Saturday, December 24, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sneak Peak: Christmas Cards


 I just took this with my canon point and shoot! I can't wait to get back the "professional" prints. Is the black and pink ok? Or should I use something with the traditional red and green? We are doing another shoot Friday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Making a liar out of me...


I have never been a runner. Everyone else in my family is. I have always felt a little left out but never enough to want to actually become a runner. Now, don't get me wrong. I enjoy exercise and sports. I would even call myself athletic but I don't like running just to run. To me it's kinda like math, what's the point? I don't just go around solving algebra equations for the heck of it, why would I just go for a run?

Of course that was before I went to the doctor yesterday and realized I have gain about 20lbs since having Amelia. Blah. So, I said to myself, "Self, this is unacceptable. Something MUST be done," and I remembered reading about the Bluebell FunRun. Bluebell Ice Cream sponsors a 5k/10k each year to raise funds for the local high school. It's relatively cheap and at the finish line you get ice cream. What better motivation?

So, I have semi-committed to run the 5k. I would like to get a jogging stroller so Amelia can join Curtis and I on morning runs. I thought it would be a good start to a healthy family tradition. It's important to me that she take better care of her health than I have of mine. That's why I also brush her two teeth every night, well almost...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Great Cloth Diapering Adventure: All the Way

I am thinking about going all the way, and converting to useable cloth wipes as well. My pail liners have arrived and we have been in the swing of things for a few days now. I feel like cloth wipes just make sense. It seems silly to have a cloth diaper pail and a trash can next to the changing table and a waste of space. So, as soon as I can afford it I am going to take the plunge. All cloth, all the time (well, except for maybe when other people watch her.)

I've been looking at brands and all the cloth diaper brands we use (fuzzi bunz, bum genius, and charlie banana) all make wipes too. The only thing is they are all kind of, well, boring. No color, just white. The designer in me just doesn't like that. I found these from Thirsties. I am at least going to buy one pack. The rest can be white, but I need at least a little color in my life.
What about you other cloth diapering mamas, do you use cloth wipes? If so what brand? I'd love suggestions. Also what about companion sprays? There seem to be so many choices.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I think I can make that...

I have been on this cleaning and organizing kick since, well, before Amelia was born I guess. If you are friends with me on Facebook, you know how much I enjoy doing dishes. Well, a friend and I were exchanging cleaning tips the other day and she told me about a magnet you can buy for your dishwasher. One side says "Clean" and the other "Dirty." It's so supposed to cut down on those "Are these dishes clean?" moments of sniffing plates/cups...Am I the only one who does that? I looked the magnets up online when I got home and thought, "I think I can make that..." So, yesterday I did.

I downloaded a fancy font and used Power Point. I'm sure you could use other programs but I was already using it on a homework project; word would probably be easy too. Once I got it looking the way I wanted I printed it off on plain printer paper. I already had a magnet sheet in my stash of craft supplies (Score!). It was the kind with adhesive on one side, no glue necessary! I did put a coat of mod podge on the front though. Just to make it a little more water resistent. And ta-da!


What I need to do today...

there is a super long list of things I have to do today. The list should go something like this:
  • clean kitchen, bedroom, and living room
  • make menu and shopping list
  • work on studio project (ALOT)
  • write Art History paper and work on presentation
  • wash clothes...this should probably be closer to the top
What my day will realistically look like:
  • stalk friends on Facebook 
  • play with Amelia
  • make lunch
  • take nap with Amelia
  • play with Amelia
  • cook dinner
  • start making a list of foods I want to make next week off my Pinterest board
  • get distracted and waste HOURS pinning and re-pinning things...
Does this ever happen to anyone else? I have all this time now and I feel like the more time I have the less I get done. 
Of course when I get to spend the day with this kid, can you blame me? 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Great Cloth Diapering Adventure: Renewed Commitment

She likes pulling everything out of her diaper bag. Ugh!
Over the last few months we have gradually started using only disposable diapers. This has been very disappointing to me. I've found that ordering from Amazon makes it affordable but I've never given up on cloth. It's what I want to use. It's funny because after all the research I had done I still didn't know what to do with the diapers in the mean time. I'm talking about that in-between used and being cleaned time. I knew I needed a diaper pail but I didn't really know what that meant. This made it hard trying to explain to other people (i.e. my husband) what to do once he had changed a diaper.

Now, that I am going to be home full time I decided it was time to get serious about this. I spent about a hour researching other people's solution to the diaper pail issue on youtube. After several videos I decided that all I needed was a 13 gallon trash can and some good pail liners. Why had I never thought about this before? I have no idea. It was such an epiphany moment. I went right away to amazon and ordered two liners and a wet/dry bag. I am going to try the planet wise brand since several of the reviews on youtube suggested it. I will probably do a review after using the products for a few weeks.

I am excited to get back to basics though! I have been doing so much cleaning and organizing around the house since I stopped working. I feel like I might actually get things under control. Gasp! Can you believe it?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Amelia's First Halloween

What can I say? It rocked. She didn't just tolerate her duck costume she actually seemed to dig it. I don't usually get back from class until about 6pm on Mondays. This meant we would have to hustle if we were going to make it around town and to the in-laws (a forty-five minute drive one way.) So, we decided to have a Halloween weekend and trick or treat both Sunday and Monday night.

Our little technology fend!
I was so impressed that Amelia didn't complain once about her costume. We visited with Curtis' parents Sunday night and had an awesome steak dinner. On Monday I ended up home early from school. We ate dinner and relaxed a little before visiting our friends Rebekah and Edgar. Amelia crawled around the house and we chatted, while Rebekah handed out candy to other trick or treaters.

After about an hour we migrated over to Gigi's house. This is when the little duck decided she'd had enough. Our cranky duck finally gave up the fight with wakefulness and passed out on the ride home. I had originally planned to make Amelia's costume but around labor day Carter's had a 50% off sale and I couldn't resist that good of a deal. So, we will save the handmade costume for another year when she can remember (and pick out what she wants to be.)

Friday, October 7, 2011

The times, they are a changin'...


This past week I put in notice at my retail job. It's the scariest/most exciting thing I have done in many years. I've been debating about it for months.  I've been working since I was sixteen years old and I've been at this current job for 9 years. It was always supposed to be my "college" job but college has taken me a little longer than traditional students. I feel like I've kind of grown up with that place and the people I've worked with feel more like family than just co-workers. I never thought I had a hard time with change and liked to think that I am adventurous but this has been an incredibly hard decision.

I know I won't regret it though. I will get to be home more with Amelia. I will get the chance to watch her rapidly grow and develop from my tiny infant "blob" into a little girl with definite personality. That's the exciting part! Well, that and getting more time as a family. Juggling work, school, and a very active baby sometimes my hubby gets left out of the mix. I am hoping this extra time will allow me to make sure I get to take care of him a little too. 

Plus, maybe I'll get to blog more...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Whatcha gonna do?

With the semester starting in full force Monday I am not sure how often I am going to update on this blog. I doubt it will be as much as I want since I haven't been able to achieve that over the summer. I do plan to post pictures though. I've even considered only posting pictures here instead of on multiple networking sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.) I hope that will be enough for the time being. Of course if I can do more I will. I'm still trying figure it all out. Here are a couple of gems from our week.




Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back to School Blues

I am not ready for school to start yet. I know it will only be two days a week but it will add a lot to my work load. I've really enjoyed these lazy days of summer. We sleep in most mornings, laying in bed "talking" to each other and eventually head downstairs for breakfast. Once school starts our mornings will be much more rushed. I have definately enjoyed every minute and plan to keep doing so. We still have a whole week before the craziness starts.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Wish You Were Here

My sister Heather...what can I say? She is amazing and I admire her so much. She is compassionate, smart, beautiful and spiritual in that alluring rather than deterring way. She left for Haiti this morning to teach at an orphanage until December. I'm not sure why I feel more disoriented now than I did before. We haven't lived in the same house for years or even in the same town or state, but for some reason this time I feel a hole in my heart. I feel a little more alone in the world. I miss her. I know she will be safe. I feel confident she will do a lot of good. It's just hard sometimes to leave things to God and scary to trust what is not in our control to change. I think what makes the difference is the inaccessibility of her situation. I will not be able to pick up the phone and call if I want to hear her voice. I will have to wait until she has time to read and respond to my e-mail and Skype is just out of the question. I definitely take our technology for granted when it comes to communication.

Sorry, I am too upset to write about this now, more later. Plus, a Mad About Mia post tomorrow.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vloggity...

video
Amelia finally took a nap long enough to finish it! Sorry if it's lame...I may find my life more interesting than others, for obvious reasons. :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mad About Mia (Monday)

July is just flying by! Is it really possible that in a week it will be August? And school will start again a couple of weeks after that? Ugh, oh well. I am going to cherish all the time we have left. This week is going to be slow but this weekend we are going to a wedding! So, look forward to a fun Steppin' Out Saturday post (probably a few days late) and plenty of pictures of Miss Mia all dolled up. :)
This is what daily nap time looks like. That lip just kills me!


  
We got to see Auntie Hi for one day!
Sitting Supported at Nana's with our new Elmo toy.
Happens every time we are in the car...

Monday, July 11, 2011

I made Baby Food...

I have been planning to make our own baby food long before we had even talked about trying to have Amelia. We have very good friends who had their daughter a couple years ago and Jen made all her own baby food. I was very intrigued and asked a million questions. That was when I decided when and if we had a baby I wanted to make my own food. She made it sound easy and healthy, which it is. :)

The "recipe" I made I found on Simply Baby Food Recipes. It's summer time and peaches are in season. So, when I went the the grocery store Friday I grabbed a bunch on sale. I cut, peeled and pitted the peach, then simmered them for 10 minutes. I then used the food processor attachment that came with my blender to puree the peaches. I then loaded the mixture into ice cube trays and put it in the freezer.
Sunday morning I warmed 1 cube up in the microwave for 30 seconds. I then mixed it with a little rice cereal. Amelia was a little unsure about it but eat it all anyways. She also ate 2 cubes for Curtis later in the day, but this morning she wasn't as interested. I am wondering if she is like her mother and doesn't like to eat the same thing two times in a row...

I am going to try a veggie next. I was thinking about peas but maybe I will attempt butternut squash. I'll keep you updated and I'll share any recipes that we really like. 

Mad About Mia (Monday)

She is a little bit of a messy eater...
Hanging out with Daddy
Lovin' the Bumbo and her pretty dress...
Relaxing in the pool July 3rd
With Aunt Vicki and Uncle Nathan on 4th of July

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Happy Girl

I think Amelia is growing again, well she is always growing but maybe a growth spurt? She is sleeping so much and she has taken to solid food so well. She will practically attack the spoon even though she nursed just 20 minutes before. I know it sounds silly but I wish she wouldn't grow so fast. I know she has to grow up and I want her to. I just wish it would take a little longer, you know?

I have been wanting to get Amelia a bumbo seat since she was a couple of weeks old. She has never liked laying down. She has always wanted to be "up" looking around. So, I thought she would really like a chair that supports her while she sits straight up. I just didn't want to spend $35-45 on something she would probably out grow quickly. I was super excited to find a used on craigslist for $15. She loves it of course! I think I am going to invest in the little tray for it because she really likes to eat in it.

I am trying to get the house ready for a bridal shower I am hosting Friday. I am doing several diy type projects so I plan to post pictures eventually. I am also still working at my ultimate goal of getting the whole house clean and organized as well as keeping it up. I've found pinterest and I'm completely addicted. I've found so many great organizing solutions and print outs. It's great!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My New Dress

I have been itching to make something creative since the summer began. I just wanted to get the house in order first. I had planned June to be a month of cleaning followed by July as a month of creativity as a reward. The house isn't totally done, but I decided I still deserved a reward. So here it is! I made it more or less following this tutorial. It's a little sloppy but it's just my 1st attempt. I plan to make several more with pretty fabric and old tee shirts. I'm also thinking of changing the length on this one...but not sure yet. I used some 60" fabric I had laying around and didn't adjust it because I really like the flowers at the bottom of the print. Let me know what you think...should I make it shorter?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

I am so excited to share this holiday with Amelia. I hope she will one day realize how incredibly blessed she is to be an American. I am just sad that Texas has been too dry to lift it's burn ban. Hopefully next year we will be able to see the sky lit up with fireworks. Thank you to all our former and current service people.

Home of the Free because of the Brave. :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Another new frontier...

It's been a couple of days since we started this whole solid foods thing. I have learned several things:

1. Solid Food poo diapers are a whole new game.
2. Sweet does not equal good.
3. High chairs are overrated.

It's been almost a week since we got the green light from our pediatrician to try solids. I wasn't completely convinced she was ready so instead of investing in all the "equipment" to make my own baby food we had a go with organic store bought. The choices were green beans, butternut squash, apples and bananas. I thought that if she like bananas it would be the easiest to make myself so we started with it. I also grabbed some rice cereal for good measure.

The bananas went over lukewarm. She surprised me by going for the spoon, but once it was in her mouth she started making faces and pushing it out. I won't lie I laughed, it was pretty cute. I tried the bananas two different times within the 1st day. When she reacted the same way the second time I thought, maybe she isn't ready yet.

I gave it a couple days and decided to try again. Instead of dragging out the big ol' high chair I just put her in her bouncer. It worked out a lot better. She seemed more comfortable. It won't work forever but right now while she is small it is perfect. It's really making me want to get a bumbo seat...

Anyways, this time we mixed up some formula and rice cereal and this went down like budder... She liked it so much she kept trying to direct the spoon back into her mouth even when it was empty and then would cry because there was no more. It's been two days and she has not gotten tired of it. She eat twice as much tonight as she did the first two times. So, I think we will stick with cereal for another couple of days and then try mixing some bananas in with the cereal.

The diapers are bad though, like seriously.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What's up Doc?

Today, Amelia had her 4 month well visit. She is doing extremely well. She has pretty much doubled her birth weight at this point. She weighs 13lbs (No wonder my arms get tired after holding her now!). She is 24 inches long and in the top 40 percentile for both weight and height. I am so happy she is so healthy. We are truly blessed and I thank God everyday for this wonderful miracle he has given us.

She had to get another round of shots. Boo! But she took 'em like a champ. She cried for about a minute but was subdued by mommy hugs and has only been a little fussy the rest of the day. The big news is WE GET TO TRY SOLID FOODS! So, look for pictures of that to come in the next day or so (or maybe a week...) We have been super busy getting the house in order and it's coming together slowly. I hope to update more regularly someday in the future. Love to all who put up with me and my irregular posting.

Laters,
Nicki

p.s. what do y'all think about piercing ears as a baby? Hot or not?

p.p.s if you haven't already be sure to "like" our Facebook fan page, which you can find here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mad About Mia (Monday)

Trying to figure out how to call Nana or GiWi
With Apo at a family friend's wedding
Bath time!
She figured out that she can grasp things and hold on.
Here is a little round up of our week. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The important things in life...

Playing with Great Uncle James
I have been meaning to blog, no really it's true. But sometimes life just gets in the way, you know? My uncle and cousin who live in Kansas came into town last week so we spent all our free time with them. Family has always been really important to me. In fact I would say the biggest struggle in my life has always been spending time with people I love versus all my other responsibilities. I think this stems from experiencing death at a young age. I have always appreciated the fact that I have such a large, loving family. When my great-grandmother passed away when I was in high school the thing that upset me the most was that my two youngest cousins wouldn't even remember they had met her.  I just don't want to ever have the regret that I had the chance to spend time with someone I love, didn't and now it's too late.
I hope that I can teach this to Amelia. How important and special relationships are and how blessed we are to have so many wonderful people in our lives. This is why I want to make a commitment for her to see her grandparents at least once a week. I want to be more committed to using Skype to keep up with our international family. I've recently reconnected with my father's family and while I doubt I will ever be able to do the same with my father it is nice to have even more people to love.

Friday, June 3, 2011

30 day Project

Remember this? Yikes!
This month I am challenging myself to get our house clean and organized. We recently decided that even though we would like more space we couldn't afford to more just yet. Even though we aren't moving I decided we need a change. I've come up with ideas for rearranging the future, and I want to deep clean (as if we were moving out) the house so it feels new. After three years, I haven't done to much with the place and I want it to be more put together and feel more like home. I also get tired of running around crazy picking up when someone unexpected shows up or it taking a whole day of cleaning to get this place presentable to have friends over. So, my deadline is July 1. I want to have each room cleaned, organized and as decorated as our budget allows. I will be taking before and after pictures and updating through out the month. I found a website to help me along, it's called Organized Home. They even have a 2011 New Year's Cleaning Challenge outline here. I am adapting it since I have a much smaller space than it's designed for. Would anyone out there like to join me? I'd love to have the support but just knowing people are following along would be great. :)

First up: The Kitchen
I actually have this almost done so I will post pictures probably Monday with a summary of what all I did. :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Nighty Night

This is what the last two nights have looked like at our house. When we brought Amelia home from the hospital we didn't have a crib. So, we improvised and let her sleep with us. It's not that we are regretting it. The situation actually kinda works for us. When I was getting up every morning before 6am to go to school I just didn't have the energy to fight with her. It was also convenient for breast feeding. When she woke up to feed, she was right there and we both would go back to sleep easier because of not having to fully wake up.

I've been told we are going to regret it and that babies need routine/a schedule. Since summer time means waking whenever I choose, I have decided to work on this. We are not on a 7pm bed time. That just isn't our life style right now. We don't have a constant babysitter which makes it hard to create a routine that early. I have been getting her to bed by 10pm most nights. I thought starting a routine at that time would be a good start. We take a bath every other night, put on her pjs, then read a book and I sing to her while she nurses.

This worked the 1st night but last night not so much. I sang to her for over an hour, until I ran out of soft slow songs to sing. Finally about half an hour before midnight I laid her in the crib half asleep and let her "cry it out." HARDEST. THING. EVER. seriously. I was literally sitting on the couch willing myself to stay there while all I wanted to do was run up the stairs and comfort my little girl. She eventually cried herself to sleep. She slept a whole 3 hours before waking up to eat and we started all over, only this time I didn't make it. She ended up in our bed the rest of the night.

Tonight went better and I am going to be strong when she wakes up to eat this time. Curtis says the neighbors are gone for the summer (they're students) and so I don't have to worry that she is keeping anyone up. I'd like to say that this is making me get better sleep but it's not. I worry all night, imagining SIDS and other uncontrollable tragedy, but eventually I think I might. 

Summer Reading

My favorite part of summer, besides it being warm enough to swim, is that I have time to read.  It's not that I hate everything I have to read for school but it's mostly technical. I like fiction every once in a while, you know? So, I have already made my reading list for this summer. It's mostly books I've gotten as gifts during the school year and now I actually have time to enjoy them.

 First up is the Annotated Sense and Sensibility edited by David M. Shapard. I read his annotated version of Pride and Prejudice about a year ago and loved it. I've always had a great affection for Ms. Austen but Shapard's notes add a lot of deeper understanding to the circumstances of the plot and knowledge of the culture at that time. Shapard has annotated 3 of Austen's 6 books so far (my 3 favorites, P&P, S&S, and Persuasion.) I really hope he continues because there are parts in Mansfield Park that discuss theology and parts of the satire in Northanger Abbey I would really like explained in depth.

If you are a fan of Jane Austen I really encourage you to read one of David M. Shapard's annotated versions of her books. You will come away even more impressed with her.

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