Saturday, November 30, 2013

Fall 2013

I love Fall, but this Fall sort of felt like the season that would not end.  I've always considered Thanksgiving the official end of Fall and the official beginning of the Christmas Season. 
 Since Thanksgiving was so late this year, it kind of felt weird to have Autumn dragging on and on! But, we did have a nice Fall season, including a great Friendsgiving over at the Crump's yesterday.  We are so blessed to have such great friends here to take care of us!

We kicked off the Fall season with a trip North to Avila Valley Barn
and Gopher Glen Apple Orchard with Nick and Cami.

I personally think Avila is the cutest and funnest place to get pumpkins.
It was definitely worth the trip!





We also had a great Halloween. 
So much fun this year with our little Bee buzzing around. 
Garrett ended up having an important work thing that day so I took Georgia
to the ward Trunk or Treat.  She eventually caught on to the fact that she was getting candy 
from all these strange people!
After Garrett got home we went to the Plicka's neighborhood and trick or treated
at a few homes. 




Holidays are so much more exciting with a little one around!

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Georgia Girl


I can't believe this, but Georgia is 21 months old today. There are no words to describe the change this girl has brought into my life in the last almost two years.  At this point, she is changing literally everyday.  I am so grateful that Garrett is able to work hard and support our family so I can be home with Georgia to see all her amazing developments unfold.

Some notes about Miss Georgia:
*She is always talking!  I'm not sure how many words she can say, but she is starting to put sentences together.  She likes to ask Where'd (insert whatever) go?  Like "Where'd Buzz go?" and "Where'd hat go?"  Her new words and phrases always have us laughing.
*Speaking of Buzz, this girl seriously loves Buzz Lightyear.  She loves watching Toy Story and was able to meet Buzz last week in Disneyland.  Can you say, "Dreams come true!"  She also has a huge Buzz she takes around with her all day.

*Georgia is a really good eater.  Some her favorite things right now include bananas, grilled cheese sandwiches, mac & cheese.  She'll seriously eat almost anything though!  Hopefully that keeps up. 
*She is just like her Dad and loves candy, especially sour candy.  Weird, right? She prefers candy to any sort of baked good or ice cream.  She knows what she wants!
*She already has her two year old molars.  They all sprouted the same week as Daylight Savings.  We were all miserable!
*Georgia loves having her family together.  She very much prefers all three of us be together rather than apart and she loves having her extended family around as well.
*She calls Garrett's dad, Papa and my dad Pa, but cannot say any form of Grandma. Also, if you know my dad, you know how much Pa isn't fitting of him, but we all think it's adorable and don't intend on changing it.
*She still takes a binky for her nap and at night.  Part of me just doesn't have the heart to take it away. 
*Georgia would also sleep with all of her toys and stuffed animals if we let her.  There are usually at least 3 things in her crib.  Favorites include Rosie the monkey, Meow Meow the cat and some toy story toy. And she always sleeps with her Grandma B Blankie. It's a real party in her crib, which she can climb out of now if she isn't in a sleep sack.
*She likes going out, but is also happy to be at home playing or watching movies and snuggling.

This girl is totally the light of our lives!  And I can't wait to see what the next few months bring before her two year birthday and little sister arrive.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Meatless Monday- Mac & Cheese

I have to admit it, even though I hate to admit this, I LOVE mac and cheese!  I love even more a delicious homemade mac and cheese in a creamy, delicious cheese sauce.  I must declare that this recipe should be in every mom of small children's arsenal.  I loved it!  Georgia loved it! And even Garrett, who isn't a mac and cheese fan, loved it!  It's definitely not on the healthiest side of things, but if you are going to have a less than calorie free dinner, this should be it.

I got this recipe from none other than Miss Mel over at Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  I also followed the recipe exactly and so I will just link it here for you to enjoy as well!

Classic Mac & Cheese

This recipe makes quite a lot so if you are a small family like we are, I'd even suggest cutting it half and using an 8X8 pan or individual ramekins.  I used a 9x13 and ate only about 1/3 of the pan.  I've been giving the leftovers to Georgia for lunch though, so whatever works for you!

Enjoy!!

Utah

The past few months have brought two trips to Utah.  First in August to Welcome Home my brother from serving his mission in Pennsylvania and the second in September just for fun while Garrett was away in Chicago and in a trial.

I was so sick (I was about 8 weeks pregnant) for the first trip I only took about five pictures of the same thing.  Somehow I made it through two flights without throwing up though!  It was sort of a miracle.  My sister had been staying with us the week prior and was able to fly back to Utah with me and Georgia, which was a huge help!  Garrett drove out a few days later to meet us.

I am so proud of my brother for serving his mission and making it home safely to all of us.  His first time meeting Georgia was at the airport and she was wasn't the least bit afraid of him!  It was awesome!




Georgia was so cute because she kept watching the escalator while we were waiting like she knew someone special was going to come down.  She was right!  It was so cute to see these two together and hear all about Tanner's mission.

Our second trip to Utah was supposed to be a quick one to pass the time while Garrett went to Chicago with his life long friend, Nate.  However, he ended up coming home and going right into a trial so me and Georgia stayed a few extra days, which was really nice considering my previous trip was somewhat of a blur.

We were able to make a trip up to my family's home in Idaho.  I took Georgia when she was 3 months old, but we haven't been back since then. We had a great time riding 4-wheelers, playing games, enjoying the fresh, rainy air and Georgia loved eating the fresh raspberries straight off the bush.

*Just before a Thunderstorm. Isn't it gorgeous?*
By the time September rolled around I was really tired of the humid, hot summer we'd been having in Santa Barbara.  Very little rain and no A/C were making for a miserable time.
This fresh, Idaho air was just what the doctor ordered to keep me sane. 

The rest of our trip was spent enjoying the beginnings of a Utah Fall, visiting family and friends and doing some more catching up with my brother. All in all, a great time!  I can't wait to go back soon!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

San Francisco- July 4th Weekend

Just a couple of days after I found out I was pregnant, we headed out for San Francisco for a July 4th getaway.  I had never been to SF and it was fun exploring the city, eating yummy food and spending time as a family.  I will say, traveling with a toddler is a whole new game but we managed!  We did some super touristy things, but also got a lot of tips on food and entertainment from some locals.  All in all, it was a great trip!


*We definitely had Ghiradelli's more than once*
 

*Walk through Chinatown*
 
 *We went to a super cool food truck gathering at Fort Mason with every type of food imaginable! 
I got a Bacon Grilled Cheese with Bacon Jam from Bacon Bacon.*

*Alcatraz in the background. Sadly, all the Alcatraz tours were booked so this is as close as we got.*

 *Farmers Market at one of the piers*


*Full House time!*

 *One day, we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge around the bay and came back across the Bay Bridge.  It was such a pretty drive and the perfect opportunity for a very tired baby to rest!*

*Best recommendation we got was to eat at Tony's.  It was amazing!*

We ended our trip by attending a Giants game before heading home. It was fun, but babies and baseball are not a good combo!  Beautiful ballpark though!

I'm Pregnant!

I do enjoy updating my blog once in a while.  I've been absent from doing it as of late because I am pregnant!  As of today, I am 20 weeks along! Halfway there!  In all honesty, this pregnancy has been a doozy!  I got sick at about 5.5 weeks and was pretty sick until 13.  I've still been getting nauseous almost nightly even up until now, but I think the worst of it is over... Thank goodness!  With that said, the baby seems to be healthy which is the most important thing so I guess all the nausea is worth it!

We are having another little girl and I am so excited about Georgia having a sister.  Two girls just feels so right for us. She is due March 11, 2014.

*I did not believe I was pregnant!  I took 3 tests!*

 *Georgia's first assignment as a big sister was to help announce it*

*Her second assignment was to hold pink balloons. This assignment was much harder! ;)*

*12 Weeks*


*16 Weeks*
*20 Weeks & Bare Belly*

 *Little girl at 19 Weeks, playing with her toes!*

Monday, July 1, 2013

Meatless Monday- Black Bean and Veggie Casserole

This recipe should definitely be shared.  It was yummy, easy and it's one of those to store away for when you need to take a meal to someone.  Don't let the word "casserole" scare you!  This definitely isn't your grandmother's type of casserole. 

Black Bean and Veggie Casserole:
Original Here

Ingredients:
  • small zucchini
  • small yellow squash
  • 1 packet dry Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1¼ cups low fat buttermilk
  • 2 cups crushed tortilla chips

  • 1 can black beans (rinsed)
  • 4-6 oz shredded sharp cheddar
    (I used a little bit of pepper jack)
  • 1 medium tomato (I used two Roma tomatoes)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 1 Qt size baking dish with non-stick coating. (I used an 8X8 baking dish and it worked great!)
  2. Slice the squash into very thin disks. Whisk together 1 tbs oil with ⅓ of ranch dressing packet, and marinate the sliced squash in it.
  3. Reserve a ⅓ cup of the black beans, and mix the rest in with crushed tortilla chips, spread the mixture on bottom of casserole dish.
  4. Whisk remaining ranch dressing mix into buttermilk, then pour over the chips & beans.
  5. Top with about a ½ cup of shredded cheddar.
  6. Slice the tomato thinly and lay out over cheese, then sprinkle lightly with a little more cheese.
  7. Lay the squash on top slightly over lapping. alternate between the two varieties.
  8. Scatter the remaining beans over the squash then top with a generous helping of the shredded cheese.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes uncovered (until squash is mostly tender).
  10. Allow to rest a few minutes before serving.

ENJOY!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Georgia's 16 Month Old Pictures

On Tuesday, Georgia will be 16 months old!
She is growing up so fast and I love that I am able to stay home and be apart of her everyday changes.

Some ditties about G at this age:
*She says mom, dad, oh-no, no, uh-oh, bye, but is constantly babbling
*Knows what a dog (ff-ff), an elephant and a monkey (oo-oo) all say and knows a train says choo-choo
*Is perfecting the art of eating with utensils
*She is an excellent eater! Some fav's include grapefruit, eggs, and spinach.
*Gets really excited when Dad comes home from work
*She is overall very kind.  I've only ever seen her be mean to Thor. For some reason she likes to give him a good whack once in a while and he takes it, good little doggie.
*Started swimming lessons and loves it
*She also loves going to the beach and Jameson's house
*Her favorite thing is her pink monkey, Rosie, given to her by Aunt Sydnee.
She loves Rosie so much, I bought two more just in case one gets lost or maimed.
*It doesn't seem like Georgia is very fearful.  I hope that keeps up.  I always want her to be brave.
*She loves hats
*Has all of her teeth, except her two year old molars
*She does a lot of pointing lately
*LOVES Wreck-It Ralph!  It's been playing in our car for what feels like years now.  We've tried switching to different movies without success.  Favorite TV Shows are Doc McStuffins and Bubble Guppies

Here are a few pics I took this weekend.
I consider it a miracle I got any of her looking at the camera.
One thing's for certain, this girl has energy galore!















Friday, June 21, 2013

Oh Georgia...

This child of mine is getting quite the personality about her.  I've always found her to be quite entertaining, but lately, she's been a hoot.  I think these pictures pretty much sum it up...

She definitely put all those headbands, hat, and stethoscope on herself.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Thoughts on Weaning

I've read a couple of blogs recently whose posts related to weaning and it got me thinking about my own process of getting Georgia off the boob.  It's a rarely discussed topic that doesn't seem to come up much.  Everyone loves talking about the joys of breastfeeding, but ending is hardly a topic of conversation.  Like what menopause is to the period.

I never planned on breastfeeding past a year.  In fact, I never thought I would even make it to a year.  I went into the whole thing with zero expectations.  I just hoped I'd have a good nurser and that when the baby was ready to stop, we would stop be that at one, four or twelve months.  I did not anticipate on liking breastfeeding nearly as much as I did.  It became not just a function of nourishment, but of bonding.  I loved that quiet time G and I had together, especially in the morning before we started our day. BTW, her morning feeding was the last to go because we enjoyed it so much.

The first time I read about weaning (Georgia was probably eight months old) I felt so sad.  It was the first time I realized that eventually I would have to stop nursing Georgia.  I knew I didn't want to nurse her as an older toddler.  That just didn't seem like my style.  But, when her first birthday rolled around, it also didn't seem right to wean her at that time.  She was still relatively little and not nursing very much, maybe 3-4 times/day.

My first few attempts to cut out feedings were not good.  I can't explain it exactly, but something just didn't feel right.  It felt forced and unnatural. 

"You don't need to wean her because of some arbitrary cut-off date you set for yourself," Garrett told me one night while we were discussing the milky needs of our baby.

"Follow your instincts."

He was right.

So, I soldiered on. Eventually cutting down to two feedings/day.  Once in the morning when she woke up and once in the afternoon before her nap. I cherished these times during the day.  Georgia is and has always been a busy girl.  But, while nursing, she would totally chill out and relax.  It gave me a chance to chill out and relax as well.  Something about nursing would make me so sleepy.  Some hormone release I suppose.  It was awesome.  A little break to catch my breath.

By this point, Georgia was eating solid foods, pretty much like an adult.  Nursing wasn't so much even satisfying her as a snack.  I could tell it was purely a function of bonding.  My worry, however, is that she wouldn't take a bottle anymore (I occasionally bottle-fed from birth) and she didn't like cows milk.  I was worried she'd be missing out on nutrients if she wasn't getting any milk at all.

"No," her wonderful Dr. replied to my concerns.  "She will still gets the nutrients she needs and eventually she will drink milk.  You can stop nursing anytime."

So, I cut out her afternoon feeding.  I could tell she wasn't that interested anymore. Georgia was awesome every time I cut out a feeding.  She transitioned so nicely.  This time was no different.  Instead of nursing to relax for a nap, we would read or watch a show. Then, she'd fall to sleep, no problem.

March turned into April and Georgia was almost 14 months old.  I was getting to a place where I was ready to have my body back.  For almost two years now, my body had been nourishing another human life. I was starting to feel ready to just have it back; to not have to think about what I was eating or what medicine I could take.  I was ready to wear a normal bra and not be concerned if my shirts were nursing friendly.  These were little things of course, paling in comparison to how important I believe nursing is. I could feel my attitude changing though. I finally felt that Georgia and I were both ready to close this chapter of her childhood. 

I decided that I would finish weaning by the end of April.  We were nursing only in the morning, but I knew this was going to be the hardest feeding to let go of.  Our morning nursing was a family affair.  I would nurse Georgia while Garrett laid in bed with us before our all of day's got going.  I am not a morning person and I loved this time in the early hours that we could snuggle and be together before all the craziness of the day started.

Towards the end of April, I was starting to get nervous.  Was Georgia ready?  Was I robbing her of something she enjoyed?  Was I ready?  Then I met a cute mother of a 21 month old at the library.  She told me she was still nursing and felt like there was no escape route.  Almost that she was trapped because her daughter was old enough to understand nursing.  At that moment, I decided that it was time to be done.  The next morning, I nursed Georgia for what I thought would be the last time.  Turns out Georgia needed a little extra love that day and nursed in the middle of the night, which really was the last time!  Since then, Georgia has done awesome.  Only once has she showed interest in nursing and it was while we were showering. :) 

Nursing was a wonderful, extraordinary adventure for me.  I never realized how emotional it would be.  In the end, I am glad I listened to Garrett and my instincts and waited to wean completely until I felt it was right. While it's still sad to be done sometimes, I am so grateful for the experience Georgia and I had!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Meatless Monday- Creamy Tuscan Pasta

Need an idea for dinner tonight?  

Might I suggest this Creamy Tuscan Pasta?

It was simple and simply delicious!  Everyone in this house loved it, including Georgia.  I am pretty sure she ate an adult sized serving. 

Enjoy!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Weekend Fun!

Don't you love when a weekend is just perfect? I do!  And this weekend was definitely one of those weekends!

Garrett and Georgia went on their first official Daddy Daughter Date to the rodeo in Santa Maria.  Garrett bought them both hats, Georgia got some boots and off they went!


*Is she not the cutest Cowgirl you ever did see?*


*My Big G & My Lil' G*

On Sunday we went to Disneyland to meet up with my Gramma, my aunts and a few of my cousins.  My Gramma and Aunt Sonnet ended up hanging out with Georgia most of the day while Garrett and I went on a bunch of rides.  We met up with my Aunt Heidi and her family for dinner.  All in all it was a wonderful day.

*I sort of fell in love with my little family all over again this weekend.
What a blessing they are to me!*