Halloween Madness

Is it a full moon? Is it daylight savings? Is it Halloween? What on Earth!? Our house is nutty! The past two days Turner hasn’t napped. I know this doesn’t sound like a big deal. But this kid loves his naps! I usually put him in his crib and he plays for a few minutes and then passes right out. The past two WEEKS, he’s been occasionally waking up at night (teething?!) Two nights ago, he woke up at 3 am HYSTERICAL, and it took us almost 2 hours to get him back to sleep! Here is a glimpse of my morning so far, and yes he is in PART of his Halloween costume…I guess I gave it away. I promise I will take happy costume pictures later (hopefully after he has a nap in him)!

And for some Halloween flair…

Look closely, you can see the tears streaming down his face…poor baby

Then, I ask myself, what can I add to the mix? A crying baby just isn’t enough. How about WASPS in the house??? Yes. You read that correctly. I have killed 16 wasps in two days in our house! Something tells me there’s a nest in the crawl space and they’re coming through the vents. Trick-or-treat at your own risk kids! More Halloween fun later…

Pumpkin Carving Party

Every year we have a pumpkin carving party. Each year it’s different. Last year was a huge fest! We had two rooms filled with people carving pumpkins and TONS of food. I made everything Halloween themed (Batty Bites, Snake Stromboli, Witches Brew, etc). This year, it was a smaller crowd, and I have an 11 month old running around, so I wasn’t as adventurous. This was my plan:

*Evite invitations (bring your own pumpkins, carving utensils, and festive dish)
*Large Plastic Tarp to cover rugs (easy cleanup)
*Pumpkin carving kit
*Halloween Cupcake Stencils
*Festive plastic utensils, cups, plates, and napkins from Target

I definitely cheated on the menu. I’m usually a homemade sorta gal. I was way too busy this year to do all that! I made a few dishes and had people bring a dish. There was plenty of food for everyone!

*Chili (similar here)
*Corn Muffins
*Chocolate Cupcakes with Halloween Stencils
*Roasted Acorn Squash

Turner loved Aunt Suzy’s big shiny pumpkin…

After Turner went to bed, the tools came out! We don’t mess around with pumpkin carving in this house! I’m a bit competitive when it comes to things like this (gasp!)…I always find the hardest stencil for my pumpkin! This year, I chose the witch. I like the challenge.

When everyone was done carving, we cleaned our pumpkin seeds and roasted them so everyone could take a goody bag home. It was a blast. It was a great, inexpensive, way to celebrate the season with friends! Can’t wait for trick-or-treating!

Pumpkin Everything!!

I can’t believe Halloween is LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY!! I am so excited to trick or treat! Tonight is our annual pumpkin carving party. I’ll have that blog post up for you in the next few days. In the meantime, I have some pumpkin pictures for you! Turner has the cutest festive outfits, including his BOO U sweatshirt and Great Pumpkin shirt (both from The Gap). Here are some photos. Many more to come!

Not only does he dress the part, but he eats the part! I got these Halloween pancake molds from Williams Sonoma a few years back. Stew and I always eat Halloween shaped pancakes the weekend before Halloween. This year was no exception! The only difference was they were healthy! I used this recipe.

Stay tuned for more Halloween fun!

Sweet Tart Juice

Another tasty concoction! Since Stew was diagnosed with cancer, we’ve been trying to eat as alkaline as possible. Cancer thrives in an acidic environment and feeds on glucose. We’re even drinking alkaline water, which has a higher pH than regular water. The thought process behind this diet is that it kills the food source for cancer cells. This juice recipe is very alkalinizing and also happens to be delicious! I hope you enjoy!

Sweet Tart Juice
Makes 2 servings

1 cup lettuce
1/2 bunch parsley
4 stalks celery
1 lemon
2 granny smith apples
1 cucumber

Wash all ingredients (I leave the peel on everything). Run through the juicer starting with lettuce and ending with cucumber. Enjoy!

10 and 11 Month Favorites

This has been a crazy past two months! Turner seems to be growing before our eyes! It’s hard to believe he will be one in less than a month!! He is hilarious and really forming a personality. His favorite thing to play with is the vacuum. It might have something to do with me vacuuming everyday while I was pregnant?? When he’s grumpy, I’ll start vacuuming, and he follows me around laughing hysterically and squealing! The second I shut it off, he starts to cry… insanity, I know!

He’s like a real person now! He does things to make us laugh, like stinky face (I’m sure you can imagine) and waving “hellooooo”.

He’s saying Mama, Dadda, and Dede (for Dexter, a.k.a Decky our dog, who Turner is obsessed with).
He’s standing up and cruising on everything (furniture, cabinets, my legs).

It’s hard to believe that Turner is turning into such a big boy! He plays with big boy toys and even needed a big boy car seat! Here are some of our favorites from the past two months.

1 Silicone Muffin Cups I’ve actually had these for a while. In the past I used them to make muffins and cupcakes. But they were really hard to clean and annoying. Luckily, I saved them! They are absolutely PERFECT for freezing baby food. I use the ice cube trays too, but Turner eats a TON of food, so these make bigger portions. I just pour the baby food into the cups and put them in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, I pop them out of the cup and into a ziplock bag with a label on them. To thaw, I place a few into a tupperware and put in the fridge overnight. Or, I just heat one up in a saucepan to melt it.

2 Fisher-Price Learn Through Music TouchPad We got this from Stew’s friend. Turner LOVES it! We had the Elmo game in, but couldn’t handle him. So we put Winnie the Pooh in! MUCH BETTER. Turner just slaps it and plays the same things over and over. It’s really funny to watch. He doesn’t quite get it yet. But, I’ll tell you what, I sure know my seasons now!

3 Toy Race Car These were also a gift. They’re the bigger cars, so Turner can’t choke on them. He pushes them around the entire house and chases them! He loves them.

4 Evenflo Convertible Car Seat We actually got this when Turner was about 10 months. He was definitely outgrowing his old seat. He was about 30 inches long at the time. He cried whenever we went in the car and he was a sweaty mess when we took him out. This was our hint that he was extremely uncomfortable. So we took the plunge. It was worth it! He loves his pimped out ride!

5 Baby Trend Expedition Jogger We had a hand-me-down stroller since he was born, so we never actually had to buy a stroller. We bought this the same day we got his car seat. It is a GREAT stroller, especially for the price! It rides so smoothly, and takes bumps like a champ. It’s great for our normal walks, but it’s a beast in the park or on the beach. I LOVE it and so does Turner!

The Pumpkin Patch

I’m back! My blog has been down for the past few days! Luckily, I’m employed by a website guru (don’t get a big head now!). Anyway, he  got my site back up and running!

I would have posted this last week, when we actually went to the pumpkin patch, but better late than never 😮 I’ve been waiting forever to take our little munchkin to the pumpkin patch! He wasn’t that excited. He was more interested in playing drums on the pumpkins than picking them. That was ok though. It made for some great pictures! And this post is ALL about the pictures. Who’s ready to get some pumpkins??!!

When we got home, Turner was ready for a nap, and I was ready for some apple cider donuts. So, I found this yummy recipe and decided to put my own spin on it! I switched out the flour and used a mixture of spelt flour and almond meal. I also swapped the sugar out for coconut sugar. They came out tasting more dense, like muffins, because I used the Doughnut Maker. But they had great flavor! I’m sure they would be just as delicious fried the old fashioned way. I stored them in a tupperware and they were even better the next day! Here’s my recipe.

Healthy Apple Cider Donuts

1 cup apple cider
2/3 cup Coconut Palm Sugar
2 Tbsp Coconut Spread
1 cup Almond Meal
1 3/4 cup Spelt Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp pumpkin spice
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Plug in the doughnut maker to heat up. Boil the cider until it reduces to about 1/3 cup (6-8 minutes). Turn off the heat and whisk in the sugar and coconut spread. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a standing mixer and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, sift together the almond meal, spelt flour, salt, baking powder, and spices. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two additions. Mix until just combined.
Do a test donut to check the heat and timing. It took me about 5-7 minutes to cook through my donuts. Scoop about 2 Tbsp into each donut well and close the lid. Cook for 5- 7 minutes until cooked through the inside. Serve with a steamy beverage and enjoy!

Just Another Day In Paradise

Life has been BUSY. It’s been an emotional roller coaster the past few weeks. Stew had his first chemo treatment two weeks ago. He had a rough few days after that, but each day got better. He was feeling like a champ by the time he had to go back for his second treatment two days ago. And, of course, the cycle started over. He’s felt nauseous the past few days, but we know it will get better as the days go on!

The GOOD news is that his tumor is shrinking!! There is a part of the tumor that is sticking out in his chest that Dr. Saylors measured before Stew started treatment. It was 6.5cm x 6.5cm. When we went back two days ago (after only one treatment) it shrunk to 3cm x 2cm!!! That’s more than HALF! We are so hopeful and feel so extremely blessed through this whole process! And having our little love muffin makes life SO much better!

Turner is as happy as a jack-o-lantern clam these days. He is playing with his giant toy cars, chasing them all over the house. He even has a Learn Through Music TouchPad that Stew’s friend, Billy, gave him. He is OBSESSED! Elmo is constantly serenading us which we are not so obsessed with, “We can count to five, TO FIVE, we can count to FIVE!”

Turner is at such an awesome age! He seems to learn something new every day! His favorite things to do are play, stand, EAT, and sing! He’s a very funny little boy.

He has such a personality already! He has been our saving grace over the past month! What’s even more exciting is that it’s our FIRST FALL together, my favorite time of year! We have the house decorated and are planning our outing to the pumpkin patch! But in the meantime, we have our own little pumpkin to enjoy!

I can sum up life lately with my favorite Phil Vassar song, Just Another Day In Paradise. Listen to it here. I bet you can relate!

Kids screamin
Phone ringin
Dog barkin at the mailman bringin
That stack of bills- overdue
Good mornin baby, how are you?
Gotta half hour, quick shower
Take a drink of milk, but the milk’s gone sour
my funny face, makes you laugh
Twist the top on and I put it back
There goes the washing machine
Baby don’t kick it, promise I’ll fix it,
Along with ’bout a million other things

It’s ok. It’s so nice. Just another day in paradise