Baby Girl Resources: Guest Post by Erin

Monday, March 28, 2011

Note from Leslie: We are all in for a big treat! My dearest friend Erin has agreed to guest-post for us. Erin & Jonathan's precious baby girl, Felicity, was born at the beginning of December and I am absolutely OBSESSED with her and her cuteness. I knew Erin would be full of baby girl favorite-resource wisdom to share from her parenthood journey thus far. Take it away!

When you are pregnant with or adopting your first baby and registering for all the essentials, there are a few obvious necessities about which everyone has differing opinions--the carseat (I'd go for the Chicco Keyfit), stroller (wish I had the Phil and Ted's), high chair (opted instead for the Fisher Price Booster seat), etc, etc. Then there are the less obvious, but no less wonderful, gems that you stumble upon and can't imagine doing without. At 4 months into this awesome motherhood gig, those items have been:

1. The Quick Zip Sheet Set--I almost took these off my registry because my mom thought they were gimmick-y. Yet even she will now tell you that she is so glad I didn't. These are the BEST. Rather than having to untie all the bumpers and shimmy the mattress out to put on a clean sheet, all I have to do is zip on a new top sheet. Pure genius, huh? And when the time comes that my little one has a middle-of-the-night blow-out (knock on wood, it hasn't happened yet), I will be even more thankful for these puppies.

2. Bum Genius 4.0 Cloth Diapers—This will probably take a lot of convincing for those of you who have visions of white burp cloths with big safety pins, or of your hands and washing machine covered in you-know-what. But seriously, it is NOT like that! We (yes, even my husband) are obsessed with these things, not only for the awesome cost savings, but also the environmental benefits and the fact that they are so stinkin cute! Being far from a domestic goddess (I may or may not have uttered the words, "So do you mop?" in the last year), if I can do them, anyone can. And I'd be willing to bet that you'd actually really enjoy them. The time it takes to wash/dry/fold them is minimal—maybe 15 minutes every few days. We also conservatively estimate that our initial investment will be paid off by the time our little girl is around 8 months. (AND, we get to use these for any subsequent kiddos!) The hubbie and I affectionately call them “the gift that keeps on giving.” Every time we use one, we hear little "Cha-Ching" sounds going off in the distance. (In addition to being a lazy housekeeper, I am also notoriously cheap frugal.) So, while cloth diapering does warrant a bit of research, hopefully I’ve convinced someone to at least give them a second thought. (And for what it’s worth, while there are lots of styles of cloth diapers out there, we have loved the Bum Genius 4.0’s. They work the same way as any disposable diaper so are very grandma/babysitter friendly.)

3. Baby Geek iPhone App—best 99 cents I ever spent. In the early days and weeks with a newborn, this helped me keep track of dirty diapers, which side to nurse on, how long she nursed, weight and height, etc. (Lest you think I’m anal, the pediatrician and nurses really do ask about this kind of stuff so I had to keep track of it.) There are plenty of apps like this out there, but for what we needed it to do, this was perfect (and cheap).

4. Dwell for Target Kimono Onesies—so… I can certainly live without these, but they are so flippin presh, and we needed something girly on this list in honor of Baby Girl Jerkins. These onesies have fun graphic prints that aren’t your run-of-the-mill baby designs, and the kimono style is a fun change (though maybe a little trickier for dads). So far, they have held up really well in the wash. And it’s tough to beat $12.99 for 3 onesies. (Are you seeing a theme here? I told you I was cheap.) Two thumbs up.

Any favorite baby items YOU can't live without? Please share!


Friday, March 25, 2011

That's where I've lived this week. Jonathan's brother is getting married today. Surprisingly, it's 40 degrees outside as I type this.

I did break this curse, though...

One of my favorite things to eat/drink (whichever it is) during this pregnancy so far has been smoothies (also mentioned here). Jonathan and I both head to Tropical Smoothie Cafe A LOT, like at least several times/week, Jonathan from school and me from wherever.

Right now, when you buy a smoothie, they give you these scratch-off coupon cards. I kept getting things like "Free Breakfast Sandwich" or "99 cents off your smoothie" ...meanwhile, Jonathan was racking up on the "99 cent smoothie" cards, which is basically $4 off. He's been getting them every single time and I had gotten zero. I even went with Martha on Sunday, and the lady handed us two cards at the same time and I got the 99-cent-off card while Martha got the 99-cent-smoothie card.

I was starting to think that in some karmic way, I had done something to wrong the universe...

until Tuesday!

Feast your eyes:

HECK YES! The curse was broken.

Early Spring in my Backyard

Monday, March 21, 2011

Redbud trees get their 15 minutes of fame this time of the year, and ours is the star of our backyard:

Budding tulips (my fave!)

Jonny's Butterfly Maple "Pet"...

And, not in my backyard, but flowers just the same... for our celebration of Anne and baby Emery:

{Yes, I realize these photos will win no prizes. I will try to improve my skills for Baby Girl, but realize that there is a long way to go...}

Something is better than nothing? Maybe?

Happy Spring!

It's a...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

{photo by Aaron Snow}


Shocking us all (especially my baby daddy)! We were all absolutely convinced it was a boy, and the comments on the giveaway reflected the same overall thought.

Nobody's gonna put this baby in the corner!

So last night, for our "reveal," we had our families over, and did facetime, ichat, and google video with the three out-of-town sibling families.

See? (from L to R: Scottie in Columbia, SC, Kendall in Arlington, TX, and Amanda in Nashville, TN):

Then we held a lottery. We put all the family member names in a bowl (which numbered 15 people total), and I drew a name.

The winner got to see the news first (we had the little "GIRL" card in an envelope), and then got to choose how to announce it to the whole group.

Aunt Amanda won the drawing, so Jonathan texted her a photo of the card. After seeing the text, she yelled "IT'S A GIRL!" to the whole group and it was mayhem. Little nieces Kendall and Kailyn were dancing around with their mommy, "A girl! A girl! Just what we wanted!"

It was so flippin fun.

We're all excited to meet you, little girl!

And the winner of the Starbucks card is... Caroline!

Caroline, email me with your address (, and I'll mail you your prize.

Thanks for playing and sharing in our joy!

Pink or Blue?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just for funsies, let's do a little giveaway!

Tomorrow we find out Baby's gender, so maybe we should make a little game out of it?

Guess if the baby is a BOY or GIRL in the comments section and I'll randomly generate the winner from the pool of either boy or girl guessers, depending on the outcome.

In an effort to not alienate one gender over the other in the entrant pool, THE PRIZE will be something that will appeal to both BOYS and GIRLS:

You can enter until midnight on Tuesday, March 15. I'll announce the winner (and pink/blue!) on Wednesday.

Easy! (And you get coffee on me!)


Pie Bomb

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Just so you guys know that it's not all roses and lollipops over here when I bake stuff (yes, even pies), here you go.

I have always loved pineapple and mostly anything involving pineapple. It almost seems like it's cheating, calling itself a fruit (it's so tasty!).

Whenever we'd have pineapple with dinner growing up, my mom would give me the drained juice, like so:

{Good heavens, there is probably an unspeakable amount of sugar in such juice.}

I recently became the lucky recipient of a recipe scrapbook of Jonathan's grandmother, compiled for her by her friends & family as a wedding gift in 1945. Its yellowed pages pasted inside and its precious wooden covers make it feel like even more of a treasured artifact.

So, for my first crack out of its box, I chose Pineapple Chiffon Pie as the guinea pig (besides the pineapple factor, I was familiar and could locate all of the ingredients).

Eggs, sugar, gelatin, pineapple... sounded promising. {Plus, with Pie Week '09 under my belt, the whole making-a-custard-thing-after-soaking-gelatin wasn't so intimidating.}

Looks pretty...

Even with whipped cream and on its best day, unfortunately this was just a good jello/congealed salad with crust. It's not bad or anything, but it's not what I, or probably anyone else, would pick out when hankering for a good ole piece of pie.


Maybe I did something wrong with this. But I don't know what I could've done so wrong, without having left out ingredients or messing up the mechanics of the recipe to have made the inherent taste be so off?

Lesson learned: just because a recipe is old, does not mean it's an instant winner.

Jonathan did raise his eyebrows when I chose this one as the first try from the treasured scrapbook. Perhaps I will go with something more traditional next time, like Fudge Squares or something. (I'll keep you posted.)

No longer always sleuthing but trying to keep it real,
Pie Sleuth

Granny's Mac & Cheese

Friday, March 04, 2011

Do not bother reading this post if you are looking for a healthy and/or gourmet recipe. {In fact, my attempt to give this recipe a little nutritional value is downright laughable.}

I am going to share with you our Granny's recipe for Mac & Cheese, which is famous the world over (aka, in the Guinn family).

Featured prominently in the Guinn Family Cookbook I made for Christmas gifts a couple of years ago:

{thanks to help from my pal Stacey}

Here are the basic ingredients:

You cook the noodles (I love using little shells), and then stir in the egg, then the cheese & sour cream.

I decided to give Baby J some extra nutrition and added some frozen broccoli:

Poor thing...I know, I know, microwaved broccoli=kind of a pitiful effort.

Some of the stems burned when I opened it out of the microwave. Weird, I followed the directions.

Chopped and added to macaroni mixture:

Put in one of those 7x11 size pans:

Bake for 25 minutes, and voila:

I promise I don't eat like this every day, but this baby loves carbs, what can I say (he/she is its mother's child!).

The recipe:

Janie's Super Macaroni
(we don't know who Janie is)

6 oz. (1.5 cups) uncooked short macaroni
1 large egg or 2 small eggs (I only ever use 1, no matter the size)
2 T milk
1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese (the mild used above was on sale)
salt & pepper
1 cup sour cream

Cook macaroni in plenty of boiling salted water until just tender; drain. Using fork, beat egg with milk; pour over the hot macaroni and mix well. Grate cheese, mix in sour cream. Stir well. Pour into small casserole dish and top with cheese (I ran out above).
Bake 350 fir 25-30 minutes, or until browned.

I promise you will not be disappointed. Plus, it's super easy!

p.s. Boy/Girl Day (as I'm calling it) is March 15. Can't wait to know if le bebe is a he or she!

Santa Claus Reads My Blog

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Santa really does read my blog! Remember this post before Christmas?

Ole St. Nick came through:


(I was gonna move all the junk on the countertops but decided to keep it real.)

Isn't it so exciting?! We took out that ceiling fan and the weird flush mounts and the ceilings feel ten times taller. It changes the whole room.

And the new fixture for over the kitchen table, from the wonderful local lighting store, Graham's Lighting. {We actually grew up down the street from Mr. & Mrs. Graham!}

can you see the kitty cat?

I so love it. [Those photos were taken at NIGHT obviously...unbelievable!]

Now that the lighting is done, it officially puts the nail in the coffin of the yellow paint. When we moved in, the kitchen was this color:

Beige-y blech-ety blech. {It actually looks better in this kitchen than I remember it looking.}

I picked the yellow in a hurry (ie, the second day we lived in this house) because

a) it was the color of my old kitchen which had good memories
b) all my little accessories look cute with yellow
c) I was hoping the warmer color would make me like the cabinets better.

old kitchen:

Well, I gave it a good 9 months, and unfortunately, the recessed lighting has not done the trick to make me automatically love the yellow (or the cabinet color, for that matter).

Thinking of something in this family, but open to anything:

The criteria is something-that-will-look-good-once-I-can-paint-the-cabinets. Any ideas?

Also left to do on My Dream Kitchen list:

-crown molding (only room in the house without it besides the guest bath)
-patch ceiling in a few spots
-cafe curtains
-update appliances (gotten a dishwasher so far)
-paint cabinets
-replace floors

Geez you can spend $$ in kitchens quickly! This will surely take a while, but the lighting was a HUGE step.


Making Sure Our Kid is Cool

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Jonathan: "Will you start listening to some good music, and no more Glee? You know our kid can hear that now."

(He won. I listened to Dr Dog on the way to work this morning.)

be back with real content soon!
Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground