31 October 2014

Howdy Halloween

Yee Haw! There's a cute new sheriff in town. Our little cowboy rode in to our battalion trunk or treat last night, but we had to giddy-up on home after only 15 minutes because it was 24 degrees outside! Don't worry, he was layered and wore mittens.

Now, we aren't the type to spend lots of $$ on a baby outfit that is only worn for a day. And I'm sure my DIY bug will kick in hard when Eli is older. But this year, we had no real plans for his costume….Until I remembered something in one of our hand-me-down tubs! And Aunt Kari had given Eli these rootin-tootin' boots. So, I went out a couple of days ago and somehow found this perfect hat! I mean, it was pink, but nothing a little spray paint couldn't handle. Hubs even sacrificed a shoestring for a secure fit. And this costume is obviously not complete without a stand-alone stache. Best $7 get-up in the west!

I also found a funny saddle suit for Jessie for $2 to match. But, the package lied, and it was way too big for Eli's trusty steed.

The original plan was for Eli to be a tiny football player because he already had a jersey. I found this $3 referee shirt for Jessie at Target weeks ago, and Hubs has a whistle. So, since this pair wasn't equipped for the below freezing weather, this is what they wore to hand out candy on halloween night.

Also, just in case you think these two are perfect little models all the time, below is a much better representation of our photo shoots. I sort through quite a bit of these (below) to get any of those (above) haha! 

Happy Halloween!

30 October 2014

Breakfast Burritos

I'm not a morning gal. To the few of you who read my blog, this isn't news. And because my people are the most important, I'm always looking for short cuts with everything else. So, when my anti-a.m. self was met by motherhood, I needed a quick fix. 

Having a Baby + Breastfeeding = Waking Up Exhausted + Starving 
Solution?? Breakfast Burritos!!

I had purchased all the ingredients, but was putting off making these bad boys because I assumed it was going to be a long messy process. But I finally bit the burrito bullet and was surprised by how quickly I had breakfast for both Hubs and me for a whole week!

You will need:
1 carton (12) eggs
1 package of Jimmy Dean sausage
1 green pepper
1 bottle of salsa
1 bag of shredded cheese
12 tortillas

Basically, you can change/add to/omit any of the ingredients above. Use bacon instead of sausage, perhaps. Or add spinach and feta instead of green pepper and salsa. You can almost make these burritos any way you want. 
(We like our food spicy hot. I buy the hot sausage, the hot salsa, and I added cilantro, crushed red pepper, and Tabasco to the eggs.) 

Brown the sausage and add diced peppers. Put aside in a spare bowl. 

Scramble all 12 eggs in same pan that you used for the sausage and peppers. When eggs are done, add sausage and peppers back to the pan and mix. Let cool completely.
Next step is to stuff the burritos. I cut 12 foils and tore 12 paper towels. Layer on a plate in this order: one foil, one paper towel, one tortilla, add egg and sausage mix, then top with cheese and a healthy dose of salsa. (We omitted the cheese because Hubs had eaten it all in the fews days between the grocery run and making these.) 
Tip: fold in the sides first, as pictured. This theoretically keeps the stuffing in the tortilla. Then roll the burrito. Roll it up in the paper towel, then roll that up in the foil. The foil helps the burritos keep longer, (or so I read). This recipe can make 12 burritos. I stuck all of them in two freezer bags before freezing. The freezer bags are also a good way to separate and label the burritos if you make more than one ingredient list at a time.  
In the morning, take a burrito out of the freezer and unwrap the foil. Leave the burrito in the paper towel. Microwave for one minute. Turn over and heat another minute. Let sit one more minute before eating. That's it! Meat and eggs in three minutes! These burritos are pretty delicious, and they are totally Husband-Approved. It's a super convenient breakfast that had me feeling full all morning. I can make and eat them half-asleep with one hand. Plus, zero dishes in the sink! Could a nursing mama ask for more? Of course she could! But at least she will be happily full of a healthy-ish, hot breakfast. 

20 October 2014

5 Months Old

Eli is five months old today!

No doctor appointment this month. But our little guy is still…little. He is the same size he has been for a couple of months now, wearing the big 0-3 month clothes and the small 3-6 month clothes. But he moved up a size in diapers, so I'm pretty sure he is in a spurt of growing longer. I'm just hoping he learns how to sit up by himself before growing completely out of his baby bathtub. That might be a tall order though, because he is a little top heavy. He hasn't gotten much fatter, but his head keeps getting bigger. He is also growing more hair and has grown two teeth! It has been hard work, and he has had some major grumpster moments this month. But overall, he is a happy baby. We still offer a pacifier when he's really tired or grumpy. He'll gnaw on it a little, but usually doesn't want it, so I bought a few new teething toys that he likes better. When he's sleepy, he sucks his thumb. This month, he's mostly chewed on his hands and fingers. The amount of drool a teething baby produces is unbelievable. His giggles are still selective but more frequent. Most of the time they are at his dad. He thinks Hubs is hilarious! Jessie got him to giggle the other day too. It was so sweet. I'm thinking they are gonna be best buds. Eli is still talking and squealing about the same amount. His hand-eye coordination has developed quite a bit in the past month. He is able to reach out, pull objects towards him, and can get them in and out of his mouth easily if they are the right shape. He reaches for me when his dad is holding him and reaches for dad when I'm holding him. He likes to get ahold of those feet. He swings his arms and kicks his legs so hard when he gets excited. Eli isn't crawling yet but has the rolling thing down and is starting to scoot some. He always ends up in this one corner of the crib. Even though I lay him down on his back every time, he flips to his front almost immediately. He is starting to sleep a little bit better. He is still up at least once a night, sometimes more. He is so alert that he gets distracted during daytime meals and has to make up for it at night. But he is falling asleep easily, and I have finally found the formula for nap time, thank the LORD! I am still one tired momma, but it seems the four-month regression is starting to slow...maybe. I am loving this super cute age and watching Eli learn new stuff everyday!

I couldn't decide…some here's a couple more of this cutie:

19 October 2014

Matanuska Glacier

Yesterday, we loaded up and drove north. Walking on this glacier has been on our to-do list for months. Our first glimpse of this majestic ice lake was over one year ago on the last leg of our road-trip-move from Tok to Anchorage, and we learned it was accessible in shoes this summer. So, I've been checking the weather for the last few weekends, and we finally got a decently clear day before ice hit the roads. Hubs has wanted to go so badly, he opted out of watching the Bama vs Texas A&M game to go. The drive up through Palmer and into the mountains took us a little over an hour each way and is an adventure in itself. Jessie got sick on the bumpy dirt road off the main highway that offers the glacier access, but she rallied and had a blast exploring. A run-down gift shop manages the gate to the parking lot that overlooks the glacier. We trekked down through a bunch of wet sludge to a couple of picnic tables signifying that we were officially walking on a glacier. So cool…pun intended! 

13 October 2014

South Fork & McHugh Trail

We went on a couple of great hikes a last month before Kari came to visit. Just wanted to share some pictures. 

South Fork (9/6)
Our hike at South Fork was on the first chill of the season, the first weekend in September. We originally had anniversary plans to stay at Alyeska Resort, hike and ride the tram, but due to poor weather forecast, we cancelled. We decided we would rather sleep in our own bed for free if we couldn't enjoy the hotel grounds. So instead of driving south, we headed north. Hubs had hiked one of the summits of South Fork with his dad and wanted to bring me here anyways. The thick fog and clouds cleared up a bit later in the day, and it ended up being a gorgeous hike. Hubs even carried our little guy! He's not super heavy, but the extra weight does make a difference over several miles. My only regret is not being quick enough to snap a pic of a rugged traveller with his alpacas.

McHugh Trail (9/20)
McHugh Trail offered one of the best views yet. We had also come here with Mike but had hiked a different route that day. We took the Rainbow Trail this time. It travelled out of the trees and parallel to the Seward Highway with amazing views of the Turnagain Arm. Some parts were pretty rocky and narrow. Jessie has some serious billy goat skills. Not gonna lie, I got a little freaked out at one point. But I trusted Hubs, and the views were absolutely worth it. We took our time, and Eli made a pit stop on the side of the mountain before we headed back down the trail. The perfect cool weather and warm colors are just one of many reasons why fall is my favorite! 

I loved looking back on these hikes because this whole weekend has been gray, dreary, wet, and cold! Winter is definitely hanging over our heads, waiting to descend on us for the next 5-6 months. She's already kissed the mountain tops, and those white blankets are falling longer and lower! Autumn in Alaska is short, but, man, is it beautiful.