Garrett at 16ish Months

It’s been a little while since I did an update on my sweet boy, so I figured I would fill you in on what he’s been up to lately.

Right now, his favorite activity is playing outside with his doggies,

climbing up the slide (at least trying to) and sliding down.

He has also mastered walking up the big hill we have in our back yard but still needs a hand to hold to come down or else his feet start moving faster than he wants them to and he ends up falling down.  And I think, that like me, he’s also enjoying the cooler fall weather.

He doesn’t go back to the Dr. for another well check until he’s 18 months, so his height and weight measurements are from my perspective.  I tried to be as accurate as possible, but I’m not sure how well I did.  Regardless, he is about 36″ tall, maybe a little bit less, and probably weighs around 28 or 29 lbs.  He is tall and thin…go figure, so he’s in 18-24 month clothing however, if it weren’t for my Mother in law taking in the waist of multiple pairs of his pants, they would be constantly falling off of him.  The length is good, but the waist is big, and I have a feeling that, like his Daddy, I’m going to have to do a lot of shopping online in the tall department for him in the years to come.  His shoe size is 6-7 and he likes to run!

He’s generally happy and we spend our days keeping each other pretty busy.  Unfortunately right now, he’s battling his first ever cough and it’s heartbreaking.  I’m pretty sure he picked up a little something from school.  Yep….school!  I have always been a very strong believer in socializing kids from a young age, (and although I do what I can to make sure he is around other kids his age, and other adults, so that we have an easier transition when his little brother comes along, and my attention is divided between the two of them)  I can only do so much, and I really believe in the Primrose School and their approach to tying in an academic curriculum even at such a young age.  We enrolled Garrett a few weeks ago, and even though it’s been an adjustment for both of us, it’s getting better, and easier every day.  He goes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from about 9-12:15, and I think that it’s a very good thing for him.   I’m so happy with our decision to enroll him now as opposed to January, it takes him a little while to warm up to different people and situations in general, so we wanted to make sure we did it before the birth of his little brother.  I am super excited for Baby Boy Brew #2  (yes he’s still nameless) to be born, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous as well.  I know it will be fine and great in the long run, it may just take G and me a little while to get used to.  My heart is going to have to grow in order for me to love another little person as much as I love him, and divide my attention as well, but like everyone says…..it just does and you just do.

Our days usually begin pretty early as Garrett is up between 6-6:30 every day.  Typically we’ll let him play in his crib for about 20 minutes just in case he wants to go back to sleep (which never happens) and then we’ll give him his milk, change his diaper and put him back in his crib with his sippy or bring him into bed with us and let him drink it there.  When he’s finished with his milk, he scoots off of the bed and says good morning to the dogs, then either finds something to entertain him in our room, or goes into his playroom and plays with whatever he feels like, while coming back to say Hi every once in a while and make sure Dan and I haven’t fallen back to sleep 🙂  Luckily, he is very good at playing independently and seems to enjoy it as long as it’s not for too long.  After we’ve watched a bit of the news, we’ll get up, get dressed, and get G dressed then head down for breakfast between 7:45-8

He’s eats while I get breakfast ready for Dan and I and he’ll play downstairs for a bit, then depending on the day, we either head to the gym, followed by Library story time or playing at the park; take him to school; play together and then go to the gym; go for a walk; or go to Gymboree to play for a bit.  I do what I can to keep our mornings as busy as possible, so that Dan can get some work done, without Garrett constantly barging into his office.  Regardless of what we do in the mornings, we try to be home around noon so G can eat lunch and then be down for his afternoon nap between 12:30 and 1.  However, if he sleeps in the car on the way home from whatever we’ve done in the mornings, I have a hard time getting him to sleep at all in the afternoons.  While he naps, I eat lunch and then get some stuff around the house done (or I just relax with my feet up for a bit because at 32.5 weeks pregnant, the third trimester fatigue is creeping up on me again.

After he wakes up from his nap between 2 and 3 we have a snack and play upstairs for a bit, then either run errands or play outside, or when his Grandparents are in town, we’ll scoot over to their house for a change of scenery while Dan finishes up his day.

Having a husband that primarily works from home is great, but it’s also challenging with a toddler, who always wants to check in on Daddy and see what he’s up to.  Thankfully Dan’s company has an office space close by, and his customers are all pretty local so he can spend time at the office or out with customers on occasion.  I have a feeling that when the new baby comes, he’ll be spending more time there than he does here, because that will probably be easier on all of us, but that is fine with me as well.

 G will play in the kitchen with the tupperware and leave a mess while I prep our dinner, he eats around 5:30 while I finish making ours then we’ll eat.  Yes we are kind of like old folks in that we try to eat around 6:00 every night so we can have some time to relax and play together as a family before he goes down at 7:30, and then we start all over the next day!  Repetitive, perhaps, but I wouldn’t change a thing.  I love that I get to spend my days with my little guy, and feel so blessed and thankful for my husband who works as hard as he does so I have to opportunity to do so.

Along with what I’ve written above, these are some more of G’s favorite things:

Balls, particularly throwing and kicking them, stacking cups, this fisher price cone thing that teaches kids to place rings over the cone in biggest to smallest order (which G has mastered)

a shapes cookie jar, where he has to put the shapes in the corresponding holes (which he has also just about mastered) climbing up and down the stairs, books, things with wheels, his motorized spiderman bike

stroller walks, being thrown up in the air by, or just playing with daddy,

bath time (or anything where he gets to play with or in water)

and being so stinking cute that you can’t help but smile at him

I have thanked God every day for the past 16.5 months that he chose me to be his Mom.  I am truly one of the luckiest girls in the world!

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Fall Festivities

Our outside fall decor

We’ve had a pretty busy past few weeks/weekends and are trying to soak in as much fall fun as possible.  Have I mentioned how much I love this season??  The cooler mornings and  evenings and the warm sunny afternoons, the vibrant colors and the fall decorations, the hearty meals that fill your belly and your house with warmth and happiness, and of course…the Holidays!

Though I’ve never really been a huge Halloween fan, I still enjoy getting ready for it, and now that G is a little bit older, I think it will be that much more fun! Plus, Halloween just means that Thanksgiving is that much closer!  I always feel that every year I have more to be Thankful for than the last, and this year has already promised to continue that trend…I am already 30 weeks pregnant!!  What???? How did I get here so quickly!  I’m super excited to meet our newest family member but as I’ve mentioned before, I am doing everything I can to enjoy my one Little Man as much as possible…..which brings me back to my topic. Fall Festivities!

Our fall festivities started when Garrett and I went to Ohio, to visit my family, but they have continued as we’ve been back home with Dan.  Since he’s been traveling more with work, we do everything we can to pack in as much family time as possible on the weekends.  That means lots of backyard fun with the dogs

A visit to Patterson Farms to check out their produce, animals, and activities

Not too sure about this huge blow up pumpkin

Loving on the little goats!

Followed by a play date with some friends at Lazy 5 Ranch to feed some exotic animals

Garrett and Leia, checking out the scenery

Yes the animals actually come right up to your wagon (or in our case the car) and you can feed them!

Crazy Teeth!

We couldn’t get up close to the giraffes

I made the mistake of feeding the zebra, and he bit down on my entire cup of feed and I couldn’t get it back…oops!

A visit to another area attraction Zootastic, where we encountered and fed yet some more exotic animals, I was hoping we would be able to pet some of the lion and tiger cubs, and the Joey’s, but they weren’t available at the time we were there, so I’m looking forward to taking G to an actual petting zoo in the near future

Parrots

Feeding the tigers!

And finally our somewhat successful visit to the Pumpkin Patch to pick out our pumpkins (check!) and get some family pictures (no check) the good part…I got a few shots of of G….the not so good part…..he was over the pumpkin patch before we could get a family picture 😦  so we may have to try again.  On a side note….it’s crazy how much changes in a year!

Just over 3 months old in early October 2011…so small!

Now almost 16 months old, mid-end of October 2012!

Picking out his pumpkin!

So, we’ve been busy, taking advantage of all the great things that our town and the surrounding areas have to offer, and we’re looking forward to enjoying the rest of the beautiful fall season!

Have you done any fun festivities yet this fall??

Smells Like Fall (Pumpkin Bread Recipe)

This blog post was featured on Momma Blogger, so that is the reason for the intro 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

Hi, I’m Jenny and I blog over at SweetBakesandBabyCakes. I am a Mom to one very sweet little boy and expecting another at the end of December! When I’m not busy taking care of my son (which doesn’t seem to be very often 😉 I love to bake, and Fall is my favorite season so when Susan approached me about being featured on Momma Blogger I jumped at the opportunity as it gave me a reason to test out a new pumpkin bread recipe I’ve been dying to try!

Cooks Illustrated is a magazine/website we subscribe to that is sort of my “go to” when I’m looking to try a new recipe that I want to be great. I love that they test and re-test until they get exactly the results they are looking for, and that they institute the science behind the cooking. I can honestly say that I have never made a recipe of theirs’ that I did not thoroughly enjoy.
Although this bread is not something that can be thrown together in a matter of minutes, I can assure you that the prep time is well worth the end result! The bread came out perfectly moist with just the right amount of “pumpkin-y” (yes I’m pretty sure I just made that word up) flavor; and I’m so glad the recipe yielded two loaves because I have another one in the freezer ready to pull out the next time we have company! Not to mention, it made my house smell divine while it was baking.

You Will Need: Two 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pans. If you are using 9×5″ pans (which I did) just start checking for doneness about 5 minutes before the timer goes off

INGREDIENTS
For the Topping: 
5 tablespoons packed (2 1/4 ounces) light brown sugar

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened


1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Bread: 
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1(15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin puree (make sure you do not get the pumpkin pie mix)


1 teaspoon salt


1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar


1 cup packed (7 ounces) light brown sugar


1/2 cup vegetable oil


4 ounces cream cheese, cut into 12 pieces

4 large eggs

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped fine

INSTRUCTIONS

FOR THE TOPPING: Using your fingers, mix all ingredients together in bowl until well combined and topping resembles wet sand; set aside.

FOR THE BREAD: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Grease two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pans. Whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda together in bowl

2. Combine pumpkin puree, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook mixture, stirring constantly, until reduced to 1½ cups, 6 to 8 minutes.

3. Remove pot from heat; stir in granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and cream cheese until combined. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until no visible pieces of cream cheese remain and mixture is homogeneous.

4. Whisk together eggs and buttermilk. Add egg mixture to pumpkin mixture and whisk to combine.

5. Fold flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until combined (some small lumps of flour are OK).

6. Fold walnuts into batter. Scrape batter into prepared pans.

7. Sprinkle topping evenly over top of each loaf.

8. Bake until skewer inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let breads cool in pans on wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove breads from pans and let cool for at least 1½ hours.

Serve warm or at room temperature adding butter or cream cheese as you please (In my opinion the bread doesn’t need any of that) The brown sugar crumb topping seeped down into the bread and gave it just the right amount of sweetness it needed to be delicious all by itself.

Happy Fall, Enjoy!