Sunday, March 28, 2010

Curb appeal

Look what I found in my flower pot :)


We have lived in our house for almost seven months now. It was a flip and the inside was totally re done. However, the exterior still needs some TLC..curb appeal, if you know what I mean! We added a privacy fence back in the Fall. We have beige brick and brown shutters, so we hope to eventually add some landscaping color. This weekend we raked leaves, pulled weeds and added six Japanese boxwood bushes in front. They should grow to be 4' X 4' so it will look great in the years to come. We plan to add rose bushes and something to spice up the huge beautiful trees!



I found this cute metal flower pot stand in Oklahoma and have filled it every Spring. It goes on the front porch:


One of the earliest memories I have is of my dad and I picking tiny strawberries around our house. We would then dip them in powdered sugar and enjoy :) I stumbled upon this small strawberry plant yesterday and hope to share sweet strawberry memories with Emma! Another bonus is that there is a 'Summer strawberry cobbler' recipe on the back....yum!

Emma planted her very own mini Elmo cherry tomato garden. It is so cute and hopefully she will have success :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Five months old


Owen tuned 5 months old this weekend! He is such a cute, sweet, cuddly, perky, silly, fun little guy! He is still such a mama's boy but is definitely becoming more fond of his daddy. His unofficial weight is 15.5 lbs and he fits perfectly into size 3-6 month clothes.


Errand running has become MUCH easier now that Owen can face forward in the pouch/carrier. He is such a little flirt and smiles at everyone! He had his first high chair experience at lunch on St. Patty's day. We still haven't pulled ours out of storage yet!


Owen has now decided that he likes the pacifier. He likes the green Soothie as well as the NUK. Usually, we must hold it to his face to make him fall asleep.


The recent time change seemed to drastically effect Owen's internal clock and his nap times are totally out of whack! Although he still wakes up several times, he is finally getting a little better about sleeping at night. He is growing out of his swaddle blankets and aways gets his little arms out. He likes to be up around 6AM and babbles for a good half hour. This is his daddy's alarm clock :)


Owen has tried all kinds of solids (sweet potatoes, squash, pears, applesauce and bananas). He is showing a little more interest but isn't crazy about eating yet. He tries to hold his own bottle and guides it toward and away from is face. He still spits up constantly.


A week ago (Sun March 15th) Owen rolled over for the first time! He was on his tummy and rolled onto his back. He probably could have done it earlier, but doesn't spend a lot of time on the floor. I'm not in such a hurry for him to become mobile as I was with Emma :)




Twinkle

video

Road trip

This past week was Spring break for Jarrod! He had an away soccer game on Mon as well as a district soccer meeting on Wed morning, but other than that he was all ours :) This is the first year in his coaching career that we haven't had to stay in town during SB due to a Spring sport such as track or softball. We took advantage of the opportunity and hit the road!

We headed south toward League City to visit my best friend, Lauren, and her husband, Josh. We stopped at the Katy Mills mall for lunch and a few minutes of shopping. What a neat place! Emma and I enjoyed a train ride around the mall. Owen is finally able to sit like a big boy in the double stroller and seems much happier that way!

Since this was my first time in KATY, TX I had to get a photo:




J&L have been married for almost two years, bought a beautiful home almost a year ago and are joyfully expecting their first bundle of joy (a sweet baby GIRL) this Summer. They were perfect hosts and we really enjoyed the visit. Lauren and I lived together for three years during college and I really wish we lived closer now. She is an elementary school teacher and Josh works at NASA. He gave us a tour of the Saturn V rocket display at Johnson Space Center, just minutes from their home. It is H-U-G-E, stretching the length of a home run in Major League Baseball:


On Friday we enjoyed some delicious seafood at Outriggers. My gumbo and grilled crab cake were yummy! After, we went to Kemah Boardwalk. There are tons of restaurants, live music, rides and activities. Since it was also SB for the Houston schools it was crazy busy! Since the ticket lines were outrageously long (and Emma isn't quite tall enough to ride many rides), we decided to just walk and look. Jarrod did take her to look at a sting ray exhibit at the aquarium.
Last night Lauren and I were able to sneak away for much needed pedicures and girl talk.


This morning we said our goodbyes and headed back home. It was 60 degrees when we left Houston but was 39 degrees once we returned to Cameron. Brrrrr! I look forward to visiting again with Lauren twice in early June :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Decked in green

Happy St Patrick's day! We were decked out in GREEN and spent the day in Waco visiting friends & family and running errands. Owen even got to meet lots of new relatives from Lubbock at dinner!


This was Owen's second green outfit of the day. He is a mega drooling machine!


Friday, March 12, 2010

JUMP!

Today we traveled to Round Rock to meet some Cameron friends for some fun! We went to Jump N Climb and then on to Chick fil A for lunch. Beforehand we took a quick detour to the Carter's outlet store. I have several good friends expecting baby girls this summer. It was so fun to by itty bitty pink things again :) I got E & O a couple of goodies each, too!
Emma had a wonderful time playing with her friends. It still amazes me how much energy kiddos have!



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken

By no means am I a domestic diva! Over the last few years I have gotten a lot better! During my time as a Pampered Chef consultant I was able to stock my kitchen shelves with lots of fun cooking gadgets. Part of my job was to prepare meals at cooking shows (and show how easy it could be)! Sometimes I find myself making the same 5 or 6 meals over and over again....so I like to spice things up a bit and try out new recipes :)

For my birthday my in laws gave me a book called '1001 Fast Easy Recipes'. I have tried two of them over the past couple of weeks and both have been simple and delicious! For the first time in my life I made chicken n dumplings. Before, just the thought of it was intimidating. I also made bacon-wrapped chicken. It is definitely a keeper in our household. You might give a try sometime!

Ingredients:
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 (8oz) carton cream cheese w/onion & chives
butter
6 bacon strips
Directions:
Spread 3T cream cheese over each piece of chicken. Dot with butter and a little salt; roll.

Wrap each with a bacon strip. Place seam-side down in greased baking dish.
Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for approximatey 40 minutes or until juices run clear.



Enjoy! These may look like they could be served as a tasty appetizer but they really are a little messy on the plate! I look forwad to trying out the other 999 recipes featured in the book :)


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sibling Sentiment

"A brother is a friend given by nature. ~Legouve"
Before Owen was born I was a little apprehensive about how Emma would act. In fact, the day before I was to be induced I was extremely concerned and overwhelmed with guilt. I was afraid of letting Emma down and not being able to divide myself between two children. She had been the only child for almost three years and I expected that adjusting to our new family dynamics might take some time. Last Easter we had lunch at a family friend's home. She has two grown daughters of her own. She explained to me that its almost as if God creates mothers another heart to love and care for another child. She said that there would be more than enough love and that God would provide. He always has.
To my amazement, Emma took on the role of a big sister perfectly. Four and a half months later, she has not once seemed jealous or angry toward Owen. She has taken him under her wing and acts like a second mama :) She is the first to race into Owen's room when he awakes from a nap (along with Roxie, so it sounds like a stampede!), picks out his outfits and reads books to him. Instead of complaining when he screams, she politely covers both ears :) She often tells me all of the things he can do when he gets bigger (play with her Little People, play with Play do, play soccer and eat chicken)! She has lots of activities lined up for him! We shall see how things go when he pulls her hair and messes up her room!
Likewise, Owen adores his big sister. I can see it in his eyes! No one in the world can make him happy and smiley like she can. He watches every move she makes and can't wait to be her best pal!





Splish Splash...

Owen was taking a bath!! He absolutely LOVES bath time! He can be fussy all day long and then turns into a happy boy in the tub :) With his dry skin I usually only bathe him every other day, but if he seems desperate for a change of scenery/activity, he goes in the bath! Emma always wants to help bathe him....and does a super job!
Santa brought him a bunch of tub critters, and we are slowly introducing them one by one! He is just now showing interest in particular toys and will occasionally grab for something. He seems very pleased when he holds something with both hands - and if Emma is around she shouts, "Good job, Bubby, you did it!" which usually startles him and makes him drop the item :)
You can see in the first photo that his hair is finally (slowly but surely) beginning to appear. It is very light blonde but in some lights has a hint of red :) The last couple of photos shows him sitting in the 'infant/toddler' part of his baby tub. When in the newborn part he tries so hard to sit up...and now does a fantastic job in the big boy part!



Sleepless in Cameron....

Owen is 21 weeks old today! He is still not sleeping very well. We have moved him back into the bassinet in our room, just to eliminate me having to walk to his room as often as he wakes up (it was about every 45 minutes last night). He has a lingering cough which wakes him up every time. I plan to start getting serious about sleep training once he is six months old and the cough is gone. The good news is that his daytime naps have gotten longer (he has two 2 hour long naps - one mid morning and one early afternoon) and we are getting a bedtime bedtime routine down. He can even cry himself back to sleep during naps.

With our pedi's permission, we started baby foods. He doesn't seem overly interested yet, but will take some. He had been watching our forks go from the plate to our mouths for weeks! With him wanting to eat ALL the time, I had to do something :) I haven't yet tried making my own food but will soon. The Zantac might be working a little, but I can't tell a huge difference. He still spits up like crazy!! He dropped 5 oz in weight last week so I'm keeping an eye on that.
He will sit in the walker for a few minutes at a time. He often enjoys slow rides around the house from his sister - that's definitely an advantage of hard floors throughout! He has tons of space to boogy! His lil feet are far from reaching the ground yet :)
Here are some photos from last week:




Saturday, March 6, 2010

Happy Anniversary!



Six years ago today I married my best friend. After dating for seven years, attending different colleges, moving six times (twice in Oklahoma!) and bringing two beautiful children into the world we celebrate six wonderful years of wedded bliss :) Jarrod still gives me butterflies....I look forward to his return home from work every day! I love that our toothbrushes share the same holder, we park our cars in the same drive way, we share the same bed and we love the same little girl and boy more than anything in this world :) Jarrod knows what makes me happy, what makes me sad and what makes me tick! He has a lot on his plate but makes a daily effort to nurture our marriage.


Today we looked through our wedding album. What a wonderful day it was! We also enjoyed a week long honeymoon to Jamaica! We can't wait to go back and have plans to do so to celebrate our tenth anniversary :)
This morning my Memaw called to wish us a happy anniversary. I love talking to her...she gives me such inspiration as a wife and mother. The week of our wedding was very bittersweet as my grandparents were involved in a car accident. Papa was killed and Memaw was in the hospital for injuries. I always admired their marriage and even as a young child I knew that their relationship and husband/wife roles were the perfect example of God's intent for a Christian marriage.


Yesterday Jarrod surprised me with beautiful flowers and news that he had scheduled a massage for me this morning at my favorite spa :) He also got me a neat wall frame that reads "May this Family be a blessing, May this home be filled with love, and joy, and friends, and laughter - all gifts from God above".

We look forward to many, many years to come.......

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Smith going ons



I can't believe that March is already here! I love this time of year....it is not too hot and not too cold (most years)! There are flowers blooming and birds chirping. This is just a random post that will update you on what we're up to!
This past week we signed Emma up for pre T ball (starting in late April) and preschool (starting in Sept). What a big girl! She is ecstatic about both adventures :) She will be on the same 3&4 yr old ball team for the next couple of years. It's the first activity we haven't had to drive out of town for - yay! She has one practice per week and four games total. This is the first year Jarrod hasn't had a third sport, so luckily he will be able to help out! After a trip to Academy, Emma proudly marched out as the new owner of her first fancy bat, tee, ball, tiny cleats and glove....pink and purple, of course! Jarrod said that he had fun helping her pick out equipment...he said it was "addicting" :) We have to go back soon for a pair of t ball pants...size XXS, of course!
We took a tour of the preschool yesterday. It is at First United Methodist Church in downtown Temple. It is very bittersweet to sign up for something like that. After much prayer and consideration, the advantages are abundant! Not only will she gain more experience with her peers, take instruction from another authority and get on a "school" routine, but I will have one on one time with Owen, something that he never gets! Emma will start PreK through the Cameron school district the following Fall and this will serve to bridge the gap between staying home full time and going to school all day every day. Preschool is two mornings a week and we are car pooling with another family. They will have a certified teacher and there are only twelve 3 yr olds in the class. We were given a copy of this week's lesson plans and the kiddos keep busy with fun and educational activities. The curriculum deals a lot with phonics. At this age children are like sponges - so I'm sure she will learn a lot! Emma surprises me daily with what she knows and thinks! She has started asking questions about anything and everything.
I posted this photo of Owen because it is his newest thing. he puts his right hand on his right ear and his left fist goes in his mouth! At first I thought maybe he had an ear infection and was pulling on his right ear. After two doctors examined him and said his ears look great, I guess this is just what he does :) He dislikes the pacifier but will chew on that fist all day long!
Coach Smith is counting down the last days of soccer season. There are only 3 practices and 3 games left on the schedule. The team has a lot to be proud of this year! The Yoemen football team is in the midst of boot camp....a new strategy started by the new athletic director. We took lunch to J at school today and got to witness the jump rope station on our way out. It looks like serious business! Jarrod is loving every minute of it :) Cameron will be in the 2A division next year, which means a whole new set of competitors.
We are really enjoying our "More than Married" class at church. Emma looks forward to her class each Sunday, as well. We have even started leaving Owen in the nursery. We have been attending Temple Bible Church for about 6 months now....it is HUGE! They offer three different morning worship services and all are packed! The music and message are awesome! If you really want to become involved you have to jump in! There are endless classes and activities for all ages. We are on week 5 of 12 in our class. Each week we have homework ~ which is basically an opportunity to set aside time to talk and focus on our marriage. Over the past couple of weeks we have been sharing and discussing our top three intimacy needs. This has been such a blessing, especially as we approach our sixth wedding anniversary this weekend :)

LENT

Jarrod and I decided to give up all sweets/desserts for lent this year. Lent is a Christian tradition that takes place the forty days leading up to Easter. The purpose is to focus on and prepare our hearts for the true meaning of Easter - the Resurrection of Jesus. The forty days represent the time Jesus spent in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry, where he endured temptation by Satan.

I grew up in a Baptist church and this is not something that was specifically talked about. Our Riesel pastor strongly encouraged the congregation to give up something for lent. I have heard of different religions and people doing it different ways. Some can partake in whatever they gave up on Sundays, but we are not doing so. That makes the ideal 40 day period SEVEN DAYS LONGER for us.

I have always had a major sweet tooth. I have no self control....I can't eat just one cupcake! The first few days were particularly challenging for me. It has now been 14 days and it has gotten much easier. I often crave warm chewy brownies or cookies (and sometimes Reese's PB cups). I have substituted sweet treats with trail mix, fruit and veggies. This definitely itsn't a bad idea sine I'd still like to lose a few more baby LBS!!

Only 33 days left....on Easter I look forward to enjoying that brownie!