Monday, April 20, 2015


Praying for
+ Scott's marathon journey! He recently signed up to run a marathon in an effort to raise funds for our friends who are adopting a little girl from South Africa. You can read more about Scott's journey in raising money and training for his first full marathon by following his brand-new blog. If you want to donate, we would LOVE that! You can donate through our friends' Go Fund Me page (and read more about their adoption story!).
+ Family member suffering from cancer...may not have much time left. Praying for peace for all.
+ Life changes on the horizon (nothing to report yet...just continuing to anticipate new things in the coming year(s))

Working on
+ Scott & I were selected to present at a national conference on a framework I developed for creating academic success plan. It's extremely humbling that my proposal was selected, especially considering this is my first time presenting at a conference as a professional and it's on the national-level! The Curleys are going to Vegas, baby! The conference is in October, but we hope to get the majority of the presentation planned out and developed over the summer, since we will be so busy in the months leading up to the conference.
+ getting ready for SOAR this summer (GSU's orientation)
+ plans for my FYE (First Year Experience) class that I'm teaching in the fall

Hoping for
+ In true Christy fashion, I'm hoping for better sleep for Grayson! You may be confused because just a couple posts ago I was proclaiming that sleep was "GREAT!" Well, it was. But now we're in the 18-month sleep regression (trust me--it's a thing!). Grayson is still sleeping relatively well at night, and alternating nighttime parenting duties with Scott is working wonderfully. But lately he has been really fighting going down at bedtime, and it's been challenging to say the least! Yesterday he didn't even nap until 5 pm!!! Say what?!?

passed out at 5 pm! I tried to wake him, but he was out for an hour!

Someone is quite snuggly in mom's place in the bed this morning (after I was up for the day)

+ Went on a date with Scott yesterday afternoon! This is sadly only our second "real" date since having Grayson. We do at-home dates, lunch break dates, and even work-related dates fairly regularly. But this is only the second time we've left Grayson with a sitter for the sole purpose of going on a date! We had lunch, got some froyo, and saw Cinderella in the theater. It was a great time! 
Uncle Brett babysat yesterday. He did great! But he was VERY excited when we got home! (I'm talking about Brett, not Grayson! Grayson was totally fine the whole time. He loves his "BET!") :)

+ Enjoyed having dinner with Scott's aunt and uncle. We made tacos, had a few drinks, and sang Disney Sing-a-long Songs. It was sort of like karaoke... ha!
+ Had a dinner with some great friends last night!

+ Reached by Aly Condie. It's the third book in the Matched trilogy. I really liked the first book, didn't really care for the second, and this one is only okay, but much better than the previous one. Fortunately, I found this at the library and I borrowed the other two, so it's cost me nothing!
+ Reading through Acts in the Bible with Scott in the mornings
+ Our office book club took a hiatus since this semester has been so busy for most of us, but I will still read The Power of Habit during my lunch break every now and then. I have every intention of reading it, but it doesn't have as high a priority as a library book that has to be returned in two weeks!

+ The current season of The Voice - no spoiler alerts! We are still in the knockouts!
+ current season of Nashville and Grey's...impatiently waiting for new episodes...!!
+ Season 4 of Downtown Abbey
+ Youtube videos of Sesame Street songs, "I Like to Move It" from Madagascar, and clips of minions!

Listening to
+ TSwift's 1989...will I ever tire of it? Not as long as it keeps Grayson happy in the car! :p
+ the above stated Youtube clips! 
+ "The Hotdog Song" from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Grayson has never seen an episode, but he has a tickle-me-Mickey who also sings that song if you push a button on his foot. Grayson LOVES dancing around to it over and over and over and over. It's hilarious and adorable, but also, come on...enough hot dog!

Laughing about
+ Grayson's hotdog dance -- the first dozen times a day :)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Dessert for Breakfast + a ridiculously late weekend review

Do y'all ever want dessert for breakfast? It's not that far fetched since about 90% of typical breakfast foods are basically dessert masquerading as a legitimate meal choice (donuts, muffins, cinnamon rolls, pancakes with syrup...). But do you ever want that breakfast dessert to also be healthy? Well, my friends, the smoothie I had for breakfast this morning is the one for you! I drank this bad boy in like 3 minutes! Sucked it down before Grayson woke up so I wouldn't have to share! ha! Didn't take a picture time...too busy drinking it!! ha! But I get a lot of questions from friends about my smoothies, which I have for breakfast every morning Mon-Fri, so I thought I would share this particularly tasty one for those of us with a sweet tooth, even in the morning! :)

Ingredients (I don't really measure for smoothies...sorry!):
2 Tbs of plain Greek yogurt
a little less than 2 Tbs of natural peanut butter (could use any kind of nut butter)
a squeeze of raw honey
chia seeds
spinach (and/or kale)
skim milk (would prefer coconut milk, but I was out!)
1 Tbs of unrefined, organic coconut oil
unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ripe banana

**If I had anymore frozen fruit left, I would have included berries as well. Supplies start running low by Friday!**

I know what you're thinking. Um...parsley, spinach, cilantro?!?! Yeah. All of it. Those are regulars in my smoothies. You honestly can't really taste it, except for a hint of cilantro. I've grown to like the taste, but you should definitely go easy on that one b/c it does have a strong flavor. But load up on spinach or kale because you really can't taste it and it's a great way to get in a super food veggie! Trust me, it's delish!


Now, for last weekend's review! I figured I better write about it before this weekend comes and goes. We have a lot of plans this time too, so I don't want to miss the opportunity to talk about the fun we had last weekend!

Last weekend Scott's parents came to visit, and we went to the Georgia Southern baseball game. It was Grayson's first baseball game and he loved it! He loves balls and clapping, so he was thrilled to watch them throw balls and get to clap and cheer along with the crowd. :) He was so well-behaved and adorable the whole time. Scott's work paid for free tickets for employees and their guests! We thought they were just paying for Scott and we expected to have to pay for the rest of us and sit in the regular stands. When we got there, we discovered that all our tickets were covered and we were in a VIP room! There was free food and drinks and we had our own section of stands that were covered and had fans. It was perfect! We didn't have to worry about Grayson getting too hot, and he ate grapes the whole time. :)

On Sunday, we all went to church together and then Scott's parents went home. We went grocery shopping, Grayson napped and Scott & I watched Gone Girl on DVD. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon just hanging out and playing with Grayson outside. It was a great weekend! :)

This weekend we are looking forward to more visits from family, dinner with friends, and our first date since Thanksgiving. Eek! :)

Happy Friday!

Friday, April 10, 2015

18 Months!

Well, my butter bean is now 18 months old. Which is a year and a half. Which is ridiculous!
(I don't have many new pictures of him. Sadly, it's because if I get my phone out, he starts demanding ELMO!... So I try not to get on my phone much!!)

At the library

Easter egg hunt! :)

Loves playing with the baseball!

First taste of solid food (avocado) to now...munching on some string cheese! :)

In a way it feels like he's been around forever, but in another, I feel like he just got here yesterday! As always, I'm constantly amazed at how much he is growing, changing, and learning. I want to both cry and beam with pride and excitement at all the awesome things he can say and do!

New Moves
+ full-fledged running! but he still falls sometimes. He tripped over his own feet last weekend and scuffed up his poor little nose on the driveway. :( But he only cried for about a minute before he was off and running again! Dare devil!
+ throwing balls. Like really throwing them! The kid has a good arm!
+ kicking the soccer ball. He mostly kicks it while walking, but he can kick it around the yard for a little while. 
+ still dancing! 
+ climbing more and more! He stood up on an end table the other day. Eek!!
+ brushing his own teeth (after we've given them a thorough brushing)

New Words:
I'm not going to list all the words he says because who even knows how many words he can say? He talks non-stop! But some of my favorite new words of his include alligator, elephant, and hippo (we're preparing for our trip to the zoo next month!)
+ He now puts words together! Some of my favorite things he says: hi, ____ (Daddy, Brett, Elmo, cat, etc...)!, I know!!, Elmo balloon (we got him one for Easter), oh! A ___ (cat, book, egg, dog, etc...)! 
+ He can also say the names of most of the kids in his classroom, including: Eli, Luke, Hannah, Dalan, and Ethan (actually Ethan sounds more like Angie which is really random and weird. But the others are spot-on!)
+ I think he has 16 teeth now, or will soon. He has his full first set of molars, the four front teeth on top and bottom, and the 4 canines that are still coming in.
+ As usual, he can be a good eater or a picky/frustrating one. Our biggest challenge is to stop him from randomly throwing/dropping his utensils during meals. We go through 2-3 spoons or forks per meal! -_-
+ Still has most of his favorite foods but has added a couple news ones to the mix: black beans, applesauce, Greek yogurt, graham crackers, peanut butter, goldfish, string cheese, eating a whole fruit like an apple, plum, or orange slices, popcorn, and...potato chips. Don't worry--we don't usually keep those in the house. But we had some at our Easter cookout and he was obsessed!
+ I can't believe it's been a full year since we started this journey with solid food! We've come a long way from the days he would puke when I put applesauce on his lip... Thankfully!
+ Still nursing on demand at home, but it's usually only 2-3 times a day at this point. For those who are curious, my plan is to fully wean by the time he is 2. I'm not rushing it because it's still good for him and our system works well for us. But it has to end sometime and I'm not looking to nurse through a pregnancy, so I want to wean sometime before that happens!

+ Sleep is GREAT! Did you hear me??? It's great! But I'm knocking on ALL the wood because I am never convinced any sleep pattern is here to stay. 
+ Scott and I have been alternating putting him to bed and getting up with him in the middle of the night, which was really awful the first couple weeks but now is awesome! At first, Grayson would scream and cry whenever Scott would get up with him. Some nights we were up for 1-2 hours with him! But now he goes to sleep equally well for both of us! And he's mostly only waking up once per night. So if it's not my night (like last night), I get to sleep through the night!! After 18 months, that feels pretty dang good!! :)
 + Mostly sleeping in his own bed at night, but will still come to bed with us if he wakes up any time after 4:30 AM. I'm not spending my last hour of sleep rocking him, so we snuggle instead. It works well, and doesn't happen every night. 
+ We've implemented a new routine of sleeping with Elmo and a sippy cup of water. He now HAS to have his Elmo and water cup before getting ready for bed and when he wakes up in the morning. It's so cute! I started it off by telling him that Elmo needed someone to sleep with him. We talked all about it while getting him ready for bed. And while I nursed and rocked him to sleep, I told him a story of Elmo going to all his friends on Sesame Street and asking if he could sleep with them b/c he didn't want to sleep alone. None of them had any room in their beds. Finally, he asks Grayson and Grayson says yes because he doesn't like sleeping alone either! :) 

Favorite Songs:
+ We started letting him watch Youtube videos on our phones of songs from Sesame Street. He's kind of addicted though, so every morning he wakes up demanding Elmo!! I always make him wait until after we read the Bible and have our smoothie. I also don't let him watch it every day. The past two days I've been able to redirect him to puzzles instead. But I'm okay with it every now and then. Plus, Scott and I kind of like the songs too! Sad, but true! :)
+ I like to Move it from Madagascar is still a favorite, too!
+ He LOVES the Taylor Swift 1989 cd! It's so cute! He dances and gets excited when we put it on in the car. Or if he's really fussy, it can magically calm him down! And he can actually sing along with the song "Bad Blood." There are parts where she says, "HEY!" and he says it along with her, at exactly the right moment, almost every time! It's pretty impressive actually!

Favorite Toys/Activities:
+ We've started going to the library on Saturday mornings, and he loves it! He says "ibary" and enjoys choosing new books. And he really likes reading his new books each week. I think it's good for him to see some variety instead of the same ones over and over and over (even though he still has his favorites!). 
+ He's excellent at the chunky wooden puzzles. He can put them together all by himself and knows the names of almost all the pictures. Such a smarty!
+ Playing outside. He's always asking to go outside!
+ bubbles, balls, and his cozy coupe when he's outside. He walks over to the closet where we keep it in the garage and says, "Car?" and when I start to pull it out he says, "Beep! Beep!" because that's what I say when I want him to move so I can pull it out. :)
+ coloring, stickers, and any arts/crafts activities
+ Helping me with chores. He can put away clothes (with some directions), hand me dishes from the dishwasher, and pick up toys!

+ His 18-month checkup isn't until the end of the month, so I don't have any updates on his height and weight.
+ Still wearing anything from 12 months to 2T, depending on the clothes.
+ we bought him some size 6 shoes, but they're still too big. 
+ moved up to size 5 diapers

Parenting has never been this much fun! Grayson can actually PLAY with us now and we can actually do things we all enjoy, like playing outside or coloring. He even behaves while we watch a family movie on Sundays (for the most part!). He is still in a stage where he becomes easily frustrated if he can't figure something out or is physically unable to do something. He can reach most counters and tables in house now, but if he's just shy of being able to reach something, he'll freak out. Whenever he gets frustrated, he cries and will sometimes sit on the ground or lay down. Depending on the situation, I either comfort him and help him figure out his task, I redirect to something else, or I let him get it out of his system. It all depends on what he's trying to do, and if it's something I actually want him to be doing or not! His outbursts and tantrums never last more than a minute and he's usually fine again! If he's sleepy or hungry, they may be more frequent, but usually I nip that in the bud by feeding him or putting him to bed! Life with a toddler isn't perfect, of course. It's messy and unpredictable and we have to base a lot of things around his schedule, which isn't always convenient. But it's also one of the most fun, exciting, and rewarding things I've ever done! :) I'm loving this stage!!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter 2015

I know the blogosphere is blowing up with Easter posts, but I'm adding one more to the mix! Deal with it! ;)

The Curley Family had a great Easter weekend!

Friday morning I had a last-minute idea to have an Easter party on Saturday. I figured more people would be able to come if we did it on Saturday instead of Sunday. It would be something simple. Just grilling some hot dogs, hanging out, and doing an egg hunt for the kids. My party planning method is to invite a ton of people in the hopes that a handful will actually show up, especially when you're planning something so last minute. I was pleasantly surprised and excited when nearly everyone I invited said they would come! We did a headcount and it was going to be close to 35 people! We ran out that night and bought supplies...ALL the hot dogs at Wal-Mart, please!

Friday night we made nachos, which is very exciting because usually we have pizza on Friday. Yes, we are that routine-driven! Having nachos on any night other than "Taco Tuesday" is kind of a big deal! ha!

Saturday morning, we woke up around 7 AM and made french toast and scrambled eggs for breakfast. Unfortunately, by 8 AM, the text messages started rolling in. People were canceling left and right! The party was supposed to start at 2 and by 1, all but two people had canceled! Whoa! One was a friend from work who was coming with her husband and adorable 3-month old baby. The other was a friend from my old job, who was planning on coming alone. I thought it might be a little awkward for her, so I graciously gave her the heads-up and an out if she wanted it. She agreed it might be a little weird, so she bowed out as well. So, at the end of it all, it ended up being just one family at our "party." But it was still great fun! We only made one of the packs of hot dogs (and fortunately I was able to return all the unused food and supplies back to Wal-Mart!), hung out, and watched Grayson find all the eggs! He loved it!

Enough with the pictures, Mom!!!

Paparazzi! lol!


flowers cut from our yard! :)

pretty flowers with a color filter :)

Before the party, we took the recycling, went to the library to return our books and get a new stack, and went to a local consignment shop to buy a few "new" things for Grayson. I just don't see the point in spending tons of money of brand new kid clothes when they outgrow them so quickly! Most of this stuff looks new and Grayson doesn't care anyway. He looked adorable on Easter in his new (to him) blue and white striped polo. :)

Saturday night we just ate leftovers, relaxed, and watched the most recent episode of Nashville.

Sunday morning we went to church and it was PACKED! It was such a good service, though! I love just reflecting on how awesome God's mercy and love is! We watched a powerful testimony that brought me and Scott both to tears. God is so awesome!! :)

Grayson and I grocery shopped immediately after church (or rather, immediately after waiting half an hour just to get out of the church parking lot. Sheesh!). Then went home for him to take his nap.

After he woke up from nap, we gave him his first Easter basket! He enjoyed it, but was mostly entertained by the fake grass! Figures! Then we went outside and played with our new sidewalk chalk while daddy grilled some burgers for lunch. We ate in the back yard, enjoying the beautiful weather, then played outside for another half hour or so. Then, we moved it inside for our Sunday afternoon movie. This week we watched Kitt Kittredge, which was actually pretty good!

Grayson's first Easter basket! yes, the chocolate cross melted a little in the car! oops!

one of the only pictures we took on actual Easter! Oops again!
Then we put Grayson to bed, at more leftovers for dinner, and picked back up with Downton Abbey, which we haven't watched in several months! I'm excited to dive back into the fancy-shmancy customs!

So that was our weekend! How was your Easter? I hope you all took some time to worship our Lord and Savior, laugh with family, and enjoy the beautiful spring weather! :)


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Weekend Review

It's not too late to do a weekend review, is it? No? Okay, good! :)

We had such a great weekend this past week! Lately our weekends have been full of weird obligations and errands and traveling, so this weekend at home, with the perfect combination of fun/relaxing/productivity was just what I needed!

Friday evening I played outside with Grayson for a while and let him stay up a little past bedtime because we were having so much fun! I taught him how to blow dandelions, which he thought was great! He was a bit frustrated that other flowers wouldn't disappear when he blew on them though! haha! After Grayson went to bed, Scott and I made homemade pizza and watched The Voice with my brother. I think I fell asleep on the couch, which I do sometimes. :)

Saturday morning we woke up around 7 AM (thanks, Grayson!), Scott made pancakes and eggs, and then Grayson hung out with me while I got ready for the day and Scott cleaned up the kitchen. At 10, Grayson and I headed to the park to meet up with some friends. There were 4 mommies and 4 kiddos, ages 23 months, 18 months, 6 months, and 11 weeks! I was a little bummed that I spent most of the time chasing Grayson around instead of catching up with my friends who were busy snuggling their babies at the picnic table, but at least I got to do some run-by chatting with the friend of the 23 month old! And I did manage to occupy Grayson with bubbles for a while so I could hang out with everyone at the table.

Grayson and I headed home at noon. Scott did a ton of yard work while we were gone and the yard looks awesome now! It had gotten really bad, and now it's so much more pleasant to hang out and play in our yard! :) I put Grayson down for a nap, ran out and got some lunch for me and Scott, and spent the next couple hours just hanging out with Scott.

When Grayson woke from his nap, he and I went to the library for about an hour while Scott worked on some homework. Yes, he is taking classes again! He's finishing another BA degree--this one in Spanish! We're so excited that he'll be finished this summer and we can stop sharing him with school!!

Shamefully, I had never been to our public library, despite having lived here for almost 11 years! I'm too excited about checking out books and not having to stress out about spending money on books every time I want to read something! And Grayson had such a great time walking around, flipping through random books, and choosing 3 books to take home with us. He chose If You Take a Mouse to School (like a longer, more detailed version of his all-time favorite Time for School, Mouse!), Pete the Cat's Wheels on the Bus (he loves to point out PETE and BUS!), and Mr. Seahorse by Eric Carle. That book doesn't capture his interest quite as much as the others, but he likes the pictures. We've read each book several times already, and I would guess we'll read them another hundred times before taking them back in a week or so.

Not great pictures, but I had to take some! :)

After our fun trip to the library, we headed back home to pick up Scott, then went grocery shopping (I told you there was some productivity involved!). Womp, womp. But we make the most of shopping together as a family! Grayson has to approve everything we buy, which means we hand it to him, he looks over it and then tosses it into the cart! :)

I don't remember the details of Saturday night, which must mean we just watched Grey's Anatomy and ate ice cream! ha!

Sunday morning we woke up early since both Scott and I were serving at church. Those mornings are always hectic and I'm always late, but it's okay. It's still worth it because the reason I'm late is extra snuggle and play time with Grayson in bed before getting up for the day. :)

Church was awesome, as always, and then we headed back home. I made Grayson and myself a big brunch of eggs and toast. Scott was still at church because he was leading worship for the second service. I put Grayson down for a nap around noon and then I headed to bed for a nap of my own. I woke up about an hour and a half later with Scott laying next to me. :) Looks like we all managed a bit of a nap!

We made quasadillas for lunch and then settled in for our Sunday afternoon movie. We watched Hachi: A Dog's Tale. Grayson liked it because it was about a dog and he was so cute saying "Haaachi!" every time he saw the dog. :) Grayson had popcorn for the first time (we were very careful about what pieces he got and we watched him closely!). He loved it! He is totally his daddy's child!

After the movie, we played outside for about an hour. Grayson actually kept his sunglasses on the whole time, which was a first! Playing outside with Grayson is so fun these days! He's very interested in exploring and discovering new things, whether they are flowers, bees, sweet gums, rocks, or pine cones!

We ended the night by putting Grayson to bed, making a delicious dinner of roasted chicken, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, and curling up on the couch with a glass of wine and watching TV.

No, it wasn't action-packed or overly thrilling, but it was the perfect weekend in my book! I look forward to many more like it, God willing! :)

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