Turner’s First Tooth

I have been WAITING for Turner to get his teeth! He’s been drooling like crazy picture dog with his head hanging out the window with drool flying in the wind since he was about 4 months old. He would soak through two bibs a day! I swore he was going to pop a tooth any day. I thought I had an early bloomer on my hands! NOPE. The days turned to weeks, and the weeks turned to months. He just drooled for 3 months straight. I finally gave up on the bibs. They didn’t match his outfits, and he got seriously soaked anyway! I stopped looking for teeth.

A few weeks ago (you probably remember my ranting) he wasn’t napping. He had a runny nose and wanted to be with me all day! I guess that’s when they started really coming in, although I couldn’t see anything. Then, all of a sudden, A TOOTH. It just appeared out of nowhere! He wasn’t grumpy or anything! I was waiting for a very unhappy baby. Stew said it’s because he has “a Watson pain tolerance”…Ok, I’ll give him that. He’s one tough little cookie!

I want to keep track of his major milestones so I can look back and remember the moment EXACTLY! So, here we go! P.s. I made a print of this chalkboard that I’m selling as a digital file on etsy. Check it out!

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Age: 7.5 months
Weight: 18 lbs at his 6 month visit
Height: 28 in (94% percentile)
Favorite Food: Kale apple & yellow squash puree with cinnamon and nutmeg (totally my kid) and watermelon!!
Movement: Scooting all over the place. He gets on all fours nonstop but doesn’t go anywhere (and I’m in no rush!)
Favorite Book: Brown Bear Slide and Find. We read this EVERY night. It never gets old. His favorite part is sliding the box for the teacher. He cracks up every time!
Favorite Toy: His bouncer, the porch swing, and drumming on kitchen pots (he takes after his daddy)
Favorite Music: Mommy singing, Hunter Hayes, Taylor Swift (sorry Babe)

Pesto Tortilla Pizza

Being from New Jersey, I am a lover of pizza. I remember when I first moved to Charleston, there was NO good pizza anywhere to be found. Of course, that was almost ten years ago. Since then, Stew and I have found our favorite pizza spots in town. Monza is our absolute favorite. That’s more of a brick oven style pizzeria. Then, there’s La Pizzeria, which is a great pizza-by-the-slice place. And, finally, there’s Whole Foods. Don’t knock it till you rock it people! They actually make a really delicious pie!

Now, pizza isn’t the healthiest food on the block, so I created a way to have my pizza and eat it to! I make my own, and I use tortillas! This is one of Stew and my favorite ways to eat pizza. It has a nice thin and crispy crust, and it’s so much healthier! We make all different kinds of pizzas like this. I usually make the basic margarita, but this time, I decided to switch it up. I made a homemade pesto sauce (which is so easy!) and topped it with fresh mozzarella, green peppers, tomatoes, and basil YUM!

I start by making the pesto while I preheat the oven. I combine the basil, walnuts, garlic, salt, and pepper in the food processor. Blend until combined. I use a spatula to scrape down the sides and pulse again. Then, I turn the processor on, and stream in the olive oil. Once it comes together, I add in the cheese, and give it another pulse. DONE!
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It really comes together so quickly. I dress the pizza and bake it on a cookie sheet. The whole process only takes about 20 minutes. That’s faster than it takes to go to the store and pick up take out! This pizza is quick, cheap, easy, and delicious! What more do you need?
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Pesto
(Makes enough for 2 tortilla pizzas)

1 cup fresh basil
2 Tbsp walnuts
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Combine the basil, walnuts, garlic, salt, and pepper in the food processor. Blend until combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides and pulse a few more times. Turn the processor on, and stream in the olive oil. Once it comes together, add in the cheese, and give it another pulse. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Pesto Pizza
(Makes 2 tortilla pizzas)

1 serving pesto recipe above
2 tortillas (I used whole wheat)
1 roma tomato, sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
2 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
basil, for garnish
parmesan, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 415ºF. Place the tortillas on an un greased cookie sheet. Spread the pesto on each tortilla. Place the sliced tomatoes, peppers, and mozzarella on each pizza. Bake for 12 minutes. Broil for about 1 minute to crisp the crust even more.  Top with fresh basil and parmesan cheese if desired.

Happy Anniversary to Us!

As a little girl, I dreamed of growing up to be like Cinderella (minus the evil stepmother). I hoped to meet a prince charming who would sweep me off my feet and love me forever. Looking back on my many crushes, breakups, and heartbreaks, I can see exactly why things worked out, or didn’t work out for that matter! Stew and I have come a long way since we started dating!

Seven years ago, I started dating the most amazing man on the planet! I was a sophomore at The College of Charleston, and Stew was my big brother’s friend who I had known forever…isn’t that funny? He and my brother moved to SC for a change of scenery. It took him moving to Charleston for us to fall in love! We dated for 3 years. He was a huge part of my college life (as my friends and roommates can attest to!) Here’s a flashback to my college days. P.S. It was Halloween…we didn’t normally dress like that 😮
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Five years ago, he asked me to marry him. It was a Friday in October, and I was in my first year as a 4th grade Language Arts teacher. It was a long day, and I was at school extra late. I called him on my way to his apartment…little did I know, he was pacing the floor waiting to propose!
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Four years ago, we had the most amazing wedding on the hottest day of the year! We planned everything ourselves. I even made the bouquets and centerpieces with flowers from Costco!
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We wanted a true southern wedding. We had the ceremony at our church (Stew put his ring on my finger…oops!)
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We even had a horse and carriage take me and my dad to the church and pick me and Stew up from the church!
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The reception was outside of my mom’s house (she also moved to Charleston) under a tent, where we partied and danced the night away!
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A few months later, we got a big snuggly puppy and named him Dexter (yes, after the show)…
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About a year later, we bought a nightmare foreclosure…Here’s a before shot.
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Here’s an after shot.
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Another before and after just so you can see the conditions we lived in…AHHH!
Jan 30, 2011

Then came baby, which you already know ALL about 😮
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We’ve definitely done A LOT over our years together. Each year seems to have a new adventure. Life with Stew gets better every day! I’m so excited to share the rest of this crazy life together!

Father’s Day

Yesterday was Stew’s first Father’s Day! Mother’s Day was so special to me, so I wanted to make sure Stew felt the same way. He is such an amazing daddy, he deserves the biggest celebration! I remember, when I was pregnant, Stew was nervous that he wouldn’t know what to do! He said, “I can’t even keep all the names straight…the bumbo, the boppy, the binky” I’m sure everyone has felt that way! But, the second Stew held Turner, it was like he was born to be a father. IMG_0042
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So, this day is all about Stew! He’s the one who works a long, hard, messy day, and still comes home and makes a beeline to Turner. He’s the one that will be covered in concrete dust, but will still do bath time with Turner before he showers! He’s the one that lets us both rest on his chest even with a separated rib! He’s the most selfless and loving person I have ever met! And we are so grateful he’s “ours”. Thanks for taking such good care of us, Babe!

We started the day by making a delicious breakfast! We get these frozen croissants from Trader Joe’s that are to die for. I took them out of the freezer and let them rise overnight. They bake up so light and fluffy, it feels like we’re sitting in a little cafe on the streets of France (not that I’ve ever been to France, but I imagine that’s what it would be like).

Stew opened his presents from me and Turner…

We ordered him shirts from Etsy. Like Father Like Son. These shirts actually aren’t on this girl’s Etsy shop anymore, but she has some seriously funny shirts. It makes me want to get into the shirt printing business!image
We also gave him a framed poem, which he loved! I saw this on Pinterest a while ago and saved it. I thought it would be a great Father’s Day gift! I cry every time I read it. I used a blue ink pad and dipped Turner’s feet in it and pressed them on printer paper (one foot at a time). Then, I let it dry. Meanwhile, I typed up the poem, put the footprint paper in the printer (face down) and printed out the poem. I put it in a black frame and will hang it on our wall. So cute!
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Later on in the day, we had our friends over for a little pool action and a BBQ. These are our “baby” friends. We all met in our hypnobabies class and had our babies around the same time. The girls have play dates with the babies, but the men rarely get to play! So, we decided to have them all over to celebrate new dadhood. They’re all amazing daddies! We had so much fun celebrating yesterday! Happy first Father’s Day Stew!!

7 Month Nap/Sleep Schedule

I can’t believe Turner will be 7 months old on Monday! He is getting so big and so smart! People always told me time would fly by, but it REALLY is incredible! We are in a really good nap routine which allows me to get a ton of work done, except on days like this, when it’s an absolute hot mess! So, I thought it would be helpful to share our schedule!

I used to be more concerned with keeping his wake/change/feed/nap time evenly spaced. Now that Turner’s older, he falls asleep and wakes up on his own give or take 20 minutes. It’s not a big deal, since it all evens out by the end of the day. Sometimes his naps are an hour, sometimes they’re two. I still feed him around the same time each day. P.s. sorry for the drunken images…I can’t get a picture of this kid that’s not blurry…he doesn’t stop moving! 3photo
He’s much more content while he’s awake these days. He works on things like playing the drums…
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and crawling.
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While Mommy does things like decorate chalkboards…
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So…back to the schedule:

7:00 I get Turner from his room, change him, and nurse him in my bed while I drink my coffee. I actually think he wakes up closer to 6:30 due to the occasional laugh or squeal I hear coming from the monitor. But, I don’t actually get him until around 7.

8:30-10:30/11 Nap

10:30/11:00 Change, nurse and solid food (Sometimes he wakes up at 10, sometimes 11. I always feed him by 11 though)

12:30-1:30/2 Nap (Same deal with his earlier nap. Sometimes it goes until 1:30, sometimes 2)

2:00 Change, nurse and solid food. He’s usually awake for the rest of the day. Sometimes he’ll take a cat nap if we go for a ride or a walk. That also depends on how his naps were earlier in the day.

5:00 Change, nurse

6:00 Solid Food at the table while we eat supper.

7:00 Bath time

7:30 Book, bottle (5 oz pumped), and bed.

Like I said before, our schedule is pretty much the same every day. During the times he’s not napping, he’s playing. He loves his play gym in my office and his bouncy swing. He also keeps himself occupied by scooting everywhere and discovering new places like under the couch in the office…oops. Our schedule varies about 20 to 30 minutes, but he eats around the same time every day. Oh yea…and keep in mind, if your baby decides not to nap, join the club. I usually put a big X on those days and pretend they never happened. Every day is a chance to start over! And if you’re not on a schedule and are scared to start, it’s scary and it sucks…in the beginning. But it is definitely worth it!

Turner’s Favorite Books

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Slide and Find, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star: And Other Favorite Nursery Rhymes, If I were a Bunny

For a while there, Stew and I would attempt to read Turner a bedtime story before his night time bottle. He was NOT having it. We would get about two pages in and he would reach for his bottle and start crying…he’s a hungry boy. About a month ago, he became obsessed with Brown Bear Slide and Find! He gets so excited to see what’s hidden behind the secret door! This is by far his favorite; we read it every night. I decided to put some of his other favorites on here too! All of these are attention keepers for sure! Enjoy!
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Parents are Superheroes

Lately, I feel like I have been everything to everyone, and it’s exhausting! Ever feel that way? Stew worked so much last week. Wednesday, he went into work at noon and worked until midnight! Thursday, he had to go in at 9am and didn’t get home until 7pm (Turner was already getting ready for bed). Friday, he had to be at work at 6am! I feel terrible that he’s working so much. But, I need a serious vacation and by vacation I mean that I need to get my hair cut! I have a newfound respect for single parents!

Thursday afternoon, I was spent. Turner took his morning and midday naps like a champ. I got SO MUCH work done (rentals, QuickBooks, monthly statements, answered a million phone calls, etc). I fed Turner around 2:00. By about 3:30, he was so tired and getting grumpy. So, I put him in his swing to see if he’d take a catnap. This usually works like a charm. He cried HYSTERICALLY! After a few minutes, I went to sit with him. He wouldn’t stop, so I picked him up. I rocked him for a little, and he calmed down. His eyelids were so heavy, so I put him in his crib…CRIED HYSTERICALLY! I put him in his play gym, CRIED HYSTERICALLY. At this point, I had to pull out the snot sucker he was so worked up! All he wanted was to be held, and he is never like that! Needless to say, it was a LONG afternoon. It was finally dinnertime, so we sat at the dinner table together, staring at each other, and ate… just the two of us. He was probably wishing for a change of scenery at that point!
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Friday morning, I felt like I pressed rewind and hit the play button starting at around 3:30 Thursday afternoon. He was so tired, so I put him in his crib for his morning nap (usually his best nap of the day)…Not havin’ it! I even had to pull out the snot sucker again (teething? sniffles? separation anxiety?)! After more of the same (see paragraph above), I finally got him calmed down and put him in his crib. I turned on his classical music and sat in my office. He was finally quiet! Could he be….SLEEPING? So I walked by his room and I saw this
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He clearly prefers working on crawling and slapping things rather than napping.
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Do you see those tired eyes!?!
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Being is a parent is a tiring and difficult job, but somehow we always survive, don’t we? We survive the sleepless nights, the poopy diapers, the 103-degree fevers, and the long hours of crying! Parents are truly superheroes. Thoughts? Stories? I’d love to hear!!

Pasta with Lentils & Sun-dried Tomatoes

Every weekend, Stew and I plan our meals. We like to have a mixture of everything–Italian, American, Mexican, Thai, etc. This was our Italian dish for the week. Although I’m not a vegetarian, I don’t like meat in my pastas. So, I decided to throw some lentils in to add that protein kick! These little legumes are often overlooked. But they are SO good for you! They are packed with protein (more than most nuts and beans), and they are so inexpensive! They are super easy to make too! They’re perfect to throw in pastas or salads to add some vegetable protein to your diet!

I know I have professed my love of brown rice pasta! But I am truly addicted. It’s true that a gluten free diet is for people with Celiac disease. But, I say, if something’s not agreeing with you, DON’T EAT IT! Semolina pasta is one of those things that doesn’t sit well with me. So, I’ve been eating this brown rice pasta for years, and I truly don’t taste a difference! More importantly, I don’t feel uncomfortable after eating it!

Now that I’m done with my health rant, I’ll get back to the dish! This meal is so packed with flavor that you won’t miss the meat and the white pasta! The combination of the salty sun-dried tomatoes, sweet basil, and crunchy almonds is enough to sell anyone on this dish. PLUS it’s super easy and inexpensive to make. While you’re boiling the pasta, throw the sauce together in another pot, and then toss it all together! How easy is that (as The Barefoot Contessa would say)?? I wrote in the recipe to reserve pasta water. That’s an important step, because it creates the sauce. Basically, the tomato paste and the pasta water come together and coat the pasta. You can always add more pasta water if it’s too thick! I hope you enjoy!
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Pasta with Lentils & Sun-dried Tomatoes
Serves 2

6 oz. brown rice pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup lentils
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup basil, chiffonade*
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup reserved pasta water

Rehydrate sun-dried tomatoes by soaking in hot water for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat dutch oven to medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook one more minute. Add spinach, lentils, sun dried tomatoes, and tomato paste. Cook about one minute until spinach wilts. Using tongs, transfer pasta to the dutch oven and toss to combine. Ladle 1/4 cup of pasta water into dutch oven. Add parmesan cheese and basil. Toss with tongs to combine. Place the pasta in two large bowls. Top with slivered almonds and more parmesan if desired. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.

*Chiffonade is just a fancy word for rolling the basil up like a cigar and making thin slices so you end up with strips of basil.