Wednesday, July 30, 2014


The McHusband and Connor enjoyed a rousing game of peekaboo this past Sunday.  Not sure how I feel about being the thing that the McHusband was hiding behind…


Love those giggles!

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, July 28, 2014

{Recipe Recap} Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

We had some visitors this weekend.  My sister Bri and my nieces Maxie and Lyla came up to see Connor all of us.  Bri said the girls were pretty easy to please as far as treats went; simple chocolate chip cookies would hit their sweet spot.  I went with a cookie cake just to save myself some time.


Of course, no cake is complete without frosting.


This cookie cake baked up perfectly.  I did cover it at the 15-minute mark as the recipe suggested.  The edge had a crispness to it but it gave way to a chewy interior and then the rest of the cookie cake was dense and chewy.

The cookie cake was a hit with Lyla and Maxie AND with us adults.  I will definitely keep this recipe in my collection and use it often since I didn’t need any special ingredients and it was easier to make than several batches of cookies.

I’m keeping this short and sweet today.  We had a VERY late night on Saturday (3 a.m. or so) so I’m more sleep deprived than normal.  Hopefully I’ll have a full weekend recap for you in a few days.

{Recipe here}

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Happy Birthday, Vickie!

Here’s a little something funny for your Hump Day.

I like 21 and 22.  Vickie, number 12 is for you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My little jumping bean

Connor loves that Johnny Jump-Up seat.  This past Sunday, I had it in the powder room doorway while I swept the foyer and dining room within his view.  These pictures are from a couple weekends ago.




I was taking these pictures while waiting for the McHusband to get up.  Look at Connor’s face when he sees the McHusband coming down the stairs.



Of course, Monte had to join in.


You know how there are pictures on the interweb of big dogs, and you just know that yes, it’s a big dog, but it’s also about perspective?  Well, this ended up being one of those pictures.


And then there’s this one of Monte’s crazy face.


Love my boys!

Monday, July 21, 2014

{Recipe Recap} Peanut Butter Carmelitas

The McHusband was out of town all weekend. ALL. WEEKEND.  Including Sunday. He had to work near Charlotte on Friday then went on to his parents’ house to help them over the weekend, then he stayed to testify on an old case Monday morning.

I used to call these bachelorette weekends, but my single-lady-while-the-McHusband’s-away days are long over.  Now they’re single-mom-while-the-McHusband’s-away days and they are long, but they are mostly good.  I enjoy the quality time with Connor since the weekends are the best time we have to be together.

One thing Connor and I did this weekend was attend a neighborhood picnic on Sunday.  The HOA divided the houses into two categories; one brought a side dish and the other a dessert.  My last name put me in the latter category.  Of course I had to try something new rather than go with a tried and true recipe.  You know I love my guinea pigs!

Lucky for them, my treats were one of the best I’ve ever made.


Peanut butter, Rolos, milk chocolate, caramel?  What’s not to love?


I doubled the recipe so I would have a 9 x 13 pan’s worth.  I did not double the butter though; I used 2.25 sticks and it was plenty.


I also had to adapt the caramel layer. 


Turns out, I didn’t have as much heavy cream as I thought so I looked up some other Carmelita recipes and saw one that used evaporated milk, which I had plenty of.


I loved the crust/crumb topping.  Lucky for me, some of it fell off when I was cutting the bars so I had to be on clean-up duty.


Unfortunately, Connor and I had to leave the picnic before dessert so I don’t know what the general consensus on these was.


Actually, we had to leave before ANY of the food came out.  The grills were just being fired up for hamburgers and hotdogs at 5:15 when it was time for us to say goodbye and head home for bath- and bedtime.

My little party animal didn’t make it halfway home before he was snoozing.


Connor and I are both looking forward to having the McHusband home with us tonight.  I even saved him a couple of bars cuz I know they’re right up his alley.

Hope this helps your week get off to a good start!

{Recipe adapted from here}

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday fitness report

I know you’re disappointed that there aren’t any sweaty post-workout pics in this post.  Maybe next time.

I had a great week regarding my exercising:

  • Saturday: A class at the Y plus some elliptical-ing.
  • Monday: A 32-minute run followed by walking lunges and squats in the driveway.
  • Tuesday: Supposed to be boot camp at the Y but it got rained out and I ended up getting a 50-minute personal training session.  Win!
  • Wednesday: Long walk with Monte.
  • Thursday: 15-minute jog to warm up then a 45-minute personal training session.

I’m not sure how much REAL exercise I’ll get this weekend.  The McHusband’s traveling so I won’t make it to the Y on Saturday, and I have a lot of cleaning to do because Bri and the girls are coming up next weekend.  Just vacuuming the den and sweeping the kitchen isn’t going to cut it this time around.  Chores and our normal weekend morning walks are going to have to be enough this weekend. 

I’m okay with that being the case sometimes because for the near future at least, I don’t think I have much choice.  This is my new normal.

I guess he’s worth it.



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Connor: Five Months

Another month older!


Connor is up to about 17.5 pounds as far as we can tell using our bathroom scale.  He’s healthily chunky in my eyes, but he’s not a total roly-poly.  He’s in mostly 6-month clothes although some 3-6 month stuff also fits him.  He needed the bigger size mostly due to length.


Connor drinks five 6-oz bottles per day and eats every 2.5 to 3.5 hours depending on his napping and general hunger level.  I’ve started adding a little formula to his morning bottle and giving him 7 oz and that seems to go over well.  Connor never doesn’t finish a meal so I will know something’s wrong if he’s done before the bottle is empty.


Our little C-man is doing great at going from his back to his tummy, but unless his one arm is under him just right, he can’t get himself flipped back over.  Until recently, this was a problem overnight.  He likes to sleep on his side but sometimes he’d get turned all the way onto his stomach.  He’d struggle and fuss to get back over then get really upset when he couldn’t so Mom and Day to the rescue! 


Sunday night, though, we accidentally went to bed with the monitor turned all the way down and the next morning Connor was on his tummy at the other end of the bed.  No telling how long he fought the losing battle of returning to his back before he finally went to sleep.  I felt sooooo bad on Monday.  However, I felt a little better every day this week because Connor’s been on his tummy, no fussing (yes, the volume was up, we made sure) in the night, and sleeping soundly when we get up  We’ve even had to wake him up for the day each day this week.  Fingers crossed that this continues through the weekend and maybe I can sleep past 6:00 in the morning.


Connor still needs two good naps a day and the morning one is more of a sure-thing than the afternoon.  I can usually get 1.5 to 2.5 hours out of him in the morning, but I’m lucky to get an hour in the afternoon and sometimes it’s just a catnap.  He goes to bed between 6 and 7, depending on his naps (or lack thereof), but bedtime’s usually pretty close to 6:30.


On the subject of sleep…  Connor has a blankie and I think he depends on it more than the pacifier these days, which is fine with me.  The blankie is made of a very light and breathable muslin and is about one foot square.  When we lay Connor in his crib for bed and naps, the first thing he does is reach is right arm out to grab the blankie and put it to his face.  (The picture below shows his blankie.  Connor spent the evening with a friend while the McHusband and I went out with friends.  Luckily he was happy when we got him home at midnight and he went back to sleep easily.)


He is still enjoying his baths and the activity center and he’s much happier on walks now that he’s sitting in the stroller facing out and looking at the world.  He gets pretty excited over rattles and of course is trying to put everything in his mouth.


Thank goodness he has those built-in “toys” at the ends of his arms; this hands are always in his mouth or holding each other or sometimes he just holds them out and looks at them like, “Well, those are interesting.”  He’s also found his feet, especially his right one.  He reaches for his feet a lot but doesn’t always get ahold.


If you asked Connor what the best thing ever is, he’d say his jumper.  He loves to just bounce away.  I’m so glad I randomly thought to get it out a couple Sundays ago.


Connor is very squirmy on his changing table and I know that’s just going to get worse as he gets older.  We’re going to look back and wish we had these days back.


Connor doesn’t like getting put in his car seat, but he settles down once he’s moving, both as you carry him and then when you’re driving.   There’s that, being on his tummy, and not being held when he’s out of sorts due to fatigue or hunger; otherwise there’s not much else that makes him genuinely unhappy these days, which we’re grateful for.


We haven’t started any real food yet and will wait to do that until he’s six months or so.  He doesn’t NEED it yet and let’s face it, a baby + real food = a lot of work!  I’m okay with putting that off for a little while longer.  It’ll give me time to get a high chair and read up on making baby food.  I think I can pretty much steam and mash most things, but I want to have the food ready when we finally bite the bullet.


Speaking of biting…  Connor doesn’t have any teeth yet, but I’m ready with an amber necklace for when we start that fun phase.


I know you guys are thinking, “Yeah, yeah, Connor’s growing and stuff, but what about the sock monkey?  Where do the two of them stand this month?”  I’ll let the pictures do the talking.





I guess they’re buddies now. Smile

I have a feeling I’m going to be saying this every month from now on, but the McHusband and I have really enjoyed this past month.  Connor is giving back with his smiles and voice and little giggles.  We also just know him better and can read his moods and that’s been very helpful in all three of us having good days.


We are excited to see what the next month brings!


P.S. Happy Birthday, Leigh!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bouncing Baby Boy

I’m working on Connor’s five-month post but in the meantime, here’s a little video of our bouncy baby.

Connor likes to be bounced

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Duke Roberts

I read about Duke on Monday, and I wanted to share his story with all you animal lovers out there.  After what we went through with Tucker, I can tell you that that last day with your dog, while he still feels halfway okay but you know you’re doing the right thing by helping him across the Rainbow Bridge, is a wonderful terrible day.  Thank goodness we had that day with Tucker.  Remember, we had just been gone for over a week.  If we hadn’t had a chance to say goodbye, I never would’ve forgiven myself.


I wonder how long it’ll be before I can look through his pictures without crying?

Monday, July 14, 2014

{Recipe Recap} Coconut Lemon Bars

I had planned to make these bars Thursday night so I’d have them to share with everyone on Friday at/after dinner.  But by Thursday last week, I was D-U-N done.  I had no energy left for baking or blogging.  Luckily, I rallied on Sunday and got my mixer out.

Dinner was with Shawn, Vanessa, Heather, Chelle, Jeremy, and their friends George and Amanda.  Chelle and Jeremy are a rare breed in our group – they like coconut – and since we were going back to their house, I wanted to make something that would appeal to our hosts’ palates.


I left the shredded coconut out of these because some people, like the McHusband, like the flavor of coconut but not the texture.

These bars were very easy to make so they win points for that.  Also, I love lemon curd and am not a stickler for the homemade stuff; Dickinson’s from works great for me.


I have to say, these bars underwhelmed me a little.  I think the crust and topping was a little too shortbread-y.  It had coconut flavor from the coconut oil and extract, but that was about it.  Maybe it needed a sprinkling of salt?  Or perhaps some lemon zest to enhance the citrus element.  Speaking of, I think I should’ve used the whole jar of lemon curd instead of sticking to the three-fourths of a cup the recipe called for.


I’ve had better lemon bars so I probably won’t make these again, and I’m disappointed to say that.  I had high hopes.

We had a good weekend.  Dinner and hanging out Friday night; the Y for a class and Walmart on Saturday; house stuff, bar-baking, some errands, then dinner from the crockpot on Sunday.  Oh, and Connor’s learned a new trick.


Let’s follow his lead and stick our tongues out at Monday.

{Recipe adapted from here}

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

An active lifestyle

Connor’s been having a great time in his activity chair lately.  Sometimes I think it’s not so much the chair as just the more interesting vantage point if offers.

An active boy

We are having so much more fun with Connor these days.  It’s actually rewarding to hang out with him.  I went to the Y yesterday for what used to be my normal Monday-night class so I didn’t get to see Connor in the evening at all.  I know that time for myself is good for me and I refuse to feel guilty about it and I plan to keep having that time as often as makes sense.  But that doesn’t mean I didn’t miss the little bit of time I normally have with Connor in the evenings between picking him up from the sitter and him going to bed.

This motherhood thing is a balancing act, that’s for sure.

Monday, July 7, 2014

{Recipe Recap} S’mores Cookies

I hope everyone had a nice long holiday weekend.  Mondays are never easy but going back to the office after three days off is especially tough.  Know what’ll make it easier?  Cookies!


I made these as a second dessert.  My “big” dessert was an apple pie lasagna that was very good, but I wanted something people could grab easily, plus not everyone likes apple pie or fruit desserts, but who doesn’t like a chocolate chip cookie?


These cookies had two extra ingredients: graham cracker crumbs and marshmallow bits, the ones that are like the marshmallows in cereal.


The McHusband said the base cookie was fantastic; he liked the flavor as well as the texture.


I’ve had better, but these were quite good.  And I liked that other than letting my butter soften, these weren’t picky cookies.  No browning the butter, no chilling of the dough, no rolling it into balls.



I shared these with Shawn and Vanessa on Saturday and even though Shawn wondered if there was something in the cookies that he was allergic to, he still took two cookies to go and planned to eat them later, tickle-in-his-throat be darned.


If it’s too hot to roast marshmallows over a fire, preheat your oven instead and bake a couple batches of these s’mores cookies.


While I did spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen this weekend (I made three desserts and one side dish), we also had time to be social.  We took Connor to Ryan and Sandra’s on Friday for a cookout and fireworks in their neighborhood, then we kept him out late again the next night when we had dinner with Shawn and Vanessa.  But Connor adapted well to both situations and napped like a champ each day after to make up for his late nights.

{Recipe here}