Friday, December 30, 2011

First for the toes

Our little bambino has had so many first in the last few weeks I am struggling to keep up with them.....that is because I am trying to do this crazy thing in the moment. I am a very carpe diem type of person but I am also a planner, I plan, I record, I think and dream of the future. Hubby ( and men in general I think) lives in the moment. It seems so carefree, not wondering if there is laundry to switch over, how many eggs do we have left and oh no daycare is coming up soon. So I am turning off my brain and living in the much as I can.

Here are a few of her first from our vacation..

First time walking on grass. We won't see grass here in Alaska for at least 4 more months.

First dip in the ocean...this is a topic for a whole blog soon to come.

First toes in the sand. We found the softest sand beach and she squished her toes in it!

First Christmas ornament, a little silver rattle. She loved the noise.

First plane ride, snuggled against pops, happy as can be.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A change of scenery

Our view in Anchorage, Alaska

Our view in Maui!

We are home from our Hawaiian Christmas vacation. It was a great trip and over too soon. The pictures show the view have her in Alaska, out of Ocoee's room and then the view we had in Maui.

Bug Bear (that is your nickname this week) did such an amazing job. She barely fussed at all on the plane. I will say first class is worth it when traveling with an infant on your lap. She was such a good sport when getting her diaper changed in those way too small airplane bathrooms. She learned to open her mouth and pop her own ears, since she ate before landing and wouldn't eat during. The feeding did work really well during take off though.

Her favorite part was turbulance. She loved all the bumps and smiled and laughed the whole time. Several people told us how great of a job she did. I was very relieved she traveled well and once we hit the warmth of Hawaii it was all worth it.

I will post more later about the trip, along with pictures.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Heading to Maui-Travel with baby

Bags are packed and boarding passes are printed. We head to Maui tomorrow for our annual Hawaiian Christmas vacation. I am really looking forward to some sunshine, warmth and swimming in the sea. This year the grandparents will be meeting us so Ocoee will get some great family time. We also have a good friend who will be in the same condo complex with his kids and he is always fun to hang out with.

I think we have everything we need for Ocoee and I really hope she will be happy on the plane...she is a pretty happy baby everywhere so I am optimistic. Also the flight from Anchorage to Maui at Christmas is always full of families so she will be one of many babies on board.

She will turn 3 months while in Maui and it is amazing how much she has changed. Her new skills are: Rolling over, reaching and grabbing things often, great head control and self-soothing in her crib during naps and nighttime. She also really enjoys when we read books these days and pays attention to the pages as we read.

I feel blessed to have a great family and a chance to relax in Hawaii and reflect on the amazing changes in our life since we conceived little Ocoee last year in Maui.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The business of being pretty

You is kind
You is smart
You is important

-Aibileen Clark, from The Help

Notice that she doesn't say, pretty, cute or beautiful. I have discussed this with my other mom friends who have daughters...the tendency to comment on looks, which is not what I want my daughter to focus on. It is really hard when an adorable little girl in some sparkly cute outfit comes bounding in the room to not say, "oh how cute!"

My goal is to say, You are kind, smart and important. What are you reading, what did you learn today, how are you feeling??

The journey through being a little girl to becoming a women is hard enough without your looks becoming all you feel people see in you when they look at you.

My darling baby girl, may you grow to be kind, smart and important.


Swimming again

Ocoee with her swim instructor, while mom jumped out of the pool to grab her iphone and take a photo. He looks a little creepy but was really so nice!

So we swam again today and she was really getting after it. She swam several times from the instructor to me underwater. She was kicking so hard she would have crossed the whole pool I believe. There was one boy there who was crying and really upset about the water. I am so glad she seems to like the water so much. She hasn't cried once and just is so comfortable when she is in the water. I think she will do great in Maui.

So hubby has been at work for the classes and has missed her swimming. I called him today all proud of her swimming underwater so much and he was in disbelief.....really. He started googling videos of babies swimming under water. He think since she can't crawl yet how can she swim. I can't wait for her to show off her moves to him in Hawaii.....then he will believe it!

Also if your little one is big enough to watch santa videos, go to this awesome website and create a personalized video for them....way too cute!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

First swim lesson

Darling Ocoee, you have inherited my love for the water. Today we had our first swim lesson at Swim Like a Fish, where you...well, swam like a fish. You floated and kicked and put your face under water like a pro.

We have another lesson on Thursday and I hope to snap a photo to add. The pool was a warm 92 degrees, which we both agree, all pools should be. We had the pool to ourselves, and the instructor agreed with your mom that you were the cutest little baby in the world!

You really did love it and I am so happy. For me growing up in the south, my parents just threw us in whatever what was closest, pool, creek, river or lake. I don't remember learning to swim but I don't remember ever not knowing how.

As a lifeguard in college I saw lots of kiddos who were afraid of the water and I never wish this for you. Also in Alaska lots of kids don't learn to swim, despite the fact we have so much water. But the ocean, rivers and lakes here are all way too cold to swim in so indoor pools will be your lot in life unless we Hawaii!

That is why we are doing the lesson because we leave for our annual Christmas trip to Hawaii on Monday. And a swimming we will be :)

If your looking for great swim gear check here.


Saturday, December 10, 2011


Brodie and Ocoee

Last night at book club I was chatting with my lovely and wise friends who are moms. I told them something I heard the other day that I am trying to remember as I raise my daughter.

I will give her everything she needs and teach her to work hard for everything she wants.

This makes so much sense to me. I know I want my daughter to have all she needs and to grow up with the character and strength to work hard and know when something is worth working for.

But it will be really hard to not spoil her...even though I think there is nothing worse you can do to children than spoil them. When you grow up spoiled you never learn to appreciate and derive pleasure from the little things in life and that is heartbreaking and no way to live.

As someone who didn't have a lot growing up I will have to fight the urge to give her parents we want to give our children more than we had, but I want to know when I have to let her work for something...or say no. I know now how hard this will be.

On a lighter note...Ocoee is beginning to recognize the dogs. They have been VERY aware of her presence since we brought her home but she doesn't really pay them attention....even though they are very rarely more than a few feet away from her. Brodie is in great shape from all of our trips up and down the stairs to check on her. Both he and Guiness both come every time and lay down dutifully waiting while I feed, change or rock her. She even got a little snuggly time with Brodie on the couch yesterday as you can see from the photo.

Which also explain why my poor baby constantly has dog hair all over her! ugh! What can you do...shave the dogs? Or as I am learning to do more and more.....just let go.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cloth diapers-An update

How has cloth diapering worked out.

We totally love cloth diapers. Sure it is a lot of laundry but every time I wash a diaper or wipe I think about how much less we are putting in a landfill. Plus our bambino never gets diaper rash and seems to love her cloth diapers.

Here is what is in my stash. I have 15 one size Fuzzibunz and 4 on the way thanks to the sale on Zulilly. I also have 5 thirsty wraps, which we use with the same inserts that the fuzzibunz use. In addition, we have about 6 G-diapers that we use with the inserts as well.

Fuzzibunz are my favorite, both hubby and I love using them and were thrilled with their new improved Elite upgrades, which feature super soft new minky inserts as well as better adjustments. Ocoee can sleep through the night in these with out any leaks at all.

The first few weeks we really liked the thirsties wraps. They are really cute and easy to use. The fit was key to our love during these weeks. We are also thinking we will use these in Hawaii since they are trimmer and will be cooler than the fuzzibunz in the heat.

The G-diapers have a lot going for them. They are easy to put on with the velcro closure (though I hate this when washing since it sticks to everything). G-diapers also allow you to use disposable inserts for when we are on the go traveling and have these liners that saved us a lot of issues those first few meconium filled days. Just take the liner and put on top of the inserts. When the diaper was a mess, just flush the super thin, biodegradable liner.

We can use cloth at our daycare we have lined up for next year but I am not sure about the one we will use for next semester until I am off again for the summer. If not we will use the 7th generation disposables. I hope we can talk the daycare into cloth.

Other than the diapers the gear we love is Charlie's Soap which washes the diapers perfectly...they look brand new each time. We use Planet Wise wet diapers bags to store the dirty diapers. They hang on the door and we just toss them in. We usually do laundry once every 1-2 days, and never smell the diapers in the water, no soaking, no mess! Brilliant as far as I am concerned. For on the road we have travel wet bags from fuzzinbunz and kushies which both work great.

Our wipes are Baby kicks, cloth wipes. Perfect size and get softer with each wipe.

My favorite baby wipe solution. I add it to the nursery wipe warmer and use it in a squirt bottle downstairs for our reusable wipes. We still buy disposables but mostly use them just for travel. The cloth wipes just go in the bag with the diapers and wash right up!

No measure-just like I cook

Fill 3/4 of the bottle with water-fresh glacier water if you are lucky to live in Alaska.
3 squirts favorite oil-I use almond, but you can use olive oil, grape seed, vitamin E whatever you have on hand.
4 drops lavender oil
4 drop ying ylang essential oil
3 big squirts witch hazel
Optional: 1 squirt baby wash (we are using burt's but whatever you have one hand)

Shake, squirt, wipe!

A few of my favorite things

List and links to my favorite baby gear from the first 3 months of babyhood!

Pictures in action

Top Baby Blog and yummy recipe

We have added our blog to the top baby blog site at
and in order to become one of the top blogs we need your clicks. So please click on the box to the right that says top baby clogs. Each unique click, per day, which means clicking several times a day from the same computer doesn't work :) gets us a vote! Feel free to click and vote for us daily though...I mean what else are you supposed to do at work.

In order to bribe you to click us I have included the yummy recipes for black bean and sweet potatoes enchiladas below. Just had this for dinner last night and it is so yummy!

Enchilada Sauce

1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 3/4 veggie broth
1 tsp ancho chile powder
1 tsp regular chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder


1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion diced
3 cups of diced sweet potato
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes drained
1 cup of salsa
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 hot pepper roasted and diced ( I used poblano)
1 15 oz can of black beans rinsed an drained
1 12 oz package of queso fresco, divided


Brush 13 by 9 baking pan with oil
12-16 corn or flour tortillas
2 limes as garnish
avocado as garnish
1/2 cup sour cream as garnish (I use plain yogurt instead)
Cilantro as garnish

1. To make sauce, bring all ingredients to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk to combine and remove from heat. Salt and pepper if you desire.

2.To make filling, heat oil and saute onions. Add sweet potatoes, garlic, tomatoes, salsa, hot pepper, and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat to simmer on medium low and cook for 30-40 minutes until sweet potatoes are soft. Mash with fork or potato masher (if you have one of those things :) Next add black beans and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in half of queso fresco and remove from heat.

4. To assemble the enchiladas. Preheat oven 350. Brush pan with oil. Add 1/2 of sauce to pan. Fill each tortillas with filling and place seam side down in pan. Pack 'em in there! Top with remaining sauce and queso fresco. Bake for 15 minutes

5. Turn oven on broil and watch like a hawk to keep from burning....just let broil until cheese is brown and bubbly!

6. Garnish with lime, cilantro and sour cream. Let stand for 5 minute to keep tongues from being burnt. Devour :)

435 calories per serving (2 enchiladas)-less if you use yogurt. I suggest organic tomatoes and black beans.

I wish I would have taken a picture...but we ate them too quickly! Don't forget to click and vote for us!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I am just a rookie at this...

Which might explain why today in my first attempt to be super know one of those crafty, multi-tasking moms who is also wearing real clothes for once...not yoga gear. So off I went to the fabric store to get cute fabric to make a pendant banner for Ocoee's room. I recruited my truly crafty friend to help me pick out fabrics that would match the quilt that said friend made Ocoee. I was also inspired to buy some uber fun scrapbooking paper that was on sale. So far all of Ocoee's ultrasound photos and baby mementos are crammed into a few binders. The next stop was to the post office to mail off a few Christmas presents, this went well until Ocoee and I reached the parking lot.....

This is when my super mom charade fell apart. Hubby called as I was loading bambino into the car and starting the car to get the car warm while I loaded the stroller, and talked on the phone to hubby....obviously multitasking too was loaded and OH NO! my car child lock clicked...there sat Ocoee in the running car, while I stood in the parking lot....locked out of THE CAR!!
Thank god I was talking on the phone to hubby who was only a few minutes away. He came and rescued us. Ocoee sat in the car the whole time smiling and laughing at her silly mommy who was outside in the cold!

Needless to say my guilt caught up with me and I spent the rest of the evening creating the best dang scrapbook ever. One offsets the other...right?

Oh we live and learn!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sleeping through the night

Ok, so not to jinx us but our little bambino has been sleeping through the night....for a solid week. I am talking 6ish pm to 6ish am.....holy Toledo! I can't believe it. Not only does it make me a better, happier and more energetic parent but it makes me feel better knowing my baby is getting the rest she needs to grow well.
Speaking of growing. We just had her 2 month check and she weighed, buck naked (which is how I weigh too, clothes are heavy!)12 pounds and 12 ounces. A solid 24 inches long. Both were in the 95% for her age. Where she really has been focusing her energy is growing her head......we laughed out loud when the sweet nurse told us it was, um off the growth charts. 100% plus. We just know that this means she is brilliant...right?

She also had her first vaccination. I have done the whole circle of emotions regarding vaccines and after much research realized it was important to follow the recommended schedule and watch closely for reactions. When the time came, she cried so poor baby. Good thing dad was there to hold her, though I am pretty sure, immediately after, I said something like, give me my baby and snatched her away to receive the comfort only I can give her (or so I tell myself).

All in all we are doing so well. I never thought I would love being a mom this much. I never knew my hubby would be such an amazing dad. We surprise ourselves because she brings out the best in us.


Saturday, November 26, 2011


Thanksgiving for me isn't so much about the food for the belly, it is more about the food for the soul. Here in Alaska, we are far away from many of our families and we create a family of friends. The best thing about our Thanksgiving was seeing all of my friends shower my little one with love and affection. Big and small, all members of the gang made Ocoee feel surrounded by love! It was a great day.

This photo pretty much sums up the day for me...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


We had a big transition at our house last night. Ocoee slept in her crib. In her room. Not beside me. I didn't plan for this to happen it just did, like a band-aid being ripped off. Hubby decided after her bath he would try to get her to sleep in her crib, which she has never done even though we have attempted naps there before. After turning on the following sleep inducing electronic devices:

Sleep sheep
Ipod light up color cube
Moose LED nightlight

SHE SLEPT! Like really well, from 8:30 until 1:30. Around 11 when we went to bed I was very conflicted. I didn't think she would sleep and was not ready for this transition to the just seemed too early and too sudden. Thank goodness we have the video baby monitor because I laid down in bed and just watched her sleep...until hubby took it away and told me to sleep. He brought up a good point...did I need her to be beside me more than she needed to be beside me....her bassinet looked so empty and lonely. But the truth is, we all slept better. Me, hubby, the dogs and Ocoee.

At one point after her 1:30 wake up and feeding, she was fussy and making noises...which I usually respond to. A few moments before I was about to go charging up the stairs to her nursery, super mom cape flapping in the wind, she feel asleep...on her own. Isn't that what I raise a independent, confident girl (so maybe self soothing to sleep isn't indictative of these traits but sorta). Tonight we will see if it happens again, but I think her room is now her room to sleep and grow in. I did spend a lot of time designing it to be the perfect baby nest. All of her stuff is there and I must say feeding her in the rocking chair was so comfy!

Also this morning we put on the baby bjorn for the first time (hubby has used it before) and of course Ocoee took the opportunity of being aimed directly at mommy's boobs to spit up... a bunch. I think it is my fault because I did sorta have to squeeze her belly in the loading into the bjorn process. I had to even change my sports :) The best thing about wearing her is that I can just look down to take a deep breath of her wonderful baby smell or steal a kiss to the top of her noggin any time I want.

The pictures are of a very important baby blanket that Ocoee has. The quilt was made for my step dad when he was born and it was my favorite quilt growing up. When I moved to college my brother and I literally fought over who got to keep it...I won of course. The quilt was well loved and is now over a 60 years old.

A few years back I had it turned into baby quilts when my niece, Ava, was born. The quilt had many holes and rips in it but I found a quilter who was able to turn it into 3 baby quilts. One went to my niece Ava, one went to my best friend in college,Meredith (for her son Owen) and one I just hung on to thinking well maybe one it is Ocoee's. Blankets symbolize a lot. When given as a gift they show how the giver wants to provide comfort to the recipent. Ocoee has been blessed to receive several homemade blankets and quilts, each one I treasure because they are like a big warm hug and when she is laying on them or wrapped up cozy and warm I feel the love and protection each giver sends her way.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Plans, Plans, Plans

So little girl I have big plans for you. We are going to do all sorts of things together. I promise to say yes to you when your spirit for adventure takes you places that mommy might be a little worried about.....I know that by saying yes instead of no you will learn self esteem and self-confidence...two things I can't buy you or give you but hopefully can clear the path for you. My first plans are practical...swim classes before Maui. Found a great place that has a warm salt water pool and allows 3 month olds to take classes....another thing I will do for you...lie and say your 3 months so you can take the class before Maui....only 2 weeks early and since you were a week late, practically not a lie :) I don't think you will learn anything but I will learn how to be with a itty bitty (metaphorically at least) baby in the water. Even though I was a lifeguard I have never swam with a infant so it will teach me more than you.

Other plans I have for you are dreams but I believe when you say a dream enough it becomes a we will travel the world together..Paris, London, China, Egypt...I want to float down the Nile like Cleopatra did and think about a society where a woman was powerful, strong and in charge.

And other plans are simple and ordinary, like building our first snowman together, filling up a piggy bank and baking cookies. So deal with it little miss, I am a planner and your mine, so this is how it goes.....that being far you have not let me be in charge of everything...the best laid plans are wrecked by a little ball of squishy baby. In the end, I love you enough to throw the plans out the window and savor the moment...whatever or wherever it is.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The sweet moments

Being a parent for me has been boiled down to moments in time. Sure there are the please go to sleep, gross that came out of you and I really would like some "me" time moments, but those seem fleeting while the sweet moments seem to linger in my mind. The moments when you look all content and satisfied like there is nothing better than being in your daddy's or mommy's arms. The moments when you coo and chat away about all the exciting things you want to tell me about, when you tangle your little fingers in my hair, because you know that this hair means it is mommy holding you...these break my heart and fill me with happiness.

While I show my joy for having you with sappy moments of teary eyed love your daddy loves to laugh at....I mean with you. Your bath time expression always makes him laugh and he was so excited to get you your mohawk hat from Etsy, which made us both roar with laughter. His laugh has always been one of my favorite things about is so genuine and full of honesty, thank you for bringing more of his laughter to both of us. Now if he can just remember those moments when your fussy and won't go to sleep at night, we will all be happier :)

Punk rock mohawk hat from Supersmallfry on cover our increasingly balding baby's head!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Ocoee celebrates her first Halloween at just a month old, so there will be no trick a treating for her. But we had to get photos of her first one ever so we dressed up in her skeleton onesie and also in a tiger outfit our friend let us borrow. Both were so cute. The dogs were very interested in this photo shoot we were doing in the nursery so they got in a few photos as well. Brodie could not decide if licking the baby or the gourd was tastier!

Happy Halloween!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

First snow!

It was our first snow of the year today in the Anchorage Bowl...sneaking in before October is over and giving the trick-a-treaters something to wade through. It was also Ocoee's first experience with snow...not that she noticed much. She cuddled up in the moby wrap, warm against her pops and napped away. Guess that is why we have the pictures to remember it by..since she won't :).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A week of firsts

We had several firsts this week. Yesterday was the first time we went for a walk using the stroller. It started off fine with her snuggling into the car seat that attaches to the stroller really well, she had on her going outside clothes and was all ready...all mom had to do was get the stroller open...ugh really. How many degrees does a person need to open these damn things, cause I have several and it almost didn't happen. I was literally out front of the garage with the owners manual pushing the damn button that says push and nothing was happening. I had to fight the urge to throw the damn thing across the driveway. After about 15 minutes it just opened...obviously I was doing something wrong...grrr. I practiced several times last night with hubby by my side and it worked perfectly. Not sure what was going on other than a chance to entertain my neighbors. I can just hear them, "look at the crazy new mom who can't even open her stroller". Is this what they mean by parenthood being humbling.

After getting the thing open we had a great stroll. It was easy for me to walk at a good pace and Ocoee liked the fresh air. She spent the first 20 minutes just looking around thinking, ok this is new, then she crashed and napped while I got my walk on. Got to fit back into my clothes sometime. I actually talked to my brother today who only weights like 6 pounds more than me! The weight is coming off according to the scale but I am more eager to get to the gym and lift and tone all the squishy bits. Working out gives me energy and that is something I am lacking in spades these days.

Our other first came today when we left the house, drove, and went out in public for the first time all by ourselves. Ocoee has been to the doctor and on walks, hikes and trails but always with daddy in attendance. Today we met my friend Martina for lunch at our local sushi spot, which is a few minutes up the road. It was great because Martina is preggers so we can talk baby, I got to have a mountain view roll for the first time in 11 months, and the place was empty except for us. So no gross germs floating around on my baby. The ladies working even served us free miso soup...pregnant lady and lady with baby scores major brownie points I guess.

Ocoee was wonderful. She woke a few times to look around and then crash again. I was more proud of myself for using the car seat correctly and getting up and out the house successfully. Woohoo! The minor victories are crucial :0

I also just got my new iphone4s so I can now take video of sassy little girl and put it here. She changes so fast I feel I have to record it all. Growing up we had 2 fires and I was the 2nd child so there are very few photos much less videos of me. It is something I miss having, especially once I got pregnant. I want to make sure she has all of the important milestones of her life documented. I love photography and technology so it plays to my passion but I also hope she enjoys looking back on all of these first and special moments.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekend of dates, football and photos

Here are a few snapshots from our weekend. A few of the family before our date night out. We didn't make it through the entire Fiddler of the Roof play, it was 10 by the end of the first act, we had to get home to the sitter but we did enjoy our dinner and partial play :)

The huskers won a great game and Ocoee had on all her husker gear to cheer them on. Don't think she will fit in the husker onesie through the entire season, she is growing so fast.

Friday, October 21, 2011

3 weeks today

Nothing prepared me for the astonishing feeling of love and joy that being your mom has brought me. Nothing will ever compare to the change you brought into our lives, we have come a long way in the journey of life and with your birth it feels like we are just beginning.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Things about you..

Since I can't remember much these days I want to write down some things about you. Only 15 days old and you have a big personality already.

You often look concerned
You can give a mean stink eye
You like to coo and make the sweetest sounds ever in your sleep
You first bath in a bucket was a huge success, you seemed really happy in water
You have been working up to your first smile, it is already adorable

You peed on mommy on the couch
You got grandma with poop and pee
You permanently scarred daddy with a big shooting across the room poop
You think that baby in the mirror is really pretty dang cute
You love to sleep and go on walks in the moby wrap
When hungry insert bottle quickly to avoid a melt down- and you have a huge appetite

We love you very much. We just had your newborn photo shoot and will have some awesome pictures of you soon.

Love mom

Monday, October 10, 2011

Grandma in town

My mother in law is in town visiting the first grandchild for my hubby's side of the family. It is great to see her enjoying little Ocoee so much and the extra pair of hands allows me time to shower, and hubby time to get his master's homework done. We got a great nights sleep last night but Ocoee is snoozing all day it may be a long night. The weather has been amazing and we are taking advantage of that by getting out and walking....this baby weight has to come off somehow!