Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Connor at One Month

Y'all. Where did the last month go? I know everyone complains about how January goes by so slowly and drags on and on, but not when you have a newborn!! I love that Connor's growing... I find it so fascinating to just watch him develop and figure out his little personality. But I can already tell that my snuggly, teeny tiny newborn is long gone, which makes me a little sad!


Connor's Stats:
Birth Weight: 6 pounds, 6.5 ounces. Current Weight: 9 pounds, 8 ounces.
Birth Length: 19.5 inches. Current length: 20.5 inches
Clothing: Fitting perfectly into the Newborn-sized things finally! Still in Newborn diapers.

Bathtime, especially the warm hooded towel at the end.
Riding in the car.
Eating. The more often the better!
Cuddling with Mommy and Daddy.
Staring at our ceiling fans or the wall of square mirrors in our living room.

Diaper changes.
Having his arms stuck in a swaddle blanket.
Getting dressed.

New Tricks:
Following objects with his eyes.
Lifting and turning his head.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Connor's Newborn Photos

Our wedding photographer, Kelli Nicole, has transitioned into doing mostly newborn photography, and she's absolutely fabulous (seriously... just click over to her blog and ooh and ahh at the adorable babies), but oh boy y'all... newborn photography is expensive. Since we only really needed a few decent shots for his birth announcement and a few for us to have, we decided to try to do DIY newborn photos of Connor rather than paying for a pro photographer to do them. So it was up to me and my (greatly improved but still not anything close to professional-level) photography skills with our DSLR camera.

Kelli has a super-helpful tutorial on newborn photography on her blog, so I used a lot of her advice, picked a day when Connor seemed to be in a good mood, stuck my baby in our laundry basket (seriously!) with some blankets, and spent an hour or so snapping photos of him! Here are a few of my favorites:








I'm really pleased with how they turned out. They're obviously not the sort of quality you'd get from an actual pro photographer (although I do think these are way better than the images we bought from the pro photographer at the hospital), but they were good enough for our purposes, and now we'll always be able to look back and remember what he looked like as an adorable little newborn! Plus, the DSLR camera has basically paid for itself now with the money we saved on professional newborn photos, right? :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Kelly's Lasagna

I think a good lasagna recipe is a core component of any recipe collection. It's wonderful comfort food, and when you add some garlic bread and Caesar salad it makes an easy and excellent dinner for family and friends! I've stuck with the same lasagna recipe since I first made it my sophomore year of college, and I never get tired of it! It has a little bit of a "kick" thanks to the spicy sausage and hot pepper Classico sauce, and it's nice and substantial thanks to all the meat and the chunky Ragu sauce.

Okay, so lasagna doesn't photograph well. But it's delicious, I promise. :)

Recipe from my friend, Kelly.

Recipe makes two 9x13 lasagnas. Half the recipe to make just one pan.

12 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions
2 lbs ground beef, cooked and drained
1 lb Jimmy Dean "Hot" pork sausage, cooked and drained
1 jar Ragu "Chunky Garden Combination"
1 jar Classico "Hot Pepper"
32 oz whole ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 bunches of green onions, minced (whites only)
8 oz fresh spinach leaves, chopped
7-8 cups mozzarella cheese

1. Lightly spray two 9x13 pans with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Lay 3 lasagna noodles in the bottom of each pan.
3. Mix ground beef, sausage, Ragu sauce, and Classico sauce in a bowl. Spread 1/4 of the mixture over the noodles in each pan.
4. Mix ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, and green onions in another bowl. Spread 1/4 of the mixture over the meat sauce in each pan.
5. Spread 1/4 of the spinach leaves over the ricotta mixture in each pan.
6. Sprinkle 1/4 of the mozzarella over the spinach leaves in each pan.
7. Repeat each layer (three more lasagna noodles, then 1/4 of the meat sauce in each pan, then 1/4 of the ricotta mixture in each pan, then 1/4 of the spinach leaves in each pan, and top with 1/4 of the mozzarella).
8. Bake for 1 hour, or until cheese is lightly crusted and browned on edges. Let cool 10-30 minutes before serving.

Meat Sauce

Ricotta Mixture

Layer 1: Noodles!

Layer 2: Meat Sauce!

Layer 3: Ricotta!

Layer 4: Spinach!

Layer 5: Cheese!



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Christmas 2014

I'm just going to go ahead and be the last person in the whole world wide web to post a Christmas 2014 recap on her blog. I can use the newborn baby excuse to explain the delay, right? ;)

Best gift ever, indeed.

First things first... here's our 2014 Christmas card (which went out early in December, before we knew Connor was arriving pre-Christmas!) in our holiday card album. I went with Shutterfly this year instead of my usual go-to, TinyPrints, because I had a really good coupon code, but I was disappointed in the print quality. Back to TinyPrints next year!



And here are our new Christmas ornaments for 2014 - one from our Monaco trip (we always buy an ornament as a souvenir when we're on vacation) and a "we're expecting" ornament. Connor has a bunch of "Baby's 1st Christmas" ornaments now too!



Connor turned one week old on Christmas Eve. We dressed him up in a cute little outfit that was way too big for him (the poor thing didn't start to fit into his newborn-sized clothes until around four weeks old!), and spent the day with my family.


Connor got to meet his third set of great-grandparents!


We went to Mass on Christmas Eve with my parents, sisters, and grandparents at the church where Jeff and I got married. It's always special to go back there when we're with my parents!


My mom did a delicious seafood boil for dinner (complete with plastic bibs!), and after we ate we all sang Christmas carols (a family Christmas Eve tradition)!





We normally stay either in Dallas or at my parents' house on Christmas Eve, but since Connor was so little we decided it would be easier to just spend the night at home and come back in the morning. So we ended up having our first ever Christmas morning in our house!


Since we weren't expecting Connor to arrive in time for Christmas, I didn't have a stocking for him. The little "C" stocking was a $2 last-minute Target purchase that worked just fine! I'm looking forward to making/buying us a matching set for next year!


We may be parents now, but there definitely weren't any children waking us up on Christmas morning. Connor slept through the whole thing! 


I bought these reindeer pajamas while I was pregnant, and I hoped against all odds that he'd arrive in time to wear them. And he did. :)

Of course, a sleeping baby didn't stop us from taking lots of Christmas morning pictures of him. :)

My loves. :)


Here's Connor with his Christmas gifts!


In future years, I think we might follow the gold, frankincense, and myrrh gift-giving approach., but we decided to keep it simple this year, since he was only a week old and all (and since we were initially planning on giving gifts to an in-utero baby... haha), so Jeff and I gave him a personalized cross from SashleeCeramics on Etsy and a WubbaNub Giraffe. Santa brought him an Oball Shaker.


He loved the WubbaNub instantly!


Jeff and I had such a hard time coming up with anything for Christmas wishlists this year (we both just really wanted a baby, haha!). I thought I had come up with a super-thoughtful and creative gift for Jeff by ordering a shipment of wine from one of our favorite Sonoma wineries for him. It turns out Jeff had the exact same idea, and he ordered wine from the same winery for me! So now we have a LOT of delicious wine. I'm not complaining!

We went over to my parents' house later in the morning and opened gifts with my parents and sisters, then had a delicious lunch. Connor was totally spoiled by his aunts and grandparents. My mom even had a stocking all monogrammed and ready for him!






Connor really liked his Christmas gift from his great-grandparents. :)

After lunch, we drove to Jeff's parents' house to celebrate with them. Jeff's dad was sick when Connor was born, so he wasn't able to hold him until Christmas. He was VERY excited to finally hold his grandson!


We always open Christmas crackers with Jeff's family and wear the paper crowns during dinner. :)





And then Christmas Day was over and we went home to hang out in our pajamas and not leave the house for a few days like you're supposed to do when you have a newborn. :)

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas season!