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Tuesday

Charrie's Birthday!

I can't believe Charlotte is THREE!

On one hand, she still feels just so much like my little baby. On the other hand, I feel like we have experienced so much LIFE with her that it's hard to think that she's "only" three.

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If you've read here for a while, you know that we didn't know whether she was going to be a boy or a girl. We decided to keep it a surprise. My one request was that Ian would be the one to tell me the moment she was born if it was a girl or boy. I will never forget his words, "It's another girl!" I loved that choice of words because it immediately linked the two girls together in my mind. I pictured them dressing alike, playing dolls, sharing a bedroom (which they did, even if just for a couple of months).

The bond between Camille and Charrie is definitely strong and you can tell that Char just thinks big sis hung the moon.





For Char's birthday party, we wanted a beautiful little celebration with some of our closest friends and neighbors. I didn't want it to be overwhelming for her, and I also didn't want us to lose sight of what we really needed to focus on -- our birthday girl! You know how it can be when you have these mega parties, you're so busy entertaining and running around that you miss out on some of the sweetest, most special moments.


One of the local nonprofits that has been SO good to us, The Sandbox, is the force behind all of the party logistics. The founder, Mara, worked with her team so make this as smooth and easy for us as anyone could ever hope for. I was out of town leading up to Char's birthday, so they took the reigns and made everything come together -- ordered the cake (I just texted them some inspiration photos), brought over trays of Chick Fil A nuggets and drinks, ordered the flowers (I just told them what flowers reminded me the most of Char), picked up the cookies generously donated by Sugary Smiles, provided us with a photographer, I mean the list just truly goes on and on.    










Having the party in our backyard allowed us all to enjoy the outdoors and the kids could play on the swingset, swing in the hammock and enjoy the big tree swing (this one, because I always get questions about it!). 





It really was the perfect day just filled with love.







And can we even discuss that cake. I mean ... exquisite. Just sweet and lovely like Char. There was strawberry filling on the inside.







Charrie girl, you are THREE. You give the most magical smiles and you have always been the best little girl. We all love you so very much Char. Here's to many more birthdays!

Friday

Five On Friday!

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday!

O N E
Valentine's Day is on the books! We had a really nice one. Camille had preschool in the morning. Later in the afternoon, we had our special visit from the Valentines Man who rings the doorbell and runs away SO fast before you can even see him. Sadly, I happened to be running a diaper to the trashcan when he rang the doorbell so the kiddos had to wait for me to come back in thru the garage before we went to the front door (whew). :) He left chocolates!





Camille's favorite dinner is ... breakfast. So she got scrambled eggs, heart-shaped pancakes with heart-shaped strawberries. Lochlan had a deconstructed version of the same. 



T W O
I'm trying something new and adding in some collagen to my daily regime. I add a packet into my coffee in the morning. You can't taste a difference at all. I've been so curious to give it a shot after seeing some of my favorite bloggers using it daily. Here it is on Amazon. 



T H R E E
Sometimes you just need a little Panera in your life to make it a little easier. This is the Mediterranean Veggie sandwich, which I just love, but I subbed out the greens for arugula and got it on foccacia instead of the tomato bread. This is going to sound so specific but they changed the tomato bread they were using and I'm just not a fan of the new one.



F O U R
Yes, this is a thing. There is a podcast done by ... Ron Burgundy. I'll give it a solid B, definitely worth a listen when you are up for a little laugh.



F I V E
Cheers to a great weekend! We don't have much on the books today but I am going to attempt library storytime if I think I can make it in time. Those librarians, they don't play. Two minutes late and they look at you like you've lost your mind. Doors LOCKED and no storytime entry. That's okay, I love them anyway and love that they encourage me to (try to) be on time. 


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That's it for today! Hope you have a lovely weekend!

Five On Friday ... Feb Eighth.

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

O N E
The weather has been fahhh-bulous this week and we enjoyed some screened porch time! Charlotte's new wheelchair is so supportive for her and makes it easy to have her all over the house with us. Thank goodness for this. I call it her Kate Spade chair, check out the black and white polka dot design! So chic. 

T W O
You may have seen this on my Instastories the other night! Walmart grocery pick-up for the win. Grab some frozen breaded shrimp and a bottle of their "Boom Boom Shrimp Sauce" and you've got a copycat Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer for all of you who love this infamous Bonefish Grill dish. It's easy to whip up (it's Friday night now and Ian and I just polished off a little bowl of this) and super inexpensive.

If you want a code for $10 off your first Walmart Grocery order, message me on Insta. 



T H R E E
Sisters connecting. Thursday night. Good times.



F O U R
My friend Caroline has the BEST recipe for brussels sprouts and the key truly is in that last splishy-splash of white balsamic vinegar. It takes your dish from "roasted brussels sprouts" to "holy moly salt and vinegar potato chips brussels sprouts" in an instant. Don't be afraid to be heavy-handed with that white balsamic vinegar and parm cheese. Makes allllll the difference.



F I V E
Posts this week are Charlotte-heavy and I know you're not hating it (I'm not either). The truth is that it has been a really sad week for me, a week of feeling really depressed. I've met with my therapist, I've explored grief groups, and I've connected with girlfriends locally who are the real "boots on the ground" types of people. I'm doing okay now. Sometimes I just slow down enough to let life hit me and actually let the feelings seep through the hard exterior. That happened this week. I'm okay now and I don't need anything, just wanted to be transparent about what's happening.


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That's it for today! Hope you have a lovely weekend!





Thursday

Lochlan Is EIGHT Months




Lock-dock, eight months! You are a joy, a ray of sunshine. You're exactly what we needed -- a dose of happy. 

You are 20 pounds, a big boy! Everyone loves exclaiming over how big you are. You're taking four 8-ounce bottles a day, 7:30/11:30/3:30/6:30, and when that last sip is gone and you suck down a puff of air, you CRY like you've been stung by a bee. You simply do not like it when you finish your milk!

We had you on donated breastmilk through November and then moved to formula before our Disney trip. This was the first time I've ever given a child formula, and man oh man is it expensive! Ha! But you made the switch beautifully and I think it's pretty obvious that you haven't missed a meal.

Speaking of meals, you like purees okay, but you love soft table food. You've eaten a lot of "real" food including eggs and peanut butter. You just want to be a big boy.

Sleeping is great, for the most part you're sleeping 7-7/7:30 without needing me in the night. Awesome awesome child. 

You are in size 3 diapers and size 4 at night. You're still in a Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit but I think you're ready to transition to a sleepsack. For clothing, you're in size 12 month clothing mainly.

You still love a good ol' swing nap but I'm trying to be better about encouraging your naps to take place in a crib. Naps are around 10am and 2pm. 

You're rolling from your back to your tummy and have given us words like "mama" and "dada" but they're not consistent. Yesterday you waved for the first time!

I love my days with your sweet face and you bring so many smiles to everyone in our family. 





Tuesday

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup, aaahhhh! This is a recipe my family has been making for years. The first time my mom made it for us, she printed off the recipe from Prodigy (anyone? anyone?) and we all fell in love. That was 1996, I was fourteen years old.

I made this for dinner for us last night and it was phenomenal. Easy to put together and just like a warm bowl of cozy.




I served it with finger salads which is another recipe I swiped from my mom, who found it on Pinterest. (recipe here -- I didn't change a thing to the homemade vinaigrette, but I did add BACON!)


So now, let's get back to the soup.

I T A L I A N
W E D D I N G
S O U P

1 quart chicken broth
2.5 cups water
3/4 cup Acini di Pepe pasta (Amazon)
1 teaspoon fresh parsley (I subbed for dried)
1-2 carrots, sliced thin
1/4-1/2 lb spinach, washed, julienned (I put in part of a packet of frozen spinach)
Frozen meatballs of choice (I used 20 meatballs)
1 egg + 1tsp water

Bring first six soup ingredients to a boil; drop frozen meatballs right into soup. Beat 1 egg and 1 tsp water in a small bowl and stir boiling soup as you slowly drop in the egg, stirring constantly. Cover and turn off heat; let sit for 2 minutes. Serve with grated parmesan or romano cheese.

Oh, and enjoy with wine.



For more of my RECIPES click here
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