Thursday, January 31, 2013

Adventures in Baby Food Making

So Carter was slow to start baby food and he still is proving to be very picky, but he does love meal time! He is typically very happy playing in his high chair, although this week he's been pretty fussy while his top lateral incisors cut through.  He hangs out in his high chair while I make breakfast, lunch and dinner and eats while we eat.  I've had to break Matt of eating in front of the TV and start eating at the table with us.  It's actually really nice to sit down at night just the 3 of us and have dinner!

Since we are on a tight budget I'm making as much of Carter's food as possible.  We still keep a stash of the Gerber baby food on hand, especially for the fruits that are out of season and for PRUNES! Those are much easier to take with us than his homemade stuff.

I'm using a combo of this book and this website.  So far I've made carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, bananas, green beans, pears, apricots, zucchini  blueberries, and butternut squash.  The only thing we've found so far that Carter absolutely will NOT eat is the squash.  No matter how many times we try he always gags and spits out every bit he can.  Even if we get him started on one of his favorites like pears or carrots and try to sneak in a bite he will immediately make the saddest face and gag until it all comes up. No worries though since it only cost me $1.28!!

My only mistake so far has been the blueberries...I don't think I have saved any money there.  One pint cost me $3.28 and only made 6 ice cubes worth! live, you learn.

I also think I've been making too much of each item.  Since he's still getting oatmeal for breakfast he only eats one or two fruits for lunch and one veggie for dinner.  Eat time I make a batch of something I've made a lot and have actually had to throw some out after it's expired.  It only lasts 6 weeks in the freezer and he cannot get through a huge batch in 6 weeks! Now I know to buy only one sweet potato or 3 apples at a time instead of a whole bunch.

So yay for saving money! I wish I had kept track of how much I have bought and spent, but I know for certain it's less than what I would have spent had I bought everything jarred.  And it's seriously SO EASY! One hour a week makes more than what I need and he eats.  So worth it knowing I'm saving money and feeding my baby the freshest food for his growing body.  I'm sure I won't do this forever but it's fun for now! :)

Love you, Monkey!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Nate's Little Man Shower

It's shower season in the McDaniel household!  I've gotten to where I don't even put my Cricut up anymore and just leave it plugged in.  I'm constantly crafting for the next shower/event.  Right now I'm working on stuff for Carter's baptism next weekend, I've already got Stephanie and Sara's (post coming up) showers under my belt, and I still have 4 more bridal/ baby showers to host in the next 2 months! I LOVE hosting showers so this busy time makes me so, SO happy :)

The first weekend in January we hosted a baby shower for Missy at Caroline's house.  Baby boy Nathan Richard is due on Valentine's Day and I just CANNOT wait to get my hands on him! Missy is just glowing and rocking being pregnant but I know she's really hoping these next few weeks will fly by and he will be in her arms instead of in her belly.  I am so thrilled for her and Mike and know they will be the best parents to little Nate.  And Carter's excited for a BFF to throw the football around with!

Nate's shower was a "Little Man" theme and came together so well.  With 9 hostesses we were able to really make it great for Missy and Nate! We filled our bellies with great food (delicious cupcakes!) and Missy left with so many of her essentials.  She got some cute outfits too!  It's fun going to baby showers now that Carter is here and I can see what other fun baby stuff is out there that I "have" to have!

The Decor:
The colors were white, navy and grey, the same colors as Nate's nursery (I hope I can snag a picture of his nursery too, super cute!)  We tried to incorporate lots of bow ties and "little man" things that we could.  We served "manwiches" and had bottled root beer to drink.

The Hostesses:
There were 9 of us altogether!! (Jordan hosted from Atlanta and made the banner and bow ties, but couldn't make the trip to Texas for the shower.)  It sure made things easy with so many hands to help set up and clean up.  This is a very organized bunch!

The Pie:
Nancy Pie was an honorary hostess with us! She did such a great job looking cute and pulling up on everything! Don't you just want to eat her up?!?

The Guests:
We were missing Missy's MIL and SIL because of the flu, but we had a really fun group of girls there.  Nancy and Alexis stole the show! I love getting together with these sweet girls and we had such a blast showering Missy.

Doesn't Missy look stunning?! Pregnancy suits her...I say she just keeps getting pregnant and having babies, don't you agree? :)

The Gifts:
My favorite gift was the Ole Miss Jon Jon Jordan got her...omg so cute!! And the precious knit broncos outfit Sarah got her...perfect for newborn photos! I got a big basket of all the nasties: nipple cream, gas drops, breast pads, etc.  I told Mike to thank me that he wouldn't have to run to the store after Nate was here to buy everything :)

I love you so very much and simple cannot wait for this next chapter in your story to unfold.  Your life is about to change in the most miraculous and amazing way.  Rest as much as you can in the coming weeks so Nate can grow big and strong before we meet him.  And the get ready for lots of visits from me and Carter!! Love you!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

2012 In Review

Still playing catch-up...

Well, 2012 is officially in the books and it was definitely a good one for the McDaniel family.  Namely in the addition of our sweet Carter Ryan!  I can't imagine anything else topping this year, but I hear it only gets better as they age.  I'm so thankful for this little blog to help me remember everything and can't wait to see what our 2013 looks like a year from now.  :)

January- we started the year 14 weeks pregnant, celebrated Robby's 30th birthday, a Carter family Christmas, found out we were having a BOY, spent some quality time with Ms. Brooks, popped a little baby belly, and Cooper had surgery

February- grew a baby, had new floors put in, made it to 20 weeks, got a cerclage, showered Caroline, made the first of several trips to labor & delivery, and taught my very last day at KJH

March- Mason turned 1!, spent the night in L&D, put on bedrest, turned 28, celebrated 4 years together,  grew a baby, and Emily came to visit

April- started working on the nursery, continued bedrest, Easter, Sara and Randy got engaged, entered the 3rd trimester, Mid States went public, honored our angels 1st birthday, and celebrated moms birthday

May- baby prep, baby shower #1, celebrated Mother's Day, resigned from teaching, baked the baby some more, baby shower #2, snuggled with Brooks, spent 4 days in L&D, and Eva was born

June- HAD A BABY!!!! Introduced our baby to everyone, found out Mike and Missy were having a baby, newborn pictures, baby love, changed some diapers, Father's Day, and baby shower #3

July- Carter turned 1 month old, loved on Carter daily, wedding dress shopping with Sara, birth announcements, Sara and Randy's engagement party, my heart grew, and went to Lake Charles

August- football season, finished the nursery, Brooks turned 2, adjusted to being a football widow with a baby, and attended our first football game

September- lots of football games, cheered on the Aggies, found out we were getting a new nephew, spent lots of time crying and fussing, trip to Austin, got lots of sweet smiles, celebrated Laura's birthday, went to the Children's Museum, and spent a much time as I could rocking this sweet baby

October- Carter turned 4 months old and lost all his hair, more football games and time with Dad at the fieldhouse, rolled over, went to the Rice Harvest festival and parade, pumpkin patch fun, watched my baby get even cuter, cousin love, started teething and chewing on our fingers, voted, started rice cereal, and celebrated Halloween

November- football football football, road trip to Louisiana, Sara's couples shower, thought Stephanie and Robby were moving to Tulsa, had our first Thanksgiving and spent lots of time with family

December- Carter turned 6 months old, Brooks stayed with us, playoff football games, threw Stephanie and baby shower, visited Santa, Christmas prep, brochiolitis, Graeme was born!!!, road trip to Midlothian, WON STATE!, and celebrated the birth of our Savior
Whew! What a year!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New car!


After Christmas Mama got a NEW CAR!! We had planned on waiting until Baby #2 to purchase a new car, but Jenny the Jeep was starting to cost us more than she was worth so we had to say goodbye.  RIP, Jenny!  Jenny and I were brought together as a college graduation gift in 2006 and was with me for almost 100,000 miles.  We had to replace my AC this summer and my radiator went out a few months ago.  In November she started shaking really badly when I would push the gas (scary!) and would not always respond when I pushed the gas or brake.  With a baby in the car we just couldn't take any chances so as soon as Matt was available we upgraded.  
Last pic in the Jeep

Honestly, I wanted a minivan.  I know that sounds so strange but it's been my dream for so long!  To me a minivan = a mom and kids and for 3.5 years that's all I wanted to be.  A mama.  I wanted to drive around town in my minivan with a huge smile on my face screaming to the world "I DID IT! I'M A MAMA!!"  Stupid reason to want to spend $50,000 but it will be my next car! 

We obviously couldn't drop $50,000 on a new car (we don't believe in car payments and will only buy what we can pay cash for) so Matt started comparing SUV's online and narrowed it down to an Explorer, Traverse or Durango.  We hopped on over to the Chevy dealership so we could test drive and see what we liked.  

I have to brag on Matt for a second.  He's usually a go-with-the-flow kind of guy and hates conflict or awkwardness.  Neither of us was looking forward to the car buying process but he ended up blowing me away.  After the first day of car shopping he had 3 dealerships calling us asking what they could do to get our business.  We ended up driving to Sugarland to buy from Classic Chevrolet because they gave us a great deal and had amazing customer service.  He also negotiated almost $2,000 more on our trade-in than we were hoping for.  Way to go, babe!!

The next day we walked into the dealership and walked out an hour later with a 2012 Chevy Traverse!!  It seats 8 and has so much more room than the Jeep.  The sunroof goes all the way back so Carter can see out of it and spends all of his time looking out the roof now.  It has a back-up camera, bluetooth, connects to my iphone and the back door opens and closes with the touch of a button! Honestly, that's my favorite part since I'm constantly throwing a stroller in and out of the back.  

I took a pic when the odometer rolled over to 100 miles :)

Hopefully this car will last longer than Jenny did and give us time to save for my minivan!!  ;)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Surgery update

God is good! Graeme's surgery went beautifully and he is with Stephanie and Robby in the PICU now. Now we just need to continue to pray for growth and for infection to stay away.

Thanks to everyone who sent prayers up! I can't wait for the day all 3 of the boys are playing in the park together!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Prayers for Graeme

Tomorrow at 7am Graeme will have open-heart surgery and have his internal pacemaker placed.  If you have a second please say a prayer for him, as well as Robby and Stephanie.

Love you, sweet boy.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Christmas Day

Still playing catch-up...

So Matt and I had a serious debate Christmas Eve night...does Santa wrap Christmas presents?!?  It actually got pretty heated and involved lots of texting family members and calls to parents to see who was right.  Apparently Santa wrapped all of Matt's gifts but none of mine growing up.  Matt claims the beauty of Christmas morning is in the opening of the presents where I say it's seeing everything laid out around the chimney (he says Christmas tree.)  Anyway...Santa did not wrap of Carter's gifts this year and was instructed that if HE wanted the gifts wrapped in the future then HE will have to wrap them himself.  ;)

Santa brought Carter some Melissa and Doug blocks, a new book, and a Rock-n-Roll Rider.  He wasn't too interested in anything but putting the blocks in his mouth! Typical! Santa brought Cooper a new bone, Mama a new diaper bag and Daddy a Johnny Football t-shirt.  And it looks like Santa loved his cookies :)

Family pics in front of Sara's pretty tree:

We had brunch at my parents and saw all of Brooks' gifts from Santa.  Brooks got a kitchen!  She made me the BEST cheese toast while we were there and Uncle Matty set up her new easel.  Mama also got to try out her new tripod!!

We spent the rest of the day at the hospital with Matt's family.  Baby Graeme was baptized (Matt and Sara are godparents) but Matt had to have Sammy stand in for him since we had all been sick.  There weren't many people at the hospital that day so we had the entire waiting room to run around with Mason.  Mason loved punching the button on the elevator and going up and down the escalator.  We enjoyed Christmas dinner together downstairs in the cafeteria with some seriously delicious chicken tenders and french fries.