Leap Year Day

How are you spending your extra day this year? I'm spending mine in a meeting...aallll...ddaaayyy...loonngggg...

So much for extra time. :-)


Dear Jillian (7 months)

Dear Jillian, 

Happy 7 months to you! You are now closer to 1 than you are to..none..And even though you're still 5 months away from that landmark, I have the majority of your birthday planned out in my mind. I'm just a little excited.  

The other night I was feeding you somewhere around 2am and I looked at you laying across my lap and thought, "Are you REALLY this big?" It's true. You are.

Your little personality comes out more and more each day. You're definitely the happiest in the morning. I love going to get you when you wake up because you get so excited to see us- you smile so big and kick your legs and start thrashing around. It's adorable. 

You can balance really well sitting up and even on your hands and knees! You can pull your knees under yourself sometimes, but I like to put you there to help out a little..then you rock back and forth and get so frustrated that you can't actually go anywhere.  

We finally got around to getting you a highchair- I even put it together myself (one day you'll see how big of an accomplishment that is for me because I HATE following instructions to put things together). I think you really like it. You also don't try to flip out of it like you were starting to do when you are in your Bumbo chair...so that's better. 

You LOVE eating solid food. So far you've tried rice cereal, oatmeal, peas, bananas, apples, pears, squash, and sweet potatoes. Just this week I started giving you little dissolving baby cereal puffs. You have a hard time getting them from your clenched fist into your mouth, but when you do you love chomping them with your two little front teeth. Even though you love your food, you HATE the sound the Baby Bullet (blender) makes when I puree it. You truly get scared and start waving your arms and yelling. It's the saddest thing I've ever seen, so usually your Dad has to take you downstairs for that part.

You don't like when anyone takes a toy away from you. You just recently starting doing this pouty face where you close your eyes tight and pout your lips out and make a very whiny noise. It's almost funny. 

I'm probably most proud of your latest accomplishments in sleeping- YAY! You've slept 10 straight hours through the night on several nights lately. Your naps are also starting to get longer, between 1-2.5 hours! Let's keep that up, I think it makes everybody happier. 

You also love playing in the bathtub now, especially with your rubber duck. You also like when I wring out the wash cloth over your hands, it makes you giggle. But you do HATE getting your pajamas on after your bath. 

Today I gave you a metal bowl and a whisk and showed you how to bang it to make noise. Of course you loved it- you love to play with most things that aren't meant to be toys. I should probably just buy you remotes, keyboards, and items with lots of tags and you'll be as happy as a clam.

You babble a LOT more than you used to. You make sounds like "ma-ma-ma" and "da-da-da" among lots of over goos and coos. 

Every month I think, "There is NO way you can get ANY cuter." I love that every month I'm wrong, and you do. 

I love you!




I think I gained 5 pounds last night. Of those 5 pounds I think I only regret 1 one of them. We finally celebrated Valentine's Day by going to the Melting Pot in Salt Lake. Hol-E CRAP. SO good. No place like the Melting Pot to make you feel extremely large and glutenous.

We got spinach & artichoke cheese fondue, then a variety of meats to cook in our little pot- sirloin, chicken, shrimp, and tuna- then finished off with milk chocolate fondue swirled with crunchy peanut butter and pureed berries served with fresh fruit, brownies, cheesecake, pound cake, marshmallows, and rice krispie treats. Yeah. You gained 5 pounds too just reading that.

I'd do it again. Soon.

Thanks for babysitting Michaela, that was seriously our first date in MONTHS. :-)


Valentine Goodness

If I see one more piece of chocolate I'm literally going to vomit. This might do my diet some good. I'm literally grossed out by it. I'm thinking this is a good strategy though...gorge on little heart-shaped chocolates the entire day of loveyness and then avoid it for the next 6 months.

I even ate the cheap nasty chocolate this year just because it was there. Geez. Where have my standards gone?

Anyway. It was a fun day.

I made these little goodies for the kiddos. Mostly because I was feeling crafty...only partly because I like them. *wink

Every year I also have a "Valentine box competition." They decorate boxes to hold their Valentine cards from each other. These were a few of my faves...the creative little boogers:

James also sent these lovely things to my place of employment. They came in a box (thanks 1-800-Flowers!) and one of the kids asked, "Are those flowers fake? They came in a box..."

Flowers in boxes MUST be fake. Der. Every 8 year-old knows that. *wink

The rest of the night was super chill. Heart-shaped pizza from Papa Murphys, a baby who wasn't interested in an early bedtime, and Zumba. :-) 

Hope your day of love was full of it.

...love that is. 



"Valentine's Day is on Tuesday! Tuesday is February 14th, which is Valentine's Day! This Tuesday is Valentine's Day!" says the annoying man on the radio. Wait...when is it again?

I'm pretty excited about it. No big plans really (although we are going to the Melting Pot thanks to one of my student's parents who gave me a $50 gift card; that I am definitely excited about). Chalk this holiday up to another "first" for Jillian. Not that she can eat chocolate...or appreciate the pretty scent of flowers. But she would probably appreciate me letting her try to eat the flowers (anything goes in that mouth these days).

I've found a TON of CUTE V-day stuff on pinterest. (Check it out here). Gosh that site is like crack for your eyes. It inspired me a little to make cuter than usual goodies for my class (because the usual is a cheap little card with a sucker stuck through it or something). I'll put the final product up on Tuesday (I left some supplies at school...).

They're inspired by these adorable printables over at Pumpkins and Posies.

Also made these for my young women's group at church (although unfortunately didn't get to printing them out- burned by my procrastination).

May you get lotsa lovin'...and chocolate. And if you get neither, you should at least buy yourself some chocolate. But don't buy yourself some lovin'. Because that's illegal.


Superbowl Sunday

I don't really watch professional football much...but it's still fun to get together for the biggest game of the year- and that we did. Jillian was a little overwhelmed at the clapping and yelling at the TV, but other than that she had a good time. She liked watching Sarah's dogs (first time she'd ever seen one) and she wished she could've eaten all the delicious food I kept tempting her with. 
Speaking of delicious food...I love an excuse to try a new recipe.


Bacon Jalapeno Poppers 
(courtesy of blogchef.net)


6 fresh jalapeno peppers (halved lengthwise and seeded)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
Dash of onion powder
Dash of garlic powder
12 slices bacon
2 stalks green onion

1. Blend cream cheese, onion & garlic powder and chives
2. Stuff in jalapeno halves
3. Wrap in bacon, secure with toothpick
4. Bake @ 325 for 45-50 minutes
5. Prepare for your house to take on the aroma of Denny's

These were one of the faves. 

Bite-sized Baked Brie
(courtesy of joythebaker.com)

2 sheets puff pastry, thawed but still cold
1/2 wedge of brie, cold
1/3 cup cherry jam (or any flavor you fancy!)
1 large egg, beaten
splash of milk

All-butter, store bought puff pastry  usually comes frozen and folded into thirds.  We’re going to use these folded thirds to our advantage.  Cut the puff pastry into thirds along the creases.  Cut each panel into four pieces.  They’ll be 2 1/4-inch tall and 3-inches wide.  One sheet of puff pastry will yield 12 rectangles.  Cut each rectangle in half.  You’ll have 24 little rectangles that will create 12 little rectangle pockets.

Combine beaten egg and splash of milk.  Brush 12 of the small rectangles with egg wash.  If you’d like to make brie bites on sticks, now is the time!  Place a popsicle stick halfway up the puff pastry and press in gently.  Place a small sliver of brie (rind and all) on top of the egg wash (and stick).  Top with about 1/2 teaspoon of cherry jam.  Take another square of puff pastry and press between your fingers to make the rectangle slightly bigger.  Place puff pastry on top of the cheese and jam.  Use a fork to press the edges together.  The egg wash will act as a glue.  Make sure to seal the edges well by crimping with the fork.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Place prepared brie bites on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush with egg wash.  Sprinkle with a touch of coarsely ground sea salt.  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

These were good, if you like brie. This was my first time trying brie, and I'm actually not a fan. They still looked pretty to me though. 

Hope you had fun eating good junk food and yelling at your TV too. ;-)