Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Man vs. Food

I don't know if it is luck or fate or what, but I finally remembered to check out the Travel Channel's website to see when the episode of Man vs. Food that was taped at Fifth Third Ballpark will air and it is TONIGHT!!

For those of you who don't know, Man vs. Food is a show where this guy, Adam Richman, goes to a city to try all of their sinfully amazing food, then tops off the show by competing in a food challenged - hence the "man vs. food". Some of them involve eating massive quantities of food, some involve time, some involve overwhelming spiciness, some he finishes, some he doesn't. But they are all entertaining, due in no small part to Adam's natural likability and his intense passion for food.

Tonight they are going to air an episode they taped at Fifth Third Ballpark here in the lovely city of Grand Rapids; Adam took on the Fifth Third Burger earlier in the summer and many of us Man vs. Food fans have been patiently waiting for this episode to air. I have been wondering what other eateries he visited in our fair city, but his time at Fifth Third seems to have been taped for part of his baseball special. Which is pretty cool, though I would have liked to have seen what he thought of the food in our area.

Anyhow, take a look at the show tonight. It is on the Travel Channel at 10 p.m. Eastern time.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pantsless Fun!

My son enjoyed a little pants-free fun last night, and when I say enjoyed, I mean enjoyed. Little guy must have felt liberated or something because he was all over the place.

First, enjoying a little Sunday night football on his couch.

He was also very into crawling into people's laps for book time. It was super cute, and it must have been much less cumbersome sans pants.

Back to the couch for a little "sofa climbing."

"I'm free as a bird! Whoopee!"

Then Daddy used him for target practice. Just kidding! But doesn't it look like that?

"Oh, Daddy! You're so silly!"

"Here, let me just climb up you. You seem to have a bucket on your head!"

"Nothin's slowin' me down tonight, people!"

Clearly he has gotten the hang of walking, though he hasn't figured out how to stand up on his own yet. I'm sure it'll come in time. In the meantime, we are going out today to get him some shoes so he can walk around outside without worry. My little man sure is growing up fast!

All My Bags are Packed ...

Last night my dad left to go on a week-long, cross country trip to review all the plants he is in charge of.

Upon hearing his Grandpa E was going to be leaving for an entire week, my son decided to inspect his suitcase ... and see if he could stowaway.

Sadly for him, he couldn't go with Grandpa, so he just had to settle for a visit before my dad left last night. But they got some good bonding time in and all was right with the world.

"Okay, and now you put the can cooler/teether in the bowl ..."

"Check out my mad walking skills, Grandpa E!"

Hugs before he left.

Dad, if you're reading this, we hope you have a great, productive trip and return home safely! Miss you and love you!

Thirteen Weeks with a Medium Shrimp

According to, I am thirteen weeks along with a baby who is about three inches long, the size of a "medium shrimp" - whatever that means. He/she now has fingerprints, but you can apparently still see his/her veins and organs through his/her skin.

I am running out of pants to wear, and it is a little frustrating. These green ones fit the best, but they don't match everything. I have a pair of maternity jeans I can wear, but they fall down all the time and I constantly look saggy in the butt area. Grrrr.

As you can see, the bump is getting bigger, not huge but bigger. I'm itching for it to look like I am pregnant and not just "chubbier than usual" but I know I could get HUGE by the end so I'm trying to remember to enjoy this early stage.
The little man decided last night that he likes crawling into people's laps to be read to, so ...

... I tempted him with a Clifford book. No, he's not wearing pants (just a diaper); Bryson did the diaper change and thought there was "suspicious" spot on his pants so he just left them off. Poor kid, it was just drool!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dumbest Person Ever (a.k.a., Me)

Yeah, I stopped taking my Zofran yesterday; I thought I could handle it, and I thought I was far enough along that the nausea was going to be greatly subsided. Wrong. Very wrong.

I woke up this morning feeling exhausted (as usual) and kind of punk ... my stomach was not in a good place, shall we say. But, stupidly, I thought I could power through and eat some breakfast to calm things down a bit. Wrong.

I didn't even get to breakfast. My bowl is still sitting on the counter unused. First, I had an allergy attack ... all sorts of sneezing and sniffling; it happens almost every morning in the fall. Then, as I was blowing my nose, I got a not-so-good feeling in my stomach and throat. Uh-oh. I raced to the kitchen sink in just enough time to dry heave my way to tears. (I don't know where the Fiber One bar I ate last night went, but I'm so very glad not to have seen it again ... that could have ruined things for me a bit.)

Adding insult to injury, I discovered - much to my disgust - that our sink REALLY needs to be cleaned; those little flaps on the drain to the garbage disposal are looking pretty nasty. Can't wait to do that job. Yes, that was sarcasm.

I debated taking my Zofran again ... my paramedic brother-in-law told me that Zofran is really supposed to be used to prevent vomiting, not stopping it once it starts. And I trust him, but right now it's my only option. So I just took it; we'll see how it sits. I can tell you one thing, though ... this slice of bread I'm eating tastes really, really good.

Have a nice day! And if your day isn't so nice, just smile and think, "At least I'm not the dumbest person ever."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One Year Doctor Visit

Little B had his one year (12 month) doctor visit on Monday. Here are his stats:

Weight: 27 lbs. 3 oz. (93rd percentile)
Height: 32 1/4" (97th percentile)
Head Circumference: 19 1/4" (97th percentile)

What does that all mean? According to the growth charts, he is almost the size of an average TWO YEAR OLD. Yup. That's my boy. (She says with a huge smile on her face.)

He wowed the doctor with his curiosity (and size, of course), and we seemed to have gotten good marks across the board. Whew!

Then it was time for his shots. Usually my husband is there (or at least another nurse), but this time it was just up to one nurse and I to restrain him while he got FOUR SHOTS. I got his upper body and could do without having to restrain him ever again. He held onto Mr. Bear so tightly and sobbed, but like a champ he was fine about a minute after the shots were over. And he had four pretty cool baseball band aids.

The next night was rough (as have been the poopy diapers), but other than that he's been golden. Have I mentioned how lucky a mom I am?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fun, Fun, Fun

The other night my son and husband played a little together.

"Here ya go, Dad! This triangle is just for you!"

"My cheeks weigh me down."

"Yay! You're funny! Oh, look! I'm standing on my own!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kindness is Underrated: A Reminder Ring to Consider

A week or so ago on one of the blogs I read there was a contest to win a String-Ring. What is that, you ask? Well, it is a sterling silver ring with a groove in it that is to be laced up with a string of any of a number of colors. Depending on what you want to remind yourself of (to be kind, to laugh, to be tolerant, etc.) you can put in a different color and wear it around to remind yourself of your personal goal.

So what do we think? I personally think it's a fantastic idea! Our world could do with a little more of some of the nicer things in life, and this ring is there to help remind us to be better to one another (and ourselves). Plus, the ring itself (which is adjustable and comes with twenty strings) is only $24.95!

Thoughts? Opinions?

Mmm ... Monday: Turkey Tenderloin Recommendation

I realize I haven't done an Mmm ... Monday post in a while, partially because I ran out of "favorite" recipes to put on (and sort of forgot which ones I had already posted) and also because the pregnancy nausea has removed any desire of mine to think about food. At all.

But as I sat eating an entire can of calcium-fortified Spaghetti-O's, I thought about a purchase I made today and how nice it would be to share my excitement with you guys!

So here it is,

I love, love, LOVE these Jennie-O Turkey Store Turkey Breast Tenderloins! They are truly delicious and actually quite good for you. The link above is to my favorite flavor, savory roast, but it apparently comes in four other flavors. We have tried the teriyaki sesame and ginger and enjoyed that a lot too, but the savory one is my favorite.

If you live in the Midwest or are familiar with Meijer, you may be shocked to learn that (ours at least) does not sell this product. I have to make a special trip to Family Fare when it goes on sale to stock up on it (this week it is $2.00 off, if you're in the Grand Rapids area), but it is so worth it. I bought four of them, stuck them in the freezer, and can thaw them as needed for dinners. They take about a day to thaw, which is important to keep in mind, but they are well worth the wait.

Our store only sells the 12 oz. package of them, and let me tell you, it is perfect for two or three people! We usually have leftovers, though one time I think we ate the whole thing (or at least didn't have enough for an entire serving to have later). You can cook it on the grill (30 to 40 minutes) or in the oven (45 to 50 minutes) and it comes out amazingly juicy every time. I prefer it grilled, but since I don't even know how to start our grill we usually have it in the oven. Yes, yes, I am THAT girl. Whatever.

Anyhow, I thought I'd share this little slice of heaven with you. If you haven't tried it yet, please do! I really think you'll enjoy it.

Have a happy Monday!

Playdate at the Park

New wagon in tow, we set out last week for a playdate with our friends Lisa and Ellie. It was a perfect morning at the park, not too warm, not too cold. We first took the kids for a stroll in the wagon, and though Little B looks pouty, he had a great time.

Afterwards, we took them out and let them roam around a bit. Ellie is a much better walker than Baylor is (she is two months older, after all) so she showed him the ropes. She even brought him a flower and tried to share it with him. So cute!

She then displayed some mad skills by hopping up onto the bench by herself!

Seriously, all by herself. With the dandelions in hand, no less!

Baylor got to sit on the bench too, but he needed a bit of help getting up there as he was wearing some slippery socks and no shoes.

All in all, we had a fun time exploring and enjoying the company at the park! Hope to do it again soon! (Oh, and Lisa, if you want any of the pictures just let me know!)

Holland is a Good Time!

Little B came on a trip with my mom, sister, and me to Holland, MI to do a little shopping. We decided to get dinner at O'Charley's over there, and my little man got to try some new foods! Yay!

Cucumber, anyone?

Oh, and the table was a little slanted so he got to roll crayons everywhere. Bonus!

Can you say mac n' cheese?!

He wasn't always so sure about it, but he kept opening his mouth up for more so he must have liked it at least a little.

During dinner, he decided to relieve himself and the scent was wafting a bit, so a diaper change was definitely in order. Sadly, when we got to the bathroom, we discovered that it had been mounted a little higher on the wall than usual. Changing a diaper on a chest-high changing table is not easy, my friends!

Ahh, an after dinner cake cone really tops things off!

Mischief Making and Whatnot

Mischief making is one of Little B's specialties. He doesn't do it maliciously, and maybe I shouldn't even call it "mischief", but he is so very curious. And adventuresome. And it's wonderful ... truly, truly wonderful ... to see him explore this big world of ours.

"What's in the glass? I can alllllmost reach it!"

"This walker used to be so much bigger!" (Yes, he climbed into it by himself.)

"Oma, I'm a bit hungry. Mind if I just help myself to some food?"

"I've got it. No worries!"

"Mommy says these are for something called 'coloring.' But for now, I'm just gonna hold them ... and look uber-cute in my jean jacket!"

"Can you believe that worm ate through FIVE ORANGES and was still hungry?! Is this a work of fiction?"

"Baby Elmo is so big, just like me. Thanks for this couch, you guys; it is great to read on!" (Oh, and last night he figured out how to open the lock on the cabinet behind him in the photo ... oh boy.)

"Oma, thank you for letting me try on your glasses! I was wondering if they would look good with my face shape, and they do!"


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Little B's First Birthday: Part 3

After a nice nap, it was time for Little B's modestly-sized birthday party at his Oma and Grandpa E's house. As previously mentioned, he gets rather overwhelmed in large groups (especially when all the attention is on him) so we intentionally tried to limit the guest list so he wouldn't have a tearful birthday.

Over a month ago, we decided on an owl theme for the party, and my sister put some amazingly cute touches on the day, including owl invitations, an owl balloon, and these adorable (and delicious) owl cupcakes!

She also made some less-intricate, yet still undeniably yummy, cupcakes edged in sugar and topped with mini M&M's. And, of course, a special candle-topped one for the birthday boy!

At first, it was only the grandparents, Aunt Christine, and my husband and I who were there, so the little man had time to get used to being the center of attention. And he seemed to relish it, demonstrating his ability to turn on and off a light ...

... and clap!

Eventually our friends the O'Neills showed up, as did Uncle Gil, Aunt Sarah, Wyatt, and Lucia, and the fun really began! Here are three out of the four O'Neills ...

After a lovely lunch, it was time to open presents! Daddy did most of the opening, but Baylor commented at the appropriate times. "Oooh!"

Lots of people have said my son looks just like my husband, and I never really saw the strong similarity until I came upon this picture ... then I understood.

The last gift to be opened was a red wagon from Oma and Grandpa E! Wyatt and Little B decided it was a good time to take a ride, so off they went!

Uncle Gil wanted give the birthday boy a piggy back ride, and am I glad Gil isn't taller! Whew!

Once the kids got a little more play time in, we decided to bring out the cupcakes! Judging from what happened at his first birthday celebration, we encouraged the crowd to sing in a softer voice so as not to startle the birthday boy. It seemed to work well; he didn't shed a tear!

That said, he was not a fan of the cupcakes.

Dodging a second bite.

"Not okay, Mom!"

He initially balked at the ice cream, but once he got used to how cold it was he seemed to enjoy it.

I swear, he did! We just didn't get any pictures of it.

Soon after cake, someone (not naming names) encouraged me to try to get all five kids together (ranging in age from three years to three months) to take a group picture. Let me tell you, it was like herding cats! This was the best we could do.

We eventually got one with the parents holding their respective children in the grass, but it was not without tears.
After the picture, we sat Baylor down in the grass, though I don't really know why. The following is a smattering of pictures from that endeavor. (And no, he doesn't enjoy being in the grass.)

"Mom, I want to be over there."

"Will someone PLEASE get me out of the grass?"

"Oh, that's real funny. Stand me up and leave me here."

"Does anyone know where my legs went?"
(No, the grass isn't that tall - my parents always keep it nicely manicured - his legs are just that short and his shorts are just that long.)

He took a couple steps in the lawn but clearly wanted out of there. So we brought him over to check out his wagon, new love of his life.

As the party wound down, he got some chilling in with Grandpa E.

Then my mom took Little B and Lucia out to the pool to check things out. She helped both kids sit on the edge near the top step, and Lucia started kicking the water, much to Baylor's enjoyment!

The party was an absolute blast! We'd like to thank my parents and sister again (and again and again ...) for making his day so special and making it so enjoyable for everyone!
After we left their house, it was quite evident that the little man had thoroughly enjoyed his birthday.

Thanks to all for being such a warm, loving part of Baylor's first year!