Baby Food Making!

This is one thing I have been pumped about doing!  I love to cook and try new things so making my own delicious baby food for Olivia was a definite.  We decided to skip rice cereal since I have read there isn't really a lot of nutritional value and it is more of a filler and just go straight to food.  I thought and researched a lot to see what the best first foods would be.  My sis actually gave me the idea to do avocado and bananas.  

Avocados are rich in vitamin A and C as well as a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, folate and good fats to help support a growing baby.
Bananas are loaded with potassium and mucosal properties that coat the tummy and aid in digestion.

So the adventure begins!

What you need:
2 bananas 
1 avocado
blender or food processor
ice cube tray

If you have never bought avocado before (like me) it may take a few tries to get it right.  You want one that is soft to the touch, but still a little green on the outside. I let mine sit on the counter at home for a day and it turned a greenish brown on the outside and it was perfect once I sliced it open.  It should be mushy enough that you can scoop the meat out easily with a spoon.  I just smooshed it in a pile with my fingers.

Slice the bananas in small pieces and load your goodies in the blender.
It helps if you have a super cute assistant ;)

Blend for a minute or two until you have a creamy consistency.

Then scoop about 2 tablespoons into each ice cube slot (a little more than half way) and pop in the freezer for a couple of hours

I popped the cubes out into individual zip lock bags and then put all of them into a large freezer bag with the date and what type of food label on it for easy storage and access.

When you are ready to serve take the cube out of the bag and place in glass bowl and microwave for around 15 seconds and viola delicious baby food for your little one!!!

I did mix in about a tablespoon of breastmilk to thin out the consistency after warming since I have never fed Olivia anything out of a spoon and I didn't want her to gag.  Plus, she got more good stuff from my awesome milk haha!

So what did the little lady think...

After a few funny faces and a lot of gagging... she loved it!!!
She really loved playing with the empty bowl and spoon too.  First time to eat real food and she already thinks she needs to feed herself..sigh.

So there you have it.  Super simple, healthy baby food in less than 30 minutes!  I cannot wait to play around with new foods and creations for my little nugget!

A Very Merry Christmas

Christmas has always been my very favorite holiday.  I love the hustle and bustle of buying gifts, sharing lots of time with family and friends, the food (oh yes, definitely the food), and most importantly celebrating the birth of Jesus, my Lord and savior.
I really didn't think it could get any better...I was wrong!  Having Olivia to share Christmas with made things exponentially more fun!  I know things are just going to get better as she gets older too.  
Christmas officially started for us the Saturday before with dinner at my Mom's with all of my step sister's and their families.  We have a tradition where my step Dad cooks steak and baked potatoes (and macaroni and cheese and corn casserole, and a giant salad, not to mention the caramel cheese cake for dessert) for dinner since everyone is pretty much turkey'd out.  We had so much fun visiting and exchanging gifts with everyone!

These two are going to be besties!  Loving trying to bite each other already!

Christmas Eve we spent the day doing a little last minute Christmas shopping..I know, I could hardly believe it myself.  I actually was not as crowded as I thought it would be.  That afternoon we went to the candle light service with our families at GFBC.  Olivia decided she didn't need an afternoon nap and she took turns with Ava screaming throughout the entire service.  I thought the screaming was bad until she started grabbing my boobs with both hands trying to nurse through my clothes and everyone on our row was staring and snickering...I pretty much wanted to crawl under my seat and die of embarrassment. It was great fun.

Little lady went to bed early and Mama and Papa elf got to work!  I set up her presents which included a wooden highchair I had my eye on for a while and lots and lots of Sweet Honey, oh yeah, she got some toys too ;)  We still had wrapping to do for Christmas day so we baked ourselves some cookies and watched A Christmas Story as we finished up.  

Setting up her Christmas presents was so much fun!

Christmas Day I woke up to hear Olivia laughing and cooing.  We videoed her opening her presents eating wrapping paper.  She was just so excited that Santa had come and she loved all of her goodies!

We always go to my Mom's for a big brunch and open presents with them.  It is such a fun tradition and Christmas would not be complete without some hashbrown casserole!
 My beautiful Mommy and two of her grandbabies

Cousin love ;)

It seriously took an hour to open all of our presents!  It didn't help matters that little miss needed to eat EVERYTHING!!!

Christmas also happens to be Chad's Mom's Birthday! I mean, how cool is that?? I am pretty sure I would die from excitement if that were my birthday.  We had her over to our house that evening for a tradition Christmas dinner.  I also made cupcakes with home made buttercream icing.  I apparently was too busy to take any pictures, but we had such a good time.

My husband and I had our first outing (yes, I am aware my baby is 6 months old) to a friends late Christmas Party.  Chad's mom came to our house and sat while Olivia got her beauty sleep.  She still goes to bed by 7 so I fed her and got to put her down before we left.  We had a blast catching up with friends kid free!


This has definitely been my very favorite Christmas EVER and I am so thankful I have my sweet husband and baby girl to share it with.  I am always a little sad when it ends every year, but I am super excited to put Olivia in all of her new non-holiday clothes!
I hope everyone enjoyed this special time of year as much as we did!

Feeling Festive

5 days until Christmas, who's ready??
We are working extra hard to make it feel like Christmas since it is 70 degrees Olivia has some festive attire she hasn't even worn yet!  
Last weekend we attended our first ever child friendly Christmas party.  We have come a long way from late night bonfires and too much champagne. 
My little elf helped me make some delicious snacks to bring to the party!

Ready to party!
We had so much fun with some great friends.  There was even a visit from Santa himself to read "The Night Before Christmas" to the kiddos.

My pretty girl was excited to wear her new fancy Sweet Honey dress...although she was more interested in her boots ;)

Sunday night we had a family dinner to celebrate Jacob's birthday.  Madeline wanted to hold Olivia and Ava.  It went swell, for about 5 seconds and they started wiggling to get loose and Olivia took a nose dive and hit her poor little eye on a toy and screamed bloody murder.  
Sweet cousins!

Olivia insisted we match...

Earlier today we had a play date with my friend Katie and her little guy.  This kid is probably the cutest little boy I have ever seen!  He is 6 weeks younger than Olivia, but definitely dwarfs her in size.  They weren't really into the photo shoot, but we had a fun time anyways ;)

The real Christmas festivities officially start tomorrow with dinner at my Mom's and gift exchange!  We are also super excited because we have Daddy home with us until after the new year!
Off to watch "Christmas Vacation" for the thousandth time...night!

6 Months Old

Happy Half Birthday to my sweet angel baby!   Seriously, how can my little tiny baby already be a half a year old??  Time is passing by so fast and I pray every day that I can remember these moments with her.  When I heard her stirring around this morning I went in singing "Happy Birthday" and she smiled from ear to ear. I am a terrible singer, but I put a whole lot of heart into it so I think that makes up for it. 
 Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of hearing my rendition of "The Circle of Life" would have to agree.  Bonus if you got to hear the duet with my sister. 
So very thankful for my beautiful, sweet, happy, healthy six month old!!!
Weight: 16 pounds 8 ounces - 70th percentile
Length: 27 inches - 90th percentile

You are the happiest little thing right now and you smile every time I look at you. You are so silly too.  You love to laugh and I love to hear you laugh...see how that works out?? ;)

Girl, 3 teeth??  Are you trying to break some kind of record or something?  You seem so much older with your mouth filling up with all of those pearly whites!  I do have to say though, you are a champion teether.  Other than some major drool you would never even know that you are teething, like a boss!

I just have to say thank you for the sleep lately.  Bedtime around 7 and sleeping until 6-7 in the morning! You go girl!

By far the biggest accomplishment this month is your sitting up all by your little self!  You only fall over if you try to look behind you or up too high.  I must say it is pretty nice to sit you in the floor with your toys while I unload the groceries from the car or fold a load of laundry because let's face it, you are on my hip pretty much every other waking moment and I love it!

You love to go shopping with me, which is a bonus since we have to do a lot of Christmas shopping!  I just strap you in your carrier and you are good to go. You also like riding in your stroller for a bit, until some stranger undoubtedly comes up to talk to you and you lose your little shiz.  You are pretty friendly with strangers, but from a safe distanceIf they get too close you freak out.

You LOVE other little kids, especially your cousins Allie Kate and Ava Grace.  You and Ava are pretty funny together.  You sit and squeal back and forth and try to poke each other in the face, it is just great fun!  Ava gives you love and you get so excited you shake haha

You also love your Aunt Ashley.  You smile every time she looks at you (a little prize reserved for MOMMY)!  We do sound alike and kinda look alike and definitely act a lot alike so that is probably why you like her so much.  Her babies have always loved me too!  It makes my heart happy to see people I love loving on you and you to them :)

This is by far the most fun age of all..yet!  You love to laugh and play with me and you are so observant of what is going on around you.

The love affair with your feet continues!  Most of the time I have them covered up, it is freezing outside, but when you get the opportunity you go after them like a mad woman.  

You are reaching and grasping for everything these days, anything in mommy's hands is top priority.  You are getting more interested in toys too.  You love anything that lights up and sings and of course everything goes straight to your mouth.  You are working on tooth number 4 after all.

Still refusing a bottle, but you love to drink out of my water bottle or cup.  We tried a sippy cup, but you just chew on it, imagine that.  I am going to start feeding you food this month and I know you are excited about it.  You stare at us eating and if you are close enough you try to claim some of our dinner as your own!

You are jabbering and squealing all of the time now and this is probably my favorite development!  It is like we are having a conversation back and forth.  I still say "mamma" four thousand times a day to you with no luck yet, but I am hoping it will come soon.

Right after you eat and are still milk drunk you lay your head back and stick your chin up revealing that little neck that hides under your chubby cheeks.  You let me kiss you all over your neck and jaws, like you are in a trance or something.  Sometimes we even let Daddy get in on some of this loving ;)  It is so funny because as long as I keep kissing you just lay there completely still which is extremely rare!

You have started this little sniffing snorty thing all the time and it is unbelievably cute.  This is the face you make...

I really cannot believe you have been here 6 months already, then again it feels like you have always been here.   You fit in our lives so perfectly and you make everything more fun.  I am so excited to share your first Christmas with you, even though you won't really understand anything yet.  You are the best present Daddy and I could have ever asked for!  You still love me best, but Daddy is coming in a close second these days.  We are going to have to have a chat about that ;)
I love your sweet, silly personality and I am so blessed that I get to watch you grow and learn every day.  Happy Half Birthday my little love!