Sunday, October 30, 2011

Game #9

Yesterday, the Malone Pioneers took on Notre not that Notre Dame.  This is a division 2 school in Cleveland, OH.  And the Pioneers were victorious with a final score of 31-23.  It was a great team effort and a nice outcome after 3 tough weeks.

Unfortunately the kids and I did not attend the game.  There were several reasons:

1) The game did not start until 7 pm and ended @ 10...way past little man's bedtime

2) It's cold outside
3) I have been out of town all week
4) The game was a couple of hours away

While we missed watching the team and seeing Daddy we had a fun day at home.  Sawyer played, took a bath, and got a haircut.  Nora slept, played on the activity mat, and smiled at momma.  I played with the kids, made a dessert, started some Christmas crafts, and finished up Nora's birth announcements (finally).

It was a wonderfully sunny, quiet catch-up day.

In other news...I worked several days this week which meant lots of traveling and even a night away from home.  It was my first night away from Nora.  I'm not sure I was ready for that milestone yet, but I guess it had to happen sometime.  Everything went great.  Kyle did an excellent job with the added responsibilities of handling two kids and a more than full-time job.  I am thankful for the work, but also glad it is starting to wind down.

A pictorial review of our Saturday:

Sawyer hamming it up w/ his cheesy smile

Sibling love...don't they look alike?

Sawyer wearing his "hat"

Nora playing w/ mommy

A real life view of the play room...this is what it normally looks like blocks strewn about, toys everywhere, Sesame Street on the tv, Sawyer jumping around, Nora playing with her toys

Miss Nora's new feat for the day: blowing raspberries and drooling

Friday, October 28, 2011

Can't Resist

the cuteness

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall Food

I don't know if it's the change in weather or the fact I have left the just-had-a-baby-therefore-cannot-perform-daily-chores coma, but I have been doing some cooking in recent weeks.  And the theme of my cooking has been soups.  I've made regular chili, but I've also made a few variations of chili and I thought I would share the recipes for all to enjoy.

Both of these soups received 2 thumbs up from my husband.  And a word of warning the Chicken Taco Soup is pretty spicy.

Chicken Taco Soup (via Allrecipes)

Soup Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
1 (16 oz) can chili beans
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (12 oz) can chicken broth (or beer)
2 (10 oz) rotel, undrained
1 package taco seasoning (or make your own see recipe below)
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (can be frozen)
shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)
crushed tortilla chips (optional)

Taco Seasoning Ingredients (recommended):
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

  1. Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and rotel in a crockpot.  Add taco seasoning, stir to blend.  Lay chicken on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients.  Cook on low for 5 hours.
  2. Remove chicken breasts from the soup and shred.  Stir the shredded chicken into the soup and continue cooking for 2 hours.
  3. Serve topped with cheese, sour cream, and crushed chips.

White Bean Chicken Chili (via Jodi Lambert)

1 lb. chicken, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
1.5 tsp. garlic powder
2 (15.5 oz) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilis
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream


  1. Saute chicken, onion, and garlic
  2. Add beans, chilis, broth, and seasonings to cooked chicken
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream and whipping cream. 
  5. Serve and enjoy the deliciousness.

And true to my nature what's a meal without dessert?  This is a simple dessert that was wonderfully moist and lemony.

Lemon Burst Cookies (Tidy Mom via Pinterest)

1 box lemon cake mix
1 (8 oz) container of Cool Whip
1 egg
1/3 cup powdered sugar (for rolling)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a bowl beat cool whip, egg, and cake mix until well blended.  Dough will be thick and sticky.
  3. Drop by teaspoonfuls into a bowl of powdered sugar and roll to coat.
  4. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Weekend {Game #8}

This weekend the team traveled to Fort Wayne to take on the #12 St. Francis Cougars (they started the season #2, but lost to the #1 and #2 teams) so no one thought it was going to be an easy task and St. Francis did not disappoint as they beat the Pioneers 47-10.

I stayed home with the kiddos which can sometimes be challenging after staying home with them all week, but this weekend it was a welcome relief.  Most of October is very busy for us as both Kyle and I work 14-16 hour days several days of the week.  I have not gone back to work, but I do have a contract job that is very busy from mid-September through mid-November.  So, this weekend was a nice break and I got to spend lots of quality time with Nora and Sawyer.

On Friday when I got home from work after getting up at 3:00 am I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was sleep, but that wasn't exactly an option with hungry kids who wanted some mommy attention.  So I decided to just relax and be thankful for my time with them.  Here are some things I was thankful for this weekend:

Sawyer said thank you w/out being prompted for the 1st time on Saturday
Being able to stay home with my kids (most of the time)
Nora laughing

Nora waiting patiently

Fall parties
Technology (live video feed online so I could watch the game)
Ice cream
Children who take good naps
Smell of clean clothes
a husband who helps clean

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Daddy Time

This time of year we don't get much daddy time.  But on Sunday afternoons you can bet the kiddos will be soaking up daddy's attention.  I love the way he loves them!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall Crafts

I have slowly started to get my crafting mojo back...I started with the fall wreath I shared a few weeks ago.  My next project was a fall banner for the mantle.  It was simple, but a little time consuming.  Luckily it was a project you could put down and pick up again later.

I was inspired by this idea from Parents Magazine found via Pinterest.  While I liked the idea of using real leaves I didn't want to wait for the leaves to change colors and fall off the tree.  Also I wanted it to last for future years, so I decided to make felt leaves.  I used the tutorial for felt leaves from MADE.

First I googled "fall leaf outline" and then I traced the images directly from the screen to a piece of cardstock.

I traced the images onto my pieces of felt in fall colors.  Then I cut out the leaves.

Next I added the veins in the leaves using brown thread and my sewing machine.  I just free handed the lines.  This was the most time consuming part of the project, but it doesn't have to be perfect.  In fact you don't even have to add the veins if you don't want too.

Then I cut off the threads.  And finally I cut small holes in the leaves and strung twine through the holes to create a leaf banner. Here is the finished product hanging on our mantel.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Smiles Abound

I don't think

I will ever get tired

of seeing her smile :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Game #7

Today Malone took on their cross-town rival Walsh University.  The teams seemed pretty evenly matched and Malone scored first.  But then things started going down hill and the final score was 35-10 in favor of Walsh.

It was a night game so there was a chill in the air and the children did not appreciate the disruption in their schedule.  There was lots of snacking to appease the toddler and lots of holding to keep the little one quite.  It was windy and chilly so we broke out the coats and hats.

 Sawyer met a new friend.  This stranger made the mistake of leaving her phone on the bleachers and Sawyer pounced.  Next thing I know she is playing Elmo on her phone, has Sawyer in her lap, and a blanket to keep him warm...I warned her she better hide her phone from Sawyer, but obviously she didn't listen...hope she didn't want to watch the game :)
Nora trying to stay warm.

 Surprise, surprise, Sawyer being mischievous and cute...two of the things he is best at :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Zoo Field Trip

We had a beautiful weekend in Ohio with temps in the high 70's, sun, and the leaves changing all sorts of vibrant colors.  So, to enjoy the natural beauty (and in an attempt to wear a child out) we went to the zoo with some friends.

Sawyer had not been to the zoo since February.  He was barely a year old and due to the cold weather there were very few animals to view.  This time he LOVED it.  One of the first exhibits is a waterfall with ducks in the creek and he was so enamored.  He just smiled and stared taking it all in.  I knew right away this was going to be a hit.  He ran through the whole zoo (never wanting to ride in the stroller) and took it all in.  He had a great time!  Nora's 1st trip to the zoo was pretty uneventful as she slept the entire time :)

S watching the penguins

B & S driving a truck

Looking at the lemurs

B & P on the carousel

Nora's 1st zoo experience

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pajama Day {Sibling Affection}

On a recent cold, rainy day I declared it pajama day.  We lounged around the house all day.  This was a site that made my heart happy.

Nora was sitting in the boppy and Sawyer wanted to be a close to his sister as possible so he wiggled his way onto the pillow.  Lots of hugs, kisses, and hand holding ensued.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Game #6

Game #6 was against the #1 ranked St. Xavier University. The first quarter went very well and you could see the team was playing with great intensity, but everything began to unravel in the second quarter.  The 3rd and 4th quarters were a bit more evenly matched but the final score was 10-53.

Despite the score it was another beautiful October day with perfect weather for an evening game.  Here are some pictures of the event.

Nora smiling away

Sawyer enjoying Jess' necklace more than the game

Daddy & Daughter

Sawyer with a shiner...hard to see in this picture but he had a pretty good black eye complete with a scab and swelling...he hit his head during our trip to the zoo (before the game)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

2 Months

Miss Nora is now 2 months old!
At her 2 month well-child visit she weighed 10 lbs. 8 oz. (50%) and measured 22 1/4 inches (50%).
During her 2nd month she: 
  • gained a new skill...sticking out her tongue (courtesy of Daddy's training)
  • is starting to smile more and more.  She mainly smiles after she finishes eating or if you talk to her
  • sustained her first injury...a bite on her forhead courtesy of her older brother
  • started sleeping through the's been over a week, but mommy doesn't want to get her hopes up
  • eats every 3 hours (except at night)
  • attended several football games and was an angel at all of them
  • turned into a spitter upper...this is a new thing for us and it's taking a while to get used too, but I have learned to ALWAYS carry a burp cloth.  According to the pediatrician she has a mild case of reflux but nothing severe.  She is not upset by it and does not require medication.  When she spits up over an hour after eating this is definetly reflux.  However, according to Dr. Mom she also spits up because she eats too much.  Right after feedings milk (that has not been digested) just pours out of her mouth.  So I think she is taking in more than her stomach can handle thus the outpouring of milk.  The combination of the two conditions results in numerous outfit changes during the day.
  • loves to be held
  • loves to take a bath
  • started "talking"

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Sawyer's heard "say cheese" so much that now he just says cheese and smiles without even looking at the camera. He's such a ham :)

And just another Sawyer look for fun because who doesn't want to see more of his cute face?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Game #5

This weekend Malone traveled to Michigan to play Concordia University.  The Pioneers won by a score of 27-0.  It was a good team effort as you can tell by the score.  I think the defensive coordinator is always happy with a shutout :)

The kids and I did not travel. We spent most of our time indoors as it was cold and rainy outside.  We did go grocery shopping and had a fun night with some of the other coaches wives and kids.  I also got some crafts done for a couple of upcoming baby showers.

Since I have no game day pictures here are a few from the past week.

Daddy giving Nora a workout...Daddy thinks a tight grip at 8 weeks is very important :) 

Love this outfit...can you tell her eyes are getting darker by the day?

Nora laughing...can you tell she's turning into a chunky monkey?

Lest you think Nora has become the favorite child...she's just easier to take a picture of right now.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Quick Health Update

I recently had my 6 week post partum endocrinologist appointment to establish a baseline for my thryoid levels (I was initially tested when I was pregnant and that can skew the numbers).  My last appointment when I was 9 months pregnant showed my TSH, Free T4 and Free T3 levels had all returned to normal levels.  At this appointment my TSH went below the normal range (.2) and my Free T4 and Free T3 levels remained in the normal range (1.07 and 2.8 respectively).  Because my antibodies were high and my TSH is a bit low it indicates some form of hyperthyroidism.  The doctor is leaning towards Graves Disease because of my antibody levels being elevated (188, 139 is the high end of normal).

The good news is at this point because my levels are not "too bad" and I'm not demonstrating any symptoms there is no need for medication.  Please pray this continues because if symptoms of Graves Disease do appear and I need to start medication I would have to stop nursing Nora as the drugs are not safe for her.

I will continue to be monitored every 3 months.