Saturday, November 26, 2011

Elf on a shelf! {25 days of Elf-mas}

Grandma was nice enough to pick up the Elf on a Shelf for mommy! I had been wanting to pick it up since I saw it back on the shelves and she must of read my mind! :)  We opened the Elf the other day and read the story. Before anyone says anything Brayden did touch his elf. I know that's a "no no" but how can you explain to a 1 year old they can look but not touch and it's for him. lol From now on though his elf will be "keeping his eye" on him.  I plan on doing the "25 days of Elf-mas" as I am affectionately calling them. Where every morning his Elf will be doing something fun and we will have to go find him. I found some really great links on Pinterest for ideas, so I'll be doing posts for each day in December on what Brayden's elf is doing each day. I though it would be a cute idea and something to put in a photo book for him.  We didn't pick a name for his elf yet, but I'm sure by the time next Christmas rolls around he can help pick it out himself! I think Bray loved the box and book for the Elf more than the Elf itself. lol

Visiting Santa!

After the parade today we decided to take Brayden to see Santa at the Cherry Hill Mall. My neighbor was nice enough to give us a voucher for a free portrait package, can't beat that!  I really didn't know how Brayden was going to react to Santa. Last year he was just over a month old so he just hung out in Santa's arms.Most of the time he is outgoing but he was the opposite he was PETRIFIED!  Poor kid, first he was tortured at the parade then Santa. lol Fortunately the line was really short for pictures so we didn't have to wait that long.  When it was our turn I walked him up to Santa and let him "take him in", he clung to me with a death grip like no other. The second I tried to put him on Santa's lap the screaming commenced. Santa and his photographers were really great and let us try and calm him down, let mommy sit with him, give him a binky and blaket ext ext,  but all of the shots he was screaming with a crazy face. I guess it's kinda good the photos were free lol  But i'm glad we got them either way, it was definitely a memorable visit to Santa and i'm sure we will be looking back laughing when he is older. is it!!

Christmas Parade!

 This afternoon we headed to Pennsauken for their annual Christmas Parade. Last year Brayden was only a month old and it was freezing cold so we didn't get to go. This was his first official parade. He had a lot of fun, but he cried ALOT! Honestly I think the biggest problem was he was tired and has been teething relentlessly. In order to go to the parade we had to wake him up from his nap early so I think b/w that and all the loud noises he just wasn't enjoying it as much as he would of.  He was so interested in everyone and everything!

  He normally loves looking at firetrucks but after 30 rescue and trucks driving by with their sirens and horns blaring he was yelling and crying. Poor kid!  Even when the different bands would come by he was getting upset. He is obsessed with music so I know he was def not feeling himself.
My Poor Baby! 

He did love the candy and the reindeer that Grammy got for him! 

 And he got to meet his favorite character Elmo!!! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I know we had a great day spending time with family and having lots of delicious food! We had a nice breakfast in the morning and after Bray's nap we headed to my parents to visit for a little bit.  Later we headed to mom and dad Keyser's for the big Turkey dinner! Everything tasted amazing and we had a lot of fun! 

 This Thanksgiving I am thankful for so much. I am especially grateful for my amazing husband for his love, support and what a wonderful father he is. My son, for bringing happiness and laughter in to our lives and giving me the gift of being his mom.  My family, for being there for us through thick and thin. My friends, for never judging and supporting us through the good and bad times.

 Mmmmm Turkey! Gobble Gobble!

 Suck a long day! 

Homemade salt dough Thanksgiving Turkeys!

For Thanksgiving I wanted to make some cute crafts!  I came across another site that had the recipe to make the dough for Christmas ornaments but I decided to make turkeys out of hand prints!  It's super easy and a lot of fun. I think Brayden is a little young to fully enjoy it but we had a good time!

What you'll also need:
A cute kid with adorable hands :)
A small piece of card stock

* Trace Childs hand on to cardstock and cut it out. (believe me this will make it 10x easier than trying to trace a fidgety childs hand 6 times lol)

* Cut toothpicks in half

Recipe: Yields 6-8 handprints depending on desired thickness and hand size
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup salt
3/4 cup water

* Preheat oven to 300 degrees
* Mix all ingredients in a mixer using a dough hook for 3 minutes, or for 10 minutes by hand.
* Roll out dough to desired thickness and lay hand print template on the dough. Using the knife trace/cut out the shape of the hand and repeat to get the number of turkeys you desire
* Place turkeys on a making sheet. Make sure it is a non stick pan and/or use baking spray to prevent sticking
* Take 2 cut toothpicks and push the pointed side in the to the bottom of the turkey hand to make legs. Be careful to go straight in the the middle so the toothpick does not stick out either side.
* Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until dough looks browned.  Thicker dough may take much longer. Just keep checking it every few minutes.
* After removing from the oven they may not feel hard right away but will harden as they cool.
* After they are completely cooled you can paint and decorate them.  Acrylic paint works best if you choose to paint them. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Favorite Things #10: Munchkin Snack cups

My son being the rambunctious toddler that he is, is always on the go. When it's time for snacks i LOVE LOVE LOVE his little Munchkin snack cups. The design means little mess and he can still play and eat at the same time. Its also great so the dog doesn't eat up his snacks before he gets a chance to.  They are also great on the go. When we go to the store I can keep him entertained with a snack and drink so he doesn't get too antsy!  They are reasonably priced and you can find them sometimes cheaper if you shop around!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My what big feet you have!

I decided when Brayden was born that I would make sure I took hand and footprints at 6 and 12 months to compare and see how big he had gotten. I did forget that at birth they only did a foot print so I don't have a hand  but that's okay.  It is AMAZING to see the difference. He was by no means small at birth!  I couldn't even really get newborn shoes on him without squishing his feet. He started out a size 1!  lol. I could of guessed before he even cam out since his feet were wedged in my lungs for the last few months and they felt huge lol  Being that daddy has size 13 feet now, we shouldn't of been surprised!

Top to bottom: Birth (size 1 shoes), 6 months (size 3-4) and 12 months (size 5 1/2 -6)

Birth to 6 months 

6 months to 12 months

Birth to 12 months

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What's for dinner: Teriyaki Ginger Marinate Steak and Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Roasted Red Peppers

I have been totally slacking in the dinner department on creativity.  Tonight I decided to make my own marinade and make some yummy asparagus like my Mother in Laws recipe. I did cheat and did box scalloped potatoes... ssshhh don't tell. lol  The asparagus and steak turned out really good so I figured I would share the recipes!

Teriyaki Ginger Steak
Steak - use your favorite cut
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp minced onion/dried onion (which ever is available)

Tenderize the steak, place all ingredients in a gallon ziplock bag. Make sure to get out as much of the air out of the bag as possible. Place in the fridge for at least 6 hours to marinate.  Grill to your desired temperature.

Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Roasted Red Peppers
1 bundle of asparagus
1 jar of roasted red peppers
6 cloves of garlic grated or minced small
1/4 cup olive oil

Clean and place asparagus in a gallon ziplock bag. Add olive oil and garlic.  Make sure to get out as much of the air out of the bag as possible. Place in the fridge for 2 hours prior to cooking.  Preheat the oven at 400 degrees.  On a cookie sheet lay place roasted red pepper than lay out asparagus mixture on top of it.  Making sure the asparagus are side by side and not on top of each other. This will make sure they cook more evenly. Cook for 10 mins (more or less depending on how firm or soft you prefer them) turning them over every 2-3 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure the tips do not burn.

{Home made Banana Bread}

I love love love banana bread! The recipe I use is SO easy and tastes absolutely amazing!! Seriously it goes so fast sometimes Jason doesn't get any b/w Brayden and I (okay mostly ate it all!

The key is to use the ripest bananas you can find/have.  Seriously the nastier and blacker the bananas look the better the bread will taste! I use my kitchen aid mixer (my favorite) so i can throw the bananas in whole and the mixer does the work but if you're using a hand mixer you will want to cut them up smaller.  Enjoy!

Mmmm fresh banana bread baking! the house smells SO good! 

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine softened
2 eggs
3-4 med size bananas
1/3 cup water
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
* you can also ass 1/2 cup of chopped nuts if you like , i make it with out them.

1. Heat Oven to 350 degrees
2. Grease the bottom only of a loaf pan (9x5x3), (i LOVE to cake release spray!)
3. Mix all of the ingredients in to a large bowl and beat for 30 seconds. Mixture should be blended but may have tiny chunks of banana.
4. Pour in to pan and bake for 55-60 minutes
5. Let cool for 5 mins and loosen sides of loaf from pan.


POAS Diva?! Damn Right! lol

For those who don't know POAS (pee on a stick) is just a way of saying taking a pregnancy test. lol The title of the blog is in dedication of a group of Soul Cysters I belong to who all LOVE to poas. :) Today I am 6 days post 3 day transfer (6dp3dt) and I am going NUTS wanting to POAS! I know it's too early but I feel like the tests are calling to me. Yes that sounds totally crazy but in this game of infertility and IVF it feels like everything is one long torturous waiting game.  Waiting to start cycling, waiting to start meds, waiting for your next b/w (blood work) and u/s (ultrasound), waiting for thaw and growth reports, waiting for transfer day and last waiting for confirmation that after it all it DID work and you hear the words "you are pregnant".  The uncertainty of all all is mind numbing.  Anyway, when  I got pregnant with Brayden I got my BFP(big fat positive) 9dp3dt, so I still have time but I think I am definitely going to test early.  I don't expect a BFP but I think I just need to get it out of my system and pee on something! haha.  So i guess we will see what happens and hope for the best!! Only 6 more days till my Beta (pregnancy blood work).

Beautiful fall day!

We went outside and had fun playing in the leaves today. It was such a nice day even though the sun wasn't out as much as we would of liked.  Brayden had a ball! He ran around the yard chasing the Riley(our dog), playing ball with her, walking and playing in piles of leaves and "helping" daddy rake. Helping was more like INSISTING that he HAD to hold the rake and do it all on his own. Not surprising since he thinks he's one going on 4.  lol  It was hard to get him to sit still and smile for pics but I got some really cute ones and we had fun!
Playing with Riley! 
 Rolling in the leaves
 Trying to Rake while in the pile lol 
 I got this daddy!
 He LOVES raking, i'll have to remind him when he's older! 
 YES he was trying to play peek-a-boo behind the cherry blossom tree lol 
 SO serious! 
 Falling leaves! (uggh i hate my neighbors fence)

Friday, November 11, 2011

One Year Old!

Okay he is like 12 months and 3 weeks and I am finally posting about his 1yr appt, stats and all. See I told you I am WAY behind. I promise I won't slack off, all the IVF stuff and everything else going on has definitely had me preoccupied!

Side note, to get ANY photos of brayden with his 12 month sticker is was damn near impossible! Of course it took two of us, and we pretty much have to toss him on the couch and keep putting him back on his butt, acting silly, tickling just to "attempt" to get a good photo. I got lots of funny and cute ones but I don't think I have one solid one of him sitting, facing forward and smiling! I'll add a bunch in the mix so you can laugh with me :)

Brayden continually blows my mind. He is so smart and is really picking things up. Warning, proud mom bragging lol.   Of course he has to do everything on HIS terms but we are working on his "listening" skills now, aka "come to mommy", "put that down" ext ext. But Brayden being Brayden he knows exactly what you are telling him and does the exact opposite. Apparently my son is EXACTLY like me as a child (in many ways) so if that is any indication I am really in for it. lol  Other than wanting to do things his way he is doing wonderful with commands and how things "work". He's command he is great at opening and closing, putting things in and out of containers, finding and grabbing specific items and toys when requested, the list goes on.  He knows at least 10 words and the phrases "all done" and "i did it" which comes out like "did it". Of course when he talks its baby talk so if you don't spend a lot of time with him sometimes you'll have no idea what he is saying. lol  He does have his "alien speak" as we affectionately call it. It's this crazy fast gibberish when he talks to you like he's in a conversation, it's awesome and hilarious. Of course he tried to regress using words. for example he can say and use the word cup appropriately but decided in the last week or two it's more fun to grunt and point at it. lol  Again, always on his terms.  :)   He is really learning places for things, he knows where the tub is and when it's bath time, if he goes in the kitchen he will reach up to the counter if he wants a snack and so on.  It really is amazing watching him grow up and develop, you never know what they are going to know how to do/say next!

His 1 yr pedes appt went great! He is weighing in at 20lb 130z (25%) and 32" tall (97%).  The dr said his speech and ability to do commands puts him at a 15 to 18 month level, so i'm really proud of him.  He got his 1 yr shots and we opted to get the flu shot, he did well but as usual he ran a fever the next few days. He is my fever kid. Whether it's teething, sickness, shots he ALWAYS runs the min of a low grade fever and is good for the 103+ ones too.  He also decided to RE-start clapping his hands. lol He was able to around 7 months and decided that he didn't want to anymore.

Sleep is still an issue we fight with. He is a good napper. He dropped to one nap b/w 10 and 11 months on his own.  He usually sleeps 2 to 2 1/2 hours for nap and if it's a really good day I'll get 3 hrs. But that almost never happens.  But he continues to wake atleast 1x a night. If he is sick, forget it, we are up min 3x a night. I'm not going to lie after 1 year not NOT sleeping through the night completely it has been tough. He has NEVER been a good sleeper and we continue to try and fix things. Hopefully we will get there at some point.

Brayden loves food!  Although he has been on a breakfast hating/picky binge for a while. At this point I give him whatever kind of food he will actually eat for breakfast.  He LOVES breakfast sausage. I get him the Jones natural patties, so i know he will atleast get some protein in. He will eat eggs, depending on the day. It's funny b/c the "fanicer" the food the more likely he is to eat it. I don't give him plain eggs, he gets "baby omlette" with black olives or even cheesy eggs. He loves oatmeal, apple strudel and blueberry muffins, fruit, fruit and fruit. lol  He is not at all big on pancakes, french toast and waffles, yogurrt, cereal ext. but he will pick at them if he's in the mood so we try all kinds of things. Otherwise he loves to eat anything we eat, black olives and tomatoes are his current obsession along with any kind of veggies.  I have also been pushing a lot of snacks, cheese sticks and  fruit in between meals to try and make sure he is nice and full through the night.  Right now he is loving the yogurt covered raisins and any kind of crunchy snacks like the earths best elmo crackers and teddy grahams.

Milk...we successfully transitioned to whole milk at 11 months. Successful meaning he was no longer on formula but still taking it out of the bottle. By his birthday we were FINALLY down to 3 bottles per day. For him and his glutenous appetite for milk this was no simple feat! We have in the mean time been able to drop the afternoon bottle with no problems.  The problem we were having was he REFUSED to drink milk cold, and out of a sippy cup. We had introduced milk months ago, so i was kinda suprised when he would spit it out the second he realized his cup wasn't water.  We tried everything to get him to drink it out of the cup and in the last week he FINALLY came around. Actually he drank cold milk out of his sippy for his Grammy but ever since then he's been interested in it in a cup so i can't complain. That'll make dropping the other two bottles a little easier. Honestly I think the early morning one is going to be harder to stop than the night time one.  But we will figure it out and get there.

Bray is in to EVERYTHING!  Literally if it is not strapped down or locked up he thinks it's all game!  lol Since he started walking so early he is really good at running away from you really fast!  He knows exactly when he is NOT suppose to be doing something and either backs up from you really slowly or turns and runs, all the mean while having a giant smile on his face. LITTLE STINKER!  He is a daredevil and climbing machine!  Its amazing to watch him stare at things and think of crazy things to do. Like his mini Power Wheel car we got him for his bday, that thing is a heart attack toy. he loves to crawl on the tiny, slippery hood and stand up on it.  Yup this is my life.  lol He is obsessed with steps and anything that looks "climbable". Anything that is wide enough to fit two feet on is apparently fun to climb on and do a "stomp dance". He loves to try and scare mommy!

He has daddy's temper... oh yes he does! lol (Sorry Jason!) Since bray was about 9 months and walking he has MASTERED the ability to throw a tantrum in the most violent and loudest way possible. Seriously this kid thinks he can have what he wants whenever he wants no matter what it is. lol God forbid you look out for his well being  and he literally throws himself on the ground kicks and screams. Its ridiculous and honestly embarrassing in public. But I don't give in b/c I am not going to be THAT parent who's kid is a total jerk and expects what they want all the time. Guess we just started the terrible 2's a little earlier. Although all of my friends tell me 2's are rough and 3's are way worse.  lol

Ok, I think i wrote enough... whew! I seriously can't believe my baby is ONE!  It has been the most amazing year of my life and I feel so grateful everyday to be able to be Brayden's Mommy :)