Category Archives: Life With Will

No More Pacifier + Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower

Will’s First Week Without the Pacifier

Okay so a ton of people and websites alike will tell you that it’s much harder on mommy than it is baby to say goodbye to the pacifier, and well, they were right. I knew that as soon as we got back from Disney World, it meant no more paci for Will. I had already limited paci time to being only in the car and the crib. He will be 16-months-old on the 11th and now that he’s walking, I knew he was getting too big (at least in my eyes) for the pacifier. So the first night back home, it was time for bed without it.

He screamed. Okay I don’t mean like a little “ah!” I mean like a full out bloody murder I think my head is going to explode scream. It’s like he wanted everyone in the house to know something wasn’t right. But I stood my ground. I walked into his room, wrapped my arms around him and hugged him gently saying “you’re alright” over and over for a minute or so, and then walked out.

The screaming didn’t magically stop after that. He crawled and walked in circles around his crib looking for the paci, screaming out in horror upon realizing it wasn’t there. I stayed strong, however, and within 10 minutes he was asleep. Whew! I made it through the first night without it!

Well then morning came. Typically, when Will would wake up, he would sit up and play with his stuffed animal and sort-of talk to himself until I walked in ready to start the day. Well not without his paci! He practically woke up screaming! Imagine how quick that shot me out of bed! Once he realized it was time to get up for the day though, he was fine and his typical happy self.

That’s how it’s pretty much been for the past five days, except the time spent screaming has decreased each day. So fingers crossed he goes back to sleeping like an angel like he was before!

Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower

A delicious healthy way to enjoy buffalo flavored food!

On a whole different note, today I wanted to try a healthy recipe for lunch. As I shared in this post, I’ve begun a new fitness journey and it’s really important for me to feel like I’m not completely depriving myself from delicious food. I love anything buffalo flavored so I thought I’d try buffalo cauliflower that I had seen posted so many times on Pinterest.

Here’s what you need to make it like I did:

  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • three tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper – to taste
  • 1 cup buffalo wing sauce

To make roasted buffalo cauliflower like I did:

  1. Break cauliflower into pieces of all sizes and spread onto a baking sheet
  2. Drizzle with olive oil
  3. Add salt & pepper
  4. Roast in the oven on 450 for 20 minutes
  5. Pour buffalo wing sauce over cauliflower and mix until thoroughly coated
  6. Bake for 5-10 more minutes

The cauliflower certainly wasn’t crispy like buffalo wings and still tasted like cauliflower. But if you’re a fan of roasted cauliflower and buffalo sauce flavor, you’ll love this recipe! It’s super healthy, full of flavor, and makes for a different, delicious meal addition.

Have you tried any new recipes lately? Did you have a bit of battle with your kids over their pacifiers?

A Trip To The Louisville Zoo + A Learning Experience

We Went To The Zoo!

He loved petting the metal Komodo dragon!
He loved petting the metal Komodo dragon!

Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! On Wednesday June 3, I took Will to the zoo! My brother and his girlfriend joined us, which was definitely a treat. I recently purchased a zoo pass that allows me to take a guest with me for free, as well as Will, and the pass pretty much pays for itself after just a few visits.

Another great money-smart decision I made was to pack a lunch. I think it’s fantastic that the zoo allows you to bring in a cooler full of food and drinks! Before we left and while Will was taking his morning nap, I made sandwiches for all of us, and packed bags of chips and grapes. I also loaded the cooler with water bottles to keep the food cool and to have something to drink. It was about 65-70 degrees and overcast so it was actually a perfect day to visit the zoo to avoid getting too hot or sunburned.

Lego Brick Sculptures At The Louisville Zoo

One of the first things we noticed was that the Louisville Zoo was featuring dozens of Lego Brick sculptures throughout the park.

We took advantage of the neat sculptures and got an adorable photo!
We took advantage of the neat sculptures and got an adorable photo!

Right inside the entrance was this adorable photo booth, for a lack of a better description, made entirely out of Lego’s! Next to each sculpture was a description that included how many Lego’s were used to make it and how many hours it took. It was truly incredible to see and every time we spotted a sculpture we would point out the facts. At one point we even did a little math to determine how many days the artist likely spent creating his pieces. For one it was around 50 days!

A Great Learning Experience

We checked out the polar bears, brown bears, and then hung around waiting for the sea lion show. The show was short, only 9 minutes long, but we learned where the sea lions came from and how they’re trained. It was great for kids to learn that the sea lions were rescued, not captured. One sea lion in particular kept coming back to the rescue facility, even after being released three times! It was also neat to learn about how the sea lions swim and what they eat. Although it was a short show, it was great for all the kids that were in attendance. The ones in the front row even got splashed after one used his flippers to splash them!

Will loved seeing the sea lions swim around and splash water!
Will loved seeing the sea lions swim around and splash water!

Although he couldn’t really grasp what the trainers were saying, Will loved watching the sea lions, and even imitated their barking sounds!

It turned out to be a fabulous day and a fun trip to the zoo! In fact, I think my brother enjoyed it just as much as Will did!

How do you make a trip to the zoo into a learning experience? What are you favorite ways to enjoy a zoo trip?

Baseball-Themed First Birthday Party

So Will Turned One…

I’m making this post a little late, but I wanted to share how I was able to successfully throw a baseball-themed first birthday party for Will. It was really easy to do and certainly a lot of fun!

Will is one!

I started by creating this adorable chalkboard-like sign after seeing so many ideas on Pinterest. Overall, I was pretty happy with how it turned out, although you can see how crooked my handwriting started to become! I just bought black foam board and chalk pens from a craft store and went to work. That easy! I included his stats, his favorite foods and toys, what he loves to do, and what skills he had developed so far.

Mantle Display

I put the chalkboard poster up on the mantle next to the collage I created. I cut out close-up pictures of Will’s face and glued them into a poster board I cut into the shape of the number one! As for the banner hanging, my wonderful sister used her Cricut to make all kinds of things for the party with the baseball theme. Check out these other great signs she made!

We put this sign on our front door for guests to see as they arrived
Cute sign to hang on the bathroom door
“Concessions” sign hanging over he food!

She did a great job creating those signs and they really added to the baseball theme of the party! I’m all about cheap decorations! Speaking of which:

Baseball, baseball everywhere!

I took a cheap, plastic tablecloth that I got from the Dollar Tree and painted red baseball stripes using red paint we already had at home. And what’s that on top of the table you ask? Oh just look!

Baseball cupcakes
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Baseball cookies

I created baseball cupcakes by rolling out fondant really thin and using a cookie cutter to cut them into perfectly sized rounds. I then laid them over top a thin layer of icing and wet them just lightly enough that icing would stick. I used a plastic baggie to carefully draw the lines of the baseballs using red icing.

In the center of the cupcakes you can see Will’s smash cake. I created a ball-shaped cake using a very wide, shallow coffee mug (I baked two halves and then put them together). I then covered it in thin fondant and piped on the icing, to make it look like an actual baseball!

As for the cookies, I covered Oreos in white chocolate, and then did piped on the red icing. It was much easier than I thought it would be, so I was pleasantly surprised!

Our little Red’s player!

As for the little man, he donned his Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto shirt for the occasion, and although he didn’t eat any cake, he thoroughly enjoyed sitting around with family and getting all his adorable new outfits and new toys!

I’m happy I went with a baseball theme and I’m even happier with how it turned out! What do you think?

My Active Life

Now that the weather is getting warmer, Will & I are spending as much time outside as possible. Lately, I’ve been scheduled to work at 10 & 2 M-F. I’ll explain what I do for a living in another post. While I try to hit the gym at least five days a week in the evenings, I try to stay active throughout the day so I don’t feel guilty if I don’t make it to the gym. 

Will & his “fur-bro” Reese love to go on walks with me. If it’s not too cool, we’ll head out before I work at 10, on lunch, & then after work & before dinner. That’s not always the case though, as sometimes work takes longer to complete. 

There’s a loop we really like to walk around the neighborhood that’s about 2.5 miles. I can typically walk around 6,000 steps per walk, which usually lasts about 45 minutes.

As you can tell, I try to be as active as possible. I don’t like keeping Will cooped up in the house all day when the weather’s nice. There’s even a little park less than a mile away that we love to visit. 

Being a work-at-home mom doesn’t have to mean being stuck inside all day. Will’s on a great schedule, I can get my work done & we get plenty of time to be outside & enjoy the sunshine. 

I was incredibly blessed to be a stay-at-home mom & I take advantage of it, no doubt. Staying fit & active is important to me (again, more on that in another post), but I’m lucky to live an active life each and every day with my son!

How do you stay active while entertaining your little ones?