Monday, September 28, 2009

Triple Threat!

A huge Thank You goes out to the Ver Steeg family who bestowed upon us this wonderful triple stroller a few weeks ago!!  I was so excited to be able to get out on walks with all the kiddos - freedom and sunshine were calling my name!  Then all 3 babies got sick over the span of 3 weeks... then it rained for 2 weeks straight... but the day finally arrived where everyone was well, the weather was beautiful, and all the naps, diaper changes, and feedings lined up perfectly for us to head outside into fall. :)

It was glorious weather with temps in the mid 70's, great sunshine, and a comfortable breeze (yes, I sound like a weather man...)  All the kiddos - and me!- enjoyed it tremendously.


Fun Weekend!

For those of you that haven't taken a look on my Facebook album, I wanted to share Charlotte's latest photos!  We had so much fun with our little bug this weekend, there were many prime photo taking opportunities! She is such a little cheese for the camera.

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Charlotte Update con't...

Home Made Baby Food Advice

I have had many moms ask me about making their baby’s food, so instead of typing it over and over, I decided to blog about it here!  If you have any further questions or would like more information feel free to email me (

My initial desire to make Charlotte’s food was strictly a monetary thing.  I was talking to the mom of one of the babies I watch during the day and she said she spends upwards of 100 dollars a month on baby food alone - not including formula!  I was amazed at the cost and was a little worried we hadn’t budgeted enough money to cover it.  So I started researching home made baby food and saw that other than the start up cost, which for me was minimal since I already had the majority of things needed, I could spend less than 20 dollars on produce!  After making it all up, I calculated that it would last me about 2 months!  Sure enough I just hit the 2 month mark and am just about out.  I did learn that this food can stay frozen for 8 weeks so the timing worked out perfectly. After I started doing my research I became aware of all the health benefits that come from making your baby’s food.  There are no preservatives like the jar food, you can choose the quality of the produce you use or if you want to go organic, you make your own combinations, and you know for sure what your baby is eating - no recalls to worry about.  Between the money saved and the health benefits, it is something I am committed to for Charlotte until she moves on to “big people food.”

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Charlotte is 8 Months!

Charlotte is 8 Months old... my how time flies.  Yes, I just posted the 7 month update, but I'm gonna post this one on time!  Regardless of how recent the last update was posted, Charlotte has changed so much in just the last days and weeks I have plenty to report.

  • She is a mover and a shaker!  Charlotte is full-on crawling now.  Wherever she wants to go, she goes.

  • She is using her new crawling muscles to finally sit up straight and on her own! Previously she would sit up in a "tripod" fashion but now she can sit up from standing or laying down perfectly fine.  She does seem to prefer sitting up on her knees instead of her bottom.  This reinforces our belief mentioned below...

  • Charlotte wants to walk more than anything - at least that is the belief that Jeff and I hold!  She pulls up anytime she can and tries to "walk" along whatever she is holding onto.  Many times, she let go and head the opposite direction, falling of course, but wanting to walk.  She works on pulling up on things more than she does her newfound crawling skills.  And if you give her the chance, she'll grab ahold of your fingers and take off walking across the room.  She  is awesome.

  • We are getting ready to move onto new foods!  Since I am making her food, I make a big batch of foods to freeze that will last us 2 months at a time.  Her first round of food were the basic first tastes and not she is ready for the big time: mixed veggies, peas, peaches, broccoli, apricots, corn, potato, blueberries and zucchini.

  • Teething seems to have kicked into high gear! The last few days we have been using up the ibuprofen and orajel as Charlotte has been in some pain :( It makes me so sad - especially since we have nothing to show for it! She has yet to have that first tooth break through.  I hope with all this work maybe they will all come through at once and we'll be done with it.  It has totally disrupted her slept schedule too.  She hurts and can't fall asleep, and now that she can pull up and stand she won't lay down in her crib - meaning she can't just lay down and cry herself to sleep.  Poor kiddo :(

  • The teething aside, I still hold to the belief that she is the happiest baby ever.  Other than crying over her teething and her being sick a couple weeks ago, she doesn't really cry.  She is always willing to give you a big ol' grin and curl up in your lap to cuddle.  I am around babies all day - and not naming names, but babies that pinch me to the point of bruising, try to bite me constantly, and scream bloody murder for no apparent reason.  And none of these are from Charlotte.  Hopefully I'm not spoiled and #2 (no, nothing to report thank you very much) will be the same (knock on wood, cross my fingers, whatever works)

With Charlotte changing so fast, we'll see what happens this month![gallery]

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

We Sleep Like Kings

Jeff and I have been sleeping on our wonderful queen bed for years now.  Jeff bought it back when we were dating (I helped him pick it out of course!) so it is a good 5 plus years old.  The age isn't as bad, but the fact that it has been taken apart, moved, and put back up at least 6 times now had begun to show its wear.  The mattress was starting to permanently have Jeff and Jordan shapes and we were not getting good nights sleep from it.  We looked at moving up to a King but the cost of the bed, mattress set, bedding, etc, was just going to be too much at this time.  We decided to go ahead and look at getting just a basic queen mattress for the time being so we can get a good nights sleep and upgrade later.

As you read in the Labor Day post, we went to Mattress Inn here in Spring Hill and found a great sale they were having and we ended up being able to get a full King set with frame for not a lot more than what we were thinking of spending for just a queen mattress.  We did have to factor in new bed linens but between the savings going to places like and Ross and looking at the long term savings of going ahead with it now, the King won!

The bed was delivered last Tuesday and linens came via UPS over the past week.  While we still need a headboard, the bed is wonderful!  We have slept many wonderful nights - and we don't roll over and hit or kick each other either!  Here is to many more comfortable and cozy nights in our big fabulous bed.

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Jeff's Birthday!

This past weekend my dear hubby had his 29th birthday!  We had a 3 day run of birthday activities to make up for the past few years where his birthday money has been used to pay for bills or groceries :(  He has worked so hard lately I was excited to be able to help him relax for his special day.


So I have realized that Fantasy Football is just about luck. Yes, you choose your team during the draft, and yes, you choose your starting line up but from there? Nothing! It is totally up to your players and their teams. You just have to sit back and hope they score the points they are supposed to.

The last 2 weeks I have been slated to win both games by at least 10 points - great right? Well somehow I have lost each one of them. The first week my team did not score near what they were supposed to in the "predicted" column and the other team blew their predictions out of the water with 2 players that had unexpected games. The second game, while not as bad, the same thing happened. I have realized that there is nothing I can do when this happens. Once the games start I am set with my lineup. No matter what happens, I can't change anything. It's a roll of the dice.

Speaking of dice, I have realized that Fantasy Football is very much like Monopoly for me. Yes, you can buy your properties and choose if and where to build your houses and hotels but in the end it is up to the roll of the dice where you land. Where you land, you pay. period. Once everything is bought up there is nothing you can do but roll and play and see what happens. This is what frustrates me about Monopoly. I cannot play with friend or family as I can get really upset. You work so hard on the front end to just leave it up to chance? No Thanks. Sounds familiar I think...

We'll see how the rest of the season goes... I play my husband next week. (My husband who has beat the pants off every person he has played so far - but by my theory it can't be by any skills of his own....?? )

Monday, September 14, 2009


Well Charlotte just exploded all the sudden!  She is crawling up a storm now!  In the previous post I mentioned that she is crawling some.  She was up on all fours and would crawl a few "steps" then collapse into an army crawl and continue on.  Today, she is crawling across the room like it is no problem at all!  She'll crawl to go get a toy, to come visit me, and even to the ottoman - where she is trying to pull up!

That is the other thing that she has started to do all the sudden.  I came in yesterday and she was up on her knees at her crib railing and now she won't stop!  Today she saw a cup on the ottoman and was doing a really good job pulling up to the ottoman to get it.  Needless to say I have gotten my butt into gear doing some of the baby proofing and tonight we have to lower her mattress before she pushes herself over the top! (she is napping in the pack n play for now - one push with a leg to go from being on her knees to wanting to stand up and I would have my first big "mommy accident"- no thank you!)

My baby is growing up!

Here are a couple photos of her new skills!  I have a little video of her crawling but it wouldn't upload to the blog so take a quick visit to my MobileMe gallery here: Charlotte Crawling!

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Friday, September 11, 2009

The Long Awaited Living Room

Well after 9 months folks it is finally here! We have furniture in our Living Room!  (Funny it took as long to grow Charlotte as it did to get some furniture... sad) We moved into this house in January and moved from about 900 square feet to over 2400, needless to say there were some empty or sparse rooms.  The formal living and dining rooms were the worst - didn't have a thing in them excepting the occasional pack n' play.  We are not formal people so didn't know what we wanted to do with the rooms, plus it costs $$ to furnish a home at at this point a nursery was more important!  I would have been fine leaving it empty - Brady loves running after his toys in there.  However, if you have been to my home you probably experienced a moment or two of awkwardness when you walked in.  That's because these two empty rooms are the rooms that you walk directly into when you come into our home.  Odd isn't it?  I would feel weird walking into someones seemingly empty home (especially if I knew how long they lived there!) Well it was time to get something done - it was driving me crazy, we had some extra cash, and we were having a lot of things happening at our house in the coming weeks (including dad's big 50th!) so we decided to get it done.

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Read "more" of our Craigslist adventure here...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gulf Shores Vacation

A few weeks ago we took a wonderful vacation to Gulf Shores Alabama.  We were long overdue for a vacation and were excited to take our first one with Charlotte Bug!  The trip planning was actually my mom's doing.  A friend of her's has a boss with a condo that he rents out on a vacation rental website.  Mom jumped on and looked at it and it was 3 bedroom and 3 full bath - perfect for all of us! We worked it out so that Mom and Dad went down August 16th (Sunday) for Mom's birthday and their anniversary and were on their own from then until we (Jeff, me, Charlotte and my sister Hannah) drove down Wednesday. We had a great couple days as a family and then Mom, Dad, and Hannah left Friday and me, Jeff and Charlotte got the condo to ourselves until Sunday. (Our anniversary was Thursday the 20th) Shew! It took a lot of planning out all the details but it worked out perfect - and we got a cheaper rate for staying there so long!

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Find our "more" about our condo and the beach!

Charlotte's Fancy Photos

This post is a little late in being written, but I wanted to get this up on the blog for sure.  A week before Charlotte was 6 months old, our friend Erin Murphy came down to Spring Hill to take Charlotte's photos.  Erin is an amazing photographer! She and Jeff have been friends for years, she even took some of our wedding photos.  We have all wanted her to take photos of Charlotte once she was a little more interactive and could sit up and such. We decided that at 6 months she would do great and it would be a good milestone to get her "real" pictures taken.

Jeff and I found the most adorable ballerina dress at Pottery Barn Kids on a mega sale (and it was still 30 bucks if you can imagine).  It was the perfect dress to have her all dolled up and photographed in.  Charlotte was a total cheese with Erin - all smiles and giggles.  I thought she would tire out quick being moved and dressed and such but she held in there and was just a ham.  She loved the camera and the flash and most of all Erin.  We took the photos at home, mostly in her our room or her crib, so she was very comfortable with her surroundings.

I hope you enjoyed the photos!  See more on my Facebook or  MobileMe site

If you would like to see more of Erin's work visit:


Charlotte at 7 Months

Time for a Charlotte update!  She is 7 months now (7 1/2 really by the time I am posting this... ) and I can't believe how much of just a little person she is!  She has this amazing personality that she shows off to anyone that will smile at her, it's amazing how many hearts she has captured in the aisles of Target and Kroger alone! Everyone asks if she is a good baby or comments on how happy she is - I couldn't dream up a better baby myself!  She rarely cries and if she is crying you know something is up and it is usually short lived.  Even when she is hungry or dirty or tired she'll let you know by talking to you or just letting out a little whine but does not burst out in screams until you put that first bite in her mouth.  If she sees that you are fixing her food or she is in her highchair she is pretty content just to hang out until it is ready.  I mean really, what more could you ask for!


Click on "more" to read about all the fun things Charlotte can do now!

Labor Day

Sunday! This post continues from the previous post in Owensboro... Mom, Charlotte and I left Owensboro and headed to Bowling Green after lunch on Sunday.  Mom left Charlotte and I there and she kept driving south while at the same time, Jeff drove up from Spring Hill to meet us there.  We met up at his parents new house in Bowling Green! Jeff and his family are pretty much from Bowling Green but a couple years ago his parents decided to move down to Gallatin TN to be "empty nesters."  They were not as happy with their new "downsized" home or its location and really missed Bowling Green.  All that to say, they decided a few months back to go ahead and move back.  They found a wonderful home that is perfect for them and perfect for all the family!  All their kids are married now and grandkids are starting to pop up so more space is a must!  Jeff is of course the resident tech go-to-guy so he was called upon to set up their entertainment system so that was his main job Sunday.  All this back story to say, Jeff and I were at their house Sunday to spend the night and spend some of Labor Day with them.

Charlotte had been much better during the morning and early afternoon on Sunday but by later afternoon she was getting a little fussier and snuffy so we laid her down and she fell asleep early - about 6:45!  The grown ups had a wonderful home cooked pot roast for dinner and then Jeff and I had a date night!  We took advantage of Charlotte's sleeping and having someone there to watch her and took off into the big city of Bowling Green!  We drove around for a good hour partly looking for something to do and partly seeing what has changed since we had lived there and of course reminiscing our youth years!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Owensboro Visit

The Lyons and Shoopman Families were totally wiped out from our busy weeks and dad's birthday party on Friday night, but Saturday morning came early and Mom, Charlotte and I packed up and headed up I-65 for Kentucky.

Owensboro was our first big stop and we got to take Charlotte to her first Dove Hunt on the Rudy Farm... oh yea baby. She loved being outside in the breeze and being loved on by her great aunts, uncles, and cousins.  She surprised me and was not at all bothered by the shot guns going off in the field around us (we were safely tucked inside the "shop" but I still had to work on calming my "momma nerves" with guns being around my baby!)  I was upset by seeing the poor little birdies shot out of the sky... even more so when I was shown their decapitated heads... needless to say we did not stick around for the grilling time. *shudders*  I love my family and love that they love what they do, but I am for sure a city girl and that is reinforced in me at times like this!

Anytime we are in Owensboro we stay with my Nana.  She is technically my mom's step-mother but as she became a Rudy when mom was just 11 they are very close and the only Nana Rudy I know.  Nana is approaching 85 and is in wonderful physical health but is showing signs of her age when it comes to her mental state.  Her short term memory is at times very very short, but regardless she loves seeing little Charlotte bug and gets excited for her visits. It was wonderful seeing them play together on the floor.   If you see the photo below they are playing on the floor together on the quilt that Nana embroidered for me when I was born.  It meant a lot to all 4 generations of women in that house to have them share moments together on that blanket.  Nana read Charlotte's book to her, Charlotte talked back and just smiled at her Nana - even showed her how she is just about ready to take off crawling.  It was precious time spent together.

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Here is "more" about the wedding

Dad's 50th!

Well we did it! We pulled off the surprise party for my dad's 50th birthday! After deciding months ago that we (mom and I) wanted to do something for dad's big 5-0, we procrastinated enough that it came down to just a couple weeks to get out the invites, buy the decorations, plan the food, and pull together the all important embarrassing photos! It was a very busy couple weeks for us, but totally worth it. We decided to have it at my house on the day after his actual birthday and invite everyone from the bridge (at least everyone we had emails addresses for!) as well as some "old friends" and family. All in all we filled the house with about 40 people for cake and ice cream and lots of laughs.

Dad showed up about 20 minutes after everyone else and had no clue what hit him! We did put a sign and balloons and such up outside so he had a minute to get used to the idea before he walked in the door and was bombarded with people. We could see him walking up the driveway (I think he would have run away if it wasn't for mom) and he was already red in the face and rubbing his hands down his face in either awe or embarrassment one!  Once he finally made it in the door we greeted him with "surprise" and noise makers and lots of hugs. He made his rounds of hellos and thank yous, blew out the candles on his yummy cake, and opened his very inventive gifts and cards.  Thanks to everyone that brought all the singing cards, "old man" gifts, and rolls of pennies :)

As much as my dad said he did not want a party and will kill my mother and I, I think he enjoyed seeing all his friends and family and appreciated the love and care that came with the party. Enjoy some photos of dad though the last 5 decades and of his party. (Some were too big to upload here, check out facebook for more!)

Here's to the next 50!

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Fantasy Football!

So I have fallen into the world of Fantasy Football this year. I have thought about joining a league for a couple seasons now but never really understood it enough or had a group I wanted to play with. Our small group decided to start a league for our church so its my time to start too! Not saying I understand it all by any means, and yes it is a little strange that I am the only female playing... but I'm looking forward to it!

Our draft was Wednesday night and it was an interesting experience! It was an online draft but most of us got together with all our computers and logged on together so that while we were active online we could joke and talk together. Jeff is playing too of course so it was very good having him with me to help pick my team. I read up on some strategies and the ins and outs of the fantasy world earlier that day so it helped me understand more but also made me more nervous because it can get very in depth and over my head! In the end it was pretty easy because the players were listed in order that yahoo considered them to be ranked most to least desirable. I used some of the other sites I had found to make sure that I was picking the best team for this season. I'm looking forward to getting my first week underway!

Here is the roster for "Sugar and Spice" - take a look at let me know what you think!! FF Roster