Friday, November 29, 2013

Our Thanksgiving.

I hope everyone had a great and happy Thanksgiving and that your tummies were/are as full and happy as ours! One holiday down two to go!

Were you as excited about yesterday as I was? I loved setting the table, preparing the turkey and all the other goodies we had. I loved the entire day of getting up early, prepping and even cleaning the house a little bit.

We woke up and I made some chocolate chip pancakes and some peppermint bark iced coffee to go with them. Call us crazy but we listened to Christmas music most of the morning. We love love love this CD. If you love Home Alone as much as we do this time of the year go get this one. It has the best of the best classic malt shop songs heard in the movie along with other great ones. We were singing and dancing and Button probably thought we were completely nuts.

I had marinated the turkey the night before and by ten-thirty the next morning it went in the oven to be ready by three.

We took most of the family pictures with a real camera and I don't have any of them! I did however, snap away at my tablescape with my phone. I kept it somewhat simple but pretty and comfortable enough to still be able to eat without having decorations in our way. We needed to be able to get to that food without interruptions ;)

I spent zero money on this since I had all of it already in existence. Well I lie, I did purchase two more of these really cool white candles at Target. So inexpensive but pretty!

I cut some twine I had left over from some other decorations and tied the silverware with it. Everything else was mostly purchased at the World Market including these beautiful napkins we have had for a while but never used! We decided to be fancy and use them in lieu of paper ones. They are fall-ish enough right? I couldn't believe how well my mini pumpkins held, not one of them has rotted!

The house felt so serene as if it were ready for all the festivities. It was such a beautiful day.

Remember those lit branches I got at Target? I went back for more to add as a centerpiece and light up at night. They looked so pretty.

Our family came over early to prepare everything with us and to be able to spend the whole day together. Our menu consisted of turkey (of course) which I marinated with orange juice, lots of garlic, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper & olive oil. I also injected it with this marinade and it turned out so juicy and delicious! I also made a salad with a spring mix, strawberries, pecans, jicama & a raspberry vinaigrette. My sister and mom brought jalapeno cornbread, and they made chipotle mashed potatoes (the bomb), queso with the best homemade salsa, I made stuffing from a box, my mother in law brought yams & deviled eggs (the best) and for desert we had pumpkin pie, vanilla ice cream and a jello that my mom makes with a layer of lemon and condensed milk, which takes ordinary jello to a level I cannot even explain.

The food was set up on our kitchen island with a sheet of craft paper under all the food for presentation and easy clean up! And some fun writing on it.

Elliot couldn't wait for us to start digging in. He loved the turkey and steamed potatoes I took out before my sister added any spices for her chipotle mashed potatoes. He is a potato lover and now an official turkey boy! He asked me for seconds!

I had to dress him up for his first Thanksgiving and this is one of the very few shots I was able to get of him in it! It's getting harder and harder to catch this little one still. I got everything on sale at the Children's Place. He looked so handsome. :)

What is Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? After all of the ruckus of the day, a slice of this goodness was the best way to end the night. I am so thankful to have the best family I could have asked for and the best husband and son in the world!! Elliot loved having all the family around! He had a great time and didn't even want to take any naps and went down hard at the end of the night. This day was all about family, enjoying a day full of laughter and fun and happy bellies. Couldn't have asked for more.

After cleaning up and putting all the leftovers away, Jack and I hugged and thanked God for such a wonderful day. Then high-fived each other for doing such a good job and having everything turn out exactly as we had planned or better. ;)

P.S. I had a major realization just yesterday, I took Elliot's ten month pic with Christmas lights & a Christmas hat. Did anyone care to tell me we are in November and not December? I laughed so hard yesterday at this total and major fail. To Do: retake Button's pic with Thanksgiving gear NOT Christmas. That's supposed to be his eleven month pic! I think I was so excited to put up the tree and decorations that I was so in the spirit and failed to think straight. Ha!!

Happy Friday! :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ten Months.

Age: 10 months!

Stats: 19lbs and some ounces (I can't remember exactly)

Clothes: 12-18 months already!

Favorite Foods: Cheese, bananas, apples, egg yolk, pretty much everything! You haven't turned down one single food yet.

Favorite Words: You're blabbing away but you say Dada at our request and I think you might have started saying Mama!! You said it and daddy and I looked at each other in awe. Keep saying it! ;)

Favorite Activities: Crawling everywhere you can, pulling mama's hair (and not letting go for anything!), standing up with help and sitting back down. You can do this all day. You also love to throw food (or anything you have in your hands) on the ground from your high chair and watch it fall. Mama on the other hand, isn't so thrilled about this one.

Least Favorite Activities: Diaper changes. We've also had to give you medicine and, yeah, we don't even have to talk about that one.

Favorite Things: Seeing mama and daddy. You light up when one of us walks in the door! When you're with me, you hear the door and daddy's footsteps and immediately start whining because you want him to get you. So cute. You love your toys too but would rather tear a magazine apart. Daddy's magazines are your favorite. I wonder why? ;)

Signature Moves: You have the art of standing up (with help) and sitting down by placing your little palm on the ground mastered. You love pulling yourself up on the crib then sitting down. You finish stacking your color rings in record time and you give the best most slobbery kisses like nobody's business. You also laugh at us when we say "no" to you and you start shaking your head. You have your little devious personality! We love every second of it.

Mom's 'Proudest' Moment: I was putting on your footies on you and I zipped it up and you started crying like crazy, I then realized I had zipped the very top to your skin. Poor little babe you had a zipper mark between your chest and neck. Great job mama.

Other Milestones: We can officially say that you are crawling! It is so so cute. Standing up with help, eating everything (almost) that mama and daddy eat.

You also had another doctor's visit and had to have chest X-Rays, blood test and flu test done because we couldn't figure out the cause of your high fevers, your doctor found streaking in your lungs and we were so worried but she gave you medication and on your follow up she said you're doing great! Good healthy baby. 

This will be your very first holiday season and we are thrilled!! You'll have plenty of pictures taken so you can look back when you're older :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekend Recap.

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Jack is on Thanksgiving vacation (if there's such thing) and is off the entire week. I think that took pressure off of us and we had a great weekend. Thinking about the prepping and getting everything done early on Sunday night for the next week ahead is a little bit stressful and we had none of that!

We kicked off Friday with some Christmas decorating. Yes, Christmas, as in Christmas tree. We loved it! I had been buying ornaments and decorations for a while now and I can say that everything turned out pretty amazing. We are not done yet but I'm happy with where we are at so far. That gives me plenty of time to finish on time without rushing. Doing anything with a baby takes about twenty and a half days longer and I wasn't up for that. So early decorating it is. I still have the mantel and table along with other areas of the house left but those can wait until after Thanksgiving. At least I'm keeping a bit of the tradition going right?

I can say that Button was excited to be in the room with us helping and of course trying to get into everything he could. 

Yeah give mama a heart attack why don't you.

I had been eyeing these lit branches from Target for a while and finally got them on Saturday. I put them in a basket (they're battery operated- win!) with this owl and a cozy throw. It really makes the room look cozier. I'm thinking about getting some more to put around the house.

Jack even put these up on our bedroom door and I love them!

Saturday we made a yummy hot breakfast consisting of cheesy eggs and fries and Egg yolk, baked potato & cheese for this little one.

We also did our weekly grocery shopping and I squealed at the idea of putting Elliot in his coat and hat! Finally some winter gear worthy weather. Can you spot the bag of Doritos? ;)

It was time to take Elliot's ten month pictures and he was not having it. He hated the lights for some reason, I wanted him to hold them but he cried and cried when they were touching his feet or legs until I just put them around him, Jack made him laugh and I snapped away. This one was a fail.

If you follow me on Instagram (@shadiabrown) you saw that there was a win! 

Saturday night was spent drinking some beers with my brother and sister then came home to watch Home Alone 2. Fell asleep as soon as the Wet Bandits caught a glimpse of Kevin. Boo.

Sunday we stayed in all day long and the cold weather called for some chocolate muffins with coffee, movies and a yummy soup.

 I cannot wait for Thanksgiving and all the food I'm going to eat! And for more decorations!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Love List.

I cannot tell you how happy I am that is Wednesday already. I am ready for Friday. This has been another one of those weeks and we are barely mid-week!

There are a lot of things I am loving right now, but especially, the fact that Jack and I will start decorating pretty soon. This Friday actually. I'm sure a lot of you think it's too soon and how dare I not wait until after Thanksgiving? I'm just so excited about all the decorations and the tree and ornaments that we can't help ourselves. My vision of knitted everything is coming to life perfectly. Target and Hobby Lobby have been my greatest allies in achieving my goal. I can't wait to be finished!

I am loving Christmas jammies. They are so cute and they get me in the spirit right away. I've loved looking at all my Instagram mama friends posts of their kiddos in Christmas jammies. They are so cuddly! Reading a book to Button at night in the covers snuggling up is the best. Dr. Seuss Nursery books are his favorite.

Christmas movies. I got the DVD's in the mail and we have already watched Home Alone a couple of times. I will never be bored of it. We also got Christmas Vacation which will be playing all day on Thanksgiving and Christmas. If that doesn't completely get you in the holiday spirit, I don't know what does.

Soups, hot pastas, anything wintry and delicious is on my list. I also, believe it or not, do not own a crock pot so I will be getting one to try my hand at some slow cooked delicious recipes that will save me ten thousand years from cooking after getting off of work. Total win. I made this one pan pasta I found on Pinterest and it was the shit. I will be making this a million times before the year is over. You can find the recipe on my Healthy Cooking board here.

Along with hot soups & pastas, hot coffee and tea are my go-to's. Even in the summer I drink hot coffee sometimes because I just like it better. I've been drinking this Korean tea for years thanks to my mother-in-law and it's my absolute favorite. It's sort of a jelly that you spoon into hot water and stir. It also has lemon peel in it and I take a sip then scoop some of the lemon peel from the bottom. So good. Especially on a cold day.

Last but definitely not least, Target Christmas section. I fell in love with it. Not all sections are my style but pieces from each are and I got ornaments from a couple of them. Hobby Lobby has also been great but I've been more careful there because some of the ornaments and decorations do tend to look too crafty sometimes.

I'm having lunch as I'm typing this and we grilled some steaks with baked potatoes and salad so I'm having leftovers and I realized I forgot my potato. Boo. Tuna salad & baked potato for dinner? I think so :)

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Food for Thought Monday.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!!! Those of you who were very close or in the path of the tornadoes, my prayers and thoughts are with you and your families!

I've shared with you before that I work for a great company that creates jobs for people with disabilities whether they're cognitive, mental or physical. Honestly, for the past month, I've had really shitty and busy days at work, I go home exhausted and almost in tears because I have to deal with a lot of stuff that like in every company, other people have to deal with as well, but it's so tiring. Aside from being busy, what gets me the most tired about work is drama. As I said, I know everyone deals with this regardless of where they work, but I for one, am not very good at dealing with these kinds of things. I don't need them in my life, I don't want them. I firmly believe that people who love drama cause drama and they love it. It follows them.

Anyway, I would get home and unload it on Jack and he would sit there and listen and I would listen to myself and think, why do I even put myself in these situations? Why do I let it affect me so much? Although I cannot stop it, I can remove myself from these situations and be at peace with myself. Or try to.

This Saturday I had to work for a couple of hours to attend a conference for parents that have children with disabilities. Being that I was exhausted and kind of annoyed with work, I'm not going to lie, I was hesitant about having to work on the weekend. I got up and got ready and left Jack and Elliot to go to this thing. I got there and went to our table and met up with our recruiter and counselors.

I'll say one thing, I was EXTREMELY happy to be there. There's nothing like seeing parents with their sons and daughters going around talking to us about opportunities for them. They want to find a way to make their kids successful in life as we all yearn for our own. We also had to do a presentation for the parents on what our company does and the training we offer for our employees. There was a father there that had a twenty-two year old son who suffered from seizures since the age of five. I talked about our training and what we have to offer and how we would accommodate his son. He told us his story and how his son, because of the seizures, had a teenager's learning ability. He said that his son could go days if not months without a seizure and other times they were frequent. He always has to be accompanied by someone in case he suffered from one. I had a knot in my throat the entire time because here he was, with a son that would finish high school in a year, him an older man, looking for employment for his adult son.

I quickly realized how fortunate and blessed I am to have a job where we help people with disabilities (I don't like that word because everyone has an ability), from young adults to veterans, older men & women. It hit me. Right there it hit me. How could I be so selfish and think about how I had a bad day at work for the last month and here was this man and all he wanted was to make sure his son was cared for and had a future? He wanted to leave him set for life before his time came. Before he no longer could look out for his son's well being. Something we all want for ourselves and our kids anyway and sometimes take for granted right?

It was this particular situation that brought me back down and made me plant my feet well and hard on the ground again. It made my job seem so easy and it erased all the pressure and made me forget about the bad days. I left there thinking how you can be having the shittiest day at work (in your mind) or wherever and one thing like this makes all that go away. You come back down to earth and feel thankful that it was only one month worth of shitty days, and how really, it's not as bad as you think. Or even bad at all. Other people go through way worse things and treat life no different than us, they're thankful everyday. We are so quick to go to that bad place sometimes over the most meaningless things that we really don't set our minds and hearts straight and we need moments and situations like these. I am thankful for the experience that I had that day. I was happy to meet this man and glad that hopefully we can make his son's life better, even if it's just at work.

This might be somewhat extreme or may seem minimal to some but it makes you think. I know it made me sit down and think about the way I think about things sometimes, even if that sounds redundant ha.

We are so close to Thanksgiving and my approach to things has definitely changed. If you think minimal things in your life are bad, look again, sit down and think about it. Is it really that bad? Do you really think the world is closing down on you? I bet you by the time you get up again your view of things will change.

I love this quote, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” - Dr Wayne Dyer

I'll leave you with a pic of my Button.

Have a great Monday!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Holiday Wear.

Since it's almost time for the actual holidays to begin, what's better than some cute attire to go with them? Of course along with all the movies, food, parties, family and coziness that come with them.

These are some of my favorite picks right now and along with planning Button's first birthday, I'm planning his outfits for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. Call it what you want but it's my first holidays ever with a kid & house and I'm going all out, mama don't care!

Jack and I will for sure be rocking ugly Christmas sweaters this year along with a decked out babe and fully decorated house. Hell yes.

I love, love, love these little clothes and hats and little paw slippers and bear mittens. So so cute! They're so fun and I love all the colors. Especially that green reindeer onesie and pj's, I'm crazy about those footies too. Bring on the color! The warmness of a baby in Winter clothes kills me. These are all picks from Old Navy & Baby Gap, they really hit it out of the park. Go get them!

It's Thursday already? Yay! ;)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Life Lately.

First and foremost, I wanted to give a shout out to all my IG and blog mamas! I'm so glad I've had the chance to share with you all and get to see your beautiful babes and a little glimpse of your lives. I love it!!

Pure craziness is how I can describe my life right now. "When it rains, it pours" couldn't be more accurate. Work and home have been the busiest they have ever been! I don't think I was in my office for more than thirty minutes these past two weeks. I had a feverish baby at home already added to the everyday life of insanity we have hence this ridiculous blogging hiatus.

I can say that I am very blessed though and I wouldn't change that for the world. I have an amazing job, and my family, well, I can't even tell you how I feel about them. They're my everything.

So with October gone, Halloween decorations went with it. Bats are gone and I am ready to bust out Christmas decorations, but I am holding off until a little before Thanksgiving. I'm still in the process of collecting holiday stuff since we had pretty much zero of anything.

So, onto Button's fever. I got a call from daycare on Tuesday at about eight thirty (those calls always freak me out) and was told that Elliot had a fever but they had already spoken to Jack and he was on his way to pick him up. We had actually already planned on it and decided it would be him who would pick him up since I've been crazy busy at work and had to work late this week.

I got home and he was burning! Jack had taken him to the doc and they couldn't find anything wrong with him. They even took a blood sample from his little finger my poor babe. So we dealt with it for about three days, too long in my opinion but there was nothing we could do about it. It was killing me! He was also really hot but his hands and feet were cold which was really weird to me so I Googled it (as we do with everything right?) and it said sometimes that's normal. Weird. There's nothing fun about it. So Tylenol, very little clothing and cold compresses were the go-to's for this situation.

Anyway he is doing so much better now. The fever is gone and all he wants to do now is play and play and play. This weekend was no exception. I also had the day off yesterday (a big thank you to all the Veterans!) and spent the entire day playing and eating with this little boy.

I've been giving him egg yolk and he loves it. I love watching his little fingers pick it up and take it to his mouth. So darn cute.

And yes, all he wants to do when he's on his crib is to stand up, no matter what time it is. Not cool for mama. It's funny, even when he's asleep on the bed and I put him in his crib, he gets up and starts going for the rails lights off and all. Crazy kid.

I was in desperate need of some relaxation time and what's better than cozy socks, beer, popcorn and Sex and The City 2 at the end of the night. 

"We've got a lot of Abu Dhabi to do, Abu Dhabi Do!" 

I wasn't kidding when I said he wants to get into everything.

I am ready for the Holidays. It will be our first year hosting all of them and I'm excited! I am also ready for all the movies! A must see movie that we would always watch growing up during that time is Home Alone 1 & 2. I can't get enough of them. I want to start that tradition with Elliot and Jack. Growing up we had the VHS and if I had a player I would totally do it! I ordered them online though and cannot wait to get them. I have plans for a Christmas tree that we haven't gotten yet. Mantel decorations, pillows, prints I want to frame, scents just for those days, outdoor decor, etc. I could go on and on.

We swung by Bath & Body Works (again) and I scooped up these two candles, although I'm a fan of Scensty, I couldn't pass these up. I know, I know, I said I didn't like food scented candles but honestly, smell these and tell me you wouldn't convert. Besides, my theme for Christmas is knitted everything and this candle holder was on clearance. Must have been destiny ;)

Speaking of Scensty, of course I couldn't pass up some of these scents. So many to pick from!

Target also has amazing one dollar section items (as usual) and I got all these goodies and still went back a couple of days later to get some colorful straws for Elliot's birthday party. They had the perfect colors! I love how all of this is so festive and Christmas-y.

Since this little has no crawling in his little mind whatsoever, I bought him this table to play on and to be able to stand up on his own which he loves. I seriously think he will be one of those babies I've read about that skip crawling entirely and start walking, BUT, I also read that crawling is a milestone that teaches them motor skills. Is this true? I'm not going to lie, I'm freaking out a little bit but if that's what it will be then so be it right?

The randomness of this post makes me cringe but I had to catch up somehow! :)

Have a great Tuesday!! 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Button's Halloween.

I cannot believe we are already in November! October seriously flew by like a witch in a broom. I was definitely not ready! I had been planning Elliot's costume for a while now, but after analyzing it I thought I could have done a lot more. Oh well, next year will be better! It just kind of creeped up on us with so much work, Jack working late everyday this week and I just couldn't wrap my head around the fact that it was already Halloween day.

I couldn't wait to see Elliot all dressed up and going around our neighborhood trick or treating with him for the first time, well second time technically since he was in my belly last year. Anyway, his wasn't a costume that I bought already ready. We actually bought everything separately in the course of a couple of months. It all started with the bat hat that we found at Old Navy and couldn't get over how cute Button looked. I knew it wasn't really a Halloween hat but it was too cute to pass up. I then got a black onesie, pants and a jacket to match along with some Halloween socks from Target. Wednesday night I ran to Hobby Lobby to get some material to make the wings. I got two sheets of a black felt/fabric I'm not sure exactly what it's called, but it's sort of thick but pliable. I also got some elastic to sew onto the wings for his little arms. I sewed two onto each wing for his wrist and shoulder so that they would stay put. 

I waited for Jack to come home and kids were already out trick or treating! I'm sure he didn't understand what was going on, why mama was so excited about his outfit and why I was taking so many pictures, a daily occurrence regardless. He made no fuss about it though which worked out for me. I snapped away then put him down for his nap.

We got the candy and went outside while Elliot took his nap and handed out some of it. My sister then joined us and we ate really quick, Elliot woke up at the perfect time and we were ready! I couldn't stand the cuteness of his costume. Actually, I couldn't believe this would be the very first year we had a kid to take trick or treating! It's surreal. As minimal as this is, it was a big deal for us. Our very own candy to pass out and a kid of our own to dress up! Crazy I tell you.

Once we had about half of the candy remaining, we took the stroller and headed out to get some candy of our own. I love, love, loved it! I kept telling Jack how cool this was to be doing this and building memories of our own. You could have sworn I was the kid getting dressed up getting the candy. It was just so much fun going around all the neighbors! We even saw three teens (boys) in underwear, I'm not even gonna go there on their costume. It gets weirder and weirder every year. One kid apologized for walking on our grass, my sister an I kept cracking up on the costumes people were wearing, and we had a great time.

We got back and handed out the rest of the candy. My niece kept wanting to pass it out and would tell each and every kid "happy halloween!" and even telling the little kids "I love your costume!" it was so sweet. I couldn't believe how many people go around our neighborhood. We had lines and lines of kids! I am even more excited for next year now, I plan on really going all out.

Elliot was doing fine and didn't get scared with any of the costumes until he saw this and started crying. Of course it was Jack. I had no idea he was getting dressed up at the neighbors but I should have imagined.

At around eight this one was done and ready to back inside the house. I was ready too. At nine people still kept ringing our doorbell. We were done kid. My niece kept saying she would give them her candy which was cute, but that would've only kept them coming. Besides, we wanted that candy! Good thing this little one doesn't know anything about that yet cause mama and daddy will have treats for months! :)

 We really had a great time. Elliot drank his bottle and passed out. My sister and niece left, Jack and I got ready for bed, looked for a good Michael Myers movie, since they were playing nonstop on AMC, but the one that was on was not one of the good ones so we went to sleep. Ahh what a good day it was. Elliot won't remember but I'll have the pictures to show him! Thanksgiving planning is next. 
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