Baby’s first trip to the zoo

It’s not often we have absolutely nothing to do over a weekend. Typically, our weekends are filled with catching up at work, going to events, seeing family or friends, cleaning, and trying to do a bazillion loads of laundry. This weekend was a different story. I managed to both clean and do a majority of the laundry throughout the week. Once Saturday hit, we really had no plans. We haven’t had that happen in so long that we honestly didn’t know what to do. So I suggested we take Madison to her first zoo trip. I cannot wait to continue to add more ‘firsts’ as Maddie grows and we watch her experience more of what life has to offer.

The zoo in Dodge City, Kansas is not a big one. You could probably manage to walk through the entire thing in 15-20 minutes, however, it’s hours of entertainment for a little kid. We anticipated being there for 30 minutes or so with a baby. I was hoping she’d be intrigued at the animals. Our first stop was to see the goats. Sometimes I laugh at what animals you can find at smaller zoos. I’ve seen a deer in a zoo in Emporia, Kansas before and I remembered thinking you didn’t need to be in a zoo to see a deer, they are all over the side of the road while you’re driving. But, I guess they’re the cool thing in small town zoos. I had the same thought about this goat. Goats are very common in the city and on farms around the town, but they’re in the zoo, too. I’m not sure Madison knew what to think of this goat. She stared at it, but did not want to get too close.

plagiocephaly baby first trip to zoo with daddy

We continued to walk around the zoo and showed her a bear, cougar, wolves, raccoon (weird animal to have in a zoo) and a buffalo. She showed absolutely no interest in any of them. She mostly looked confused every time we stopped. Almost as if she was wondering why our walk was taking so long. I did manage to snap a few selfies of us as a family on our first zoo trip together. I know it seems small, but I cannot wait until she’s old enough to truly have fun at the zoo. I have great memories of my parents taking my sister and me to the zoo when we were younger and I want Maddie to have the same memories as she grows.

When we got home we decided to make some vegetarian spaghetti. We often experiment with our sauces and put in extra ingredients to see if we like it better than the canned version. This time it didn’t turn out so well. We opted for a garden veggie Ragu and added in olives, balsamic vinegar and spinach. My husband really like it; to me it was okay, but nothing better than okay. Maddie didn’t know what to think. We’ve never let her feed herself before, but she enjoyed the experience. I knew it was going to make a mess, but since we really had no other plans I didn’t mind the extra laundry or giving baby a bath that night. She sure had fun. It’s the longest she’s ever sat in her high chair without getting fussy. When she smiles it makes us smile. She may drive me crazy sometimes, but I love our little munchkin and watching her experience new things is one of my greatest joys.

What things have you watched your child do for the first time?

Do you have great memories of the zoo with your family?

Easter and Spring Biscotti

When I was in college I took tons of photos of everything. Photos of scenery around the Savannah, GA area, photos of my family, photos of my friends, photos of random things I thought were neat or interesting. I’d go home, download the photos from my camera, save them to a CD (gotta love the early 2000’s) and never print them. I was notorious for not printing photos; I just didn’t see the point. Then Facebook and cell phone cameras came along and I took the photos and I posted them ALL online. I have Facebook albums, Flickr accounts, everything went online. I didn’t sort any of them, I just posted them online.

Then I got married and I slowly starting taking fewer and fewer photos. Instead of taking photos I wanted to enjoy the moments in real time with my husband. Do we have photos of what we’ve done? Absolutely! Do I walk by things and think it would be a great picture, but don’t whip out a camera to take one now? Yep, sure do. Do I delete pictures because either myself or my husband feel we don’t look very good in it? All the time.

Within the past year of having a baby I’ve begun taking more photos again. I don’t always print them, but I have actually been printing and putting them in an album. As of right now, it’s even up-to-date (gasp!). This is adulting done right. My new favorite thing to do once I’ve taken photos is to use a photo editor to update them. I’m currently obsessed with one called Baby Pics. It has so many options for typefaces, artwork, and filters. I love them all and can hardly decide which one looks better. Plus – having a cute little munchkin who looks adorable no matter what really helps, too.

With Easter being this weekend I set up a mini-photo shoot for our nearly eight month old. She really only has like a five minute attention span for photos, so I got everything ready, plopped her down in the set, and had my husband try to entertain her while I snapped some photos. I think they all turned out really well. My husband grabbed a few side shots of her smiling while I was trying to make her giggle. Isn’t she just the cutest? And I LOVE LOVE LOVE these filters. And the artwork with the bunny ears? If that isn’t adorable I don’t know what it. No – Baby Pics App is not sponsoring this post I just really enjoy it and wanted to share.

Which one of the photos is your favorite? I’m still deciding which ones to print and would love advice!


Once I finished taking photos I felt like baking. Easter to me is the perfect time to bake spring treats. It was a beautiful sunny day the day before Easter for us, but by Sunday it was chilly, gray, and rainy all day. To me, it was the perfect weekend, it gave us a wonderful day outside followed by a family day inside. What better way to enjoy a family day than by baking spring biscottis and enjoying it with some hot chocolate, snuggles, and watching (or teething on) Rogue One (yes, I took the dvd out before I gave it to her). I made the joke that if you are what you eat then my baby is a Jedi.

Maddie Rogue One baby

Anyways, I made spring biscotti by slightly altering my chocolate almond biscotti recipe. I absolutely love funfetti everything, so adding sprinkles made it so much more springy, and added a little joy to the top of the biscotti. Who doesn’t love sprinkles? Sprinkles are the baking equivalent of glitter. Some people love them, some hate them, I can’t get enough of either. Sparkles and sprinkles are my peeps. These came out deliciously ready for eating.

1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips
4 tbsp cold butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Stir until combined.
  3. Add butter and vanilla. Stir until well combined. I did use my food processor this time and it worked like a charm.
  4. Add chocolate chips, sprinkles, and eggs. Mix until the entire dough is in one big ball. I had to use my hands to mix it correctly.
  5. Divide dough into two smaller balls and form into logs.
  6. Place two logs side by side on baking sheet. Sprinkle on extra sprinkles 🙂
  7. Flatten logs into the shape you want your biscotti to be in.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes and then remove for oven.
  9. Let biscotti cool for 5-10 minutes. You need the dough cool, but warm enough to not crumble when cut.
  10. Turn slices on side and return to oven for about 10 minutes. I prefer a harder biscotti so I left it in for 15 minutes.
  11. Remove when edges are barely browned.
  12. Let cool and enjoy.

Nutritional Information (1/13th of recipe): 178 calories, 4g protein, 27g carbs, 2g fiber, 12g sugar

birthday cake biscotti

Surviving the first baby illness

This past week our baby girl, Madison, got her for ear infection and it was a doozy. After arriving back from Colorado on Sunday evening we noticed her pulling on one ear. By the time I made it to the doctor for an appointment on Monday morning she had begun pulling on the other ear, too. The doctor confirmed my suspicions – she had a DOUBLE ear infection from the change in pressure between Colorado and Kansas. We were given medicine and told to take 4mL twice a day. The pharmacist questioned the amount the doctor prescribed, but the doctor said it would be fine. We were told make sure she takes it with food, because it will cause stomach issues. Boy were they right.

Fast forward to one hour after giving her the medicine and she threw up all over the carpet. My poor baby had never vomited that much, but we cleaned it up and put her to bed. She seemed fine the next morning after we gave her more meds, so we took her to daycare and went through the work day. When I went to pick her up after work the daycare said she had just finished cleaning up vomit. I felt bad, but was hoping that would be it. Nope, she wasn’t done yet. She continued to throw up all night and started diarrhea at the same time. Isn’t parenting fun, right?

By the next morning the poor tired kiddo hadn’t eaten or drank very much, so we went back to the doctor. She prescribed a much lower dosage of a different medication. This time she only needed 2mL once a day. I started to wonder if maybe the dosage of the first medication was the main issue. The doctor told me Maddie probably had gastroenteritis (i.e. a stomach virus), however, after one day of this all signs of vomiting and diarrhea ceased leading me to believe the first medication was the issue, not a stomach bug. Either way, the illness left me with a lot of firsts. First trip to the doctor for a sick baby. First time cleaning up baby vomit. First time doing multiple loads of laundry between the hours of midnight and 3am. First time wondering/googling symptoms of baby dehydration. First time wondering how such a tiny baby can have so much poop in her body. And first time feeling as though I deserve an award for surviving.

Yes, I’m a millennial and I admit it. I want an award for surviving all of those firsts. So, I made myself one. Maybe you need this award this week, too. Or maybe you’ve already survived all of these firsts and know what the feeling is like. No matter what happens I know I can face it. We’ve all got this motherhood thing down even when baby gets sick.

Anyone else helping their sick kiddo this week?