Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Random List

1.  I like sleep. Waking up before 6 is not ideal for me. Waking up at 5:15 (and now 5:45 thanks to no morning feeding for A) for over a year makes me feel like I'm constantly in a fuzzy sleepy daze. Especially in the mornings. When I go to sleep I am so asleep that I don't hear Adalyn on the monitor if she cries and I don't ever hear the alarm in the morning.  Good thing J is a light sleeper. He always has to wake me up.  Well, the nice long Thanksgiving weekend allowed us to all sleep in. Adalyn was so good and slept in until almost 8 each day. It felt glorious. (And this is where my 21 year old college self would disown me because 8am = crack of dawn. Sleeping in = 11am. Boy how our priorities change with age...) It made me wonder how late Adalyn would sleep in if I didn't have to wake her in the mornings to go to the sitter... Then she'd be able to stay awake past 7pm so that we'd be able to spend more time with her after work... Ahh. One could only wish.

It was quite a shock to my system on Monday morning when I woke up at 5:45. ::yawn:: Can I just sleep until I feel rested every day? That would be awesome. And maybe I won't be so tired at 9pm that I can't keep my eyes open. Or could I just have nap time during the day? Waking up early sucks.

I know. Riveting.

2.  I had an anonymous comment on Adalyn's party details post on how I made her high chair ribbon skirt. Since I didn't know who posted the question, I couldn't reply so I figured I'd just post it on here. Jenna's son had a birthday about 2 weeks after Adalyn and she made a boy one for him. She posted on her blog how she made hers. So you can click over and read her tutorial. I made mine a bit differently.  I found this cute ruffled ribbon-like material at the fabric store and wanted to use that around the top. Then I just cut a whole bunch of ribbons I had on hand. I didn't worry about making them the same length. And my mom hot glued the ribbons to the ruffle in no particular order of the wide/narrow and pink/green. I wasn't sure how to attach it to the high chair without it falling off (all those ribbons got a bit heavy) and I didn't want to use hot glue and melt the high chair tray. So I used clear packing tape and rolled it and it held the "skirt" up perfectly! And yes, I kept it for next year. My child might have pink and green birthday parties until she's old enough to ask for something different:) HA!

3.  Our dishwasher broke again. The last time this happened it was a blown electrical fuse. That was only a couple months ago. Because the fuse went out again so soon Jonathan says this means that there is more issues than a blown fuse. It broke the day we left for Toledo so we got back to town and had the wonderful realization that our dishwasher was broken again. BOO! Hand washing sippy cups and bottles is not cool. Not cool at all.  What is cool is that Jonathan has been awesome about  hand washing our dishes! Yay! We've actually needed a new dishwasher for sometime. Its a cheap one and never washes our dishes well enough. I hate getting crusty glasses out of the washer! Problem? One of the previous owners of our house put hardwood floors in and butted them up against the dishwasher. So in order to get the dishwasher out to replace or fix it, we either have to tear up our floors or tear up our counter tops (which I would jump for joy for if we had the money to replace them.) So we're kinda stuck right now. I'm hoping we can come up with a solution soon... Ideas??

4. I have our main Christmas tree finished, Jonathan arranged the nativity set, and I decorated the mantle and living room. I need to do some tweaking to the mantle, put the Christmas tree in our dining room together, finish decorating the dining room and entryway, and Jonathan needs to put lights outside. Somehow I feel behind even though 75% of our decorations were up before Thanksgiving. How did that happen??

5. I have yet to order Christmas cards. Let's back up a step. I may need to have Christmas pictures taken still. I'm not sure how the ones that Jes took turned out. Once I see those, I'll know if we need to have someone take a Christmas picture. It's not yet December, but people are doing this stuff so early this year that again, I feel behind that I haven't even gotten the picture let alone mailed out cards! It will all get done. I know. Breathe in breathe out.

6. I just want to slow down and enjoy this time of year and not worry about the house being perfect or our cards being mailed out by a certain date. I need to just sit back and watch my sweet girl discover the beauty that is the Christmas tree all lit up with white lights and decorations. To see life through a child's eyes...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

We travelled to Toledo for Thanksgiving this year. We spent the holiday with my family and I was so excited! Both of my brothers were also going to be home for the holiday and it had been many years since we had all been in the same place at the same time. We won't discuss the should-have-been-4.5-hour-drive-that-took-5.5-hours-with-a-screaming-baby-drive. The interstate was packed but we got to Toledo safely Wednesday night.

My brother, Aaron and I ran in a Thanksgiving morning 5k. We were supposed to run with my cousins, but there were over 1,200 people running and we couldn't ever find them until the race was over. Bummer! Here are some pics from the race.
My favorite cheerleader!
 Grandma keeping Adalyn warm. We had quite a loud cheering section. Leave it to my family...
 At the start of the race. Smiling and still running together. (Ignore all the Michigan colors. Gag! The Ohio State/Michigan game was that weekend and so everyone was dressed for their favorite teams. J told me I couldn't wear Ohio State colors - the team I grew up cheering for. So I was rocking my UK t-shirt. Hey UK actually won their game this weekend!)
 At the end of the race. Can almost see the finish line...
 My brother kicked my booty by a few minutes!
 We found my cousins after the race! We were glad we ran it = extra turkey! And we all four finished without walking at all! Yay!
 My first race to run with my brother. Maybe this will become a yearly tradition! I'll need to work on my pace time! :)
After running, we went back to the house and got showered and then went out and got some Starbucks. It was my reward for missing the Macy's Day parade!  My oldest brother and his family came in town in the afternoon and then we all had a big family dinner. Of course we didn't get any pictures with my camera from the dinner. After dinner we attempted a family picture, but none were Christmas Card worthy so I will post it on here.
Adalyn cuddling with Uncle Aaron after Thanksgiving dinner.
Papa giving a horse-y ride!
 On Saturday, Aaron was getting ready to catch his flight back to Florida and was playing some Christmas carols. Adalyn loved helping him out. So sweet.
Adalyn with my brother, Brian. This is the first time she's met him. (Other than briefly last Christmas for about 5 minutes.)
 Adalyn with Uncle Aaron
 I'm pretty sure the last picture like this from when we were all together was when I was in college. (I graduated almost 9 years ago...)
 Adalyn enjoyed my grandpa's toddler rocker. How sweet! She learned how to get off but then not back on so we'd have to help her.  She loved rocking.
 Dressed in matching clothes to Grandma!
I think Adalyn has been watching Mommy a little too much. She knows exactly what to do with that phone.
We didn't go crazy for Black Friday. We did go out in the afternoon to catch a couple store sales. On our way home, I spotted the best Black Friday deal ever. A FREE treadmill on the side of the road with a sign that said "It works". WHA?? I'd rather run outside, but with this time change I just don't have time to run in the daylight anymore, but buying a treadmill would never have been in the budget. It's not fancy at all, but it works, folks! It collapsed and fit in our car! I don't have any excuses now...

 Adalyn enjoyed the garden tub. Splash!!
 Three generations.
 Grandma and Papa. It's always so good to spend time with them!
We had a great long weekend although we are still recovering from it. Our drive home was much less traumatic. It may be in part to the car DVD player that Jonathan got at Target on Saturday for the Black Friday price. It pays to make the clerk check the overnight delivery for stock of items that show "in store" online.  Maybe by next weekend my house will be back to normal. I was going to take Monday off to get back to normal, but Billie decided to have her baby so I was at the hospital all day! It was a WAY better way to spend a vacation day than doing housework!! And sweet baby Emalyn was worth every moment!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Party Details

I want to take a moment to blog about all of the wonderful companies I worked with for Adalyn's party. And I wanted to post where I got different decorations. I got this idea from a blog about a year ago. She listed all of the websites she used to buy different party items and I actually used her recommendation list for one of the items I bought for Adalyn's party. I love using companies that have been recommended by someone else and are trusted companies/websites. And I love to promote local and small businesses!

Adalyn's Outfit...
  • Shirt was made by Allie's Appliques and Embroidery. A friend and old coworker, Allison was always posting cutie stuff she was making on her facebook page. So I asked her to make Adalyn's shirt (plus 3 others for baby gifts) and they all turned out so cute! She does a great job and uses quality shirts for her embroidery which is super important to me!
  • Skirt was Gymboree from a consignment sale for $8!! Whoo!
  • Baby Legs are generic ones from Hobby Lobby. Did you know they sell no named baby legs now?? Her headband and flower were also from Hobby Lobby.
  • Birthday Hat was Mud Pie from The Front Porch with a 20% off coupon.
  • Shoes were Mooshu Trainers that I got deeply discounted for $12 and free shipping on Totsy.

Invitations, Thank you cards, Food Tents and Treat Sign...

My friend and coworker Shannon is pretty much amazing. (She also did Adalyn's announcements last year.) I pretty much told Shannon that I was doing an un-themed party with just colors, gave her a picture of the banner I was going to use at the party and told her I was loving chevron patterns and she came up with these awesome invitations. Then I asked if she could make a few items for the party, ie. a treat sign and food tents. What she came up with was way beyond my expectations. Her creativity is beyond me and that is why she does what she does and I don't! :) After the party, I sent her a picture of Adalyn at the party and she made the cutest thank you cards. YOU ALL... Her prices are insanely good for this stuff. Let's just say that when I got the bill for all of the above, I about fell out of my chair because I could have easily spent the amount she charged me for ALL OF IT on just invitations elsewhere. (I'll stop yelling now. I just had to make sure you understood how amazing she is.) Also, she is taking orders for Christmas cards now and her etsy shop has fabric goods and wreaths too. Pretty much Shannon is Miss Crafty and you just gotta love her!

Cakes and Cookies...

I was super impressed both with the taste (our family is quite pickey when it comes to bakery cake) and decorations on Adalyns cakes and cookies. Katherine from the Yellow House Cakery has a licensed kitchen in her home and was sweet as can be! (Haha. Sweet. See how I did that?) I pretty much gave her zero instructions for decorating the cake. I told her the colors we were using and sent her the pdf of the invitation. I was seriously amazed by the work she did and how closely it matched the invitation! She even bagged the cookie favors. I will for sure use her in the future (her prices are great!) and I recommend anyone local to check her out!

Photo Books...

(That is my kindle in the middle so you can see the size of the books.)
I used Mixbook to make photo books of every photo shoot that Adalyn has had through the first year with Jes (including our maternity photos). I got the 14x11 books that are normally $50 for 20 pages. I found groupons for a $15 voucher for a $50 book and searched different cities to buy groupons to cover all of the different books! $15 is a steal for these books.  They are super easy to make. I'm not crafty and not a real scrapbooker at all. But these books I can do because I can crop the "stickers" perfectly and I can "cut" the pictures and undo if necessary. I can't help my OCD. There are so many options to customize these books. I'm hooked! I'll be making another book for her 12 month pictures that Jes just took. And I've decided to make a year book of snapshots too. I'm so pleased with the way they turned out and their turn around time!

Which also brings me to Adalyn's pictures. If you've been around this blog for 2 seconds you know my good friend Jes has taken all of Adalyn's formal pictures and I absolutely love her work.  She is so good with babies and takes amazing pictures! I can't wait to see what magic she works on Adalyn's 12 month pictures that she took on Saturday where Adalyn would not crack a smile!

Other extras...
  • I got the pink and white paper straws from The Sugar Diva. There were enough that I'll have them to use next year too!
  • Balloons and helium (with a 40% off coupon) were from Hobby Lobby
  • Ribbons were from Hobby Lobby 1/2 off or left over from my nursery projects from Hancock Fabrics.
  • Plates, polka dot napkins, plastic-ware, and ice cream bubbles were from Target.
  • Puffs were made by Billie with tissue paper and floral wire.
And that concludes all of the birthday posts. I think. I'm pretty sure:) Maybe I can get on to posting about something other than my child! :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Year of Growth Pictures

For the birthday party I wanted to display all of Adalyn's growth pictures, both her 16 weekly pictures and her monthly pictures. As I mentioned before, Lindsy was kind enough to make a sweet display with ribbons on the wall. While she was making that, Jonathan was being ultra stelthy. What I found out later was that he took all of the pictures that we were putting in the display and made them into a slideshow to play on the TV during the party. It's so sweet and I love that he took the time to do a project on his own for her party! I just had to share it. (When I see the first few pictures of her I may or may not tear up each time.) Enjoy!


12 Months!

Now that I've posted about Adalyn's birthday, I figure it's high time to post her 12 month pictures. This was the last monthly sticker in the pack. Jonathan jumped for joy since that means we don't have to take a set of pictures each month, but I may have shed a tear because my baby... Well, you know how I feel about that already.
 And just for fun, lets look at week 1 picture.

 Happy girl!

Adalyn turned 1 year old on November 9th. Jonathan and I took the day off work to spend a fun family day. We ended up running a bunch of errands, but it was nice to have a day in the middle of the week that we got to hang out just the three of us. We didn't want to be mean and make her have her shots on her birthday. Seriously. That would be mean. So we had her one year doctor's appointment and shots yesterday. She had to have a toe prick to check hemoglobin levels and 4 (!!) shots. Poor thing. But she was a good girl as usual. There were more tears shed this time, but I guess that's what comes with age since they know what's coming! 

Here are her stats. She's stayed in her same percentiles all year:
Height 29 3/4" 75%
Weight 19lbs 10oz 25%
Head 16.5" <5%

Adalyn is still wearing a few 6-12 month clothes but they are mostly too small so we have moved up to 12-18 month clothes. She is still wearing size 6 month onesies (those don't have to be long enough on her arms/legs which is how her clothes get too small). She wears size 3 shoes and size 3 diapers.

The doctor gave us the go ahead to start on whole milk - the checkbook will like that! We're going to finish out the formula we have and slowly transition over to organic whole milk. And we're going to cut some of her bottles out and start more solid foods. She tried cheese last night and loved it. She looked like a chipmunk because she kept putting the pieces into her mouth before swallowing what was already in there. Ha! She doesn't like to each much food with her fingers. I have learned that the same foods that she won't eat with her fingers, many she will eat if I spoon feed her. Not sure if she just doesn't like getting dirty or what. You give her a banana, puffs, cheerios, graham crackers and now cheese and she scarfs it down but nothing else. So weird. I'm hoping it's just a phase. If I put food on her tray she will actually put the food on the end of the spoon. HA! Is she already showing that she is prissy?

She is cruising around and into everything. She's a fast crawler. Still no unassisted steps but they can't be far away. If the laundry basket is on the floor, just hope that it hasn't already been folded because she will remove everything piece by piece! She loves to check out everything in the kitchen cupboards. If the pantry or fridge are open for 2 seconds she speed crawls over to them to stand up and check everything out. She has been riding her little scooter toy that she got from my parents for her birthday. She's super fast on it and I think she realizes that she can get to things on it that she can't when she's crawling. She asks daily for rides in her wagon that she got from Jonathan's mom for her birthday. We have no room in the garage for it right now so it's sitting in the kitchen and she crawls over to it and tries to get in. She LOVES to be wheeled back and forth around the house by daddy.

She talks up a storm! It's not just mama, dada, buba (we call Dakota buba sometimes and she has picked up on it), baba (bottle while she does the milk sign). She has full on conversations where she makes noises and syllables and raises and lowers her voices like she is in a serious conversation and she really thinks we understand. It's so cute. She loves to dance to any music and lately she's been "singing". She "talks" at the top of her lungs in the car when we're listening to Air1. Yesterday her daycare provider texted me and said that Adalyn was singing to the Christmas music she was playing and it was adorable.

I wish I could capture all of it on video. I'm constantly taking mental snapshots because I want to remember everything. Of course when I get my camera or phone out, she stops talking or doing whatever it was that I wanted to capture.

Adalyn is such an absolute joy. She has been the sweetest, laid back baby. We are so blessed to be her mommy and daddy. I can't believe this year was so fast and I'm sure I'll feel the same thing next year at this time, so I'm just going to savor every minute I have with her. Even if it means that some nights I snuggle her instead of putting her to be awake (gasp!). This holiday season is going to be so much fun with her. I'm so looking forward to Thanksgiving and being with my parents and brothers. Adalyn will meet her cousins too! And I just know Christmas is going to be fun with all the lights and festivities! I love being a mommy and I just love her so very much!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Adalyn's Birthday Party - Party Pics

Now that you've seen the decorations and food from the party it's time for some party pictures.  We had a family party plus 3 couples (and their kids) who are like family to us. There were 13 adults and 9 kids under 6 years old. I was sad that my family is so far away that neither of my brothers and their families were able to attend, but I'm thrilled that we will see them at Thanksgiving and Christmas! I'm happy that our parents, Jonathan sister and her two kids, aunt, cousin and her three kids were able to drive in from out of town! Unfortunately I didn't think about getting a picture of each of the guests with Adalyn (that will be top priority on all kids parties going forward!) and I forgot to get a picture of all of the kids! But we did get some candid shots. (Get ready for picture overload!)
With my baby girl...who is soon to be a toddler!
 Big girl standing on her own. No unassisted steps yet though!

 Jonathan and his sister and their kids.
 This was so cute! Jonathan was holding his nephew and Adalyn crawled over to check out what daddy was doing. She didn't seem too jealous so that's good:)
 Adalyn sharing with one of her twin cousins. Right after snapping this "sharing" picture she took the toy back. Ha! The kids played so well together.
Our sweet family. I love these two!
 Birthday girl on her throne waiting to eat cake.
After we sang Happy Birthday we gave her full reign to her smash cake. The first thing she did was pick the green polka dots off the icing and throw them over the side of the high chair. Um, is my child already OCD?
 She wouldn't even lick her fingers and she wouldn't touch the cake again, so I tried to give her a little lick but as you can see, she wasn't ok with that.
 So daddy got a spoon and gave her a bite and she liked it and sat with her little birdie mouth open waiting for more when all she had to do was dig into the cake in front of her. Guess she didn't want to get her hands dirty:)
 This was her first taste of sugar and this is all the damage she did. We were hoping for more of a show:)
 Adalyn was getting ready for nap time but she hung in there and opened every single present! For how much she wasn't into her cake, she made up for during present time.  Everyone was so generous with the presents. We got a nice assortment of precious clothes and perfect toys for her!
 My parents gave her a stuffed dog in her present. When she pulled it out of the bag, she immediately loved on it and kissed it. It was so very sweet. She just sat there swaying like this:
 After a bit of snuggle time, I decided she needed to move on to opening the rest of the presents. For any other presents I had taken from her to move on to the next, she was just fine. But when I took the dog from her this is what she did:
 So I gave it back to her:)
Awww. This dog has pretty much gone everywhere with her since then. It's so cute because she doesn't take a paci and never got attached to a lovie (small blankie) even though I tried, but now she seems quite attached to "pup". It's about the same size and color as Dakota so I think that's why she is extra fond of it:)
 After presents, the kids played so well together with the new toys. These four were all playing with the new doll house. So cute:)
One happy birthday girl! I just love this girl so much! (oh and hey, you can kind of see the streamers in the background that I thought I had missing getting a picture of in my previous post!)

We are so blessed with such a wonderful and supportive family and group of friends. We appreciate everyone who came to celebrate Adalyn's first year of life!