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Thursday, February 26, 2015
Hello again! I took a long break from blogging while my life was a bit crazy with my active baby boy, my job, and my growing business! I have decided that I want to keep this blog updated so that I can keep a better record of all of Scotty's bench marks and the many adorable things he does.

I can't believe Scotty is already 15 months. Time truly does fly after you have a little one. He is still a tall boy (85%) and growing fast! He talks up a storm and has been since about the time he turned one. He started walking at 10 months and was very steady on his feet, running and climbing by 12/13 months. Some of his first words were:
He also knew and used the signs for more, thank you, please, sorry, and all done.

He now knows many other words including:
-Thank you
-Bye Bye
-Night Night
-Many animal sounds (cat, dog, monkey, snake, lion, bear, owl, duck, elephant)
-Love you
-Joe Joe
-He's starting to string together phrases like: "This is a ball" and "My ball"

His favorite toys are by far:
Any kind of ball. You will hardly ever see him without a ball in his arms, He favors basketballs and footballs and loves shooting baskets in his Little Tikes hoop. He also LOVES watching basketball, on TV, his daddy's city league games or BYU games. It is one of the only times he will sit still for an extended period of time. He loves books and "reading" them and also being read to. He absolutely loves being outdoors and going to the park to go down the slide over and over and swing on the swings. He loves phones and ipads and watching videos of himself. He also loves to FaceTime with his family members and pointing out his eyes, ears, nose, mouth, toes, shoes, etc.

Scotty just recently had tubes put in his ears because of recurring ear infections and he did great! The nurse said he was only the third baby she had seen that was so well behaved after that procedure. He had to be fasting before so they did it first thing in the morning. They took him back in his little hospital gown and they put him under general anesthesia (just with the mask) and it only took 5 minutes to insert the tubes. He has been a much happier boy since they put them in aside from the fact that all of his teeth decided to come in at once. He now has 4 top teeth, 3 bottom, and all 4 of his molars have cut through.

Scotty is a generally happy a delightful baby. He has really been easy in most aspects. He nursed until 12 months and he weaned in one day. He loves his binky but has not had a hard time getting rid of it except for naps and bedtime. After he wakes up he counts to 3 and throws it into his crib and says "bye bye." He eats really well and isn't extremely picky, although he has gotten more picky as he has gotten a mind of his own. Some of his favorite foods are:
-Beans and rice
-Apple Juice
-Fruit Snacks
-Any treat: (suckers, cookies, candy, soda)
-Fruit and veggie baby food pouches
-Veggie straws
-Broccoli and Cauliflower
-String Cheese

He seems to be right-handed as he is learning to feed himself and also color and draw. He is really good at holding a pen/pencil/crayon or spoon.

Because Scotty is so active, he is very challenging to take care of at church. We are kind of counting down the weeks until nursery, and we know he will do great there and probably love it. He just wants to be able to run free. He is learning how to pray and knows to fold his arms when it is time to pray, and says "amen" at the end. :o)

(Scotty playing with his little best friend Brierly during Sunday school. Brierly's mom Jodie watches Scotty for me while I am teaching a few hours a week.)

He has started to get a little bit of shyness when he first meets a new person but he warms up really quickly. He's very friendly and has gotten over his fear of facial hair for the most part.

Scotty has had two haircuts so far. He has lots of beautiful curly hair and almost everyone that sees him compliments him on his hair and asks me where he gets it from. (The answer is, we think it came from my side since I have naturally wavy hair and my dad has curly hair.)

Our little guy has a wonderful charismatic personality and knows what he wants. We are so lucky to have him in our lives!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
I recently had a good amount of tomatoes ripen on my plants and was trying to plan something amazing to make with them. I came across an awesome recipe for Roasted Tomato Basil Soup but didn't have all the ingredients it called for so I made my own twist on it with what I had.

I fed this to my parents and my dad said it reminded him of Zupas. That's success, I think!

Here's what I did:
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

-About 3 lb tomatoes
-2 T olive oil, divided
-3 tsp minced garlic
-2 carrots
-1 med. yellow onion
-2 8oz cans tomato sauce
-2 cans chicken broth
-1/2 c fresh basil (more if you like it a lot)
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
-1 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Cut tomatoes in half, spread out on a baking sheet, toss in 1 T olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic and roast in oven at 400 degrees for about 15 min. 
2. Peel and chop carrots and onion, heat up 1 T olive oil in a stock pot and throw in the carrots and onions. Cook until onions are transparent.
3. Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT basil and whipping cream, simmer for about 20 min (until carrots are soft.)
4. Add basil and blend in a blender or with a hand blender to desired consistency. (I like mine less chunky.)
5. Transfer back to pot and add cream, let heat through and serve!

*I also cooked some orzo separately if people wanted to add that and parmesan cheese to their soup. I also served the soup with this Zucchini Cheddar bread. Yum! Enjoy!
Monday, September 22, 2014
I am growing green bell peppers in my garden and have been wanting to make stuffed peppers forever. I kept finding different recipes that had elements that I like but not an entire recipe that fit the bill, so I made one up!

It helped that I fed this to my mom and sister and they both loved it, so I felt confident posting it and not feeling like too much of a poser. This recipe has all of my favorite elements in it. Enjoy!

-1.5 lb. ground turkey
-1 medium yellow onion, chopped
-1 tsp minced garlic
-1 can mild Rotel
-1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
-1 cup cooked  brown rice
-1 cup favorite cheese, divided
-1 T dried parsley
-1 tsp Italian seasoning
-1/2 tsp garlic salt
-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
-Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, brown the ground turkey with the chopped onion and minced garlic. Drain.

2. Cook the brown rice according to the directions. If you like al dente rice, I would slightly under cook it because it will go in the oven later.

3. Add in rotel, tomato sauce, rice, and seasonings. Stir to combine and then add half the cheese. Let simmer until heated through.

4. Cut the tops off the peppers and gut them. Spray a glass baking pan and set the peppers in the pan. Fill each pepper to overflowing and put any extra filling in the bottom of the pan. (I don't like to let that delicious filling go to waste!) Top with the rest of the cheese

5. Bake on middle rack for 35-40 min. 

*This recipe is super healthy because of the ground turkey and brown rice and is completely GLUTEN FREE! 
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Hi everyone! My zucchini harvest continues to multiply and while I have been giving lots away, I've been enjoying finding ways to hide the zucchini in just about everything. Helps me feed my boys their vegetables. :o) I have several new recipes for you to try. 

(I recently read a blog post about "stealing" people's content from other blogs, sites and so on. I hope that me just posting the link to the recipe and then just posting my picture of how mine turned out and how I adapted it is OK. Let me know if I'm not OK here. The last thing I want to do is step on any toes. You always wonder when you read a post like that if the person is talking about YOU!)

Zucchini-Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

 First: Does everybody have a Silpat? If not, it is a must. I love, love, love mine! It makes cookie baking so easy. Check it out here. It is basically a non-stick, reusable, silicone sheet that you line your baking sheet with for easy cookie removal. And practically NO clean up. It rocks. Seriously.

This recipe was yummy. It was the same consistency as a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie but the added oats really gave them a great texture. I actually added a lot more flour (about 3/4 cup) because of the high altitude. 

And he approves!

A couple other awesome ones I found:

Turkey Zucchini Meatballs: here
(I added shredded carrot and I made them gluten free but substituting ground flax for the bread crumbs it calls for.)

Mom's Zucchini Bread: here
(Thanks for the recipe, Mollie! This really is the best zucchini bread recipe I have tried. Soooo yummy.)

And just something we have tried and loved is to slice the zucchini long-ways, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper and throw it on the grill. Sooooo delicious!
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

When we bought our house, one of the things I was most excited about was being able to plant a garden. For some reason, when I want to try something new, I sort of get paralyzed with fear thinking I am going to mess it up. So through lots of trial and error, I have come up with 5 basic things that helped me have a successful garden with absolutely no knowledge or experience. 

 1. Ask For Advice.
I went over to my neighbor's house and asked her the "what, where, when and how" of each thing she planted in her yard. I knew it would be helpful to talk to someone who lived in the same area with a similar situation. I also asked my uncle who has lived in Utah for years and planted many gardens in his lifetime. 
 2. TAKE The Advice!!!
This might be a "duh" moment for you, but honestly for the life of me, I had the hardest time believing my uncle when he told me to plant my tomatoes farther apart. Guess where that got me?

Helllloooooo tomato forest! I seriously have the hardest time digging my ripe tomatoes out of that gnarled mess of plant. I still have lots of great tomatoes but it makes for a lot more work for me. 
 3. Inexpensive Works GREAT! 
I bought my seeds at the dollar store, my garden boxes were made from free cinder blocks my uncle had laying around, I planted my seeds indoors first in empty eggshell cartons...the list goes on. I did NOT spend a lot of money on my garden and I'm glad I didn't because I got exactly what I wanted, fresh, delicious vegetables. 

4. Pruning and Thinning Don't Hurt, They HELP!
When my dad told me I needed to thin my radishes, carrots and beets I thought, "You can't be serious? Then I will have WAY less of each vegetable." Well, to put it plainly, you can either have a lot of really crappy beets or a medium amount of really awesome beets. That's all I'm sayin'. Not to mention, pruning my tomato and zucchini plants made my life a heck of a lot easier once I could actually SEE what was going on in there. 
 5. Don't Be A Wimp.
There are several reasons I say this. A. You have nothing to lose except maybe a dollar or two if your seeds don't sprout, jump in with both feet and just do it. It is seriously fun and so rewarding. B. Plants are much more resilient than you think. I was always so worried about killing something that I didn't prune, weed, thin, water, transplant like I should've. I now know that plants need a little tough love in order to thrive.
Those are just 5 basic things that I learned this year. I am so excited to take these things I've learned and plant an even more successful garden next year. If you want more details on any of this, don't hesitate to ask! I'm really excited about this project, it has been therapeutic and fun for me so I love to share what I have learned. I also am happy to share our garden bounty so let me know! Happy gardening!
Sunday, September 14, 2014
DISCLAIMER: I am not a fashion blogger, nor do I claim to be one.

I'm going to be honest, I do the majority of my shopping at Ross, TJ Maxx, Old Navy and pretty much anywhere that I can get cute clothes that LOOK expensive but actually aren't. Here's why: I always get more compliments on my $3 shirts than I do on the few, expensive, full-price Nordstrom items I have. I get a thrill out of finding a name-brand dress for a fraction of the original cost. You could say I have a small addiction to bargain-shopping. And it doesn't stop with just shopping for myself, I try to find bargains for S boy and the Hubs too.
Scotty's clothes are from H&M. I love Baby Gap just as much as the next girl, in fact, S has a lot of great pieces from there. But I love that H&M has the "Little Man" look without breaking the bank. Oh and that sippy cup?! TJ Maxx! 3-pack for $7 instead of one for $7 Similar.
(I got his moccs from a buy-in from Kinghoo Shoes. They are real leather and guess what?! Only $7.50!!! Yeah, I bought a few pairs.

 So the secret is out. This whole outfit I wore to church today happens to be from Ross. 
 Dress: Anne Klein: Orig $169, ROSS: $39.99 similar
(The dress is fully lined and came with the belt. Love the fit and shape.)
Shoes: Nine West: Orig $89, ROSS $16 similar
LOVE these shoes. The nude color is perfect and I love the double bows. 

Lots of people are shocked when they find out I get my clothes at Ross, and often say they never have luck finding cute things there. Of course it will be hit or miss at times. I can honestly say though, that the "misses" are few and far between for me. I have to look in several different sections of the store to find cute things. I often find things I love in the Junior section. I get a lot of my home decor, household items, and baby toys there too. It really doesn't take me that long to find things either. With that said, every store is different and may be in different stages of disarray. Give it a shot! You might find something you love! 
Thursday, September 4, 2014
This past week, Scotty went on a nursing strike and I had a hard time finding much information about them and why they happen so I thought I'd share my experience to add to what is out there already.

About 3 weeks ago Scotty woke up with a nasty cold and productive cough. It lasted a few days. We survived with a humidifier and lots of Tylenol. His cold evolved into a green runny nose for a day or two and then went away.

A full week went by with Scotty acting normal. Then he started waking up crying in the middle of the night and had a clear runny nose. I was sure it was teething. He had also started biting me while nursing. Again, I attributed it to teething.

Then one morning he just stopped nursing. No interest whatsoever and would even cry when I would offer. He was an exclusively breastfed baby before solids and was still nursing really well three times a day so I was extremely shocked when he just suddenly stopped nursing. Through that day he started shaking his head "no" (at first I thought it was cute and that he was learning to communicate "no"). As the day went on, I realized he would incline his head to the left and shake his head mostly when he was eating solids.

The problem (totally not a problem usually) is that Scotty is an extremely good-natured baby. He doesn't fuss much so sometimes I don't know when something is wrong.

I finally had the thought that the head shaking and the nursing strike could be related. As I googled the two symptoms, I came up with one possible cause in common: an ear infection. It so happened we had an appointment for his 9 month check up the next day so I asked the doc to check his ears and sure enough, he had an ear infection which was residual from the cough/cold he had had 3 weeks ago! She prescribed antibiotics and suggested that I may just need to wean Scotty from breastfeeding now since he was on strike.

I had already tried formula with him because I don't pump very well and he wouldn't drink it, so I knew I HAD to keep nursing somehow.

For the 3 days that he did not even try to nurse, I pumped three times a day. By the third day, my milk was all but gone. I wasn't even pumping an ounce from both sides combined. I was sure I wouldn't be able to nurse again.

On the 4th day, Scotty decided to nurse again (probably from the antibiotics finally kicking in). I had basically no milk but with him nursing again I started producing milk again and I was able to stop giving him bottles.

How I Survived A Nursing Strike:
1. Find the cause. I think the biggest motivator for me was knowing that there was a good reason behind why he wouldn't nurse. It hurt his ears to latch and suck. That gave me hope that once the infection was gone, he would nurse again.

2. Offer, offer, offer. This was the most discouraging thing for me because honestly he really didn't show any interest at all, any of the times I offered. But I think letting him know that it is still there and that I intended to continue to nurse helped him realize it wasn't time to wean.

3. Keep supply up. Some women can exclusively pump and not lose their milk. Not so for me, I looked up foods to increase milk supply. I ate a lot of almonds. :o)

4. Feed the baby! This is terrible but I was so afraid that if I gave him too many bottles he wouldn't want the breast anymore, that I was tempted to with hold until he was hungry enough to nurse. I'm so glad I didn't do that! It would have made him more upset and feel betrayed. I fed him no matter what and made sure he had what he needed.

5. Don't give up! After a couple days I did consider just starting to wean, which would have been totally easy and fine. But my goal was to nurse for a year and I really wanted to do all I could to get to that point if possible. I'm glad I held out one more day before I really started to try to enforce formula!