to be perfect for her 1st Easter and many more after that.
2. My parents came in town to visit for a long weekend.  We went on a road trip to Mississippi, did some shopping, checked out a new outlet mall, ate great BBQ & peanut butter pie and Olive enjoyed showing off her newest trick of crawling and being on the move for them.  It's always nice to have your parents come for a visit.


3. I found a yummy recipe for oatmeal cookies.
Go here for the recipe.
My little baker in training loved helping with these cookies.

4. I found this great topiary for Spring at TJ Maxx.  I usually don't pay much attention to their regular priced greenery because they can be pretty pricey.  But I picked this one up and saw the $7.99 price tag and knew it had to go home with me.  I think it'll be the perfect addition to my Spring/Easter decor.  Even my husband commented on how cute it was :)

5.My husband texted me while he was at work and said,
"Did you know it's National Waffle Day??"
I said that I didn't know that.
He went on to say he would be in charge of dinner that night and came home with the ingredients to have breakfast for dinner or Brinner :)  It was especially sweet because I LOVE waffles and he does not.

Finish this statements for the week...
I know it's a little weird but...
 I just discovered Grey's Anatomy and am sucked in.
When stopped at a stoplight, I...
 go over my to do lists in my head.
My guilty pleasure is...
 DESSERT!  I could eat it for every meal all the time.
My favorite way to unwind is...
is to sit at my computer and catch up on my favorite blogs.

Thanks for stopping by!!  Hope you have a great weekend!!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've mentioned before that I was on the hunt for the perfect oatmeal cookie.  I decided to give my mom's recipe a try and they were tasty!  She doesn't add chocolate chips to hers but I tend to add chocolate chips to everything so I improvised a bit :)

My baby baker was happy to help with the dry measuring
and by dry measuring I mean chewing on my measuring spoons :)

Cream together
1 c brown sugar
1 c sugar
1 c crisco
Add 2 large eggs
4 T water
1 t vanilla

Add 1 c flour
1/2 t salt
1 t soda
Blend well.
Add 4 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Bake at 375 for 9-10 minutes.




The recipe makes a lot of cookies so I baked half right away and froze the other half.  I used the same freezer technique that I blogged about here and had GREAT results!!  It's exciting to find another cookie that freezes really well.  The frozen dough baked just as good (if not better) than the fresh cookies.

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for...

1. Our friends coming to Arkansas for their Spring Break.  It was SO nice to see them after almost 2 years since our last visit.  Their girls were bigger and they loved meeting Olive for the first time.

2. Trying several good restaurants lately - Kobe Japanese Steakhouse was my favorite for dinner and I'm obsessed with a new gelato shop. 

3. My parents drove down to kick off Spring break with us.  We had a great visit and talked them into going to Mississippi with us for the weekend.  More exploring the city, looking at places to live, shopping and checking out the outlet mall scene.
4. We bought our flights to head to Utah in May.  Kevin's graduation date is quickly approaching.  He's been working on grad school/PhD for the last 10 years so we are all going to support him at graduation.  It'll be Olive's 1st flight!!

5. The weather has been b-e-a-utiful in Little Rock!!  The pansies are blooming, the trees are budding (aaaahhh-chooo!) and the sun is shining.  I'm thankful to be able to get out and go on walks with Olive.

6. Olive is doing great and staying healthy.  She's eating all kind of food, loving her toys and learning new tricks all the time.  She's testing her limits with standing and crawling in warp speed.  We are guessing that she'll be walking by her first birthday.

7. We are mapping out our next several months trying to squeeze in as many visitors, travel opporunities and fun from now through August.  We are hoping to make it up to North West Arkansas, head to Indiana, Utah, Mississippi and enjoy our time with friends and family.

8. I'm getting excited for the local farmer's markets to open and for the stores to have their shelves stocked full of fresh fruits and veggies.  It's always easier to eat healthy when things are in season.  I'm thinking big salads, grilling veggies and lots of colorful dishes.

9. I'm ready to decorate my house for Easter.  I feel like I'm getting to celebrate both St. Patrick's Day and Easter this year since they are so spread out.  I'm thankful for getting to enjoy both holidays and not feel so rushed.

10.  I'm loving making plans for Olive's 1st birthday party!  I haven't decided on a theme yet but I'm narrowing it down and am thrilled to be celebrating her first year of life (we made it!!) with our whole family.  I'm so thankful for her!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Girls, Girls, Girls

The Big Dam Bridge
is always a spot we take out of town guests.
The weather was great last week so we had a fun afternoon walking along the River Trail.

Olive isn't used to so much attention let alone people fighting over her.
She didn't know what to do with herself :)
The girls both wanted to push her, hold her, feed her, get her to laugh and play with her.
I think Olive loved the big girls and could easily get used to so much attention.


 The cats also benefited from some extra lovin this week.

Zoo Round Two

We took Olive to the Little Rock Zoo when she was about 2 months old and she slept through the entire experience.  It was extremely hot in August and really wasn't that enjoyable.  So we decided to give it another try since our friends were visiting and she LOVED it.
She did nap through part of it but she enjoyed the stroller ride through the zoo and seeing some animals.  I realized for the first time that the large concrete walls surrounding most enclosures are not really that friendly for the pint sized people who are riding in strollers.  She got to see the elephants, giraffes, monkeys, reptiles and penguins up close.


 The big cats were lounging in the sun.

 The big girls thought it was funny that Olive was napping at the zoo.
 Catching some zzzzz's in the warm sunshine.


 The Great Ape section of the zoo was highly entertaining.
Each one of these creatures was FULL of personality.
haha

 Olive made fast friends with a random little girl.  She kept talking to Olive and telling her everything the monkeys were doing since Olive couldn't see over the concrete.  It was really sweet.




The highlight of the zoo was the four baby tigers playing with their mama.  I was so excited to see them and loved watching them that I didn't take a single picture.  I could hardly take my eyes off those cute little babies.  I'd HIGHLY recommend going to see them ASAP.

We were a little bummed because the weather was perfect, the crowds were nonexistent but the zoo was only half heartedly operating that day.  Many exhibits were closed for remodeling, the carousel was off and many animals were MIA so beware if you are headed to the LRZ that you'll have to detour around yellow tape and construction. 

The zoo forces you to exit through the gift shop so we browsed for a bit.  Olive was skeptical of the stuffed giraffe and the shiny rocks were interesting to all of the girls.
I'm guessing that the zoo will just get better and better each time we visit in the coming years.