Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hide And Seek

This may look like an ordinary crib, but it's not. It is actually much more than a crib.

More than a place for a baby/toddler to sleep.

More than a convenient time out spot.

It is much, much more than all of that.

(Just as a side note, I have typed the word "much" so many times that I am having problems recognizing it as a real word. Does that happen to anyone else?? No? Dang it. )

It is the beloved hiding spot of a cute little toddler that I know. His own little sanctuary. This is one of the only places in the house where he can fit, and no one else.

Which makes it a bit difficult when he decides to run to his sanctuary during diaper changing time. But I digress.

Its his own little hiding spot and he loves it. And he is just so dang cute showing us his hiding spot, its hard for us not to love it too!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Random Ramblings

Hey everyone!

Sorry I have been blog slacking the past couple days. I am probably going to blog slack the next couple of days too. I am spending my "free time" (aka: nap time) researching stuff here recently. I get on these kicks every now and then, so you may have to be patient with me.

I have been doing more research on eating healthier and trying to find new recipes and all that jazz. Its exciting, but discouraging at the same time. I cant afford to eat healthy and even if I could my husband is a picky eater. So that makes things a bit more difficult. But I am hoping to find a way around his picky eating habits. I will keep you posted on how that goes. :)

While we are on the subject of healthy eating... am I the only one who day dreams about eating organic food? Oh how I would love to buy nothing but organic things. Produce in particular. I hate that we are putting harmful chemicals into our body on a regular basis. And milk! I am disgusted that I am still drinking regular cows milk. Zachariah drinks nothing but organic milk, but Daniel and I have not made the switch. You know why? Because organic milk costs a booty load more than regular milk with hormones, pesticides and pus in it. Sorry. Everyone should know what they are drinking though, right? :)

You know what? I think I am going to do a post on milk. It is really fascinating to see the link between dairy products and illnesses such as heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, obesity, autism and other illnesses. Seriously, I am going to do more research and get back to you with a post on this. I know, I know... you are thrilled. Try and contain your excitement though.

Ok. And now I am going to bring this post to an abrupt stop. First off, because I am boring you to tears. Secondly, because I am about to give myself an anxiety attack thinking about all the horrible things I am putting into my sons body. And thirdly... my son has been in his crib for over an hour and a half and is STILL not asleep. So I must depart from this post and go take care of that. :)

Ta ta for now!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Photography Update

So, for the past however many months I have been teaching myself photography. Well... at least attempting to. Its a little difficult with a toddler nipping at my heels. :)

I have finally been able to take what I have learned and apply it. I took some pictures of a friend and her dog a month ago, and then I forced my cousin into letting me take some pictures of her. I had A LOT of fun both times, and it just made me want to learn even more!

I am no where close to being able to do this professionally, but I would love to one day. I love it. I absolutely love taking pictures. I have SO much to learn though. So I am sharing with you a few of the pictures I took on my first two official shoots (I sound so dorky saying that) so that you can offer up advice or tell me how wonderful they are.

HA! Just kidding. Boy I crack myself up.

Here are a few pictures I took of Sydney. She is a sweet dog who is VERY loved by her owner. Oh, and she loves to stick her tongue out. :)

And here are a few pictures of my cousin, Miranda. I was able to kidnap her a couple weeks ago before she left for college. She was very gracious to let me drag her all over downtown in the 95 degree heat. Oh the joys of living in the south.

As I said, I know I am not anywhere close to being a professional, but I am having so much fun with this. Even if I am an amateur. I love learning each time I go out and take pictures.

And weather you like it or not, I will be keeping you posted on further photography endeavors. Because this is my blog, and I can do whatever I want.

So there. :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Our Day

This morning Zachariah and I went to the Zoo. While we were there, we played on the super cool playground! And you know what? I did not take a single picture. *insert gasp here*

I took my camera, but then decided to leave it in the car. I wanted to play with my son, not worry about getting a really cute picture.

So we wandered around the zoo, making animal noises and picking up leaves and pine straw. Then sharing said leaves and pine straw with the monkeys. We explored every nook and cranny on the playground, climbed inside a wooden whale, slid down a bazillion slides, and pretended to ride a motorcycle. We had fun! I got to enjoy my baby and he got to go a few hours without the camera in his face.

Well... almost. I did pick the camera up to take a picture of his cute pouty face as we were leaving. :)

Poor guy didn't want to leave the animals. But have no fear, we got home and watched a Curious George movie. That is almost like being at the Zoo, right?

And no, Zachariah is not wearing the same shirt that he has on in the post below. That is just a figment of your imagination. Ahem


Did anyone else's weekend fly by? I swear today feels like it should be Sunday instead of Monday.

Ah well. I guess the week will start regardless of what day I think it should be.

This weekend I came across some pictures I took on Independence Day. With all the other pictures I had to edit from the 4th of July (see here, here, and here) I didn't even give these a second glance.

Until yesterday.

They are overexposed and poorly framed, but they made me laugh out loud. So I thought I would share them with you, just in case you needed a chuckle on this Monday morning. :)

This kid cracks. me. up.

And I am so glad I took time to look at these pictures this go around. This is probably the silliest he has every been (intentionally at least) in front of the camera. I would have hated to miss it completely.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Book Review Thursday... Kind Of.

We have some friends. These friends are some of the most giving people we have ever met. Everything they own is in pristine condition. They buy quality stuff, and when the don't want it anymore (due to an upgrade or lack of room), they give it away. They don't sell it, but they give it.

Over the past three years, they have given us quite a bit. A few of the items would include patio furniture, a wide screen flat screen TV, a bread maker, a juicer (that I have yet to use, but I am hoping to break that puppy out soon!) and a refrigerator (more on that later).

So yeah. They are sweet, sweet people.

Earlier this week their daughter (who was in my very first preschool class!) came across some books that she has had since she was little. She has outgrown them and asked if she could give them to Zachariah.

How sweet is that?

This is one of the books. It is a collection of Little Golden Books. I was pumped. I LOVE the Little Golden Books. And we haven't bought any for Z yet, so this was perfect!!

The Poky Little Puppy. I heart this story. And Zachariah has shown great interest in it as well, considering there are ADORABLE little dogs all in it. :)

Scuffy The Tugboat anyone? Yeah, I remember this one like I read it yesterday.

And I did. But that isn't the point.

Ah yes. The Saggy Baggy Elephant. I LOVE this one. The elephant is just so darn cute. Seriously. This story has always made me wish I had a pet baby elephant.

There are about seven more stories in this book, including The Good Humor man, The Fuzzy Duckling, I Can Fly, The Lion's Paw, and more!

Am I the only one that enjoys reminiscing about these stories?

The other book is full of 18 classic Disney stories. I haven't made my way through that one yet, but it looks amazing. I cant wait to read these to my little man!

So yeah. We are all pretty pumped about these books.

I am counting this as my book review. And there is nothing you can do about it.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Boots

Someone gave Zachariah these boots a couple months ago. He immediately asked me to put them on his feet and proceeded to walk around for HOURS in the boots. He made Daniel read him books while wearing the boots, he played with his toys in the boots, and he also went outside in the boots.

And nothing but the boots.

I honestly don't know what to say about this picture, but I thought it was cute. And random. Zachariah is randomly cute. :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Grandfather Mountain

While we were in North Carolina, we went to visit Grandfather Mountain. It was absolutely gorgeous up there. I took quite a few pictures, but due to my constant fear that I was going to fall off the mountain, I didn't have time to change my settings all around. So a lot of them turned out... well lets just say they weren't the best pictures ever. I did try to save and edit a few, so I thought I would show them to you so you could gaze at the beauty that is the mountains.

This was our view once we crossed over a mile high swinging bridge. It was amazing.

Family shot on Grandfather Mountain. This is one of three family pictures we got all week. I am so bad at getting family pictures. I really need to work on that.

Daniel and Zachariah looking at the magnificent view. I love this picture. :)

This is the second family picture we got on the trip.

Do you know how hard it is to get someone to take a picture these days? I mean, it is as if no one knows that you are supposed to get all of the subjects in the frame. Seriously. There were about twenty pictures taken like this, but this is the ONLY one that included all three of us. And its not just this one person that took our picture! Its just about everyone I hand my camera to!

One day I am just going to break down and actually hire a photographer friend of mine to take our picture. This is getting ridiculous.

Ok. Enough complaining. Back to the mountains. :)

*sigh* I love the mountains. Wanna move there with me?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Yertle the Turtle

Dr. Seuss bed time stories are a favorite in our household. Zachariah asks for one just about every night before bed, and Daniel happily obliges to his request.

I love watching Daniel read to Zachariah. And I love how into the story they are. They both really get into these stories.

I love how much he adores his daddy.

And I love that I can document the cuteness with the stealth of a... cat. Or cheetah. Or an aircraft. Or something. What is the phrase I am looking for here?

Gah. That is going to bug me.

Ruh- roh. I think I have been spotted.

Yep. I am definitely getting yelled at by my toddler. Apparently taking pictures during story time is not acceptable behavior.

My bad.

These pictures make me smile. Definitely worth the scolding I received from Zachariah.


I love these two.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


While we were in North Carolina we visited my grandmother and her hubby. Remember?

Well while we were there Zachariah pretty much fell in love with their dog, Brownie. And you know what? Brownie fell in love with Zachariah too. Every time Zachariah would go outside of Brownie's electrical fence boundaries, he would cry and whine until Z came back. It was SO cute. And pitiful. That dog desperately needs a friend. :)

Now fast forward to earlier this week.

I was standing in the kitchen eating what ended up being the first of 10 brownies I devoured that day, when Zachariah came and stood next to me with puppy dog eyes. I asked him if he wanted a piece and he responded with an eager "uh-huh!!"

Since he is learning new words on a daily basis, I try tell him the name of the food(s) that he is eating... and every now and then he will try and repeat it after me. So as I was handing him a piece of my brownie I said to him, "This is a brownie, ok?". And he promptly barked at me.

Over the past couple days when he sees a brownie or wants to eat a brownie, he barks. And it makes me laugh, each and every time.

He loves this dog. Almost as much as he loves my brownies.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


- I am tired.
- I am tired of my neck being so stiff. I need a massage.
- I am overwhelmed with the amount of pictures I need to edit.
- I then need to post said pictures to facebook.
- I need to practice my photography. I just cant seem to find the time.
- I want my son to have fun during the day. But its too dang hot do go outside.
- I want to do yoga, but I cant afford to take classes and the DVD's are not encouraging me. Seriously, what normal person is THAT flexible?
- My son cracks up laughing when he sees me doing yoga.
- I am afraid I have gained 45 pounds with all the brownies I have eaten in the past three days.
- Forget yoga. I need to do the 30 day shred or something.
- My son is turning two in a month. Someone pinch me.
- I didn't get to go see my brother graduate from boot camp this past weekend, and that depresses me. Watching video's and seeing pictures makes me cry.
- My son came up and randomly hugged me today. That came close to making me cry.
- The garbage men did not put our trash can back where it belonged. That almost made me cry too.
- I am apparently emotional today. Dang hormones.


Last week I bought a whole tub of organic plain yogurt. I had no clue why I decided that I needed this, but I plopped it into the shopping cart and went on my merry way.

The day after I bought it, I put some cut up fruit in the yogurt and gave some to Z. I had hopes of him saying "Mmmm! Dishis!", but he hated this stuff. Apparently the plain yogurt taste was still too strong. He definitely preferred Daddy's yogurt with all the preservatives and junk. Of course.

So there it sat, a tub of plain yogurt, with no one to eat it. Seriously folks, who eats PLAIN yogurt? Blegh.

Not more than a day after I had convinced myself this yogurt was going to rot in the fridge, I read a post that MckMama wrote. It gave a recipe of how to "make" your own yogurt using (drum roll please) ... a tub of organic plain yogurt! WOOHOO! (Click here to see the recipe.)

I was pumped. Seriously, Zachariah and I made that sucker about an hour after I read the recipe. And it was SO EASY. Luckily I had all the necessary ingredients on hand (yogurt, honey, vanilla, strawberries, blueberries and banana). We just threw them into a blender and whabam! We had a huge container full of yogurt that Zachariah will actually eat.

Doesn't it look yummy??

MckMama's looks more pinkish. I think I may have skimped on the strawberries. But at that point, I didn't too much care. I am just glad that tub of yogurt did not go to waste. I would have never heard the end of it from my hubby.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Brief Update

Zachariah has been in a jibberish stage for a while now. Don't get me wrong, he has a list of about a dozen words that he will throw around on a very regular basis, but he loves the jibberish.

Personally, I find it to be one of the most adorable things ever. He will just come up and talk to us (in what seems like another language), and he will be so passionate about what he is saying. I just wish I knew what he was trying to communicate to us!

All that to say, I have been amazed at how much his vocabulary has grown over the past week. Seriously, he has added about ten words to his vocabulary in just a few days. And it isn't like he says it just once... he has incorporated them into his daily schedule. He will go out of his way to find a reason to say "tu-tle" (turtle). It is SO DANG CUTE.

Anyway. I decided to list the words that he has learned and added to his vocab over the past week. If this doesn't interest you, I apologize. But I needed to write this all out so I had a record of it. And what better place to do it than my blog? :)

New words... and a few phrases.

"Pu-ple" (purple)
"Tu-tle" (turtle)
"Ta-tor" (tractor)
"Dumb" (yeah. this one is my fault)
"Basketball" (seriously. he says every letter of this word. this is one of my favorites)
"Et's-doe!" (lets go!)
"Dishis" (delicious)
"Cak-cakes" (pancakes)
"I each" (I can't reach)
"Oo, at's dat?" (Ooo, whats that?)

And on a somewhat related note... Z has been kicking butt with his animal noises. He cannot tell you the name of the animal (except a very select few), but when asked to identify a certain animal, he will do a VERY realistic sounding noise. It has seriously blown me away. His favorite animal noise lately has been an eagle. And if you have ever heard an eagles squawk... well, lets just say I am hoping he moves on to a butterfly noise soon.

I am hoping to video tape some of this, but I have to be sneaky about it. Or else he will just want to watch himself in the video camera. So once I can figure out a plan of action, I will hopefully have some videos up here! :)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Off We Go, Into The Wild Blue Yonder

Remember my brother, Wesley? He got super sick about halfway through boot camp and was delayed quite a bit. If none of this sounds familiar, you should probably go read this post. :)

I am super excited to announce that Wesley graduated this weekend! And he was promoted to Airman First Class as well! How cool is that?

My brother has officially become and Airman, and I couldn't be prouder.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Broccoli Casserole

I do not like broccoli. I do not like it, Sam you see.

That being said, my mother in law makes a superb broccoli casserole. So superb, in fact, that I got the recipe from her a couple years ago and I make it about once a week at our house. It is one of the only veggies Zachariah will eat on a regular basis. He will get seconds and thirds of this stuff. Its fabulous.

Seeing as how my family loves it so much, I thought I would share the super simple recipe with you. You know, just in case you wanted to try it. :)

First, the ingredients. You will need some broccoli, mayo, cream of chicken soup, shredded cheddar cheese (sharp), eggs and Ritz crackers.

First, cook the broccoli according to the packaged directions. Drain really well, then set it aside. We will use this in just a little bit.

(You need a 16 ounce bag of broccoli. Winn Dixie carries the PERFECT size bag for this. Other stores may have a 16 ounce bag as well, but I have yet to find it.)

In a decent sized bowl, combine two eggs, a can of cream of chicken soup, and a cup of mayo.

If you have a cute and eager helper nipping at your heels, you can have him stir it for you.

Don't forget to shout, "Keep the spatula over the bowl. OVER the bowl!" a few times. When that doesn't work, just try and will the spatula not to drip all over the counter.

After you accept the fact that your "little helper" is going to make a complete mess of your kitchen, take your cooked broccoli and throw it into the bowl.

Then have your cute little helper pour in one and a half cups of shredded cheese.

We do it in half cup doses. That way he gets to do it three times and feels like he is being more helpful.

But you may feel free to measure it all out at once. And then let me live vicariously through you.

Now stir in the broccoli and cheese into your mixture.

Now is where the phrase "Keep the spatula over the bowl!" comes in handy again.

Whew. That was a close one.

Once you have successfully mixed all of your ingredients, pour it into a 9x13 casserole dish (or something similar).

Remember the Ritz crackers? Well now you need to pull out one sleeve from the box and crush them up.

(I recommend the Honey Ritz. It adds a touch of sweetness to the casserole. It's delish. But you can always go the plain Ritz cracker route. There is no shame in that.)

You can do this one of two ways. 1) Put a few in your hand at a time and crush them up, sprinkling them across the casserole as you go, or 2) put them in a bag and smash them.

Since I had a willing helper, we went with option number two.

My "willing helper" got a little bored and decided to try a new technique. Rolling the crackers with his stomach, or the steam roller effect.

I don't recommend it.

That's better... back to the hitting.

Geeze. It sure is hard to find good help around here.

Ok! After you have crumbled all the crackers, sprinkle them all over the top of the casserole.

Note: these may look like they are already golden brown from being in the oven, but do not be deceived. I used whole wheat Ritz crackers, and they are just naturally a darker color.

While we are on the subject of whole wheat Ritz crackers, let me give you a piece of advice. If your spouse does not like things made with whole wheat, do not, I repeat, do NOT try to trick them into eating them. They will not be fooled!

But I don't speak from experience or anything. This might have happened to a friend of mine. Ahem.

After it cooks for about 25 min. you may dig in! You know, after it cools off a bit. Try to resist. Often times I cant help myself and eat a chunk soon after its out of the oven. But its quite painful, so I recommend waiting a short while.

And that's it folks! Below are the ingredients and directions without all the blabber.

Go try it. You will not be disappointed.

Scouts honor.

Mother in Law's Broccoli Casserole

16 oz package of chopped broccoli
2 eggs
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 cup of mayo
1 1/2 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers

Preheat oven to 350
Cook broccoli, drain well
Combine all ingredients together (except Ritz) and pour into 9x13 casserole dish.
Crumble crackers on top
Bake for 25 min. or until crackers are golden brown