Monday, May 31, 2010


Yesterday was Jacob's 2-month birthday. He spent the morning at church and the evening at a baseball game. We sat in the Verizon Wireless box with friends and Jacob was loved on by all the other moms and their kids. We go to see the pediatrician tomorrow so I can give you all of his official stats then but I can tell you that he is definitely growing! He loves to smile although he still gives us his serious look a lot of the time. He coos/talks to us and still rarely cries. He consistently sleeps 6-8 hours at night. I experimented without his swaddle one night without the same results so we will continue to swaddle. I'm in the market for a lighter-weight version. As evidenced in the picture, he's a champ at holding up his head. He puts up with being kissed, poked, hugged, pulled-on and otherwise smothered by his big brother. One day he'll be able to do all those things back to Joseph.

take me out to the ballgame

it's very hard to see Joseph in this video considering I was using my phone. He looks like such a tiny thing out there. He ran the bases all by himself at the Arkansas Travelers game last night. You may be able to pick him out closer to the end of the video when he's almost to home plate and gets passed up by a big crowd of kids.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

now that we have a backyard . . .

. . .we don't have to set-up this tent in the living room anymore.(and it seriously is a total coincidence that Joseph is wearing his Happy Camper shirt today.)


On the menu

I've decided to take a cue from a couple of my friends and start listing some of our weekly menus. I usually make our menu on Monday along with a grocery list and organize the appropriate coupons. Then Tuesday (while Joseph is at school) I go to the store. A couple of my current favorite websites for menu ideas are: Budget Bytes and A Year of Slow Cooking.

This week's menu:

Hot Dogs
Baked Beans
Tater Tots
(we brought back some leftover beans from Christopher's parents and I had hot dogs, buns and broccoli in the freezer. The only thing that had to be purchased was the tots!)

(Christopher's boss was scheduled for surgery yesterday and I was planning on making a pan of enchiladas to take to his family. I made enough for us to have some for dinner as well.)

Red Beans & Rice
(this is a Budget Bytes recipe.)

Indian Spiced Lentils with Chicken
(a Year of Slow Cooking recipe.)

lunch - leftovers
dinner - homemade pizza (growing up we had pizza every Saturday evening for dinner. we have continued that tradition)

lunch - Peppercini Pot Roast Sandwhiches
dinner - leftovers
(the peppercini pot roast is so easy to make. just put a roast in the crock pot with a jar of peppercini rings including the juice. pull it apart with a fork and put it on buns. top that with provolone slices and stick under the broiler. so delicious!)

lunch - BLTs
dinner - Pasta Salad with Chicken
(my pasta salad varies from one making to the next as I don't really have a recipe. in addition to the pasta I usually add a cucumber, grape tomatoes, onion and greek salad dressing. the chicken I will bake first with some Zeus seasoning.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


We were able to go back to our favorite restaurant twice while we were in Charleston. It was great seeing our friends at Santi's and Joseph loved being back on familiar turf. Oh - and the food was as fabulous as always.


We rented a house on Folly Beach with 3 other couples for the week. It was so much fun to hang out with our friends at the house, worship with our Redeemer family and just soak up Charleston. We have missed everything about it and were glad to have a week there.

Our house-mates:Tom & AmyKenne & AmandaKen & SarraJacob with Uncle StevenJoseph enjoying the surfand the sand . . . our house from the beachthe beach from the house
Joseph loved his vacation and it tuckered him out!


We were excited for a reason to go back to Charleston last week. Although Christopher technically graduated from MUSC last August, he went through the pomp and circumstance last weekend. The hooding took place on Thursday evening and the graduation ceremony on Friday morning. We were also glad that Christopher's parents and grandmother were able to be there.

Monday, May 24, 2010


the Swearingen family has been on vacation for the past week. now we are home with our laundry, sandy beach toys and tired boys. the boys were both amazing travelers! pictures and stories to come.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pesto Cream Pasta

A couple nights ago I used a jar of the pesto I made last weekend. I cooked penne pasta and, after it was drained, topped it with the pesto and some heavy cream. I garnished it was freshly grated parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper. Absolutely delicious! Joseph ate it up.

PTBC - update

We have now mastered the art of going #2 in the potty! yay! It was not without its anxiety and trauma. Next hurdle. . . driving with our big boy to Charleston next weekend. That's a long trip and we aren't big fans of stopping. :)

Mother's Day Oregano

which, incidentally, is not one of the herbs in my planter.

Joseph came running in from school yesterday with a gift for me and a loud - "Happy Mother's Day Mama!" (which was then repeated about 4 times - each louder than the last.)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Freezer Danishes

During Potty Training Boot Camp we spent a lot of time in the kitchen area (considering the easy to clean tiles). Because of this I was able to do some baking. I modified this Cream Cheese Danish Casserole recipe by adding some cherry cake filling (different from pie filling) and then froze the individual pieces on a tray. Finally I put the frozen pieces in a plastic tub divided by parchment paper. These are delicious and far better than Toaster Strudels. So now we can just pull a couple out of the freezer for the occasional breakfast. yum.

Potty Training Boot Camp

We have tried potty training Joseph several times - and at one point early on, he thought it was fun to sit on the potty and actually went a couple of times. And then it was over. He wanted nothing to do with it. We tried rewards, stickers, M & Ms, Cheerios. . . everything we could think of. Nothing worked. Finally we sort of gave up and figured he would do it when he was ready.

Then our dear friend Gibson used a method with her daughter that worked and we decided to try it too. Three Day Potty Training! We started talking it up to Joseph. He'd always say, "ok, we'll do that later." And we would say, "yes. And later is going to be on Tuesday." We sent Joseph to school on Monday and started Potty Training Boot Camp on Tuesday morning. First we had Joseph throw away all of his diapers. (And by throw away - we mean that we had him put them all in a nice clean trash bag and daddy hid it in the garage.)
He wasn't too thrilled about doing this. But then he got into it and said good-bye to all of his diapers. We started out Day 1 with an accident which he apologized profusely for. The second time he had to go we had a partial accident but made it to the potty for most of it. We had no more accidents that day! The bed was also dry after his nap!!!
On Day 2 Joseph woke up dry! He had one partial accident during the day but every other trip was a success. And he was dry during naptime.
Day 3 - no accidents!!! He woke up dry again and stayed dry during naptime. He is able to go to the bathroom almost entirely on his own.
You'll notice by the charts that we're still having a little issue with going #2 in the potty but that will come. We are so proud of our little boy and so excited that this method worked. Tonight we're having a celebratory Potty Party!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Serious cuteness

Ready for church

One month check-up

Jacob had his one-month check-up today with his TV doctor. (A pediatric resident who was featured on a recent Dateline. Interesting aside - about 75% of the doctors we've seen in Little Rock have been on TV since we've moved here. All for good things.)

Anyway - on to the important things.

Weight = 10 lbs. 2.58 oz.
Height - 22.13 inches

He measures right at the 50th percentile for weight and slightly over that for height.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Basil = Pesto

We decided to make the planters in front of our house functional as well as decorative. In addition to some pretty flowers and grasses, we planted basil, rosemary and lavender. The basil is growing at amazing rates and I decided to make some fresh pesto this morning. Ingredients:
Basil leaves
Spinach leaves
garlic cloves
olive oil
parmesan cheese
red pepper flakes
salt & pepper