Thursday, August 30, 2012

Birthday Wish List

Eleven years and four days ago Daniel turned 16. Always a character, this is the list he compiled, printed, and distributed to his parents. 

Take a looksie, and laugh. I did.:D

Daniel Franklin Wells III List of Expected Gifts in Celebration of his Sweet Sixteen Year on Planet Earth

(C) 2001 Daniel Franklin Wells III List of Expected Gifts in Celebration of his Sweet Sixteen Year on
Planet Earth PRODUCTIONS! Associated with Simply the Best Cheeseburgers at McDonalds!
"What you want is what you get! At Mcdonalds today!" :)

1.Tuba Mouth Piece
2.Tuba or Band t-shirts
3.Clothes (Yellow and black)
4.Christian Books (Non-Fictional)
5.Left Behind Kids Series books
6.Christian CDs (Praise and Worship Albums)
7.Skittles and Coke
8.Custom Made Football Jersey
NAME: Little Red
Number: 7
Bucs Jersey
9.REAL NFL Jerseys
-Kurt Warner
-Peyton Manning
-New Alstott jersey

Finding lists like these is a plus to packing up boxes in his childhood home. :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Out-of-state-traveling, family-visiting, 



old-friend-seeing, new-friend-meeting, good-friend-keeping,

church-planting, business-planning, 

bottom-tooth-teething, back-to-belly-rolling, head-hair-growing,

baby-signing, solid-food-eating,

Victor-Hugo-reading, daily-gym-going, 

and loving, loving, loving.

It's just life around here lately.

I'll blog again soon, I promise. Just for kicks, here are some sweet[straight-from-the-camera-amazing] photos Ashley took of Ralphie during our latest visit. <3

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sweet Sleep

There's just something about a sleeping babe ...

Precious, precious, precious. Especially when it's your own.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Buh-Bye Daddy...

... we're gonna miss you bunches.

Always hate when Daniel has to leave. I try to come up with a hundred extra things to do with myself so I don't think about him being gone so much. I'm extra thankful for Ralphie, [coughs] and Zoe, when I'm home alone. Someone to talk to and play with!

This week Daniel's helping his mom move out of her home in Florida, then next week we'll head up to Ohio to help her move into her new home there, with a short detour to Michigan to see my family. Exciting stuff! Thankful my husband has a schedule flexible enough to allow him to help family when he needs to. 

Planning to [Finally!] finish the nursery, which means making the crib skirt, visit and talk to some friends, have a girls movie night, make up some fresh bread for the freezer and read, read, read.

Here's a bit o' every day life at our house:

"O, hi mama!"

staring contest. ;)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ralphie | 6 Month Portraits

I am using every excuse I can to both use my camera and take pictures of my sweet boy. 6 months seemed like a very reasonable excuse to take some extra pictures.

So, here is my sweet boy. A little more serious than he was at 5 months, and certainly more observant.

I put this one in just for the killer drool. ;)

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
Your works are wonderful. I know that full well." - Psalm 139:14

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ralphie is 6 Months Old!

Half a year. Where did time go?

My Handsome Boy,

You are a delight. These six months have been a joy. I go to bed at night and feel blessed to be your mama.

You coo and babble nearly all day long. You talk to your toys, and to your hands, and to Zoe.

You and Zoe have really become friends this past month. She plays with your hands and feet, and you watch her, all curious.

You are so strong. You can stand yourself up on your own when we hold your hands, and are getting closer and closer to sitting every day. You rolled from your back to your belly this month, too. You scoot yourself all around, somehow. We don't really know exactly how you do it, but one minute you'll be in the center of your mat with your head toward us, and the next you will be on the other side, turned around completely!

You are ticklish. It is adorable.

I have to admit, I'm a little sad about this birthday. I've been very reminiscent of the days when you were teeny tiny. It's bittersweet to see you grow. But, I am so thankful that you do, and that you are healthy!

You are friendly and smiley when people say "Hi" to you. You have started grabbing faces with both hands. It is really darling.

I am trying to teach you "kiss." For now, you just think it gives you license to chew on something else, but I think you'll get it soon.

Before you turn seven months we'll probably start you on some solid food. It'll be exciting! You reach for our plates, grab at our forks, and gawk at food when it is in front of you. Last Sunday, during communion, you nearly spilled a whole glass of wine all over yourself (and me!) because you grabbed for it so quickly!

You are a sweet, sweet boy, full of smiles and giggles. You are a good sleeper, a good eater, and over all content.

Daddy and I love you to pieces. We love you even more than last month.

Love, Mama

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Homemade Strawberry Vinaigrette

There was a point where I ate this every day for lunch. I couldn't get sick of it. For awhile I switched it out for the green smoothies, but the other day I let it reappear on my plate. O, it was yummy.

Spinach (lettuce in the pictures, though), pecans, fresh strawberries, feta, a hard boiled egg and some cranberries. Piled high, drizzled with sweet strawberry dressing.

For the dressing I took 1/4 olive oil, 1/4 balsamic, 1 Tbsp honey and pureed about 4 strawberries. I salted and added more honey, more vinegar, as I thought I needed it. Next time, I'm trying raspberries. It was enough for about 4 salads.

Summery, healthful and tasty!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Top Baby Items

As Ralphie's 6 Month Birthday approaches (!!!) I've been thinking about all the baby stuff we have, what we love, and what's just OK.

So here is my Top 12 List of "essentials" to get any mama through the first 6 months. Of course they're not all necessities, but I was thankful for each item on this list.

12. A good car seat

I love our Chicco Keyfit 30 in Limonata. It has a super snug and secure fit, even coming home from the hospital at 6 pounds. The padded head cushion moves up as baby grows. Only complaint is that the visor isn't quite long enough to really block the sun. I love the sleek look of this carseat, too. It's not ridiculously bulky. 

11. Bouncy Seat

An oldie, but a goodie. I love that this "toy" can move to wherever I am. The particular one that we got is really cozy, but the toys are not that interesting... still, very useful.Planning to use this as a high chair when we introduce solids next month, too!

10. "Neuron Stimulator"/ Floor Mat

Definitely the most-loved "toy" we have. Great for tummy time, and endless hours of entertainment. It was especially adorable when he realized he could play with all the things hanging above him.

9. Amber Teething Necklace

Amber, when warmed against the skin, works as an anti-inflammatory pain reliever, helping to reduce the effects of teething naturally. No dyes, so syrups, no high fructose corn syrup. Sold? I was. We'll see how they work when his little toothers are ready to pop through. In the meantime, I still try to keep it on him, because it's supposed to reduce drool, and boost immunity. Definitely worth the average $20 retail.

8. Glider 

Just get one. Your new-mama-nursing-back will thank you. So comfy, especially at 3am.

7. Puj Tub 

I love, love, love our Puj Tub! It opens in a snap, and cleans in a jiffy. There's no huge tub to fill, or store. It hangs easy, peasy on a hook in your bathroom. When he was little we used the bathroom sink. And although the box does not recommend this, I use it in the kitchen sink now (he was pushing himself out of the bathroom sink). It really is fabulous. And now they're making them in pretty, fresh colors! Get one. You'll love it.

6. Cloth Diapers

The average disposable diaper takes at least 200 years to decompose (I thought it was 90, but checked my facts and was SHOCKED.) Disposables have harsh toxins that are linked to cancer, and cost an average of $1000-$1600 per child per year, depending on the brand and frequency of change. Cloth diapers are used up to 200 times on multiple babies before they can be used for cleaning rags. They contain no harsh chemicals or toxins, and cost $100-$1000 from birth to potty depending on the brand and style you choose. These facts sold us. We LOVE all of our cloth diapers. I plan to post more about them later, so stay tuned if you're interested.

5. Bumbleride Indie

**drolls** It pushes through grass, sand, gravel and dirt like butter. It's cute, weighs only 20 pounds, and is safe for baby from birth til 45 pounds. It's the stroller of all strollers.

4. Aden and Anais Swaddle Blankets

These things are SO wonderful. Large and lightweight, they are perfect for swaddling, cuddling, and nursing. Ralphie is already attached to his. 

3. Moby Wrap

We love our Moby Wrap. There are so many slings and baby carriers out there, I honestly didn't even look into all of them too much. I just liked the Moby because of all the different ways you can carry the baby in it, and I had at least one friend who raved about it. :) After six months of use, I can say it was a fabulous choice. I've used it at church, community group, the library; in the airport, restaurants and grocery stores; while shopping, cooking and cleaning. Arms free, baby happy! 

2. Boppy Pillow

This goes along with the glider. You wouldn't guess that nursing a tiny newborn can be hard on your back, but it is! I still prefer to use it while nursing, just because it supports his body so well, and keeps my hands free. It also doubles as a tummy time pillow, photo prop, and sitting assistant!
1.Baby Wise

Our Number #1 baby item cost us .50 cents. We can't begin to say of thankful we are for the principles in this book! Ralphie is not the best-case Baby Wise Baby, but I like to think he is at least an example of how a little can go a long way. He knows how to sleep, and will sleep, just about anywhere. He can sleep through anything, and soothe himself back to sleep if he does wake. His naps and feedings are predictable, giving me freedom to meet friends, go shopping, or go to the gym at consistent times each day.
We haven't taken everything in this book. I, especially, have been "softer" than Dr. Ezzo probably would have liked. But I am my baby's mother, after all.
What we have loved is the security and consistency that it has given Ralphie, and the healthy, happy, content baby he is because of a healthy sleep schedule. 9 times out of 10 he wakes from sleep cooing and smiling. What parent doesn't want that?!
I could go on and on for paragraphs. Tell you our whole story, the ups and downs, and all the victories ... but I'll stop at this: Are you exhuasted? Is your baby grumpy? Do you feel stretched to your limits day after day? Get Baby Wise. It'll change your life. Guaranteed.