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.

Monday, September 3, 2012


I am going to ignore the fact that I haven't updated since May and distract you with an overload of pictures...

You may have noticed a little theme above. There are two things Amelia loves best: Babies and Outside. She is really enjoying the freedom of the house we are now living in, especially the backyard. I think we spend a least some part of everyday out there. I am not complaining! 

I have also started watching a 4 month old little girl. It has been an adjustment for everyone but for the better. Amelia is always super excited when H arrives each morning and sad when it's time for her to go home. Amelia has really taken to her babies now and mimics a lot of the things I do with H. Amelia will put here babies to bed, covering them with her favorite blanket. Today I unpacked some of Amelia's 4oz bottles and let her pretend to feed her baby. She was super excited but also kept trying to put it in H's mouth...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Off To See The World

I feel I need to explain that she isn't strapped in because we were parked at the time. 
My semester ended two weeks ago. As soon as I was done with my last final we headed off on a road trip! We've actually been on several road trips with Amelia, including going to Arkansas to see my youngest sister graduate when Amelia was just 3 months but this is the first trip we've taken since she has been mobile. Not only that but it was going to be at least one day of 9-10 hours either way. It turns out my child is a traveling champ! She didn't have any major meltdowns and slept most of the trip. When she wasn't sleeping she danced to the music on the radio, read books and "talked" with me. 

The reason we were taking this road trip was to spend time with my oldest friend, Laura, and her family. They have 3 kiddos, Dylan, Siena, and Thalia. It is quite the household. We are definitely not used to that much noise but it was a great time! We mostly just hung out at their house but did take a day trip to Estes Park. Amelia would have been happier if she could have walked around instead of riding in the stroller. Would I be a horrible mom if I got one of those backpack leashes? She just doesn't want to hold my hand and I am at a loss for a better way to keep a hold of her but let her have some independence. 

We were super sad to leave (I almost cried), but on the way home we had a bit of an adventure. We took our time and stopped at The Garden of the Gods. This detour was so worth it! The rock formations are beautiful. Amelia got to have a break from sitting in the car and best of all, it was free. We will definitely hit it up next time we go. I hope that we can make it an every other year or so trip because I miss the Hernandez family something fierce. 

Tomorrow I start my internship (I did find one!). I will be working at Holley's Window Fashions in College Station. I am really excited because I think I am really going to enjoy it. Well, actually I am determined to. Since I am not getting paid I am determined not to regret spending my time that way. I doubt it will be a problem. Mrs. Holley is a super nice lady that my grandmother actually used to work for a long time ago. Plus, I am excited to get a look at the business and manufacturing side of this industry. Wish me luck! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt

I have been really bad about blogging lately. It's just that we have so much going on and it won't be stopping until the fall (if even then!). I've missed it though and I really wanted to share Amelia's first Easter egg hunts. We celebrated Easter with my family Saturday. My mom made lunch with a little help from Amelia. My sister Vicki and my brother-in-law Nathan came to visit and after we were all fed, had a casual egg hunt. Then the next day we had Easter lunch with Curtis' family. We tried the egg hunt thing again and it went over about as well. She was a good sport about finding eggs but was content once she got two in her hands. It's nice to know she's not greedy. ;)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Am I really there?

It's almost summer! But it won't be summer like it was last year or well really any year ever before because I will be taking summer school and doing an internship (Lord willing, I have yet to find anyone who will let me work for them, did I mention for free?!?). I am already trying to saver ever minute I get to be home with Amelia but a couple of things have put things in perspective for me lately. One is the fact that the our life style will be changing a lot, very quickly. Once this semester ends I will no longer be a stay-at-home-mom, possibly ever again. I feel really blessed that we have been able to make this work while I have been in school but once I graduate I will be entering the work force. It makes me sad to think I will never have time like this with Amelia in the future but at the same time I really enjoy design and am excited for my future working experiences. I guess this is just all part of the modern mother's dilema. How to balance giving our child/ren everything and still finding a place for ourselves.

Anyways, this has made me reconsider how I spend my time with Amelia. It bothers me a little bit, how distracted we can be by our technology. I am not a technophobe, in fact I practically sleep with my smart phone but that is what I have been thinking about. Am I really there when I spend time with my daughter or am I on my laptop or cellphone? I have noticed that on the days that the computer stays off and the phone is charging upstairs Amelia and I get along better. She has less meltdowns and gets into less trouble, which makes me wonder if she isn't trying to get my attention on those other days. So, I want to make a resolution that when Amelia is awake that my laptop stays off and my phone is only to be answered if someone calls. No more distractions. I can never get this time back.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

DVF loves GapKids

Preview Here
Have you heard about this? Diane von Furstenberg has teamed up with Gap Kids to create a collections for girls. I am so excited! I will admit I hardly shop at Gap, unless it's at the Outlet and the item is on clearance. I just don't have the budget for that right now, but I am seriously considering splurging on one of these dresses. I love the patterns and bright colors. What do you think? Are loving the collection too?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My 20 Rules For Raising a Daughter

I got the idea for this post from Pinterest. I have seen several different lists floating around and I thought it  important to make my own. I'm calling it a list of rules but really it's my goals for what I want to teach Amelia. It felt good to sit down and really think about the things I want to teach her. As a parent it can be easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget about the big picture. I hope to come back to this list often to get a little perspective.

1. Teach her to care for her appearance but remind her living and having fun are more important.

2. Let her dress herself, even if she wants to mix stripes with a floral print. Let her experiment with her self expression.

3. Let her make mistakes. It’s tempting to try to protect her from pain and disappointment but it is what we learn from the mistakes we make that make us who we are.

4. Be present. Don’t call watching TV together “family time.” Get down on her level and play. This teaches her she is valuable.

5. Teach her to be independent. Follow your dreams and passions. Let yourself be defined by more than just what others expect of you, but by your attributes. Lead by example.

6. Let her get messy. Splash in puddles, dance in the rain, make mud pies. The best memories are often the messiest.

7. Believe in her. It is in those moments of self doubt that she will need you to believe enough in her for the both of you.

8. Encourage her father to spend time with her, just the two of them. She needs that relationship to learn how to accept/expect love and respect from men.

9. Compliment her often. She needs those reassurances and she needs to know of your pride in her.

10. Let her pretend. Let her believe in fairy tales. She will have her whole life to live in reality. Let her find magic in the ordinary.

11. Read to her. Just like pretending, reading will open new worlds to her. Help her discover the wonder of words on a page coming to life. It’s a joy that will be with her for life, but starts with you.

12. Sing and Dance. Do it often. Show her the simple joy of jammin’ to your favorite song with the windows down and the wind in your hair. Help her compose the soundtrack of her life.

13. Teach her to love by loving her and passionately expressing it. Love her father, teach her to love a man like him, someone who lets her be herself and loves her for it.

14.Listen. Communicate. Talk, share secrets and dreams. Teach her that her point of view and opinion matter.

15. Be there to comfort her, whether she is sick or broken hearted. Let her lean on you. There is nothing like a mother’s care to make everything alright again.

16. Pray with her daily. Teach her how to talk with God. Show her how to have a relationship with Him by sharing yours.

17. Take time to enjoy the simple things. Every so often spend a day just enjoying time together. Bring her into bed with you one morning and lounge around until noon, cook together, laugh together, be silly. These are the moments she will hold onto and try to replicate with her children someday.

18. Teach her to try new things. Be there to catch her when she falls and help her back up while encouraging her to try again. Have adventures together!

19. Show her how to laugh at herself. Having a sense of humor can help make even the stickiest situations better.

20. Be her friend. This will teach her how to be a friend. Teach her how to recognize and hold onto a good friend and how to let the others go.

I am curious, what are your rules for raising daughters? Or sons?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cheap Entertainment

Amelia's Nana is a teacher (previously pre-k.) So, she sees the learning/play potential in the most unlikely of items. I have been giving Amelia fruit/veggie pouches for months. Sometime after I start Nana suggested I hold onto the brightly color lids for future sorting items. This is in fact a brilliant idea! Amelia loves playing with them and they are big enough she can't swallow them. Plus when she gets a little older we can use it for color and numbers. Can you find all the red caps? How many blue caps do you have? etc... It's just too bad for me that she likes to throw them everywhere.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Ties That Bind

My cousin Rachel and her family live in The Philippines as missionaries. My Aunt and Uncle have lived their my whole life and I remember with fondness their trips to the states during my childhood. When I was little I took things like my large close family for granted. I don't anymore. I treasure the chances I get to spend with my cousins and their children and I can't wait for Amelia to experience what it is to have a  numerous and loving extended family.

Yesterday Amelia and I went to the park with Rachel, her husband Clint and their two children Andrew (3yrs) and Lily (5 mouths).  I think Amelia had a lot of fun! Afterwards we hit up Half-Price Books and spent a little early birthday money.  We also spent the evening at my grandmothers and didn't make it home until midnight. Needless to say, we slept in this morning.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Great Cloth Diapering Adventure: Smartipants Cloth Diaper Review

 Smartipants rock! That is the simplest way to put it. I came across the brand in an ad on Facebook (social networking ads really work...). I was intrigue since I was in need of replacing several diapers that had been loaned to me. I read the statement by the designer Jessica and read about all the features, then I looked at the price. Are you kidding me? They are incredibly affordable. I thought, what the heck? I'll give'em a try.
    Once they arrived I did a little inspecting before washing. The outside design is similar to the Fuzzi Bunz and Charlie Banana that I own. I like that it has the overlapping snap tabs. It's great for getting a slim fit which is crucial for Amelia. The Smart Sleeve (the pocket is open at both ends) makes it so that you don't have to pull the insert out of a soiled diaper. It comes out in the wash. Too good too be true? Nope. It really works that way. I've been using these for over a month now. They have become my favorite diapers. I love the bright colors. The only thing that would make me like 'em more is if they were available in cute patterned fabrics.
I have been in no way compensated by Smartipants. I just really like this product!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Last Saturday

This weekend we went to the book store and had way too much fun. Before Amelia, my friend Rachel and I would meet for coffee about once a week at the local Hastings. Since Amelia arrived we haven't got to do that, but this past Saturday we did! I brought Amelia along and we had a great time watching her wondering down the ailes, pulling books from the shelf and finally discovering the train track and trains. She cracked us up fugitively running off with the trains and making us chase her. She has become really obsessed with playing chase, or well tempting others into chasing her...I guess she gets it from playing with the dogs, since they follow her everywhere. After about an hour Amelia conked out and we got to enjoy some grown up conversation with a little coffee on the side. We had such a fun time I can't wait to do it again!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's raining, it's pouring...

I don't know about y'all but when the rain starts my productivity stops. On a rainy day like this all I want to do is curl up on the couch with my little girl and watch Tangled. What about you? What's your favorite way to spend a rainy day?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Amelia's Room

A few weeks ago I borrowed my mother-in-laws DSLR. I've been playing with it and getting to know the manual modes as well as the auto features. I finally took pictures of Amelia's room today. It's as finished as it's going to get in this house and I like how it's turned out for the most part. Let me know what you think.


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