1. Big news this week… Dominic started taking little steps!! GAH! I can’t believe it! The first time he did it was one or two little ones from the coffee table to me (I was sitting on the floor), but two days ago he went from the boys’ play table to the windowsill, which was at least three solid steps. He’s also been standing unassisted for longer periods of time. Look out, Joseph! He’s going to be chasing you around the house in a few weeks!

2. Joseph’s big thing in the last week has been pretending to make us food, which is insanely adorable. In his classroom at school, there is a play kitchen, he kept talking about playing in the kitchen with blue plates. Here at home we have a toy workbench (this one, our best friends got it for Joseph last year and it is basically the best toy ever for the boys), and now Joseph has been going over there, using his bucket and tools, and mixing up food. In the last few days he’s made us pasta, chicken, Cheerios, rice cakes, and bread. I love seeing his imagination in overdrive!

(We took this picture before we left for his second day of school; he’s not always a fan of having his picture taken!)

3. I wanted to take a minute and quickly address a comment that I received on the reader feedback survey this week. As I mentioned, it’s totally anonymous and there is no identifying information on the survey, so I don’t have the ability to respond directly, so I’m going to do it here in the event that anyone else might have the same concern. Someone said they felt that it was very irresponsible of me to continue baking with nuts given Joseph’s allergy situation.

I want to completely clear this up… when Joseph had his reaction to peanut butter and was diagnosed with additional nut allergies, we removed ALL nut products from our home. We educated our families about reading labels and what couldn’t be brought into our house or included in meals on Sundays. We don’t even hand out Halloween candy with nuts, even though they’re in wrappers, just in case. If you see a recipe on the site with nuts, it is either (1) an old recipe; or (2) a recent recipe that contains almonds, walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts, all of which he was cleared to eat through oral challenges at the allergist this year, and continues to consume without issue. Baking would NEVER take precedence over the safety of my kids.

4. You may remember me asking months ago for body wash recommendations… I’m happy to report that I found one I LOVE and I’ve been using exclusively. I absolutely adore the St. Ive’s Nourish and Soothe Oatmeal and Shea Butter body wash. It’s super light but crazy moisturizing, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. There is also an accompanying body lotion that I used when the weather was still cool since I get really bad dry skin in the winter, but I haven’t needed it at all since late spring. I’m sure I’ll start using it again once the heat kicks on! It’s also very light (I can put clothes on immediately afterward), but keeps my skin totally moisturized. I love that I found these!

5. I absolutely loved this tribute to labor nurses, it all rang so true. That first trip to the bathroom post-birth (post c-sections, in my case) is incredibly humbling, and having nurses who are kind and gentle makes all the difference. We were blessed with fantastic nurses when both Joseph and Dominic were born, all through labor, in the operating room, and during our stay. They are truly worth their weight in gold; if you’re a nurse (any kind of nurse!), THANK YOU for all you do for your patients!

6. I’m totally craving the apple crisp I made last fall. It was seriously the best ever.

7. So, it might just be me, but I really just cannot with the pumpkin spice everything I see as soon as I walk into the grocery store. I mean, I love a pumpkin spice latte cupcake as much as the next person, and I’ll happily indulge in pumpkin and cream cheese muffins and a slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving… but I just don’t need my popcorn or pita chips (or a million other things) to taste like pumpkin spice.

8. Hockey season is so close! The schedule is in my Google calendar and I have a big circle around opening night. My husband went to a preseason game this week; SO looking forward to weeknight evenings curled up on the couch watching hockey again!

9. Okay, we are absolutely, positively, 100% slow to pick up on most popular things, so we just discovered the show Fixer Upper and LOVE.IT. It’s our favorite Sunday morning binge (bonus when we watch while catching whiffs of meat sauce simmering away on the stove!), and are always amazed by what they can do to a house. Plus, I absolutely love how Joanna decorates the homes!

10. TGIF! Doesn’t Duke look so regal?!