Monday, June 30, 2014

Chicken Fettucini Salad

One of the biggest blessings since having a baby has been friends and family brining us food. Taking care of a newborn is all consuming, and not having to think about food has been huge. Plus...the added bonus of getting to try new foods and get the recipe! Fletcher's mom brought us this Chicken Fettucini Salad, and I have made it twice since she gave me the recipe. It is great to have on hand for lunch, or great for a summer dinner. The chicken + dressing creates a chicken salad consistency, then you mix it with noodles and serve on a bed of lettuce.  I did not add the pecans, but I am sure they are a great addition.  When I happen to have grape tomatoes in the fridge, I add them on top.
Chicken Fettucini Salad
8 oz. fettucini
3 T. olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (or 2 breasts)
1/4 cup wine vinegar (red or white)
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Red leaf, bibb, or boston lettuce

1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. dried dill weed
1/4 tsp. Tony Chachere's seasoning
Dash of pepper

Combine all dressing ingredients and set aside. Cook and drain the fettucini. Toss noodles with olive oil, set aside. Cook and chop chicken (I put the chicken in the kitchen aid mixture and it "chops" it in no time at all). Toss chicken with the wine vinegar and salt. Combine chicken, dressing, celery, parsley, and pecans. Mix with the noodles and serve on a bed of lettuce.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Snippets

For the most part, our days look the same at this stage. On average, we don't get out much...but we haven't gotten out some this summer, and we have even hit the road a few times! Earlier this month, we took our first road trip to Memphis. Not without lots of help! I needed a change of scenery and Fletcher's mom and my mom worked together to make it happen. They met each other halfway, so that I didn't have to do the trip by myself. We truly have the best moms! Our time in Memphis was so refreshing. It was nice to have my mom's help and just to have a change of scenery. In an effort to get good naps and establish a sleep schedule, we spend a lot of time at home. Looking at the same four walls all day every day can start to make a person crazy. A little road trip was just what we needed!
We went in the middle of the week, and Fletcher came for the weekend. For the most part, Peanut did great in the car.
As we were pulling back into Birmingham, she was like "Get me out of this seat!"
While we were in Memphis, we went to a wedding. Our first major outing without Peanut! We all survived the separation, and we enjoyed getting to catch up with friends and celebrate our friend Danielle's marriage. 
We came home on Father's Day. This was the first time in 16 years I have woken up excited about Father's Day. I was thrilled to celebrate Fletcher this year for the first time. He is such a great Daddy-O already and I can't wait to see him and Peanut together over the years. She already thinks the world of him! I can't imagine the last 6 weeks without all of his help and support. 
 In June, we ended up getting to see these sweet friends THREE weekends in a  row. After not seeing them since September?! It was so great to spend so much time together this month. We can't wait for them to welcome their baby boy in August. We are already ironing out the details of an arranged marriage.
This past weekend rounded out our marathon of togetherness. We welcomed the first official day of summer at the lake! 
We still aren't sleeping much these days...but this weekend our early morning view was worth it. Sunrises are always a reminder of God's faithfulness. "As sure as the sun will rise, His mercies will not end" (one of our other recent favorites - Ellie Holcomb's As Sure as the Sun cd). Again, never underestimate a change of scenery. Traveling with a newborn is exhausting, but in our experience it has been worth it. I wouldn't have called our 45 minute trip to the lake traveling until we did it with a newborn. Our car was full to the max for our weekend away!
Our average summer day looks a lot like this...
Mixed in with time with our cousins...
Our Honey...
And our favorite teacher, Anna!
Our favorite thing about summer is definitely all of the company that we keep. Having my sister in town has been super helpful. I call her the "Newborn Coach" and utilize her help and expertise regularly. Plus we always love a little cousin time! My friend Anna is an elementary school teacher and since she is off for the summer we get to see her multiple times a week. She always comes to hang out with us and doesn't mind that we aren't the most exciting bunch. And of course, we always love our visits with Honey. Our visitors are the bright spot in our summer days!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Newborn Favorites

There are so many gadgets and gizmos that we have loved during these newborn days. When I was putting together this list, a lot of the items made the list because they are things that have surprised me. Everything on this list is either something we didn't originally have, or things that I didn't expect to love so much. It is hard to narrow it down to my favorites, but here they are...

It is actually called a "newborn lounger". We did not have this at first, but a friend from our small group let us borrow it. We have loved it! It is so easy to move around to different rooms in the house, and it seems to be super comfortable to her. We use this multiple times throughout the day. I use it while I read to her or talk to her, or oftentimes just when I need somewhere to put her for a minute while I take care of something.

When I registered, I debated the video monitor. Let me say I am so glad we registered for it, and so thankful to have received it as a gift! Originally, I wondered if a video monitor was a little excessive, or if it would constantly be looking at it. I do probably look at it too much...but it has been so nice to have! Sometimes she will cry out, but isn't really awake. I can check the monitor and see she isn't actually awake without going into her room and risking waking her up.
We listen to this precious cd all throughout the day and night. When I am working on getting her to sleep I turn it on while I rock her. I love the artists, which is a bonus since I spend hours a day listening to them sing. And the songs are so sweet! I especially love their version of Jesus Loves Me. Who knew Jesus loves me had more verses? I didn't until I heard this cd! This cd is soothing & uplifting - making it an easy favorite!

These little lap pads have been a major help in the laundry department. I lay it down on the changing pad, and end up rotating it out every couple of days. It came in a 3 pack, so when one gets dirty, I just throw it in the laundry basket and pull out the next one. I have a white changing pad, so I can't imagine how frustrated I would be with explosive diapers if I didn't have these little pads! This is something I never would have thought to purchase myself, but I am so glad to have them!
The picture/link above is not the wedge we actually have. My sister let us borrow her wedge, and it has been a HUGE help. I honestly don't think Peanut would be able to sleep in her crib without it. With her tummy troubles it has been a huge help for her to be slightly elevated when she sleeps. My sister brought this over a few days after we got home from the hospital and it has been a lifesaver. The one we are using also has little triangles on the side that velcro on. I would recommend finding one with the side feature. Sometimes I prop her up to sleep on her side and use the velcro sides to make sure she doesn't roll. I also think the sides make her feel more secure. 
This is another item that someone let us borrow. I think the slant helps her with her tummy troubles. I usually try to put her in here for one or two of her naps each day. When she wakes up early from her nap, sometimes I can get her back to sleep by rocking it, without having to pick her up. One of my favorite things about it is how easy it is to transport. We went to Memphis last week and she had trouble sleeping in the crib, and the pack and play (which is odd because she sleeps in her crib at home!). The rock and play was so easy to transport and she slept was able to sleep in it during the night. 
Again, this is not a complete list of everything we love. Babies have SO many accessories, and it would take days to list all the things we use and love. These are just some of our favorites that we use on a daily basis!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

One Month

This weekend we celebrated one month with our baby girl! The last four weeks have been the most challenging and best weeks of my life. The newborn days are long, but the moments are precious. We are soaking up our sweet girl.

Looking back on the last month, I am so thankful for the help that we have received. There are days I thought I was coming unraveled. Sleepless nights + post partum hormones can be a really unfortunate combination. It has been such a blessing to have Fletcher's mom just 5 minutes away. I am daily reminded of what a blessing she is to us! All of my friends want to adopt her as their mother-in-law. She has kept us fed, supplied with diapers, and has kept me sane. After my mom went back to Memphis, Honey came over every afternoon. It was a window of time that I could count on each day to either get a few things done, or take a nap. Plus, we both enjoy her company!

One month
  • She eats 8 times in a 24 hour period. Typically every 3 hours. Every once in a while, she will go for a longer stretch at night and go 4-4.5 hours.
  • She is still in newborn diapers, but this week I think we will move up to size 1!
  • For the first 4 weeks we used a swaddle pod during the day and swaddle blankets at night. The blankets seem too hot for the daytime, but she was too small for her velcro swaddles...that is when we found the swaddle pod!
  • Her newborn onesies are just starting to get tight. She is still wearing half of them, and her newborn gowns are just starting to fit
  • At her 2 week appointment she was in the 25% for weight and 86% for height
  • She loves her hands. She is always trying to bust her hands out of her swaddle
  • She likes baths, but her favorite part is definitely getting her hair brushed at the end
  • Getting her to fall asleep is no joke...lots of singing, swaying, and bottom patting
  • Our biggest issue is gas/reflux. Her tummy troubles interrupt all of her naps. In an effort for her to get good sleep, I have held her for 90% of her naps the last two weeks. It is time for us to turn a corner in that department.  Sleeping in her bed for naps will be our biggest goal.
  • She likes riding in the car. She usually stays awake and just looks around
  • She is starting to smile, and is noticeably more engaged. She can follow you with her eyes and seems to be focusing on things more and more. 
It has been so fun to watch her grow and change! 
Lots of people have asked how the sister dog is handling the changes around our house. She has done great! The amount of attention she receives has drastically declined, but she doesn't seem to hold it against Peanut!
Happy one month, sweet girl! We are so thankful the Lord put you in our family. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Nursery Diaries

Our house is not a very colorful place. We tend to decorate in shades of white, grey, and brown. When we were planning the nursery, I really wanted it to be colorful. There were points along the way where I didn't think all the color was going to come together, but in the end it did, and I'm so glad we decided to go colorful!
 One of the main things I wanted was a pink ceiling. I thought it was a subtle way to incorporate pink into the room, without having pink walls. In a labor of love, Fletcher painted the walls and ceiling. The walls are BM's White Dove, and the ceiling is Martha Stewart's Sugared Pansy Pink at 50%. I was glad we decided to do the pink at 50%, because it ended up being darker than we imagined.
 Over the crib we framed Story People greeting cards. Each card has a drawing and a quote. Fletcher gave me a StoryPeople print in college, so it was fun to incorporate these prints in to the nursery!
We purchased a white Jenny Lind crib and Fletcher spray painted it. 
My favorite thing about the bedding is the big bows. We picked the ikat for the crib skirt because it had so many different shades of pink/red/orange. We felt like it gave us a lot of options for the rest of the room. 
My sister and I made the curtains. In reality, she sews, and I iron and talk to her while she works. The fabric is Ikea's Berta Ruta in red. The dresser/changing table is the Hemnes dresser from Ikea. Can you tell we love Ikea? We switched out the hardware that came with the dresser for antique brass pulls.
 I wanted all the necessities easily accessible in the top drawer of the dresser. I separated the drawer space into different compartments using drawer organizers from Ikea. I liked the way that the drawer organizers came in a pack with different sizes. It worked out well for the items I had in mind for the drawer. Top row: bibs, burp cloths, socks and gloves. Bottom row: lovies and rattles, pacifiers, hygiene items (brush, nail clippers, diaper cream, etc...), medicine, and diapers. I am using the second drawer for pajamas and the bottom drawer for play clothes and onesies. 
Her closet is organized by size, from newborn to 12 months. I love her closet dividers! All clothes bigger than 12 months are stored in an under the bed box that is under the crib. I also have extra diapers in the box under the crib. 

This is the corner where we sit and rock. The last thing we are looking for to complete the room is a bookshelf. We don't have an obvious place to put a bookshelf, so we are on the hunt for the perfect piece!