Monday, May 11, 2015

Rhory Camille: Eight Months!



 
Rhory has had a very exciting month! She has started crawling, waving, and saying da-da. She can also sign 'milk' - and we are working on 'more' and 'all done'. She amazes me every day with her new abilities and her excitedness to explore. She loves trying new foods and we are currently trying to stay away from bananas and cheese because she has been a little stopped up. This past month we also celebrated Josh and I's third anniversary and my birthday! Life is moving so quickly, I am ready for it to slow down. Soon we will be celebrating this sweet girls first birthday - what?! She is still nursing and that is going great, so I am very excited that we have been able to make it this far. This month we also participated in the 2nd Annual Congenital Heart Walk in the Greater Atlanta Area in memory of Sawyer. Every time we go visit his grave, Rhory is just as happy as can be! I know she knows how much her big brother loves her because I tell her all the time and I know she loves him too!

I usually post a lot of pictures, but I have become weary of people taking them so I created a slideshow and will do that for months to come...

video

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sawyers Art 2015

 
Josh and I are so excited to be collecting art supplies again this year to donate to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA)! We will begin collecting them tomorrow, May 1, until Tuesday, May 26. I will be taking them down to CHOA on May 27. As you know May 27 will mark two years since Sawyer's passing, but last year it was very healing to be able to take such a large donation and give to the hospital on a day that really holds so many sad feelings.

I created a flyer this year, that hopefully we can make go viral, and I will post that at the bottom of this blog post. Here is the link to our post from last year. We were so overwhelmed with the success and we are going in to this year fully expecting this year to be even BIGGER, but we need your help!

We are looking for *NEW* art supplies. Supplies must be new because they are being donated to the hospital and we want to make sure they are free of any possible germs. Here is a detailed list of things you can donate:

-Construction paper
-Printer Paper
-Colored Pencils
-Crayons
-Markers
-Pens
-Stickers
-Yarn
-Beads
-Glue
-Scissors
-Glitter
-Bubbles
-Playdoh
-Stencils
-Foam
-Paint
-Paint Brushes
-Pipe cleaners
-Ribbon
-Chalk

These items will be given directly to the Child Life Specialists and both children in the hospital and their siblings use the supplies as "Art Therapy". All of the supplies are well appreciated and last year they were so thankful!

Out of town but want to donate? You are more than welcome to visit our Amazon Wishlist! Here is our flyer - please share with anyone and everyone you think will be willing to help us make a wonderful donation in honor of Sawyer's 2nd Birthday!

 
 
Thank you in advance for your help/donations!
 
With love,
The Murphys

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

It never ends...

I've been slacking on updating the blog and using it for what I really intended - to get my feelings out and "on paper". But here lately I've really been needing to write, and quite honestly I have just been putting it off because I thought the 'feeling' would just go away, but it hasn't.

We are well in to the month of April, which means we are that much closer to May. The month of May holds such a negative connotation for me, and many others. The month of May holds the day of my firstborn's birth but also his death. The month of May is holds 18 days of reminders of the battle we fought for him, starting at his first second of life outside the womb. The month of May just makes me sad and want to crawl in a hole to hide until it is over. But the reality is that it is never "over". Sure - May goes by and the actual month ends yet the cycle of grief continues and never ends, constantly changing and constantly surprising me.

I have cried every day the last week on the way to work and have told no one, well, until now. As May quickly approaches it becomes tougher and my emotional state quickly becomes less and less easily managed.

^I started that a week ago and I am just now at a place to finish it. The week before the heart walk was rough and I was reminded that grief never ends. It constantly changes. And, I am less aware of my triggers. "Team Sawyer" raised a great amount of money to be donated to two great organizations that are working towards finding better ways to treat CHD's. Not only was this past weekend the heart walk, but it was also my birthday! I have always loved birthdays. In fact I have scolded my mom about never throwing me a surprise party and she says "you always plan something first" and it's true. As my birthday comes and goes it now also serves as a reminder that Sawyer's birthday is literally just around the corner and I have 13 days to get it together and make it through. I don't want to say the rest of my life will be in the shadow of his death - but the reminders that he isn't here are always around.

Grief is a process that I don't have figured out, and that is okay. I don't have to have it all together all the time - a piece of my heart is and always will be missing.

-Ashlyn

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Rhory Camille: Seven Months!

We are now on the downward slope towards one year! It's hard to believe our little princess is already 7 months old a - time moves much too quickly. Rhory is getting closer and closer to crawling (although right now it is backwards lol). She loves food and has gotten better and better at eating "real" food. I am so happy with our decision to do baby led weaning and skip purées. She also has some great skill with the spoon, feeding herself applesauce and yogurt!

Here are some pictures from her 7th month of life:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 


It's been another great month!

Love,
Ashlyn





































Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What's on the menu? (Week of March 30)

Monday - Tuscani Pasta

Ingredients:
8 oz box rotini noodles, I used tri color
1 jar alfredo sauce - they have a recipe to make your own but the jar did just fine
6 oz of mozzarella cheese, I just guessed
1-2 cups cooked chicken
1 cup bread crumbs
3 T butter
Sprinkle of garlic salt

You can find the correct directions here:
http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=306080

Results:
I followed this recipe somewhat. I didn't make the alfredo sauce, just used a jar. I also used pre-made breadcrumbs. By the time I put the alfredo/chicken sauce in the pan I didn't have enough to make any other layers so I put all the cheese on top then melted the butter and mixed in the bread crumbs and some garlic salt and put that on top. You will notice my ingredients differ a little from the link. It was a little dry but we used some marinara sauce on it after we cooked it and that made it very good!

Tuesday - Philly Cheesesteak Bell Pepper

Ingredients:
8 oz. thinly sliced roast beef
8 slices provolone or pepperjack cheese
2 large green bell peppers
1 medium sweet onion, sliced
6 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tabelspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste


Instructions for cooking are here: http://shesthebross.com/2013/07/philly-cheesesteak-stuffed-peppers/

Results: WOW! These were so good! I am not usually a fan bell peppers but Josh and I were both pleasantly surprised. I will say that the peppers needed to be a little "pre-cooked" so they weren't too crunchy.

Wednesday - Oven Baked Meatball Sandwiches

Ingredients:
Sandwich rolls (cut with one side intact)
Cooked Meatballs (your favorite recipe or frozen, pre-made meatballs)
Pasta Sauce (homemade or jarred)
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese


Directions - http://homecookingmemories.com/easy-dinner-idea-oven-baked-meatball-sandwiches/#_a5y_p=1423591

Results - I bought frozen meatballs and cooked them first but they were so big so the sandwich was hard to eat, but they were good! We froze the leftovers so I am interested to see how those turn out!

Thursday - Cream Cheese and Bacon Chicken Rolls

Ingredients:
4-6 thin boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Stuffing:
6-8 ounces softened cream cheese

1 tablespoon of minced onion
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of pepper
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
4 Pieces of cooked and chopped Bacon
Coating:
¼ cup flour
1 egg, beaten
½ cup corn flake crumbs


Directions for cooking: http://blog.thelovenerds.com/2013/04/cream-cheese-and-bacon-chicken-rolls.html

Results - Very good, but the chicken took a while to cook... I think next time I will "stuff" The chicken. I also used strips of bacon instead of crumbled bacon - it was still delicious!

Friday - 3 - Ingredient Baked Ravioli

Ingredients:
1 Bag of frozen ravioli
1 jar of marinara sauce (I used Ragu)
2 cups of mozzarella cheese


Instructions for Cooking: http://recipeknead.com/3-ingredient-easy-baked-ravioli/

Results- This was so simple and very good! We had the leftovers for lunch the next day and it was very good. I may add more marinara next time, but it was fine with just one jar!

It has been a fun adventure cooking something different through the month of March!
Ashlyn

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What's on the Menu? (Week of March 23)

I posted to Facebook recently that my goal for the month of March was to make a different meal every night we cooked at home. It started the last week of February when I pinned some new recipes to Pinterest and they were all successful. I have created a new Pinterest board called Tried & True where I move all of the successful recipes and add my comments. If we tried it and it isn't good I won't move it over there. Since I have a blog - I figured I could post each week what was on the menu and go back and edit my post to reflect our opinions!

Monday - Savory Stuffed Pork Chops

Ingredients:
8 boneless pork chops, about 1 inch thick
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup of butter, cubed
5 cups fresh baby spinach
1 package (6 ounces) sage stuffing mix
1-1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 teaspoon of rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon of lemon-pepper seasoning

Here is the link to the recipe for the instructions: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/savory-stuffed-pork-chops

Results: I felt like I was on master chef making stuffed pork chops! When we were at the store I wasn't even sure if the pork chops were thick enough, but they turned out perfect. I've added my comments to the ingredients above because I didn't follow them exactly. My comments are in italics. In regards to the instructions, I would trim the fat off of the pork chop before stuffing them. They were very tender and so good!

Tuesday - Cheeseburger Egg Rolls

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/2 medium red onion, minced
3/4 pound ground sirloin
Salt and pepper
1 cup sharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon grainy, whole-seed mustard
1 package egg roll wrappers
Cooking spray
Sesame seeds


Here is the link to the recipe for cooking instructions:
http://www.rachaelray.com/recipes/cheeseburger-eggrolls

Results: This recipe was a total fail, but it was my fault. We were at Kroger and I could not find egg roll wrappers so I bought spring roll skins. I did some research and from what I could tell, they were supposed to be interchangeable words. THEY ARE NOT! I want to try this again, and I will using the correct egg roll wrappers. The inside was the best part and I do think that it would have made a difference to have the correct ingredients - next time I will not trust Google!

Wednesday - Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Ingredients:
4 cups fully-cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
1 jar (28 ounces) of marinara sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup panko or whole wheat bread crumbs
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
fresh, chopped herbs (parsley, basil, oregano, etc), to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Here is the link to the cooking instructions:
http://thrivinghomeblog.com/2013/07/chicken-parmesan-casserole-recipe-an-easy-freezer-meal/

Results: Overall a really good meal. The picture is a 9X13 pan but the recipe is actually for an 8X8 dish so make note of that when you are getting a pan out or you will end up greasing two pans. There was enough for leftovers and it was just as good the second time. More marinara sauce after cooking made it that much more "saucy".

We had plans Thursday-Sunday night so no cooking at home - but I will have more recipes to post next week!


The cooking entrepreneur,
Ashlyn

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Rhory Camille: Month 6!


Half a year already?! I cannot believe how quickly time is moving. I am so thankful for the joy Rhory has brought in to our lives, and we love watching her grow and change.

She is sitting up SO well on her own, laughs a lot, gives us the gummy grin pretty much 24/7, and loves mommy and daddy. We are in the midst of Wonder Week 5 and it has been a doozy at times. It is the "relationship" wonder week where she has become quite clingy. I love the extra baby snuggles, but sometimes other people want them too! If she is too tired, or close to being ready to eat she generally just wants mommy or daddy. She went through a phase where sleep was almost non-existent and some nights she ended up in our bed at 1AM because it was the only way we were all going to function the next day. I am not a big fan of cry it out (CIO) or sleep training so when she started sleeping with her lovey and putting herself to sleep (no crying) and went back to sleeping 12 hours at night we were so very happy! Everyone was well rested and much happier :)

She had her 6 month appointment and the doctor said she was perfectly healthy! She always makes remarks about how nice her skin is because apparently this weather dries a lot of babies out. Not sure what has her exempt from the dryness but we'll take it! She weighs 12 pounds 15 ounces and is 23-3/4 inches long! She is definitely petite but the doctor thinks introducing solids will help her put on some more weight, but she isn't under weight by any means. My goal when she was born to set small breastfeeding goals, and so far I have met all of the goals I set. The first goal was 2 weeks, then 1 month, then 6 months and I am proud to say it has been successful. I know that breastfeeding doesn't work for everyone, and that is okay, but it was something I had really wanted to work and I am happy that it did. We have also decided to try BLW (baby-led weaning) which is introducing table-food rather than the traditional pureed food. Again, this doesn't work for everyone but so far it has been great for us. I ordered a book before we started and joined a FB group of other BLW moms that has been really helpful. So far Rhory loves bananas and sweet potatoes and we are slowly introducing new foods. Food before one is really just for play, and I do plan to continue breastfeeding until she is 1 if all continues to go well.

Pictures from month 6!

 

She tried a lemon! Lol :)
 

 




Happy 6 months baby girl!