Friday, August 28, 2009

The big ONE!

I'm posting this early because tomorrow is Eli's actual birthday and we are having his party at my mom's house. So, we won't be home most of the day!

I can't believe my little love bug is turning one! Has it really been a year?? Today, a year ago I was having STRONG contractions... wondering when it was going to be time to head to the hospital... and bound and determined I was going to have Eli the 'natural way'. Well, if you read my birth story, you know that isn't how it happened. But needless to say, he got here just fine! :)

Tears well in my eyes when I think about how much I love that little guy. When you have one whom you already love so much it's hard to imagine loving another the same. But God does something amazing and multiplies your love. So, in honor of the big first birthday here's a little bit about my sweet baby, Eli.

Eli started out as an average size baby at 7 lbs and 12 oz. At about 4 months old his weight gain slowed down and scared me but I soon figured out that was just him. He's always been in the 5-10th percentile for weight and average for height. He's just a little squirrely guy! People ask me all the time how old he is and when I tell them, they comment on how tiny he is! He's been on the go since he was 7 months old though! He doesn't slow down long enough to gain anything! I wonder who he gets that from?? ;) I'll tell you, it's not me... I only wish I had that metabolism! Even as a non-mobile baby he moved all the time. He was constantly kicking his feet! Even when I would nurse him to sleep his little legs would go until he was completely out! He is definitely much more of a mover as a little guy than Luke was.

And although my little man is trim, he has a big appetite. A normal day looks like this:

8:00am- Nurse
9:00am- 1/4 c oatmeal + jar of fruit + 1/4 c goat milk (which makes a huge bowl of oatmeal!), handful of cheerios (while I clean up), sippy of water
11:00am- Nurse
12:30pm- a few puffs (while I get his and Luke's food ready) 2 jars of baby food, sippy of goat milk (not drinking much of it yet.. maybe an oz!), some type of finger foods
2:00pm- Nurse
4:00pm- snack (usually a few graham crackers), juice/water/milk
5:00pm- Nurse (sometimes he skips this one)
6:30pm- 2 jars of baby food, finger foods (usually something of whatever we're having, if appropriate)
8:30pm- Nurse

I am feeding this child in some way or another eight to nine times a day. Not to mention that most nights he still gets up once! He's a piggy!

Eli loves to play with Luke.. or hit Luke in the face rather. He's playing of course but I'm doing my best to teach him to be gentle! Ha! He also LOVES to give Luke kisses (you know the slobbery, open mouth kind!). It's so sweet! He loves to chase Luke around the den and he loves to take baths with him! He definitely loves his big brother!

He also loves his grandaddy. He just gets so excited whenever he sees him and starts saying, "DayDaDa". Luke was the same way though!

Eli loves music. If he hears a beat his little head starts bobbing! Any kind of toy that plays music is a hit with him. He also loves balls too! And of course he loves things that aren't toys at all. He will pick up random items (see above photo!) and carry them around for the longest time!

Eli really loves people. You might not know it when you first meet him but it just takes him a while to warm up. He is definitely a Mommy's boy! And I'm fine with that! He clings to me when he feels uneasy or just a little anxious about a situation! Once he is comfortable though, he will gradually move away from me. (Although most of the time he wants me to be in the same room!) He is a silly boy too and loves to laugh! He and I spend so many moments just sitting together making each other giggle!

Right now, Eli says:

Bye, Bye (although most of the time it's just "bye"
Cracker (Cacar- his favorite thing to eat!! Graham Crackers!)

My love bug,

I can't believe you're turning one tomorrow! Time goes by so fast! As I rocked you to sleep tonight I held you a little bit longer. I just wanted to hold on to my baby before he became a one year old! As I watched you sleep I tried to etch in my memory that sweet baby face. I know all too soon you will be a spunky little boy, like your brother, who won't let me hold him anymore! You are an amazing little guy and we are so proud of you! My prayer is that you will do great things all for the glory of God! Words cannot express how much joy you have brought your Daddy and I! We love you so much!

Love, Mommy

Monday, August 24, 2009

MPM Week of 8/24

*Please check out the blog in my side bar called For Their Joy. Two sweet ladies from my church flew out for the Ukraine Friday. They have made it safely! Praise God! They are visiting an orphanage with children who are ready to be adopted! Please pray for their safety, rest, no sickness as well as their families here who are missing them here!! Most importantly pray that they will have the opportunity to share the gospel with these precious children, orphanage workers, ect. If you know anyone who is thinking about adoption please pass on their website! These children are ready for a family! May God be glorified through their trip!*

So here goes the menu:

Loaded baked potatoes & veggie (moved over from last week.. we were invited to a birthday dinner for the Hubs grandfather, so we missed this meal)

BBQ sandwiches, baked beans, broccoli salad

Mini Pizza's, salad

Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, Salad

Macaroni Chicken Bake, Green Beans, Rolls

That's it! Foodland had boston butts on sale for 0.99 lb so I'm sure we'll be eating BBQ for a few days or I'll be freezing some! Winn Dixie has Bird's Eye Veggies on sale thru tomorrow and there is a coupon here for 1.00 off 4 bags. The coupon is NOT for Steamfresh veggies but it is still a good deal! Stock up on freezer veggies for all of those fall soups! That's the best deal I found. The veggies are $1 a bag so you can get 4 for $3. You can usually print these coupons out twice from your home computer by hitting your back button or clicking on the link again. Save paper by printing it and then turning the paper around to print the second one. :)
The Chicken Ranch Pasta from last week was YUMMY! I think next time I make it I'll throw in some frozen peas! Try it!

Go to to see more menu ideas! There are TONS of menu's and many of them include recipes! You can find a lot of good, inexpensive ideas too!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Starting something new and stopping something old!

Both of my kiddos have hit huge milestones this week! They are growing up too fast!

Guess who is doing GREAT at potty training?? Luke! Last Monday was the day. We had been talking about it for 2 weeks and the best part was that Luke had been bring up the subject on his own. I knew in my heart he was ready for the potty! So Monday morning once he got up he was ready for his Cars underwear! We had a few pee accidents the first three days but by Thursday peeing (at home at least) was so easy for him. He even went three times Thursday without me having to remind him and is now letting me know when he has to go! He's only had one pee accident at home since Thursday and that was while he was watching Thomas! And if you know Luke, you know he's so engrossed in his Thomas video that nothing will pull him away! Right now, while we are out of the house he wears a pull up and at night he wears a diaper (pull ups are too expensive to wear at night!!). And so far he's yet to actually go to the bathroom while we are out. I know he will get the hang of it soon though. I think he knows that he can pee in his pull up without having an accident so he just does it. I need to be better at reminding him while we are out and actually taking him! I'll admit, I've really avoided public bathrooms so far!! As far as poop.. we're still working on it but I knew that would take time. I'm just thankful that he's done so well! No more complete refusal and tantrum throwing like when we tried before! For all of you new mommy's out there, wait until your child is ready! Don't push them! The crying and frustration (on both sides!!!) isn't worth it! It really has been super easy and I know it's all because he was ready!

What has Eli been up to?? Well, about 3 weeks ago Eli took his first step. He didn't really seem interested in trying to practice walking much so I figured it would be a while before he was officially walking. This past week though he just decided that he was going to take off! At the beginning of the week he was taking 5 and 6 steps but now he's walking all over the place! He loves it too! He just giggles while he walks all over the house. He's still wobbly, which is the cutest! And he will sometimes try to go faster than he is able (which has given the knees and legs lots of new bruises!) but I have myself a little walker! It's funny to me to watch him because he is so little! He isn't even 18 lbs yet (we're working on that.. that's another post all in itself!). I can't believe he will be one in a week and a half! He is not a toddler yet! I will not even entertain the thought! He is my toddling baby!! ;)

Here is a short video of him walking to me:

Have a great Wednesday (or whatever day it happens to be when you read this!)!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday (and some good couponing links below)

Wow, this is my first MPM in a LONG time! We've been in the house for almost 3 weeks now. Things are going really great! This is the first weekend that I've sat down and planned out a menu with my coupons and grocery store ads. So, to catch you up on my budgeting and menu planning I will be shopping at Winn Dixie and WalMart primarily. Occasionally Foodland has good sales on meat, so I'll be keeping up with their sale papers through my parents. If I happen to be heading in Target's direction I'll be looking for deals there too but I don't plan on making Target a regular stop for me. I really wish we had a Super Target because I hear they have great deals when combined with Target coupons... oh well. Here goes my menu and below I'll list some of the deals.

Pork Chops, Squash Dressing, Fried Okra

Spaghetti Bake (freezer meal from 2 wks ago), Salad

Tacos, Corn/Rice

Bacon, Egg and Cheese on an English Muffin, Crock Pot Baked Apples

Loaded Baked Potatoes, Veggies (either leftover or from freezer)

And for those who may be new to my blog, I usually only plan 5-6 meals a week. If it's a meal I know we'll eat leftovers (like soup/chili) or if I know we have plans, I'll only plan 5 meals. If it's a regular week, like above, I'll plan 6 and leave room for dinner at my parents or sandwich night. We typically have sandwiches once a week. Most nights what I cook is enough for us that night and then lunch for Robby and I the next day.

I plan my menu based on what is on sale. I typically start with the meats. I usually buy what is BOGO at Winn Dixie and/or what is a good deal. Then I build the rest of my menu around the main dish. I often try to have one meal a week meat-free. For instance, this week I got chicken tenderloins BOGO that I will be using in the chicken dish and next week I will be using it in something else. The tenderloins are great for cutting up and using in casseroles/soups/pasta dishes. I also got BOGO pork chops, which will be used next week or soon after, and ground sirloin was on sale. The spaghetti bake is something I made last week. I made a 9x13 inch pan and we had half of that for supper and lunches then I froze the rest for later. I also bought English muffins BOGO and am freezing one package. I have never done this before but everything I've read says that they will be fine as long as I only store them for a short amount of time (no longer than a month or so) and especially if I plan on toasting them or cooking with them (which I plan on doing = mini pizzas!).

I am no expert on couponing (learning every day) but I did get a few good buys.

At Winn Dixie good thru 8/18:

Kraft shredded cheese: 2 for $4 - coupon for 1$ off 2 Kraft products in np (newspaper) insert (8/9)

Breakstone Sour Cream: 2 for $3 - coupon for 1$ off sour cream/cottage cheese in np insert (8/9)

Viva Paper Towels: 6pk $5.99 - printable Viva coupon for $1 off

These are things we use often. I never buy anything unless it's something we use! Things like sour cream typically have a long life in the fridge unopened. I just keep the 'extras' way in the back until we need them.

You can go to Winn Dixie's website and see their weekly ad for their other deals. I'm heading to WalMart tomorrow to pick up a few things that I know will be cheaper there. Winn Dixie can be more expensive on many things which is why it's important to mainly shop sales.

Well, it's late and I've still go to get a few more things done before tomorrow. Check out for more menu and recipe ideas! And for a great list of resources on saving money grocery shopping check out this.

**Stretching a Buck is posting Couponing 101 all week. Today's post is all about coupon inserts. Good info!

Monday, August 3, 2009

We're in...

We're in the house! Things are sort of, kind of starting to look like a home. There are still a few boxes that need unpacking. But mostly now I'm just trying to find a place for everything. I have given away lots and still have more than needs to go to Center of Hope. When we moved I didn't do much of the packing. We left immediately that day in a hurry and then my Mother In Law did most of it (Thank you, Thank you!)! You do have to remember that I had a nursing (attached to me 24/7 at the time) three month old and we were an hour away from the house. So, it was hard to do much of any kind of packing not living there, being an hour away and with a baby. So there are lots that I just want to get rid of.

I have a growing list of things that I need that you don't think about until you need them.. like one of those dish scrubby things. I need one.* I went to the grocery store yesterday and bought some things mainly just to get us by. I was making eggs this morning and needed some black pepper*. Didn't have any! Our spice cabinet consists of cinnamon, garlic powder, salt, oregano and crushed red pepper. All things my mom grabbed up on a trip to Big Lots! It's so weird starting a household over. Hopefully next week I can start back at making menus again. Time to look for good sales and hunt out those coupons! Honestly, I am looking forward to it. I always felt very good knowing I was helping our family save money. This time the need for saving is even greater and the need for finding good meal ideas on a tight budget is going to be a challenge. But I'm up for a challenge!

The kids have done great transitioning households. We've slept here six nights so far and Luke has only gotten up once at night. That was only because his music stopped. He sleeps with Praise Baby and Veggie Tales Lullaby's at night rotating. So, he ended up in the bed with us because he woke up to silence and was scared. Eli has gotten up twice every night but two. And those two nights he only got up ONCE. Yes, I can hardly believe it myself. It's amazing what sleeping in separate rooms will do! He is actually waking up in the morning and from his naps happy! He seems to be a lot like Luke in the sense that he does like to sleep alone. Luke has never been one to want to be in our bed all the time. Except for the occasional instances, Luke has always liked to sleep in his bed. I think Eli will be the same.

We're also working on baby proofing the house for Eli. Like securing everything to the wall. Seriously. I agree with the idea that you can't change everything in your house for your children. They have to learn there are things not to touch, climb on, pull on. But you also have to think about their safety. Eli is little and although he is learning what "No" means, it doesn't mean that he's always going to follow those rules! And I can't watch him every second of the day. He would love if I just held him 24/7 but it can't be done and honestly I don't want to hold my squirmy 11 month old all day either. So, we have no lamps in the den. Eli pulled the lamps at my Mom's house on him twice. Big lamps. And ours are made out of wrought iron material. Not good for the head.. or arms... or anywhere else it might fall! And the TV is attached to the entertainment center.. and the entertainment center is attached to the wall. The rest of the furniture in Luke and Eli's room will be secured as well. Our room will be off limits for him to just freely go. Some of you know about our disaster that happened a few months ago when Luke tried to feed the fish. So, needless to say we want to avoid anything like that. And if Luke will do it.. you can be sure that Eli will do it a thousand times more.

I just realized that I did not blog about the disaster. I won't go into detail but I will share the pictures. Let's just say I was home alone with both boys.. couldn't get in touch with anyone! And thank goodness for the plastic container of Mega Blocks. I found Luke in that hole between the container and wall! He was fine.. soaked in fish water, 4 gallons of fish water.. but he was fine.

Well, time to get back to making this house a home!

*I wrote this a few days ago and I have since then gotten me a scrubber thingy and black pepper!