February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Chocolate Ice Cream!!!

Chris had oral surgery this past weekend and so we were kind of all stuck on a soft foods diet! Saturday we decided to take Evie for her first visit to Baskin Robbins for her first taste of chocolate icecream! She didn't LOVE it. I don't think she liked the cold becasue she wasn't thrilled by my ice cream or Chris' either. However, she had a good time making a huge mess!

February 28, 2012

Playroom Inspiration

Our house is pretty small. It's about 1700 squarefeet. 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms with a kitchen, den and "dining room". Before Evie arrived I was adament that we would just have to do without a play room until we moved into a bigger house where we could dedicate a whole room to toys and what not.

This was clearly before I realized the amount of crap one child absolutely NEEDS!

So Chris and I have decided to turn our "formal dining room" into a playroom for Evie's first birthday present!!! I have of course been playing around on Pinterest to come up with ideas!

Here is what I know so far:

Gray walls with primary color accents. I'm going to paint some big letters to hang.

We have as set of shelves that Evie got as a Christmas present that will fit perfectly with that theme. These are essential because Evie got so much gifts at Christmas she hasn't even played with so we need ORGANIZATION!

I am also going to be using the oil drip pan attached to the wall for a magnet board. I want to get some letter magnets and the First Words magnetic poetry kit.

She has a ton of Melissa and Doug toys and her B. Toys Zany Zoo.

I was also thinking of trying to find an old wagon to put her books in? If not I think we will build some shelves for those. She has tons and tons of books so we won't have room in our little organizer shelf.

Of course a bona fide baby jail is also in order, but we might just do baby gates across the two openings.

Lastly, I am thinking of a pretty pink arm chair for her to curl up in!

What do you think? Any thoughts or suggestions on must have items? We want this to be a safe space she can explore and learn in!


February 27, 2012

11 Months Old: A Letter to My Stinker Winker

Dearest Darlingest Monkey Bug,

Wow baby cakes. Wow. Eleven months. How the heck did that happen? It is unbelievable. You are blowing our minds with all the new things that you have learned.

You talk now. You only really make one associative word and that is "Dada" and that is only sometimes. Your babble has taken on a really conversational cadence. You are trying to communicate and you understand the concept of a conversation. Sometimes a long string of babble will burst out of your mouth and you will look at me and wait for me to respond to you, then you will do it again. Othertimes you just prefer to blow raspberries at me or make single syllable sounds and wait for me to repeat them.

You continue to get into everything. You love the cats and dogs. It's a good thing they are all really patient because we are still working on how to pet them gently. Bathtime has now become splash time. Letting you loose amidst the water and bubbles is pretty much a promise that Mommy, Daddy and the bathroom will become soaked too, but it's so much fun.

Your personality is beginning to show more and more. You are a puzzle to me. You can be fiercely independent (Mom. Put me down right this second I want to crawl all around!) yet still very clingy (Mom! Pick me up and snuggle me right now! That dog looked at me funny!). You are, of course, beginning to show your stubborn streak but so far you are very good with listening to your daddy and me when we tell you no. Most of the time you will retract your hand from whatever it was that you were reaching for (a cord or electronic most likely) and crawl away to find something you are allowed to play with. You still don't understand that you are not allowed to touch our iPhones, but I am sure you will learn.

You found the first food that dislike. Mango. You make the most disgusted face every when you taste it. It is so good for you though so I smuggle it into your berry mixture. You continue to love green vegetables; and prefer an avocado to just about anything. I am so hoping that these healthy eating habits, that your father and I have worked so hard to establish, stick around through your toddler phase.

You have learned "bye-bye" and "uh-oh". You only say the "uh" part of uh-oh though and it is the cutest thing in the whole world! When you wave bye-bye you do it backwards which is hilarious. You've also started waving to strangers when they wave at you. However, you have a healthy dose of trepidation when it comes to people you've never met -- you are ok as long as your parents or grandparents are holding you. If a stranger tries to pick you up -- it's on like Donkey Kong.

You've also begun to get a little jealous! A few weekends ago Daddy was holding (your future husband) Leo, and Auntie Libba was holding you. When you started crying Auntie Libba thought you wanted momma but you only had eyes for your Daddy who was holding. that. other. baby!!! It was so sad and pitiful! Speaking of Leo, it is so fun to watch the two of you interact. Other than rolling around on the floor the two of y'all hadn't really interacted until we had dinner that night. As soon as Leo was put in the chair next to you, you were mesmerized. You grabbed his shirt and stared at him for the longest time. Then you two got down to business sharing your pasta and puffs and meatballs. You stole his sippy cup once, but it's ok he stole your paci. You two had such a fun night, and I cannot wait to watch you grow up together!

{At Eleven Months You...}

{like to read *and* eat your books!}

{like it when Momma tickles your belly and squeal with laughter!}

{love. love. love. to eat your berries!}

{continue to adore your bath!}

{have learned how to give me the "oh heck no Momma!" face.}

Prepare for Mommy to be a little nuts this month as we get ready for your very first birthday party!!!

These past 11 months have been magical punkin butt! I love you to the moon and back!



February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Our Second Home

We've spent a lot of time at the pediatrician's office lately. So much so that Evie's doc, Dr. Fesmire, just gave us yesterday's visit free. He said we were redeeming our frequent flier points.

{Here we are waiting for the doctor!}

Do you see how happy she is? It's crazy that she doesn't really even act like she's hurting. She's a champ. The verdict? She still has two infected ears. She's been on antibiotics for a week now too. So he switched her to a stronger antibiotic. Pray this works becuase the next step is tubes. 

February 21, 2012

Magical Motherhood

Evie's been pretty sick as of late. It started off as a nasty cold, then double ear infection and now she has a terrible cough. Poor thing.

The past few nights she has been waking up 2-3 times coughing and having trouble breathing. She gets really upset and starts crying her great big crocodile tears. Poor babe. As soon as I pick her up she wraps her arms around my neck lays her cheek on my chest and goes straight back to sleep. I think being upright helps with the coughing.

Call me crazy but as tired as I am, I am loving all of the extra baby snuggles. There is something really special about rocking your baby in the middle of the night. I love to look down and see a bunch in my shirt where the fabric is fisted in Evie's hands. She's holding tight to me, in her way saying, "I need my momma right now. Only momma will do." Being needed like that, although yes, exhausting, is amazing.

With all of its draining demands, motherhood is magical.

And now since you stuck with me through this rambly exhausted-but-amped-up-on-caffiene post, I reward you with an adorable picture. Really, is there anything cuter than a sleeping baby with her butt stuck up in the air? I think not.

February 16, 2012

Working Mom MYTHBusting

I recently read a blog post on "Things Not to Say to SAHMs" or something along those lines. To be honest it irritated me, because it wasn't so much about things not to say as it was a thinly veiled diatribe on how much "easier" working moms have it. So, after thinking long and hard I've decided to go ahead do my own post on Things Not to Say to Working Mothers.

1) It must be so nice to sit and relax and have a cup of coffee in the peace and quiet of your office.
SNORT. The only time I have a cup of coffee in peace and quiet is if I set my alarm early on a weekend and get up before the rest of the house. Coffee in the office is not in peace and quiet, it is full of ringing phones, coworkers talking and desperately trying to catch up on work from yesterday that you had to abandon to go
pick your kid up from daycare.

2) It must be so nice to be able to enjoy your lunch in peace and quiet.
AGAIN, SNORT. I spend my lunch break running around doing errands so that I can spend time with my kid after work. Mostly, I am lucky if I get to shove something down my throat around lunch time. The other option is that I spend my lunch working.

3) It must be so nice to be able to take a sick day from your job; I don't get sick days.
Wise up. Neither do I. Any time I do have off I have to save for taking care of Evie when she's sick. That's the dumbest thing I have ever heard, no mother EVER gets sick days, no matter if she works outside of the home or not.

4) I don't know how you do it; I could never let someone else raise my child.
This might have some merit if I picked my daughter up from daycare and then just put her in her crib and walked away. Oh, and just left her there on the weekends too. Outside of that, this comment is rude, hurtful and holds no water at all. Just don't say it.

5) I have the best job in the world! I get paid in hugs -n- kisses!
Ummm, yeah I know, same job I have. Just because I have another job doesn't mean motherhood isn't the most important and rewarding job I do on a daily basis.

I could go on and on, but these are the ones I find most hurtful and outlandish.

Just for the record I am not saying either camp has the harder job; I think being a mother is hard work no matter how you slice it, this is just a list of things you might not want to say to a working momma unless you want to be either clawed to death or used as a tissue during an ugly cry. If you agree not to say the above to me, I'll agree not to ask all the SAHMs out there what they do with all.that.extra.time!*

{Working mom, SAHM, WAHM, what are some of the ridiculous things people have said to you or asked you?}

*Of course I am being sarcastic!

February 15, 2012

Brighter Than the Sun

This was supposed to go up yesterday but since I am sick and Evie has a double ear infection, it didn't make it.

Oh, this is how it starts, lightning strikes the heart.
It goes off like a gun, brighter than the sun.

Oh, it could be the stars, falling from the sky.
Shining how we want, brighter than the sun.

We had a really nice Valentine's day! Chris bought me a beautiful potted orchid, a copy of Lady and the Tramp and then he went got Mexican food for dinner because I was super sick and feeling crummy! It was nothing fancy but it was a nice night and I can't wait to watch Lady and the Tramp; it was one of my childhood favorites!!!

**Lyrics courtesy of Colbie Caillat**

February 10, 2012

Y3W: Sit, Ubu! Sit!

So Evie's new trick is tossing cheerios off her highchair to the dogs. She waits until one of them is under the chair (usually Peyton), select the perfect cheerio, peer over the edge and then sort of casually drop it down to the dog like it's no biggie. Then they all come running in and start liking her feet and she laughs like crazy. Maybe she just wants them to lick her toes?

{Yuck. I am going to pretend like I hate these things to distract mom!}

{I think Peyton would like this one riiiiiight here!}

{What? I didn't just feed anything to the dogs!}

Come link up with Jenni and share Your Three Words!

February 9, 2012

My Current Obsessions

I have found myself in the grips of a few new obsessions lately! One of them is a main reason you've been hearing less from me! These are all mommy related instead of baby related!

1) The Hunger Games Trilogy. OMG lets just say this is literary crack to me. Can't. Stop. Reading. I am reading Catching Fire for the third time right now. I have an issue; someone take them away.

2) Sugar Lip Treatment, in therapy and rose. I love the way these feel and I am constantly applying them!

 3) Harry Potter on BluRay. I got the complete series for my birthday. I will never never never outgrow Harry Potter!

4) The Southbeach Diet, or really low carbs. Chris doctor put him on a very low carb diet very abruptly so I have been scrambling for low carb recipes that are also WW friendly. It's a challenge. But I've found a lot in my searches.

5) Celestial Seasoning's Sleepy Time Tea K cups! Nothing makes me sleepy like hot tea with milk and honey! I love that  they make a K cup for this!

{What are you loving right now?}

February 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Paci Love

What you can't see is that her fists are stuffed with pacis too.
I'm going to regret this one day aren't I?

February 7, 2012

A Little Girl

Saturday night at Red Robin while I was stealing bites of Evie's Mac-n-cheese, it slipped out of my mouth. "Oh. My. Goodness. Toddler food is so much better than grown up food." I'm sorry, what? What did I just say? I don't have a toddler. I really really don't. Sure, she's a long way from my tiny little newborn babe, but she's a long way from toddlerhood still. She's still an infant and needs me. Still a baby. She hasn't taken those precarious first steps into toddler hood yet. She's still a baby.

Then the lady behind me was nursing this teeny tiny squishy little, like, two week old baby. And there it was: the truth. The fact that I feel like we are so close to Evie walking, to morphing from a baby into a little girl. She's already so strong and independent I know when she takes those first steps into toddlerhood they will also be steps she takes away from me. She is losing some of her baby chunk. Her rolls are beginning to fade and her limbs are beginning to take on the appearance of a child. She is infinitely closer to toddlerhood than baby hood.

I often pray for help with slowing down to see and appreciate my world. I spend so much of my time in a state of anxiety, rushing from place to place, accomplishing one task so that I can get on to the next. The challenge of being a mother is that the tasks are inummerable, yet putting them off to enjoy our children is essential. So I pray to God to go slow, to help me savor each moment as much as I can.

Still, as much as I try and try to slow down, I feel time is rushing by me whistling in my ears like the wind. I cannot grasp it and like all mothers I lament how quickly it passes as my baby grows and grows into toddler hood, childhood and (God help me) a teenager. It is the mark of motherhood, this type of joyful grief.

Then Sunday I saw a small post on Facebook from a distant aquaintance asking for prayers for a friend whose three year old daughter died at St. Jude. Aside from being very saddened all I could think was three years with your child is far, far too little, and in my head I mourned for her all the tiny moments I anticipate with Evie; the same tiny moments that this woman will have to spend a liftime ticking off as "would have beens". I thought hard about the fact that this woman would love to be in position marveling over the quick passage of time. There is no tearful joy as her baby reaches the next milestone; instead I am sure, time has ceased.

I cannot say that it will always be so, but that night I prayed a different prayer. I prayed that I would get to be a mother to my dazzling baby girl for fifty years, and at least fifty more after that. I prayed for little hands, sticky with petit four icing at a two year old's tea party, for her first day of Kindergarten clinging to her Daddy's leg, for reassuring words whispered in her ear as I leave her at her first slumber party, for a dozen bubblegum pink roses after her first school play, for inexpertly applied blue-green eyeliner at fourteen, for mopped up tears when her heart is broken by her first love, for a single long stemmed red rose at her highschool graduation, for sorority rush, for a princess in her perfect wedding dress, for tears wept while her Daddy walks her down the aisle, for two pink lines, for watching my new born grandbaby so she can get some sleep, for all of it.

If I have one last prayer to pray as I rush headlong into the territory of being a toddler momma it would be simply for the gift of time, slow or fast, time to spend being a mother to my girl for the rest of my life. Time may move too fast, but there it is anyway, begging us to enjoy the moments as they pass. 

February 3, 2012

February Sponsor Love

It's a Vol has some fantastic sponsors for Februray! I couldn't be happier to be working with this group of women! Stop on by and say hi!

{The Chrancy Family}

I am a SAHM to my 1 year old daughter, Arianna. I love to cook, wishing I could be crafty on the things I can find on Pinterest, saving money and while balancing motherhood and college at the same time. I try to be a supermom while still trying to find the time to sleep but honestly, I am just getting through the day one step at a time.

{Tales of Two Girls}

Tales Of Two Girls

Hi, I'm Tessa from Tales of Two Girls. I married my high school sweetheart {insert awwww here} and am the momma to 2 adorable little girls. In my infinite knowledge of motherhood that I've accumulated in the last three years, I've learned that it's a toddler's world, and we're just living in it.

Her world. My blog. Our life.

Although it may be Leilaland, I am not just along for the ride.  Join me as I conquer my role as stay-at-home Momma.  I’m learning to live in the moment, appreciate the small things, and laugh at myself along the way. 



February 1, 2012

Invitation Etiquette

So as we approach the time to really get down to planning Evie's birthday party I am faced with the "gift" versus "no gift" party thing.

Before I was a mom I couldn't understand why on earth parents would have "no gift" parties for their kids! Generally, I ignored the rule and brought a present.

Now, I get it. Watching Evie try and maintain her composure at Christmas with all the crazy bows, wrapping paper and tissue was almost comical. I mean she would get ahold of something and pitch a fit when you took her best scrap of tissue paper EVER away from her. Then she would begin meltdown after meltdown. It was just too much for her. In fact I am pretty sure that she still has some presents at my in law's house that are unwrapped.

So, while I firmly believe that part of the magic of birthdays is ripping into the wrapping paper and hearing the ooohs and ahhhs from the crowd (I get teaching your kids not to be greedy and all I'm just not sure forcing them to donate to a charity or give all the toys they get on their birthday to the toy drive is the way I want to do it) this year we are going to be holding a "no gifts" party.

Now I face the question of how to put this on the invitation in a way that is both clear and tactful. I am thinking something along the lines of "No presents please. Your presence is enough." Stupid? Cheesy? Not "to the point" enough?

{Have you ever thrown your kids a "no gifts" party? What did you write on the invitation and how did people react? Thanks for all your help!}

PS Did you know that we are now taking sponsors? Right now we are accepting on a swap only basis! Visit our PR tab {HERE} for more information or send me a message at itsavol {at} yahoo {dot} com if you are interested in sponsor swapping for February. I have three more spots open until Friday!