Thursday, August 2, 2012

Food Challenge!

It is way too easy to get into a cooking rut! When I got back from my 3 week trip I felt like I had to remind myself even how to cook. Now that I have a mobile 7 month old it gets even more difficult! SO! I have decided to give myself a new type of challenge. I already know that by doing preparation during nap time making dinner is a much seamless and easier task. I'm going to add another step. I'm going to have recipes for the next month planned out and even have my shopping lists all ready bimonthly. I'll set it up in the refrigerator with each meal in a certain place. I'm so excited to not only do this but also try a bunch of new recipes. I will have to keep y'all updated with the progress and some recipe ideas. I challenge y'all to spice it up too!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Teeth and Big Trip!

Announcement!!! Sophia's first tooth popped through! Finally! I think the second one is just right behind it because it seems to still be bothering her. As soon as we can thoroughly see the tooth I will post a picture of a cute smiley TOOTHY baby! Can't believe we have a tooth!

Tomorrow Sophia and I head off for a three week trip. As much as I am so stinking excited for the trip, I am a little sad because Joe won't be able to come with us at all. We've done one deployment apart but right now 3 weeks seems so long especially because baby's change so much so quickly. First stop in our 3 week excursion is to Minnesota where all of my mom's family is from. Sophia gets to meet her great grandparents, 4 great aunts (and their husbands), lots of my cousins as well as family friends. Most of these people I haven't seen in 3-6 years! My mom and sister will be meeting us in Minnesota and then Sophia and I'll drive back to Montana with them. We'll be back just in time to go to my favorite Rodeo (haven't been in 3 years) during the 4th of July week. I'm so grateful that we'll also be able to spend a full 2 weeks with my parents and siblings in picturesque Montana. I do miss it so much and am going to get to see good friends and even some more family members who I haven't seen in probably 10 years! I can't wait to share pictures etc with y'all and will try to update during the trip!!!

Can you feel my excitement from where you're sitting? I think I use too many exclamation marks. ha!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

6 months!

Sweet Sophia,
You're now 6 months old! Whaaaat! Where did time go?! Daddy and I were just talking about how incredible our life can change in just a year but we wouldn't change it for the world. We're so very glad that you are part of our life. We are such hopeless saps whenever you smile and giggle at us which is quite often these days. All we really have to do is look at you and make a silly sound or face and we get ear to ear grins.

We're still waiting for those teeth to come through. I am sure hoping that they make an appearance soon because they are making you whiny and fussy! Normally when you wake up you talk to yourself for awhile but these teeth seem to make you just cry. Your sleep schedule hasn't altered much- you almost put yourself to bed at 8pm and are up by 8am with only one feeding in between.

You're getting to be such a big girl and we couldn't be more proud of you! You've begun your own type of crawling but can definitely get around. Also, not only are you able to sit up by yourself but you are also close to being able to push yourself up from a knee position to a sitting!

The freezer is getting more and more full of baby food as you're trying so much. We've added spinach, green peas, pears, peaches, avocados and pineapple into your food repertoire! It's amazing how you like to just gobble it all up but I secretly still love how much you still want your mama because that time together is just so precious.

Monday was your 6 month checkup and Mama has a love/hate relationship with the appointments! I love them because I get to see how much you've grown but I hate them because you have to get shots. :( You're now 27 inches long ( 90% percentile!)  and 14.8 lbs (36% percentile). The part that makes me giggle is that your head is considered 0 percentile. You have such a little petite head but we love it! The size of your noggin doesn't matter- you're so smart anyway!!!!

We love you sweet baby girl and are so excited to watch you continue to grow and grow!

Father's Day Gift for Daddy- 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

NOT unemployed! - A little ranting and raving.

Caution: Personal convictions and opinions abound:

When I was about 6 weeks pregnant we moved just north of Austin on a total faith walk. Joe got out of the navy, got a good job and we were staying in a hotel while we found other housing. I had no plans yet to work when we moved and then we found out we were pregnant so working plans went on hold even longer. It just didn't make sense to go to work for a few months and then quit. Because you see, Joe and I made a decision early on in our relationship... As long as it would be financially possible (and we intended to always make it possible even if Joe had to work 2 jobs) and until our children were in school, I would not work outside the home. But this did NOT mean that I was going to be unemployed!!!

When I would go to my postpartum checkups the front desk clerk would always confirm, "You're not currently employed correct?" I constantly have to fill out forms and claim the unemployed check-mark. I went to a work event of my husbands and asked what I do for work and about half the people say something along the lines of, "where do you work?". This so saddens me! Where in our society have we gone from it being awkward to be a working mom to being awkward to be at home with your kiddo? Not only do they wonder why I don't work but they fully expect me to not also have a degree. No, I have a degree and would love to work but right now its not where I need to be.

We completely believe that being a mom is a full time job and a wonderful calling. By being with my daughter and future children all day, I get to raise my own child. I know what she's hearing and seeing. Yes I would love to get my masters and work but it's just not the time yet. I need to invest my heart and time into my child and I know that it will be the best investment I will EVER make. 

I am NOT unemployed. I just need to make that clear. I have a job: I am Joe's wife and Sophia's mother. My day consists of lots of diapers, cleaning, laundry, dogs (yes we have 3), errands, activities... I stay busy loving on my kiddo, invoking lots of laughter, smiles and encouraging growth and proper stimulation. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Here's a little glimpse into my awesome world.

Sweetest little baby!

Getting to be such a big girl! Loves to push up and doing beginning stages of crawling.

My two loves (one with a ridiculous mustache) on Memorial Day *note: husband had been so far removed from military world that he had forgotten which side ribbon rack went on and noticed later...

Sophia getting cleaned up by her biggest fan club after some baby food!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mothers Day

Ever since I was little when asked who my hero was, I would respond my Mom. She and I always had a close relationship. Even when I was a teenager we would have our arguments and come back in mutual appreciation for each other.

My Mama is a blue eyed, blond haired bombshell! I'll let her picture speak for itself...
Yeah she doesn't look like a Grandma to me either!
What is most amazing about my Mama is that her external beauty is only a fraction of her internal beauty. Unless you met her you wouldn't completely understand, but this is some of why I can say that.

This past Sunday in our Bible Study fellowship we spoke of how our Mom's changed our lives. Since I was one of the last to speak I heard everyone else's comments first... I kept thinking, yep my mom is like that, yep my mom does that. It was really hard to pick one thing that changed my life because everything that I am is because of my Mom. (Ok some bad habits may be from my dad .. hehe)

The one thing I picked is that my mom is the most hospitable person that I know. If you met my mom, you would feel instantly liked, instantly happy and instantly at home. She may just have 3 biological children but she has countless others that call her Mom. She attended events of kids that didn't belong to her. She hosted many parties and stayed up many late nights helping one person or another. My mama can throw together a gala in hours or put together more food for company in minutes.

She is this insanely capable woman. She moved our family 9 times (4 times across oceans) not counting the times from an apartment to house etc. She has managed 3 kids schedules and a husband who traveled throughout our childhood about half of the year. We have had hamsters, rabbits, cats, dogs, fish, turtles and horses. Whew now that I type that I realize even more so what all my mom handled!

My mama is the most beautiful chameleon. She can wear linen and heels and host tea parties in Singapore one month and the next month wear jeans, cowboy boots and a baseball cap and train horses. She adapts to any situation necessary with unassuming grace, elegance and poise.

Now that I'm a mom too, I understand some of what my mom did. I now understand sleepless nights, exhaustion and being mom even when you feel sick. I see how little "me time" my mom had and how incredible it was that she was able to keep our home spotless.

I am so blessed to have Joan as my mom. I didn't just grow up, she raised me. I am so blessed that she helped guide me into marriage and now into motherhood. She's an incredible woman, mom and now grandma.

Thanks Mama for all you are, all you did and all you love me.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

5 months

Sophia Grace!
You are now a beautiful 5 months old... You still fit in some 3 months outfits but most are starting to get too small for you. You are long and lean! Hopefully you get your daddy's genes in that department because long and lean does NOT explain your Mama!

You've now had a couple breakdowns before bed time in a row. I'm pretty sure your teeth are really bugging you because this is so unlike you... You're typically a really happy fun baby. It's easy to get you to laugh and smile. Two things that make you smile instantly are when anyone "clucks" their tongue and seeing your dogs. You are so into ANYTHING. You love to grab and hold on to paper, cups, credit cards etc and can sometimes have a fit when we take it away from you!

Trust me, you love your doggies!

You have started to eat baby food... We've given you applesauce, strawberries, bananas, sweet potato and carrots. So far your utmost favorite is strawberries and bananas! Daddy found out that you love ice! It helps when your gums are so sore.
                                                         You are NOT a fan of Oatmeal

We skype with Grandma and Grandpa every couple of days and you're still not quite sure what to think. You've started grabbing for the computer so maybe you think you'll get kisses through the screen?

You had your first story time and you loved it! You were super happy until the very end when you fell asleep on your Mama's shoulder. I can't wait to spend more of these times with you down the road.

The pool is yet to be a hit but I think that's because every time Mama wants to take you it is still a little too cold! I know, I'm mean! Both times, we have a warm bath afterwards...
                                                                  Cutest baby ever!
                                                             Much Happier in warm bath!
Mama can't wait for next month since we get to introduce you to all your Mama's cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents and then have some R&R in Montana! We know you'll win over everyone's hearts...

Love you sweet baby girl,
yeah I know it's a little blurry- so hard to take a picture with a wiggly babe!

Shut the front door...

After getting married I've gotten even more of a kick of trying to be a domestic goddess and now that pinterest is around I'm even more inspired! Anything that I can do that makes my house look more put together, fun and that isn't expensive to do definitely peaks my interest... One thing that I've been trying to do is decorate for each season throughout the house but this blog is about the FRONT DOOR!
I have a fall wreath, Christmas wreath, Easter/spring wreath and needed something for the in between or summer!
I didn't take pictures of the process only the end result but it was so stinking easy that I should be able to just explain away. 

- Paint the letter that you want to use. I used MDF and it didn't take spray paint well. I put a couple coats of Acrylic paint on afterwards to give it the color. It needs about an hour to be fully dried
- Start with a good base, mine was a straw wreath I bought at Hobby Lobby.
- Wrap that in teal yarn. It takes a little while so be prepared to watch a movie or two.. Having the yarn taught as you wrap it around make it a lot easier... 
- Then take strips of burlap about 2 inches thick and about 12 inches long and tie it once around a corner of the wreath and repeat this 8 times (or as thick as you want).
- Hot glue gun some flowers (mine were discounted and ended up being about 1$ a piece) on top of the burlap
- Take a piece of burlap about 6 in in width and as long as you need and fold the ends in and thread through Letter.  Pull it over the top of the wreath so that the letter hangs and hot glue it in a circle.
- Finish with another piece of burlap tied on top so that you can hang it flush to the door.

Price Breakdown:
Wreath: 4.99
Letter: 2.99$
Yarn: under 4
Paint:  (used a little acrylic I had in my stock)
Burlap: 3.99 a yard, used less than 1/8th, so lets say 50cents ish
Flowers: 3.50
Hot glue: Used less than one stick from home
Approximately 16 $ with leftovers

If you have any questions or need help in clarification please don't hesitate to ask!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Doing "MOM"

I've learned a lesson already in 4 1/2 months of being a mom that I have been told most don't learn until their child is much older or out of the house... This lesson is taking time out for mom.

Hubby sleeps during the day.. No he's not a slacker or deadbeat- much to the opposite. He works at night so his time for bed is when I'm running around. It makes things quite interesting around here to say the least... One way is that our schedule isn't normal... (What IS normal ANYWAY?) He works 12 hour shifts and will work 3 days one week and 4 the next... Because we have some big goals this year which includes padding up our savings account, starting our retirement fund and doing some big home projects (re-doing master shower, replacing flooring etc) he's also been working an extra day a week for over time. This means for this mama that I get to see my husband for a total of about 1 hour a day for 3-4 days straight. I am on the clock 24/7 without any backup. Often days I don't mind just staying at home but there are definitely moments where I have realized for my own sanity I just need to get out of the house!

Monday I was able to go to Ladies's night out with some gals from my Sunday school group and Hub watched Sophia. By the time I had gotten home, Sophia had been awake for 2 hours and refused to drink from a bottle... Joe admitted to me that he had a whole new appreciation for what I do as a Mama and he no longer wonders what I do all day because just she alone keeps me busy (So grateful that he gets this and gets it early too)!

Today I realized that I hadn't moved my car since Tuesday (AKA I haven't gone anywhere!) which means this Mama desperately needed some interaction. Sophia and I went to a story time and then out to lunch with two other Mama's and some babies. We had a great time and although we were all busy taking care of our little ones we still managed to have some mom time.

I know that without this time I tend to be more exhausted, more easily frustrated, and tend to use my husband as a gal pal instead of the great man that he is! It is well worth its weight in gold because then Sophia gets a happier Mama, one that is able to deal with teething and rearranged schedules and the like.

It also made me realize some more things about my own Mom which I will share more about in a post dedicated to her for mothers day...

I'm off to enjoy clean a little bit but then take out some me time: a glass of wine, a tv show and some time to do my nails!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

4 Months

Sweet Sophia,
Happy 4 months! I can't believe you've been with us that long! I still cannot believe that you are ours. I am just waiting for the day for someone to come and tell me that time is up and you need to go. Nothing makes me happier than to know that you are indeed ours and we get to watch you grow and grow!!!

And growing you do! You are now 12 pounds, 11 ounces and 26 inches! Love my girl! You've been having shots every month so that you don't get as many in a sitting, even still you're such a champ. You hardly let it bother you.

Gigi and Pops watched you for one evening so that Mama and Daddy could have a date night out. Even though you weren't a fan of the bottle you behaved so well! They love their time with you. We started having you drink more bottles while Grandma and Grandpa came last week to visit. They love you SO much! You adore your grandma. With just a glance your way, you smile and smile right back. Grandpa is still figuring out how to entertain you but loves you nonetheless. We started some cereal while they were here. You weren't a huge fun but caught on before we knew it and were eating away! Can't wait to try other things with you too... Wonder if your taste buds with align more with your dads or your moms?

You are nothing but smiles and giggles. Even when you're positively exhausted you will smile. It's really incredible! We've gotten a few belly laughs out of you but can't wait till they become common. You love to look around and you are SO alert. So many people comment on it. Your current face favorite is when you tilt your neck down and give an intense stare. Sometimes a smile will end it but it is too funny!

The play mat and toys are your absolute favorite and music catches your attention quickly! The exercauser is another favorite because you get to stand up! You love to stand up and bounce! You've had a couple of other firsts recently too: first time in a high chair, first pool swim (it was too cool and you weren't a fan), first birthday with grandpa and first little mini road trip.

Schedules definitely make you happier! You currently sleep between 5-10 hours straight at night. Last night was 10 and the night before 9! You wake up, have about an hour of awake time and go down for a 45 minute nap. Then you're up for another 2 hours and down for a 2-3 hour nap. Your last nap is only about an hour then you're up till 8 when you go down for the count! You may wake up crying but are happy within seconds.

Mom and Dad love you so much and are so excited for all the growing you've done and all you will do. I never want to miss a moment though. It is definitely going by way too fast.

Love always,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

2 months

Dear Sweet Sophia,
You are two months old today and I cannot believe it. How is it possible to both feel like time has flown and that you have always been here.
You have brought so much joy to our lives. You smile often and do your own version of a laugh. Your happiest time of the day is right away in the morning. Laying on your back is your favorite. It looks like you might be a busy baby because your legs are always kicking!
We are so enthralled with you. Today you made your daddy jump up and down because you clucked your tongue. I was so proud at how you calmed down after your shots. You are a champ.
I pray everything lovely for you and somethings hard because without the hard the good wouldnt look so good. I pray you will love the little things in life not just the big things.
I love watching you grow and cannot wait to see you love, live, laugh and learn.
Love you my girl,

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Year, New life- New Start!

At the end of 2012, we welcomed a little baby girl into our lives. It really is the most incredible thing and I adore being a mom! Due to being nauseous most of pregnancy I only gained 15 pounds. It was a huge blessing as I was already overweight and wanted to not have to lose as much afterward. I'm already at pre-pregnancy weight but that is definitely not my end goal.

With the new year rings in all the goals that we all place on ourselves. One of the top of course is always fitness, weight loss or something to that extent. Of course I am no different. But to me, this year is a start of a new life. I'm a mama now. I have to practice healthy habits in the kitchen and in exercise. I need to show my daughter that she doesn't need to be afraid of food but neither does she need to allow it to take over her life. She is in control of her habits and that life is so much better when we're able to live it to the fullest instead of always "what ifs" and "I will whens".

So my "what if" this year will be me in a smaller size of clothes- lookin' good! My "I will when" is now an I did. I did join a gym and I did work out today. Instead of getting upset at myself when I miss a day, I'll just make it the next day. Each day fits into the bigger picture so each day is a step to the goal. I'm so excited to be able to say when I've lost 5-10-20-50 pounds but even more so I'm excited to be able to tell my daughter that if Mama can do it- so can she.