Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Covert Vegetable Tactics: Zucchini Bread

Since H is not fond of veggies these days, we used some covert tactics to sneak in some zucchini with Zucchini Bread!

Totally easy to make:

1.  Start with 2 eggs beaten

2.  Mix in 1 1/3 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla

3.  Mix in 3 cups grated zucchini and then 2/3 cup melted unsalted butter

4.  Mix in 2 teaspoons baking soda and a pinch of salt

5.  Follow with adding in 3 cups all-purpose flour, one cup at a time.

6.  Sprinkle in 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

7.  Mix it all up and put in your greased bread pan

8.  Bake for approximately 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I do not negotiate with terrorists.

The other day, we made a Family Field Trip to meet Baby Luke, newly arrived son of Mr. and Mrs. Schmaeling, and take his parents some dinner.

He was so precious, and it makes you miss the days when your Pork Chop was a little Nugget....

.... especially when your Nugget is into full-fledged temper tantrums these days.  

Much to H's chagrin... his mother 

And I remain unmoved to these brief spurts of baby-gone-wild activity.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

15 Months

Dear Harrison,

You are 15 months old and very quickly becoming more "toddler" than "baby." 
 (Insert sob here.)

You are such an independent little man, and love doing things all by yourself.

You aren't just walking, you're running.  Especially after your ear tube surgery on Friday.

You are chattering away as well.

You are about 22 pounds, and are in Size 4 diapers and Size 12-18 Month clothing.

Favorite hobbies at the moment:

Reading a good book.  
Your favs include "Brown Bear, Brown Bear," "Curious George Goes to the Zoo," and anything with animals.

You also enjoy being in the buff.

These hobbies seem to work well together.

You LOVE hide-and-seek, especially when Mommy is crawling around on the floor with you.

Until your BFF, Mickey Mouse, appears.
Or Little Einsteins.  

And then you are fixated on them and them alone.  

You are still a picky eater!  It's a challenge every day to get you filled up, and Mommy ends up offering 4-5 different things because some days you like certain things, and the next day you hate it.

You are also fascinated (still) with ceiling fans and light switches.  You love flipping the light switches on and off, and have also discovered the beauty of taking things and putting them in the bath tub.  Even if they have no business in there.  

Things are definitely interesting each and every day with you - it's always something new!

And we're loving it.  

Onward to toddler-hood! 

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I thought the best way to celebrate H's 15 Months was ear tube surgery.

Aren't I sweet?

He was a champ during yesterday's early morning procedure.

We arrived at 6am, and although he was speculative at best, even with his brave Mickey Mouse pajamas and Mickey Mouse stuffed animal there with him. 

H breezed through the 10 minute surgery and was back in Mommy's arms within a few minutes.

A little out of it...

Snoozing on the way home....

Little Man was a champ yesterday, even if Mommy was a nervous wreck.  

By Noon, he was a ball of energy - running around everywhere, all smiles!

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers for our little H!

Monday, July 16, 2012


Y'all, we're living in an infirmary here.

This weekend, Mr. Smith and I were struck down with some sort of stomach bug/virus/food poisoning...
... and it wasn't pretty.

Baby H has been dealing with some pretty major ear infections...
.... so majorly painful he's having tubes put in his ears this Friday morning.

Good thing Nurse Cooper's been on the watch.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bringing Up Budget-Friendly BeBe

A recent government study estimates that raising a child from now until age 18 will cost parents approximately $235,000.

Not including college.

That’s about $13,055 per year.

About $1088 per month.

Without adding in annual inflation…. So……

The important take-away item here is NOT TO PANIC. 

Inhale.  Exhale.  Deep breaths. 

This price tag includes housing, food, transportation, child care, and education.

And that’s for one.  ONE.

Don’t forget to save for your own retirement.

Are you laughing now?

Here in the Smith House, Mrs. Smith runs a tight ship with the ol’ monthly budget. 

Here’s a snapshot of we’ve found helps ease that $235K heartburn for us:

Do your homework.  Finding the best deals on the necessary items, like diapers, isn’t hard with the plethora of mommy blogs out there.  We use AmazonMom.com’s Subscribe & Save for our diapers, which runs approximately $34/month.  And is delivered free to my doorstep on the 15th of every month.  One less thing to worry about.  (And which means if you’re counting… even with that great deal, we’ve spent about $500 on diapers since H made his debut.  I can’t even think about what $500 would be in a 529 account with compound interest in 18 years.)  With wipes, usually Publix, CVS, or Babies ‘R Us runs a special every 12 weeks, and if you pair that with couponing… BAM.  Stock up and Save. 

           Speaking of 529 accounts… It’s never too early to start saving for college.  We use the CollegeCount 529 account for a monthly ration for H’s future education.  It’s on automatic transfer, with bonuses scheduled for Christmas and Birthday.  Just what every child puts on their Wish List, right?  Bonus:  you get tax credit in the state of Alabama for your contributions.

         Using your present funds wisely, like having a Dependent Care Account, eases your annual tax burden.  My employer offers a DCA Account, in which we take full advantage, for H’s school.  DCA Accounts rock my world, because basically, it lessens our income tax burden by $5000, which is currently the maximum you can contribute on a pre-tax basis.  (Note:  I’m not sure how this will change with all the new healthcare reform, since I’m reading that Flexible Spending Accounts contributions will decrease to a $2500 max. starting 2013.)

            Join.  There are a ton of freebie organizations for your money-saving prowess.  Publix Baby Club is a great one – free to join, plus they send you coupons and baby sale notifications all the time.  Cash in on Pampers and Huggies freebie points that come with every package of diapers you buy. 

          Get over the hype on having expensive clothing for your little one for daily wear and tear.  Because you know what?  Every day at school there is either some kind of art project, outside play, messy food, or Code Brown (you know what I’m talking about) incident.  And that $75 you dropped on that new smocked outfit doesn’t have the same sparkle with stains, now does it?  I have loved shopping our area’s Consignment Stores and Seasonal Sales, scouring out the best bargains for my little man.  And I don’t mind one bit if he comes home with paint, mud, and dried mac-n-cheese on that $3 t-shirt.  We reserve the cute outfits for special occasions, and I have a rule that I don’t spend over $25 on those outfits.  Except on very, VERY, special occasions.  My favorite spots around Birmingham are Korduroy Krocodile, Short n’ Sweet Shop, Little Lavender, and our Fall & Spring Area Consignment Sales.  And I’ve been lucky to scoop up great deals by taking advantage of seasonal clearance bargains at Old Navy and Gap.  Like, even buying ahead of time for 18 – 2 years of age, since I know what season he’ll be in around that age.

      Recycle.  I’m on a toy rotation with H.  That’s right – I sock away a handful of his toys in his closet, and then rotate them out with a new group every couple of weeks.  Keeps things interesting, and he gets a “fresh” batch of toys.

      Listen to other mommies.  This might be the most important one, because no one knows the number crunching like other moms.  They know the where the best deals are and what you actually need.  For example, word on the mommy street is that Target-brand size 4 diapers are an easy substitute for Pampers and Huggies, saving you a little over $10 a month.  Anyone else hear this little tidbit?  Should I take the bait?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Proud to be a Little American

H took part in his school's Patriotic Parade yesterday, which showcased just how proud my little American was of his country....

America's #1!

Lucky for H, some proud grandparents were in town and swung by to catch the parade...

Today, H and Mommy spent some quality time at the Farm, soaking in the rays.  
Patriotically, of course.

Hope y'all had a wonderful Fourth of July!
We are so blessed to live in this country and be raising a little American!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sunday Creativity

We got a little creative Sunday afternoon.


Do these ingredients pique your taste buds?
Imagine the smell of frying bacon in the background...

Mix up your Philadelphia Chive & Onion Cream Cheese (may have to heat it up in the microwave to get it easier to mix),
Can of Chicken Breast (drained),
Bacon (cooked, about 6 strips),
And some Mozzarella Cheese (use a lot - cheese is good).

Plop that goodness on your Crescent rolls...

Wrap up the yummy-ness in Crescent rolls...

And bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes.

If you like gooey goodness, then this dish is for you.

We're all about the finer things in life, here in Chef Smith's kitchen.

And it gets somebody running to the kitchen...

Yes, that's how we're walking/running these days.
Arms fully outstretched.
Precious thing.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

All Roads Lead to Alabama?

I'm beginning to think all roads lead to Alabama.

For the past couple of weeks, I keep looking around and noticing how many fabulously creative people are making it in the big time that are from here.

Do you know my sorority sister, Lauren?
She is a fashion designer - like, a for real one.  With the cutest clothes I've ever seen, in magazines, on celebrities... the works.
We use to live together in the sorority house, and she would design her own clothes there, and we just knew... this girl was going to make it.
Plus, I'm pretty sure she's the sweetest gal ever.
Check out her Leona Collection.

This guy here, Mr. Matt Bees, was recently featured on HGTV.
He's an interior designer
Might I brag that we were SGA nerds together?

Then, I'm watching TV and who do I see?
This gal... Miss Morgan Smith Goodwin

Whom I went to high school with.
Doing her sassy "Now that's better" line in the new Wendy's commercials.
Now all of you will watch these commercials and say to yourself, "Hey!  That's a friend of Mrs. Smith's!"
Now go show your support and go to Wendy's.

Know who else is from my hometown?

His name is Channing.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock... one of his movies opened this weekend.
I hear it's called Magic Mike?
And I pitched my "We need to go support Channing in this movie to Mr. Smith this weekend."
Regardless that I've never met him.
But still... we should support his cinema efforts and talents!
And failed miserably.
So, we compromised and rented 21 Jump Street instead.