Friday, December 7, 2012

The Incredible Growing Baby @ 6 Months

My baby turned 6 months old yesterday. 6 months ago, our world was rocked in the most magical way possible. In one way, I can't believe it's already been half a year since Avery was born and in another, It's becoming hard to imagine what we DID before he was here- our life is so completely centered on this little man.

 This month, Avery...
: Eats like a champ! Right now, he only eats once a day in the evenings and gets so excited when we put him in his high chair because he knows it's dinner time. Last night, he added avacados to his growing list of foods he enjoys. He has also started blowing raspberries with a mouthfull of food, which makes for some pretty funny moments :)

: Took his first inter-state trip home to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving! He did such an fantastic job in the car. I think maybe we psyched ourselves out too much preparing for the trip because it ended up being the fastest, smoothest ride we've ever taken. We left at 4 am, stopped ONCE when Avery woke up around 7:30 and was in WI by 11:30 EST. Amazing. The ride home was equally as awesome. We are SO GLAD he's such a good traveler, as there are many more road trips in our future!

: Has a cold :( He had just gotten over the cold that he came down with when we were in Wisconsin when he came down with another this last week. He has been pretty good natured and extra cuddly (which this momma doesn't mind one bit) considering he is a snotty, stuffy mess.

: Will hang out in his crib by himself for a really long time, just playing with his hands and talking to himself. His 2 hour-long morning naps sometimes only last about 10 minutes, but instead of crying when he wakes up, he just talks and blows bubbles for up to an hour sometimes. I just leave him to it until he starts to whine, I think he likes the alone time! :)

: Has been sleeping 12 hours at night, getting up 1-2 times to eat. (He was down to getting up only once, but with him being sick I can't deny him when he gets up that extra time)

: 'Stands' on his super strong legs! My family got him to do it when we were in Wisconsin and now he wants to do it all the time. When he is in his new jumparoo (which he LOVES because it gives him more freedom) he jumps only about half the time because he's so busy standing the other half.

: Still only rolls from front to back. He's usually so content on his back that he has no desire to turn the other way. If he can't get to the toys that are out of his reach, he just plays with his hands or talks to the ceiling. Seriously, most easy going baby ever. It makes me wonder if anything will ever entice him enough to get him to start crawling...

: Has moved into his own bathroom and out of the infant tub. (Not that he really fit in it anymore anyway! :)  Bathtime is still a family event and is a much longer process now because he spends so much time playing and splashing, but it's a great way to wind down at the end of the day (for all of us!)

: Still has rash outbreaks sometimes, but it is SO MUCH better than it was last month. Whew!

: Is SO easy-going and calm. He just goes-with-the-flow and is so content just sitting and playing during the day. He's such a sweet baby and his smiles and giggles just melt my heart.

Here's Avery the standing, bouncing machine!

And here's Avery eating his first 'solid' food meal (I forgot we had taken a video!) I just noticed how red his eyes are here, he must've been tired!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Avery Kicks Off His Eating Adventure!

One month ago today, Avery took his first bites of rice cereal! We decided he was ready because he slurped up his Vitamin D supplement drops they were going out of style and he was certainly big enough to take the next step. He was so excited from the very first bite- he kicked his feet, grabbed for the spoon and whined when we didn't get the next bite to him soon enough. :) 

Since then, he's tried sweet potatoes, pears, bananas and peas and so far has loved them all. It seems we have a good eater on our hands!  He even had the pleasure of being fed by some of his favorite people while we were visiting family in Wisconsin! 
Avery is so lucky to have so many people that love and adore him so much :)

I am SO far behind on blogging... We made a trip to Wisconsin, have been battling sickness, preparing for Christmas and having lots of cute photo shoots in the last month - I have actually taken so many photos that I'm a bit overwhelmed, but I'll be slowly getting them organized into posts over the next couple of weeks! Stay tuned :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Let's Roll - Avery's Big Debut!

I knew once I posted his 5 month update, he would finally roll over while I had the camera out! Here's proof that he really can get all those rolls in motion... appropriately accompanied by one of Avery's favorite tunes. (Let's Roll by Yelawolf & Kid Rock)

A special thanks to his 'Happy Apple' for looking so appetizing that he just had to have it.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Avery - 5 Months!

At 5 months, Avery
: ROLLS OVER! First in his crib in the early morning (so we didn't get to see) and again later in the day on November 1st! He's got some killer strong abs to get his rolly-polly self up and moving (video to come... he's apparently camera shy and won't perform when we get the camera out!)
: LOVES when we sing 'Old McDonald' to him... If he starts whining and we start singing, he's entranced.
: Eats every 3 hours... around the clock. Yes, Still. 
: Sits up and plays/splashes in the bath. He has inhaled water a couple of times while trying to eat his bath toys... if that doesn't make me feel like a failed parent, nothing will! His reaction is so scary! 
: Has pretty nasty rash outbreaks. It got so bad last weekend that I went to Wal Mart and spent almost $30 on every treatment they had. Avery now gets slathered in something 5-6 times a day and is now the slippery-ist little grease monkey around. Justin is jealous of all the rub downs he gets! (we have since seen his pediatrician and he has seborrheic dermatitis, which is better than eczema because it doesn't itch and shouldn't leave any lasting effects)
: Is starting to experiment with his voice and 'squeals' as loud and as high-pitched as he can. It often scares him or makes him gag... but it makes his mommy laugh and he loves it!
: Is starting to 'talk to' Jasper and Bella (Jasper is his favorite to watch, maybe because he's smaller and more on his level) 
: Is an intense observer of everything around him. He has an excellent attention span and will stare at the same object for many minutes trying to figure it out. 
: LOVES taking his 1 mL of Vitamin D supplement drops every day. Seriously, he gets excited and starts kicking when I bring the bottle out. Do you think it's probably time to start him on solids soon?  :)
: Is much more stable while sitting up. He's getting the 'balancing act' down and only topples over when he gets distracted by something and forgets that he's still sitting. When he does topple, he's totally fine with it. Most easy-going baby ever? Most of the time, yes. As long as he has a full tummy ;)

: Has some new little 'girlfriends' down the street. He LOVES to watch them and he thinks everything they do is pretty much the bees-knees. (Especially when they stick their heads in the stroller to make faces at him.) When we were visiting them the other evening, he wouldn't even eat he was so distracted by them. It takes something pretty cool to distract him from his dinner!
: Went on his first 'date' with mom and dad - to Olive Garden! He was SO good the entire time we were there, just looking around, giggling and playing with his toys!
: Is officially 'sleep training' ... which for us means that we aren't picking him up 3-4 times before he succumbs to sleep. Soon we're hoping to wean him down to 1 or 2 feedings per night instead of the 3-4 he gets now. (Mommy hasn't had a good night's rest in 5 months!)
: Is wearing 9m (and some 12m!) size clothes. He's got to start to plateau soon, right?!
: Enjoys playing with faces, hair, and neck-skin (who even knew I had enough neck-skin to yank on?! Ouch!) Watching his little hands explore new things is so sweet.
: Went trick-or-treating on his first Halloween with his best buddy, Max the giraffe!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Avery's First Sensory Bag!

I'm an advocate for offering kids different experiences that help them to figure out this big 'ol world they're living in - even if that means letting them get a little messy. Thanks to my favorite website obsession, Pinterest, I have found some amazing ideas for all kinds of fun play that engages kids by allowing them to experiment with different things. 

My ultimate favorite is Growing a Jeweled Rose. If you're looking for fun activities to do with your kids that are sensory, educational, and cheap (most of them are made out of things around the house), this is a great site to browse around! I seriously want to repin EVERYTHING she posts and I'm so excited to try out all the neat things she has that I'm almost excited for Avery to get a little older to enjoy them. Avery is getting to the point where he's old enough to experiment with Sensory Bags, so I whipped one up for him the other day to try it out. He did love it, mainly because it looked like something fun to put in his mouth. Like everything else within arm's reach. :)

He especially loved watching the little characters move around when he hit the bag. It worked great on his tummy too because that's where he had the best angle to latch onto the surface :)  

I used a gallon-size freezer bag filled with water (I did buy some hair gel to use as 'goo' inside, but I thought I'd start with water just in case it leaked. I'll be using the goo in another bag down the road) and just filled it with stuff I had around the house - some yarn (which looks really neat flowing around in the water!) and some little foam critter stickers. I used duct tape to seal around the edges (for extra reinforcement). I wanted to keep the contents pretty simple for my first one, but there are SO many other cool things that I've been thinking of to put in future bags!

Here's a link to Sensory Bags if you want to try one out for yourself. (they're a GREAT way to keep toddlers busy, too!) and here's where you can find  50+ play activities for babies. Seriously, people, there aren't enough hours in the day to try out all these amazing things, but I'm going to give it my best shot!  (I see colored spaghetti noodles in a baby pool in our future!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Our Little Caterpillar...

By introducing him to books early, we figure he should be reading in a few months...
ha ha!! :) He's so intellectual!
While going through Avery's closet the other day, I realized he has SO many cute outfits that he won't fit into for much longer... and I've never taken his picture in many of them! 

This one is really special because, as many of you know, 'Eric Carle' is the theme in Avery's nursery (you can check out the nursery reveal here) and at our baby shower back in April, he received this super-cute outfit from my step-aunt (step-aunt? Well, my step-mom's sister, anyway... she rocks.) that she had bought years ago when Carters had an Eric Carle line of clothing and had just held onto... it was fate that she and I should meet and Avery should come along and have an Eric Carle themed room! Perfect!! 

Not only are they overalls (my FAVORITE article of clothing for little boys!), but they have a line from the book on them and he even has matching socks with a little caterpillar on the side! (When Avery was first born and all swaddled up so cute, we called him 'Our Little Caterpillar' :)

Since receiving this outfit, Avery has also gotten 2 more outfits from the same Eric Carle line (thanks Sally and Lisa for being such good scouts!) and I'll be sharing them as soon as he fits into them!

Happy Wednesday!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Avery: 4 Months!

How is my baby 4 months old?!  I'm still convinced that I have the fastest growing child of all time. I'm sure no mother has ever said that... ;)

Avery had his 4 month well-baby checkup the other day and is doing awesome. He weighs in at
16 lbs 14 oz
(in the 85th percentile)  and is
26.5 inches long
, (in the 97th percentile!) Surprise, surprise... I know :)

He's developing a strong personality and is oh-so-sweet. He's so content and so alert, taking in everything around him. He's become more vocal this month and gets stronger by the day.

What Avery is up to at 4 Months:
  • He FINALLY has a napping routine/schedule that doesn't include the nap-and-nurse all day in my lap
  • Nighttime is still pretty hit-or-miss. He usually goes down great, but how long he stays sleeping is another story. Some nights he will get up 6-7 times to nurse, other nights only once. He slept better his first weeks of life than he does now... Sleeping is definitely our biggest challenge.
  • He enjoys play sessions on the floor and is so content just hanging out and 'talking' to (and eating) whatever colorful object happens to be nearby.
  • He's much more tolerant of 'tummy time' and reaches for things while on his tummy.
  • He loves to sit up in his high chair at the table with us and play with toys while watching us eat.
  • He prefers to chew on his index and middle fingers
  • He loves to go on neighborhood walks with his BFF, Max :)
  • He can SIT by himself for short periods of time, and will sit supported forever and play. Sometimes he even gets frustrated when we leave him on his back too long
  • He pulls everything into his mouth.
    And then he drools on it.
    So much drool...
  • He blows raspberries :)
  • He can get his feet up in the air and roll onto his side, but stops there
  • He notices Bella and Jasper and watches them intently 

  • He's gotten 'spooked' by a few men he's encountered over the last few weeks. We aren't sure if it's their voices or their facial hair or what - hopefully it's just a phase!

  • He had his first giggle-fest with daddy over the weekend. He's been giving little 'chuckles' for a while now, but this is the first time he's straight-up giggled. I'm so lucky to have gotten it on video (even Grandma Connie got a laugh out of it!)

This past weekend, Grandma Connie and Grandpa Delbert came to visit and hooked Avery up with some Packers gear! He spent LOTS of time playing, talking and reading with Grandma and even warmed up to Grandpa by the end of the weekend :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

On This Day...

One year ago today, I took a test that would forever change our lives. It was such an incredibly exciting feeling watching those two pink lines appear... the first of many amazing feelings and experiences that were to come- 
What a difference ONE YEAR can make.

I very much enjoyed being pregnant and I will look back on that 9 months as some of the greatest of my life... until Avery made his appearance. Now my life is so full and so happy I can barely stand it. 

Avery is almost 4 months old and charming as can be. He's developing such a fun personality and watching him change every day brings us so much joy. Even when I wake up after a night of little sleep and peer over the side of the crib at the little Sleep-Thief himself, he uses his magical powers (transmitted through his sweet morning smile) to make me forget all about how exhausted I am and actually make me think about how much I missed him while sleeping. It's amazing. 

I'll be posting his '4 month' post shortly, I just wanted to drop in and share the significance of this day - what a crazy, beautiful, wonderful year it's been.

I realized that I usually share photos of Avery smiling, which he does most of the day, but he makes so many other faces now that he 'talks' and interacts more, I just had to share :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wear a Helmet...

A week ago today, Justin, Avery and I set off for Indianapolis for a day full of baseball. Justin was going to play, Avery and I were going to watch. Justin plays on a 'Vintage Baseball' team - The teams wear uniforms, use equipment, and play by the rules/regulations of 1863 baseball. It's considered a 'gentleman's game' and is fun to play - and watch!

We arrived at the park and a friend of mine and I set up 'camp' for our babies on the side of the field. Right before the game started, we decided to move to the opposite side of the field where there was more shade and there was a tree to 'protect' us. (These games are just played in wide open -and often uneven- grassy areas, not traditional baseball fields) Justin met us when we made it to the other side and I handed Avery to him so I could spread out the blanket on the ground. 

I laid out the blanket and as I was opening the shade umbrella, *BAM* - the second hit of the game went foul right into my face. I just remember lots of pain to the face and lots of commotion all around. Avery started crying (I found out later it was because Justin laid him on the blanket to come to me) and I looked down at my hands and saw lots of blood everywhere, pouring from my face. Super scary! 

I had no idea if it was my head or my cheek or my eye... it was just a mess of blood and pain. Thank God for my friend Amy (who is a nurse) for a putting ice (wrapped in a burp rag, of course!) to my face right away, for Justin for rubbing my back and getting me a piece of gum to get the taste of blood out of my mouth, and for the woman who picked up Avery and comforted him during the whole ordeal. 

Justin called 911, the EMTs came (really quickly!) and flushed out my eye to make sure there were no pieces of my sunglasses in there. I had no vision out of the eye and was somewhat in shock, I think. They bandaged it up and after a quick snack for Avery (he stared at the white bandage on my face with a pretty confused look while I fed him in the backseat of the car before we took off!) we found our way to the ER. 

They were such troopers!
After a super long day (10 hours...) with an infant in a tiny ER room, two different doctors attempted to stitch up my face (come to find out, there was actually a hole gouged out by my broken glasses, so there really wasn't any skin to pull together), my vision slowly came back (the blood that was in my eye was what was blocking the view) and I've been visiting the doctor's office pretty much every day since. 

Putting lots of trust in Amy,
who took my stitches out -at home!
My Ophthalmologist put me on bed rest all week (quite the feat with a 3 month old in the house!) for fear of dislodging the clots that had formed inside my eye, which could cause permanent vision problems and/or blindness. After visiting a plastic surgeon, he determined that since the cuts were already scabbing over, it wouldn't do any good to cut into it and disturb the healing so I will just have to accept the scars and hope they aren't too noticeable and fade quickly! The human body is an amazing thing, though, and I'm so happy with how much better my face looks just one week later after the swelling has gone down and the stitches have been removed ...

Although I would've rather this just not happened at all, I am so incredibly lucky because it could've turned out so much worse than it was. 
I'm so thankful that I was wearing my big sunglasses, as they took the blow of the ball and miraculously saved any of the bones in my face from being broken. 
I'm so thankful I happened to hand Avery over to Justin less than a minute before the ball came our way. It hurts me to think of what that ball could've done to his little body.
I'm so thankful for the kindness and prayers from friends and family.
I'm so thankful that our insurance deductible was already met for the year after having Avery. :)

I've been thinking so much about fate and God, how precious life really is and how things can change so drastically in an instant. So hug a little tighter, don't hesitate to say 'I love you', and for heaven's sake, don't attend a baseball game without wearing protective gear - including a helmet.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Fun Avery Moment...

Avery loves mirrors. Whenever we walk past the one above our fireplace, we have to stop and have a giggle. (Avery giggles at himself...I giggle at him, giggling at himself :) So during tummy time the other day, I pulled out a mirror to see if he would enjoy it. 
I'll let you be the judge on whether he did or not... 

 Best. Faces. EVER.  How can you not giggle (or laugh 'till you cry like Justin and I do) at that sweet face?! This child just gets cuter by the day, I tell ya. My cup runneth over.

...And to top off this overload of cuteness, later that evening, we found Bella making herself at home on the Boppy pillow, gazing at herself in the mirror, too!  
Who knew a mirror I found for 25 cents at a garage sale could bring this much enjoyment?!

Friday, September 7, 2012

3 Month Photos!

Yesterday morning, I snapped some photos of Avery on his 3 month birthday! He's so sweet and smiley in the morning - I just want to kiss him all over!  (which is probably how he and I ended up with colds today... boo.) But - we did get to spend some time as a family yesterday checking out the 'Tippecanoe Battlefield' near our house and got some good exercise at Happy Hollow Park! 


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Avery @ 3 Months!

This month has been full of visitors and adventures! 
Avery got snuggled by lots of family, got in a couple of bike rides, took a trip to the beach (for the second time!), grew out of his 3 month clothes (and some of his 6 months already...), ate lots (growth spurt again?), drooled all over the place,  sat up in his bumbo seat and jumped around in his exersaucer, and can hold his head up all on his own!

We've introduced Avery to a couple new things this month - his Bumbo seat and his Exersaucer.
He's still trying to figure them both out but is enjoying them so far! 

Now that Avery is 3 months old, I'm SO grateful that I'm able to continue to stay home with him and not go back to work.  Although I often miss teaching (especially now that it's back-to-school time), It's been a dream of mine to stay home to raise my babies and since moving to Indiana, that dream became a reality.  Avery's getting to a point developmentally where he enjoys looking and batting at toys and I'm looking forward to more 'play time' with him in the months to come. I'm glad to be here with him as he's learning new tricks, which happens all the time these days :)

That said, we've definitely had to make some adjustments to living on one income. We're trying to find ways to cut back and conserve money the best we can so we have enough in our account for the basics (mortgage, student loans, groceries, etc.).  It's going to be a challenge and we're going to have to get better at budgeting, but we think it's definitely worth it to be able to be home with Avery.

Avery's 'Milestones' This Month:
  • He sits up in his Bumbo seat and likes to bat toys around on the tray
  • He spends some time in his exersaucer and loves listening/staring at the toys
  • Tummy time is becoming more fun now that he can hold his head up! He enjoys staring at toys and mirrors set up in front of him (especially the ones that make noise)
  • He chews his right fist all day - we think he's working on fitting the entire thing in his mouth! (the chewing leads to lots of drooling!)
  • He's getting good at lifting his feet up when laying on his back - he's so close to rolling right over!
  • He greets us every morning with a smile and has the cutest laugh/giggle!
  • He 'talks', squeals and 'coughs' at his toys when laying on his play mats
  • He met his first GREAT grandpa and took part in a 4 generation Olive men photo! :)

Fun Fact:  The blanket that I took Avery's 11 week photo on was the very same one that my mom took a photo of me on in back in the day. I was about 8 months old in this photo!

And since we're cracking out the baby photos, here's one of Justin at 3 months! :) I can definitely see some Avery in that sweet face!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Recipe Round-Up: Our Favorite Meals

The Quick, The Easy, The Delicious!

After having many visitors over the last couple of months and having a newborn in the house, I am so grateful that we've had so many frozen meals ready to cook with little to no preparation at all. They've been great to feed our visitors, but many of them have been frozen in single-serve portions so they're perfect to pull out just what Justin and I need to feed the two of us without having leftovers for days! 

I've gotten so many positive comments about our meals out of the freezer and the crock pot - how delicious AND how easy they are - that I thought I'd share a few of our tried-and-true favorites. Many of these came from Pinterest (seriously the greatest website of all time!), others came from friends or from me browsing the internet. Many of the recipes also have a Mexican theme...I guess we just love it so much, we can't get enough!  Just click on the name of the recipe and it will take you to its source! Enjoy!

Crock Pot Hits

Chef Mommy

Salsa Chicken

This is probably Justin's favorite meal  of all time. I love it too, so it gets made pretty often at our house. It's SUPER easy to make and all the ingredients are things I have on hand all the time. It makes quite a bit so it's good to feed 4-5 people, but we don't mind eating this for 2 days in a row. It is also great rolled up in tortillas on day 2!

I add black beans in toward the end of the cooking time with the sour cream and cheese (so they don't get mushy) and skipped the cilantro.

Chocolate Therapy

Chicken Tacos

"Three ingredients and almost zero work" Exactly. These are way too good to be this easy. They are great to feed a crowd or to make and freeze for future meals.

The last time I made these, I had crunchy shells for the first time in years - and forgot how awesome they are! (But this chicken would be good wrapped in pretty much anything  :) They were also a hit with the kids we had over for dinner!

Freezer Favorites 

Annie's Eats

Cheesy Chicken "Benchiladas'

These aren't traditional enchiladas at all, but we think they're way better. Ranch dressing + Chicken + lots of cheese. What's not to love?! I'm not a huge fan of traditional enchilada sauce so this is a delicious alternative. 

As is, they're very mild (kids would probably love them) but I think the next time I make them, I'll add some green chilies for a little more 'kick'.

Taste of Home 

Pepperoni Lasagna Roll-Ups

I got the idea for this recipe from a friend - and it gets a '10' for taste AND ease. Instead of making only 3 noodles like the recipe calls for I use whole box, quintupling the recipe. It's SO easy to freeze them and just pull out just what we need instead of having leftovers for a week! 

I just use shredded mozzarella cheese instead of swiss because it's what I usually have on hand. I also wait to add the spaghetti sauce until right before I bake the rolls.

Picky Palate

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole

This recipe is great because it makes a LOT of food. I freeze it in 4 separate containers because it's enough for 4 meals for us. It also worked out great to serve when we had visitors because there was so much of it! Also -the website it's listed on is called 'Picky Palate', so this is a great one for kids or picky eaters!

When I thawed this one out and baked it I thought it was a little dry, so I added an extra can of chicken broth before baking.

All Recipes

Stuffed Green Peppers

I usually double this recipe to freeze. If you have leftovers (we usually don't because I only pull out what we'll eat) they're great reheated, cut up and served on tortillas for a new twist on day 2!

I use ground turkey instead of beef and I use different types of tomatoes - sometimes fresh, sometimes diced in the can - they all cook down equally well.

Freezer Staples

 I like to have these things ready to go in the freezer to help throw together a meal in a hurry! 

Cooked Shredded Chicken 

I fill my crock pot up with chicken breasts (usually frozen) and let it cook on low all day. In the evening, I shred it up, bag it, and throw it in the freezer. It's much easier to pull out and add to a dish rather than taking the time to cook the chicken before each meal.

Chopped Fajita Veggies

When I find peppers and onions on sale at the farmers market or the grocery store, I stock up, wash and chop them, and freeze them in bags to pull out for an easy meal. All I have to do is throw a couple of pieces of chicken on the grill and lightly cook the veggies, and fajitas are ready to go! I even use these veggies if I'm making a pasta or something - they're really easy to just throw into anything!

Hamburger Patties

If we're grilling for just the two of us, we obviously don't need an entire pound of hamburger, so I buy a few pounds at a time when it's on sale, season and patty it and freeze. This way, all we have to do is pull out 2 patties to thaw instead of messing with a whole pound of meat every time.

Cookie Dough

We often get a craving for some cookies after dinner so instead of baking a whole batch at once, we just pull a few pre-made dough balls out of the freezer and bake them as we need (ok, WANT) them.

**An important tip to remember: when freezing single-serve items (the 'benchilladas', lasagna rolls, hamburger patties, cookie dough, etc. lay them out on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for a few hours to harden them up. THEN put them in a freezer bag. This way, they're individually frozen and therefore easier to pull just a few out at a time (instead of them all freezing together in one big clump. Like most things, I learned this the hard way!)

Simple Organized Living

Delicious Baked Sandwiches

These sandwiches can't really be frozen or thrown in a crock pot, but they are so delicious I would be cheating you if I didn't share. (another Pinterest find!) They take a little more preparation but they are great because they are easy and can be made ahead of time. I usually make them when people come to visit because they're always a hit, but sometimes I just make a smaller batch for just Justin and I. (He wouldn't mind if I made them every day he loves them so much!) 
I skip the poppyseeds (because I never have any...) and cut down on the butter a bit.

There are many other meals that I have pinned on Pinterest that I haven't yet tried yet but I'm sure are equally as delicious - follow my 'Recipe' board for more ideas. If you haven't browsed Pinterest yet for new recipes, I HIGHLY recommend it - it's changed our life! :)