Friday, August 30, 2013

Five on Friday

Hello Friday and the long weekend!!!  I'm linking up with Natasha, Darcy, & the girls for another Five on Friday.  I'm just loving these posts; it's a fun way to share those little tid bits that aren't significant enough for a full post!

Pandora now has a sleep timer setting!  I used to love falling asleep to music in college; now, I just need to convince Conor (and Liam) that some soft tunes would be perfect for bedtime!  Although, I would also probably need to pay for the fancy app, because I would not like commercials coming on while I'm drifting off to sleep.  Either way, I'm really excited about this new feature!

I love these Little Shirley vases!  They are perfect for bathrooms, kitchen counters, guest rooms, or anywhere in the home really.  They are super petite in size, so just a few flowers or fresh herbs are all your need to make them look full.  They come in the most amazing colors, making it so hard to choose a favorite.  They are also the perfect hostess gift or stocking stuffer (I had three in mine last year!); it's never too early to start your gift lists.

I'm starting to get a little stressed thinking about what Liam is going to be for Halloween.  I totally dropped the ball last year...  I really want to make Liam a costume; it just seems so much more meaningful than something store bought.  However, last year I never found the time while trying to take care of a newborn.  This year I want to plan ahead, but I need to decide what my little L should be...  I don't have any great ideas yet, hence the stress!

With Fall being just around the corner, I'm starting to think about what house projects Conor & I will start once the cooler weather sets in and we're spending more time indoors.  I really want to create a fun space for my computer, planner, bills, etc.  Right now we have our laptop set up on the bar counter in our kitchen; while this keeps me in the center of the house, it's not a very organized space at all.  I want a place where I can go relax with a cup of tea or glass of wine and blog & plan away!  I'm envisioning something simple, like this:

This labor day weekend I am spending my days with family on Flathead Lake!  Such a beautiful place; I love being back in the Northwest!  Weekends just don't get better than this.  Good bye Summer, hello Fall!  I will be pulling out all my Autumn decor on Tuesday once we are back from our trip.  Enjoy your weekend every one!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Favorite Things: Month 13

Another month and another list of what we're loving in the Keenan House:

Elegant Baby Bath Squirties:  These are by far the bath toy with the best squirt!  They are easy to squeeze, so Liam is always squirting water all over Conor during bath time.  There are so many adorable sets to choose from; however, the hero set is perfect for your baby boy!

Melissa & Dough Pounding Bench:  Liam absolutely goes to town on this thing!  At first he was a little rough with the hammer in general, but now he knows exactly what to do with it and even takes turns using it with me!  I love wooden toys, and this one is great quality!

Janod Multi Car Truck:  This brand makes the most beautiful wooden toys; I want everything they have!  Liam loves playing with the little cars as well as trying to pull the whole truck around.  I'm excited about all the imaginative play that this truck will bring as Liam starts talking more & more. 

Little Mr. Bowtie:  I won this bowtie in a giveaway and am absolutely obsessed with it!  I'm already stalking the new prints and trying to decide what I want to buy for Fall as well as the holidays!  The bowtie attaches to the top button on a shirt, so you don't have to worry about it going around your little ones neck.  Absolute genius!  If you're looking to purchase one, I highly suggest following littlemrties on Instagram because they are frequently posting sales!

Fisher Price Bubble Mower:  This toy originally belonged to our neighbors, but Liam has taken it over and somehow it found its way into our house!  Liam loves pushing the mower around outside or inside, all times during the day.  Sometimes he wakes up and goes right for it!  Little L doesn't even know that it can blow bubbles yet...  I haven't hooked up a bottle to it, but I'm sure his world will be rocked whenever I get around to it. 

Tiny Toms:  Liam is about to outgrow his Sperry's, so this is our new shoe of choice!  I love how they look on little boys, although they make Liam look much more like a toddler than a baby....I can't handle it!  I have to admit that these shoes tend to fall off a lot, but little L may still be growing into them.  Either way, I don't really care because they are just too darn cute!

Monday, August 26, 2013

13 Months Old

growth chart made by the loving hands of my husband

Favorite Foods:   Yogurt!  Lately, he's been eating it for almost every meal.  He's also back on a hummus kick, so I've been making my own to avoid all the preservatives and what-not in the store-bought stuff.  He continues to eat more & more each day and is particularly into "dipping" things!  He sees what Conor & I are doing and wants to mimic us all the time.  Pretzel chips are the perfect hummus dipper, although he's still figuring out how to just dip the chip and not his entire hand.  He also likes to scoop his own yogurt, which is one huge mess, but he loves every minute of it!  He's getting better with the fork as well, as even skewered some blueberries with it the other day!

Breastfeeding:  Still going strong with no signs of weaning anytime soon!  Little L is incredibly busy and always on the move, so I truly treasure our quiet moments when he nurses.  There is nothing sweeter than his baby blues looking up at me and then the sweet little kiss that he sometimes gives me afterwards. 

New Words:  Hi, Char Char (Charlie our cat), & Whoa.  He repeats things we say pretty frequently, but these are the new words that he'll say spontaneously on his own.

Sleep:  Something magical happened the other night...  Liam was being particularly rambunctious and he had already tapped me out, so Conor took Liam to his nursery and tried rocking him for a bit to calm him down...  Well, he ended up rocking Liam to sleep!!!  That's right, Liam actually fell asleep without nursing!  Conor fell asleep too; so, while the boys snoozed together in the nursery chair, I enjoyed having the entire bed to myself for a couple of hours.  :-)  I'm hoping that this wasn't a fluke and that Conor might be able to put Liam to bed every once in awhile.  In nap news:  we are still going through the transition from 2 to 1 naps.  On any given Sunday day, it's a mystery as to how long & when Liam will sleep.  I am desperately trying to hold onto 2 naps for as long as possible, because I usually sleep during the 2nd nap too!

I don't have a little baby anymore!  Liam is changing so rapidly right now, I can barely keep up with his new skills & interests!  I love the little man he is becoming as his personality shows more & more.  He has become Mommy's little helper, which I am loving.  Instead of always pulling all the dishes out the dishwasher or removing all the wet clothes from the drying racks, he now hands me items to help hang or load!  He gets so much joy out of helping me; he's just the sweetest little thing!

He loves going outside and practically begs for me to open our front or back door all day long!  We always spend time outside after dinner, so the second we release him from his highchair he books it for the door.  I have no idea what we will do when it starts getting dark earlier...  He continues to have a huge interest in books and is constantly bringing Conor or me one to read and then crawling into our laps.  I love these moments, even when I'm reading the same book for the 4th or 5th time!  (One suggestion: only have books in your house that you are willing to read over & over again!)

Little L is becoming quite assertive and will always let me know what he wants.  He usually does this by pointing & reaching for something while opening & closing his hand.  I am amazed at the ways he is figuring out how to communicate with us.  He's also become more interested in the older kids in our neighborhood and is always trying to keep up with them!  I love how he is a little social butterfly and that he enjoys spending time with others.  We're still working on sharing toys, but he always has such a sweet demeanor with everyone.

I can't wait to see what the next month has in store for us!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Traveling with a Baby

Since Liam has been on 14 flights in his 1st year of life, I feel like I have quite a bit of experience to share about traveling (more specifically flying) with a baby.  Our family has another trip planned in less than two weeks, so I thought this would be the perfect time to share some of my tips for traveling!  If you have yet to fly with your little one, don't stress out!  It's much easier than you think, and in my opinion is actually easier the younger they are!  People were surprised when we flew cross country when Liam was only 3 months old, but that was a breeze compared to the busy boy I have now.  Here are my 9 tips for traveling with a baby:

Leave the stroller at home!  I know this might sound crazy to a lot of you, but I can't stress enough how much easier it to minimize what you bring and not have to worry about gate checking your stroller.  Instead wear your baby!  I personally love my Baby Hawk Mei Tai, but there are so many other options out there.  It is so nice to have your hands free and your baby close to you.  Security allows you to keep your baby strapped onto you while going through the metal detectors, which makes this process incredibly easy and you get to skip the full body scan!  However, they do perform a quick hand swab before you can pass through.

Check the car seat with the rest of your luggage.  Airlines will check the car seat for free, so utilize this perk!  I highly recommend purchasing a car seat travel bag (this is the one we use for our Britax Marathon) which will protect your car seat as well as provide some extra storage.  I usually put all of our cloth diapers into the bag with the car seat, which frees up space in my luggage.  The backpack style straps make it so easy to carry the seat from the car to the airport, especially if you have to park quite far away!

Consider using cloth diapers for your flights; you DO NOT want to deal with a blowout on an airplane!  If you already use cloth, then definitely travel with them!  It's just as easy to use cloth on the go as it is at home.  And even if you are not a cloth diaper family, purchase a few for your flights...or at least a cover to use over your disposables.  Cloth contains messes so much better and typically hold up for longer.  I also recommend changing your baby's diaper right before you board.  This way, if your flight is only 2-3 hours you hopefully won't have to do any mid-flight changes.  Not all airplane bathrooms have changing tables, and those that do are absolutely tiny!

Breast or bottle feed your baby during take off & landing and have a pacifier handy.  This helps release the pressure in their little ears by helping them pop!  Liam has never had a problem with his ears on any of his many flights.  I am usually breastfeeding him, but sometimes there is too much activity going on for him to nurse.  That's why it is nice to have a pacifier on hand.  Liam only gets a pacifier in the car & in airplanes (and the occasional restaurant), so the novelty of it is exciting for him and usually calms him down quickly if we need to.

Be efficient when packing your diaper bag.  You don't want to haul a purse around too, so your diaper bag should hold everything for you & baby!  I suggest only bringing the essentials, since your diaper bag can quickly get heavy, especially while wearing your baby.  Here's my short list:
  • diapers, wipes, wetbag, & hand sanitizer
  • extra change of clothes (I usually only bring a onesie to cut down on bulk)
  • Aden & Anais blanket (great for cold planes or a nursing cover and it is compact & lightweight)
  • snack bag (filled with favorites like Puffs or Goldfish if you baby is on solids)
  • two toys (I always bring one small board book and one crinkly toy but nothing too noisy or obnoxious)
  • wallet & cellphone
Utilize what is already provided!  Liam is so fascinated with being in a new environment that we don't usually need to bring many toys with us.  We don't allow Liam to play with our cell phones or Ipad, so we have never used electronics to keep him entertained on flights.  Instead, let your child play with all those fun pamphlets in the seat back pocket.  Liam will spend majority of the flight pulling those things out and putting them back in.  Another favorite airplane item: the bags of peanuts & pretzels are an instant crinkle toy! And he has so much fun putting things in and taking things out of your empty plastic cup.

Book the aisle seat.  Your little one is going to want to watch see all the goings on of the airplane, so they will have a much better view from the aisle.  Plus you get that extra elbow room which is especially nice when you're breastfeeding your baby.  If you are traveling with another person, book the aisle and the window and hope that no one books that middle seat!  You would be surprised how often that seat is then left empty, and you have the whole row to yourselves.  If your baby is sitting up, they will love having their own seat!  In the event that someone does book that seat, our experience is that they are always willing to move to the window so that you and your other passenger can be next to each other.

Wear teething jewelry.  This is just another way to bring a toy without having to lug it around in your diaper bag.  Liam is always fascinated with my teething jewelry (Chewbeads are my favorite), which easily slides back around my wrist or neck once he gets bored of it.  Even if you think you baby isn't currently teething, still bring some teethers.  The pressure changes in the plane could worsen any symptoms they have; you just never know when you'll have a teething baby on your hands!

Order water.  Always order water!  While you might be tempted to order that ginger ale that you only every drink when you fly, just don't!  Babies are squirmy and the chances of that ginger ale ending up in your lap is ginormous!  Plus, once your baby is a little bit older they will desperately be trying to drink out of your cup.  Avoid the fight, and get water so that you two can share a drink and not have to worry about potential spills.

I hope some of you find this helpful and that it eases any stress associated with travel!  
Try to enjoy your flights and take in this new experience for your little ones!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Weekend Recap

There's a slight chance I'll have a case of the Mondays tomorrow, because we had such a fun filled weekend!  Usually we have plenty of house projects to get done, but this weekend we put everything on hold and just enjoyed our days with Liam.  {If you follow me on Instagram, then you've already had sneak peak of our weekend shenanigans!}  The fun really began Thursday night when we went to Sunset Safari at the zoo!  The zoo stayed open until 9pm, so we had the opportunity to see the monkeys & elephants falling asleep and the cats & grizzly bears coming out to play!  Liam loved it per usual, and so did I!  Conor rarely gets to come to the zoo with us, so it was a real treat!  A few of our neighbors also joined us, just adding to the fun!

On Friday, I took Liam to a reservoir with a beach area somewhat close to our house.  It has been incredibly hot here lately (upper 90s), so it was nice to be outside in the cool water.  Again we joined some neighbors for this little outing, so Liam spent plenty of time chasing around the bigger kids.  He always wants to be doing what they are.  I love seeing him growing up and interacting more with others.  My baby has disappeared and I have a full fledged toddler on my hands!  We actually spent a couple of hours here, so little L was absolutely exhausted come nap time.  I love the days that he falls asleep immediately, and I don't have to play this little game of getting him to sleep.  And for an added bonus, Liam went to bed early that night, so Conor & I enjoyed some cocktails outside with the neighbors as the sun went down.

Saturday we kept the fun going with some more neighbor time!  If I haven't mentioned it yet, we have an awesome neighborhood!  Life in Utah would be pretty lonely if we didn't have these families to spend time with.  There's plenty of young kids around for Liam, and many beer/wine drinking adults to keep an eye on them!  Anyways, Saturday we took Liam to his 1st water park!  There is one fairly close to our house that has a baby/toddler section and the water is heated, so it feels like you're in the bath!  Liam was loving everything about it.  We took him down water slides (I'm not sure if he was thrilled about that, but he didn't hate it), spent time just floating through the lazy river, and splashing around all over the place.  Liam didn't have a nap before this adventure, but he still powered through a couple fun hours in the water!  We ended up buying season passes since they are good through next year, so I think me might start making regular trips to the water park! Especially since it is only a few miles away.

This morning I got to sleep in (there's nothing better) while Conor & Liam made breakfast.  I used to dream about these days, and now that they are here I am taking in every second.  :-)  Conor called this an "Olympic" breakfast (notice the apple rings); we're preparing for Sochi I guess!  We even made the morning a little more special with some sparkling rose.  I love these big "just because" breakfasts!

In the afternoon, we drove up to Alta for a hike.  It's about 20 degrees cooler in the mountains, so the temperatures were perfect for a mid afternoon hike.  We recently purchased an Osprey Poco Plus carrier just for this purpose!  I still love my mei tai, but this more structured carrier is better for hiking with a heavy baby (Liam is about 22 lbs now) and it keeps you cooler since the baby is off your body a bit.  Conor loves it and uses it all the time while doing yard work.

We just did a short hike (under 2.5 miles) up to Cecret Lake.  Liam loved being up on Dad's back and taking in the scenery.  Next time, I'll definitely be more comfortable doing a longer hike since Liam handled it just fine.  I think this will become a weekly event for our family, at least while the weather allows.  It's feels great to get some exercise together and be up in the fresh mountain air!  We might as well utilize our time in Utah and explore the mountains while we can.

Tonight we barbecued some blue cheese & mushroom stuffed burgers before joining Liam's best friend Max and his parents for some Cold Stone ice cream.  Every Sunday should end with ice should just be a rule!  Now little L is tucked into bed, while I spend the last couple hours of my weekend relaxing with a glass of wine.  This weekend was one of our best here in Utah!  I feel like an awesome Mom tonight, like
 I just got everything right this weekend.  There are too many times that I am hard on myself and can feel like a bad mom (we all have those times)...  So I love the moments when you really believe that you've got this parenting thing down and your kid is happy as can be!  Yay us!!!

Now, the challenge this week will be to keep up all the fun.  I worry Liam will be bored out of his mind after all the exciting adventures we had.  Hopefully I'll come up with some fun activities for us; suggestions are welcome!  :-)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five on Friday

Happy Friday!  I haven't been blogging quite as much as I'd like to lately, but I still managed to find some time for a Five on Friday post.    Thanks to the hosts, especially  Natasha & Darci, for the link up.  Here's the five things on my mind this week:

Tickets just went on sale for Alt SLC 2014!  While I would absolutely love to attend this incredible blogging event (especially since I live here), the ticket price ($625) is a little high for a teeny tiny small blogger like myself.  However, I'm hoping some of my favorite blog friends will be in attendance, and that I might be able to meet up with a few!  Let me know if you're going to be attending!

I read such a beautifully written blog post on breastfeeding this week that I had to share!  It's about breastfeeding with intention and has an amazing message.  I highly recommend this quick read for any mama who is breastfeeding right now.

My garden has really started producing all sorts of goodies this week!  I have a plethora of fresh herbs (basil, tarragon, chives, & rosemary) along with tomatoes, pumpkins (hello fall!), & zucchini!  A ridiculous amount of zucchini!  I've been grillin' it, stuffin' it, & puttin' it in bread...I'm starting to get a little zucchini-ed out, so I'm starting to share the love with neighbors!  Here is my favorite zucchini recipe at the moment.

Two words: Christmas. Shopping.  I am aware it is only August, but this is about the time I start thinking about Christmas gifts.  I like to be prepared & plan ahead, surprise surprise.  I already have my eye on a few things but have yet to make my first purchase of the Christmas season (unlike my Mom who inevitably has already purchased a few presents).  The secret boards on Pinterest are perfect for compiling a couple lists of ideas! 

I decided I need to make a "missing items" board for Liam's playroom!  He is constantly carrying one toy or another all over the house and things can quickly find a hiding place.  Right now, we're on the hunt for a pink triceratops dinosaur puzzle piece.  Hopefully it turns up soon, because we absolutely love this wooden Janod dinosaur puzzle and it just isn't the same incomplete!

I hope everyone has a wonderful time soaking up the last couple weekends of summer!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

1 Year Old

I am way behind on this post (2 1/2 weeks actually), but I still wanted to make sure I wrote an update since he is changing so quickly!  Our days are always busy and filled with all sorts of silly activities.  I plan on doing a "Day in the Life" post soon, because I know that will be something fun to look back on years from now!  For now, here's an update on little L:

Stats:  Height 31.3 in (90%).  Weight 21.61 lbs (32%).  Head 18.4 in (63%).

Favorite Foods:  Pasta (particularly pesto pasta or orzo), cottage cheese,  & greek yogurt.  He loves to use utensils but is still somewhat uncoordinated with them.  We give him a preloaded spoon or fork most of the time, but he is becoming more insistent upon scooping his own stuff.  These days are messy!

Breastfeeding:  I decided to still include this topic because breastmilk continues to make up most of Liam's diet.  It is also a huge comfort to him throughout the day, whether I nurse him after a bonked head or when he gets frustrated or overwhelmed.  He nurses before bed & naps and every couple hours in between.  We both still enjoy our breastfeeding relationship and therefore it will continue!  Liam's pediatrician was thrilled to hear that I had made it through 1 year of nursing and really encouraged me to continue on for another year.  It was such a good feeling to have the support from our doctor!  So that's the plan; perhaps I will do a post on what nursing a toddler is all about!  :-)

Words:  Mama (sometimes Ma), Dada, & hot (with the "t" emphasized).  Absolutely everything is HOT right now, he says this word all day long.

Favorite Toy:  Janod Multi-car Truck (he attempts to use it as a pull toy but ends up dragging it around, and he loves to just carry the cars around the house). 

Favorite Books:  Tails (he loves the flaps, tabs, and different textures) & I'll See You in the Morning (he loves the illustration in this book best)!

Favorite Songs:  Blurred Lines (this is his dance jam) & If All of the Rain Drops...  (when Mama sings it).

Favorite Activities:  Dancing (anytime he hears music, his starts bouncing his little legs to the beat)!  Climbing the stairs (he loves going up & down continuously).  Being chased (and chasing Conor or I).  Bath time (he'll even climb into the tub during the day with his cloths on).   Trips to the zoo (he tracks the animals pretty well, and likes to people-watch too).  Riding the carousel (we have such a hard time getting him off the ride; he never wants it to end). 

Least Favorite Activities:  Diaper changes (I still put him on the changing table because he can too easily squirm away from me on the floor or bed).  Car rides (not a huge fan of the car by any means, but he does okay when he has a  pacifier because the car is only place he gets it).  Sitting in his high chair (when he is done eating he wants out immediately, he simply has no time to sit around in that thing).

Sleep Schedule:  He still sleeps in our bed for now; this is what currently works for our family and is how we maximize our sleep!  He roughly sleeps from 9pm-8am, still waking up every 2 -3 hours.  I think we are in the process of going from 2 naps down to 1.  This has been a challenge for me, because some days I have no idea if I should be pushing him to take that 2nd nap or not.  Some days he does fine with 1, but other days he'll take two long ones and still manage to fall asleep in the car while we're out & about.  I'm still figuring it out, and I think Liam is too.

Nickname:  Liamasaurus

Friday, August 9, 2013

Five on Friday

Yay, it's Friday!  That means that once again I'm joining the link-up hosted by some lovey ladies, my favorites of which are Natasha & Darci.  Here's a little look into some of my thoughts this week:

I got a new iphone this week (no, I don't have the patience to wait 'til Fall for a newer model) which means I also got a new iphone case!  The people at Verizon were hounding me to buy a case/cover from them, but let's be honest they have about zero options!  After a little Pinterest searching, I decided on this little gem, and I am loving it!  It's simple with just a little hint of Christmas that you can enjoy all year long!

I've been in quite the baking mood lately, especially for cookies!  I have discovered the awesomeness that is coconut oil in cookies!  What isn't coconut oil good in?!  However, I have an issue with cookie batter that needs to chill overnight...  First of all, "Ain't nobody got time for that!"  Secondly, nobody bakes cookies in the morning, so that means there will be cookie dough in the fridge for an entire day!  So every time I open the fridge, I'm going to eat cookie dough.  Every.  Single.  Time.   I'll be honest...  sometimes I never get around to actually baking the cookies, I just eat the dough for a few days!  This week I made peanut butter cookies; I plan on baking them tonight or tomorrow....we shall see. 

Fair season is upon us!  I am ready for some elephant ears & a ferris wheel ride!  The fair is the unofficial kick off for Fall in my book, although I won't be bringing out the Fall decor until September!  Besides, it's still in the 90s here every day, so it completely feels like summer.  I want to find a fair with a petting zoo & carousel for Liam.  The boy is loving the carousel at the zoo these days; the second he sees it he starts pointing like crazy and can barely wait for me to buy us a ticket!  I need to start doing some research now and see what fairs are going on in the area, since this will be our first Fall in Utah!

 Back to School shopping is in full force every where I look these days.  And while Liam won't be walking off to school this year (OMG I can't even imagine that day, which is very very far away), I still have this huge urge to load up a brand spanking new box of crayons & markers!  Mr. Sketch was my favorite; I was that kid that always had marker on my nose from constantly smelling them!  Grape is best.  :-)

This image made me smile this week!  It's just one of those things that gives you the warm & fuzzies inside!  So happy Friday, and I hope you all have a lottle fun this weekend!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Favorite Things: Months 11 &12

Here's the list of what's been popular in the 
Keenan Household the last two months!

Playtex Lil' Gripper Straw Cup: This is the perfect cup for in the car or on the go!  It's easy for Liam to hold, and easy for me to clean!  It's leak proof, so I don't worry about water getting every where when I give it to Liam while he's in his car seat.  We're still avoiding all sippy cups with a spout, but the straw cups I'm totally okay with. 

Boon Bath Appliques:  Liam is obsessed with these!  In fact, he carries them all over the house and will even bring them outside.  At any given time, there is a good chance that little L will be have one of these in his hands.  While in the tub, Liam loves sticking them to the sides or trying to hold them all in his hands at once!  They have also proven to be a great teething toy and have survived the many teeth marks they are now covered with.

Swimways Baby Float:  This is perfect for a day at the pool or the lake!  The sun canopy is a wonderful little feature, so you don't have to worry about always having a hat on your baby (who is probably always trying to rip it off their head anyways). It also comes off easily in case you don't want to deal with it.  Added bonus, this floaty folds up nicely which makes traveling with it a breeze!

Teepee: We absolutely love this teepee!  It's the perfect size: big enough (barely) for Conor or I to play inside with Liam, but small enough that it fits in most spaces and is easy to put away (not that we'll ever not be using it)!  Liam loves running in & out of it and reading books inside.  Sometimes he just likes to walk the perimeter while I grab at his toes from the inside.  Endless fun!  The owner of this etsy shop, Megan, was great to work with; I can't recommend her enough!

Kickee Pants Pajamas:  These pajamas are pretty pricey, but they are oh so soft!  They are definitely a splurge item, but well worth it.  The jammies are made from bamboo which makes them super light and cozy.  We only have one pair, but I wish his entire pajamas collection was made up of Kickee Pants!  As soon as they are clean, he's back in them! 

Step 2 Swing: Little L loves to swing!  My parents bought this one for their lake cabin, and we just purchased it for our house!  I like how the colors are more neutral than some other swings on the market.  It's great quality, so I know it will last through all of our kids!

Liam's 12 month update will be up shortly (even though his birthday was 2 weeks ago, eek)!  I've been trying to decide what type of format I want to follow from this point forward, but I need to get it done ASAP because he is changing daily!  Especially with his new abilities & words!  He's keeping me busy with so little time to blog...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Nursing in Public

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!  Today I am guest posting over at The Pistachio Project and talking about nursing in public.  The blog is written by Brittany who is a mom of four that is living in Seattle (jealous!) and posting about all things crunchy.  Her blog is definitely worth checking out.

Read my guest post here.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Liam's Big Day

I know I'm a little late blogging about this, but our household has been sick the entire past week!  Even though we had already celebrated his big birthday party early, we still wanted to make his actual birthday super special.  I have to say that I think Liam had just about the best birthday any one year old boy can have!  We made sure the whole day was all about him, celebrating from the minute he woke up 'til we tucked him in that night!  In Utah, July 24th is Pioneer Day (a big LDS holiday), so Conor had the day off from work.  I was thrilled that he was going to be able to spend Liam's entire birthday with him.  This will always be the case as long as we live in Utah, so I guess I'm okay with Liam sharing his birthday with this odd holiday. In fact, Conor's birthday is also on a rather obscure holiday, Groundhog's Day. Although I'm sure Conor isn't going to that that day off anytime soon...

The birthday fun began the night before, once we put little L to sleep....  Then, the Balloon Man made an appearance, filling Liam's bedroom with balloons!!!  Now typically, the child should be sleeping soundly in their bed while the Balloon Man quietly creeps in and gently unleashes all the balloons.  However, Liam still sleeps in our bed...  So instead, we snuck upstairs to little L's room with two glasses of wine and a lot of balloons and proceeded to flood his room with colorful helium!

As soon as he opened his little eyes that morning, we kissed his sweet cheeks and sang "Happy Birthday" (which was sure to happen numerous times throughout the day)!  We were excited for him to see his room full of balloons so we quickly took him upstairs to change his diaper!  Since Liam likes to play in his crib, I was able to snatch up some fun pictures of him!  Hopefully, he'll actually be waking up in his crib on his 2nd birthday... :-)

After all of the balloon excitement, I made Liam a special birthday breakfast of funfetti pancakes & bacon!  I love how festive these pancakes looked and thought it would be something fun to make on his birthday every year.  Well.... the pancakes were just so-so to be honest.  If I were to do it over (like I will for all future birthdays) I would simply add sprinkles to a pancake recipe that I already like, such as the famous lemon poppy seed pancakes!  Nonetheless, I knew Liam was barely going to eat them; he was much more excited about squeezing them.  As it was his birthday, we let him make as big of a mess as he wanted!  While he made pancake crumbs we aptly tipped back some delicious mimosas in his honor.  We put one candle on top of his pancakes and sang "Happy Birthday" for the second time.  As soon as we finished, he gave a huge sigh which actually put out his candle, perfect timing!  :-)


Happy Birthday Banner from Yellow Bird Yellow Beard

While Conor cleaned up the aftermath from breakfast, Liam & I took a nap before we continued to celebrate.  Our next bit of fun was a trip to the zoo! One of little L's favorite places!  We brought sandwiches with us, so we had lunch there while Liam chased a peacock around the tables.  Then it was off to see all the animals and ride the carousel!  We stayed at the zoo for hours and he was engaged the whole time!

Back in the car, L had some quick "nursies" before passing out for a long nap while Conor & I ran some errands to get things together for dinner.  His birthday officially marked 1 year of breastfeeding!!!  I am so proud of Liam & I for hitting this milestone and love the bond that we share because of it!

That evening we had a couple of our neighbors and their kids over for dinner & cupcakes!  We absolutely love our neighborhood and have finally made some good friends in Utah!  Liam's birthday dinner menu: beer can chicken, homemade pesto pasta with basil from the garden, & a blue cheese bacon apple salad!  I had intended on making an angel food cake for dessert, but I am still getting used to baking in high altitudes and it completely flopped!  Good thing I had back up cherry chip cupcakes to throw together.  Cherry chip is thee best cake flavor, hands down!  I used a box mix, but I made homemade frosting; so that more than makes up for it!  Since I've been asked before, I finally decided to share my beer can chicken recipe and thought I'd give my frosting recipe too, enjoy:

Spirit Lake Beer Can Chicken
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 can of beer
  • 3 ½ lb whole chicken
  • Brine chicken for an hour (for a crisper skin, we highly recommend injecting the brine into the meat instead of soaking the whole bird)
  • Mix together spices to create the “fragrant dry spice rub”
  • Rub spices all over chicken (on the skin, under the skin, inside the cavity)
  • Pour or drink ¼ cup of beer out of the can
  • Make 2 more holes in the top of the can with a church key can opener and slide the large opening of the chicken down over the top (it helps to use an official beer can chicken holder)
  • Barbeque for 70-90 minutes on indirect heat checking frequently with a meat thermometer stuck in a thick part
    • Rotate chicken half way thru cooking to ensure that it cooks evenly
 "Easy Peasy" Frosting
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Whip all ingredients together in a mixer until smooth and fluffy
  • Depending on what consistency you want, add more milk for a thinner frosting or more sugar if you like it thicker
Once again, Liam loved everyone singing "Happy Birthday".  Then hesitantly tried his cupcake; which he ended up absolutely loving!  After a a few huge bites, he crumbled the rest of the cupcake just like his pancakes!  My little mess maker couldn't have been more adorable!

Liam spent the rest of the evening chasing around all the big kids in the neighborhood until he was sleepy as can be.  Just as we were about to start his bath, I realized that we didn't take one single picture of the three of us... So we snapped this little gem of our tired little family after celebrating Liam's big day!

 I can't wait to see what this next year brings!
I'm sure much more joy, smiles, & laughs!
Happy Birthday Liamasaurus!

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