Duplo Counting Stacks!

We love anything Lego around here!  The “real” ones are the best, but Duplos have their benefits as well.  When I found this idea on All Our Days via Pinterest a while back, I knew it was going to be a winner.  Of course I needed to make my own, because I wanted to edit the idea a tad.  The main differences with the set I made was using smaller numerals and adding in the cards 7-10.  There’s just something satisfying about having a counting activity one through ten.  I designed my cards on publisher and made the Duplo pictures actual size.  This way Abby can line her stacks up to check her work while building or match them up when completed.  Duplo Counting Cards2

I laminated the cards with contact paper for long-term use.Duplo Counting Cards1

Duplo Counting CardsThese are such an excellent way for Abby to work on her counting!  This activity can also help with some basic color recognition and object order.  We were using a lot of phrases such as, “The red one goes on top of the blue one,” “The green block is at the bottom,” etc.  This is definitely something I will be reusing!

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Cheesy Muffins

I almost left this recipe from South Your Mouth alone.  The only thing I changed was leaving out the sugar and replacing it with a little garlic powder.  More spice and less sweet. 🙂

Cheesy MuffinsCheesy Muffins

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and garlic powder in medium sized bowl.  Stir in the cheese.  In a separate bowl mix egg, milk, and butter.  Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir to combine.  Scoop into muffin tin (either grease it first or cheat and use papers – I used papers), filling cups about 2/3 full.  It should fill a pan with twelve muffins.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Southwestern Chicken Stacks

This is a winner recipe around here because it’s not only simple and tasty, but it’s super healthy too!  Chock full of fiber, so you can’t go wrong.  Inspiration from Taste of Home.

Southwestern ChickenSouthwestern Chicken Stacks

  • 1 lb bag of frozen corn
  • 2 cans (15 oz) black beans rinsed/drained
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 (24 oz) jar chunky salsa
  • 5-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • oregano
  • tortilla chips & cheddar cheese

In a crock-pot, combine the corn, beans, onion, & half of the salsa.  Place chicken on top (I just use it straight out of the freezer).  Pour remaining salsa over chicken and sprinkle with oregano (1/2 – 1 teaspoon).  Cover and cook on low for about 8 hours or meat is cooked through and tender.  Remove chicken, shred with forks, & mix back into the crock-pot.  Scatter some tortilla chips on a plate, scoop some of the chicken mixture on, and top with cheese!  You could also leave the chicken in whole pieces and simply serve on top of the corn & bean mixture with cheddar over it all.  Either way works!  This meal has simple ingredients without a lot of added spices, but you will be amazed at the wonderful flavor.  Since this meal allows you plenty of free time before the supper hour, you have no reason to leave out these delicious cheesy muffins as a side. 🙂Southwestern Chicken Stacks again

Sometimes I think I’m famous….

It’s true.  There are days (every day of my life) where I seriously think I can relate to famous people.  I have my own paparazzi.  She is two years old and just so happens to be my daughter.  Because of her, my life is a narrative.

Ever since Abby learned how to speak, she only stops while sleeping.  Most of the time I can’t even pinpoint when she is stopping to take a breath – it’s that constant.  When you talk THAT much, you tend to run out of good subject material.  As a result, this is a snapshot of what my every moment looks like:

Abby, “Evie’s crying now.” (I’m holding Evie who is loudly demanding to eat, but I might not have noticed if I didn’t get the update)  “Mama’s feeding Evie.” (Ohhh, THAT’S what I’m doing.  I was really starting to wonder…)  “The timer’s going off now!” (Yeeeup, glad she didn’t let me burn those cookies!)  “Mama’s holding Evie.” (That’s right!  I am.  Note to self: Don’t use both hands to get the cookies out when you are holding Evie)  “Mama’s openin’ the oven.  Stay back, back, back!  Mama’s takin’ out the cookies!  Now Mama’s walkin’.  (Walking?  More like jogging.  I’ve gotta pee!)  “Mama’s going potty!”  (Phew, finally!  I’ve been waiting all morning to pee.)  “Mama took her stockings off.”  (Ya, I like to be barefoot)  And so goes our day.  I don’t know what I would do without my life updates. 🙂  IMG_1560edit

Four Months Old!!!!

Little TeddyFour months is such a fun age!  I feel like it’s the beginning of “middle-aged baby stage” and the end of “newborn baby stage.” haha  Caleb and I tell Evie that although we always loved her, she is much more fun now.  There is so much interaction going on and she recently started doing a lot of “talking” which is always a hoot.  Evelyn absolutely loves playing with and holding toys and is really into yelling at things.  She is still wearing a lot of 3 months outfits, but starting to fit into a few 3-6 months (mostly with the help of her cloth diapers).  Our “hefty” little tot now weighs 11 lb 3/4 oz, so she is pretty much huge.  I guess that is almost half of Abby’s current weight (24 lb).  I was looking up Abby’s weight records and was amazed to see that she weighed 2 lb more than Evie does at 4 months!  WOW!  Evie was in the 2nd percentile for her weight and 6th for her height at her 4 month doctor appointment!!  That was a bit of a shocker.  Our kids are always on the low end, but 2nd percentile was a little startling.  Four Months Old2 Four Months OldEvelyn is always full of smiles (quite different from Abby who was such a serious baby!).  She has started (mostly) doing two naps a day, which is nice.  She usually naps in her car seat.  I transitioned her to sleeping in her crib overnight a couple weeks ago and it went really well.  We lay her down around 7 or 7:30 every night and she wakes up to start her day somewhere between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m.  She is still waking up about twice a night to nurse which is very different from Abby who was sleeping through the night at 8 weeks.  It’s not horrible since she is a fast eater (about 5 minutes) and then goes right back to sleep.  The worst part is that I can’t go right back to sleep afterwards, but it will end eventually.Four Months Old1 Evie is a pretty happy little girl.  She still likes me to hold her a lot, but is playing for longer periods of time on the floor.  If you think about it, it’s really no shocker that a baby would rather be carried around than lay in one spot with limited mobility doing next to nothing. ha!  I still am completely in love with my K’tan carrier.  I’ve switched from the newborn position to one that faces the baby outwards and Evelyn really likes it!  Being hands free is so helpful.Big Sister and Me1Big Sister and ME Big sister is still an excellent entertainer, handing Evie toys and reading her stories among other exciting ideas….  Little sister is definitely well loved.  Abigail is reading Evie, “Big Sister, Little Sister” in this picture.  It’s a current favorite around here.  The storyline isn’t really that well written (in my rude opinion) but the idea is so fun that we enjoy it anyway.  I’ve been inspired to create my own future version using photos of the girls.  We’ll see if I ever get around to it though.Reading with Big Sister Our little four month old thinks she is pretty big now and enjoys standing up to show off her strong legs.Standing Up It’s pretty crazy to think this little girl will be sitting up on her own in the next couple of months!  Ahh!Bumbo Seat Baby GirlEvelyn is nursing every 2-3 hours during the day which feels pretty frequent, but as I mentioned above, she doesn’t drag it out at least!  She loves rolling up onto her sides and peering around, but doesn’t seem too interested in actually rolling completely over.  She still is not fond of laying on her stomach.  I really wonder if there are babies who truly enjoy tummy time.  Mine sure didn’t until they were quite a bit older. Evie is starting to get really excited when Daddy comes home from work, which I think is pretty cute.  If he doesn’t give her attention pretty quickly, she will start voicing her unhappy opinion.Daddy and Me Four Months Old3We love watching both of our little girls grow and change every day.  They are so much fun – nutty, but fun.  And of course we love them to pieces!!Four Months Old4

Potatoes & Carrots

When you have a lot of potatoes and a few baby carrots and don’t want to mess with something fancy…. this is for you!  You can use whatever extra spices you want.  I am normally spice happy with things, but there’s something about the relaxed buttery salt & pepper flavor that I need every now and then.  Probably reminds me of home cookin’. 🙂

Potatoes & CarrotsBaked Potatoes & Carrots

  • 3-4 potatoes thinly sliced
  • a handful of baby carrots sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced onions
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Generously grease a baking sheet with butter (or spray it if you’re all awesome and get the cool spray on stuff to save time).  Spread your veggies on the tray and drizzle with olive oil.  Use a spatula to flip them around and evenly coat.  Season with salt and pepper (I went pretty heavy with the salt as the potatoes really soak it up).  Stick the pan in the oven for 10-12 minutes.  Take them out, flip them around a little to ensure even baking and to keep things from getting too crispy.  At this point, I shook some parmesan cheese on everything because WHY NOT?!  It is the best ever topper for veggies!  Turn the oven up to 425 and put the pan back in for another 10-12 minutes.  Depending how thinly you cut things up (and your oven), you might need to do another few minutes to get them the way you want them.  We prefer ours slightly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.  Do what works for you.  When you consider them done, give them another light sprinkle of parmesan and salt as needed.  I find that a quick shake of salt before serving really helps. 🙂