Christmas 2016

We had a wonderful Christmas with friends and family even with our unexpected illness. Warning: long, busy weekend equals lots of pictures!

FRIDAY

I had the day off so I got to spend some extra time with my little guy. He was having a rough morning so we were able to cuddle up on the couch and take a nap together. It was the best.

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I made some protein balls for a quick grab and go healthy snack for the weekend and also peeled a pomegranate for the dishes I had to prepare for Saturday. I wasn’t sure of the best way to peel a pomegranate but thank goodness for youtube! It was much easier than I thought it would be.

My closest high school friends and I always have an ornament exchange Christmas party. Liam and I took some pre-party pictures!

Friday evening was the day we decided to have the party because our friend Amanda who lives in D.C. was going to be in town and has missed the last few years. Molly hosted the party at her parent’s house which is so beautifully decorated for Christmas. We had soups, salad, and side dishes. It was a fun evening together with the girls.

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Joe played in the alumni hockey game Friday night. He said it was a lot of fun.

SATURDAY (Christmas Eve)

We spent the morning hustling and bustling around getting things ready for Christmas Eve at my aunt and uncle’s house. I made this delicious fall fruit salad a coworker of mine had made for a work party. I also made the cranberry and pomegranate bruschetta I made for Thanksgiving.

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Liam and I took some selfies in front of the tree. It is hard to keep him focused these days!

We took family photos in front of the tree and headed out around 12.

We had a delicious meal with prime rib and yummy side dishes. I tried really hard to stay on track with my healthy eating goals and did really good with the meal.

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We had family time in the basement with presents and fun pictures before we headed to church.

After church we went back for evening appetizers. It was challenging to eat healthy at this time but I didn’t do terrible. Everything was so yummy! (Liam was obsessed with my Grandpa’s cane).

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Then we headed home to get Liam to bed. And then all was quiet throughout the house until….I got the FLU! Around 8 or 9pm I was struck by the flu and it continued into the night until around 2am. Joe and I renamed this day as Christmas heave 2016.

SUNDAY (Christmas)

Joe got up with Liam and I got up too because it was Christmas day and Santa came to visit. I felt terrible and so tired but that’s what moms do (right?!?).  I even got the most horrible picture of Liam and I in our Christmas jammies. At the time I thought it was a decent picture but looking at it now I look terrible and like I got socked in the face.

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Liam was slightly interested in his presents but not entirely. He wasn’t big on opening them but liked the toys once he saw them.

Then….the flu struck Joe. He began to feel worse and worse as the morning progressed.

We put on our adult pants and headed to his parent’s where we spent Christmas morning with them and opened gifts. His sister also had the flu. It was a quick visit and out the door for us but not before getting some cute pictures of course.

The rest of the day was spent at home. We had to miss Christmas at Joe’s parent’s house with his mom’s side of the family. We were so sad to miss it but neither of us could function. The hardest part was being a parent when we both were so sick. Thankfully Liam naps during the day and so we both were able to get some rest in especially since I was up most of the night.

MONDAY

Joe and I were both feeling much better. I had intentions of making Christmas protein pancakes on Christmas day so I decided to give them a whirl this morning. The first few did not turn out as I expected but I got better the more in made. Next year I will need to add a star at the top. Joe and I were able to eat a little but not much however it was good to get something in our stomachs.

Then it was Christmas time at my parent’s house. Joe and I were mostly just feeling tired with a little bit of a cautious stomach at this point. We had a meal of steak and crab to look forward to and Joe wasn’t going to let the flu stop him. It was delicious but I kept my meal small and couldn’t even eat everything on my plate.

Then it was present time. Liam loved his “digger” from Nana and Bumpa. He pretty much sat on it while we opened all the presents.

He got a new hat which he wasn’t entirely into keeping on. He also got some new farm animals and a Mickey Mouse from Uncle Blake (he is hugging it in the picture on his “digger”).

Liam had some fun with Blake and also the cane was back so that was a hit again.

My parents loved their canvas print from Judah and Liam. They needed one of the boys so now they have one.

Then it was story time with Bumpa. These boys sure do love their Bumpa.

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We really had a wonderful day even though we weren’t feeling 100%. And we are so thankful that Liam stayed healthy through our sickness.

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I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and were able to cherish your time with friends and family.

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Freezing and fun weekend

This weekend was incredibly cold (-22 degrees on Sunday) and of course we were so busy. I had a lot of things to do but all went well and we had a really great weekend.

FRIDAY

Friday was the beginning of a big snow storm. It started snowing in the afternoon and ended up snowing until late in the night. It was so pretty but didn’t make for the best driving conditions. Slow and steady!

I didn’t have to work Friday and Joe ended up hitting a deer on his way to work so we both ended up being home. Joe spent most of the morning figuring out insurance and fixing his truck.

He was home in time for lunch which allowed me to go to the gym during Liam’s nap. I was happy to be able to get a good workout in before the weekend.

After Liam went to bed I went out with my friends Molly, Tyler, and Adam. We had a good night chatting and playing darts.

SATURDAY

This was a really busy day for me. There was a lot of snow when we woke up so Joe plowed the driveway early in the morning.

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I decided I was going to the gym. I was supposed to teach Zumba but with the snow I wasn’t sure anyone would show up. Nobody did except Molly so we did a shorter Zumba class.

Then it was quick home to shower and head to my mom’s for our annual cookie bake. Liam yelled for his “bumpa” as soon as we got there.

Liam was able to make some cut outs with Grandma.

Of course Grandma gave him a cookie to try and he loved it. He was nice enough to share with me too.

I had to get some cute Christmas pictures by the tree too.

We had to leave before Liam’s cousins made it to make more cookies. They did a good job finishing up the sugar cookies though!

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We went home to put Liam down for his nap and then I had to finish getting ready. My friend Adam’s mom passed away and I went to her visitation at 1. It was very sad and my heart goes out to the entire Nirmaier family. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Then I had to go back home to finish getting ready for Joe’s holiday work party. He got dressed up fancy and headed to Minneapolis after dropping Liam off for a sleep over at Joe’s parent’s house.

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Minneapolis at night is so pretty. I just love looking at the big city.

We went to Ruth’s Chris Steak house for pre party appetizers and drinks with Joe’s work department. I was able to meet the people he works with and socialize.

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Then it was off to the Hilton for the party. The venue was beautiful and there were so many appetizers. Everything was so fancy.

Then it was time for dinner. We both had steak and lobster as the main course and it was so good.

I even had some coffee post dinner. I also tried the dessert. It wasn’t my favorite but it sure looked pretty.

After dinner there were several people who spoke and then mentalist Oz Pearlman who was on America’s got talent in 2015 (and took 3rd) performed. He was incredible and so hard to believe how good he was.

Then we decided to head home. It was getting a little late and we had an hour drive. It was definitely nice to sleep in our own bed. It was a very fun evening and a great date night.

SUNDAY

Joe and I were able to sleep in since Liam was at Joe’s parent’s house. It was nice to get a few extra hours since we were out late. Once we were up we were ready to get our little man. We headed out in the freezing weather to bring him home.

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We decided to go back to his parent’s house to watch the Packer game and have dinner. (Liam is eating a banana and loves to take huge bites haha).

Then it was back out in the cold to head home for the evening. It was nice to be home and settle down a little before starting the week again.

It was another busy weekend but it was spent with the best people! Have a great week!

Cold winter weekend

We had a pretty low key weekend. The weather was cold and snowy and we spent a lot of time inside relaxing. Liam started to get a cough and runny nose so we ended up taking it pretty easy.

FRIDAY

My daycare was closed so Liam ended up spending the day at my mom’s while Joe and I were are work. When did he become so independent??

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After work we had Liam’s cousin Kameryn over for a sleepover. She was so excited. We had spaghetti for dinner, play time, and then after Liam went to bed we had popcorn for a snack.

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We had some fun with snapchat too.

Joe went to meet up with some of his guy friends once both kids were asleep so I spent my evening watching Fuller House. That show just makes my heart happy.

SATURDAY

Kameryn got up at 6 so we spent the morning watching cartoons and drinking our morning smoothies/shakes. Liam ended up sleeping until after 8am.

I taught Zumba in the morning and then once I got home Joe had to leave for hockey. Kameryn got picked up a little before 10 and so the rest of the day was just me and Liam.

During Liam’s nap I cleaned and finally finished decorating the Christmas tree.

Joe came home and we spent the rest of the evening relaxing and hanging out. Liam was a little cranky from not feeling well. However he did feel good enough to share his blanket with Marley.

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We watched Gilmore Girls after Liam went to bed and we are on season 7 now so almost done!

SUNDAY

We decided we wanted pancakes for breakfast so I made us gluten free protein pancakes and they were really good! I will share the recipe soon!

Joe decided to plow the driveway and then plow my grandparents driveway in the morning. When he got home I went to the gym to get a workout it (I needed it) and Molly met me there.

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After workout I ran to the new Aldi and it was amazing. I already love Aldi but this one was nice and big and I loved it!

Then it was home the rest of the day. Liam had a really tough day with his cough and not feeling well so Joe and I took turns trying to make him happy.

I made a chicken tortilla soup that was pretty good and made some protein thin mints that were delicious.

Liam got a bath to try to clear his sinuses and then bed time. We watched more Gilmore Girls and called it a night ourselves.

For the most part it was an uneventful weekend but it was good. Now just hoping Liam starts feeling better.

Liam is 15 months old

So since Liam turned 1 year old I felt monthly updates were not necessary however he has grown and learned so much since then! He has a big personality, gentle heart, and is all boy that is for sure! There is a lot to say about his development so this is a long post! Below is Liam at exactly 12 months and this morning at exactly 15 months.

Growth/health
Liam had his 15 month check up today and is doing great! He weighs 22.2 lbs (40%) and is 30.5 inches (25%) tall. His head is 46.5 cm (41%). He is continuing to grow and is staying for the most part really healthy.

In this past 3 months we did have our first battle with an ear infection. He got it right before Thanksgiving and was put on his first antibiotics (insert sad emoji here). He bounced right back though.

Sleep
Liam has been sleeping through the night from around 7-7:30 bedtime and will sleep until anywhere between 5:30-7am. When he wakes up he lays quietly and waits for someone to come get him (we don’t let him get out of bed until 6am at the earliest).

Language
Liam can say many words now. He also has his moments where he will repeat anything you say but he decides when. He says mama, dada, grandma (nana), grandpa (bumpa), Marley, milk, blankie, nigh-nigh, bye, hi, hello, Annie (na-nie —he thinks everyone is Annie lol), spoon, big buck, banana, Joel or Joe, uh-oh, no, thank you, eye, nose, cheers, and I’m sure so much more that I am missing! He says some other things kind of unclearly but we as his parents understand him most of the time. Some of those words include book, diaper, bubbles, snack, bird, and more. I truly am running a blank on all the things he says!

Liam has also mastered many animal sounds, especially farm animals. Joe taught him what an elk says as well and he is good at that!

Movement
Liam is running all over the place. He is unstoppable and so fast. He can climb, bend over, walk backwards, go up the stairs and down (supervised). He gets on his tippy toes to reach things he shouldn’t and loves crawling under the dining room table.

Liam can wave bye and hi, blow kisses, clap, stomp, kick, “jump,” dance, spin, give high five, give knuckles (pound), point, throw, and I’m sure there is more. His new trick is the spinning round and round. It’s so cute.

Food
When Liam turned 1 he switched to whole milk and the transition went smoothly. We mixed half breast milk half whole milk for a few days and then went to straight whole milk. He had no reaction to it at all. We also ditched the bottle when Liam turned 1. Liam has been drinking from a sippy cup since then. The transition to that was really easy as well. Once we switch to the sippy cup we also decided no more milk right before bed (just at dinner time and that was it for the evening). Again to my surprise this didn’t phase Liam at all (as I thought he might wake up earlier because he was hungry) and he actually slept better than he has been.

Liam is a great eater most of the time. He love bananas and would have one every meal if it were up to him. We have learned if we give him his vegetables first he will eat them. He pretty much loves any food he is given and we do our best to make sure he gets vegetables, fruit, and protein in each meal. He now insists on having a fork or spoon with his meal and does not want help using it. He is pretty good with it though!

Teeth
Liam now has 6 teeth (3 on top and 3 on bottom). He had 4 teeth for the longest time and in the last month gained 2 more! He has been drooling like crazy so I am guessing there are more to come.

Loves:

  • being outside (when it isn’t too cold)
  • spending time with his dad
  • spending time with either of his grandpas (they are his favorite!)
  • being around other kids
  • sucking on his swaddle blanket
  • cooking in his play kitchen -stirring
  • pretend driving cars
  • running all over the place
  • playing with his hockey stick
  • being chased by or “getting” his mom and dad
  • reading books
  • throwing things down the stairs
  • bath time
  • Marley

Dislikes:

  • getting his face wiped
  • mom picking his nose or ears
  • waiting for his food
  • being told “no”
  • sitting still
  • seeing Santa
  • snow

I’m sure there is so much more that I could share about everything Liam has learned and is doing from the past 3 months but this is what comes to mind right now. It is amazing how fast this little man is growing and learning.

Cranberry and Pomegranate Bruschetta

I found a super yummy recipe on Pinterest that I made for thanksgiving that I have to share! It is super easy to make and doesn’t take too many ingredients. It was a huge hit at my thanksgiving and was requested that I bring it to Christmas as well!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh (or frozen) cranberries, washed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Serrano pepper (more if you like spicy, less if not)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4-1 cup pomegranate arils or seeds (reserve a few for garnish)
  • finely chopped fresh basil for garnish
  • cream cheese (low fat, softened)
  • crackers of your choice

Directions:

  1. Place the cranberries, sugar, and Serrano pepper in a food processor (I removed the seeds from the pepper first)
  2. Pulse on and off several times until the cranberries are coarsely chopped. Don’t over-process.
  3. Add basil and pulse a few more times. Not too much, you want the basil bits to be visible in the relish.
  4. Transfer to a storage container and add pomegranate arils.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until ready to use.
  6. Place cream cheese on a serving dish and spoon relish over the top until desired amount is covering the cream cheese.
  7. Garnish with extra pomegranate and basil on top.
  8. Enjoy over your choice of cracker.

**I advise halving the relish ingredients because I ended up with lots of leftovers.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I did. It is bursting with so much flavor that it is hard to stop eating it once you have started. ENJOY!

This recipe was adapted from: Andrea Tabler at Tabler Party of Two

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas 2016

This weekend was an unexpectedly busy one but was also a lot of fun. We were able to get a lot done and spend time with family.

FRIDAY

Joe’s hockey team had a game right after work so I picked up Liam and we spent the evening together. Liam was quite cranky (I blame his teeth!) so I had to get creative to keep him happy. Snapchat always seems to do the trick (at least for a little while)! Then it was bath time and bed time for the tired and cranky boy.

Joe got home and we watched some Netflix and headed to bed.

SATURDAY

Joe and I woke up and had some coffee and watched a little TV while we waited for Liam to wake up. Liam slept until almost 8am! I got to see him just as I was heading out the door to teach Zumba.

After Zumba I had to take a quick shower and get ready because we were going to get our Christmas tree. We had to take a family picture before heading out.

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Also, Liam was being such a love bug when I was taking pictures with him. So cute!

My parents met at our house at 10am and we headed to go pick out and cut down our Christmas tree. Since it has been warm and wet the tree farm paths were so muddy. We were lucky to have a truck. We drove around and found the perfect spot to pick out the tree we wanted.

We walked around a little bit but we liked the first one we saw and my parents found one close by as well.

We took family pictures in front of our perfect 2016 Christmas trees.

Of course we bring a chainsaw to cut down the tree… Liam was pretty entertained by it.

We loaded up the trees in the back of the truck and went to pay and head home to set it up.

 

Once we got home it was time for Liam’s lunch and then nap time. Then it was time for me to go shopping with Joe’s mom. I need a cocktail dress for Joe’s work party and she was helping me pick one out. I ended up finding the perfect fun dress and matching shoes. I can’t wait to wear it!

I didn’t get home from shopping until after 4pm. Then we had my parents over for pizza and the Badger football game. It was a great first half. My parents left at halftime and I was exhausted and ended up falling asleep on the couch and then moving to the bed a little after that. Unfortunately the second half of the game wasn’t as good as the first.

SUNDAY

Joe decided to go hunting in the morning so me and the little man snuggled. As it got lighter outside I realized it had snowed and was still snowing! Liam was not excited about it at all. I showed him the snow and he cried.

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Then Joe’s parents wanted to do Christmas pictures with the grandchildren and then brunch. We were able to get one really good picture out of the 20 some we took. We had a good brunch and Liam ate like a champ!

Then it was nap time for Liam and time for me and Joe to do some work around the house. Joe plowed the driveway while I put some lights on the tree. We watched some of the Packer football game as well.

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Joe’s hockey team had a game at 2:30 which was a decent enough time that Liam could finally go. We had to wake him up from his nap but he woke up in a good mood. We headed to the rink and Liam was happy about it. It was Liam’s first hockey game that he was able to know what was going on  (he went to one when he was tiny!).

Liam was so interested in everything that was happening. Especially watching the Zamboni. He sat on my lap almost the entire game which is crazy for my super active little guy. Towards the end he stood up and walked around a little bit.

Then it was home to make some chili and relax the rest of the evening. I’m so happy with how our Christmas lights look at night from the outside. So pretty!

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I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and have a great week ahead. It is supposed to get chilly so bundle up and stay warm!

Thanksgiving 2016

We have so much to be thankful for this year. We are truly blessed to have the family and friends we do. We are thankful for our jobs, our home, and the food we are able to put on the table. We are thankful for our little family and all the love and kindness of those around us.

 

Our thanksgiving break didn’t start out like we expected. We ended up with a trip to the doctor to find out Liam had an ear infection. Thankfully we were able to get him an appt and get him on some medicine so he could start feeling better.

Bright and early Thursday morning my friend Molly and I taught a 90-minute Zumba-strength circuit-country heat class. It felt great to get a good workout in before the big meal!

After that it was time to get ready and prep my dishes I was bringing. My mom always hosts Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday because all the family gets together just to eat and spend time with one another. I love it! Our meal was scheduled for 2pm which is during Liam’s nap so Liam and I headed over at 12 to put him down for nap there while I finished my food prep. Joe met us there around 1.

I made this super yummy cranberry and pomegranate bruschetta over cream cheese to spread on crackers. I will post a recipe another time but let me tell you it was delicious! I also make the green bean casserole. My grandma on my dad’s side always made it and since she passed I am now in charge. It was also a huge hit.

I do not like my food to touch and I was also trying to watch my portions this year so below is a picture of my food. People the struggle is real! haha! Don’t worry I definitely indulged in some pie later in the day….maybe a couple times… 🙂

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Liam woke up from his nap and was ready for his Thanksgiving dinner. He seemed to really enjoy all the options.

Liam enjoyed his time playing with his cousins. It was so cute now that all 3 of them can walk and talk. It’s adorable watching the kids play.

The extended family left and it was just my immediate family (and our spouses and kids) left. It was nice to enjoy the extra time with family. We even ended up making a few massage trains. We love massages and massage trains are awesome! Also, my nieces are so pretty!

We went home in time for Liam to go to bed and for Joe and me to enjoy a relaxing evening together watching Netflix.

I know this post is late but I really hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving!