Thursday, July 2, 2015

Family Olympics 2015

3 years ago we had our first “annual” Family Olympics.  I say “annual” because although our intentions were to have it every year, life happened… babies happened… and another one wasn’t planned until this year!

10868173_10206554047160023_36157967166479921_nAll the babies!  6 under the age of 2, and one more on the way in a week! :)

Anyways, the 3 events we had this year were ladder golf, cornhole, and flimsee.


We picked teams randomly, to make it fair… and my dad had the cutest little foam fingers to hand out to each person!


For prizes we, of course, had medals for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.  We also gave the gold medal winners a 100 grand candy bar… clever, right? (We thought so!)


This year’s Olympics were extra special because we had one of my uncles and his whole family here from Florida.  They haven’t all been back to visit since 2007, so it was so awesome to have everyone all together again.

My cousin from California happened to be visiting the same weekend too, so we were only missing a couple from our big crew!


It was extra amazing to have my dad and all his siblings together again!  Of course we had plenty of pictures to take… and they all hated it!


Unfortunately, we didn’t get many actual game/action shots, but trust me when I say… a lot of fun was had.


And in case you were wondering, the kids had a blast too…


Overall, it was such a fun time.  Days like these make me oh so thankful for my big, crazy family. :)


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Baby Harrell [6 months old]

6 months old…half a year already! 

Our little guy really has developed quite the personality, and it has been so fun to “get to know him.”  He, for the most part, is super easy going and has been such a great baby.

6 months old

These monthly photos are getting harder and harder to take!!


Height & Weight:
At his 6 month appointment JJ was measured at 26.6 inches long (50th percentile), 17.5 lbs (52nd percentile) and his head circumference was 17.7 inches (92nd percentile!!)

JJ continued to teethe this month but no sign of any teeth (yet!) We keep saying, “Any day now…” but haven’t seen anything yet.


JJ’s biggest like this month has been putting things in his mouth! I’m sure this has to do with the teething, but once he grabs hold of something you can guarantee it will go straight to his mouth! He also very recently has started to “throw” things.  I will put him in his high chair while I’m cooking or doing things in the kitchen and he loves tossing his toys off the edge of his high chair.  The first time I thought it was an accident but then he continued to do it over and over and found it so amusing! 

He has really loved grabbing and playing with his feet and even chewing on his toes!  Now that he can roll better he loves just rolling from side to side and scooting around on his back.  If it weren’t for the fact that he still doesn’t love being on his stomach, I would say he would start crawling soon… He has also started to turn on to his side once he falls asleep.


Being on his stomach is still not something he enjoys, and his crib!!!  We have been trying and trying to get him to sleep in his crib but he ends up waking up like every 20 minutes in there for some reason.  More on this below…

He fits into 6 month clothing as well as some 6-9 month jammies and pants.  We also just switched him into size 3 diapers.  (We use cloth diapers, but disposables at night.)


This month JJ continued to be exclusively breastfed.  He didn’t really start to show interest in eating until right around his 6 month “birthday.”  More on real food in his next month’s update. :)

As for nursing, he would still eat around every 3 hours and then up once or twice during the night to eat.  I don’t think he was hungry necessarily, but it would put him right back to sleep immediately so I would feed him… I know we don’t want to get into that habit, but you do crazy things in the middle of the night and you’re not thinking clearly. :)

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This month we experienced some of the worst nights we’ve had…ever.  I honestly don’t know how parents do it!  We were so spoiled with JJ being such a great sleeper, so when he stopped sleeping through the night it was rough for us.  I am going to blame the teething, because we had a few nights in a row where I probably slept a total of 3 hours a night… it was not fun.  This was towards the end of his 5 months and *spoiler* we had a tooth pop through after these crazy nights… (though, after he “turned” 6 months old. :)


We have really been working on trying to get him in his crib, but he honestly hates it.  We haven’t put him in there at night because during naps he wakes up so often… Since he’s bigger and starting to roll now, we don’t want to keep him in the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper anymore so we have started to put him in the pack ‘n play at night in our room.  We are hoping that this will get him more used to sleeping flat, and he will learn to like his crib.  Here’s hoping!


Our Favorite Things This Month:
-Sophie the Giraffe: I might have mentioned this before, but this month while teething, Sophie continues to be one of JJ’s favorite toys.  Who knows what it is about this little giraffe, but JJ truly enjoys gnawing on her little leg.
-Infantino Go Gaga Block Set: We brought this block set out this month and JJ Mostly loves to chew on them…but he also likes to knock over the towers that Zack and I build for him.  It’s fun for the whole family, really. :)
-Tag Crinkle Blanket: <--My mom made a little blanket for JJ (similar to the one linked) and he LOVES it.  He loves playing with & chewing on the little tags, and squishing the crinkle fabric in the corners.


-This month JJ has started to play with/grab/chew on his feet and toes.
-He has started consistently rolling from his back to stomach, and has done a few rolls in a row to get where he wants to be.
-In addition to above, he has learned (sort of) to scoot on his back to get where he wants to go.
-JJ has really found his voice!  He loves to make high pitched screams to get our attention and babbles away.  It’s funny to see that he seems to be pretty reserved around groups of people, looks like he might be bashful like his mama was when she was little…but at home he has no limits!

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-JJ’s new favorite face to make is sucking in on his bottom lip.  It’s pretty cute.
-His hair is finally starting to grow again!  When he was born he had so much hair, but then it dwindled… Now his bald stripe on the back is starting to grow in and he’s getting more on top.  It’s a lot lighter than when he was born so I’m really curious to see what color it will be!  He has one super long hair on his upper forehead that sticks out.  It’s so funny… Zack wants to cut it but I will not let him!


-My best friend and her husband came to Oregon for a couple days and JJ got to visit with them!
-JJ’s hand eye coordination is getting so good! It’s so funny how much joy I get out of watching him take his pacifier out of his mouth and then putting it in again over and over.  #momprobs
-This month we left JJ with someone other than grandparents for the first time while we went to a movie.  He did fine, of course… but we missed him so much! :)
-We celebrated Grandma Karen’s birthday! :)

-We celebrated cousin Hadley’s Baby Sprinkle!  She will be here next month and we are SO excited!
-JJ went to his first Family Olympics! (Post on this to come…)


JJ is truly such a joy in our lives.  Having him around hasn’t always been easy, but we are learning our new normal… and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Welcome Baby JJ
Birth Story
1 month old
2 months old
3 months old
4 months old
5 months old

Thursday, June 18, 2015

[Currently] checking in.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written just a normal, every day post around here.  Yes I have a baby, and he is wonderful… but here’s what’s going on with me lately. ;)

(Thanks, Finley for the idea!)


To the TV on as background noise, and a snoozing baby beside me.  Zack is away at soccer and I hate being home alone at night so I’m letting our little guy sleep on the couch until Daddy gets home. :) 

I have been obsessed with turkey sandwiches lately.  I didn’t eat lunchmeat during pregnancy so I really missed my turkey sandwiches…I’m all about them these days.  That and this chili which I made last night for dinner.

Gatorade.  I read that it’s good for milk production.  TMI?!

I am loving maxi dresses this summer.  Cute, casual, and comfy!

Tired. This is a give-in… But also so so happy.  Life is good, folks.

Loving the warm summer weather we have been having!  Summer is by far my favorite season around here, I just wish it wasn’t the busy time at work for us so we could all get out and enjoy it more together.

Looking for some new shirts to add to my wardrobe.  My post-pregnancy body is not loving the selection that I have these days… but I have so many clothes I can’t justify buying anything new.

Non-retail related, I have been meaning to figure out this wall collage we have in our living room… it’s been filled with wedding items and photos, but I think it’s time to switch it up a bit.

To clean the house for our weekend visitors. :) Also, to schedule a massage that I got for Christmas… it is time to cash that in!

I have so many thoughts in my head constantly!  There are so many things at work I want to accomplish, so many blog posts I want to write, so many things to get done around the house… but instead, I’m choosing to snuggle up with my little man.  These things can wait. ;)

What are you up to lately?!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Cake Batter Popcorn [a recipe]

I seem to have found my niche in the kitchen… I’m a popcorn connoisseur. :)  If you have been reading awhile, you might remember at my sister’s first baby shower I made a white chocolate peppermint popcorn for favors.  It was so dang delicious and perfect for the winter themed shower!

For my sister’s second baby shower I wanted to do some sort of sweet treat to go along with the sprinkle theme… introducing Cake Batter Popcorn!

cake batter popcorn


12 oz. buttered popcorn (1.5 cups unpopped kernels)

6 oz. white chocolate

2/3 cup Funfetti cake mix

Sprinkles (the non-peril, small round ones work best, even though I did not use those here)


1. Pop the popcorn.

2. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave or on the stove.

3. Mix the cake mix into the white chocolate.

4. Spread the popcorn onto cookie sheets, mine fit perfectly on to 3.

5. Drizzle the white chocolate mixture over the popcorn.  I put mine in a small Ziploc bag and cut the corner off for easy drizzling.

6. Drop sprinkles on to the popcorn while the white chocolate is still wet, and let dry.

6. Once dry, put in a covered bowl or large Ziploc bags.


This stuff is GOOD you guys, it was a big hit at the baby shower… to me, it kind of tasted like Lucky Charms.  So delicious!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hadley’s Baby Sprinkle


Because I’m a little behind on my blogging game, I’m not sure if I’ve shared that my sister is PREGNANT!  I’m going to be an auntie to a second little precious niece and I could not be more excited.  JJ is just about 11 months younger than his cousin, Harper… and he’ll be just about 6 1/2 months older than his cousin, Hadley! 

I love throwing parties and baby showers, I have shared a few of them here on the blog. (See Addison’s brunch shower, my sister’s gender reveal party and Harper’s winter themed shower.)  Now, it’s time for one more!

This past weekend we had Hadley’s Baby Sprinkle.  (Like a shower, but a sprinkle… get it?)  I thought it was clever. :)  Here’s the invitation that I whipped up:


Let me just tell you, I had so much fun with the sprinkle theme.  For decorations I wanted to stick with simple, bright accents!  Turns out buying sprinkles in bulk is pretty dang affordable—so we used them everywhere!  The only other thing I did really was buy some flowers from the Farmer’s Market the day of the shower… and cut out a ton of bright colored dots to put everywhere! 

Throwing a


There’s a TV behind that tablecloth… but I thought this looked better. ;)


I filled the vases with sprinkles for a pop of color and scattered some colored dots in the center of the tables.


I really loved how the colored dots turned out.  Such an easy (and cheap) decoration!  Plus, all the babies loved playing with them. :)


Sprinkles everywhere!


How awesome is this diaper bouquet that my mom made?!  She individually rolled each diaper into a rose and put this together.  She is amazing.


For food we had lots of delicious, sprinkled treats!


We had Circus animal cookies, cake batter popcorn (recipe here!) and dark and white chocolate dipped pretzel rods with sprinkles.  (Those seemed to be the most popular!)

We also had a large fruit platter with strawberries, raspberries, apples, watermelon, blueberries, and grapes with this delicious fruit dip!  (We also threw in sprinkles, of course. :)  I didn’t get a picture of this, but you can kind of see it in the diaper flower picture above.


We opted to have a make your own cupcake bar.  We had chocolate and vanilla mini cupcakes with your choice of chocolate and vanilla frosting.  Plus 10 different colors of sprinkles!  The mini cupcakes were so much fun because everyone could decorate a couple different ones to eat. :)


As our guests walked in the door we had them sign a special canvas for Hadley, and put their address on an envelope (unpictured) for the ease of the mama to be when writing thank-you cards!


For games I really wanted to keep things simple.  I always love having some sort of game while the mom opens her gifts to keep people entertained and attentive.  Sometimes I choose Bingo, but this is my favorite lately… You pick “rules” for different gifts, so this time when the mom opened up a pink item, the guests would pass a little ball 3 people to the right.  Any shoes opened and the ball would be passed 6 to the left.  Any card that rhymed, 4 people to the left, and any toy—the ball would be tossed across the circle.  You can get really creative with this game though—the last shower we did any gift bag, any books opened, any bath items etc.  Then whoever has the ball at the end wins a prize!  Guests really seem to enjoy it! 


For this game I filled a baby bottle with sprinkles and had each guest write down how many they thought were in there.  I actually counted how many sprinkles were in a half an ounce (285!) and then weighed the full bottle to see how many were in there. (5700!)  The winner was the guest who came closest to the actual amount—which I think still ended up being about 1000 off. :)


The final game we had was a fun one… we gave each person a chunk of Play Dough and had them make Hadley. :)  When they were all done we had my sister pick her favorite to win a prize!

For prizes I got some cute tumblers from the dollar spot at Target and filled them with candy.  I also let them take home one of the vase centerpieces pictured above.


For favors I simply packed up little portions of sprinkles for the guests to take home.


I had so much fun “sprinkling” my sister… I hope she felt so loved!  I know that little Hadley is so loved already and we all can’t wait to meet her—soon!