Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cross it off, baby!

I think one of the main reasons I make lists is the ridiculous satisfaction I get from crossing things off.  I've even been known to write something on the to-do list that's already been done, just so I can cross it off.  Weird, huh?

Anyway, I posted earlier in the month about a few things I wanted to accomplish in June.  Happy to say, I've accomplished all most of them!

1.  Declutter the house.  This is the one that I seem to have the hardest time with.  As soon as I clear out clutter in one place, it shows up somewhere else.  I'm not sure I'll ever be able to win against the clutterbug.  However, I did get things put away in the I'd have to give myself partial credit for that one.
2.  Find daycare for Natalie.   Yay!!!
3.  Save money.  Ongoing battle.  We've definitely cut back and stayed on track with limiting our meals out.
4.  Summerize my living room shelves.  Done!  See below!

Here's the overall picture of my living room built-ins:

Close ups of some of the details....

Okay, so they are not all that different than my spring decor.  But, I am proud of myself for finally putting away the bunnies and easter eggs.  Plus, I told you I was trying to use only things around the house - hence the abundance of seashells....

Now that I've accomplished those things, time to think about July.  Here are my goals for next month:
1.  Clean out my closet.  I still have maternity clothes hanging out in there.  Okay, okay.  I still wear some of my maternity clothes.  *blush*  I can't help it!  They are stretchy and comfy and the tops are nice and long!  I can definitely pack up the pants and work blouses though...
2.  Deep clean the finished part of the basement.  Usually by the time I get through the rest of my chores for the week, I don't have the energy to lug the vaccuum and cleaning supplies down to our basement.  That means that the bathroom hasn't been cleaned and the floor hasn't been vaccuumed since before Natalie was born.  Like way before.  That's embarrassing...
3.  Make baby food.  Oh boy.  I really have been thinking about getting started on making baby food and freezing it for the fall when we'll actually use it.  Since I have time to research it and do it this summer, why not?  I know it is much cheaper and very nutritious for baby!  If you have made baby food before - give me some tips!
4.  Get caught up on Natalie's scrapbook.... Not sure that this will happen - but I'll sure try!  Gotta catch-up on her first year book, as well as the traditional scrapbook of her professional photos taken by Kendall.

Okay, I'm gonna limit my goals to four.  Not because I'm lazy....but because I think that's about all I can handle.  The last half of July I usually start working on getting things ready for the upcoming school year - so that will be taking up some of my time as well.

Lastly, I have to brag - my sweet girl rolled from her back to her belly today!  Grabbed her little toes, rolled to her side, then right on over onto her tummy like she's been doing it her whole life.  How can she possibly be growing this fast!?  I can't take it!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sleepy Baby

I don't know how you could possibly sleep in this position.
I don't know how she could get any cuter!

Monday, June 27, 2011

One Year Ago

Last year, on this day, we were driving home from an awesome vacation in Florida.
Beach, sunshine, snorkeling, seafood, waves, was one to remember.

Looking back at these pictures makes me long to have my toes in the sand again....maybe next summer?

Anyway, one year ago, we were driving home from Florida.  That's a long 18 hour drive.  We got home late, a little after midnight.  All I wanted to do was love on  my pup a little, take a nice hot shower, and finally sleep in my own bed after a whole week away.

Mark worked on unloading the car and I made a beeline for the bathroom.  As I reached under the sink for a new roll of toilet paper...I saw them.  The box of pregnancy tests.

We'd been trying to get pregnant, but I had had a little spotting before our trip that I assumed was my period.  Towards the end of our trip, though, I just didn't feel right.  I was crampy, I got a little seasick on a boatride (and I never get motion-sickness), and one of our last meals out (seafood - which I love) left me queasy.

Well, it can't hurt....I thought as I fished around in the box.  I peed on the stick, set it on the countertop, then started to strip down for my shower.  I glanced back over at the test after I turned on the water, and couldn't believe my eyes.

(Yes, I had to take two more tests just to make sure...)

I turned off the water, grabbed a towel, and ran for the front door.  As Mark was coming up the sidewalk, I held up the test.  Our eyes met, and we both smiled.  He came in the front door, hugged and kissed me, whispered congratulations, and then proceeded to tell me how upset he was because someone stole his ladder out of the back of his truck while we were on vacation.  :)  Oh, honey.  I think it took a few days for it to sink in for him...

For me, it was instant.  I was flooded with so many different emotions -- joy, disbelief, fear, excitement, nervousness.  I was up most of the night, tossing and turning as the news that changed our life settled in.

The very next week, I started to feel pregnant.  I never got sick - just felt like I wanted to about 22 hours a day.  No energy, queasy, no appetite....all those lovely things that come along with the first trimester.  We could only contain our excitement for a couple of days before we started sharing the news with family. 

Then, baby and I started to grow....
(Those last few weeks were rough, as evidenced by my appearance!)

And we found out we would be blessed with a daughter.

The anticipation and excitment made those 9 months feel like a lifetime, but now -- looking back -- I can't believe it happened so fast. 

P.S.  Will you take a second to click here and vote?  Thank you!

Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Favorites

Not much to say tonight....just sharing some favorite moments from the week.  It's been a rough one!  Husband working nights.  Baby is teething (I think...).  I don't know how else to explain her uncharacteristic fussiness.  This means Mommy's evenings are not the best. 

Still had some bright spots, though.  My favorite photos from the week:

Being outside always calms this baby down.  Freshly bathed, clean jammies, enjoying the cool evening air.

Cousin RJ came over to visit.  Is there anything yummier than sweet little boy eyelashes??

Here he is telling Natalie "I'm the baby!"

Then he decided that he did, in fact, kind of like Natalie today.  So he wanted to tickle her. :)

When  he tickles, he shrieks "tickle, tickle, tickle!"

Today I put Natalie in her Jenny Jump-Up because she's finally getting big enough.  She looks tiny in it!
And I think this is proof of her teething.  She enjoyed chewing on the edge of you see the slobber dripping down it?!

TGIF, friends!  Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Some Days

I have a beautiful baby, a great husband, a wonderful family, a job I enjoy (especially when it's summer!), a nice home, and many other blessings.  I can't complain.

But some days....yeesh.  They aren't so beautiful and rosy and sweet.

You know how it goes:
- There are six loads of laundry piled up...yet instead of doing laundry, I avoid it and blog instead.  OR take pictures of the baby.  Both worthy uses of my time if you ask me....
- The baby spits up such much in one day that I have changed her outfit three times and my outfit twice.  Then she poops on the fourth outfit.  And me.
- The entire time I am grocery shopping I am debating about whether to focus on healthy food or staying on budget.  'Cause you can't do both, sister.  So I'm either going to be rich/fat or poor/skinny....hmmm...
- The hubs and I aren't getting along.  We love each other always, but you know that means we don't always like each other.  For example, my darling husband does his own laundry (score!) but seems completely incapable of putting it it will sit folded in a laundry basket for 3+ weeks (boo!).
- I've been stuck in the house for a week straight....and if I have to watch daytime TV for another day I'll go crazy.
-I fall up - yes up - the stairs...or stub my toe on the coffee table....or spill my drink.  Clumsiness is annoying.
- I experience what my sister has cleverly nicknamed the "crap-alanche".  You know, where one crappy things leads to another, and another, and another.  When you finally stop, you realize that what you set out to accomplish actually took you 3 hours instead of one.  Here's my most recent "crap-alanche":  Baby poops (surprise!).  I go to change diaper and there is poop up to her armpits.  Strip her down and rinse out poop clothes.  Sanitize sink where poop clothes were just rinsed.  Put baby in nice warm bath. Baby pees in the tub.  Dump out and refill tub.  Finish bath and put jammies on the baby.  Baby spits up on the jammies - as in all over the jammies.  Change jammies.  ONE HOUR LATER - hand baby to husband who says "What took you so long?"  REALLY?!?! 

I could go on and on (and on).  This is life I suppose.  Ups and downs.  Highs and lows.  Ebbs and flows.

Luckily,  the high points keep me going and keep me thankful for all I have.  Because I have a lot to be grateful for.
Things like sweet little paci faces.
And yummy baby toes.

Life is good.  Sometimes it gets to me -- but most of time -- it really is everything I ever dreamed of.

(Ok readers - you know you've totally experienced the "crap-alanche" -- what was yours??)

4 Months!

My sweet little girl is four months old today!  Getting more and more beautiful by the day (if that's even possible...)

Natalie is growing and changing and learning more each day.  Lately she has started reaching out for toys and mommy's face/hair.  She is scooting and rolling all over the place!

She is developing even more personality, and we spend a lot of time laughing and smiling each day.

She can be serious and studious at times....she likes to hold things and look at them carefully.  Her favorite thing right now is her toes!  She can't get enough of 'em.  She looks at them, and talks to them, and giggles at them.  Such a good friend, those toes are...

 Everything goes in her mouth these days, especially her hands.
Her big blue eyes get me every time.  This girl has mommy totally wrapped around her little finger.

 Peace, yo!

 Mom, not more pictures...  She can be a drama queen sometimes.  Especially when I burp her (of all things!)  I always burp her halfway through a feeding, and she squeals and throws her head back and screams!

I love these two pictures, even though they are blurry....we were tickling and giggling. :)

At four months, Natalie is sleeping 9-10 hours a night.  She naps often throughout the day (I call her "sleepy-bug")....usually an hour in the morning, 2-3 hours in the afternoon, and another hour in the evening.  **This is the norm, but as I type she is talking in her crib instead of napping...hmmm.

She is still eating every four hours, nursing five times a day.  I find this to be precious time with her.  We can be alone, and snuggle and kiss and talk.  No matter how busy the day is, for 10 minutes the world slows down and we can just breathe and be together without any other distractions.  The girl does know how to be hungry right when mommy wants to eat, but that's okay.  She is so easy-going and a very happy girl. 

These days, Natalie is loving:
*her TOES
*sucking on her hands and her clothes
*drooling - the child can soak through 3 or 4 bibs a day!
*her pink poodle and blue elephant toys
*car rides
*smiling and laughing
*looking at books
*mommy and daddy!

We go to the doctor tomorrow for Natalie's 4-month well baby visit.  Shots. :( Boo.  I am anxious to see how much she's grown -- I think she's a little on the smaller side, but we'll see.

This angel continues to be the light of our lives.  She makes each day bright, and constantly reminds me of an awesome and loving Heavenly Father...only he could have made such a beautiful blessing.  And the fact that we get to be a part of her life makes me eternally grateful.
I love you Natalie Grace!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our Guy

It was just four months ago that I had to start learning to share my guy.  He's been mine, and mine alone for nearly 6 years.  But from the moment Natalie entered the world, his heart grew and made room for her too.  I don't mind sharing... :)

Today we celebrated "Daddy".  He is our love, our comfort, our provider, our sense of humor, our kisses and hugs, our guy.

These two have a special daddy/daughter thing goin' on.  Nobody on this planet makes him smile like she does.

We started our day with breakfast out.  Daddy loves him some breakfast! 
(Yes, Mark's eye is still quite swollen.  I don't think I've posted much about it since his original injury....but he has been through 7 surgeries and they are still trying to get his vision back.  We always appreciate prayers for his recovery!)

Snuck in some pictures with Mommy, too!

Next up....Daddy's present!  He's been asking and asking (and asking) for a smoker.  Wish granted!
He smoked some delicious pork tenderloins for dinner.  I made his favorite twice baked potatoes....added a fresh salad and we had quite a meal! (I even got out the fancy wedding china because, well, why not?)

This evening we decided to head to the park for a walk after dinner.  A little sticky out, but we enjoyed the family time nonetheless.

 We are so blessed.  Happy Father's Day to our guy!

And Happy Father's Day to all the other daddies out there.  You are irreplacible, unmatched, and loved dearly.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Peace + Catching Up

There is peace in our house tonight....

After all of our worries about finding the right daycare for Natalie, we had a successful interview on Thursday and committed to a provider for August.  From the moment we walked in, we both loved her.  She was sweet and friendly, and asked immediately to hold Natalie.  She covered her with kisses and told her that she was the cutest baby ever.  She showed us around, all the while talking to us and Natalie, as if our sweet little baby was the one making the decision instead of us.  "Look Natalie, this is where you would play....and this is where you will sleep," she cooed.  Natalie studied her and the surroundings....I smiled knowing that my baby was the one conducting the interview.   

She said things like "rocking babies is heaven on earth" and "I just love holding the little ones!" and "I know that August will be hard for you, sweetie, but we'll get through it together".  She calmed my fears and brought a sense of relief to this crazed mommy.  She and her daughter run the daycare together in their home, so there's a much lower ratio than most of the other in-home daycares that I've researched.  There are two adults, and 6-7 I have much less worry about Natalie getting enough attention.  I had nightmares about my little girl laying in a playpen or on a blanket all alone while the daycare provider chased the other 6 2-year-olds around the house.  This seems to be a good set-up...the mother takes the littlest ones downstairs - where there are bouncy seats and books and baby toys, and her daughter has the toddlers upstairs - where there is a play kitchen set-up and a craft center in the dining room.

I just had a good feeling about it all.  I felt connected to her, and just wanted to hug her before we left.  So I did. :)  And she smiled and said, "Now you go home and sleep on it, and we'll talk tomorrow.  You want to be 100% sure about who you choose!"  Well, I wanted to choose her right that minute!  But I took her advice and Mark and I gushed about her the whole way home.  I called her the next morning and she told me how thrilled she was and thanked me over and over for choosing to place Natalie in her home.

INSERT SIGH OF RELIEF HERE.  Thank you, God, for answering my prayers.

I hope that we continue to be happy with her once Natalie starts there.  There will be continued worries and tears on my part, I'm sure.  But I am so much more at peace about school starting again - and feel that I can fully enjoy my summer now with my sweet girl without this worry in the back of my mind.

And here's a quick catch-up on what we've been up to lately...

Lots of time with family  - Uncle Nick, these pictures are for you!!

My dear friend is moving away (boo!), so we got our girls together this week.  Clare is 8 months old - and SO busy!
 She wanted to give Natalie lots of kisses!
 But doesn't quite understand the "gentle" concept yet.  So cute! :)  Her mommy had to snatch her away before she ate Natalie up!  Natalie's expression cracks me up.....Really, Mom?  You are just going to take pictures while this baby slobbers on my face?!

We also celebrated my Momma's 60th birthday!
 (This baby LOVES her Mimi like crazy!  You should see the way she coos and talks and precious)
The whole fam went out for dinner to celebrate, then the big girls (plus Natalie!) continued the party with margaritas and desserts on the patio at my sister's house.  It was a beautiful night - we sat outside until way past dark and talked and laughed by candlelight and passed the sleepy baby.

Looking forward to celebrating Father's Day tomorrow with my hubby and our beautiful daughter!  Hope you all are having a great weekend!

P.S. Did you notice the Top Baby Blogs button at the top right of this post?  I linked up my blog with this list of mommy/baby blogs.  I've found lots of great ones on the list - so if you are interested you can click on the button to be taken to the blog directory.  On your way in, vote for me!  This will just move my blog up the list so that it is more accessible to other blogging mommies.  You can vote once a day, so you can click on the button each time you visit my blog!