Auntie Lauren is Getting Married!!!

We are so excited for this weekend because Auntie Lauren is getting married tomorrow and Ethan gets to be the ring bearer...cue the cutest pictures ever!  We can't wait.

Lauren is Ryan's sister and Ethan's only aunt...though he has many honorary aunties!  ;)  She is Ethan's biggest fan and he absolutely adores her.  He'll come to love her even more when he realizes she lives minutes away from Sea World, the zoo, and Lego Land...hello favorite aunt ever!!

Lauren is also my only "sister" and I feel so blessed to have her in my life.  She is such a loving, compassionate, intelligent and fun person.  We always have such a blast together and I honestly could not be more excited for her.  Her fiance, Ryan, is such a wonderful guy...they are a perfect couple together and really compliment each other.  And they will also make awesome parents one day too {hopefully soon...Ethan wants a cousin to play with!!}.  ;)

{Pebble Beach circa 2008}

Lauren and Ethan Thanksgiving Weekend 2012

Lauren and Ethan at Christmas 2012

Schue Siblings at Ryan's 30th Birthday

Her wedding will be especially nostalgic because she's getting married at Edgewood...the same place we got married at 4 years ago.  She will make such a stunning bride...I simply cannot wait!!

Love you Lauren!!

xo natasha

Baby Ethan: Week 52

Dear Ethan, 

It is with tears in my eyes that I write my final letter of your first year to you.  For the past 12 months, I've tracked your progress, your milestones, your growth and that sweet face of yours.  We never skipped a week...though I'm sure you would not have minded!  But I'm so glad that I have this first year to look back on and remember it all by.  Time really went by as fast as they say it does, and to know that I can look back to see when you cut your first tooth or sat up for the first time is pretty cool.

You're such a remarkable little boy...everyone always tells us how happy you are and it's true.  You're always smiling and clapping and laughing.  You're such a joy to be around and you already have the most infectious personality.  To think that we'll only get to know you more and more as you get older, is like waking up to Christmas morning every day with you.  You surprise us all the time, and certainly keep us on our toes.  I'm just so in love with you...and so is your dad.

At one, you're not quite walking yet, but you can stand more and more on your own.  But don't let that make you think that you can't get around because that could not be further from the truth!  You crawl like an absolute maniac!  And you pull up and cruise around everything.  You especially love to walk with your look like such a little old man, and we love it.

At one, you're starting to wear more and more "big boy" clothes...gone are the days of onesies...especially since you're crawling so much and get rug burns on your knees and top of your feet.  You still wear size 3 diapers and I would guess you're 20+ pounds at this point.

You love pat-a-cake and clapping your hands and kicking your feet.  Your favorite time is bath LOVE the water...and that includes your inflatable pool in the backyard and your water table.  You can't get enough of the cat and the dog.  The cat loves sprawling out right in front of you and you grab at her fur and roll all over her.  Wilson is still not too sure of you {jealous big brother syndrome} but I know once you can walk and run, you two will be best friends.

You usually eat three meals a day.  We're giving you more and more big people food and now that you have your top two teeth {and top bottom} you can pretty much chew on anything you want.  And you bite HARD.  I would now...ouch!  You also still take four 6 ounce bottles a day.  Not sure how and when you'll start going to cow's milk and taking it from a sippy cup. One day at a time, I guess!  And you love your pacifier...which could also potentially be an issue moving forward.  It really does "pacify" you though, so I'm sure we'll continue to let you have it, at least for naps and bedtime.

Let's see...on your first birthday, we took the day off to enjoy your big day.  I took you and Wilson for a hike up Meyer's Grade and then we went to lunch at Lakeside Beach House and sat on the patio while you snoozed away.  That night we had a small family gathering...which actually turned into quite a large party!  Your Aunt Lauren and Uncle Ryan are getting married this weekend and so they were in town which is awesome since they will miss your actual first birthday party next weekend.  Also at your party were your Grandma and Grandpa Schue, Great Grandma Wilkins, Sarah, Bobby, Reese and Riley, Uncle David, Anne and Claire, and Uncle Ryan's dad and brother evens stopped by since they were in town for the wedding.  Oh and Wilson had friends too: Norm, Daisy and Bochy were all there too!  Whew!  It was quite the party!  And you loved every second of it!

We gave you donuts for your first sweet treat and you LOVED them.  You started bawling when we took them away from you!  I have no question that you'll go to town on your birthday cake next weekend...will be so fun to watch!

You are all boy {see picture above!} and love your cars, trucks and farm animals.  You like to try and mimic the animal noises and you babble all day long.  You also love music and bounce along to the beat.  Lately, you've been laying your head on our shoulders when you get tired and I just love the snuggles.  You are quite the mama's boy...which of course, I love and will cherish now since I know Dad will be the apple of your eye once you get a little older.  You of course, love Dad now, especially when he crawls after you, growling and tickling you.  You LOVE that and literally squeal with delight.

There's so much more I could say, but really, you are just a joy to be around and we feel so blessed to have you in our lives.  I literally pinch myself because you are such an easy going baby.  You love being around people and are so good about being passed around and loved on {I mean, who can blame you?}.  Every morning when you wake up, I crack the door open just a bit and peek in and the second you find me, you instantly light up and smile and coo.  I can't give you enough kisses on those chunky cheeks...I just love you so much.

Happy Happy First Birthday.  This will be the first of many many celebrations to come.

Love, Mom

Happy First Birthday My Sweet Boy!

At exactly this time last year, 7:19 to be precise, we got to meet Ethan Grant for the very first time.

June 26th // 7:19 pm // 6 lbs 3oz // 19.5 inches

Our lives have been forever changed since this little soul entered our lives and I honestly can't remember life before him.  His smile and laugh light up our lives every day and we're so happy he picked us to be his parents.

Happy Birthday Ethan!

We love you!!

xo Mom and Dad

Ethan's First Birthday Attire

Toms // Boardshorts // Sunglasses // Shorts // Striped Tee // Sandals // Whale Tee // Chucks

As with any good birthday, they tend to last longer than just the day of.  In Ethan's case, we'll be celebrating for close to two weeks!  We've got his birthday tomorrow {still in disbelief!} and his one year photos on Thursday, and finally his actual party the following Saturday.  Of course, we have 4th of July in it's only natural that Ethan will be decked out in his finest red, white and blue!

One year is a fun age because we fall between two categories at some stores...he's can still shop the baby department, but he now gets access to the toddler section as well.  Love it!  And what I really adore, are all three of these shoes.  Toms, Chucks and Salt-Water sandals are definitely a must for this little guy.


Does he seriously get any cuter?!

Happy Birthday Eve my little sweet boy!

xo natasha

Baby, It's Your Birthday Week!

Ethan's birthday is THIS Wednesday!  I honestly cannot believe it...and I know I sound like every other mom out there, but time really did fly by.  I was just changing Ethan's diaper yesterday and he started clapping his hands and grinning {which is a rare sight these days during a change} and his two front teeth were out in their full glory.  I'm starting to see a different boy, with teeth and personality.  I just stared at him in sheer amazement.  He's not a newborn or infant, heck, he's becoming less of a baby and more of a toddler by the day.  How did that happen?

So in honor of his birthday week...I'm taking a walk down memory lane and recapping his biggest milestones and memories.  I'm sure this will remind me of where the time has gone.

On the day you were born...

You were the sweetest little thing I ever laid my eyes on.  You were perfect and you were all ours.  My heart literally grew 10 times bigger that day.  We loved you from the very start.

Month 0

You had a lot of "firsts in your first four weeks, but mostly "firsts" for us.  Like first holiday {Fourth of July}, first photo shoot, first trips and books read...dinners out, the list goes on. 

By one month, you starting losing all your hair and breaking out, but we still thought you were the cutest thing ever.

Month 1

Once you turned a month old, you went to the beach for the first time, you smiled at us for the first time {6 weeks}, and got your first real bath {6 weeks}.  

Month 2

At ten weeks, you laughed for the first time, and it was at me!  It was the best sound I've ever heard.  
You also went on your first airplane ride to Minneapolis at 11 weeks...and you went to your first wedding for my cousin Sarah.

By 12 weeks, you were sleeping in your own crib...cue the tears!

Month 3

At 14 weeks, you got to dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean for the first time and went to your first baseball game down in San Diego.  

At 15 weeks, you started to roll!

Last, you started having bath time in the big tub and you love it, though you're usually still in your whale tub!

Month 4

You celebrated your first Halloween at 18 weeks.

And Thanksgiving at 22 weeks!

Month 5

You are officially sitting at 24 weeks!

And you had your first Christmas!

You also had your first overnight stay with Grandma and Grandpa while Mom and Dad escaped to the city for one night.

Last, but not least, you had your first bite of baby oatmeal and you loved it!

This was a big month!

Month 6

You're becoming more and more independent about arch your back when we try and put you in the carseat {you still do that at 1 year!} and your personality is developing by the second.

You know who were are now and will make eye contact and light up when we enter the room {any by "we" I mean me mostly!  ;)}.

We also introduced you to fruits and veggies this month.

Month 7

At 31 weeks, you go to Arizona for the first time and get to swim in the pool with Dad.

You loved swimming, which wasn't surprising considering that you love bath time!

At 33 weeks, you are starting to cut your first tooth and you blow raspberries like no one's business!

You also celebrate your first Valentine's Day!

By 34 weeks, your lower left tooth has fully sprouted!  And you're officially starting to wave!

Month 8

At 37 weeks, you can go from laying down to sitting and you're eating more and more.  Those little teeth must help!

And you're SO close to scoot and wiggle and roll a ton.  

We've also got you "officially" in the big boy tub now.

Month 9

At 40 weeks, you celebrate your first Easter and you're finally crawling...yay!

At 41 weeks, you say your first word: "Mama"

You're pulling up at 42 weeks and starting to take steps with your walker.  You can also play peek-a-boo and make fish kisses.

It's around this time that you start to get a bit dramatic and throw mini temper tantrums.  It's pretty hard to take you seriously though!

Month 10

At 44 weeks, you've learned to clap, let the Pat-a-Cake games commence.

You're also getting outside much more now that the weather is warming up!

At 47 weeks, you have your first head bump on the coffee table...poor baby!

Month 11

We celebrate Dad's 30th Birthday on your 11 month birthday!

At this stage, you are babbling more and more. You love farm animals and pointing.  And you can drink from a sippy cup!

You also love opening and closing drawers and doors, rolling trucks, and cruising.  Oh and of course, your mini pool and water table.  You're such a little mama's boy right now, which of course I love.

I can't believe we're at the 12 month mark amaze me every single say and I could not be more proud to be your mom!  Let the birthday celebrations begin {because you know we have to make it a week-long celebration, right?!}!!!

xo natasha

Ethan's First Birthday Wishlist

Some family and friends have not so subtly asked what Ethan wants for his first birthday.  Of course, Ethan would be happy to get most anything for his birthday, but I pulled together a couple ideas based on his general interests as of late.

Amazing Airplanes Book: Ethan's slowly but surely getting into books, and he loves anything planes, trains and automobiles, so what better book than this one?
Beaba Utensils: I've heard rave reviews on this set and Ethan's starting to try and feed himself more and more.
Elefun Ball Popper: How fun does this look?  I think Ethan would get a kick out of it.
Fox: Ethan sleeps with his lion every night...I think he would love a fox friend as well.
Car Toys: Again, Ethan loves anything he can roll around and we LOVE B. Toys.  Win-win.
Gas 'N Go Mower: As Ethan gets to walking more and more, I know he'd love this mower.
Snack Container: As Ethan eats more and more solids, this will definitely come in handy.
Fire Truck: Again...planes, trains and autos.
Airplane: See above.
Coaster: This is the cadillac of kid toys and completely over-the-top but how cool would it be to have our very own coaster in the backyard?!  We'd be the envy of the neighborhood!

When in doubt, Ethan loves any and all animals, particularly farm animals.  And this boy is always looking for a new outfits to show off.  ;)

Can't believe our little boy is turning one next Wednesday!  Stop the madness!

xo natasha 

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

As I've mentioned in my past posts, I'm really trying to cut back on carbs and cheese.  So we've been getting creative around these parts.  Lettuce wraps are always such a tasty appetizer when we go out to dinner, but in looking up recipes, I noticed that there is a lot of added sugar.  No bueno.  We we decided to try a healthier alternative, and it was SO good.  You would never know that these were missing any ingredients.


Big Leafy Lettuce {does not need to be iceberg...we used lettuce from the Farmer's Market}
1 pound ground chicken breast
1 cup shitake mushrooms, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 cup water chestnuts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons peanut oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 stalk scallion, minced
A couple dashes of pepper

Mix the ground chicken, mushrooms, and water chestnuts with the marinade ingredients.  Let marinate for 15 minutes or so.

Heat up a wok and add the peanut oil.  Saute the garlic until golden brown and add chicken mixture.  Stir fry the chicken and cook through, making sure to break up any large lumps of meat.  

Serve in lettuce cups with dips of your choice.  We served with a peanut sauce, a sweet chili sauce and a soy based sauce.  They were all delicious!

I bet this would be great with shrimp as well...yum!

xo natasha

Baby Ethan: Week 51

Weight: 20+ pounds...we'll find out the actual amount next Thursday at his ONE year appointment!

Health: Ethan's had a little bit of a runny nose this past week which has unfortunately impacted his sleeping.  He couldn't breathe through his nose a couple nights ago, which was obviously a problem since he still used his paci.

Sleep: See above.  We're back to waking once a night!  : /

Social: We had a great weekend celebrating Dad...lots of fun in the sun!  Loving this weather lately!

Diet: More and more of the food that we eat.  He loves pasta and bread and meat.  We gave him a steamed carrot at a steak house this last weekend and he was just chomping away.  

Clothes: Pretty much all 12 month clothing now.  And I think we're officially in size 3 shoes.

Baby Gear Love: We just got Ethan the B. Hellophone and he loves them!  There is music and you can record a little message on it.  He also loves this flashlight.

Crying: Just when I force him to lay down for his weekly picture...which I wish I was kidding about.  I've loved these weekly updates but Ethan is D-O-N-E done!

Likes: Ethan loves people, animals and bath time.  Oh and being outside.  Little Tahoe Boy!

Postpartum: I think we can officially wrap up this section!

Milestones: Nothing too new...still standing more and more.  We've gotten Ethan to blow kisses, mimic Pat-a-Cake by marking a "B" on his hand and throwing is cake in the oven, and he's starting to repeat words and sounds more and more.  

xo natasha

P.S. I'm guest posting over at Veronika's Blushing today to give her readers an honest perspective and advice about going back to work after baby.  If you're planning to go back to work once you have your baby, definitely check it out.