Sprout is TWO!

Happy Sprout

Sprout,

Our sweet sweet boy! I cannot believe you are two. It seems like just yesterday we were moving into our house and you decided to show up before we could get settled, 5.5 weeks early! It was a crazy but amazing time and every day with you since has brought us all so much JOY! 

You have grown leaps and bounds in the last year. For starters you are extremely verbal, you have been talking for a while now and a lot of it is in full sentences. My favorite is your dialogue with Chickadee. I love sending her in your room when yall are both awake after nap time and listening to you both chat back and forth on the monitor. 

Sprout is 2

Speaking of Chickadee, you love her dearly. You have really become the best of friends and watching yall interact is the sweetest (most of the time)! You want to do anything she is doing and because of that have become quite brave on the playground, going down the big slides and climbing rock walls. You miss her so much when she is at preschool, and ask for “More Chickadee” as she gets out of the car. Yall read together, play trains, set up tea parties, play in the sand table, and love running down the sidewalk on our evening walks. We pray the two of you are always close, encourage one another, and point each other to Jesus!

We have been soaking up so much new information in the past 6 months. From colors and shapes to a few numbers and letters. But your current obsession is Thomas the Tank Engine. Nothing would make you happier than driving your trains around the tracks on the train table all morning and then reading about Thomas all afternoon! In your Easter basket you received a set of Thomas alphabet cards and in less than 2 days you knew EVERY engine’s name. It’s good to see if the interest is there you soak up that knowledge quickly! My new tactic (not that I’m in a huge rush) is teaching numbers by using the numbers on the engines and letters by spelling the engine names. Whatever works, right?

Sprout is TWO

 I mentioned you love reading about Thomas, but really you love books in general. I hear multiple times a day “Read this book, please.” Some of your favorite are Steam Train Dream Train, Franklin, Owl at Home, Little Blue Truck, Llama Llama, Where do Diggers Sleep at Night and Brown Bear Brown Bear. We pray you always have a love for reading, imagination, and learning. 

You are still sleeping in your crib, taking one nap a day for about 1.5-2 hours. At night you are in bed around 7:30 and wake up about 7:00am. You have really become a good sleeper after a rough start! You love to snuggle and and give kisses and hugs. You are SUPER friendly to everyone and seem to have your dad’s outgoing personality. Since finding out you were going to be a BIG brother this summer you have been my constant doctor buddy…and you’ve handled our weekly visits like a champ. Everyone at the office LOVES you and always ask where you are if for some reason you are not with me. 

At church you love going to see Dottie and Nina (Anita) and and talk about them all the way home. For a while when we would ask you “Who love you?” You would say “Jesus, so much! And Dottie and Nina). We are thankful for all of those who are pouring the love of Jesus into your heart.

A few “stats:” At your two year old appointment you weighed 27.5 pounds and were 34.5 inches tall which put you around the 50% percentile in both, so you are finally “evening” out. You were 24 months or 2T in tops, but still an 18m in pants/shorts (you can thank Daddy for your short legs!). The doctor mentioned potty training, but you are not interested and tell me you want to go in your diaper. You are still working on your last set of molars and will head to the dentist for the first time in the middle of May. Your favorite foods are spaghetti, meatballs, nachos, smoothies, fruit and ice cream, but for the most part there is very little you turn down. 

Two Sprout

We continue to pray over you each night that God will use you to move mountains for Him. And I believe he is beginning to do that with your contagious smile. We are looking forward to watching you become a big brother and give that endless love to both your sisters. You are our JOY sweet boy and we thank God for every moment we get to be your mama and daddy. We pray for the day you root Jesus deep in your heart and live for Him. We love you!

And if anyone wants to take a trip down memory lane to when Chickadee was TWO, check out this old post!

Best Shredded Barbecue in the Crock Pot

Simple Crockpot Barbecue Chicken

Yall, we went the aquarium about a week ago and can I tell you…I am starting to FEEL this pregnancy. We parked at III’s office downtown and walked to the aquarium to save a few bucks. Then we walked ALL OVER the aquarium. It was an absolute blast, and the kids loved it. (Especially “Hank” from Finding Dory!) But when we got home that afternoon it was clear that 1. I wore the wrong shoes and 2. I am starting to be very pregnant. Hello 3rd trimester. Luckily, I already had something in the works for dinner (yay! crockpot) and I was able to put my feet up while III took over the kids solo for a little bit! If you are in Atlanta I definitely recommend a stop at the Georgia Aquarium…it’s incredible!

aquarium

So, who else loves the crock pot? I’m pretty sure the answer is everyone. Working moms, stay at home moms, one pot meal folks, guys that love anything that requires very little work… This shredded BBQ chicken recipe is great for weeknight family dinners or large groups. It’s easy, tasty, and makes great leftovers! Promise me you’ll give it a try soon!

crockpot barbecue chicken

Crock Pot Shredded Barbecue Chicken
Serves 6
Simple, effortless, and delicious barbecue chicken made in the crock pot
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast
  2. 3/4 cup of Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce
  3. 1/4 cup of Sticky Fingers Barbecue Sauce
  4. 1/4 cup of Italian Dressing
  5. 1/4 cup of Brown Sugar
  6. 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  7. 1 tsp garlic salt
Instructions
  1. Season chicken breasts with garlic salt and place in the crock pot.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together barbecue sauces, dressing, brown sugar & Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Pour on top of the chicken.
  4. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  5. Around 3.5 hours two forks to shred the chicken and then allow it to continue cooking in the sauce until you are ready to serve.
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/
Barbecue Chicken Sliders

We love eating this chicken with King’s Hawaiian Rolls, but it would also be great on any bun or by itself. If you want to double the recipe it’s a great choice for feeding larger groups! Happy Monday. What’s for dinner at your house this week??

Barbecue Chicken Sliders Crocpot

Our FAVORITE Books Right Now

Toddlers Favorite Books

April has been true to it’s form around here. Hopefully the showers will be bringing May flowers! With lots of rainy days inside we have been crafting, playing with EVERYTHING in the playroom, and reading tons and tons of books. We have been reading to our little ones since they were in the womb. We are both book lovers (although I haven’t made time for grownup books lately), and we have passed that love on to our children. I was fortunate to bring a pretty big children’s book library home from my classroom when I “retired” from teaching before Chickadee was born. And I’ve been adding to it ever since!

We read at night, in the car, waiting at the doctor’s office, rolling around the grocery store, and in the floor of the playroom. I’m convinced you can’t read enough to your children. It’s amazing how it builds their vocabulary, imagination, and attention span! 

Right now Chickadee is 3 1/2 and Sprout just turned 2. I thought I would share some of our favorite books right now with you in case you are looking to expand your home library! You can find them all on Amazon (aff links). But I also suggest saving some money and search for them at Goodwill or rent them from your local library!

Thomas & Friends: Railway Rhymes

Thomas

Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night

diggers

The Napping House

The Napping House

Oh, the Places You’ll Go

Oh, The Places You'll Go

The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible

Storybook Bible

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See

(This ins one of Chickadee’s Favorite because she can “read” it to Sprout)

Brown Bear Brown Bear

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Any Look and Find Books

Look and Find Books

Owl at Home

Owl at Home

Pinkalicious

PInkalicious

My First Bible Stories – 12 Pack

 My First Bible Stories

Pete the Cat

Pete the Cat

This is just a short list, but I’m pretty sure most of these I can read from memory. I am sure as parents/care takers we get tired of reading the same books over and over, but the repetition is really great for you kids! What books would you put on a favorite’s list for your toddler?

Here are a few more MUST HAVES

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Strawberry Granola Pancakes

Strawberry_Granola_Panckae_Recipe

Brunch is one of III and I’s “things.” We used to go to brunch EVERY Saturday…you know back when we were “DINKs.” Have yall heard that before? It stands for Dual Income No Kids. We loved it so much we even served brunch at our evening wedding. Waffle bar, omelette station, hashbrown casserole, the whole deal. However 7 years into marriage those days are long gone and while we still get to breakfast once, maybe twice a month most Saturday mornings are spent at home making breakfast in our kitchen and hanging out with the kids in our pajamas.  

It’s really more economical…breakfast is extremely inexpensive to make and probably the easiest meal to replicate what they serve you at the restaurant. (Unless it’s a Chick-fil-a chicken biscuit, of course). Plus little kids have a hard time waiting to eat breakfast until about an hour after they wake up, so eating at home is usually better any way you slice it. I made these strawberry granola pancakes a few weeks ago and they were a big hit. You could really use any fruit! And the best part for a sleepy mom, the recipe starts with a box pancake mix! Thanks to the Pioneer Woman for sharing the recipe. You can find it here, on Food Network. The only addition I made was using a tablespoon of vanilla as well, and I chose to use store bought granola. They are delicious! We top both pancakes and waffles with Costco’s Kirkland Organic Maple Syrup. It’s DELISH. Add it to your list, now.

strawberry granola pancakes

So what is your favorite breakfast dish? I’m not sure I could ever narrow it down to one thing! Hasbrowns? Pancakes? Eggs Benedict? And now I’m officially hungry.

Happy Birthday Sprout!

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Little man turned TWO on April, 11th. We celebrated him with family, trains, nachos, and cupcakes! He is such a sweet spirit who loves well and plays hard. He is a chatterbox and tries his best to keep up with his big sister. I’ll do a 2 year old post soon! We decided to keep his 2nd birthday party small, to be honest all he cared about was a cupcake so just a family party was the way to go! Thomas the train is his current obsession so a train theme was a foregone conclusion. His Bebe had a train shirt made for him and we decorated with banners, balloons, and giant trains made of poster board. 

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I found this super cute train banner on Etsy in Kelly’s Cottage Shop. We used crepe paper streamers and red and blue balloons from Dollar Tree (who doesn’t love the Dollar Tree!). Lot’s of Choo Choo Sprout’s Two signs were around and another banner that read Sprout Station.

The cupcakes matched the theme of course. Sprout had been saying for weeks that all he wanted for his birthday was a brown cupcake, so we made all his wishes come true! Chocolate cupcakes with green icing. I used Hershey bars and black gel icing to create the tracks and found these mini Thomas, Percy, and James trains at Dollar General.

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We fed everyone lunch at the party with a nacho bar and mixed fruit! Super easy and everyone was able to customize their dish. My favorite ways to eat nachos, are to build them on a baking sheet and broil them for 2-3 minutes to melt everything together. They are DELICIOUS!

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After eating we played outside a lot and the big kids finally convinced Sprout to open presents. It was a great day celebrating our little man. I can’t believe he will be a BIG brother before he turns 3…well in less than three months really :) I have no doubt he will love baby girl fiercely. Happy Birthday sweet boy!

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