Thursday, June 30, 2011

Goal Met

I want to preface this post by apologizing to all of you readers. But there is good news! My class is over, so I will be back soon. I just wanted to let you all know that I met my second weight loss goal. I aimed to lose 10 more pounds by the time we left for the beach, and I actually lost 10.5! Hooray. I'll post MC's 10-month update on Saturday so stay tuned. :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fabulous Finds Friday



Mom and I bought this for ourselv, er, MaryCollis yesterday. It ain't called a party pool for no reason. It's got cup holders and errythang. It's tacky and obnoxious and totally fabulous.


Putting Up

We started with 6 huge bags of 50 stalks each.

Have y'all ever put any vegetables up? I used to help my grandparents shell peas and shuck corn on the back porch when I was little, but I don't know how much help I really was so I'll just consider last night my first time.

Just starting to shuck when there was a little daylight left.

With class rock on the radio and the moon as our guide, my dad and I sat on the back of his truck and shucked over 300 ears of corn. I asked him what had been his favorite stage in life, and he answered with over two hours of storytelling and recollection of memories. He told me things I never knew before - like he lived in Memphis until he was in the third grade; He expounded on topics I had heard in passing but never heard directly from him, such as him going from being a poor student to being top of the class in dental school at UAB; and he gave me advice that I will cherish for a lifetime.

About 1/4 of the way finished.

About 1/2 way finished.

Mom was in the kitchen cleaning and creaming the corn to be frozen, so the two of us spent hours together that we haven't been able to do in quite a while. By the time we finished at 9PM (past bedtime for both of us!), our tummies were empty but my heart was full. The hours of hard work passed by in the blink of an eye, and it makes those dry and sore hands worth it.

After shucking.

After cleaning.

Mom creaming.

Cooling!

We've also put up peas, green beans and tomatoes this year. I did the green beans all by myself. It is seriously hard work but I know we'll be so glad we have them come winter! :)

Bag full o' green beans.

Ends snapped off.

Rinsing.

Blanching.

Ice bath.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Theatrical Thursday



I am working on a portfolio for my MAPQT class, and one of the main components is creating an overall unit plan and laying out several lesson plans for your unit. I am doing my unit on The Great Gatsby because it was and still is one of my favorite high school books. I re-watched the 1974 film adaptation last night, and I have to say... I was completely enamored by it. They nailed it. Mia Farrow is a goddess, and Robert Redford is dreamy. As a foot note, the 2000 version stinks. As much as I adore Paul Rudd, I could not get into it.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gone With the Wind


Several weeks ago Chad surprised me with an ultra special date night. As you all know, my parents keep MaryCollis nearly every Saturday night so we usually try to spend time together over dinner or a movie or even just cooking together. When I returned from dropping MC off at their house, Chad had turned the living room into our very own theater.

He built a palette, and we watched "Gone With the Wind" in its entirety - only stopping to feast on chicken wings and use the bathroom. It was so romantic, and I'm only just now writing about it because I have had one heck of a month. I haven't seen my husband in about two weeks, and I can't wait to finish this class so we can head to the beach!


Wordless Wednesday



Sit back and enjoy. It never stops being funny. Ever.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tasty Tuesday



Toffee Gooey Butter Cake

1 (18.2 oz.) yellow cake mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 large egg

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 (1 lb.) box confectioners sugar
1 cup toffee bits


Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam. Combine cake mix, 1 egg and butter with a mixer. Pat evenly into the pan and set aside. Mix together cream chesse, 2 eggs, vanilla, sugar and butter until smooth. Fold in the toffee bits. (I also add 1 cup of mini morsels). Pour filling over cake mixture and spread evenly. Bake until the center is just a little bit gooey, about 40-50 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely.

This cake is so easy and absolutely amazing. It melts in your mouth, and you won't be able to stop at one piece. Enjoy!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Motherhood Monday



Stay-at-home Moms

How many of you are SAHMs? I think it's a lot more common than you think. For instance, I have a job but I work from home. It is the hardest job in the world, but I'm so grateful I get to stay home with MaryCollis every day. I have seen every single one of her firsts - first smile, first laugh, first time to roll over, sit up, drink from a cup, eat finger food, crawl, pull up, stand, and I'll be there when she walks for the first time, says her first word and uses a big girl potty. I wouldn't trade those moments for anything, but I also understand the importance of having help and appreciate when it's offered.

I'm going to pick on my girlfriend Holli for a moment because I know she won't mind. Before going back to work, she stayed home with her son Parker for a while. I wasn't yet expecting MC and didn't really even know any babies; therefore, I had no idea how difficult it was to be a mom - much less a SAHM. I would think to myself "She's got the life. You just feed them and change some diapers and watch TV for the rest of the day." Ha! The epitome of naiveté.

I even remember telling Chad that after MaryCollis was born he'd never have to do anything when he got home from work because I wouldn't have anything better to do than cook, clean, go to the store and do laundry. Well... JUST KIDDING! Some days I barely have time to shower, let alone cook a meal. Poor Chad. This is not what he signed on for. I bet he feels completely cheated. Ah, well.

But seriously, I have been in the working world. I have had jobs I hated, jobs I loved, even jobs that challenged me but never - and I do mean never - have I ever had a job this demanding and frustrating and rewarding. It is the best job and the worst job. The hardest job and the easiest job. It is called motherhood. I hope to go back to working full time in the future, and I'm sure I will miss the days when I could stay in my pajamas all day but the grass is always greener. For now, I'll just enjoy the time I get to spend with my baby girl and have the utmost respect for my fellow SAHMs. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fabulous Finds Friday



I have been taking a class from 8AM-3PM in South (REALLY South) Hattiesburg every day. When I say 8-3, what I really mean is 7-4 because it takes an hour to get there and an hour to get home. It is the pits, and I am exhausted (more so than I am when I chase MaryCollis around all day), but there is light at the end of the tunnel! It will be over in 2 weeks. I really am enjoying it and learning an awful lot, but dear gussy. I'm whipped.

Needless to say, I haven't had time to shower - much less find anything fabulous. I haven't even had time to eat (I guess I should thank the MAPQT program for my 3-pound weight loss over the past 5 days). So I'm really sorry to you three loyal readers, but there ain't gonna be no FFF post today. Sue me. No, you know what? You should commend me for posting 4/5 days this week. I'll be accepting gifts and words of affirmation through the weekend.

Thank you, and goodnight.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tactile Thursday

Raz did an internship in Memphis while she was at Ole Miss, and she has said many-a-time that she learned more that summer than she did in her entire four years at UM. Well, recently her old boss Martin commissioned her to do the posters for a summer concert series. When she started throwing out names like Huey Lewis and Steve Miller, I told her she'd be crazy not to do it. Who wouldn't want to design a poster for Huey and the News?! Love them. ZZ Top was first on the lineup, and they came back from print a few weeks ago. Take a look at these babies.

The ink looks a little yellow in these photos, but I'm telling you... It is the most perfectly antique-looking, goldy mustard yellow you've ever seen. Props to our pressman Friedrich on mixing the most amazing ink color that ever existed!

The beards.


I can't WAIT to see the next poster in print - Steve Miller Band! My mom and dad are equally excited because they have big plans to frame every poster. Also coming up this summer will be Huey Lewis and Goo Goo Dolls. Oh. my.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


I had a sleepover at Shanny and Pey Pey's this week (twice!). That sweet baby.....

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tasty Tuesday



Mom's Favorite Muffins Ever!

2 cups Bisquick
1 cup sour cream
1 stick butter, melted


Mix all ingredients together and put in greased muffin tins. Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees. It won't get easier than that.

My mom got this recipe from a friend the year she was Gala Chairman for JA (and she was also expecting me!). These muffins absolutely melt in your mouth, and it's best to eat them straight out of the pan. They are so easy and so delicious and so perfect. I have gotten more compliments on these 3-ingredient muffins than anything I've ever made. It's one of those where you splash flour on your face and all over the pan and act like you've been cooking for hours. Enjoy! :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Motherhood Monday



Siblings

Chad does not.not.NOT want another child. Ever. I don't so much want to have another child for myself, but I desperately want MaryCollis to have a sibling. I have talked to many only children who say it is the worst possible thing you can do to a child (only having one). Though I grew up with two older brothers and it probably wasn't nearly as much fun as having a sister would be, I think about how it might have been not having anyone around. How sad and different my life would be.

Though I don't enjoy talking endlessly about MSU sports or drinking beer on game day, I appreciate and enjoy their company. I am so grateful that one day when my parents are too old to care for themselves or God forbid they die, I will have siblings to commiserate with.

I am so thankful I have siblings to go on vacation with. Siblings to give my MaryCollis cousins. Siblings to have sleepovers with every Christmas Eve from here to eternity. Siblings to call when good things happen. Siblings to call when sad things happen. Siblings to share my life with.

I have always wanted two children. I don't know where the number came from, but I think it's kind of perfect. While I am in no way, shape or form ready for another child, I do think about the future. I would love to give Chad a boy to play ball with and teach about Nascar and soccer. I think MaryCollis would be a fabulous big sister because she's independent and funny and protective and sensitive and wonderful.

Do you think about having more children? How many do you want and why?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fabulous Finds Friday



The Children's Place has the softest, most comfy PJs in the entire world for tiny tots. Aunt Jenna gave MaryCollis two pairs of CP jammers a couple of months ago and we fell in love. Thanks to a Memorial Day Sale at The Children's Place, I got MaryCollis some much-needed new sleepers for $3.49 each. Each sleeper is typically $14.50, so I got 4 for the price of 1. Can't beat that with a stick, y'all.

MC in a CP sleeper at 7 months

MC in a CP sleeper at 8 months

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thrifty Thursday



We have four grocery stores within 1/4 mile of our house (which is one of the many reasons I love living in "town"). So on any given Saturday I have my choice of Corner Market, Sunflower, Kroger and the dreaded Walmart.

Corner Market is my go-to store for delicious cheeses, fresh kalamata olives and hand-cut meats. Sadly, Sunflower never makes the cut though I'm not sure why. Walmart used to be my store of choice until they started remodeling and now I only go about once a month to get something electronic or crafty. And I only recently discovered Kroger. Their vegetable and fruit section leaves a lot to be desired, but they make up for it with a fabulous baby aisle and the new Kroger gas station.


I got a Kroger card about 2 weeks ago and since that day I have saved approximately $40 on groceries and $1.50 on gas. That doesn't sound like much on the gas front, but I get .10 cents off per gallon at Kroger which is a heck of a lot more than any other station is offering. Just yesterday I filled up for $3.25/gallon instead of $3.35. It just sounds better, doesn't it?



Did you know that you can go to Kroger's website and download coupons directly to your Kroger card? The best part is, if Kroger has a manufacturer's coupon and you also have a clipped coupon, you get the deal twice! For instance, I downloaded a $1.50 off coupon for Pamper's to my Kroger card but I also had a $1.50 off coupon for Pamper's from Coupon Suzy (remember her?) so I got $3 off a box of diapers! Hot dog. Yall try it!

9-Month Update

MaryCollis is 9 months old today! That's 3/4 of one year. Speaking of one year, Aunt Ewin is designing MaryCollis' first birthday invitation soon. Stay tuned for a sneak peek. The second half of her first year is flying by in comparison to the first half. Those first 6 months seemed like 6 years, and the last 3 months have felt like 3 weeks. She is more and more fun all the time and accomplishing new things every single day. No, really. She does something new every.day.


So here's what's up this month:

- As of this morning, she weighs about 19.5 pounds and is around 28.5 inches long
- She still only has 2 teeth (on bottom) but she's working on some more teeth as we speak - not sure which though
- She crawls everywhere
- She says "mamamamamamama" but it doesn't mean "mama" yet
- She loves to be outside. She gets stir crazy being inside all day.
- She just started finger foods a few weeks ago, and she is really getting good at it. She loves Cheerios, miniature Club crackers and baby Cheetos. She also eats Puffs, yogurt melts, sliced bananas and cheese.
- She drinks 20-24 oz. of formula per day (in 4 feedings)
- She is down to two bottles per day (one in the morning and one at night). She drinks all other liquid from a sippy cup. I hope she'll go full-time sippy cup in the next month or so.
- She really loves the cup and drinks about 3 full cups a day (it's just water with a splash of juice) in addition to her liquid meals.
- She sleeps about 11-12 hours at night
- She takes 2-3 naps per day
- She still wears mostly 6-9 month clothing but is in 9-12 month onesies and sleepers
- Size 3 diapers (size 4 overnite diapers at bedtime)

She has also started pulling up. She's not very good at it and falls a lot, but she'll get there. I started letting her drink her 11AM and 3PM formula from a cup this week, and she did great on the very first day. I hope to have her down to just 1 bottle at nighttime by next month. The nighttime bottle will be the hardest to get rid of because she's just so tired at the end of the day, and I doubt she'll want to have to do any work after her relaxing bath!


We'd also like to give a shout out to our pal Emma who is 15 months old today. Whoop whoop! Y'all come home soon... we're going crazy without you!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


Lunch with Uncle Chessy before he moves to Memphis.

Gamma's new car

Happy Memorial Day!

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