Eight Month Update

Elizabeth is eight months old today. ^_^ This is an overview of her current interests, behaviors and abilities. Here’s what she’s been up to lately:

Related post: Six Month Update

  • She can easily pull herself up into sitting position from lying down. She can maneuver herself all around depending on what she’s trying to reach or where she’s trying to go.
  • She army crawls very efficiently and can get anywhere she pleases quite quickly. She only uses her left arm, though. Hmm, not sure if that’s okay or not. Her right arm reaches, but the left elbow and shoulder do all the work.
  • She grabs my hair, breasts, and anything else she can while nursing. She is extremely active, to put it mildly.
  • She smiles joyfully at the children when watching Babies at Play and in real life, especially at the library.
  • She likes riding in the van.
  • She picks up Puffs (quick-dissolving, fruit flavored rice puffs) with her right hand/fingers. She can easily pinch and bring them individually to her mouth.
  • She loves when Maggie sings The Chicks Say in Spanish, and when any of us sing The Wheels on the Bus or The Alphabet Song in English.
  • Her hair is quite comical, insisting on standing straight up!
  • She doesn’t need to be held in the evening anymore; instead, she is happy watching Baby Einstein or Blues Clues in our bedroom while playing on the floor with toys.
  • She gets up between 8 and 8:30 in the morning and goes to bed twelve hours later.
  • Her naps happen approximately 3½-4 hours after waking. She takes one morning nap and one afternoon nap; their times vary but typically last an hour or so.
  • She is still taking her pacifier, but only for a few minutes at nap and bedtime after nursing. She doesn’t need it in the middle of the night.
  • She is still drooling a lot. Teeth count: 2
  • She likes sitting in the stroller, going outside with her siblings and watching them play.
  • She is breastfeeding every 3-4 hours during the day and wakes every 1-3 hours at night.
  • She loves Beechnut “Just” baby foods (no added ingredients). Her favorites are sweet potatoes, a mix of blueberries & pears, and a mix of pineapple, pear & avocado. Apples give her a diaper rash. She tolerates turkey but doesn’t like it alone.
  • She fits into 18m/2T size clothes for the most part, though pant cuffs have to be rolled once or twice depending on the brand.
  • She still really enjoys sitting in the high chair at the table with us. She screams loudly between bites of food. :P We’re not sure if it’s her temper showing or just vocalizing, haha.
  • She unhooks the Velcro on the left side of her diaper every time I change her, lol. I say different things to her about it each time like, “you better be a good girl” and “ohhhh, don’t do that!” all while smiling, so she thinks it’s a fantastic game. ^_^
  • She absolutely loves the bath! She sits up on her own, with my hands very nearby, and splashes and plays with toys. She shares the bath with Samuel and he loves it just as much as she does!
  • She only likes sitting upright in the stroller – no more lying back reclined.
  • She weighed 22lbs 9oz a few days ago.


Happy eight months, sweetheart!

If you’d like to read how she came into the world, you can read that (crazy, exciting, a-little-bit-scary!) story HERE.

Thoughts & Happenings 2/24/17

living lighter thoughtsStephen and I spent yesterday reminiscing a bit, though apart (he had to work), because it was our 19th anniversary! I can’t believe next year will make twenty. Goodness, two decades! Aww, I love him so much. ♥

flowersI had a dream last night that he and I went to the doctor and found out that I was pregnant with our fifth baby. In the dream, he was so happy and I was, too (though really surprised). You know, I’d love for it to be true. It would be challenging on me physically but it would be lovely not to bother with secondary infertility for our last little one.

So, texture seems to bother little Elizabeth tremendously, lol. She loves pears, blueberries, sweet potatoes, avocado and more. She puts up with turkey but it has to be served with a fruit. :P And they all have to be puréed. When I’ve tried mashing or grinding but there are still tiny lumps, she looks absolutely horrified and gags. I wonder when she’ll handle more than just purées. I remember my other children all being capable of more at this point…at least I think they were. Mommy brain. haha

I had a few people comment about the chili fries on this week’s menu plan so I thought I’d share the (very quick and easy!) recipe here. ^_^

chili-friesBake any kind of fries you like in the oven according to package directions. Meanwhile, brown 1lb of ground beef or turkey and drain off fat. Mix the ingredients listed below in a small bowl and stir in with meat. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Lower heat and simmer until ready to serve. Spoon over the fries and top with shredded cheese.

12oz bottle chili sauce

1 dry chili seasoning packet

½ cup water

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp prepared mustard

½ tsp onion powder

This chili also makes amazing quesadillas. Just spoon into a buttered flour tortilla, top with cheese and cook on medium heat in a fry pan until golden brown.

Happy Friday!

Smugglers and Scones ~ A Book Review

smugglers-and-sconesby Morgan C. Talbot

Before reading Smugglers and Scones, it had been years since I’d read a mystery, but when I caught the review for this cozy mystery on a friend’s blog, I knew I had to pick it up. Of course, I actually just picked up my Kindle and ordered it on Amazon because it was only available as an eBook at the time of pre-release.

Related post: Breastfeeding and eBooks

I enjoyed Ms. Talbot’s characters, story, and town so much! The overall feel of the book was wonderful and I definitely recommend it! Her writing style is perfect for me and her characters relatable and fun to get to know. I did not guess the murderer or the ending, which is always a good thing. ^_^

There were moments that had me on edge but most of the book was simply enjoyable to read and I loved my time in Seacrest. I can’t wait for book two to be released!


Pippa ~ very likeable, she is sweet and relatable…she is the hostess at Moorehaven Bed & Breakfast and finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery.

Lake ~ very likeable, he is handsome and charismatic…he is a person of interest in the string of murders and possibly Pippa’s new romance.

Hilton ~ likeable, he is overprotective and caring…he is Pippa’s great-uncle and runs the B&B with her.

Jordan ~ very likeable, she is spunky and excitable…she is Pippa’s best friend who ends up in a dangerous situation.

Paul, Al, and Skylar ~ very likeable, they are energetic, helpful and creative…they are authors staying at the B&B during the murder investigation.


The small town of Seacrest gets disrupted when a shipwreck late one night brings theft, murder and the myth of an ancient treasure to its residents. It’s up to the hostess and guests of Moorehaven Bed and Breakfast to find out who the killer is before the list of victims gets longer.

do I recommend it? yes!

…if you like cozy mysteries

…if you like seaside villages or resort towns

…if you don’t mind moments of anxiousness and (a little bit of) fear

…if mysteries and/or writing mystery are of interest to you

…if the history of Prohibition and speakeasies are of interest to you

Check this book out:



Author’s Website

Weekly Meal Plan {Feb 22-28}


I’ve definitely been on a buffalo kick lately, which Stephen and Joshua appreciate and Maggie is merely tolerating, lol. I loved the Buffalo Turkey Burgers we had last week, mmm.

If you would like to read what we’ve thought of the new dinners I’ve made in 2017, click here. If you want to see where most of the recipes are coming from, you can follow my dinner recipes board on Pinterest.

Here’s this week’s meal plan:

As a reminder, my goals are to 1) try lots of new recipes 2) use as many on-hand ingredients as I can 3) make delicious dinners for my family. ^_^


Grilled Chicken, penne pasta and vegetable (frozen skillet meal), crescent rolls 

ingredients I already have – none

what I need to buy – skillet meal, crescent rolls

prep work – none


Chili Fries, side salads

ingredients I already have – chili sauce, steak fries, chili seasoning, salad dressing, croutons

what I need to buy – salad, tomato, ketchup, ground turkey (3lbs, share with Monday and Tuesday’s meals)

prep work – none


Rotini casserole, breadsticks, broccoli

ingredients I already have – rotini pasta, broccoli, spaghetti sauce, parmesan cheese

what I need to buy – breadsticks

prep work – make casserole in morning and refrigerate


Smothered chicken burritos (new), corn

ingredients I already have – corn, green chiles, taco seasoning,

what I need to buy – tortillas, chicken, sour cream, shredded cheese

prep work – make chicken in slow cooker at 1pm


eat out!


Sweet & Spicy BBQ Bacon Hawaiian Turkey Burgers (new) and chips

ingredients I already have – barbeque sauce, seasonings, chips

what I need to buy – ground turkey (3lbs, share with Friday and Tuesday’s meals), sliced pineapple, hamburger buns, bacon, pepperjack cheese

prep work – make burgers in morning and refrigerate until dinnertime


Cheesy Chili Mac, buttered bread, peas

ingredients I already have – elbow macaroni, seasonings, tomato sauce, bread, peas

what I need to buy – ground turkey (3lbs, share with Friday and Monday’s meals), brown sugar, shredded cheese

prep work – none

What’s on your meal plan this week?

Day in the Life (February 2017)

feb-day-in-the-lifeYou can find out more about who everyone is and what we’re about HERE. ^_^

February 18, 2017

I didn’t get much sleep last night from 11pm-2ish because I like having my bed to myself and I kept putting her back in her crib. Elizabeth wakes frequently in her crib (which is still right next to my bed) but as soon as she’s with me, we rest, so I brought her to bed with me at three-something.

Stephen woke me at six. I browsed Etsy and found something I’d like to get but I had to ask the seller a question about it, so I waited on purchasing it. I went in and woke Elizabeth just enough to feed her at 6:30 so we wouldn’t have to worry about her waking hungry while I was gone taking Stephen to work.

I got ready and then while waiting for him to finish, I got back on Etsy and found a cute candle…it made me want to make one myself so I googled “how to make a candle baby food jar.” I found a blog with easy instructions so I bookmarked it for later.

I woke Maggie, and Stephen and I left the house shortly after seven. Traffic was fine (I love Saturdays) and we got there fairly quickly. When I got home, Samuel was up and he and Maggie were watching tv together. I did some dinner prep; I washed potatoes, and sliced onions. I also went ahead and sliced three peppers but they weren’t for dinner.


I also did a quick organize of the refrigerator and made my Publix list. Samuel woke Elizabeth at 8:15. She was happy and played on her own for a while. At 9:00, I ate breakfast, changed her diaper, and got in the shower while Maggie stayed with her. Joshua finally got up, lol.


I made my bed and folded laundry with Samuel while Elizabeth played on the floor nearby. Maggie took a shower and Joshua got on the computer. I heard back from the Etsy lady and I asked another question. Elizabeth started getting hungry but I held her off for a few minutes so I could feed her last thing before leaving for the store; I did my makeup and brushed my hair. Samuel got dressed and ready while I nursed her.

Samuel and I left the house at 10:15. It was drizzly raining so we took our umbrellas. We rarely go to the store on the weekend and so we didn’t realize that Publix has samples all over the store on Saturdays. Samuel tried (and loved) a piece of tiramisu and I had a tomato slice with Italian dressing and basil, which I thought was really tasty. I again got a response on Etsy and it was the answer I was looking for. :)

sam-balloonHe asked for a balloon and it’s been months since I got him one, so I said yes. He chose a pink one, and I asked him about it because he usually chooses green or blue things. He went to put it back but I quickly told him that it was absolutely fine that he wanted pink, that I was just surprised. He said, “Mama, do you know all the colors are my favorite?” What a sweetie. ^_^

When we got home it was 11:30 and Elizabeth was ready to breastfeed again and take a nap. Once she was down, I tidied up the house a little. Stephen called just fifteen minutes later and said he was finishing up a job and then he’d be heading back to his work, would be a little while longer once there, and then he’d be ready to be picked up. So, I did a few more things around the house, ordered the items Etsy, and then made my lunch and Samuel’s, while Maggie and Joshua made theirs.

stephens-workStephen called just as I was sitting down to eat, saying I could leave to come get him any time. I told him I just needed to finish my lunch and then I would. With Elizabeth sleeping and Samuel playing, I left Maggie as babysitter and I invited Joshua to come with me, which he accepted. Stephen was the last guy at work, so he locked everything up and we came home. Again, traffic moved well and we arrived in no time.

We were home for awhile, doing different things. Sweeping, putting things away, laundry…and finally I was ready to leave again, this time to the library. Maggie, Samuel, Elizabeth and I left the house at 2:30. It’s quite a drive to the branch we wanted to go to, but it was peaceful.

library-updatedThe day had turned out to be mild and sunny. I believe the temperature was between 70-75°, which has been the norm for weeks now (weird winter!!) We spent a few minutes at the fountain in front of the library before going in.

I found a good number of books for myself and I’m excited to skim through them; I also got a few school books. Samuel found a couple of movies (we already had enough books at home for him) and Maggie got some books for herself.

e-in-vanWhen we were finished, Elizabeth was ready to nurse again, so I fed her in the van. Afterward, she drove a little. ;) She fell asleep on the way home and was happy when we arrived.


The boys went outside to play, ride bikes, and throw the baseball around with our neighbor’s son. (I took this pic through our side door because I didn’t want to disturb them or have them “pose” for me.) Maggie went to her room (to read? to listen to music? to pray? I have no idea.)

e-in-walkerI made a quick dinner instead of the slow cooker meal I’d planned to because I wasn’t home at the time I would have needed to put it all together. Elizabeth moved about the kitchen as I made a new “recipe” called Hawaiian Barbeque Chicken Wraps.

hwn-dinnerThey were very good but too light for dinner; they’d make a much better lunch. After dinner, everyone went their separate ways. Joshua was on the floor in his room with his tablet, Maggie and Samuel were playing pretend in her room, Stephen was watching something on tv, and Elizabeth was crawling all around the living room with great speed as I happily watched. When she was bored, we went in my (our) room and she watched Baby Einstein while I read (skimmed) a book I’d gotten from the library.nursing-e

Then she started getting fussy and showing she wanted to nurse again. So, I fed her and she stayed up for just another fifteen minutes or so and then was ready for bed.


Once she was in bed, I got Samuel in bed as well (and I fell asleep in the chair in his room). Joshua woke me and we played a game of Scrabble together while Maggie kept score and read funny things to us that she was finding on Pinterest. I went to bed at 11:00 after narrowly winning the game. ^_^

Thanks for following along!

Want to read about other months?

2017 Jan

2016 Jul | Aug | Sept | Oct | Nov | Dec

Thoughts & Happenings 2/19/17

living lighter thoughts

Little Elizabeth doesn’t stay in one size for long. One day, her clothes fit fine, the next I try to put her pants on but her chubby thighs won’t let me and I know it’s time to move up. So I buy the next size up and I think, “Ok, now I have enough clothes for her,” and then she grows out of them two weeks later! lol Slow down, girl.

clothes-eA few days ago, I found some things for her at our thrift shop. I bought four pairs of pants, a pair of shorts, and a shirt. Each cost between $1 and $3. Some of the pants are too long but I’m going to hem them; I had to buy larger to accommodate for her cloth diaper (and those thighs). ;)

bed-sheetI also found a really cute twin bed sheet that I’m going to cut and use for fabric. It was $4. I have all kinds of ideas for it!


We went to two libraries this week. I am still reading the same (fiction) book as I mentioned several days ago, but this week I accumulated a good many non-fiction books as well. When I’ll have time to read them is anyone’s guess (lol), but I aim to at least try. I’ve learned the art of skimming; for example, I read a good three-fourths of Do More, Spend Less last night in about 30 minutes because of skimming. I slow down when a section of a book captures my full attention but otherwise I skim. Do you skim non-fiction or do you thoroughly read?

This week was our week “off” from homeschooling so I could plan for the next three. Between the libraries and getting Maggie’s drivers license, I didn’t get it all done which means I have to finish today.

I hope you’ve been having a great weekend and enjoy the upcoming week! ^_^

The Four of Us

My daughter’s view from the top. A post about her and her younger siblings. She is wonderful big sister. ❤

Dreaming of Guatemala

Recently, someone thought that Joshua and I were twins.

A few years ago, someone thought that I was his mother.

I’m sure that multiple people have thought that Elizabeth is my daughter.

This is the life of the eldest child in a group of four siblings that are very different ages.


The comments, remarks and assumptions can be quite awkward sometimes – but I wouldn’t change these age differences for the world.

Without these three hooligans beautiful siblings in my life, I would be a completely different person; much more quiet, much lonelier, much more selfish … I’m pretty thankful for them.

True, we have our differences, and oftentimes, the range of maturity levels clash. But we’re all learning to accept each other the way we are, to understand where each person is in their walk in life, and that has brought us so much closer.

Would you like…

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