Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Visit From Ben

For awhile, Laura, Gino, and Ben had been planning a trip to Milton, FL to visit our Aunt Rainey.  It would be about a 6 hour trip, and after seeing the difficulties that we had taking LL to the mountains, they decided that the trip was just a little too much right now.  Instead, they opted to drive here for the weekend, and Aunt Rainey also drove here to meet them.  Ben is 5 months old and Aunt Rainey has never met him!  It was a long weekend for me and mom (MLK Day), so of course I knew that I'd be spending the entire weekend over at mom's so that I could see everyone!

Gigi is as happy as a clam!

Presents from Aunt Rainey!

Gigi getting LL all energized before bed.

Laura and Gino left about 5:00 am on Saturday morning to make it down here.  They got to mom's at 9 which is right in the middle of LL's nap.  We told them that we'd meet them at mom's after LL woke up from her nap.  I knew that we could have left earlier and LL could have napped at mom's, but I also knew that she'd be having a loooong weekend, and I wanted to get in a good nap at home before it started.  It also gave Mom and Aunt Rainey some good "alone" time with Laura, Gino, and Ben.  I know it's got to be hard for mom on the rare occassions that she gets to see LL and Ben at the same time, because she doesn't want it to seem like she's spending more time with one than the other.  This way, everyone got some time where they didn't have to worry about that!

Aunt Robyn knows what to do!

We finally made it over there about 11.  We had a wonderful rest of the day eating, playing, taking naps, and just spending time together!  We brought everything that we needed to get LL ready for bed.  We bathed her at mom's, got her all ready and then all we had to do was drive her home and put her in bed!

Bath time!

Sunday most of our family met us at church.  Our entire family doesn't often go to church all together, so it was nice to have everyone there.After church we went to mom's house to eat lunch. Mrs. Becky was meeting me and Matt at my mom's house at 2:00 so that the three of us could drive to Cairo for a wedding reception for Grant and Corrie. They got married the weekend after Thanksgiving and Matt was supposed to be a groomsman in their wedding, but he didn't end up going out there. I wasn't ready for LL to travel that far, not ready to leave her at home, and Matt didn't want to miss her first Thanksgiving. Mom was keeping LL for us for the afternoon/evening so that we could be a part of reception. We got home just in time to drive LL home and put her to bed.

Monday was supposed to be a girls day with Emily and my sister. Our plan was to make some cute birthday banners for both Lorelai and Kye's first birthday parties. Well, Kye had a hard time napping at mom's, so it didn't end up being much of a girls day! I did get LL's banner done and most of Kye's banner got done, too.

Going for a walk with Gigi and Poppy

I hate that I don't get to see my sister ver much (well, not as much as I would like), and even though this weekend was CRAZY and we were only at home to sleep, I had a WONDERFUL time and loved all the time I got to spend with Ben. And the best news, we'll see them again in 3 weeks for LL's party!

I love my little man!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Almost Walking

She's getting so close!!!!

11 Months!

Oh my goodness!  I can't believe that we are this close to a year!  The next time that I do one of these posts, I will have a toddler!  I never imagined that time could go by this quickly and I'm starting to wonder more and more where my baby has gone.  I've been really torn lately, on one hand, I'm really loving the stage that Lorelai is in and I think she is the most precious thing in the world.  But on the other hand, I miss my little chunky baby that couldn't move anywhere and had a gummy smile.  She is just the best thing that has ever happened to me, and more than anything, I'm just sad to see time passing so quickly!

Let's see what she's been up to the past month:

1- Solid Food.  Well, we are officially off of baby food!  Lorelai is completely on table food now and she is doing beautifully!  She is such an amazing eater and her appetite is definitely back from being sick for all of those weeks.  Right now, she is really loving asparagus, strawberries, string cheese, oatmeal, raisins and prunes.  Awesome!  I actually tried the prunes the other day and surprised myself by liking them!  I couldn't ask for her to be a better eater.  Here's a video of breakfast one morning.

2- Eating habits.  Even though she's a wonderful eater, Lorelai is really in a weird "eating phase" right now.  Her newest thing - she puts food in her mouth, chews it up, and then spits it back out!  It is so annoying!  It's like she's getting all of the flavor out and then she doesn't want it anymore!  I mean, she's doing this alllll the time!  I honestly don't know what to do about it, though.  She's not spitting it out in a playful or ugly way, she just more of opens her mouth and lets it drop out.  Gross, but I'm hoping if we ignore it that it will just go away soon.

3- Sleeping.  Well, again, this has changed alot since last month.  One thing that is the same, though, is that she still doesn't take her paci at night.  So we still never get up to give it to her.  The differences are that we started giving her a dream feed again and she has dropped her middle of the night feeding.  Which is awesome!  I would much prefer it this way!  She eats 6 oz right before bed, 4 oz around 9:30 or 10 for her dream feed, and then we don't see her again until the morning.  It is wonderful!  We haven't fed her in the middle of the night for about a week and a half now.  Woohoo!

4- Standing.  She's still doing great with this!  She's getting better, actually.  She does this alllll the time now, and for longer and longer. 

5- Walking.  She's not doing this on her own, yet, but she's getting closer.  Now she'll walk towards you (instead of the same direction as you) if you are holding her hands.  Actually, she walked around the living room with me today only holding on to one of my hands.  I think it won't be long!

6- Talking.  She sure has gotten a lot more vocal in the past month!  Here are all of the words that she can say now: momma, dadda, Lola, uh-oh, wow, woah, Bob, and Poppy.  We think that she got "Bob" off of Veggi Tales and she says it more than anything else.  We decided to name one of her monkeys Bob just so she'd actually be talking about someone.  It's really cute.

7- Teeth.  Our official count is up to 4 now!  The two in the middle on the top are barely poking through, but they are there!  They actually came in a day apart - which I wasn't prepared for!  I didn't even realize that the other one had come through - Grammy is the one that noticed it!  Maybe we won't get anymore for awhile now.

8 - Waving.  I love this new development!  She will now wave "bye-bye" to people.  Well, technically, I guess she waves hello, too, but you have to say "bye-bye" for her to wave at you.  Either way, it's still really cute!  Here's a video from Christmas that shows her waving and saying "Bob".

9- Holding my legs.  I really like this one!  She loves to crawl over to me and pull herself up to standing.  It's so cute!  She'll stand inbetween my legs with one arm around each leg and she won't let go!  I really, really love it and hope that she keeps doing it.

10- Dancing.  This girl can bust a move!  She LOVES to dance and will just hold on to her Laugh and Learn Table and dance and dance and dance!  Mega cute!  We tell her all the time, "You've got a beat in your body and you just have to get it out!"  Here's a video of her crazy dancing!

11- Reading.  This girl loves her books!  I think that she's going to be just like her mommy, because she will sit and "read" her books by herself all day long!  This really is one of her favorite things.

12- Eyes are still blue!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Project 365 Update

Okay, so, apparently this is not my thing.  I can not keep up and I am (already!) so far behind.  So, I admit defeat.  Pathetic, I know.  But I'm giving up. 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Project 365 - Chicken Roll Ups

This is what we had for dinner tonight!  It's called Chicken Roll Ups and it's one of those "comfort foods" that my mom made all the time for us growing up and it is still one of my favorite things to eat.  Not only do you get a picture today, but here's the recipe!

3 large chicken breasts
2 containers of crescent rolls
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
1 package of shredded Cheddar cheese
Season Salt
Garlic Powder

Preheat the oven to 450.  Boil the chicken breasts until they are done.  Chop the chicken breasts into very small pieces (about the size of a pea).  In a bowl, mix the chicken, season salt, garlic powder, and about 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.  In a pot, bring two cans of cream of mushroom soup and two cans of milk to a boil.  Take a crescent roll, spread out the dough, place it in your hand, and fill the palm of your hand with the chicken mixture.  Fold the dough (like a diaper!) until the chicken is completely surrounded by dough.  Put your all of your roll-ups into a 12x9 greased baking pan.  Once all of your roll-ups are made, Pour soup over the roll-ups until just the tops are sticking out.  Cover with cheese.  Bake approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Sprinkle with more cheese and serve!

Project 365

I read about Project 365 over on Erin's blog and I think it is a really cool idea.  While I do take a lot of pictures, I don't take one every day.  Now, I think I'll start!  Here's the idea: (taken from the Project 365 website)

People will often say that their whole lives flashed before their eyes after they experienced a traumatic event. Perhaps it’s a bit morbid, but we think that sounds pretty incredible.

When Taylor McKnight started taking a photo a day on January 1st, 2004, he never imagined the project would not only serve as a way to remember a year, but also help him understand what was important to him in his life.

Whether it was his relationships, his career, or his fashion sense, recording a photo a day for a whole year left him with a rich visual history of his life. And it made him a better photographer to boot!

Now that he’s in the middle of doing it for a second time, we asked Taylor to write about it for us. Read on for our tutorial on how and why to create your own daily photographic history.

Why do it?

Taking a photo a day is a big undertaking with big payoffs. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider doing it:

•Imagine being able to look back at any day of your year and recall what you did, who you met, what you learned… (Often we find it hard to remember what we did just yesterday or even last night, let alone a whole year ago!)

•Your year-long photo album will be an amazing way to document your travels and accomplishments, your haircuts and relationships. Time moves surprisingly fast.

•Taking a photo a day will make you a better photographer. Using your camera every day will help you learn its limits. You will get better at composing your shots, you’ll start to care about lighting, and you’ll become more creative with your photography when you’re forced to come up with something new every single day.

Tips on How to Do It

Here are six tips on how to create your own Project 365:

1.Bring Your Camera Everywhere.  Yes, everywhere. Get in the habit. Grocery stores, restaurants, parties, work, and school. Going to a movie theatre? Snap a pic of the flick with your phone–there are photo-ops everywhere. If you have one of those tiny tiny cameras, you have no excuse not to have it in your pocket all the time. And if you don’t? Camera phones are a great substitute.

2.Make Posting Easy.  You can install blog software like Movable Type or Wordpress on your own site and create an entry for each photo, but for true ease of use, try a photo sharing site. Flickr will let you post a week’s worth of photos in 2 minutes flat, and fotolog and are geared toward a photo-a-day workflow. Making it fast and easy means you’re much more likely to do it.

3.Vary Your Themes.  Try to capture the day’s events in a single photo. Perform photographic experiments. Take a photo of someone new you meet, something you ate for the first time, or something you just learned how to do. Take a photo of something that made you smile. And don’t forget to take a photo of yourself at least once a month so you can remember how you’ve changed, too.

4.Tell a Story.  Use your blog entry, or your photo description, to explain what’s going on in each day’s photograph. How good did that dinner taste? What made you want to take a photo of that stranger? It’ll help you remember down the road, and it gives friends following along a better appreciation of why you took the photo you did. You don’t need to write a lot, just enough to add some color.

5.Don’t Stop, No Matter What.  This is perhaps the most important tip of all. You will get tired of taking a photo every single day. Some days, you will consider giving up. Don’t. The end result is worth the effort. Remind yourself why you wanted to do it in first place.

There will be times you’ll think there’s nothing interesting left to take a photo of, and times you’ll think you didn’t do anything exciting enough to take a photo of. There’s always a great photo to be made.

Get out of the house and take a walk. Or stay inside and look around. Take a photo of something important to you. Take a photo of the inside of your house so you can see how your taste has changed over the years. Take a photo of anything, just don’t stop.

N.b. It helps if you’ve told your friends about the project and asked them to follow along. Their encouragement will keep you going!

6.Post early, post often.  Plan on going through and posting your photos at least once a week so you don’t get backlogged and feel overwhelmed. Ideally, post every day or two. Again, spend the time up front to make sure it’s quick and easy to post. It’ll make all the difference.

So, here's to Project 365!  Thanks, Erin!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Baby Elephant

Sometimes, Lorelai comes up with the craziest of things!  I know that she has no idea what an elephant is (well, it's one of her words on "Your Baby Can Read", so maybe!) and I'm confident that she really has no clue what sound an elephant makes.  But as soon as she started doing this, it is exactly what I thought it sounded like she was doing.  And Matt agreed!  Now we call it Lorelai's "elephant noise" and we ask her all the time, "What does an elephant say?"  I think that it is so cute and I hope this noise sticks around for awhile!

2010 Goals

I really want to set some for-real goals for this year and try my hardest to keep them.  Some of them might be "big deals", but some might not - but this is what I want to accomplish this year!

1-Keep up with blogging.  I want to make sure that I keep this as a priority in my life because I feel that it is an even better way of keeping up with our lives than scrapbooking.  In fact, I've decided to do this instead of scrapbooking because it's much more in detail, cheaper, and I can get it printed in book format and we essentially have the same thing - minus the pretty paper and all the stickers.

2- Stick to our budget.  I want Matt and I to be much more budget concious than we have been in previous years.  I want us to be way more strict with our money and more mindful of the things that we spend it on.  I want to be totally hardcore about this!

3- Be a better wife.  I know that this is crazy broad, but I feel like a lot of times I let my "mommy role" come before my "wife role".  Now that LL is getting older, I want to make sure that I keep my priorities in order - God, Matt, Lorelai.

4- I want to read the entire bible from cover to cover this year.  As sad as this is, I have never done that.  Not in order straight through.  I sure can read the entire Harry Potter series all the way through, or all of the Nicholas Sparks, so how in the world can I have an excuse about the Bible?  I think that it's way messed up that I haven't done that, and I really think that I need to make that happen this year.  I mean, really, to read one book in a year?  It should be a piece of cake!

5- Start Christmas shopping by the summer at the latest.  I know this may seem silly, but we ALWAYS wait until the last minute and I think that is horrible.  We would be so much happier (financially and emotionally) if we did it all year long!  In fact, I've already started a list of gift ideas as I come up with them so that I won't forget.  This is a big deal to me!

6- Be the best mom that I can be.  At the end of this year, I want to look back and know deep down in my heart that I did the absolute best job that I could.  That doesn't mean that I have to do everything perfect (or even close), but just that I tried my best.  Afterall, Lorelai doesn't deserve anything less!

7- Keep and cleaner house.  Matt and I have been doing soooo much better at this lately, and I want us to keep it up.  How can we teach our daughter to be clean and to pick up our mess if we don't?  We can't.  This is way up there on the list for me this year.

8- Get my "pre-baby" body back.  Number wise, I'm right where I was before.  Well, considering it's right after Christmas, maybe a few pounds over.  But, shape wise, everything is way different.  There are buldges and pooches where there weren't any before.  I want to get rid of those!

9- Make sure that I make some time for me this summer.  My goal is to have one day a week that I drop LL off with Grammy and have "me" time.  I have been pasty for two years, and I want to change that!  I want to be able to lay out, sleep in, go shopping, spend time with friends, etc. and I don't think that one day a week is a bad thing to do. 

10. Form new, and better friendships.  There is no mistaking that 2009 was a rough year for us.  We lost a lot of friends and got hurt more than I ever thought possible.  We were tested and tried in so many ways and sometimes I didn't know how we would make it out the other side.  I didn't know that I could be hurt in the ways that I was this year and sometimes I didn't know how it would ever get better.  But God is sooo good and He has restored us in so many ways.  He has restored relationships, brought in new ones, and given me the strength to let go of some.  At some points this year, I didn't know that was possible.

11.  Get back to being more involved in church.  Since LL has been born, I haven't been a church nearly as much and I haven't sung on a praise team in over a year.  I want to be there more!  I want to sing again!  I really really miss it, and I know that Matt does, too.  I want to be more present and involved this year.  I think that will get easier as LL gets older. 

12.  Set aside date nights.  I think Matt and I need to make sure to have at least one date night a month.  Even if it's taking LL to a grandparent's house and eating dinner and watching a movie at home, I want us to make more time for US.  I don't want us to lose ourselves in having a baby.  I don't want her to graduate highschool, move away, and I turn around and don't know my husband anymore.  I refuse to let that happen.

13. Take LL to the beach.  I know that sounds crazy, but Matt only gets 2 vacation weeks a year.  While two weeks sounds like a lot, that means that out of 52 Sundays, he can only miss 2 Sundays!  Yes, he has Fridays off, but I don't!  With me getting off work at 3:30 on Friday, our "weekends" together consist only of Saturdays.  That means that we never, I mean never, can take weekend trips unless we want to go and come back in 24 hours.  That is mega hard with a baby and not something I really want to do!  It also stinks because, even if I have a long weekend (Monday off), we still can't go anywhere because Matt still has to be at work on Sunday.  That being said, I want to make sure that we take/make time to take Lorelai to the beach this year.  Matt and I both love the beach and I can't wait to see her experience it, too!

14. Enjoy this year!  I don't want to wish any of my days away, and I want to enjoy this year to the fullest that I possibly can!  I want 2010 to be the best year, ever!

Chef Matt

Matt got a smoker for Christmas from my mom (and it is what he asked for) so he has been talking about all the things that he wants to smoke for forever.   Since we had Lorelai, Matt hasn't been able to go hunting and fishing as much.  Mainly because, to do those things, he has to cut out on family time and leave me home by myself while he's gone.  Because he's had to cut down on those hobbies, he has really picked up cooking as his new hobby.  Not cooking, like sweets, but cooking like food and dinner and stuff.  And he has gotten really good! 

Matt got his smoker on Christmas Eve (when we did Christmas with my mom) and he already had plans to smoke some ribs on Saturday.  Clint and Sarah were already anxious to come over for another game night, (we're such cool people that they couldn't stay away for longer than a week - haha) so we decided to eat at our house this time instead of going out. 

About an hour in...

Almost done!

We ended up having ribs, broccli and cheese, and baked potatoes.  Matt did sooooo good on the ribs!  He was so nervous that they wouldn't turn out good because it was his first time ever smoking anything, but they were wonderful!  I really think that they were even better than Sonny's/Smokin' Pig.  We chowed down!  Matt smoked 4 racks of ribs, and there were only enough left over for one serving.  I'd say they were a hit!

So, needless to say, I'm really excited about this new hobby!

Playing after eating daddy's yummy food!

Two thumbs up from LL!

Our Year in Pictures (2009)

I've seen sooo many other people do this, but when I sat down to do it about a week ago, I kept picking too many pictures and it was taking forever.  But then I saw Emily's post and I liked how she picked one picture from each month.  Even though it's hard to pick just one, that was way better than picking the millions of pictures like I was before.  So, thanks Emily, I'm stealing your idea!

January - Ready to pop!

February - Lorelai Rebecca Mullican is here!

March - Our Newborn photoshoot

April - Celebrating Daddy's Birthday

May - Rocking out our shades at church!

June - A shower for Meatball!

July - Celebrating the 4th!

August - Meeting Benjamin!


October - Lorelai's first tooth is visable!

November - Vacation to the Mountains

December - Picking out Lorelais' first Christmas tree!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Blue Eyed Beauty

I'm feeling very confident that, now that Lorelai is a couple days shy of 11 months old, her blue eyes are here to stay.  Considering that she has a mommy with brown eyes and a daddy with hazel eyes, I never thought that I would end up with a blue-eyed baby!  But I am sooo happy that I did! 

Her eyes are one of my favorite parts about her - they are just so big and pull you in!  They are also one of the things that is most commented on by other people (both friends and strangers).  I think the contrast with her dark (and full!) eyelashes and dark hair is just beautiful!  I think those eyes are going to get her out of a lot of trouble (with mommy and daddy) and into a lot of trouble (with boys).

In playing with my new camera, I tried to capture some pretty pictures of her beautiful eyes.  Caution: we still had a nasty nose from bronchitis.  :(  Ignore that part - haha!