Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mason: Week 41 {Photos}

Day 281: First try of spaghetti made by Rarry

Day 282: Meeting Tracy and Aunt Betty Jo

Day 283: Second try of spaghetti made by PawPaw (clearly PawPaw makes messier spaghetti than Rarry!)

Day 284: Visiting Aunt Celie at SLU. 

Day 285: Meeting his GiGi's former co-workers, Mr. Joe (and his wife Mrs. Joanne) and Mrs. Mary. 

Day 286: Going to Golden Corral! 

Day 287: Just a happy sweet boy in the morning! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mason: Week 40 {Photos}

Day 274: 9 Months old today!

Day 275: Bathtime!

Day 276: First time eating at Bojangles

Day 277: Library Storytime with Grandmom

Day 278: Found the pots and pans

Day 279: Leaving on a Jet plane for the first time! 

Day 280: Cheeseballs for the first time! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

$10 Great Dates: Connecting Love, Marriage and Fun on A Budget {A Book Review}

Matt and I are always looking for awesome and different dates on a budget. I was thrilled when Bethany House Publishing sent me $10 Great Dates: Connecting Love, Marriage, and Fun on a Budget by The Larsons and The Arps. 

This book is FABULOUS!! Throughout the pages of $10 Great Dates: Connecting Love, Marriage, and Fun on a Budget there are 52 dates divided into multiple areas. 

Adventure Great Dates
Out-on-the-town Great Dates
At-Home Great Dates
The Great Outdoors Great Dates
Marriage Pick-Me-Up Great Dates
Romantic Great Dates
Seasonal Specials Great Dates
Unique and Unusual Great Dates

Each date shares the following information: the idea (of the date), before the date, on your date, talking points and a great date takeaway. 

I don't want to give away too much of the excellent information in the book but I do want to share what some of my favorite date ideas are. Matt and I cannot wait to have some of these dates! 

1. Just Desserts Great Date
For this date, eat dinner at home and then get dressed up to go out. Try a new place in town or a place you've never tried before. Order dessert and enjoy conversation over dessert. Talk about your favorite desserts while on the date. Dessert is all about the overflow of sweets. Reflect on "Sweet" things. 

2. Movie on Location Great Date
Pick a location in a favorite movie or in a movie you've been wanting to see. For example a lake, pool, etc. Download the movie onto your device, pop popcorn and bring other snacks. Drive to the location and watch the movie on a blanket. Talk about your favorite movies. Enjoy a perspective change of watching a movie in a different location. 

3. Apple Picking Great Date
Check out local apple orchards before hand as well as the prices for picking apples. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Talk about your favorite apples and recipes. Enjoy physical activity while getting some yummy apples. 

There are so many good ideas in this book. Some are simple and some of extra creative. I recommend this book for any couple who is looking for dates on a budget. 

Goodnight, Ark by Laura Sassi {A Book Review}

I recently received Goodnight, Ark by Laura Sassi from BookLook Bloggers. Just after looking at the cover illustration, I was so excited to receive this book and read it to Mason. 

After receiving the book, we were not disppointed! The illustrations throughout the book are fantastic! I love the way the story is written. It is fun/funny but will open the door to talk about the full story of Noah's Ark easily and it will be a great companion any time we talk about that story from Genesis. 

One of the other features of the book that I love is that underneath the beautifully illustrated dustcover is the same illustration on the hardcover of the book. This is awesome for us as a family with a child because dustcovers can get ripped/torn easily but I can take it off and still be able to see the awesome pictures as well as be able to easily tell which book it is! 

In addition to all of those wonderful things, Mason LOVED looking at the pictures and listening to the book being read to him! 

Well done, Laura Sassi and Jane Chapman! 

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mason {Month 9} {Photos}

Y'all, Mason is 9 months old and ONE THE MOVE!!!

Weight: 23 pounds, 14 ounces at his 9 month well visit (90%)

Height: 28 3/4" (70%)


Nicknames: BuhBuhs, Stinker, Mase Mase, Bud, Buddy, Stink Pot, Stink, Silly Goose

Eating (Milk): Mason is getting 3 bottles a day at 7a, 11a, 7p. He takes 9 ounces each bottle. At the beginning of the month, he was getting 4 bottles but we cut the afternoon feeding right toward the end of the month. Now, when he wakes up at 3, he gets a snack of some sort with his sippy cup of water. It was a smooth transition, thankfully. We had originally planned to wait until right at 9 months but Mason and I are left on the 6th of August and we didn't want to still be transitioning during our trip.

Eating:(Solids): Watermelon (7/1); We stuck with old faithfuls while out of town from the 4th-12th just to avoid possible reactions to new foods; When we got back, we started introducing more whole foods cut into small pieces. Bread and Chicken (7/13), Waffles (7/14), Sweet Tea, potato chips (7/15), Nectarines, Peaches, Zucchini (7/16), Cheerios (7/19), Tomato (7/19), Squash (7/20), Strawberries (7/20), Carrots (7/21), Banana (7/23) and many many more. We are still giving pureed foods as the primary foods but we are slowly transitioning to cubed whole foods. It's going well.

Sleeping: Mason is sleeping from 7p-6a/7a. He naps from 9-11 and 1-3. This month, he dropped his cat nap in the evenings. That transition was tough for a few days but he has done well overall. He dropped it naturally but some days, he was super fussy during that time. A little extra activity helped. :)

Diapers: We still love our cloth diapers and have tried some new styles this month, too. Mason wears size 5 in LUVS disposables and is close to moving to size 6. They fit so much different size wise than other brands.

Clothes: Clothes are size 12 months and 18 months mostly with a very few 9-12 months still scattered in there.

Social: Mason still loves people but he has become slightly more reserved and resistant to new people this month. He needs to know that Mom and Dad are right there. Usually just a little pat from myself or Matt consoles him.

When we brought him to the nursery one Sunday, the volunteer said he was "flirting" with another little girl. Our little social butterfly!

Mason loves smiling with Matt and me and also with others--he is just a little more stingy with those smiles for others. He is also loving social games like peek-a-boo.

New/fun things from this month:
Mason pulled up to the side of the couch for the first time on 7/2 and then pulled up in his crib on 7/4.

Mason finished his summer reading program with the library on 7/2. Matt and I read him 50 books. He got a little bag and a free book!

Much, much more "talking" this month especially when he is in his jumper, his car seat or in his crib before/after naps.

Mason has started clinching/clasping his hands together and shaking them, waving them and hitting the table with them. Very fun to watch!

When we were out of town, we stayed with Matt's parents and they keep their home cooler than we do. Because of that, we let Mason sleep in some long sleeved pajamas. He discovered the sleeves on them and each night, he would grasp the sleeve and hold on to it. SO cute!

Mason met several family members this month. He met his Mom-Mom (Matt's grandmother, Mason's great-grandmother, Aunt Holly, Uncle Mitch, cousins Luke, Kieran and Emelia, Uncle Ben, Uncle David and Aunt Darlann. Big month for meeting folks!

Mason is now pulling up on everything, getting down easily after he pulls up and cruising on furniture!

Our little guy has been army crawling for a while but on 7/26, he "real" crawled for the first time. Not sure how often he will do it but it was fun to see.

Mason learned how to drink from a straw on 7/30. He picked up Matt's water bottle as he often does to play but this time, he closed his lips around the straw and sucked water through it! Such a big boy!

Likes: This kid LOVES peek-a-boo still and the best part is that he is starting to look around the corner, cabinet, whatever it is, to find the person who is hiding from him!

Mason loves being in water whether it be the bathtub, big swimming pool or the little swimming pool we purchased for him. He is a fan! We can't wait to get him in swimming lessons next year. 

Dislikes: Being hungry!

Being in the car the day after a long road trip. He can tolerate the trip but don't get him back in the seat the next day-- not a fan!

Right before we left for our trip on the 4th, Mason appeared to be growing weary of the jumper so Matt and I assumed after a week of being gone, he wouldn't want to be in it again and we were right. It was a nice stint with the ole jumper. Mason is moving to brighter pastures.

His first big head bump.  A big ole goose egg came from a fall and bump on 7/23. He is such a tough guy though and cried for only about 30-45 seconds! 

Mason has become a bit more dramatic this month with fake cries happening when we walk from his line of sight etc. Matt and I ignore it mostly and laugh when we walk away. He definitely gets that drama from his momma. :)

Mason is starting this new thing with his tongue and he uses it to push out on his lower lip. It's hilarious and I have no idea where he may have learned it from. It may be just one of his "things". It so cute!

Mason is saying so many more sounds now and it's so awesome. The best is when we ask a question and he just happens to be "talking" and he answers with something that sounds like yes or no. Love it.


Mommy: Mason and Mommy have been having some fun days with time spent with our MOMs club group, story time visits and birthday parties. It's been a good month!

Daddy: Daddy got to go to story time with us for the first time on 7/23. It was a blast. These boys are having such a fun time together. Mason and Daddy loved playing in the pool together while in Montgomery.

Comparison Pictures:

One Month:

Two Months:

Three Months:

Four Months:

Five Months:

Six Months:

Seven Months:

Eight Months: 

Nine months: