Wednesday, January 2, 2013

An around the world tree...

Last year I decided I liked the idea of an around the world tree. So, I asked friends and family from all over the country and world if they would consider sending us an ornament from where they live. I had a lot of people get us something and this year we had a lot of fun pulling them out of the storage boxes and talking about who and where the ornaments come from. I am not sure how much Amelia understood this year but I look forward to the future when we can maybe get a map out and point out all the places. This past summer we even picked up an ornament while in Colorado, but since we loved this summer I can't find where I put it. A little disappointing but there is always next year. :)
A star from my cousin in The Philippines.

A rabbit (the year Amelia was born) from a friend living in Taiwan

A snowman ornament I picked up last year on the day after Christmas. 

One of the ornaments we inherited from My Great Grandmother and Gigi.

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

I meant to post this 3 days after Thanksgiving. I assumed that the schedule feature on blogger would work but apparently not. So, better late than never...

I am a Christmas person. I just am. When I was younger, I was a member of the Texas Girls Choir. Since the fall was such a busy season (We had a concert in November and then started performing for corporate Christmas parties all through December) each year we went to Christmas Choir Camp. For a whole week in July we would go off to what would seem like summer camp. There was arts and crafts, swimming in the lake, campfires, and also several hours of daily choir practice in which we learned the material for our Christmas concert. This was heaven to a little girl who dreamed of being an Opera Singer (seriously, I know) and who loved Christmas. It was literally Christmas in July.

I have never really gotten over my love of Christmas music, to my husband's chagrin. I love that a local radio station every year at midnight on Thanksgiving changes over to all Christmas all the time. Don't get me wrong, this does not mean I am okay with stores putting out Christmas decorations in October and that I want to just forget Thanksgiving. I think that part of what makes Christmas so special is that we don't have it year round. It is a part of the year to look forward to and to savor. If it was Christmas everyday we would take it for granted. So, I didn't rush to put up the Christmas decorations on Thanksgiving. I waited a whole 3 days!

I put up the Christmas tree and a few Christmas nick knacks. I kept it simple this year because having a toddler makes life dangerous, not only for the child but for my decorations. My great-grandmother and Gigi made some stuffed ornaments years ago and last year I inherited them. I thought it was a good idea, very kid friendly. The problem is that is might be too kid friendly, she doesn't understand that the ornaments are supposed to stay on the tree. So, I keep finding a nutcracker or angel laying around the house and a half naked tree. While is it annoying, I would rather deal with that than not have a tree at all. :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

DIY Photo Prayer Book

I originally found this idea on Pinterest. Amelia likes to point at the various pictures around the house as a request for the person's name. We often go around pointing out grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. So, when I came across this idea to repurpose holiday greeting cards I thought Amelia might like it. I don't have many holiday cards left and we don't often get very many. To make up for the lack I just went through pictures I already had printed. I didn't have as many pictures as I would have liked, but it is a nice start. Amelia had a blast looking through all the pictures as we selected which to include in her book. Once finished, she sat down and flipped through it over and over pointing to all the pictures of everyone she loves. I would like to add more pictures of family so I will probably be sending out requests for more up to date photos. I also think it might be worth it to compile all of the photos in a printed photo book from a company like Shutterfly.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Just so you know...

I really love that this blog is about Amelia. It is a great way to share and document this journey called motherhood. I like it this way, but something has been missing for me. I want to share more about my other interest but this just doesn't feel like the place. So, I started a more personal blog over here. I still plan to keep updating about our life on this space but starting this second blog will allow me to concentrate on our story, while still getting to share my story. I hope you will check it out!

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Great Cloth Diapering Adventure...a follow up.

A few weeks ago I was asked by a friend (H's mom) for advice about venturing into cloth diapering. I was glad to help and even with reading everything I have posted on the blog already, questions I hadn't thought of came up. I decided that maybe it was time to do a follow-up about our cloth diapering experience and what I would do over if I had the chance. 

First up, we all know which diapers I liked the best after a couple months into this adventure but which brand(s) have held up over time? 
  I would first like to say that I am really satisfied with every brand we use. I still use them all and most are in excellent condition. That said I do have favorites. The Bumgenius and Smartipants have held up great. For the most part they look new. The Fuzzibunz are also in good shape but the Charlie's Banana are looking a bit sad. I will be honest that I don't always wash and dry according to directions. So, it maybe that the CB's are just more sensitive. If I had to do it all over I would stock up on Smartipants with a couple Bumgenius prints mixed in. I still believe that for the price you can't beat the Smartipants. 

What do you use to wash your diapers?
If I can afford it I use Rock 'n Green.  It is available from a local store so I like to support the local economy when I can. I have also been using this to strip my diapers by just adding a little extra and letting it soak. I think I am going to try using Funk Rock, which is by the same company soon. I will of course post a review after doing so. When I am trying to save money I will use All Free. 

How many diapers would you suggest getting? How many do I really need?

I started out with 16 diapers and had every intention of slowly adding until I had the generally suggested 24. I never made it to 24. We currently have 18 and this number works great for me. When Amelia was younger and we changed 8-10 diapers a day it meant I had to wash every night but now I wash every other day. I don't think I will buy more at this point. I like that having so few motivates me to do laundry and not let them sit and get funky. 

Should I get extra inserts?

I got some extra Bumgenius inserts as part of a shower gift and I have rarely used them. I did a couple of times to try doubling for sleeping at night. I eventually gave up. The diapers were so bulky she had a hard time getting comfortable to sleep. We now use a disposable at night instead. 

One other thing...
I never ended up getting a sprayer because the store bought ones are so expensive. I wasn't going to bother now because Amelia is so close to beginning potty training. Although, since H is going to be cloth diapered now I think it would be worth it to put one in. My cousin sent me this tutorial on how to make one on the cheap. I will probably be adding it to the Hubby's to-do list. I'll let you know how that works out. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

This and That

A few days ago I was telling my grandmother little stories of Amelia. She turned to me very serious and said, "You need to write that down. You think that you will remember because it's so funny, but you will forget. So, write it down." 

So, here I am writing them down. I usually write posts that I feel will make a post worth reading. This means I leave out little things that are still precious memories.  I am going to try to do a better job of recording these things.  

Here is a collection of silly/sweet/heart exploding cute things Amelia has done lately:

1. At worship service a few weeks ago an Elder was speaking to the congregation and asked everyone to respond "amen" if they agreed with what he was saying. After everyone else responded, in a very serious voice Amelia asked, "Amen?" 

2. We pray as a family every night before dinner. After Amelia asks for each of our hands to have a personal prayer with each person at the table. It's so sweet!

3. Curtis and I often sit next to each other either on the couch or at the dinner table. Often Amelia will come and ask to sit on my lap. She will then give me a hug, wrapping her arms around my neck tight. Lately she has started leaning over and wrapping one arm around Curtis' neck too. So, Curtis is on one side of her head and I am on the other, a big group hug. She laughs and pulls us so close. My chest often tightens and I get tears in my eyes from all this love. Seriously, how did I get so lucky?

4. Amelia loves Disney's Tangled. She kinda gets into the whole princess thing but she doesn't do fairies. While pregnant I collected McD's toys for her to use as bath toys. Apparently Barbie had a movie about fairies out because I got a lot to little dolls with wings. I finally gave the whole lot of them to Amelia, who promptly de-winged all the fairies. She loves to play with them, just no wings. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Play Dough

Amelia has been kind of driving me mad as of late. It's like we've entered the terrible twos 6 month early. She is constantly asserting her independence and strong will. I hope that the determination she uses to defy me is one day used to help her move mountains because right now it's pushing me to the brink. I decided that maybe we could make it through the day without pulling all my hair out if she had a new distraction. So, I made play dough from this recipe here. I found several recipes on Pinterest but this is the only one I had all the ingredients for on hand. It worked pretty well. I added the extra 1/4 cup flour but I think next time I will leave it out since our batch ended up grainy. Now, if I can just keep her from eating it. I suppose it's better than dog food which is a daily battle.


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