Monday, December 30, 2013

A Merry and Bright Christmas

I can't believe Christmas came and went by so fast.

Our holidays kicked off with a bang! Lots of fun on Christmas eve with my dad's side of the family - food, games and movies. After our usual round of Christmas Vacation we decided to watch the movie Up after I found out my Dad, Aunt and Uncle hadn't seen it. ....bad decision. Everyone ended in tears.

My husband chided me "Why did you pick that?! Why do you like to make people cry?!"

"I thought it was a good and funny movie!"

"Yeah, one-third of it is funny, its two-thirds sad!"

I guess next year we'll stick with Team America World Police or Die Hard.

Gus relaxing before the Christmas eve chaos

Christmas morning we woke up bright and early courtesy of our little Banana Bean (hello 6:30 am).

She was excited to look in her stocking and see what Santa brought her. (A teddy bear and a little piano!)

We had so much fun watching her little face as we opened gifts. Sometimes she was more interested in the wrapping paper (like when she got clothes, ha ha), other times she was super excited for the gift (like the little push-n-ride car she got from Grandma that she is obsessed with now).

Christmas morning! A Teddy Bear in her stocking.
We had such a fun crazy day...but I was soooo bad about taking good photos. I was just too busy unwrapping and feeding people and nursing her and watching people unwrap gifts that getting any actual really nice posed photos fell by the wayside. (NEXT year I will make sure we get a yearly posed photo of her in front of the tree or something!) In some ways I guess its ok or a good thing....I'm trying to live more in the moment and not always be obsessed about capturing it via camera like I am usually so oh well.

What a great Christmas!

Her new favorite stuffie Dragon
More visit from friends and family over the days after, and then on Friday, we took her to the carousel at the mall in Redmond and she was beyond thrilled. Clapping and shrieking when she saw it and just so mesmerized when she was riding it. So much fun! And of course now, we'll have to make it a tradition. ("If I hear tradition one more time..." my hubby groans)

me and my teddy bear baby

So that was our busy week. I hope everyone out there had a wonderful and joyous holiday too!

Now its onwards to come up with goals and plans for a wonderful 2014!

But first, who wants to come over and help me take down my tree. UGH. (love putting them up, hate taking it down)


Monday, December 23, 2013

Twas the night before Christmas (Eve)....

And I have more done than I thought. Most the shopping is done, pantry is stocked, presents are wrapped, house is fairly tidy, I'm officially off work for the week now....I'm ready to let the Christmas festivities begin.

Recap of my list -
Our Christmas to do's so far: *Get pictures with Santa. (Will she cry or smile? I'm betting on cry). DONE. She didn't cry - she was pretty mesmerized by all the mall chaos that she was pretty distracted. She was so darned cute. I can't get over how much more fun Christmas is now with a little one to see it through.

First visit with Ol Saint Nick

mesmerized by the lights

Waiting in line for Santa.

 *Get pictures of her at home in front of the tree in all her Christmasy outfits
only one round of photos so far in one of her many Christmas pjs but got some pretty cute ones with a little cat photo bombing of course.

Playing with ornaments (don't you love shatterproof balls?!) and getting a kiss from Gus-Gus

*Get christmas cards ordered, picked up and sent out (Costco? Shutterfly?) errrr...missed the window for this one now. I think this will have to be the year of no Christmas cards. FAIL.
We had our first round of snow last weekend (and call me a typical Seattlite) but I don't like to drive in it so I stayed home from work and enjoyed having a fun day with my peanut

Our Gingerbread House (excuse the iphone pic)
. As a result not many errands or much done, except for some photo time of course :)
First snow

  *Take her to look at Christmas lights somewhere (maybe Leavenworth? maybe a local neighborhood? She LOVES Christmas lights) to do still
 *Decorate some cookies together. Right now she will have the most fun just shaking the sprinkles, but its a tradition for me anyways. she was a huge help ;) ha ha. But we had fun
*Make a reusable advent calendar for next year - in progress... will post pics if it gets done ever ;)
*Watch Christmas Vacation a few more dozen times ;) - me & hubby, not her done and done!
*Making some Christmas crafts and presents together like this (she's a little young for her to enjoy crafting, it will be more for me and for "memory makers" :)) not yet...maybe tonight or Christmas eve

So that's the rest of the "to-do's" - I'm taking vacation all week (and a blog break) and going to enjoy some time with extended family, friends and my husband and little girl.

Wishing you and your family a very wonderful, happy and safe holidays!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Decking the Halls: Giftbags to Wall Art

A fun busy weekend - lots of shopping, wrapping and some time for crafting! Yay!

Speaking of wrapping one of my dirty secrets...I get geeked out over really pretty wrapping paper and sometimes I buy pretty ones and want to save it all for ME. So bad...which is how I've had these two bags in my wrapping box since two Christmases ago.

The tree one looks almost like a pretty photo and its so glittery so of course I love it (its a Taylor Swift bag/design? Apparently that's a thing now?you get to design wrapping paper if you're a famous singer? I'm so out of the loop!). The Santa one is just so traditional and quaint - with its fair share of glitter for some eye candy, I just love it.  I intended to use them...but with each gift wrapping I kept NOT using the bags cause I wanted to save the for "something special".

While wrapping lots of gifts this weekend and seeing them laying there ("my precioussss"), I thought it was so stupid for me to be hoarding them instead of actually enjoying them.So I decided I'd try to use them as part of our Christmas decor! Part of the fun of the new house means we have a lot more walls and nooks to decorate so voila - more Christmasy stuff I can do!

I don't have many frames up yet, so I couldn't just swap existing pictures out. But lightbulb - I have lots of canvas, so hello! Decking the halls with my giftbags on canvas!

My mom came over and during one of Allies naps we got to crafting. We made a wreath first - she wanted something girly and unique so we got crazy with pink and purple. I loved it - what a fun wreath!

And then I got to working on the gift bags. They turned out to be pretty quick and easy! (Not to mention cheap! The giftbags were probably like $2 each, and I got the canvas on sale - around $5? I stock up on canvas frequently so I couldn't tell you the exact price *cough art supply hoarder cough*).
And now it makes me want to actually go shopping for giftbags to use specifically for this purpose for every holiday considering they're relatively cheap compared to buying art prints or even scrapbooking paper!  

Here's the details on how I made them if you're thinking of doing the same:
1. I lined up my canvas where I wanted the picture to be - being careful to avoid the holes in the bag from the handles - and then I traced it with a pencil. (Use the side of the bag that doesn't fold for the bottom. No creases that way) 
2. I used scissors to cut along the pencil lines and/or my little slide cutter (does this have an official name?). I had to trim it down a bit smaller than how I traced it so it laid more flush with the canvas edge.
3. I painted the entire canvas with modpodge.
4. I put the giftbag on slowly smoothed it out with my hand, then dabbed a little modpodge around any loose corners. Then laid it face down to apply more pressure. I let it sit for awhile with a heavy book on it so it would dry straight.
Ready to hang! I hung them up where I normally have the only two framed photos in our house (pics of Allie Banana of course).
I thought they turned out pretty cute!
Please excuse the crummy iphone photo of the "after". I'll try to get another in the daylight so you can see the finished edges.
I'm still mulling over some extra steps I might do:
1) Painting the actual picture with a glossy modpodge - this might give them more of a "finished" look and might protect them better over the years
2) Maybe put some text on each to add another layer.
3) Painting the edges of the canvas a color...or adding glitter?
So that's some of what I was up to this past weekend. Anybody else do any fun crafting? Or still decorating? (We laugh about how its the 12 Days of Decorating at our house)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Festivities and To Do's

Busy month so far with lots we've been doing (tree is up! house is decorated!) and lots of to-do's tickling around in my mind (Christmas cards asap)!

It's her first Christmas and we are soooo excited to start some new traditions and to capture all the joy and magic with her! I just love walking down the stairs with her every morning and hearing her little "oooooh" of excitement when she sees the tree. Every morning. :) Its so freaking cute.

Heading out to our first Christmas party. Aren't her boots just adorable?!
Our Christmas to do's so far:
*Get pictures with Santa. (Will she cry or smile? I'm betting on cry).
*Get pictures of her at home in front of the tree in all her Christmasy outfits
*Get christmas cards ordered, picked up and sent out (Costco? Shutterfly?)
*Take her to look at Christmas lights somewhere (maybe Leavenworth? maybe a local neighborhood? She LOVES Christmas lights)
*Decorate some cookies together. Right now she will have the most fun just shaking the sprinkles, but its a tradition for me anyways.
*Make a reusable advent calendar for next year
*Watch Christmas Vacation a few more dozen times ;) - me & hubby, not her
*Making some Christmas crafts and presents together like this (she's a little young for her to enjoy crafting, it will be more for me and for "memory makers" :))

I was able to knock out one round of homemade Christmas gifts so far: glittery hand-print ornaments!

 These would have been WAY easier to do when she was like 3 months old vs. 10 months old and all squiggly and grabby. Getting a non smeared, decent handprint was really hard. our table ended up looking like a murder scene with red handprints everywhere! ha ha. Next time maybe green handprints instead of red.

We finally got some good ones when we placed the ornament in her hand and let her hold it briefly with her hand facing her, instead of trying to press and place her hand on the ornament.

After the paint dried, I wrote her name, the year and age on it and then painted over the handprint with modpodge and filled out any gaps/made the handprint look more normal. Then I sprinkled red glitter over it.

After the red glitter dried I brushed gently with a dry paintbrush over it removing any loose glitter and then I sprayed it with a glossy sealant.

Then I sprayed the sealant inside the ball and poured white glitter inside it and shook it up. Finished up with a green wire bow, and voila! Cute little ornaments for the grandparents.

I'm finding lots of cute tradition ideas, like the ones this blog:

So fun! I really look forward to doing a lot of those when she's a little older, like Elf on the Shelf and wrapping up a different book for each night!

Speaking of books, I just have to say how much we love the "Bear Snores On" series and how awesome the Christmas book "Bear Stays Up for Christmas" is! One of our favorite series! Fun and lyrical to read, adorable illustrations and so sweet. We read this one every night so far as we don't have many Christmas books yet. You should check the whole series out!

So that's what we got go going so far this start of December!

What are some of your fun holiday traditions and "to do's" on your list?


PS - Other to do's tickling around in my mind - her first birthday party coming up (yay! eeeek,  tear, sniff) and creating a "routine" or schedule for her at home for Daddy and Grandma to follow on days they watch her. I hate tight schedules so it definitely won't be anything like that, but I know that young children thrive with I want to do some research and find some ideas for a good routine for us to aim for at home . She goes to daycare 1-3 days a week so having a routine that matches up with what they do at her daycare would be good. (Any good daily schedule/routines you've got to share? Would love to hear!)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I'm back after a bit of a blog break. I enjoyed a very wonderful 10 days of vacation during the Thanksgiving break - lots of family and fun, just a great time! (Hope everyone had a wonderful time)

I was especially excited to get to spend that much one-on-one time with my baby girl. Its the longest amount of time I've gotten to spend with her since I went back to work. (That's a pretty depressing thing to think about actually. But I'll focus on the positive - I got a whole 10 days with her!)

Allie Banana also turned 10 months old during the break. I can't believe how fast its gone by. She's a little wiggle worm of personality lately, its so incredible to watch her everyday discover something new!

Here's her "10 Month Photo", I've been doing these each month and its so fun to see how much she's changed.

We are working on getting our house all Christmasfied now - I absolutely love December and all the merriment and malarkey that goes on. Music and goodies and twinkly lights!! And now its even better watching my little one get SO excited to see all the decor.

So far we have the tree up but not to a slow start but so excited to celebrate this season with our new baby!
Everyone else off to a raring start? I got a Christmas card already from a friend and I cringed inside - because we haven't even gotten around to taking pics yet! ha ha. One more thing on the to do list.
Happy Happy Holiday!
~ K

Monday, November 18, 2013

How to Get Rid of Cradle Cap

Allie's had a little bit of cradle cap that's been lingering for awhile, even though she has a fair amount of hair. We haven't really done much to address it, because it's never been really bad. You can't really notice it unless you are running your fingers through her hair examining her scalp. And then it looks sort of dandruff-y and like little flakes clinging to her scalp.

(For some reason our cat likes to lick her head where the cradle cap is....and you thought dogs were gross ;) )

But on Sunday, I was kissing the top of her head, noticing how much more hair she's grown and the more I rubbed her head, the more flakes appeared. And then the more I tried to get them out of her hair, the more popped up, and the more I wanted to pick at them. After a few minutes of feeling like a mother gorilla, I decided I should probably just make an actual effort to get rid of it and stop annoying her. When we had asked our doctor, he recommended using an oil. So using the ol' pinterest-brainwashed noggin I thought I'd try coconut oil.

And my brilliant* efforts worked awesome! (*Probably not that brilliant, cause you see coconut oil all over pinterest for being a super product so its nothing new. But I was totally impressed with how well it worked)

The little patch of cradle cap is GONE! (I'm wishing I would have taken before and afters - its amazing)

So how I got rid of her cradle cap (aka one more freakin reason we all need to invest in coconut oil):

1) First, I used a stiff bristle brush and I lightly brushed her scalp. I didn't use much pressure. (Test on your own forehead to get an idea for the amount of pressure to use).  I just used circular little scrub motions to kinda bring a lot of the flakes up. (If you are the sort of weirdo who likes picking the dead skin from sunburns *cough me and my whole family* you would be in hog heaven at this point to pick her hair. I resisted)

2) Then, I used about a grape sized amount of coconut oil and slathered it all over her hair. The coconut oil we have is super hard, I had to dig a little chunk out and let it soften in my hand first. Then I just rubbed it into her scalp. She was a nice little greased up Dapper Dan at this point.

3)  Then I washed her hair with some soap and warm water, using the same stiff brush to massage her scalp gently. (For some reason its impossible for me to wash her hair without singing "Gonna Wash that Man right out of my Hair". Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals are stuck indelibly in my brain). I had to wash her hair twice to get all the oil out.

4) Hair dry to get that cute fuzzy duckling look and give kisses since by now she was very done with having her head messed with and wanted to get back to playing.

And Behold! It was gone! And it was gone today. Her scalp was all moisturized, her hair all soft and clean. I'm so impressed!

Guess I'm officially on the HAZZAH COCONUT OIL bandwagon now.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Happy Happy Joy Joy & Capturing It

I'm just loving November so far, even though the weather is getting pretty miserable. Its dark when I leave for work and dark when I come which is rough. But I'm finding lots to be thankful for every day - even silly things - and it seems to be lifting my spirits all the time and I'm shaking off the stress and frustrations that might tend to get me bogged down.

This week I've been very thankful for my family - my mom and stepdad have been over helping us on a few projects - mostly stuff related from the move, how did we get so much junk? And why does it take so long to go through everything? Ugh! But we finally got our garage organized, baby stuff packed up that Allie has outgrown that we're saving for the next (hopefully), and a garbage disposal installed in our kitchen sink! YAY!

I've also been thankful for candy crush saga (I play it like crazy while pumping at work), pinterest to brain storm ideas for Allie's first birthday (what did I ever do before pinterest?!) and that Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is back on. (I'm guilty of liking that crap, I admit it)

I'm thankful for our cozy fireplace and wonderful kitties who are so good with our baby.

And I'm especially thankful for my little sweetie pie. Every minute of every day I can't believe how lucky I am to be a momma and to experience such wonder and joy and see her grow up. She started clapping her hands yesterday, so cute, and oh my how I wanted to cry like a super sap. Its just surreal to think that she's going to be one soon. I'm freaking out inside!
My Allie Banana is almost 10 months old!
Speaking of which, I still haven't  made up a monthly recap photo from her 8 and 9 month old photos - time is freaking flying by!  

My little munchkin and her two teefers!
Its so hard to find the balance between enjoying the moments of life, capturing those moments and then going back to organize and preserve the memories. I don't know how so many awesome mom bloggers do it - do they just never sleep? (Probably)
 A whole month went by where I didn't use my good camera and its mostly iphone shots. (I could kick myself for all those times were I was too busy/too tired to break out my good camera.) 
On top of that I started working on a mega "Year One" photo book and started trying to go through all the 2,000+ plus photos I have already. (Yes, you heard me. I have over 2,000 photos and she's not even one. Ridic.)
It feels like a hot mess. It is a hot mess. My photos are not organized or categorized really. They are just dumped into folders with the date I downloaded them. I'm trying to go through and calculate how many weeks old she is at each date and organize them and its just so much. So many to go through and cull. And its like a snowball, I'm only taking more and adding more to the mess. Eeeek. Super overwhelming. I shoulda just done what my mother & grandma taught me: do it right the first time. sigh.
So learn from my mistake - if you plan on doing a photo book, or a weekly series of photos, or you just are another crazy phototaking mom and you know you are going to take a bazillion, I would highly recommend organizing your photos in some sort of system as you download them off your camera. (Don't do my mistake: "I'm in a hurry, baby's gonna wake up, gotta get the CF card empty to go take pics, I'll organize these later". LATER sucks.) Whether its into folders "4 weeks, 5 weeks, 6 weeks, etc" or "3 months, 4 months" etc. - do it as you go. That's my hindsight advice ;) more forthcoming I'm sure....I always learn things the hard way. ha ha
Man I'm thankful that its Friday!

Monday, November 4, 2013

A month of thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving! – I love the traditions (the family going around the table saying what we're each thankful for), the weather, the gorgeous spectacle of nature, the food..mmmmm, the big (sometimes dysfunctional) family get-to-gethers.

And now that we are a full family with a little one of our own, I’m so excited to start some traditions of our own. (Like this idea I saw on pinterest, what a fun idea!) 

Besides starting traditions for the Thanksgiving Day, I've decided that that I’m going to use the whole month of November to really want to celebrate all the many things and people that I'm thankful for! Why do it just one day? 

My plan:

1)     Being publicly thankful everyday! I’m doing this by posting on Facebook every day one thing I’m thankful for. I felt kind of cheesy and dorky doing this at first, feeling a little hesitant because of what people might think – but then I decided I don’t care if people think I’m being a dweeb or annoying or bragging. When I’m thankful – no matter how small or stupid the thing – it make me happy. And who can hate on happy?   

2)     Carve out some time to write some notes and cards to tell the people around me how much I’m thankful for them. Sounds bad to say “this is a big one for me” but I hate the time that goes into writing cards/buying stamps/addressing letters when emails are so much easier. But I think that a handwritten note carries so much more meaning and are appreciated more. There are some people in my life going through hard times especially now, so I’m gonna skip fun lunch outings with coworkers, and work on a note every day during lunch.

3)     Do some nice things for others I’m thankful for – make cookies, some crafts, send photos, fix things, etc. Its hard to find time - especially when my baby isn't sleeping through the night at all (I'm so tired I could cry).... BUT I’m thinking I can squeeze in an hour a week to do this. Brain storming some ideas!

4)     Blog about my gratitude and fixate on the good during a season that gets a little chaotic. I find it easy to get dragged down on the things that are wrong/bad/ugly/missing in life sometimes. To focus on the bad instead of the good. Sometimes I have trouble ignoring that little voice, that miserable little critic in my head. But I’ve found what works – being thankful and appreciative for the many blessings I do have, it buoys my spirits on those bad days.
So to start…I’m very thankful that we were able to buy that cute little gingerbread house that you see in the photo. That's our new house :) It was a six-month process (nothing short about a short sale!) and so many times we almost didn’t close on it. But we made it through and even though its a fixer-upper inside and I have a list 10 pages long of things that need to be done to fix it or a list of things I don't like about it that we are years away from changing....but I'm going to just ignore that list and say, I’m so thankful for it.

 I'm thankful my hubby worked so many overtime hours so we could afford it. I'm thankful it has a fireplace (YAY!) a master bedroom that can fit TWO night stands, a garage to hold lots of our crap. I'm thankful its surrounded by acreage and has a great little barn. I'm thankful its quiet and private, its peaceful and safe. I'm thankful for the potential it has down the road. I'm thankful to have a great home to raise my family in. I'm thankful its ours finally.

Let the thanksgivinglovefest begin!


Any great Thanksgiving traditions or ideas? Are you doing anything special in November to show thanks?

~ K.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

10 tools & tips to help your baby when they have a cold!

Allie just had a cold last week and is finally getting over it. It got me to remembering how I felt so helpless with the first one she had. She was almost 4 months old and it was right after her first week at daycare and I felt so stressed and panicked over it. Seeing my sweet baby feeling so cruddy, having a hard time nursing and sleeping cause she had so much mucus and was just a miserable time full of a lot of tears (for us both). I felt so worthless by not knowing what I could really do to ease her suffering besides Tylenol and lots of love.

She's gotten a few more colds since then (and thankfully got over her last one pretty quickly), and while its still miserable seeing her not feeling good, thanks to some advice from our doctor, other experienced mothers, family nurses and some discoveries of our own, we've finally got the comforting and healing routine down a little better!.

So in case you are faced with a baby with a cold - here are the tools and tips that we rely on when she's got a cold:

1) We use and love the Exergen’s Temporal Artery Thermometer (also called a forehead thermometer). Its quick, non-obtrusive when you have a sleeping baby in your arms you don't want to wake, and safer (than taking a rectal temp). Plus its accurate. If she has a slight fever, we use baby Tylenol per the recommended dosage. (We use the old pacifier bait-n-switch....put the pacifier close to her mouth, she'd open for it, we sneak in and squirt the meds, then put in the paci as a chaser. Less mess, no waste!) If she doesn't have a fever, I still check pretty frequently, cause I'm a worried mess ha ha. She's so cute now, she knows what I do with it so she leans her little forehead forward like, "ok time for mom to scan my head..again."

2) Saline Spray! Our doctor recommended this to us after the first cold and we have found it definitely helps her get over the cold faster and helps her breathe easier at the time. We warm it in the bottle warmer (its less shocking that way), or in a rush just use it at room temp. We give her a squirt in each nostril while she's laying on her back. It helps flush out the mucus and crud. We use this several times a day and it helps sooo much. (Now that she's older she knows it's coming so she gets a little squirmy, so we'll do it on ourselves first which she thinks is hysterical and then distract her with crazy noises or goofy songs )

3) The Nosefrida snot sucker. The grossest but most effective snot sucker ever. The first time I used it I almost gagged, but when I saw how much snot came out vs. using the bulb...and how my baby was instantly able to breathe better and nurse better, I declared it the best invention ever. (Somebody alert the media! Best. Baby. Invention. Ever.)

If you're not familiar with one - there's a tube you suck attached to a canister, so its your own suction power and duration getting the snot out. And no, you don't suck up boogers, there's a filter. :) So unlike the bulb thing they give you at the hospital, there's a stronger and longer suction so you actually get crud out and you don't hurt their little noses.

The Nosefrida is super gross at first (you get used to it....and then you get excited when you see how much you get out. Being a parent is gross. ha ha)....but its soo super helpful (and easy to clean). This should definitely be in your arsenal of baby gear! We don't use it all day long cause we don't want to aggravate her - especially if she has sinus pressure - mostly right before a feeding so she's able to nurse better or right after a particularly big sneeze.

*Tip: gently occlude (close) one nostril with your finger while you're sucking out the other nostril, it helps increase the power. (Much like when you blow your own nose) And remember to be gentle when you use it and don't go too long, you don't want to power vac their brains out/make it painful.

So yeah, the NoseFrida is awesome. It's on my top ten baby products I couldn't live without! :)

4) A warm bath with some lavender baby soap. Forget the "tepid baths" the ol' wives tell you (Who wants to take a cold bath when you're all achy and sick?) I run a nice warm/almost hot bath, some bubbles, and instantly my cranky, fussy baby is sooo happy. Most times I'll run the bath in our big tub, get in there with her and hold her on my lap or legs while she just stretches out like she's at a day-spa and kickles her little feet. It's a relaxing time for me (inevitably I've been up all night with her) and for her, warm, deep water, momma making all the toys fun and a nice break from all the snot and agony.

5) Baby Vapor Rub. We slather this all over her chest, back and feet after bathes, before bed, when she first is awake (being careful that she has a diaper on first, I imagine it would burn if it got in the nether regions!). It helps with her congestion and cough and the "baby" rub has milder and additional oils in it (like lavender and rosemary), so they just smell all wonderful and snuggly.

6) Humidifier in the room. We put some eucalyptus oil in the water and crank this sucker on high - helps them breathe if they're congested. By now the whole house smells of eucalyptus. No getting around it.

7) Put her to sleep at an incline - do whatever we can to help her sleep comfortably: we raise the mattress in her pack-n-play, put her to sleep in her swing, hold her while she sleeps in our arms, let her nap in a little elevated blanket nest (this is while she's supervised with me right next to her - so she doesn't roll/suffocate, obviously safety first. We wouldn't do this at night). The better sleep she gets, the faster she gets over the cold. We noticed a huge difference in how much she coughs and wakes up when she's lying flat versus when she's raised up a bit.

summer cold, napping on the couch in a little elevated blanket nest

8) Boogie wipes for the runny nose. These things are awesome! I love the grape scented ones - very mild but so yummy smelling. (Although if you hate grape, you probably won't like. I think the clean-scented ones smell like someone sprayed febreeze up my nose - instant head ache - so we stick with the grape). Or use aloe vera kleenex, or a soft burp cloth to dab runny noses. We try not to be at her nose all the time - that just makes her crankier and her nose raw - but when we use the boogie wipes she seems not to mind as much.

9) Vitamin C for me. I'm nursing, so when she's got a cold I try and double up on my vitamin C to make sure that my body has the optimal amount it needs, so that its not depleted from my breastmilk and so she gets the amount she needs. Plus it helps prevent me from getting her cold too (cause even when she's all snotty, I still find myself covering her with love and kisses and then think, "what am I doing?!" I can't help it!)

10) Lots of cuddling (and patience). True to cliche, when babies are sick they just want to be held. The moment we'd try to put her down in front of toys or a book, to try and do something productive she'd start crying. So now we don't worry about the house getting a little messy, the laundry piling up, we just try and weather the storm til she's better and take turns holding her. (Or if my husband is working/its just me - I'll wear her in the carrier to get the necessary things done). It gets frustrating at times for sure, but I just try and remember that "this too shall pass" and enjoy the moments of holding my little one in my arms, even if she's a fussy little one, because before I know it she'll be outta my arms.

Sleeping on my lap, who cares about the laundry. Look at my sweet angel.
If you have a baby who's sick, I know its rough and stressful, you are not alone in feeling helpless - anything you do to increase their comfort even marginally is doing a good job! Just keep doing the best you can and remember this too shall pass. And I hope some of these tips help.

If you have any fabulous tips that help your little ones when they are sick I'd love to hear!


*Disclaimer: please note I'm not a health professional, just a mom sharing her experiences. You should always consult your pediatrician or medical professional when your child is displaying symptoms of a cold and/or in pain and use your own judgement to do what's safest and best for your child. I'm also not paid to try any of these products, these are just my fav products that I'd recommend to any mom*

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chalkboard Dork (& Sign)

Went this weekend to look for a little fall decor for the front door. We are still unpacking/fixing/settling into the new house and unfortunately decorating is low on the list. Boo. But I insisted I needed a little something to celebrate the season. (I'm a sucker for holidays - they MUST BE CELEBRATED TO THE MAX.) I had a cute sign I got at the dollar store for summer, so thought I could find something similar for fall.

But everything at the craft store was like $20+ and as much as I wanted to spend a fortune on fake leaves, berries, and pumpkins bedazzling the shist outta my front door, I'm a cheapskate. Thus the aforementioned dollar store sign ;)

As I was meandering the aisles with Hubby & Allie Banana, I saw it.....they make things called CHALK PENS.

(Air-head confession time (I'm going to blame this on mommybrain/sleep deprivation):
So I kept seeing all these awesome pins on pinterest about chalkboards this and chalkpaint that and I kept thinking, " looks super cute BUT who the frick is going to want to deal with all that chalk dust everywhere in their house! Plus I hate the feeling of chalk on my fingers and the scritchy sound it makes when writing!" So yeah. DUH. What a dork! ha ha)

With a million chalkboard idea pins flashing through my head, I grabbed the pen and was scanning the aisles: WHAT CAN I WRITE ON?!

And I found a nice little chalkboard sign for $8. Score!

Not too crazy about the rope, but grabbed some ribbon and figured I'll replace it (going to do a sign each season! Or each special occasion in the month!).

Last night finally got Banana to sleep and I got to draw on my chalkboard. Of course I spent way too much time asking hubby what should I write (a halloween poem? something about fall? a pun?) before settling on......wait for.......Happy Halloween. ha ha.

The first attempt looked super messy and I wasn't happy with my writing, so I wiped it with a damp paper towel and tried again. (LOVE chalkpens!)

Not perfect (wouldn't it look cute with some more garnishes? better font?), but seeing as my mantra for the month is "life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful" I called it done and pretty cute. (And I got more ideas about what I could use chalk pens for, so of course every color they make is now on my Christmas wishlist!)

I can't wait for November.....oooh what to write!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Day My Whole World Changed

I think now I must have sounded really naive, or ignorant, or plain stupid before I had a baby.

I didn't think having a baby would change my world that much. (Parents out there, you laughing at me yet? You should be ) 

Besides the usual nesting nerves - as most of mine were related to the fact that we were in the process of buying a short-sale, I felt somewhat prepared. I'd read lots of books and blogs. And I was a teenager when my brother was born, so I had lots of diapering/bathing/swaddling/burping experience. I had a preconceived notion of what it would be like and said all the classic "I'll never do <blah blah> when I have kids..." sayings that probably made me totally obnoxious to my friends with kids. Sure, I wanted a baby, but I was not a "baby person" drooling and goo-ing over random babies in the grocery store. I was crazy passionate for my husband, my animals, my hobbies; I was sure I'd be just as passionate about my baby and we'd make it work balancing it all out. I was mostly nervous about breastfeeding and whether or not our pending house purchase would close - but having an actual baby in my life? Bring it on!

Man, did I have no idea. NO. IDEA. 

The moment I saw my little girl for the first time, and held her in my arms, my entire world freaking exploded and turned upside down and just continued to do so over the new few weeks.

You know the scene where the Grinch's heart grows 3 times bigger when he realized the meaning of Christmas? That was me and motherhood. Except my heart exploded out of my body and was now in my arms, a living breathing thing wrapped in a pink blanket.

I just had no idea what it would be like to feel so much love. So much love and wonder and excitement. And fear! And an overwhelming fear that you don't want to do a single thing wrong in caring for this precious person and you don't want to screw them up in any way possible. Every fiber in your being only cares about protecting and nurturing this little miracle and at the same time you're just mesmerized by the beauty and love. My husband and I just held her crying the first day just in disbelief that we could be so lucky.

Its just a giddy, crazy, joy that is insane and indescribable and makes me want to spew superlatives all over this blog.  I wasn't prepared for those feelings at all.

(And I've probably lost any readers who were like the me before "not into babies! gag!" but the main reason I wanted to blog is to share my unexpected joy of being a mom and all the conundrums that come with it.)

About a week of having her home, my hubby and I were still tearing up over how much we loved her, both of us kept saying, "we didn't know it would be like this!" And my mom said, "Well for heaven's sake. What did you think it would be like?" I said," I don't know, I knew I'd love her but I didn't think I'd be like a total baby-obsessed-mom-zombie. I said I wasn't going to turn into one, but I have! And you know, what I don't care. I love her so much!" She just laughed and said "I told you so!" (oh wise moms out there...trying to tell me what it'd be like.)

I can see now why people say its the best day of their lives. It is. I might have been somewhat prepared for the baby, but I was not prepared for what it feels like to be a mom. It is staggering and the true definition of awesome.

My litte slice of awesomeness was born January 24th. We named her Alora Danielle.

My little Allie-Banana

I'm so thankful and so excited to be on this journey of being a mom. So much that I wanted to write a blog and share my crazy enthusiasm about babies and motherhood (and my other interests as well), and hopefully find others who might be able to handle this much sappy mom-zombie-ness. ;)

(Still) tired and bleary but so happy ~

Friday, October 4, 2013

New Baby, New House, New Blog!

Hello New Blog!

I had a baby in January, we moved into our new house in February, and my life has exploded into this awesome, exciting, terrifyingly-sleep-deprived new world.

I've been dying for a creative outlet to share some of the crazy and cool things I've been encountering along my road lately, so I thought I'd get to bloggin' about it.

I've never felt more energized creatively (although lacking in time to do stuff!), more fulfilled  personally (I had no idea what being a mom would be like), more smitten with a house and DIY projects (so fun! so frustrating!).....and I've never been more exhausted. ha ha.

So brace come lots of posts about babies (& boobies), projects (& poop), artsy crafts (& crying. Crazy hormones still. There will be crying.)


~ K.