Clark John

Eeeek! I am so excited to finally get this post up!
My sister-in-law, Carolyn, and her husband, Frank, welcomed their first child last week.

May I introduce to you:
Clark John
Born: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Time: 5:07 PM
Weight: 8 lbs 13 oz
Height: 21 inches
Band new, and beautiful.
Welcome little one!
He's waving back :)
Isn't this just perfect? He's the cutest, and Carolyn is simply glowing.
(Just look at ALL THAT hair!)
All ready to head home.
To the new family, we couldn't be more thrilled for you. We can't wait to get home to meet your little angel! 


First Foods: Potatoes

Last weekend marked our journey into the world of pureed foods. In the baby food books I've read each suggested starting with bland veggies. We went as bland as veggies come...
Pureed potatoes.
Looks kind of like mashed potatoes, right? I had a little sample. Perhaps a little salt and pepper would have given the potatoes the taste I'm accustomed, but I didn't think they were too bad.

Marcus, not so much...
Apparently the little guy doesn't hold his mother's love for the spud.
Often, he literally gags as he tries to swallow. Is it bad I chuckle each time? :)
Nope. Potatoes were not a hit. 
We are still attempting the potatoes at each meal, but it's hit and miss. More hit than miss. And, Marcus generally ends up wearing more potatoes than what he consumes... Sweet potatoes are next on the menu, perhaps the little man will enjoy those a bit more.


Malibu Mud Run

I can't tell you how excited I was to finally participate in an organized running event this weekend! It's been SO LONG.

When I saw a mud run in Malibu I knew this was something Scott and I could not pass up! When I think Malibu I think about the beautiful coastal views. But, the location of our run was in the mountains, which held equally wonderful scenery.
The run was held at the Salvation Army camp grounds. Though I didn't take many pics of the actual camp, the place was awesome! After seeing where donations go, and what good they do, I will be dropping more of my change into those little red buckets outside of the grocery store around the holidays.
At the camp we spotted this amazing (real) tree.
I could not get over the "face" of the tree. HA!
Naturally, we (we're not fooling anyone, these pics were all my idea) had to take photo-op advantage of this.
We are big kids at heart!
Then THIS dude showed up.
What run is complete without a dude dressed as a banana?!

Our friends joined us in the fun:
Here we are, all clean, bright eyed and bushy tailed. 

The run itself was a pretty challenging one. But, WHAT. A. BLAST! We were running through mud, jumping over obstacles, running tire drills, crawling through sand, crawling over walls, and diving through mud pits. By the end I was exhausted, and it was awesome.

At the finish line we were anything but so fresh and so clean. 

Yay for muddy fun!

In other FABULOUS news: 
My sister-in-law delivered a healthy baby boy yesterday. WOOHOO! 
It is taking every inkling of might not to announce the name, and all other details of their precious little boy. But, we'll save all those fun details for the happy mommy and daddy. Once they've spread the joyous news I will be back with pics!
We are sending all our congratulations and love to Carolyn, her husband Frank, and the little man!


Space Shuttle Endeavour

Last week, the Space Shuttle Endeavor making its permanent home in California was a huge deal with media. In the few days leading up to the arrival of the shuttle all we heard on the news was Endeavour's trip, and route around the city and state. 
Long Beach, Rainbow Harbor
The Endeavour was supposed to fly over our location (Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach) around 11:30. It didn't appear until closer to 12:45. Lucky for us (and everyone around us) the little man was in good spirits. 
Thank goodness for toes. Those little tootsies kept Marcus happy for most of our wait.
He didn't seem to mind me making funny faces and snapping away with the camera.
After waiting so patiently we heard a steady rumbling in the sky...
Can you see it in the sky, just above the sail boat mast?

It still blows my mind that the shuttle, weighing 172,000 pounds,  was piggy backing on a modified 747!
The pictures don't really do the air crafts, and their enormous size, justice. As the shuttle and plane flew by goosebumps crept up my arms. 
It truly was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime sight.
Endeavour's final flight log:
25 flights, 299 days in space, 4,671 orbits, 122.833 million miles.


Grandma's Visit

 Grandma Dudding visited for a few days!

We are so thankful, and grateful, for her extra pair of loving and helping hands with our little monkey.
There was a trip to the pool, a dip in the pool, lots of toys played and books read, and lots of walks outside to keep our little man calm when he got a little cranky.
And, yes, I am THAT mom who doesn't mind her chubby monkey going out in public in nothing but a diaper.
Grandma, thank you for visiting us, we miss you already! 


Happy Marcus Monday!

Our happy little man :)
Peace. Love. Iowa. That's about all you really need in life :)
Don't you just wonder what he's thinking? Something tells me that mischievous little grin is going to aid in him getting away with more than he probably should (at least with his mommy:).

Happy Monday!


6 Months Old!

Happy Half Birthday to our little munchkin!!
Unofficial stats:
Height: 28ish inches (90th percentile)
Weight: 21ish pounds (90th percentile)
We will get more accurate measurements in a few weeks at our six month check up.
Our happy little man.
 What I've learn in the past month:
~ Rolling over is the best form of transportation these days.
~ Eyes must never leave the little man, or he will inevitably end up in a spot where he wasn't placed.
~ Jumping has become one of Marcus' favorite things to do.
~ Though those two bottom teeth are little, they sure can pack a serious bite!
~ With a little help from the Ferber method, the monkey is FINALLY sleeping all the way through the night - usually 10-11 hours, WOOHOO!!!
~ Naps are needed about every three waking hours, and naps last between 45-90 minutes.
~ Marcus LOVES to hear himself talk, laugh, coo, and screech.
~ Many mornings Mommy and Daddy are woken by Marcus chatting with himself.
~ The little man has found a few new body parts...
~ Neither Scott nor I has any problem doing the "diaper check anywhere, including church; you know the "diaper check," a quick fly-by of the nose to the diaper to sniff out anything funky :)
~ Thus far cereals have been an easy transition; pureed foods are starting this week.
~ Marcus has a little walker toy, going in circles and backwards is do-able, it's that pesky forward motion that is still tricky.
~ Crawling is looking more and more promising; it won't be long until the little man figures out how to get those legs and arms into forward motion!
~ Six months has never, ever gone so fast - each day I don't think I can love the little guy any more, and then it's as if my heart expands just a bit more for the munchkin.
Mommy had a little fun with the hair gel :)
Naturally, Drake jumped in on the fun.
Those two are going to be best buds!
Upper left: Look at my many chins.
Upper right: I kind of think my mom is crazy.
Lower left: I won't smile, but I'm still pretty stinkin' cute.
Lower right: I found my TOES!


Apricot Bread with Orange Honey Spread

A few nights ago I was chatting with my sister-in-law about the banana bread and zucchini bread I made not too long ago. She mentioned neither bread peaked much interest (to each their own, but I think she's totally missing out:). However, she did throw out that there was an apricot bread her grandmother used to make around Christmas. Since the passing of her grandmother the bread hasn't been made, and the recipe lost.

I was on a mission. I wanted to find something that resembled the bread that was described.

Quick P.S. Happy Birthday Susan! Hope you have a great day; this bread is just for you!

Let me tell you, the Pinterest boards are kind of quiet when it comes to Apricot Bread, but I think I've come up with something that is pretty close the bread of my sister-in-law's yesteryears.  When we go home for Christmas I plan to make this for the fam and see  if it gets the nod of approval.
In my humble opinion, I found this bread and spread to be flippin' amazing. The pecans add the perfect crunch, while the apricots extend a nice, sweet, soft pop. And the spread.  Oh, for the love of cream cheese, the spread! Even if you don't make the bread, make this spread. If you're like me you'll taste it and want to do a few laps in it. It. Is. So. Good.

Please make this.

1 cup snipped, dried apricots
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1 egg
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup pulp-free orange juice
2 cups + 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup crushed pecans

Snip apricots into little bits.
Soak apricots in warm water for 30 minutes.
While apricots are soaking:
In a large mixing bowl cream sugar and butter.
Add egg and beat.
Stir in orange juice and vanilla.
Combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
In a small bowl mix crushed pecans and 1 Tbsp flour (this will help prevent pecans from sinking to the bottom of the batter).
Drain apricots well.
Add apricots to batter.
Mix in pecans.
Preheat oven to 350.
Spray loaf pan with non-stick spray.
Bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Allow bread to cool before topping with spread.

8 oz softened cream cheese
1/3 cup orange marmalade
2 Tbsp honey

Beat cream cheese  until smooth and fluffy.
Add marmalade and honey, whisk until well blended.
Store in fridge until ready for use.


Bread source: Adaptations from Waking Life
Spread source: Today's Nest


Trump Hike

Sunday the weather was gorgeous. I was a bit nervous temps would hover in the 100s, as all of last week was simply unbearable. But, Sunday proved to be perfect. We headed out to the coast and hit up a few different trails to hike.
With views like these, the hikes never get old. And, what's even better, the little man sure enjoys his time outside.

While we were hiking we heard rumbling above.
These four planes were soaring right off the coast. With all the dips, spins, turns, and aerobatics, it was almost as if we had our own private air show. 

Marcus couldn't seem to take his eyes off the water...

When we made it to the rocky beach we were treated to breath-taking views such as this one.
We had the pebble strewn beach to ourselves to enjoy.

Our little man was treated to some toe splashing in the Pacific.
The sand between Marcus' toes didn't seem to be his favorite, but he sure didn't mind the ocean.


Natural History Museum

Last Saturday was hot. I'm talking a million degrees. Ok, maybe not a million, but seriously, 104. Ridiculous. Isn't this the time of year things start to look and feel like fall? Apparently, not around these parts.

I didn't want to be stuck in the house all day, but I didn't want to expose the little monkey to the scorching heat. What to do... What to do...

Off to the Natural History Museum we went.
It was the perfect spot to keep cool (I'm pretty sure it wasn't any warmer than 68 degrees in that place, I almost wished I had a sweatshirt).
Immediately upon entering the museum T-Rex and Triceratops greeted us.
We quickly browsed the North American and African Animals exhibits before we headed to the exhibit I was positively giddy about...
The dinosaurs! I'm kind of obsessed with the ginormous, extinct creatures. I could have spent all day in that exhibit.
How cool was it that there was a Kansas shout out in the middle of the museum? Those creatures were found in Kansas... What the what?!
This T-Rex fossil toe bone was legit. We were able to touch the thing. Whoop whoop!
 The little guy was AWESOME on our adventure. There were a few times he didn't seem too interested (apparently the polar bear didn't quite do it for the big guy), but other times he seemed totally engrossed.

I don't want my little man to grow up too fast... But, I can't WAIT to bring him back when he's a little older - there were some hands-on exhibits that I can't wait for the monkey to experience! And, if we're being honest, I kinda can't wait to get to the hands-on exhibits myself. :)
The little man seemed pretty pleased with his first museum outing. We can't wait to go back and do it again.