Nolan Michael…the Toddler Days!

Nolan is officially the age that Brady was when he was born- right around 21 months. I can’t for the life of me picture how I managed a newborn and someone Nolan’s age. I’m sure the only reason it was possible is because Brady was a completely different 21 month old than Nolan is. Brady was calm, quiet, and liked to play independently. Those are not exactly the words I’d use to describe Nolan, but he’s fantastic in his own way. He’s at such a fun age, that I wanted to take the time to write a post that could act as a “snap shot” of a typical day in the life of Nolan. I want to remember as many of his little quirks and catch phrases as possible.


Just woke up. Must bring all items from my crib downstairs.

You never quite know what kind of Nolan will wake up each day. Happy and singing a song?! Screaming and demanding you take his socks off?! Busy and talking to the pictures on his wall?! Either way, you can just about count on the fact that he will not want to get out of bed without his “night-night” (blankie) and Pup-pup (puppy.)

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The other thing we can count on each morning is that Nolan will wake up HUNGRY. “Snack! Milk! Foffle! Pancake!” Just a few of the things he yells at us as soon as we come downstairs.


You must always be prepared with snacks and milk when Nolan wakes up. Keep the beast happy.

The boy enjoys his breakfast. Yogurt is always a favorite (and one of the few healthy foods he requests.)


9 times out of 10 Nolan is not satisfied with only eating his own breakfast. Generally he assesses the situation to scope out what everyone else is eating and either grabs it out of your hand/mouth or, when he’s being polite, stares you down and says, “I want some.”


At some point in the morning, you will inevitably hear Nolan say from the other room, “Yay. I did it.” To which we respond, “What did you do, Bubba?!” and he very matter of factly states, “I pooped. I stink. Stink! Stank! Stunk!” We’ve never accused him of being subtle.


Other favorite phrases, “I’m awesome” “Hot Mess!” and “Wow. I’m fast!”

When it comes to playtime, Nolan is all boy. He loves all the things his big brother loves- trains, cars, and airplanes. In fact, he plays with cars and trucks even more than Brady ever has. It’s one of the few times he’s quiet and calm…


Nolan loves to line up his “f*cks” (trucks) Still waiting on him to turn that “F” sound into a “TR”


He also reeeeally likes to drive his “f*cks” up the “Mommy Mountain. Wheee!” It hurts a little…

He usually plays really hard- running around full speed, knocking things over, singing, squealing, roaring, and then all of a sudden needs a break. Like anywhere…


On school days, Nolan and I get lots of “Mommy and Me” time.


The boy is a big fan of selfies. Like, wants to do them all the time.

Some mornings we go to Toddler Time at the library or walk the park. Other mornings we run errands- lots of Target runs.


My Target buddy- wiping down the cart like it’s his job. “Mess! Yuck! All better!”

And, most mornings he falls asleep in the car because he just can’t quite hang yet without a little morning snooze.


And of course this usually happens as we’re on our way to pick up Brady from school!

When we go into Brady’s school, Nolan gets excited and tells me “lollipop!” (Brady’s teacher made the mistake of letting Nolan choose something from her treasure box once. Since then, Brady’s school= Lollipop.) After we get home and he takes his afternoon nap, he wakes up…yup, you guessed it, HUNGRY.


Snack time Round 177…

When the weather is nice in the afternoon Nolan loves to play outside!


“Folfing” is the BEST! And he WILL throw a fit if someone leaves the house with golf clubs and he’s not invited.


Walks in the park are cool too (as long as there are snacks involved.)

One of our favorite things about Nolan is his ability to talk/sing non-stop He just doesn’t shut up! We joke that he narrates his own life. In a car ride he goes from describing everything he sees on the road- “f*ck! tractor! bulldozer! light!” to naming the members of our family, “mommy! daddy! Brady! Nolie! Albert! Gato!” to singing a prayer, “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Ah-men. A-men!” to labeling the parts of his body, “eyes! nose! tongue! hair!” And occasionally he’ll treat us with a little gem like this…

When dinner time comes around, Nolan is not shy about expressing his hunger. His favorite foods are pizza, tacos, “foofies” (cookies) and hummus. He doesn’t exactly crave the healthiest of foods…

After dinner, Brady and Nolan usually run around the house chasing each other or playing on their riding toys. When Daddy is home, they have dance parties and play Hide and Seek. Nolan, bless his heart, tries so hard to hide and be quiet, but usually calls himself out by loudly saying “Husssshhhh!! I hiding.”  Either way, he just loves playtime with his daddy!


No one makes Bubba laugh quite like daddy.

At the end of the day Brady and Nolan take their bath together. Nolan always initiates the splashing.



He is the first to splash, and the one who cries the loudest when water gets in his eyes.

When I put Nolan’s jammies on he usually asks for powder and lotion. He specifically says, “Lotion. Feet.” (People who know my feelings on feet should be impressed that I will in fact put lotion on his little *clean* feet.) And usually as I do this he looks at me and very seriously says, “I’m fancy.” Apparently soft feet=Fancy.

Right before bed we always read books with Brady- Nolan loves to “read along” with sound effects and voices for the characters.

When it’s time to say goodnight- Nolan doesn’t leave anyone out. “Night-night, Brady. Night-night, Albert. Night-night, fan. Night-night, downstairs.” And then it’s off to thumb-sucking, blankie snuggling, dreamland…but not before a quick song that he sings to his night-light and space heater.


We love this kid so much. From morning to night, happy to sad, clean to messy, and everything in between, he keeps us laughing!


Loving this age- full of toddler energy and laughs, but still baby enough for some mommy snuggles!

Veggie Egg Bake- Kids Cook Monday


Eggs are always a great go-to for Meatless Mondays around here. Brady has always loved eggs-Nolan, not so much. However, I find that if they are in something else (like a quiche or a breakfast sandwich) he will eat them. This egg bake we made for Kids Cook Monday has gotten his stamp of approval. We have this dish in different varieties several times a month. It’s easy to throw together and you can add in whatever you have one hand (bacon, mushrooms, spinach, turkey sausage, etc.) We like it equally well as a meat or vegetarian meal. It’s great for breakfast, but we have it a lot for dinner. It’s also a nice way to sneak some veggies into a meal for kiddos (or adults) who are a little picky.

Here’s how we made ours!


1 can of crescent rolls
6 eggs
About 1/2 cup milk
Salt and Pepper to season veggies and egg mixture
Your choice of produce- we used;
1/2 green pepper, 1/2 onion, 1/2 a container of mushrooms, handful of grape tomatoes, handful of green onions
2 Cups shredded cheese


Any combo of vegetables would be delicious in this!

We started by chopping up our vegetables and giving them a quick sautee in olive oil. We seasoned them with salt and pepper.

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Then we prepared our egg mixture. We whisked up 6 eggs with 1/2 a cup of milk and a little salt and pepper. We also threw our green onions in the mixture.


Then we got to assembling…


Brady helped unroll the sheet of crescent rolls and press them into the (greased) baking dish.


Then we topped the crescent dough with our sautéed veggies, 2 cups of cheese and poured our egg mixture on top.


We baked the whole thing at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes (or until the egg mixture is completely firm.)


We serve ours with salad or fruit for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It also makes great leftovers for the next day’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner!


We’ve also made this with salsa and pepper-jack cheese for a Mexican flair. Gotta love kid friendly food that appeals to the whole family and is EASY- Win, win, win!


Greek Yogurt Berry Pancakes- Kids Cook Monday


We love Greek Yogurt around here! It’s always in our fridge and while it’s a great breakfast or snack on it’s own, I love when I find a new way to use it. I’ve been trying to find ways to incorporate more protein into our breakfasts lately (and some of us are not in the mood for eggs too early in the morning!) so I decided to try adding Greek Yogurt into a pancake batter. I’ve seen lots of versions of this online, but I like this one the best. It’s sweetened by the yogurt and comes out thick and fluffy.

Greek Yogurt Berry Pancakes


1/2 Cup Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 container Blueberry Greek Yogurt
1 Egg
About a cup of any type of berry


The strawberries can go in the batter or as a garnish on top.

(This recipe made about 3-4 pancakes. So, for our family we definitely doubled it!)


In one bowl, we mixed the Baking Soda and Flour.



In another bowl we mixed the egg and yogurt.



Then, we mixed the two bowls together.



Brady threw some of the strawberries into the batter for good measure.



It should be noted that the batter was thick and not pretty. Tasty when cooked, but not pretty.



We put a little butter on the griddle before spooning the batter on. We flipped them when they began to bubble a little in the middle and the other side was brown.



A few more strawberries, just because.


Not the prettiest, but yummy!

This pancake recipe is not overly sweet, so some recipes I’ve seen call for extra sugar or even a little honey. We left that out of ours because we knew that we’d be adding syrup to the top and they’d be plenty sweet. I was pleasantly surprised by how these came out and I really want to try different versions of it…with vanilla yogurt and bananas, with peach yogurt and peaches. The possibilities are endless!







We’ve been in our new home for about 3 weeks now. Honestly, it feels like a lot longer! This place just felt like home from the minute we moved in. Here’s a little recap of how our home has shaped up since December 26…


We had our closing at 8 AM the morning after Christmas. Every year Chris holds back one present for me for the day after Christmas. This year it was keys to a new house!


Shortly after we closed on the house, the movers arrived to load up our stuff from the rental house. Nolan was an excellent supervisor.


Good-bye rental house! You were good to us for those quick 8 months we lived in you. (Sadly, our awesome tree did not come with us. He found a new home in the woods out back.)




Moving into the new house…patiently waiting for the movers to bring all their toys in!


Chris and I did not waste any time unpacking. Our first night in the new house was fueled by Chardonnay as we made our way through the boxes.


Here’s what our house looks like now!



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North Carolina doormat!

Here’s how she looks from the inside…


This is the hallway and stairs that are to the left when you walk in the front door. We hung our very favorite pictures that reflect all the places our family has lived- Florida, NC and Pennsylvania. (Thank you Darrah and Kisha for 2 of those!)



This leads into the boys’ playroom. (Otherwise known as formal dining room, but that’s not how this family is using this room!)



The playroom (doorway leads to the pantry and kitchen) with our Pennsylvania barn star. We also have the boys’ birth announcements hanging (gift from Auntie MB!)



The builder gave us some extra windows in this room so it is nice and bright. Perfect for a cheery playroom! (Or formal dining room someday!)

But truth be told, this room is never this neat and tidy. It usually looks like this…


Down the hall is our kitchen. I love that I can see the playroom from the kitchen now!


Next to the kitchen is a little bump out area that we added. This is where we have our dining table. We really like it because it’s close to the kitchen and next to the living room. It’s all very open. It also has a sliding door that leads to the deck out back.



This is another super bright room!



This is what you see if you look straight down the hall from the front door. Would love to eventually update our dining chairs, but for now, that’ll have to go on the wishlist.


Here’s Brady in the open area between our kitchen and living room. It’s usually where they use their riding toys and race in a circle through the playroom and kitchen.


This leads into the living room. We just hung some pictures, so now it’s really feeling more homey. (Sidenote: the pictures currently hanging are of just me, Chris and Brady! I ordered some new prints to reflect the fact that we are now a family of FOUR! Sorry for the delay, Nolan.)



Hi Albert!

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We’re really happy with how everything has turned out. It’s crazy to think that less than 6 months ago this was all just a plot of uncleared land. We feel very blessed to have been a part of the process of creating our forever home. But of course, regardless of the house we’re in, home is wherever I’m with these guys!

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“Healthy” 7 Layer Dip- Kids Cook Monday (Football Edition!)

One of our favorite things to do on the weekends is watch football. Our kiddos cheer for our teams and clueless-ly scream, “Touchdown!” whenever we get excited about a play. This weekend was full of NFL playoff games (sadly, the Cowboys were robbed of their win) and tonight is the college football Championship game. We’re sad to see football end this year, but happy to indulge in some football-watchin’ food!


One of our favorite party foods is 7 Layer Dip (or Taco Dip). We have it at most of our family gatherings, but I thought it would be fun to do a little makeover with a few tweaks for a slightly healthier version. We made this up yesterday for a meet and greet with our new neighbors to watch the Broncos/Colts game and are enjoying it again tonight for the Ohio State/Oregon Championship game.

Here’s what went into our new and improved 7 Layer Dip…



1 Can Refried Black Beans
1 Container Guacamole
1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 can sliced black olives
About half a jar chunky salsa
3 stalks of chopped green onion
1 brick of Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
Chips for Dipping

We swapped out the refried pinto beans for refried black beans, and the sour cream for non-fat Plain Greek Yogurt. I also switched up my regular onion for green onion (just for a change!) and regular tomatoes for salsa (just for a little more flavor!) This was an easy dish to assemble. Here’s how we layered ours…

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Beans, guac, Greek Yogurt, Black olives, salsa, green onions, and cheese on top!

There were lots of kid helping opportunities for this dip- Spreading the beans on the bottom of the dish, grating the cheese, opening and draining the olives, sprinkling the cheese on top, and Brady’s favorite…cutting the green onions with big scissors!


Even though this dip did not bring the Cowboys much luck, it did help Chris drown his sorrows…


And Brady is pretty much a fan of anything with guacamole and olives. He’d root for that team all day long!


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You really can’t go wrong with any combo of these ingredients…


And for what it’s worth, you could really healthy up this football food by eating it with Baked Tortilla chips (And the leftovers also make a mean taco salad!)


Happy Football Watching!


Veggie Hummus Wraps- Kids Cook Monday

Happy New Year! January is usually my least favorite month, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to look at it as a fresh start where everything is new and it can actually be somewhat motivating! As much as I hate to say good-bye to the holidays, family, and overall lack of routine, my inner planner and organizer really likes when the structure of day to day reality comes back. So, with that in mind, it’s time to get back to our Kids Cook Monday posts. This one is extra exciting because it was made in our new kitchen!


These guys were filled with light cream cheese, hummus, beans, and whatever veggie you have on hand that your kiddos love!

We decided to make some Veggie Hummus Wraps for lunch today. They were really, really, good. This idea came from the fact that we needed a meatless lunch that was going to be tasty but full of protein. These wraps delivered for both categories. Here are the ingredients that went into our wraps- really you can put anything in them that you have on hand that sounds good to you.

Whole Wheat Tortillas
Light Cream Cheese
Hummus (any flavor)
Shredded Lettuce
Black Olives
Black Beans
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Diced Red Pepper
Diced Cucumber


For today’s lunch we did lots of chopping and assembling. Brady loves to help with cutting up vegetables (he feels so big!) and today he was an expert cheese grater as well.

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Giving a 3 year old an entire block of cheese to grate…that was just too much power. He couldn’t resist.

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For the assembly, we took one Whole Wheat Tortilla and spread cream cheese on half of it, and hummus on the other half. We sprinkled our beans, then veggies and cheese on next.

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Then we began to tightly roll the tortilla by starting with the cream cheese side and rolling towards the hummus (this way each bite has both hummus and cream cheese in it!)

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Then I carefully sliced our wraps into little pinwheels to make them easier to eat. I mean, they were messy either way, but this seemed to work best for my boys.



These were a hit!

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I went ahead and took the time to figure up how much protein/fiber were in one of these wraps including the tortilla, hummus, cream cheese, and beans. 8 grams of protein! 6.5 grams of fiber! That’s not counting the shredded cheddar or veggies either. I also love that this is so versatile- I’m picturing adding avocado, tomatoes or spinach leaves next time. I’m all for eating healthy, but much like my kiddos, I’m not down for it if it doesn’t taste good. But, in the wise, ever so eloquently put, words of Brady, “This is good.”