Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ten Months!

DOUBLE DIGITS. Oh my goodness!? And in a blink of an eye we've hit the 10 month mark!

The last month has been a whirlwind of learning and growing! He's gained a tooth, more balance, more voice, even more personality (if you can believe it!) and more motor skills.
Raleigh is the friendliest baby I've ever met. Just the other day in Chipotle he tapped a lady in front of us and she turned around. He immediately stuck his arms out to be held by her... yes a complete stranger! Of course she was smitten. Eventually I let her hold him and he just grinned and flirted. This is not an exceptional event either. He does this just about everywhere we go! I think we'll have to have some serious "stranger danger" talks in the future, but right now it's absolutely precious.

What's New:

  • Raleigh still eats like a grown man! Seriously, he may just be the Very Hungry Caterpillar!
  • He is walking. There, I said it. I've been in denial. He will take 6-7 steps consecutively before he sits down! I can't believe it. Also, let the record show Raleigh's first steps were at 9.5 months and they were to his Tio Leo! 
  • He officially has 7 teeth! I think he's already working on his one year molars too! He loves gnawing on everything with his back gums.
  • He loves swimming! He went into the ocean for the first time this month and he LOVED it. 
  • Raleigh went to his first basketball game. He was a big fan of everything about the game except the buzzer. He eventually got use to it. He cheered and clapped and of course made new friends!
  • Mommy got a baby play yard... so she still has her sanity! Raleigh is into anything and everything. He's very courageous and curious. A dangerous combination! Pray for me! ;)
  • He loves blowing his lips together, sucking in air making a high pitch squeal and he's started to do this silly under bite grin. It's too cute!
  • He loves strumming the guitar and playing with his fishing pole!
  • He stands up unassisted for a long time now. He can even bend over and grab stuff while standing. His balance is pretty impressive!
  • He now annoys Eli sometimes! He's just so interested in what Eli is doing and wants to be a part of it... but he has no sense of personal space or boundaries. It makes for a pretty interesting exchange!
  • He is a little dare devil. The higher you throw the better. The rougher you wrestle the more fun!
  • His laugh and grin are probably my favorite things about him.
  • His hair is getting much lighter!? Like heading towards blonde!! Maybe it's the summer sun!?
  • I think he's taken after his daddy's skin! Thank goodness. He's already got a better tan than me!
  • OH- Raleigh loved his Papa John's (Papa Antoooonio) spaghetti... we loved watching him eat it!!! 

When I see this... I see Nathan!! Wow.

*10 month shoot pictures to come!*

It's been an amazing 10 months! I cannot believe you're almost one baby boy. Blows. My. Mind!

Oops. Months seven, eight, nine!

Oh man. I'm already so far behind and this is the first kid!! I can only imagine how Raleigh's poor brothers or sisters will be neglected when it comes to keeping track of these milestones! Here's the condensed version of the last 3 months.

What's New:

  • Raleigh still loves food!  He has liked everything we've given him... with the exception of avocados. However, he loves guacamole! :)
  • He crawls ALL over the place. ALLLLLL over the place
  • He has 6 teeth! 3 on bottom and 3 on top. 
  • He loves to "direct". He looks as though he's directing a choir, it's pretty adorable!
  • He still doesn't like when you blow your nose... but thankfully he doesn't cry anymore!
  • He babbles and blows raspberries.
  • He still loves clapping and usually does it if he's excited.
  • He LOVES music. The guitar is especially mesmerizing!
  • He stands on his own!
  • He chases Eli around and plays with his friend Zane really well! At 8 months we got to hang out with Harden James Gordon, they were precious together! We actually did Raleigh's 8 month shoot with Harden for his 7 month shoot, since Raleigh was born 8/22 & Harden on 9/21!
  • He loves when Daddy throws him in the air.
  • He giggles and now belly laughs when you tickle him. He's especially ticklish under his chin!
  • I think he's eyes are now hazel! They still seem to change depending on what he wears.
I feel like this set of 3 months he has made some of the biggest leaps and has grown so much. He is way more independent. It's truly crazy how much babies grow and develop in the first year!! 

These two boys. Some of the sweetest!!

Love her! I'm so glad we get to go through this together (even if we're far apart!)!!

EVERYTHING goes in his mouth these days!

Showing off those teethies!
 Little baby boy, you have changed us... for the better! Every moment that goes by I wish I could just savor it and never let it go, but that may mean I'd miss the next! 
You are a joy, thank you for being you!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter (ice cream) Cake!

Y'all. I'm not trying to brag when I tell you I made a really delicious cake tonight! It's the truth!! I found this recipe on Pinterest (thank you technology!) and put my own spin on it. It is SO easy and SO good. 

Cake Ingredients:
One box of chocolate cake
3 eggs
1 cup of water
1 pint of Ben & Jerry's peanut butter world ice cream 

Yeah... That's it. 

Dump all that together and use you mixer for a few minutes until it's creamy and smooth. Take a bunt pan and grease it, I used cocoa powder to powder it per my original source's genius suggestion!   

Bake at 350* for 45 minutes. 

Now I added a little something extra! Who doesn't love a good topping?! 

I reduced over low heat a couple scoops of creamy peanut butter in a pan and whisked in about 3/4 cup of milk. I then added about 1.5 tablespoons of brown sugar and whisked until smooth and creamy! 

After the cake cooled (enough... I'm terrible about waiting!!) I flipped it out and drizzled the peanut butter sauce over it and ta-da!! 

Pass me a fork & a glass of milk!! Enjoy! 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Chipotle Lime Pulled Pork

You know when you're trying to use what you have to make dinner? That's where I was this morning. I had thawed out a pork roast which was taking up valuable space in my freezer. I didn't want another typical pot roast... so I was staring in my fridge when it hit me! Lime. 

I threw my roast in the crockpot and dumped a can of La Croix (the most disgusting drink of all time, but my husbands drink of choice!) ;) I went to my spice cabinet and found Ms. Dash Chipotle Lime and sprinkled the roast generously. I pressed some fresh garlic & added some kosher salt. Then I walked over to my produce... grabbed a orange bell pepper & an onion. I sliced each up and threw it in too! I set it on high and walked away! (I love a crockpot) 5 hours later I shredded the pork, strained the veggies & made our burritos! They were delicious!! 

The breakdown:
Pork roast
Lime La Croix
Ms. Dash Chipotle Lime
1 onion
1 bell pepper
5 hrs. on high heat
Shred & eat!! 

I had some left over sauce I had made which a couple days ago. I found the recipe from Rachel Vanoven's Instagram! 

It added a lot of flavor and I love it too! 
1/2 cup lite mayo
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 lime squeezed 
Ms. Dash chipotle lime
Garlic powder
Your favorite hot sauce! 
Mix it all together and enjoy! 

So that was our quick and easy meal tonight! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Six Months

Happy 1/2 Birthday to my sweet little man!! Time is truly flying, yet we feel like he has been a part of our lives forever.

What's New:
  • Raleigh loves food now, pretty much everything we give him! 
  • He wants to crawl SO badly & is closer to learning than I'd like! 
  • He has two teeth & is working on a few more up top. 
  • He loves to stick out his tongue & roll is wrists around.
  • He is terrified of the sound of a nose blowing!? 
  • He rolls, scoots and rotates into everyyyything.
  • He enjoys clapping and jumping.
  • He can put a paci in his mouth all by himself!
  • He sits up unassisted.
  • He has gotten so much better with other kids. He enjoys watching them play and it seems like he's taking it ALL in!
  • He loves when Daddy throws him in the air.
  • He giggles when you tickle his ribs, tummy or feet.
  • Also, I'm pretty sure his eyes are green now. They tend to change with what he wears, but everyday they look a little more green to me!

Can you see that little tooth? I thought I'd miss his gummy smile, but maybe I love those little teeth even more!?

Mr. Green Eyes

Wow, I see his daddy right here!!!
Goodness, he makes me swoon. He loves people & is so friendly! Even though he's started his "cling to momma" phase, which can be frustrating... I think I'll soak it in because I know there will be one day (sooner than I'd like) where it will be the opposite. Happy half birthday Raleigh James!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sweet Boy

It melts my heart that in your fussiest of fits- when you won't take a pacifier & no bouncing or patting will do... that the moment I sing to you 'Jesus Loves Me' is when you settle. It works 99% of the time! Once I sat in the back seat of the car & you just screamed.. that is until I started to sing. I sang "Jesus loves me, this I know..." on and on... over and over. I got tired of it and tried to change it up... but you started to cry! I switched back and you settled. Maybe you just like the reminder? Jesus does love you, sweet baby, and so does mommy!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Five Months

Wow. So much changed this past month! Raleigh had many firsts & has become so much more interactive! We laugh a lot at our little ham.

Raleigh had his first Christmas. He went to Lake City & Tallahassee for the first time. He met his great grandparents, great aunts & uncles! He met my cousins & friends. He tried solids for the first time. He has gotten much better at sitting on his own. He got his first tooth {1/18/14}! It's been a fun month!!

Raleigh's likes:
bath time
milk, carrots, pears, peas, banana
standing {assisted of course!}
putting ANYTHING in his mouth
meeting people
fart noises {they make him smile}
playing with mommy & daddy
all of his new toys, preferably all out at once!

Raleigh's dislikes:
naps {he tries to refuse them}
not a fan of avocado or sweet potatoes
being left in a room by himself....
not being able to crawl {he tries SO hard}

He is a joy! He is such an expressive little guy. His daddy & I are so grateful for him!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Breastfeeding- My Thoughts & Experience

Tomorrow marks 5 months of my breastfeeding journey. I consider myself NO expert on the matter! However, I just want to say... it's hard work!
It's stressful. There is the stress of if you're producing enough. There is the stress of trying to stop stressing! It hurts. It doesn't always come naturally. It's new for baby & for mommy.
For me there wasn't an immediate bond formed by breastfeeding. I mean, no more than the very first moment I laid my eyes on him and fell madly in love!

I say all that to say this; I'm glad I was able to breastfeed. It's hard work & it hurts at first, but it's how God designed our bodies to function. There are sweet moments where I really enjoy it. Those middle of the night feedings when you have a sweet sleepy baby who is extra cuddly after the feeding... they rank high on my favorite things list!
Photo by Sarah Gray Photography

I don't think you could have prepared me enough for how my breastfeeding experience would go. It's kind of one of those things I had to do... in order to understand. First off, we couldn't get the latch down. There were many hormonal and exhausted tears. Few things are worse than when you can't feed your baby or meet their needs! My life was changed when my lactation consultant introduced me to the nipple shield!  Life. Changing. Without it, I certainly would have given up all together! I will never forget the moment Raleigh finally latched on! His body was convulsing as he was swallowing and sucking so hard! It was incredible to watch this tiny little person learn how to eat and use every fiber of his being to do it. Incredible.

I do however wish someone would have told me that nursing would become my full time job! If a newborn is supposed to eat 10-12 times a day... & most feedings last 30-45 minutes... well you do the math! That's a legit work day. I felt like a had no time to do anything else!! {honestly I didn't!} BUT take heart new mommies... baby will get faster & you will adjust.

Now, breastfeeding has kind of had a resurgence in America. It's great! I know that my breast milk has tons of awesome properties and nutrition made especially for my baby! I'm so thankful my body was able to produce enough to feed my baby. But along with this resurgence of "breast is best" and what not... there has become this stigma with formula. Can I just say... there is NOTHING wrong with feeding your baby! Isn't that the most important thing!?  I know so many women who have to supplement with formula or choose to do formula for every feeding, it is not shameful! I applaud any mother who feeds her baby. It's cruel to make a new, exhausted, hormonal mother feel inadequate! *Ok rant over*

I suppose the point of me writing this is to say... breastfeeding is challenging, but worth it. I have remind myself that this is such a short time in my life. When I start to complain about not having anything "nursing friendly" to wear, realizing I need to pump in order to leave my baby in the nursery or just feeling "inconvenienced" altogether...  I realize it's not about me anymore & that I should be thankful for this opportunity! Yep, welcome to motherhood. It's harder than I ever thought & more amazing than I could have ever imagined.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Three Months & Four Months

Good grief. I've been a little busy & a lot lazy when it comes to blogging! Unfortunately Raleigh's 3rd & 4th month of life will not be well documented on the blog BUT you can check out my Instagram because it's got a billion pictures of our everyday life! So here is the quick recap!

 Month 3: {Oct. 22- Nov.21}
  • We celebrated daddy's birthday!
  • And Raleigh's first trunk or treat & Halloween! 
  • Raleigh made his first trip out of Palm Beach County! We went to Orlando, FL
  • He met his Polish girlfriend Marta & the Rosenbergs!
  • He went swimming for the first time and loooooved it! (Yes it was November... got to love Florida!)
  • Mommy & Daddy got really sick for almost a week! Thankfully not at the same time. Talk about tag-team parenting!!
  • Mommy & Daddy celebrated their two year anniversary... by hanging out with Raleigh! Ha!
Month 4: {Nov.22-Dec.21}
  • Raleigh had his first flight! He was given wings. He didn't cry & slept on the pull out tray table! He got lots of compliments... after we landed! ;)
  • Raleigh visited the great state of South Carolina... his first time out of FL. 
  • We celebrated Thanksgiving with all of our SC family!
  • Raleigh met his 2nd cousin Wyatt who is not even 2 weeks older!
  • We watched a lot of football! Raleigh sure does love it. (Go Noles!)
  • We got to meet Harden James and see his mommy & daddy!
  • Mommy & Raleigh traveled to Orlando again! This time to see Auntie Katherine conduct her chorus kiddos' concert! 
  • We picked out our Christmas tree & we decorated it as a family of three!
  • Raleigh sat on Santa's lap... & didn't cry. He definitely pulled "South Florida Santa's" beard... which mommy caught on camera!
  • Raleigh played the roll of baby Jesus!
  • We had his 4 month check up & he weighed 14 lbs. & 5 ounces... & was 26 inches long! He's a tall boy!
It's incredible to watch your child discover the world! I promise not to wait two months before I post again!!