Friday, October 31, 2008

Deliver lunches... check.

So, Thursday was GREAT! Better than expected, and not nearly as stressful as I thought it would be. Wednesday night I went to bed and I dreamed ALL NIGHT LONG that I did not have enough chicken salad. I had measured out EXACTLY enough for my 22 lunches and didn't think I had an ounce to spare! But for some reason I kept dreaming that my chicken salad bowl kept emptying and millions of croissants were just sitting on my countertop, waiting to be filled... ughhhhhh. Bad dreams. But I woke up and made my sandwiches around 10am and had more than enough...loaves and fishes, I call it. Haha...

Anyway, I finished the sandwiches, cleaned the kitchen, packed the lunches, applied my cute little EllaBug label, and headed out the door with 22 brown bags and baby. I took Mary Ella to Chad's mom and she watched her while I went on my delivery route, to Carefirst Home Health and Three Sheets Linen Shop in downtown Homewood. Everyone was super sweet and very complimentary of the food, especially the gooey butter cake... always a winner. There were 5 or 6 people at Carefirst who were like, "Oh, wow! Did you bring extras? I didn't order." I had no extras, of course, but that is what I'd hoped would happen. Now they will definitely sign up next week! Which means hopefully my "business" will keep growing. I'm hoping I can get some teachers and maybe a few more stores to order lunches. I've already sent out the menu and sign-up sheets for next week! Turkey club wrap, chips with baked potato dip, and chocolate chip pound cake! Yummy!

Baked Potato Dip Recipe:
Just make homemade ranch dip (comes in a packet). Add real bacon bits, cheddar cheese, and chives. Serve with wavy Lays! It's incredible!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A week in the life of a brown bag lunch lady




Monday:
*Confirm # of lunch orders with local business. Total = 22.
*Buy food and supplies.
*Organize food and supplies.
*Roll silverware in cute red napkins and tie with cute black ribbon.

Tuesday:
*Boil 12 chicken breasts, then cut into chunks, then chop in food processor.
*Chop celery and pecans.
*Make 2 gooey butter cakes.
*Lick the beaters.
*Cut gooey butter cake into bars and wrap each in wax paper.

Wednesday:
*Make dressing for chicken salad and mix with dry ingredients. Put back in fridge.
*Cut up fresh fruit and prepare fruit cups. Put back in fridge.
*Set up lunch bags and begin to fill with non-refridgerated items: peppermints, dessert, fork/napkin roll.

Thursday:
*Drink 2 cups of coffee, extra Splenda, extra creamer.
*Deliver lunches.
*Breathe.
*Head to the beach.

So this has been my life this week, up to this point. Although it sounds exhausting, it has been really fun! All the prep work and cooking has given me something new and fun to do while Mary Ella naps. I've enjoyed the chaos of it all, and I can't wait to deliver my goodies tomorrow and collect my "piddlin' money," as Aunt Flossie would say. Then I'm headed to the beach for a long weekend with Chad and his parents. Happy Halloween!

Fruit cup, anyone?


Chips and gooey cake, all wrapped up and ready to be bagged...


Supply table


chicken salad messiness


1 batch of chicken salad and 2 gooey cakes later...

Monday, October 27, 2008

26


Saturday was my 26th birthday. My parents were able to come down Saturday morning and stayed until last night. We ate lunch at Margarita Grill for lunch Saturday then the guys watched football at the house while Mom and I went to TJ Maxx and I found a pair of jeans and a couple of fall shirts. Somehow the majority of my fall/winter wardrobe didn't make it to our new house... I'm not sure if I threw it all away or if it's still packed in a box in our garage. But anyhow, I'm not willing to go digging through the land of black widows to find out.
I got some great presents from my family! Mom and Grandmother bought me a Waxing Poetic necklace! I got 2 charms - one is an "M" and one is Mary Ella's birthstone. I have been wanting a necklace I could wear all the time, and this one is perfect. I also got a shirt from Betsy and 2 pairs of earrings, from my aunt Kristi and my friend Sara. Chad won't give me my present until my party at his mom's house, which is later this week, so I'll let you know what I get. It better be good if he's making me wait, though. :)
Saturday night Chad and I went to our first Murder Mystery at a friend's house. She hosts a murder mystery every year and this was our first time to attend. It was called "Murder in Sin City" and her entire house was set up like a Las Vegas Casino. We each had a character to play the entire night. I was Iguana Trump, wife of Ronald Trump, the casino owner. Chad's character was Hot Slot Sal, a high rolling gambler. He looked hilarious. Bright blue pants, orange Hawaiian shirt, fake goatee, air Jordan's, and gold jewelry. I basically wore a formal dress and lots of diamonds. We had a great time and it made me want to host one myself! Afterwards we came back to the house and played Scattergories with my parents, Betsy and Chase until after 1:00 am. Fun times.

Sunday we went to church and I finally dropped Mary Ella off in her class. She did great up until the last 40 minutes (church lasted almost 2 hours though!) They said they could tell she wasn't a "daycare baby" because nothing could really comfort her. She just wasn't used to all the noise and the teachers. But they were so sweet and when I picked her up she was sleeping peacefully in one of their arms. I feel better about leaving her now. I need to let her get used to it. David's sermon was especially challenging and encouraging, and my parents thought so too. We have been wrestling with this "Radical" series in our own lives and trying to pray earnestly about giving more and being able to live radically different lives. Our small group has started volunteering at Pathways Womens' Shelter downtown and we are hoping that we can go regularly to see what needs we can meet there.

In other exciting news, I have started my own little catering business called "EllaBug Eats." I am SO excited about doing this, because it gives me a new hobby - cooking - which I LOVE to do anyway, and it allows me to make a little extra cash (thus GIVE a little extra) and interact with grown-ups too! Each week I am sending out a "menu" by fax/e-mail, to local offices/businesses. They send me back the number of lunches they need and then I deliver them on Thursdays. I prep/cook the food Monday through Wednesday and then pack the lunches Thursday morning and head out on my delivery route! I am charging $7.00 a person and that includes a sandwich, 1-2 sides, and a homemade dessert. This week's menu is chicken salad croissant, Sun Chips, fresh fruit and gooey butter cake. I only have 20 orders - this is my first week - but hopefully my numbers will increase as I get the word out. I'm delivering to a couple of offices and to Three Sheets Linen Shop in Homewood.

Well, that's about all the news I have. Mary Ella has her 4-month appointment on November 10th so I'll be posting about that soon. And Halloween of course! She's so excited about her poodle costume. Pictures to come!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

PAY IT FORWARD! Wanna play?

I got involved in this little fun game from www.A1sweetlife.blogspot.com.

THE RULES: The main focus is doing an act of kindness without expecting anything in return other than that the recipient will, in their turn, pass the kindness along and pay it forward. I will send a small, fun gift to the first 3 bloggers who post a comment on this entry. In turn, those three will post this information and pick 3 people they want to send something to and then the game will continue!! If you are interested in participating, be one of the first 3 bloggers to leave a comment!! The little something you send can be something you made, bought, were given or found, anything you want!! Just a gift that will make the person's day!! You have to promise that you will then post about this on your blog, link back to me, and then send something to the first three people who sign up to play along through your blog.

Ok...ready...set...go!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Here is a short video of Mary Ella in her exersaucer and then in the bathtub. Fun times.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mary Ella Montage

I'm not really good at this kind of stuff but it was a rainy day and I thought I'd give it a try...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tagged.

7 Things I Want To Do Before I Die...
1. Teach my daughter about the indescribable, amazing, abundant love of Christ and see her accept Him as her Lord...I'm pretty sure I could die happy after that.
2. Walk/run/exercise every day for a month straight
3. Travel with my family (I have a list of places)
4. Make a real difference in the life of a complete stranger
5. Teach Mary Ella how to play piano
6. Read the Bible from cover to cover
7. Read all the books on the Top 100 Books Ever Written list

7 Things I Can Do...
1. Play piano upside down
2. Sing The Star Spangled Banner with my mouth closed
3. Paint canvases
4. Drink a gallon of sweet tea in a couple of hours
5. Cook
6. Function on 3 hours of sleep
7. Do 6 loads of laundry in a day, all while taking care of a newborn and a 50-lb dog

7 Things I Can Not Do...
1. Wink
2. Eat a tomato
3. Watch scary movies.
4. Go one moment without thinking about my daughter
5. French braid
6. Go to bed at a decent hour
7. Say "no" to stray dogs

7 Things That Attracted Me To My Hubby...
1. He is hardworking.
2. He is a spiritual leader to me and my baby
3. He constantly puts his family first (2nd only to the Lord)
4. He is IN LOVE with his baby girl
5. He is a big family guy, raised in a wonderful Christ-loving home
6. He always lets me know he appreciates things I do. He's very encouraging.
7. He is a talker. He can talk to anyone/anything.
8. He puts up with Robin.

7 Things I Say Most Often
1. "Girrrrlll"
2. "Lordy mercy"
3. "STAIN!!!!"
4. "Hey sweet baaaabyyy"
5. "Sit" - to the dog
6. "Ham or turkey?"
7. "Lord, it's me again . . . ."

7 Celebrity Crushes
**** I only have one right now. And who can blame me? ****
1. MARK SANCHEZ (QB for USC. He's like a mixture of Aladdin and Benjamin Bratt.)


I tag AJ, Katie, Amy B, and whoever else wants to participate. Consider yourselves tagged.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

We finally went to the pumpkin patch today and it was pretty fun. We definitely looked like first-time parents, because we were snapping pictures left and right. But the people were very accommodating and even brought us a blanket so we could sit Mary Ella on the ground and take some cute shots. Enjoy...

Getting ready to go...


In my spider outfit, courtesy of my Mimi


We're here! Dad's more excited than I am.


Getting familiar with the pumpkins


What ARE these things? And I'm supposed to choose just ONE?!?


Scarecrows? Not so much.


Chad's idea. We were clearly obsessed with taking pictures.


Narrowing down the choices


I love my pumpkin!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tulips & Toads

My mom has been sewing for years and her original appliqué designs are worthy of a business as big as Vera Bradley's... but since no one has discovered her yet, I decided to make her a blog to display some of her stuff and to get the word out! So go visit her blog! And order something!

www.amyrutledge.blogspot.com

3 Months Old!

Mary Ella turned 3 months old on October 2nd! The time is flying by and I can't believe how fast she is growing! It seems like she changes overnight! She is such a sweet angel and I am so blessed to be her Mommy.




STATS: We haven't been to the pediatrician since August, but according to my scale at home, Mary Ella weighs somewhere around 15.5 lbs. She is 25 inches long (again, that's me measuring, not the Doc). She still smiles and coos all the time and is starting to put consonant-vowel sounds together, like "C-ooooh" and "G-aaahh" and we could've sworn she said "Hog" and "Leroy" one morning. Haha! It's funny hearing her make all her noises and you can tell she likes hearing herself talk as well.

SLEEPING: She is FINALLY sleeping through the night! Praise the Lord! It started only 2 weeks ago, at 12 weeks old, but we were never in a hurry for that. My body adjusted pretty quickly to getting up in the night and so it never really bothered me. But I am VERY glad she is getting a full night's rest now. I feel like a new woman! She is sleeping in her crib until she wakes up around 6 or 7am and then I go get her and bring her to my bed. She LOVES the morning time, as most babies do. She just talks and laughs and smiles, and Chad and I eat it up!

NEW TRICKS: She laughed out loud for the first time last week, at 13 weeks old. She is starting to reach for things a little bit, but still can't quite do it. She gets frustrated at herself, I think. You can tell her mind wants to reach, but her arm just won't cooperate. That will come in time, though.

EATING: She is eating every 3 hours during the day and taking about 5 oz breastmilk at every feeding. I am looking forward to her 4-month doctor's appointment next month so that we can hopefully start some solids! I love breastfeeding but it will be neat to have a change. Plus she is a big girl and I think she will LOVE the solid foods, but we'll see.

LIKES & DISLIKES: She loves Baby Einstein and PraiseBaby DVD's, although I only let her watch TV when I'm super busy or need to get something done. I don't want her getting too used to it. She also loves her mobile, her crib aquarium, any picture book, and mirrors! She loves watching herself in the mirror. In fact, that is the only way we could get her to take a bath. Up until a few weeks ago, she would scream in the tub. She absolutely hated it. But we finally figured that if we positioned her so that she could see herself in the mirror, she was fine! She'd smile at herself, laugh, and wouldn't make a peep! So now bath time is actually fun for everyone. She only screams when we get her out, because she's freezing I guess. She is doing pretty good with her tummy time and holding her head up well. We use my yoga ball for tummy time and she seems to enjoy it for the most part. She can stand up on my lap and she likes to "march" her feet when she's standing. It's so cute.

Now that she's bigger it's been fun getting out more. She's been almost everywhere now - the zoo, the mall, the park, and to church with us, although I still haven't been able to leave her in the nursery yet. I'll do that soon; I just get really nervous! This month we plan to go to the Pumpkin Patch and of course trick-or-treating. I can't wait!
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