{on the menu}

So what is everyone planning on doing this weekend?  Tomorrow I have an exciting Maternity shoot then the rest of the weekend I will be using this baby's stock I made today.  Baby's stock is used in recipes for baby food in place of water,  and is packed with loads of nutrients.  Also,  it's super easy to make which is always a plus in my book!  Hopefully I'll be able to get a freezer full {or at least a couple weeks worth} of baby food out of it for Miss Pepper Mae.

Literally,  all you do it bring 6 spears of asparagus,  a leek, and 1/2 a sweet potato to boil in 1 1/2 cups of water.  Then,  lower the heat to a simmer for about an hour.  Lastly you strain out the liquid,  and there you go!  Use it in any recipe in place of water,  or even put it in the sippie cup!  It keeps for 3 days in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer.  

What do you do with all those leftover veggies you might ask?  Well,  you blend them in the food processor and feed them to your youngster!

What is a blog post without a picture of the inspiration for this blog... enjoying her vegetable medley and prune puree!  Next,  I will post {time willing} what tasty dishes I use this baby's stock in.  


{P is for "Pepper Mae"}

So,  someone names their child Pepper Mae and you can't help but wonder to yourself where it came from.  This is my attempt to help explain to anyone who cares {or doesn't care} to know why we named our daughter what we did.  

Well.. truthfully, I have no idea.  Sorry to disappoint.  We honestly just liked the name!  The only way I can possibly help you, is to tell you what her name didn't come from.  Here you go...

  • Pepper Mae didn't come from my childhood cat {still alive} who also carries the name Pepper.  Who names their first born child after their childhood cat?  We certainly don't.  I do realize it could seem that way.  Realize we aren't sitting around for the very old cat Pepper do die {whom is checked regularly for breathing or movement},  but we also don't want our child to get to the point she realizes my mom has a cat with her same name... that would be confusing.  What do ya do.

  • Pepper Mae wasn't named after the former New York Giants linebacker {and football legend} Pepper Johnson.  I do realize he was a key player for the Giants for many years,  and my husband would consider himself the number 1 Giants fan, but this is not where her name came from.  Although,  months after she was born,  Joe revealed to me the only reason he agreed to the name was in fact because of this player. 

I can tell you that Mae,  is a family name for a very loved late aunt on Joe's side of the family.

I hope this helps you have a better understanding of Miss Pepper Mae's name.  It all comes down to we just liked it... and now that she's hear,  we just LOVE her.


{a crafty easter}

So out of the 50 projects I wanted to get done this Easter,  I ended up just doing these two!  The top pictures show the wooden eggs I stained instead of doing real Easter eggs.  I plan on decorating a couple with some paint details and writing the date on one so we remember what year it's from.  From now on,  every year we will dye wooden eggs and decorate them!  Hopefully,  next Easter Pepper Mae can be part of the fun!  

For the dye:  I used regular McCormick food coloring in just boiled water.  I used a mixture of the neon and regular dye colors to get the right shade (mainly guessing as I went along),  and plopped the eggs into the bowls for 30 minutes some longer (agitating often).  There was a bowl for each egg color.  Then,  let them dry overnight.  I love love love how they turned out!

Next,  is the infamous wooden containers I have been planning on growing grass in for over a year.  Well,  I did grow some grass in them once,  but it didn't turn out how I wanted it so I let it die.  The first attempt a year ago,  I tried Rye grass.  It grew great but the texture was very fine and no matter how many haircuts it got it didn't have the structured look I was going for.  So this year,  I did Wheat grass... and it turned out lovely!  I didn't start growing it until a week ago and look how much it's grown in such a little time!  The blades are much thicker and it has a much better structure to it.  Also,  I painted the containers teal (what did you expect?) and it makes a good contrast against the bright green grass.  

To make the wooden boxes:  All I did was get some 1x8's and cut them down to the box dimensions I came up with.  Then all you need is some nails and wood glue.  I did a thick plastic liner inside the boxes to protect the wood from the dirt and water.

For the Wheat grass:  All you do is place some aggregate at the bottom of the container to help with draining (if yours doesn't have drain holes as well),  then fill it with dirt leaving around an inch at the top.  Sprinkle the grass seeds right on top of the dirt very dense so there is little dirt showing through,  and water.  I use a spray bottle with water in it to keep the seeds moist throughout the day.  Works like a charm! 


{rub a dub dub in the... puddles?}

So,  I saw this girl's blog the other day and she had gone around and taken pictures of a bunch of rubber duckies in the rain puddles in the city.  It was so cute!  Well,  I didn't have a bunch of rubber duckies and I don't live in the city... but here is the suburban version!  They really have no point other than being kinda cute and somewhat amusing.  And yes,  our lawn turns into quite the river after it rains.  I think the neighbors might think I'm crazy... oh well!  (freakin' Larry)  Hope they make you smile!


{ daddy kisses }

I couldn't help but post this in a series,  she is just so stinkin' adorable!  She was in a very "kissy" mood this afternoon and couldn't stop sharing the love with her daddy.  This just makes me smile.  I love how she closes her eyes for the kiss, a detail I never would have noticed without looking through the pictures! 

Look who can pull herself up on her knees!  When 7 months comes along they almost start doing new things everyday! This means having the camera handy... though toting a 50 pound camera around the house is no easy task!  She is so proud of herself when she does this.  Love her.


{tooth fairy & cute pajamas}

What the heck do I feel in my mouth!?


So,  like I said in a previous post,  the Tooth Fairy has come to visit Ms. Pepper Mae!  I must say she's been quite clingy the past few days,  and constantly rubs her tongue back and forth wondering what the heck she feels in her mouth!  

Babies always have such adorable pajamas... it's a shame their crib is the only thing that sees them,  so here are some pics of hers.  


{mess and more mess}

The Mess

The Angel

Where's my food Ma?
The top picture is what I have to stare at,  everyday.  Well,  I don't stand there and stare... but every time I go into the kitchen it's haunting me.  All the baby bottles, bowls, spoons, warmer, food maker... and the list goes on.  Seriously,  I would pay someone to help me figure out to solve the clutter problem and get it all hidden!  Being a self proclaimed minimalist,  it's definitely driving me  c - r - a - z - y.

BUT... this Angel is totally worth the mess!


updates {and probably more than you care to know}

So, our little pepper Mae is 7 month old now! Who knew keeping a family blog and on top of that a photo blog would be so difficult. If you read this, sorry for the lack of updates! I'm going to try to get back in the groove of it.

Honestly, I wish I had kept up with this because I don't remember the past 3 months! I guess the most important milestone (in my opinion) is her recently starting sleeping through the night. For a while there she was getting up around 4am every night to eat then going back to sleep until 8am. Joe and I went through a dilemma for a bit on weather to "let her cry", and after 3 days of torture and her never letting up, we decided it wasn't for her and haven't let her cry since. Don't get me wrong, it's right for some babies and works well, but not for this child! I feel like the motherly instinct to go in when a baby cries is there for a reason. Anyways, I knew she would eventually stop wanting the 4am feeding, and she did! Also, she takes 2 awesome naps a day now and we are in heaven. If only Joe and I could go to bed earlier we would be doing good!

Here are some other notable things Pepper Mae does:

-- sits up without any support
-- she's a pro and rolling from her back to her stomach. This was all practiced at night in her crib... never during the day. She's a peculiar little thing. But apparently, she has been wanting to sleep on her stomach since about 4 months and the poor thing just couldn't get on it. She sleeps on her stomach all night now... like a rock!
-- she's eating pears, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal. We are trying other foods but she is reluctant. (homemade by her mommma!)
-- she says "baba..." and two days ago started to say "dada...".
--she does this funny thing when she gets excited. She opens her mouth and breaths in and out really fast over and over. It's hilarious. My sister has a video... maybe one day she will post it!
--she used to kinda just shake things that make noise, and recently she has learned to, what I call, "shake the crap" out of things, haha! It's also very amusing.
--her favorite toy is Dakota... whom has to this day rarely acknowledges her (only when Pepper Mae has spit up on her shirt, Dakota is there in a second... gross!)
--she has recently started "practicing" getting up on her knees while she is sleeping. Again, so peculiar. She gets up on her knees and sleeps that way all night but doesn't do it during the day in front of anyone!
-- this is my favorite thing,  she has started openly giving "kisses".  One day I was holding her and she turned her head,  looked me straight in the eyes,  and laid a big one on me!  Then a few days later my mom was holding her and she laid one on her cheek a couple times in a row.  Now she pretty much gives them openly when she wants to spread the love.  I guess she figures we have been kissing her for 7 months now so she has decided to pitch in.  SO SWEET!
--lastly, she is getting a bottom tooth in! This morning Joe noticed a little white pointy thing on her gum, and it is a tooth...so exciting!

We have been preparing for Easter for months and it's still a few weeks away.  She has at least 3 options for easter outfits,  and an Easter basket with a soon to be engraved liner reading "Pepper Mae" in teal.  I also have plans to grow some Wheat grass in containers and use real dyed hollowed out egg shells to put candy in (not for her,  of course!).  Her and Jackson also have been coordinated for Easter pictures (big surprise!) ha.  I'm sure I will post those when we take them.

Thats really all I can think of for right now,  plus the Teen Mom 2 reunion is recording and of course I can't miss that!  More soon!