Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Thomas Update {second surgery scheduled}!

Just wanted to pop in with a little update on Thomas. I am so humbled by the prayers, emails, gifts, meals, cards and more that we continue to receive. I truly have wonderful friends and readers and am so thankful. It seems like just when I'm about to hit my breaking point, a sweet email rolls in or flowers show up at my door and I'm encouraged all over again that we can do this!!

Yesterday we had our 500th checkup for the little man. He is doing really great. The doctor was really pleased with Thomas' healing progress and informed us that we can reduce our eye drop regimen from four types of medicated drops four times a day (yes, 16 drops total!) down to TWO medications twice a day! Hallelujah! Squeezing those drops into an infant's eyes every few hours was rough. Thomas has really grown to hate the drops and they burn his eyes and irritate his eye lid, eye brow and cheek really bad. As much as I hate the drops, I know they are helping him heal so I try to remind myself of that when I am at my wits end trying to pry his tightly shut eye open and missing his eye several times until enough of the medication makes it in! We also still have to keep his shield on his eye when he isn't being closely monitored so he doesn't rub his eye or worse, his sister pokes his eye. I have a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with this thing too because every time I remove it to administer the drops the tape pulls his skin so badly and he freaks out. 

But seriously, perspective. This could be so much worse. I know it. And to all of the readers who have reached out to me with their similar or even more challenging stories, I applaud you for being such strong mamas! 

So we have a date for the second surgery - October 6. Next Tuesday! We were a little upset with how far apart the surgeries were scheduled because we are ready to get past this first big hurdle and we have another big family medical procedure quickly approaching that we're trying to prepare for. But, our doctor assured us that it would be better to space the surgeries out to reduce the risk of infection and other complications. So we are trying to stay patient. But it's hard. 

Since Thomas' surgery I have been working from home so I could administer the eye drops myself but yesterday I took Thomas to daycare so I could return to the office. It was so much harder than I had anticipated. He'd been in daycare for about a week before we found out about his condition and I handled that transition okay, but leaving him anywhere now (including his swing while I fold laundry) makes me so anxious. I constantly worry he is scared or looking for me. But his teachers really are so great and before I left they told me about a blind baby they cared for a few years ago and how much he learned and grew in that year together. They said they would be working on different types of sensory development activities with Thomas and would really capitalize on his strengths. 

So now we just need to get through this next surgery! Thomas will recover for about two weeks before we begin our contacts journey (which we've been informed is the hardest part in all of this)! But I can't wait. I am dying for the day that Thomas gets his contacts in and we can watch his reaction. We don't know how much he will be able to see but we are praying for a healing miracle!
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Monday, September 28, 2015

Wrap it Up: Easy {Freezable} Breakfast Burritos

My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. It also happens to be the meal I have the least time for so I usually try and keep it simple or prep it on the weekend for the entire week. For years I've started my morning with an egg sandwich (you can find that throwback post here) but recently I've switched things up and started making breakfast wraps. They are healthy, delicious and I can make them in large batches and freeze. However, I usually just make enough for the week for Matt and me to both eat. I've found that if I don't make something easy Matt can grab from the fridge on his way out the door he will skip breakfast or worse, he'll swing through the drive through on his way in.
The wraps are great because the possibilities are endless so I can get as creative as I want each week. My go to breakfast wrap is the sausage, egg & cheese wrap though. It's also Matt's favorite. So here's how I keep our breakfast to 30 seconds of prep each morning...

Easy {Freezable} Breakfast Wraps

Ingredients
1 dozen eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 pound sausage
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
10 Tortillas
salt & pepper
wax paper

Directions
1. Place your eggs in a large mixing bowl and scramble. Add in your milk (or cream) while the eggs are mixing.

2. In a large skillet, cook tortillas over medium heat. You are only going to cook them for about 10 seconds.
3. Using your large skillet, cook the sausage. Set aside.

4. In that same large skillet, add way more butter than you think you'll need. Pour your eggs into the pan and keep stirring using a spatula until fluffy and cooked. Set aside.

5. Organize your ingredients in to a little assembly line. 

6. Assemble each wrap by starting with the tortilla, adding the eggs, sausage and cheese. Then fold up the wrap by tucking in both ends and rolling up. Wrap in wax paper.

7. Store wraps in a Ziploc bag and place in fridge to eat within a week OR freeze them for later. If freezing, place each wrap on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and flash freeze in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Store the wraps in a plastic freezer bag that has been labeled with the date.

8. When ready to eat, microwave your thawed wrap for about 30 seconds at 50% power. From frozen, you will need to microwave for 3 minutes at 50% power.

My favorite tips for fluffy scrambled egg:
  • Use a stand mixer and don't stop mixing until you pour your eggs in the skillet.
  • Add a little milk or cream while the eggs are mixing.
  • Cook over low heat.
  • Don't stop stirring once the eggs hit the pan.
  • Use a spatula and not a whisk.
  • Add way more butter than you think you need.
Since we've been trying to cut carbs when we can I splurged a little to buy low carb wraps.
One of my girlfriends recently introduced me to Neese's Country Sausage and while I'm not a huge sausage person I've found this locally made sausage pretty tasty. Charlotteans, you can find it at Harris Teeter and a variety of other places. All others can order it online and have it shipped to your home! Not a sponsored post, just too dang delicious not to spread the word!
You can get as creative as you want with these. Try adding in bell peppers, spinach, black beans, salsa, different types of cheese or meats, etc.!
Prefer your eggs between slices of bread? Check out my recipe for Easy (Freezable} Breakfast Sandwiches.
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Friday, September 25, 2015

I'm 29!

Today is my 29th birthday! Originally we had plans to wake up in Florida this morning since it is also my mom's 60th birthday weekend. But, as you know, we ran into a little kink. Pretty bummed because this is the 4th trip to Florida we've had to unexpectedly cancel (and two surprise parties - my baby shower, and mom's surprise birthday dinner) this year and my parents still haven't met Thomas. Plus I wanted to see my seester before she pops very, very soon. Obviously, working on Thomas' eyesight is a million times more important though! 
 
Anyway, on to a hodge podge of birthday stuff and too many exclamation points...
 
Tonight we're heading to dinner. Matt made reservations for us at a new restaurant that I've been wanting to try - Dogwood Southern Table & Bar.
 
Last week at Supper Club we celebrated September birthdays!
Laura and I share the exact birthday today! She surprised me with the most amazing (Fir & Firewood) candle ever. It smells so good I don't even want to burn it!
 
I also had more birthday gifts arrive from my family yesterday and I am embarrassingly excited about the wipes dispenser gift from my sister that I'd been talking about for far too long. I also got stocked up on my favorite fall candle - Flannel!
 
Matt got me a pretty necklace with Caroline and Thomas' initials. LOVE! He also wanted to get these Tory Burch riding boots for my birthday but when we went to try them on they came up too high and looked awkward on me. Lame. So I'm still on the hunt for a nice, plain, brown leather flat boot for the fall. Open to suggestions!
 
So today begins the one year countdown to my 30th!
 
*Dear Matt, time to start planning and saving for my surprise 30th Mexico trip! 
But really, all I want is a HEALTHY and happy year. Truly.
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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Toddler Talk {Volume I}

For those of you with wild toddlers in the house, have you ever paid attention to some of the ridiculous things you've done or things you've caught yourself saying out loud? Recently I've noticed Matt and I saying more and more absurd things to Caroline so I thought it would be fun to catalog these quotes that have been overheard in our house to look back on one day...
 
Matt: What did Caroline have for dinner?
Christina: Ketchup.
Matt: I think she wants seconds...
Chasing me around the house after I said no to seconds
While looking for Caroline's bow...
Christina: Caroline, where did you put your bow?
Caroline: Bo!
While impatiently waiting for her TV dinner to cook...
Christina: Please stop hugging the microwave.
Caroline: ....
 
While changing Thomas' diaper on the changing table...
Christina: Thomas just peed on the wall.
Matt: Again? 
 
While scanning the DVR for something to watch after collapsing into bed...
Christina: What do you want to watch?  
Matt: Well, we have 37 episodes of Mickey Mouse clubhouse to choose from.
Christina: You pick.

While getting ready to walk 267 steps (we've counted!) home from playdate...
McKinsey: Do you want a drink for the road?
Christina: Matt's getting home late. Make it a double.
After watching Caroline eat the last cheerio she'd been carrying around the house...
Matt: Caroline just ate the last cheerio in her hand and she may want more.
Christina: We've been out of cheerios for at least three weeks... 

While loading the kids into the car at daycare...
Christina: Keep one hand on the stroller! Caroline! Stay by the stroller. Do not let go of the stroller.
Caroline: ...he he...he he...
Would love to hear some of the funny things said or done around your house!
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Happy 1st Day of Fall {Pumpkin Dip}!


Happy First Day of Fall!

To celebrate the first day of my favorite season each year I always re-share one of my most popular fall recipes - Pumpkin Dip! And I know y'all love it too because this recipe/post is always one of my top 3 blog posts of all time! My mother-in-law shared this recipe with me long ago and we both pretty much keep a container of it in our fridge all season long. It's a quick snack to throw together, it keeps well and you can make it as healthy as you want. For girls nights I'll serve it with vanilla waffers and ginger snaps. And when I'm trying to behave I'll make it with low fat cool whip, sugar free pudding and eat it with apples!

So here it is again! Bring out the best of fall's flavors with this super easy pumpkin dip.
Fall Pumpkin Dip

Ingredients
15 oz can of pumpkin

5 oz box of instant vanilla pudding {just the powder, don't make the pudding}
16 oz container of cool whip 
small pumpkin
½ Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
½ Tablespoon cinnamon
Optional spider decor  


Instructions

1. Mix pumpkin, pudding mix powder, cool whip and pumpkin pie spice together in a large bowl.

2. Chill for several hours in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, carve out your pumpkin.

3. Fill carved pumpkin with dip. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve with fresh apples slices, vanilla wafers or ginger snaps.


Print recipe for Fall Pumpkin Dip.

Note: Sometimes I like to add a little spider ring to the spook up my dip around Halloween. You can find them for a few dollars (here)!
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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hello! Football Season {& Ultimate Tote Giveaway!}

Football season is finally upon us! We have a divided house since Matt is an Ohio State fan and I am a Gator fan. But I will say, ever since Urban Meyer went to the Buckeyes I've tried to like them just a tad bit more. Anyway, I'm not sure how many w's my team will be pulling this year but I'll be rooting for my Gators all season long regardless!

Speaking of football season, today I have some really awesome items to share with you! I recently partnered with CoraLee Boutique to showcase their 2015 Tailgate line which features budget-friendly monogrammed totes, scarves, door decor, baseball caps, bows, baskets and so much more for game day! I'll try to contain my sorority girl excitement while we dive right in to the monogrammed goodness...

First up, the Market Basket! I received it in blue with an orange monogram because...Gators! This basket is so versatile and I've seen it used in so many ways from toting tailgate snacks to storing diapers, wipes and toys in the trunk of the car. Most recently I packed my basket full of game day goodies for an afternoon of football watching with friends. The basket is durable (strong enough to hold your booze), roomy (18"L x 11.5"W x 9"H.) and it comes with a monogram which makes this the perfect tote.
I also love how the collapsible design allows this tote to be stored completely flat so it doesn't take up any room at all. It has inside open mesh pockets, and easy to carry padded handle, rubber feet on the bottom and the polyester cover is removable for cleaning! 
Next up is the Wooden Football monogram, one of my very favorites! I have been seeing these popping up on doors around my neighborhood and have wondered where I could get one. I am so excited about this decoration for my front door for football season.
Last but not least, the Striped Ultimate Tote. Again, I went with Gator colors but it comes in a variety of colors and monograms! This polyester tote is huge (21” L x 11” W x 13.5” H) which I love, has SIX inside open pockets and long handles. There are SO many uses in my future for this adorable tote!  
And guess what? Courtney, the amazing owner of CoraLee Boutique has generously offered to give away a Striped Ultimate Tote to one lucky reader! Enter using the rafflecopter below! Good luck!
Want to pick up a few other things from the shop too? Use promo code CAROLINACHARM at checkout for a 15% discount! Happy shopping!
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway    
 
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