Tuesday, March 28, 2017

etta (19 weeks old)

Etta is 19 weeks old, weighs 14 lb. 3 oz (55th percentile) and is 25.79" long (89th percentile). She wears 6-9 month clothing. It seemed as though this week Etta realized sleep was not of the devil and that she would embrace it, though the last two nights might tell you otherwise. She is getting a little better about letting some of our family members hold her but will often cry if Jon or I are not present. Besides this little hiccup she is actually a very happy and smiley girl. Etta has started to giggle and it is everything. You can tell she wants to be mobile - she will kick her legs like crazy when she is on her stomach - but thankfully she has not yet mastered this skill. Etta drools like crazy but has no teeth to show for it yet. She still has clogged tear ducts but is otherwise in perfect health!

Monday, March 27, 2017


What a weekend! Friday was a bit rough for me - Etta had a well visit at her doctor--a good 40 minutes from our house--at 8:40. I told Jon on Thursday night about the 8:40 visit. I stayed home from work to take her (so I can nurse her if the appointment inevitably runs late). I pulled out of our driveway at 7:45 and looked at the reminder on my phone for her 8:00 appointment. As it happens, I had confused her well visit with Elden's ENT visit (which was today) so I totally missed the appointment. In a stressful flurry of phone calls I was able to get her in at 10:30. That meant I had to rush to work (35 minutes each way) to get my laptop and some folders for a few meetings I had in order to work from home. On my way into work a truck kicked up a rock and dinged my windshield. I was none too pleased with Friday. But! Etta is healthy, insurance is paying for my windshield repair and Jon and I ended the night with a backyard fire and wine date.
it was a day, that's for sure.

On Saturday we had Edith's dance class and ran errands in the morning. 
warm temps means i can nurse in the car!
After the kids had nap/quiet time, we headed to Jon's parents to celebrate his mom's birthday. They catered P.F. Changs and it was SO delicious. This isn't my best work, but I made her this sign (and added more photos of the kids) as a gift:
details on how to DIY something similar here
On Sunday, Jon had to lead worship at church but Elden's nose was a faucet so I kept the kids home. Jon's parents came by to drop off some old aquarium lights for our seedlings (speaking of - have you entered my Baker Creek heirloom seed giveaway!?) so we got that set up. Did you know you can use aquarium lights to grow plants!? I had no idea and by reusing spares that Jon's dad had lying around we are saving a ton of money on the initial lamp investment. We got our little greenhouse on special buy from Aldi this week for $20 and for the price I am happy with the quality.

After the kids woke up from naps my parents stopped by for a visit. Our kids love their grandparents (on both sides)! It was a great weekend spent with lots of family.

Friday, March 24, 2017

five on friday: baker creek heirloom seed giveaway!

In honor of the arrival of spring, I have partnered with Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds for a giveaway valued at $48! Baker Creek is a provider of rare and unique seeds that we have used in the past (last year we yielded our body weight in striata d'Italia zucchini after sowing right in the ground) and continue to use, so I'm very excited about this giveaway. Here are my 5 favorite things about Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds:

Tzimbalo Melon Pears
{1} The seed type and selection. Baker Creek carries non-GMO heirloom and hybrid seeds. What this means is that a lot of their seed varieties are 50+ years old--some as old as 500+ years--and you can harvest your own seeds from the plants you've grown to successfully replant in subsequent years (the heirlooms). None of their plants are genetically modified and any hybrids that they carry have occurred naturally. Then there's the fact that a lot of these seeds are so rare - these aren't plants you can get at your local hardware store (or even nursery). For instance, check out these chocolate pear tomatoes or this mini pink popcorn. You don't grow vegetables? That's fine - there are rare fruit varieties such as this pineapple assortment that can be grown in containers anywhere in the country, herbs such as this Corsican basil, or flowers like this Pink Senorita Zinnia. There are over 2,000 rare seed varieties from all over the world to choose from. It may be the hipster in me, but I can totally get on board with growing something that no one else in my neighborhood does.

Bellvue mixed abutilon
{2} Customer service. I am not exaggerating when I say Baker Creek has some of the best customer service around. If you have poor germination rates of your seeds they have been known to send you new packets, no questions asked. Any issues whatsoever and Baker Creek works diligently to resolve them.

Quadrato D'Asti Rosso peppers
{3} Cheap shipping and bonus seeds! How many times have you gone to order something that you know couldn't cost more than a dollar or two to ship and yet the seller charges $10+ for it? At Baker Creek, you are charged a flat rate of $3.50 regardless of what you order (and they even ship live plants!). If you register during checkout, you will also get 6 months of free shipping on all future orders. Then there's the bonus seeds - each order includes at least one pack of a free seed variety chosen by Baker Creek and the more you spend the more free seeds you get. Jon and I placed an order last month and got 2 free seed varieties!

Pusa Asita Carrot
{4} Philanthropy. Have you ever heard of a seed library? I hadn't either until Jon introduced me to it. A seed library is exactly what it sounds like - a place you can go to borrow or donate seeds. The goal is often to encourage people to get out and plant some of their own food, but it is also beneficial in the event a critical plant species were to somehow go extinct, there to be global crises, etc. An aside / fun fact is that the world's largest seed bank is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault located just 812 miles from the North Pole where seeds are stored in a similar manner as a bank safe deposit box. I digress, but it's really interesting stuff. Baker Creek donates seeds to seed libraries--including one of our more local seed libraries.

ornamental fringed mix kale
{5} Their packaging. This is probably really shallow, but I am a major sucker for a good packaging job. Baker Creek packages their seeds in really fun envelopes that give me warm fuzzies inside. I get really excited when new varieties arrive because I can't wait to see what the envelope looks like.

So now, for the good stuff! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win an heirloom seed collection from Baker Creek valued at $48! The giveaway will close on 3/31 and the winner will be contacted. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Baker Creek offered to give away an heirloom seed collection at no cost to me as part of this blog post. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Linking up with AmyKatieAprilAndreaNarci and Erika!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

happy hump day

Spring has arrived in Ohio with a balmy high of 30 degrees today! We are excited to start our garden this year; we have plans for new raised beds laid out and already have seedlings growing. Jon and I were discussing which rare tomato seeds we should order...I love my nerdy husband.
On a related note, make sure to check back this Friday for a fun rare seed giveaway valued at $48!

In my Timehop yesterday there were pictures of both older kids around Etta's age. I had to do a side by side...we see a mix of both kids in Etta:

I won this table on a local estate sale auction website for $24. It is solid oak. Our kitchen table is from Big Lots pre-marriage and is in a bad way so we had been talking about upgrading for a while. I have big plans to replace the legs on this table with something like these, refinish the top with a gray stain, and perhaps paint the legs something fun like this (if I can just convince Jon first). 

One of Elden's current obsessions is sea animals, as sparked by this toob. He carts them all over the house so Jon got him some ocean books from the library. Perhaps he's following in his marine biology-loving mom's foot steps...

I made these sandwiches for dinner and I gotta say - they were so easy and delicious. I added a little bacon to mine and Jon said he would definitely eat them again!

Finally, to conclude hump day, I saw this on Facebook and immediately yelled out "YAS":

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

etta (18 weeks old)

As of Saturday, Etta is 18 weeks old. She is still a rolling machine. I have been trying to nurse her less in the middle of the night and she seems to be getting the idea that she does not need to wake up every two hours to eat. Etta is generally a very content baby unless you are ignoring her. She also has a pretty bad case of stranger danger already and cries if anyone other than Jon or I are holding her. Nights have definitely been better this week and we are hoping it isn't a fluke. Etta is wearing 6M and 9M clothing and is growing like a weed. She was dedicated at church this week and even though she gives us a run for our money we are so glad she is ours.

Monday, March 20, 2017

weekend recap

On Friday we went to Jon's parent's house when I got home from work for cabbage and noodles and reubens in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

Saturday morning I took this sweet girl to dance class:
 After dance we spent the remainder of the afternoon cleaning and cooking because first thing Sunday...
 ...we dedicated Etta at church. As a side note, earlier this week Elden had been asking what it meant to dedicate her. I explained that it just meant we would raise Etta in a way that she would hopefully come to know Jesus. All week he had been saying he couldn't wait to see us raise Etta. I was confused and explained that we had already been raising her (and him!). At one point he asked me if we were going to raise her "like this" (insert how Rafiki holds baby Simba in Lion King here) and I laughed and said no. But he kept up the excitement about raising her. Then in the car on the way to church he said, "mommy, what does it mean to raise from the dead [like Jesus]?" aaaaand I realized that he had totally the wrong idea about what he was going to witness. #momfail

After the service, we came home and had a little lunch with our families. The kids were partied out after all the excitement for the day. When we went to get Elden from quiet time I found him buried beneath his blanket on his floor:

As part of my push to simplify our lives this year I have been doing a lot of purging. We have huge piles ready to go for our community's annual garage sale in May and I have been going through drawers and throwing out a LOT of stuff (old nailpolish, papers, etc.). I focused on our room yesterday afternoon and felt like I could breathe in there for the first time in forever:
If I'm being honest, this whole project has been somewhat overwhelming. The house has many rooms, closets and drawers and there have been times where I genuinely thought it was futile but I've just been trying to focus on a project at a time. It was a really good weekend and we were so blessed to have our families celebrate Etta with us.

Linking with Biana.

Friday, March 17, 2017

five on friday

{1} Minicons. Elden is beyond obsessed with these little Transformers and I'm pretty sure they're being phased out so Jon and I have stocked up. He earns them through his sleep chart, money he has saved, and we are planning on surprising him with some for the Atlanta trip to help keep him busy on the flights.

{2} It amazes me how much Elden has grown since he started preschool. He went from very rudimentary stick figures to people with little toes! Art is hands down his favorite and I love seeing his imagination at work. I also love how happy all his people look with those giant smiles.

{3} Winter finally arrived in Ohio and while I am less than enthused these two were thrilled to have some snow fun.

{4} One pot vegetarian pasta primavera. We used this recipe and it was SO GOOD. The fact that I only had to dirty a single pot for it? Priceless.

{5} Jon hung up Etta's portrait and we officially have all three of our babies above our mantle. I'm not going to lie, having such a prominent fireplace and mantle is probably my favorite part of our house.

Linking up with AmyKatieAprilAndreaNarci and Erika!