Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Noah News: Week 20

Bumpity Bump - Over the past couple weeks we have been monitoring a rash on Noah's chest. It seemed very unoffensive and didn't bother him in the least but we were keeping an eye on it. This weekend, it spread to his arm and leg and seemed a little more aggressive (although still leaving us with one happy boy). I went ahead and emailed the doctor and he said he wasn't too concerned but to come in Monday for a look. Verdict: mild eczema. We got a cream and were told he will likely grow out of it but to treat it the same way each time it flares up in the meantime.
The doctor, again?!
  • Other Musings from Dr. T:
    • Noah is officially teething. He said that his lower gums were swollen and that there were some teeth trying to work their way through.
    • We were assigned to do sleep training over again. Lucky us! We thought we got off easy with just a few nights of short fussy spells but this past weekend we had a MAJOR sleep regression with the peanut. He was a crying mess and so we caved on a couple of occasions. Dr. T took a look at him and said he was a healthy, happy baby so we needed to sleep train. We mentioned we already did and he said it was time to get serious. SO, we headed home knowing that we had a few long nights ahead of us. We are still in the thick of it so wish us luck that by the weekend we have a sleeping boy again!
    • Rice cereal. I believe I mentioned that I had opted to skip rice cereal for Noah as a first food. Well, in an effort to help him sleep through the night happily, Dr. T gave us the suggestion of adding 1-2tsp. of rice cereal to his nighttime bottle to thicken it up and give him some extra calories. He also mentioned that it might help him spit up less in the night with the thicker consistency. Here's hoping because Noah is quite the puker 24-7!
Noah really likes to put every blanket/burp cloth/clothing item on his head!

So close, yet so far - Noah is SO close to rolling back to front. He gets his entire lower body pretty much flipped over but just can't quite flip over that silly arm yet. Soon, so soon!
No picture of our rolling progress, BUT, Noah officially discovered his feet. Should be even more fun when they make their way to his mouth :-).

Family Matters - Sunday we set off across the Bay to celebrate Tanner's 3rd birthday. I really can't believe that the Tan Man is already 3. I was nannying for the Stand Fam when Tanner was Noah's age and that feels like just yesterday. Crazy how fast time flies...  We also were able to catch up with West Coast faction of the Kyle Family while we were celebrating which is always a special treat. We need to do this more often!
West Coast Kyle Family
Tanner when he was just a touch younger than Noah.
My old day job...looks very similar to my new day job!
All that partying wore out the little guy. Dad was pretty happy to let him have a snooze on his lap though!
Birthday boy and his cake.
Oh, yes, it's ladies night - Saturday night was Retchless Ladies Night Out. We took San Carlos by storm for a birthday celebration for Renee. Actually, we looked rather tame in comparison to the other wild cats trolling the area! 
Our happy little bunch.
And, one for the road. Noah is learning some Double Solitaire strategy early...

He really liked staring at the cards!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sunday Supper: Weeks 8 & 9

Ok, clearly we aren't holding true to our resolution to do this every week but we are still making the effort to try and make new dishes as many weeks as we can. 

Here are the latest:

Week 8

Recipe:  Company Pot Roast
Added to Cookbook?: Yes.
Thoughts, Tips & Tricks: This was a wonderful one for a rainy, cold day. AND, who doesn't love a Crock Pot meal?
I stole the picture from the online recipe because mine looked like a gross mess! BUT, it tasted good!
  • 1 (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut in half $
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup beef broth $
  • 1 (.35-ounce) package dried morel mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
  • 2 medium onions (about 3/4 pound), quartered $
  • 1 (16-ounce) package carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces $
  • 16 small red potatoes (about 2 pounds), halved
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons water


  1. Combine roast, soy sauce, and garlic in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal bag, and marinate in refrigerator at least 8 hours, turning bag occasionally.
  2. Bring broth to a boil in a small saucepan; add mushrooms. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 20 minutes. Drain mushrooms through a cheesecloth-lines colander over a bowl, reserving broth mixture.
  3. Remove roast from bag, reserving marinade. Sprinkle roast with pepper, gently pressing pepper into roast. Combine reserved marinade, mushroom broth mixture, and tomato paste; stir well, and set aside.
  4. Place mushrooms, onion, carrot and potato in a 6-quart electric slow cooker; toss gently.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add roast, browing well on all sides. Place roast over vegetables in slow cooker. Pour tomato paste mixture into pan, scraping to loosen browned bits. Pour tomato paste mixture over roast and vegetables. Cover with lid; cook on high-heat setting 1 hour. Reduce to low-heat setting, and cook 8 hours or until roast is tender. Place roast and vegetables on a serving platter; keep warm. Reserve liquid in slow cooker; increase to high-heat setting.
  6. Place flour in a small bowl. Gradually add water, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add flour mixture to liquid in slow cooker. Cook, uncovered, 15 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring frequently. Serve gravy with roast and vegetables.
Week 9
Added to Cookbook?: Definitely!
Thoughts, Tips & Tricks: This is a super easy, fast recipe that was delicious. I added a little Monterey Jack cheese to mine :-).
Let's be honest, I ate more than two chips ;-)
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch strips 
  • 3/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk 
  • 1/2 ripe peeled avocado, diced 
  • 2 cups packaged angel hair slaw
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas


  1. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with chile powder, garlic salt, and cumin. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove chicken from pan.
  2. Combine rind, 1 tablespoon juice, and next 3 ingredients (through avocado) in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.
  3. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon juice, slaw, onions, cilantro, oil, and salt, tossing to coat.
  4. Heat tortillas according to directions. Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas. Top each tortilla with about 1 tablespoon avocado mixture and 1/4 cup slaw mixture.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Noah News: Week 19

Abort Mission - This week we got a clear look at our new life after baby. Scott and I always said we wanted to have a routine but also be able to go with the flow and not have to be home every night in time for bedtime. Well, life had other plans for us. This is a key example of "you can't judge until you are in the situation" because I never would have expected us to be the people having to flee a party at 7:30 with a little one who needed to get home to his bedtime routine. Everything started off beautifully with Noah playing happily at Jess & Kirk's (after spitting up on their couch...yikes). About the time bedtime routine should begin he started fussing so we tried to get him to sleep in his car seat. No way, Jose, was his response. We did a quick assessment of our options: a) feed him a bottle, hope he falls asleep, enjoy party and then sort out the damage when we get home; b) one of us could continue to try and sway him to sleep and hope eventually he would succumb to his seat; c) abort dinner party, leave friends in peace, get home and put the boy to bed. Obviously we went with Option C. It definitely isn't fun to have to leave a party before the entrees come out but the best interest of Noah is always going to prevail. Next time, we will get a babysitter!
We were sent home with some delicious short ribs but had to improvise on our side dish! Not that I'm complaining...I LOVE shells & cheese.
False Alarm - Apparently we can call Week 19 "fail week". I have determined that the tooth I was sure Noah had coming in disappeared. The little white dot is no longer although the slobbering, hand chewing, toy chomping is still in full swing. I have no idea what the white dot where a first tooth should be was/is or where it went. Stay tuned...
I'm still seriously cute without a tooth!
Attachment Issues - In continuing our theme...we need to get some new faces/hands around these parts to take on some sleep routines. In the past week Noah has flat refused to take naps for Scott. He goes down like an angel for me but cries hysterically for Scott (with the exception of bedtime...that is easy peasy). I am sure it is because I put him down for virtually all of his naps since I am his daytime care but come next weekend it is Dad central in the nap department. Must nip this in the bud now!
He is also attached to his Lovey. A particular favorite move is putting it over his face.
Puppy Love - Noah is becoming SUPER aware of the pomeranians and he loves them. He reaches out to touch them and follows them whenever they walk nearby. Enjoy him now poms, when he is mobile you are in trouble!
"Hey, Lola!"
Speaking of Lola, I got this at the grocery this week. It was actually quite tasty.
If you're happy and you know it - No, Noah doesn't clap his hands yet but he does smile for the camera now. Not on command, but instead of looking at it with that furrowed brow he embraces it!

There is NOTHING better than going in his room after he wakes up. He is the happiest kid!
He probably needs more toys. He looks pretty unhappy ;-)
Luck o the Irish - I am pretty sure that somewhere in the mutt heritage of Scott and me that there is some Irish blood. And, if not, we sure do enjoy the holiday anyway! This year we spent it with the Strand Fam and had a wonderful day visiting with family!
The cutest little leprechaun.
His cousin Kayla did an amazing job keeping him happy and entertained!
First Day of Spring - Tuesday marked the first day of spring and in order to celebrate we had a screen door installed! Martin Screen Shop pulled out all the stops and made us a custom door with a doggy door included. Hello open window/door season!!
Anxiously awaiting summer!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Noah News: Week 18

The peanut is 4 months old and apparently tired of that Teddy trying to hog the shot.
Meany Vaccine-y - Noah and his latest shot did not get along. We spent the better part of 48 hours wondering if our happy, smiley, babbling little boy was going to resurface. It was rough on all of us. Guess what? He did and is as cute as ever!
Sophie always helps me feel better!
"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going" - Oh how true this is. This past weekend we embarked on sleep training the peanut (with the doctor's ok and note that he does not need food in the middle of the night). I was prepared for the worst and fully expected to be in a midnight war of wills and ready to shed a few tears of my own. Low and behold the mister surprised us. He awoke as we expected at about 2am and started talking/whining/crying in his crib. He cycled through a few waves of crying but never got too upset. After about an hour he went back to sleep. This repeated once more and then at 5am he woke up beyond angry. It was different and both Scott and I knew that this was not one worth fighting. So we got him, I fed him, and he went right back to sleep until 8am. He has pretty much continued this pattern since we started with the AM wake up coming around 6am and typically only one other wake/cry that is shortening in duration. I would go ahead and call our training a success although I know at some point we will have to work to eliminate that early morning feed...all in good time. I am a firm believer in making sure both Scott and I AND Noah are ready for changes we are making to routines/life. Noah was definitely ready to sleep through the night and I found solace in the fact that he didn't become hysterical about missing his nighttime feed. Clearly it had become a soothing mechanism and not a nutritional need which made me feel so much relief. When the early morning develops into the same we will cut that out too. So, in summary, we held our ground even though we wanted to go give him a cuddle and the end result is very worth the challenge!

Dad and Noah having an evening chat.
Holy Guacamole - No, Noah didn't eat guacamole for his first real food, but he did have avocado! We mushed up a smidge of avocado with a little bit of breastmilk (a tip from the lactation consultant) and away we went. The first bite was priceless...he was definitely confused about this new taste in his mouth and wasn't quite sure what to do with it. He was leaning in for more bites though so I will call it a success. With more practice he will be a solid food pro!
Whoa, what was that?!
A day at the spa - Arnold the Pomeranian also had a first this week. He had his first grooming appointment in his almost seven years of life. Poor little mister was all happy about getting out of the house but as soon as we set foot in the groomer he tucked tail and tried to head for the door (I actually think he thought he was at the vet which has not been a pleasant place for my little guy). I reluctantly handed over a shaking puppy and awaited the call to come and get him. The verdict: grooming is worth every penny. He feels so light and airy and didn't seem too angry that we sent him away for a day of torture pampering.

**Picture coming soon...he wasn't interested in posing tonight**

Ferris Bueller's Noah's Day Off - Noah has a hilarious new habit of fake coughing for attention. Sometimes I think he is trying to laugh. Regardless, he regularly makes this fake little coughing sound and once you acknowledge him you get lots of smiles. He also does it when he gets really excited about his toys. Hopefully this isn't a preview of his faking sick skills come school age! 
Who, me?!
Beach bum - Noah had his first trip the beach this week. We set off for Half Moon Bay to show Noah the ocean for the first time. Funnily enough, his sound machine he uses for sleep is waves crashing so I am sure he felt right at home. We enjoyed soaking in the unseasonably beautiful weather, great friends, and a gorgeous backdrop.
Snuggled up during an overcast moment.
Family photo at the beach

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Noah News: Week 17

Happy Orange Friday! Noah and I both ended up in orange last Friday...a bit premature for the Giants season but we were enjoying ourselves.
This week was pretty much business as usual around here. No new teeth, no crazy sleep debacles, no new milestones reached. Just an average, run of the mill, wonderful week in the Retchless Household. I came up with a few headlines for you just to keep you hooked (and a lot of pictures!)...

**I wrote this before the final headline, not such a "boring" week after all**

The Mystery of the Disappearing Timer - I blogged last week about my lifeline, the Itzbeen Timer. This week the unthinkable disappeared! GASP! It seriously vanished into thin air and took its friend, Mr. Pacifier, with it. I was packing up to leave the house, threw these items in the diaper bag (I am 99% sure), and midway through my drive realized that it was no where to be found. I scoured the house & lawn to no avail (I even checked the fridge, freezer, dishwasher, etc...). Apparently this little timer saw his opening and made a run for freedom. I will be ordering another one immediately.
I have no idea where that silly timer went!
Checked Up, Checked Out - Noah had his four month doctor appointment today and we learned that we have a healthy, wonderful (we already knew that!) little boy. The doctor was impressed with his growth and strength and told us we have one long, lean little peanut.
Post doctor visit, ready for bed.
  • Length - 25 in. (50-75 percentile)
  • Weight - 13.4 lbs. (25-50 percentile)
  • Sleep - Time to cry it out. Well, that wasn't the official diagnosis, but we were given the OK to go ahead and sleep train our little man. There are a zillion opinions on when and how to sleep train (or not) a baby. The main thing we learned today is that Noah nutritionally does not need to eat in the middle of the night. He is perfectly capable of going from 8-8 without a feeding and will continue to thrive. Scott and I have made the decision to go ahead and sleep train him with techniques from Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It is going to painful for all of us for a few days but the end result will be a very happy family.
  • My precious sleeping boy. It is going to be seriously hard to not snuggle him when he cries :-(.
  • Lovey - Noah got permission to sleep with his lovey. While he sleeps just fine without it, he has found consolation in holding it in the middle of the night but we were always afraid to let him keep it. Dr. T took a look and said it didn't pose a hazard for SIDS so we are going to let him have it in his crib when we start sleep training as a comfort. 
  • Noah's is the one on the left. Better buy some back ups if we are starting down this attachment road...
  • Food - Noah likes to watch us eat. He especially likes to try to mimic me eating yogurt. Dr. T said that this would be a good time to start him on the fun of solids! At this point it is occupational therapy for babies rather than a nutrition thing so we are going to try it out at some point in the next week and see how it goes. If it fails, no biggie, if he likes it, bonus. Avocado is up first...I can assure you there will be pictures and a full report.
  • Shot - Noah got one shot today and I had Scott & the bottle all prepared for the pending meltdown. The nurse came in and administered the shot and, go figure, he didn't even let out a whimper. I think he was putting on a brave face for Daddy :-). 
...and the little one said, "roll over, roll over" - It happened, we had our first roll over! Noah went from front to back today. He has never been a fan of tummy time, so I am not terribly surprised that he decided that was the way to turn first but it was so exciting to see. It is amazing to me how one day they can't do it and the next it is like they have been doing it forever. I think we are inching closer to a reverse performance but I am still on Cloud 9 about this one (even though Dr. T made sure to tell me it was not a developmental milestone!).

Progress going back to stomach. He stalls out about this point every time!
A few more from a nice afternoon this past weekend....

Lola on neighborhood watch/

My man in a silly little shirt!

Arnold enjoying his time in the shade.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Supper: Weeks 6 & 7

Week 6
Added to Cookbook?: Definitely!
Thoughts, Tips & Tricks: We decided to make a pesto pasta for the side versus the dollop on top of the chicken. It was perfect!

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into four thick slices
  • Pesto (homemade or store-bought) - Recipe below


  1. Place chicken and one cup of balsamic vinegar in a large plastic bag. Seal bag tightly and place in fridge to marinate for one hour. (Don’t marinate this recipe overnight because over a long period of time, the acid in the vinegar may break down the chicken breast, forming a mushy texture.)
  2. Place the other cup of balsamic vinegar in a small pot on the stove and bring to simmer. Continue simmering for about 15 minutes, until vinegar has reduced and is thick like syrup. Take off stove and let cool while you cook the chicken breasts.
  3. After chicken breasts have finished marinating, preheat grill (or prepare grill pan on the stove). Grill chicken breasts until cooked through, about eight minutes per side. Remove chicken and place on a plate.
  4. Turn broiler on high and place one slice of mozzarella on each chicken breast. Place chicken breasts on a foil-covered sheet tray and broil for three-four minutes until cheese melts.
  5. Top each chicken breast with a dollop of pesto and drizzle balsamic reduction over top.  
Pesto Recipe:
Makes 4 cups

1/4 c Walnuts
1/4 c pine nuts
3 tbsp diced garlic (9 cloves)
5 c fresh basil leaves, packed
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1.5 c good olive oil
1 c freshly grated parmesan cheese

Place walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in bowl of food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 30 seconds. Add the basil, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is finely pureed. Add the parmesan and puree for a minute. 

Toss desired amount with cooked pasta and serve.

Week 7 

Recipe:  Grilled Flank Steak with Roasted Corn, Tomatoes and Chimichurri Sauce
Added to Cookbook?: Definitely!
Thoughts, Tips & Tricks: The recipe calls for the salad to be arranged with each item placed separately around the plate, we decided just to toss it and place the steak on top. 

Kernels from 3 ears of corn
1 flank steak (1.5 lbs)
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil
Red Onion, cut into wedges (we skipped this)
5 c. lettuce greens of your choice (we used a greens mix from Whole Foods)
2 c. cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 can (14 oz.) black beans, rinsed
1 lime, quartered, for garnish

Chimichurri Sauce:
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. chopped shallots
2 tsp. minced garlic
3/4 c. packed fresh parsley leaves
1/4 c. fresh basil leaves
2/3 c. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

1. To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients for Chimichurri Sauce in a blender (or food processor). Pulse 3 or 4 times to combine, but leave the mixture slightly chunky. Taste and add/adjust salt and pepper.

2. Preheat oven to 350. Line rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread corn kernels on it in single layer. Spoon 1 or 2 tbsp. of the Chimichirri Sauce over the corn, mix, and roast until cooked (8-10 minutes).

3. Preheat a stovetop grill pan or outdoor grill. Season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides and brush with oil. Grill until meat is medium-rate, 5-7 minutes on each side. Brush onion with olive oil and grill alongside the meat. When steak is done, place it on a cutting board and brush with 1-2 tbsp. of Chimichurri Sauce, then let it rest for at least 5 min. before thinly slicing it diagonally, against the grain.

4. Place greens on a platter. Arrange tomatoes, black beans and corn on different areas of the platter, leaving room in the center for the meat. Place sliced steak and onions on the salad in the center of the plate. Garnish with lime wedges. Pass the Chimichurri Sauce separately to spoon over individual portions.

We missed last week due to pure exhaustion but we plan on getting back on track this week! It is 75 and sunny today so look for something spring inspired! 

Friday, March 2, 2012

4 Months: Must Haves

I have decided to post another "things that I can't live without" list. A lot of it is still the same as it was early on but I have added a few new ones, too:

Itzbeen Timer - My lifeline. I now time length between feedings, awake time, asleep time, and time since last teething tablets. I suppose I could try and keep all of these thing straight in my own head or read Noah's cues but having this little device counting for me frees up my mind to remember other things (like feeding the dogs!).

My Brest Friend - This seriously is my best friend. Not only do we spend a ridiculous amount of time together in extremely close proximity but it is also a life saver. I am finally getting slightly more adept at nursing without it but I much prefer life with it. The freedom it affords my hands while nursing (to clip tiny finger nails or play on the iPad) is wonderful!

Dog Bowl - While the poms rarely get to come on outings with us anymore this little tool comes in handy for warming bottles on the go. It is hard to ask for a receptacle big enough to dump hot water and a bottle into when dining out so I just bust out the bowl and ask for some piping hot water...problem solved.

Diaper Bag - I started out with a cutesy little diaper bag. That lasted about 8 weeks before it became very clear that these little people require a big amount of stuff. In order to stop the overflow I upgraded to a much bigger model that actually isn't a diaper bag at all. I love it!

Hyland's Teething Tablets - This one is a fresh addition. These things seriously do the trick with our new teether. He has slept markedly better since we introduced these at bedtime.

AngelCare Monitor - Peace.of.mind. This thing is amazing. I originally thought it was going to be a pain when I was setting it up and actually figured out how to disable the movement sensor. Now I can't even begin to fathom turning that sensor off. Knowing that he is safely breathing in his crib allows mom and dad to get some real sleep rather than one ear/eye open to make sure he is ok.

Activity Mat - This is pretty much the only way my house stays clean and I stay showered. Noah LOVES his mat and will bat and coo at things for decent stretches of time. When I need to shower I just drag it so I can see him from the shower and we both do what we need to do. We have also hung about a zillion additional items from the hooks!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Noah News: Week 16

Gum breaking news - On Monday I was going about my day like any know, singing random songs about doing dishes, a little peek-a-boo, diaper changes, enjoying gummy smiles from my boy, and then it happened...I saw something in his mouth. At first I thought it was spit up. Standard. But upon another glance and a little feel I confirmed that my little boy got his first TOOTH! I was shocked! He turns four months old next week, I thought we had at least another month or two until teething was an issue. So, now I feel like a terrible mom because that sleep regression we discussed could very well have been my poor Noah waking up in pain from his teeth (more on this below). In order to combat the mean ole tooth I set out for CVS and picked up every teething item I could get my hands on. Oh, and I emailed the pediatrician for recommendations :-). Below is a small sample of the ridiculousness that ended up in my cart. A teething three month is a challenge because his hand/mouth coordination isn't awesome yet so he doesn't do great holding things at his mouth to chew on...they usually end up flung aside at some point.

Sophie teether. Much easier for his small hands to maneuver than the big Sophie. Plus, this one doesn't squeak which makes Arnold much more sane.
The Orajel was kind of ho-hum. He didn't seem to like it and I didn't see awesome results. The Hyland's Teething Tablets might be the greatest invention ever. This was a doctor recommendation and they work, people!
Snoozy Woozy - I mentioned that the sleep regression could have been the teething. It also could have had nothing to do with it. I am still ok with the approach we took (although I would have probably worked some teething tablets into the line up if I would have known) as it seems to be working. It has taken almost a week and a half but last night we finally got back to 3am and 6am. One night took 2 hours of crying it out but I think he got the picture that there is no food before 2am. Period. Also, having logged two hours of crying already I am scared to death to see what this kid is capable of when we try to cut night feedings all together. I might need to be committed after.
Crazy that this used to be his bed. Now he hangs out in here in the kitchen while we cook or do dishes. He likes to be in on all the action!
40 Days and 40 Nights - No, this actually doesn't have anything to do with Noah's Ark (although the irony is kind of interesting to me). This is about Lent. Tis that time of year again to sacrifice something. Last year I gave up drinking. How nice of me considering I was carrying a little boy in my belly! This year, I will NOT be giving up drinking (9 months gets me off the hook for at least a few years, right?) but rather french fries. While this is not a challenge day-to-day I think it will significantly help my caloric intake when eating out because I love me some fries with my burger/chicken/salad/diet coke...right, pretty much on the side of anything you can obtain at an eating establishment! Speaking of Diet Coke, Scott has taken on that challenge...please pray for us all!!! 

We are family - Noah got to have two special visitors this week...his first cousins once removed (right, let's just call them cousins). Cayce and Erin Eilene both came to visit us and soak up some Noah time. Erin is expecting her little boy at the end of this month and we can't wait to meet the newest member of the Smith clan. How I took zero pictures of their visit is beyond me but it was wonderful to catch up with family and share a little of our California world with them. 

And the Oscar goes to - Not me. I came in last in the fun game of ballot guessing (5 right) with Cayce blowing away the competition (10 right).  Noah was kissing up to his Grandma a perfect angel and loved watching Grandma's very favorite programming of the year. Maybe next year we will be able to witness one of her epic pre-Oscar parties (I say pre because once the show is on it is sit down and shut up time).
Look at that focus!
Heat Wave Blasts Peninsula - Noah and I took full advantage of a heat wave that blew through last week and parked out in the front yard for some afternoon play time. It was SO nice to get outside for a few hours and watch the neighborhood and get some fresh air. It has me very anxious for the weather to be consistently gorgeous! 
Hands in mouth. Silly tooth.
"I love playing outside, mom"
Root, root, root for the home team - There is a huge small argument in our house as to who Noah is going to root for when it comes to baseball. As far as I am concerned, I spend 99% of my time with him so he will be a Cardinals fan if I have to brainwash him to do so. That said, we will be attending 99% of his baseball viewing experiences at AT&T park watching the Giants. I guess he can be both as long as he knows that when they play each other it is all about the red birds!
We're #1!
Back up team ;-)
This Stanford nonsense won't do either. I need to get this kid in some black and gold!