Sunday, July 18, 2010

My Little Shopper

Recently, Griffin started sitting in the shopping cart like a big boy. Although it's difficult to pull off shuffling through coupons and store ads with him reaching and grabbing everything I hold, I must say that it's a blast having him with me. The other day, we (as a family) made a little trip to Publix. Griffin enjoyed looking at the lobsters with his Papa (a childhood grocery store staple):

And looking through this week's ad:

What a cute little shopper!
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Learning to Crawl

Our boy is getting so, so close to crawling. Here is a little video of him trying but actually moving backwards!

Playing with Owen

Skyping with Grandma Ginger

Blowing Raspberries

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Quest to Capture the 4 Teefers

Trying to get a clear photograph of a baby's first tooth/teeth is next to impossible.  Here is the story of our "quest."  First, we tried getting him to smile sitting up, but we seemed to only be able to capture his bottom teeth.
And he really wasn't into the whole process.  In fact, he dished out quite a bit of his pitiful pout.  I would not be swayed by this ploy.  I was on a mission.  (Note:  As mentioned in a prior post, Griffin uses this pout to get a reaction out of us.  Don't worry...I was not torturing my child.)
Next, I tried a lower angle in order to capture both the bottom and top teeth.  All I got was drool.
After that, I noticed that this poor child's mother had not wiped off all the peaches and squash from breakfast.  Bad mom.

We did catch a sweet smile, but not one big enough to show those top pearly whites.
After a while, Griffin was pulling out all the stops with the pout.  Here is one of his finest:
Next, we tried airplane with Papa to see if the change in location would help, and YES!  We got the top teeth (and more drool)!...but no bottom ones.
Another shot and we captured even less...only one top tooth.  Would we ever catch that magic, elusive 4 tooth smile?!?
YES!  There it is, folks.  A rare and beautiful sight.  Notice the cute gap between his two top teeth :)
And just as we were packing up to call it a day on the photography quest, our 4-toothed man graced us with another giant smile...and there's nothing like it in the whole, wide world.
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1st 4th

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Car Seat - Take 2

In a previous post, I had blogged about how Griffin needed to upgrade to a bigger car seat. Well, the one we got him and blogged about wound up being too big for our VAN, amazingly. After returning that one, I did copious amounts of research on convertible car seat features, prices, safety ratings, ease of use ratings, blah blah blah. I won't bore you with the unspeakably boring details, but I found one the I absolutely LOVE. For those of you who are needing or will be needing to upgrade to a convertible car seat in the near future, I thought I would share what I oh so love about Griffin's new car seat, The First Year's True Fit Premier:

This seat is a-mazing. I'll list some of the greatest features of this seat:
-great labeling on the seat (don't even need the directions to install)
-rear facing to 35lbs.
-rear facing at 45 degree recline for younger babies and 35 degree recline for older babies
-removable headrest to enable the full amount of recline (unlike the last car seat we bought which forced us to slide the driver's side seat up and lean the seat way forward to make it fit)
-little display with ball that shows you when you've achieved the correct amount of recline
-easy installation
-great fabric! (We got the Retro Rails Stripe. Perfect colors.)
-snap off cover that doesn't require any rethreading of the straps to remove...just unsnap! Moms, you know how great this feature is, what with all the spills we deal with.
-to adjust the height of the straps, you just pull some knobs on the back and slide up/down! (instead of rethreading both straps every time)
-includes great newborn/infant padding and head pillow (We don't need the infant padding, but you could really use this seat as the baby's only car seat!)
-seat is fully lined with EPP foam (what motorcycle helmets are made of)
-a flip-up rebound bar that actually helps manage the rebound in the unlikely event of a crash
-in forward facing position, this seat works up to 65 lbs. and 50" tall in a 5 point harness!!
-deep side wings, and side-impact tested to international standards
Now, there are some other really great and popular car seat brands/models out there. I hear from many, many people that Britax is the way to go, for example. However, I just could not find $300+ to work with, and Griffin had outgrown his infant seat! From the ratings/reviews out there, parents, the NHTSA, and car seat testers/reviewers are raving about this True Fit Premier car seat and rating it at the level of the Britax seats for a MUCH more affordable price and with quite a few more features. It is definitely a safe, affordable, comfortable, feature-filled, easy to use/care for/install, car seat that Griffin has lots of room to grow into. Hopefully, with the very high weight limit, Griffin will not need a booster seat, saving us an additional $30. (Note: most Britax seats in the lower end of the price range max out at 40-50 lbs. We all know Griffin is a big boy. Enough said.) Anyway, I just cannot say enough about this seat. If you're interested in purchasing one, I highly recommend Albee Baby's webiste. They shipped his seat SO quickly (and for FREE, I might add), and they routinely offer 20% off (They have a deal running all summer for 20% off. Just enter "20OFF" at checkout). Hopefully, this is helpful to someone out there :)
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Friday, July 9, 2010

Open-Faced Zucchini and Yellow Squash Turkey Burger

For some reason, I seem to have caught several segments of morning TV where people have been making open-faced burgers.  So, tonight I decided to come up with one from the stuff I had in my fridge...and it was DELISH!  It was also quite healthy and easy.  

Here's what you'll need:

-whole wheat hamburger bun (1/2 if you will eat 1 burger, 1 if you'll eat 2)
-turkey burger (We get the Jennie-O frozen patties that are SUPER quick and easy to use.  Just pull them out of the freezer, unwrap, and grill!  No thawing necessary, which is great for the nights where you don't think ahead to thaw the meat.)
-swiss cheese slices
-1 zucchini cut into circles
-2 yellow squash cut into circles
-teriyaki sauce
-salt and pepper

Here's what you'll do:

-Put turkey burger(s) in skillet, and drizzle a bit of teriyaki as they begin to thaw and cook.
-Salt and pepper burger(s).
-Whilst burgers are cooking, put zucchini and yellow squash in bowl or on plate in microwave to start them a-cookin' (maybe 3 min. or so).
-As the burgers are finishing cooking, put a slice of swiss cheese on them to melt.
-Move the burgers out of the skillet, and move the zucchini and yellow squash into it.
-Drizzle with a bit of teriyaki (as much or as little as your heart desires).
-Cook 5 min. or until desired tenderness.
-Put burgers on bun and scoop zucchini and squash on top of patties.  Pile as high as you want.  I piled pretty high :)

One of the great things about this burger is that it needs no additional sauce or "umpf" of any kind.  The zucchini and yellow squash, paired with the teriyaki sauce, gives this burger all the moisture and flavor you could ask for!  Yum.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Blogging Made Easier

If there is one thing that drives me absolutely crazy about Blogger, it's how incredibly long it takes to upload pictures and videos, pictures and videos being absolutely essential for this blog (this blog being mainly intended to keep family (most of whom live 1000 miles away) and friends updated on our lives and on Griffin). I found myself feeling like blogging was a chore, and this led to long gaps between posts. Recently, I started doing a bit of research here and there into the world of online photo and video sharing, and came across a couple gems that I thought I would share.

Picasa - I am a Mac user, and I really do love iPhoto; however, iPhoto has its limitations. Because Mac has its own blogger site (, it doesn't have any way to upload photos directly from iPhoto to Blogger...and that probably isn't going to change anytime soon. So, I started digging and found a free program (available to both PC and Mac users) called Picasa, which is a great and well-organized program for storing, editing, and exporting your photos (similar to iPhoto...and I think even better!) [I was worried that Picasa would duplicate all the photos from iPhoto in order to import them, thereby taking up precious memory space...but ALAS, it did not! It loads all the photos on your computer into the program without duplicating them or changing them or their location. The only drawback is that you aren't able to do any editing of the photos unless you do have Picasa load them into its own files...if that makes sense.] So, here is the great, amazing, wonderful thing about Picasa.... Once all your files are loaded into the program, you simply highlight the ones you want to include in a blog post and click the button that says "Blog This!" It pulls up a dialogue box that looks almost exactly like Blogger's "New Post" screen, and you enter in the info and click "Post!" It is seriously SO EASY! Ok, so I'm clearly super excited about this... All I can say is that it has made blogging fun again. Here is a screenshot of Picasa (notice the Blogger icon on the bottom that says "Blog This" under it: - perfect for uploading videos and pictures in bulk. Once you upload the pictures and/or videos you want to blog about, you just copy the HTML code and paste it into your blog post! This is a serious time-saver because you don't have to hang around your computer waiting for Blogger to upload video and pictures for every single separate blog post. I now mainly use Photobucket as a place to upload all my video. From there, I copy and paste the HTML code into blog posts and/or Facebook posts. The only drawback to Photobucket is that there is a storage limit, so I'll eventually run out of storage space with all the videos I upload...And that is when I'll switch to YouTube, which is so fantastic!

YouTube - perfect for storing all your videos, slideshows, etc. Upload them all to YouTube (which is SO MUCH faster than Blogger) and just copy and paste the HTML code to embed the videos into your blog posts. Uploading videos to YouTube is easier, faster, and more versatile than uploading them to Blogger (more versatile because you can use the HTML code it generates to post your video anywhere else...other blogging sites, Facebook, etc.) - I'm not currently using MeJuba, but I have tested it out. It is similar to Photobucket, in that it is a great place for uploading your photos and videos in bulk and storing them for use in blogs, Facebook, etc. MeJuba might even trump Photobucket, because there are no storage limits; you can literally upload as many pictures and videos as your heart desires without worrying about running out of space on your account. The reason I'm not using it: The uploading dialogue box doesn't let me see my iPhoto albums like they are in iPhoto. It makes me select them from their actual location in file folders. Those of you who have iPhoto will know how frustrating that can be, trying to figure out which photos you want to upload and which files they are stored in...."Now, would that be in the 'Originals' file or the 'Modified' file?" This is not for me, but it would be perfect for PC users, for those who have a Mac and don't use iPhoto, and for those who use iPhoto but never edit their photos.

A Little Light Reading

What can I say....Griffin is advanced! :)
Picture 1: "Who needs Dr. Seuss when there's Tolstoy?"
Picture 2: "I still have 1000 pages to go?! Unbelievable!"
Picture 3: His expression says it all.
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Now, THIS is the life!

Our dear friends, Kenny and Shari, have us over to hang out and swim in their pool quite often, and it's such a great blessing in the summer heat! We absolutely relish it. Shari and I took a few pictures of our latest pool time. Griffin loves to "swim," and is pretty much pleased as punch to kick like he's swimming, float in/on a raft, whatever! Owen was napping, but Griffin got to spend some time with his bud, Sullivan, while we were cute are they together?!?
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Welp, the inevitable has come; after just 6 short months, Griffin has outgrown his infant carseat and upgraded to the seat he'll be in up to 50lbs. Big boy.
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World's Best Nailpolish


So, I'm not one to blog about "beauty secrets," fashion or the like; however, a friend of mine does at A while ago, she had a post containing nailpolish favorites, and this nailpolish was on the list. SO glad I tried it! As the picture shows, it's Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure. I tell you what, you need no top or base coat. Simply apply a couple coats of this magic polish, and you're good to go for at week plus. My hands are constantly in water washing dishes 2+ times a day (no dishwasher), in the kiddie pool with Griffin, bathing Griffin, etc. etc. etc., and 2 coats of this polish went CHIP FREE, my friends, for one entire WEEK! No joke. I suppose the reason I am so excited about this is because this phenomenon has never happened to me...chipless polish on my fingernails for a week?! I didn't think it existed. Now, imagine how long it will go chip free on toenails! Dream big, kids...This stuff is amazing. Man, I should get paid to do an infomercial or advertisement of some kind!
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Friday, July 2, 2010

First Temper Tantrum

Yes, even a sweet, happy boy has a sin nature. This is Griffin's first temper tantrum which he threw over the fact that we would not let him have any of our strawberry daiquiris...berries being hight on the possible allergen list and the fact that babies probably should not ingest rum. Of course, Griffin's first tantrum had to be over wanting to eat something he couldn't have...hahah. He's such a big eater!

Child Knows What He Wants

Clown Smack-Down

Apparenly, Griffin is NOT a huge fan of clowns.

Lamb Surprise

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Downloadable Photos

For those who would like to save and/or print some of Griffin's 6 month pictures, you can go to the link below and download any/all of the photos at full quality for optimal print quality.
6 Month Pictures

Griffin's 6 Month Pictures