Monday, April 29, 2013

Big Boy Bed

Imagine my surprise when Palmer was supposed to be napping over the weekend while I was writing in the office and I heard a little, "Hi Mommy!" behind me.

"WHAT??!!??  How did you get out of your crib??"

Well, I've heard countless times that when the little one climbs out of his or her crib, that's usually an indication that it's time to transition to a new bed.

I've, honestly, been dreading this move because of all of the worries that come with the transition.

What happens when he wakes at 5:30am and I'm not ready for him to be up?
What happens when he wakes in the middle of the night and needs to go back to sleep?
What happens if he doesn't want to go to bed at night and keeps getting out?

Nevertheless, I've been collecting some super cute items to add to his original baby nursery (and here) and have been excited to redecorate (more on that later).
First things first, Palmer did great on his first night.  He was so so excited as Rick and I set up his "new big boy bed".  He ran around like a wild man for a bit.  Then we read a book in the bed and told him good night and Rick and I quickly ran downstairs to watch the video monitor.

Palmer continued to read a fire truck book using the light from the night light.  Then, we heard, "Good night, fire house" and he laid down and went to bed.

Eleven hours later, he woke up as happy and proud as can be in his new bed.

Go Palmer!  Welcome to a new era.


Friday, April 26, 2013

My Kid Is Bilingual

As a kid, I LOVED going to the library and picking out books.  Children's books=my childhood, so I am extremely interested in keeping books alive for my guy, too.
Palmer and I go to the library (or "libree", as Palmer likes to say) regularly.

The other day, this is what Palmer picked out to bring home.
What can I say?  My kid is bilingual.  Yep.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Time for Picnics

Life is a journey where you are allowed to choose different roads along the way.  That's how I view where I am today.

As I've mentioned before, Rick works long hours and his career requires a lot of devotion.  Up until recently, I was working near full-time and we found our family life to be stressful and not necessarily satisfying.

After careful consideration, we made the family decision for me to take somewhat of a break from work.  I am still freelancing from time to time.  (In fact, I spent part of last week working for NBC (Today Show, Nightly News, and MSNBC) in West, TX for the fertilizer plant explosion.)

Matt Lauer for a few quick hours in West before he was whisked up to Boston for the breaking arrest:

I am also doing some writing, consulting work with some corporate clients, and a few other paid projects.  And we have an investment project in the works that I will write about on another day...

But, the end goal is to work a little to satisfy my brain and spend the rest of the time concentrating on our young family.

The result has been better than I could've imagined.  If you asked me a few years ago if I would enjoy staying at home, my answer would've probably been no.  Instead, we've found our family balance to be harmonious with this new schedule change.

And how could you not want to hang out with this ham?!?
My favorite part?  We've found time for fun things like picnics.

On one random weeknight recently, I told Rick that if he got home by 7pm, I had a surprise for him.  We quickly ushered out the door after he arrived to enjoy the natural beauty of a nearby lake for a picnic dinner.  These are the things I could not do when running around like a chicken with my head cut off.
I know each family finds their own perfect balance.  For us, this decision is working at this particular time in our life.  And the good news is, we aren't tied to anything.  You get to choose a new road on any given day.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

Food Finds

I've been crushing on a few favorite food finds lately and wanted to share the goodies.

1.  EMPORIUM PIES: If you haven't checked out the Oak Cliff pie shop in the Bishop Arts district (Dallas), get in your car right now.  The presentation of individual slices is adorable as seen below, but the flavors will make you stop in your tracks.  I love the adventurous flavor combos like red velvet chess pie and bourbon pecan.

2.  MONTE BENE VODKA SAUCE:  I know the photo below of an empty jar isn't too appealing, but after I tried this sauce I just had to snap a picture to make sure to remember to purchase this jar again.  The ingredients are natural, with no sugar added unlike too many jarred tomato sauces, and I love the touch of cream as a way to kick up a typical pasta sauce.  I've seen this brand at Whole Foods.

3.  EASTER BREAD OF THE ALPS: Given that Easter has passed, this heads up doesn't help you too much.  But next year, be sure to look for the sweet Easter Bread at Central Market.  I get excited every year when I see the bread out in a bin.  It's airy and a little lemony and oh so delicious with a little cream cheese or just by itself.

4.  COOKWELL & COMPANY:  My friend Justin tipped me off to the greatness of Cookwell & Company.  For those nights when you need a very fast and easy meal, check out the company's tortilla soup in a jar and green chili in a jar.  The tortilla soup is a ready meal when combined with a shredded rotisserie chicken and we've had the chili on the table after browning some ground turkey (or beef) and onions and adding them to the jar.  So yummy, so easy, and again, completely natural ingredients.  You can find both products at Central Market.

5.  OZERY MORNING ROUNDS: I love these adorable little round breads because they are made with absolutely no artificial ingredients and have large chunks of fruit and grains.  The thin buns are perfect for petite peanut butter sandwiches and we like the orange-cranberry and muesli flavors.  Whole Foods sells this bread.

6.  OVERNIGHT OATS: I made a batch of these for upcoming breakfasts in less than 10 minutes.  It was super easy to combine rolled oats, plain Greek yogurt, skim milk, fruit, flax seeds, and honey for an easy grab and go breakfast.  For flavor combos and recipes, click here.

Happy munching!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Life Isn't Perfect

When going thru a recent batch of photos, I came across the set below.  In ordinary instances, I would've deleted most of these photos.  I was playing with a new lens and all of the photos are of terrible quality.  In addition, Palmer is sick and visibly upset.  I just woke up and look annoyed.

But, you know what?  Life isn't perfect.  And in these unperfect photos is a sense of real life.  People get sick.  Pictures aren't always edited beautifully.  And sometimes my hair is frizzy.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


We started off Easter morning with Palmer's first legit loot in the Easter basket.  My personal favorite item was the amazing find of marshmallows meant to go in your cereal.  Palmer+cereal+marshmallows=heaven.
This year, we opted to avoid the Easter madness of our regular church and attend the nearby satellite church instead.
It was a great service and we were all delighted to be greeted by a mariachi band(?!?) on our way out.
Rick's mom and sister and our niece joined us after church for brunch at the club.  We all left full and happy.

Obligatory Easter family photos:
 Nana with her grandkids:
 Gena with Rick and Amanda:
 I adore these two photos of Rick and Palmer:

As I've mentioned in prior years, Easter has become such a fun holiday because of our neighborhood's afternoon parade and party.  This year, we fretted about the forecasted rain and hoped to not repeat last year's downpour.

The skies cooperated and we ended up having a gorgeous afternoon for the eccentric parade and neighborhood lawn parties.
Note the sucker in Palmer's hand.  Every time I turned around, Palmer had helped himself to more candy during the day.
Scott Taylor manages to outdo himself every year with an amazing float for the parade.  You may remember his Macy's-style balloons in year's past.
This year, he has an adorable two-month-old baby girl and still managed to create a gigantic Peep for the parade.

Here's Scott with his gorgeous family.  We are all wondering what he will do with the Peep after the parade, but Brooke mentioned something about turning the float into attic insulation after the holiday.
Palmer got to ride on the float for the parade.

I don't know about you, but when I think of Easter, I think of grilling hamburgers and swimming outside.  Well, maybe not.  But, this year, we made besties with our new neighbors with a pool.  Score for the Jordans when we spent the evening swimming and grilling out.
 I'm in love with little Miss Charlotte.
Happy Easter!