Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Jackson's 11 Month Update

This is it, folks..

My baby becomes a toddler in less than a month (though he's been acting like one for awhile now).. Why God, why?! We had a deal!! Name that show. Anyway, the invites have been sent, I've started baking (and freezing) birthday treats, and most of the decor has been purchased so I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be for my little guy to turn the big O-N-E.

It's amazing to see just how much Jackson has learned and changed this month.. he is such a smart, outgoing (as long as mommy is nearby), sweet, and funny little guy and I can't wait to see what the coming months--and years--will bring!

Here's what we've been up to this month:
This lasted a whole .5 seconds before he was up and moving around again.. *sigh* (also, ignore the pink eyes :/)
We're going to have to find a new pose/background for pictures after this month.
 Weight: 18 lbs

Length: 29 inches

Nicknames: Jax, Bubbas, Baby, Jacksie, Stinker

Wearing: Some 9 month still fit but mostly 12 month; size 3 diapers

Sleep: Still co-sleeping.. BUT he's been acting like he doesn't like being held by me during the night anymore (which I take as a sign of him being ready to sleep on his own--I'm just not sure if I'm ready!).

Jax likes: Brushing his teeth, kitties, his cousins, Nana, Grammy & Grandpa, Aunt Britney, "talking", Family Feud, peek-a-boo, big boy baths, interacting with others, dancing, going for long walks, Elmo, eating big boy foods, cuddling with mommy, when daddy comes home from work, animals, pushing buttons, pulling himself up onto things, clapping, screaming at the top of his lungs, helping dad around the house, drinking water from his sippy cup, playing outside

Jax dislikes: Being sick, strangers, grape flavored Pedialyte, being in the car for too long

Food: Jax is still a really good eater and will eat just about anything we put in front of him (except for overly sweet things.. is he really my child?!); his current favorites are yogurt, snap pea crisps, breads, carrots, Pumpkin O's, black beans, fries, green beans, chocolate, broccoli, and Belvita Breakfast Biscuits.

Mom & Dad's Favorite Things: Watching him learn & try new things, his adorable little laugh, and his sweet hugs and kisses!

Teeth: Still the same four (and the fourth is still just peeking out).. I keep thinking more are coming because he drools like it's his job!

Happenings: Finished shooting House Hunters; first Halloween; visits from Nana, Aunt Britney, and his cousins; lots of playing outside; Grandpa's 51st birthday; and being sick :(.

~Jackson had such a blast when his cousins, Auntie, Uncle, and Nana came to visit! He and his cousin Sara played the entire weekend--Jackson so loved trying to keep up with his older cousins and his cousins were so sweet and patient with him! It was a very fun weekend!

~Jackson had his 3rd haircut a few weeks ago.. I cannot believe how much hair that kid has (and how envious I am of him for it, ha)! Jax wasn't a happy camper about having a stranger so close to him with a razor but all was forgiven when he got a lollipop (his first ever) afterward. 

~ The polar vortex left us trapped inside several days this month but we managed to make do by reading, playing lots of games, and building mommy's new office bookcase. I sure do love our pajama cuddles (ignore the messy bedroom in the background)! 

~My poor baby has been fighting a cold the past couple of weeks (my theory is that he got it from MOPS--those babies love to share drool covered toys!). I finally took him to the Dr. yesterday because his cough was starting to settle in his chest and no amount of steam, liquids, or kisses was helping; it turns out he has a sinus infection and pink eye AGAIN so he's now on antibiotics for both. 

~It's so amazing to watch Jackson grow and learn! This month, he learned how to crawl on his hands and knees (he's been army crawling like a champ for a few months now), sound out a few words (I SWEAR he's saying "hi" when he sees people), new dance moves, and walking while holding onto something for support.

Friday, November 21, 2014

How to Host (Your First) Thanksgiving

As a participant in the Walmart Grocery to Go program, I’ve received a personal invite and payment for my time and efforts in creating this post. As always, all opinions are my own and were in no way influenced by Social Chorus or Walmart.

2014 has been a pretty big year for the Sandmeiers with new jobs, an out-of-state move, buying a house, starting a business, filming House Hunters, traveling, etc., but that is all nothing compared to what I'm taking on next week.. That's right, folks; I'm hosting Thanksgiving for the first time (*cue gasps*)!

Brandon has to work his normal 11-7pm on Thanksgiving Day (before you start feeling too bad for him, know that his company is amazing and caters a Thanksgiving feast for it's employees--he's actually looking forward to working that day!) which means most of the food preparations are going to up to yours truly. Since this is Mr. Jax's first Thanksgiving and since I'll be hosting friends and family, I want the day to be perfect, which is why I've created this step-by-step fool proof guide to hosting Thanksgiving.

1.) Set the Scene
If your home is like ours, you don't have a whole lot of Thanksgiving decor (and maybe a little too much Christmas decor..). If this sounds like you, there's still time to make a change! Here are some adorable DIY Thanksgiving decor ideas that you can make this weekend:
How perfect are these FREE printables from The TomKat Studio?
These festive jars that I found on Craft River are so pretty (and inexpensive to make)!
A unique (and adorable) way to hold utensils from Baby Mama Juice
2.) Create the Menu
Before setting out on your grocery shopping adventures this weekend, try to sit down and prepare a menu; this will make life MUCH easier in the long run! Scour the internet for recipe ideas and unique sides, desserts, and appetizers to add a little pizzazz to your meal. Here are a few ideas to help get you started:
Roast Turkey with Spice Rub
Ginger Pumpkin Cookies
Spinach, Strawberry, & Feta Salad
3.) Grocery Shop Until You Drop!
Ah yes, here comes the part we all love the most: wasting precious gas while looking for a parking spot, fighting our way through crowds at the grocery store, and waiting in line for hours on end (okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration.. but you get my point!). 

As the mamma of an almost 11-month-old who isn't the biggest fan of grocery shopping (once his free cookie is eaten or dropped, he's over it), this is something that I dread. Instead of dealing with the headache of shopping/standing around comparing prices/entertaining the babe, I decided make a cup of hot chocolate, sit back, relax, and grocery shop from my phone. 

'Say what?!' you ask?
Thanks to Walmart Grocery To Go, I was able to make my list (and check it twice.. oops, wrong holiday!), browse the aisles of our local Walmart from my phone, and order everything I needed for our Thanksgiving feast.

Easy? Yes.

Fast? Mmm hmm.

Money saving? Umm, yeah!!

After selecting the items I needed (including a turkey, stuffing, fresh milk, dessert ingredients, etc.), I chose a time that worked best for me and submitted my order. That was it! The extremely friendly and helpful delivery drivers (Noah and another gentleman whose name escapes me.. sorry!) couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating.
I can definitely get used to this!
Okay, so we probably won't be needing the Hawaiian pizza for Thanksgiving but I'm showing y'all a few other great things I was able to buy!
I cannot recommend Walmart Grocery To Go enough! If you're looking for a less stressful Thanksgiving, I highly recommend you giving them a try. Register with Walmart Grocery To Go use my link to get $15 off your first order (that's ON TOP of Walmart's already unbeatable prices)!

Thanksgiving is less than a week away, you silly goose (err.. turkey?).. what are you waiting for??

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Snowy, Small Town Date Night

As I mentioned yesterday, we visited my parents last weekend to celebrate my dad's birthday! We had a blast spending time with family, eating our weight in junk food, and playing cards, but one of the highlights for me was getting to go on a little date with Brandon.

Brandon and I don't get to go on dates as often as we used to (can you guess why?) so we jump at the chance whenever the opportunity presents itself.. and it presented itself on Saturday night. At around 5pm, we kissed our sweet Jackson goodbye, bid my parents adieu, and headed out into the frigid cold for date night.

For those of you who don't know, I'm from a town of about 2,000 people (and graduated from a "large" class of 40) so there aren't too many places to go or things to do on a date.. BUT, when you're married and desperate for a little alone time with your spouse, any place that is at least 1/18th of a mile away from your dear little one is considered a perfect date.

Our perfect date took place 1 1/2 miles from my parents house at a restaurant and bar.
The outside temperature is displayed above the steering wheel so you'll have to believe me when I say that it was only 5 degrees outside (brrrrrrrrrr!).
My handsome (manly bearded) date with his prime rib and beer.
Yours truly with my usual (chicken nachos)--not pictured: my whiskey & Diet Coke (Fun Fact: I hadn't had any hard alcohol since before getting pregnant with Jax.. it. hit. me. HARD).

It was so refreshing to get away with my husband for a few hours. Our date may not look like anything special, but it was--having those few precious hours away with my husband without any interruptions (and without having to entertain/cut up food for a babe) was just what my tired mamma's heart needed.

Here's to (our next) date night!
ICYMI: Here's my dad and Jax eating birthday ice cream cake.. I don't think Jax missed us too much (but I have to admit, I sure missed him)!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Area 51

I think it's safe to say that my dad had a wonderful 51st birthday weekend.

Jackson and I came to my parents on Thursday afternoon and helped kick off birthday weekend with gifts and candy (fun fact: we gave my dad 2 pounds of fun size chocolate bars, my brother gave him a bag of fun size Snickers, and my mom gave him two half pound Reese's PB Cups--wonder where I get my sweet tooth?). On Friday, Jackson and I met with my boss for a quick morning meeting, drove with my mom to my dad's hometown for a birthday dinner with family, and came home shortly before Brandon arrived (he came out after work). Saturday was cold and snowy and mostly consisted of relaxing, overeating, card games, and a little alone time with my hubs. 

Despite having a bad cold, Jackson had a good time too helping his grandpa celebrate, playing* with Grammy's cat, and getting lots of attention from everyone!
Jax is obsessed with his Uncle Joey--it's so funny!! He loves sitting with him and giving him lots of kisses!
Poor sick baby :(
Happy Birthday, Dad!! We love you!

*Playing=crawling after at fast speeds, yelling at, and overall tormenting poor Smokey.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Oh What Fun, My Dad is 51!

Today is my dad's birthday!!

If you know my dad, you know that he is one of the kindest, funniest, hardest working people you have ever met. I'm pretty sure I said this in last year's birthday post, but he is seriously the only person I know who doesn't have an enemy in the world.

Dad: Everyone who knows you loves you and everyone who meets you is a better person because of it. Thank you for being the wonderful, selfless man you are and for being the best dad, father-in-law, and grandpa that we could have ever asked for! We love you very, very much and can't wait to help you celebrate this weekend.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thrifty Thursday

Today's Thrifty Thursday has a bit of a twist..

..it isn't about clothes!


Yes, you read that right. Today's thrifty find is a toy I found for Jackson last week at Mile High Thrift Store in Northglenn.

Our new horsey friend originally cost $7.95 but since it was 50% off white tag day, I snagged him for a little under $4! He was pretty beat up and dirty but with a little elbow grease and a lot of bleach/Lysol, I was able to get him cleaned up and looking fairly decent again!
Jackson loves to rock on his new friend!
In other thrifty news, I accidentally picked up an original Tickle Me Elmo for $1.95 (I say accidentally because I thought he was just a regular stuffed animal until I got home, realized there was a voice box when I went to wash it, pushed the button, and the box started moving and saying "that tickles!").. Jax's eyes get huge every time he sees his new Elmo though so I guess it was worth it? 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

4 Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars


Are you keeping warm in this crazy winter polar vortex weather?

We are here in CO (thanks to lots of coffee, footie pajamas, and baby snuggles)!

Instead of complaining about this crazy snow and how I'm feeling a bit of cabin fever (Jax and I are used to being out and about during the day.. not gonna happen when the high is 16 degrees!), I'm going to introduce you to your new favorite dessert.

You're welcome.

I found this recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars on my girl Ruthie Hart's blog and they are seriously the most amazing thing I have ever tasted. Chocolate? Check. Cookies? Check. Cream Cheese? Ah, heck yeah!

These are so simple to make, taste amazing, and would be perfect to take to any upcoming holiday parties!

Recipe from The Chronicles of Ruthie Hart

  • 1 pkg chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 1 pkg cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  1. Press 1/2 of the cookie dough in the bottom of a greased 8X8 pan.
  2. Cream together the cream cheese, egg, and sugar until the mixture is a thick liquid. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the cookie dough in the pan.
  3. Flatten the remaining pieces of cookie dough and place on top of the cream cheese mix.
  4. Bake for approx. 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees (25-30 minutes for high altitude).
  5. Let cool and enjoy!
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