Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Daddy's home!

Ocoee was thrilled to see her daddy after a week of no 'super baby" games where hubby zooms her through the air.

Hubby finally made it home on Tuesday. His timing was great....just as he was landing in Anchorage I was leaving work due to another allergy attack. Luckily I took Benadryl right away and didn't swell up, but the Benadryl then knocked me out for the rest of the day....and I had a really cute outfit on that was totally wasted! Dang allergies.

It still was great to have hubby home. He picked Ocoee up from daycare early and we showed him what we had mastered in the week he was gone.

Yep that is right. Ocoee went from not really interested in eating to chomping down. It is a messy affair but she eats quite a bit. It makes me think how quickly she is growing up and hubby was amazed not only in her eating mastery, but also how much she changed in just a week.

Ocoee does really well in her new Keekaroo chair. I am pretty happy with the purchase. It cleans well, has a small footprint in our tiny kitchen and the wood looks nice. The infant insert works like a bumbo chair and helps her sit nice and tall.

Look at that face! She is very serious when she is learnings something new.

Also if you are obsessed with Baby Legs like I am, check out their $4 sale...all baby legs are $4 and shipping is $4. Love a good sale!!

Since there are only 29 days in is Ocoee's 5 Month birthday....geez time is flying by. Happy birthday darling, we love you to the moon and back!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Guest Blogger Post

Since I am a planner in a big way, I am already thinking of Ocoee's first birthday party. I spent like 20 minutes yesterday online looking for the perfect birthday candle....groan! That is why our guest post today is so refreshing, she brings me back to earth!

Ideas for Celebrating Baby’s First Birthday

First of all give yourself a big pat on the back, the baby’s about to hit the one-year landmark. You made it! Soon your little one will be running amuck in the house and talking up a storm. But for now, what sort of party do you throw for an infant? You aren’t exactly going to deck the house out with Super Mario party supplies. After all, they’re turning one, not seven. Still, you want to celebrate the anniversary of their first year on this earth with family and friends. Here are a few ideas for first birthday parties:

At this stage it’s more for the parents than the kids, you want to see that single candle get lit and cake all over the place. So, when it comes to the guest list think family first and then maybe one or two other close family friends. The time for inviting over half the daycare can come in later years, this is a chance for you to get your feet wet and have your hands free to take a bunch of pictures.

Beware of naptime for your little one and any other little kiddos coming over. Plan to either have an early lunch or early dinner, let’s say 11 am or 4 pm on a Saturday.

Try to make cooking as easy as you can on yourself. If you have any volunteers for kitchen help—accept! BBQ and fajitas are good for groups if weather permits and if indoors is your option a nice big brisket that you can throw in the oven in the morning and then forget about for the rest of the day is perfect.

Bake the cake the night before. Word to the wise, you will be battling sugar rushes at birthday parties for the next decade, make it easy on yourself this year and bake an all-natural, low sugar carrot cake or applesauce cake.

Above all don’t take on anything that will stress you out. You only get to celebrate your baby’s first birthday once and if you’re running around like a chicken with your head cut off, you won’t enjoy or remember it. It’s a time to savor, not rush.

Lisa is guest post blogger who writes about how to’s about anniversary parties, wedding and baby showers and themed birthday parties.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Baby bug and I had a great day. I really love the days where my only focus is Ocoee. I think a lot about how this time only happens once. She will only be officially a baby for one year. 356 days and roughly 145 of those are already gone. After baby she becomes a toddler. Being a toddler means she has the ability to go without me. Right now I love that she needs me to go. We walk around the house and look at all the things that make our house a home.

We spend time smelling spices and learning about the doggies. We look outside, read books and bounce of course.

Today we also did something I have looked forward to, we napped together. I was super tired due to not sleeping well since hubby has been gone. Ocoee was bouncing happily and I laid of the couch....and fell asleep. I think the silence woke me up....I didn't hear her chirping and the sounds of the bouncing. I looked over and she was crashed in her bouncer...she had bounced herself to sleep!

So I grabbed her and headed to the bed. We piled pillows up so she couldn't roll off and snuggled up. We both got in a 2 hour was bliss. We never did the co-sleeping thing and really it isn't our style. But when hubby is out of town we break the rules. Brodie slept with me one night, Guiness another and Ocoee and I got a snuggly nap in...time to wash the bedding!

It looks like we will have a few more days to break the rules since hubby is stuck in North Dakota...bad weather came in and they are saying he might not get home until Tuesday. Ocoee loves to hear his voice on the phone, and I am sure she misses her Bart (what hubby wants her to call him....I have come to terms with this).

We hope he gets home soon. Ocoee also misses her Uncle Dale...she hasn't met him yet but we skype a lot. Today she was in great spirits bouncing happily while we skyped. She is obsessed with her thumb sucking lately but Uncle Dale got to see a few smiles....which he of course said looks like him.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fur Rondy Fun and Grace

Me dressed as a frost fairy and Ocoee trying out her new stroller in the 5k.

Ocoee was simply wiped after such an exciting day.

Today was the kick off of Alaska's version of Mardi Gras...Fur Rondy. Fur Rondy was the traditional time when the fur trappers would bring their pelts to Anchorage, sell, take the money and celebrate. If you have been to Alaska or live her try to imagine Alaska 100 years ago when this was a big deal. People lived in the WILD and fur pelts were a huge part of their livelihood. Though I don't eat meat...only fish...and don't dig trapping animals..I love Fur Rondy.

So at 9:30 this morning Ocoee, my buddy Nancy and I hit 6th avenue in full costume to walk/run/push a stroller for a 5k. I was dressed as a frost fair, thanks to my dear friend Shelly who just happened to have a pink set of wings and a black glittery tutu on hand for me to borrow.

Nancy had a late night at the theater watching Shanghai circus and donned some adorable mouse ears. Ocoee had her handmade tutu that was a gift when she was born. It was cute, cotton and perfect for the event.

A middle aged, heavier man complimented my tutu and I returned the remark......he added that his did not quite fit around his bum. That is the type of event it was. Check out photos here. There are so many fun events in the next few weeks of fur rondy. Last year was dud for me as I was pregnant and exhausted at the time. But in previous years I have participated in the Running of the Reindeer (like the bulls in Spain but with Reindeer) and the outhouse races...we actually won this for best design...Don't Duga on my Beluga :)

Below are pictures from that event...

The theme don't dooga on my beluga, came from the fear that the water waste system was causing issues for our precious beluga whales that grace our cook inlet.

Team Beluga 2010

After the race we headed to Snow City for some champagne and brunch. Delicious! Snow city twice in one week is a treat. Then we went to the house to regroup. Ocoee and I joined Martina and Ellis for some fabric shopping and sushi. All in all it was a perfect Saturday. From beautiful sunrise to sunset.

Ocoee is still fighting a cold and her appetite isn't at 100 percent. She enjoyed today but had a few moments in her new stroller where she was tired and missed her comfy infant I don't think we are quite ready to make the switch to big girl stroller full time. My friend Nancy made my day when she said I was a good mom who handled it all with grace...if she means holding a sleeping baby in one hand, while perched on a stool eating huevos rancheros while drinking champagne in the other...maybe she is right :) I know these amazing friendships, perfect days like today and my beautiful daughter are the true grace in my life.

For anyone not in Alaska I will let you in on a secret. This time of year is the most beautiful times, in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The snow still tops the peaks, the daylight grows longer and longer stretching towards the Equinox, and the sky paints itself in many beautiful shades. Winter is behind us and warmth is melting the thick snow blanket. Our spirits lift and make us a little crazy...fur rondy is the perfect answer to cabin fever.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday with baby and prune juice!

Hubby being out of town has been a breeze. In a weird way it is almost easier.....I just focus on taking care of the baby. Dinner for me is easy, whatever I can make, eat, and clean up in 5 minutes....yesterday this was a leftover Ahi Tuna sandwich from the Bear's Tooth grill, while driving to get Ocoee from daycare since I was stuck in downtown Fur Rondy traffic....multitasking!

I am super pumped that it is of the perks about being back at work is that weekends are so much sweeter. Tonight Ocoee has a date with some prune juice, since Mrs. Renea recommended a little to help out the below the belt stuff.

And I figured I would be a good role model and have a nice glass of wine....looks the same as prune juice to her! We might also try some solids since I was able to get some Oatmeal cereal over lunch. I am hoping she likes it better than the rice cereal because not much of that ended up in her mouth.

But that might just be because one of her favorite things to do is stick her tongue out. She loves to suck her thumb also. So much that I have to pull the thumb out and stick her bottle in....over and over. Her cough is still a bit hacky sounding but her spirits are still high. I am busting out of here right at 3 to go grab her and start our mommy/daughter date night.


Thursday, February 23, 2012


Belly time-4 1/2 months

Lately I have had several people ask me if Ocoee was a boy or ask me how old my son is. I think she looks pretty girl like but I can understand the confusion....Ocoee isn't a gender specific name and if babies aren't in pink it seems people assume they are a boy. Ocoee has enough pink stuff to make pepto bismol jealous but we also dress her in other gender neutral clothes. As long as she is warm and comfy who cares the color really.

We actually are trying to be very aware of the gender stereotypes people fall into. Just the other day at the store a kid was throwing a fit and crying and his mom said to him, "You're crying like a girl." REALLY?

How could the mom diss her own gender? Also this did not help the situation at all. The kid kept crying.

When boarding the plane in Seattle a little girl and her parents were boarding behind me. She was around 6. The dad asked the little girl if she wanted to meet the pilot. He said, "He might even give you wings." Then as we boarded the pilot.....a woman...greeted us. The dad said oops, talk about stereotypes. I guess at least he was aware of the slip.

I am sure I am guilty as well but I have never felt in life I couldn't do something because I was a girl, and I want Ocoee to not feel limited either.

How to do this haunts me. I am a teacher and I see the issues girls deal with. How will I make sure she knows here value isn't tied up in her looks? How will I teach her to go for anything she wants? What creates a strong woman?

I don't know. I do know that so many people have told me that raising their daughter was harder than a it true?

PBS has an article that made lots of sense to me call Raising a Powerful Girl.

On a personal level my mom and I never had a close relationship. There were so many issues and she passed away when I was 26 so they are unresolved. I knew immediately when I was pregnant that Ocoee would be a girl. I think this is my chance to break the cycle. To be the mom I always wanted. To not make the mistakes my mom learn from them instead. I also think this is why we waited to have kids. I was afraid I would not be a good mom.

I realize now that the fear I must let go of. I want to be motivated by love not fear when it comes to my baby.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy Ash Wednesday

Today, ironically enough, is Ash Wednesday and National Margarita day! I am so confused...I don't know whether to indulge or abstain.

As a non-practicing Catholic, I am actually going to give up sugar. I never have been a big sugar eater. I was raised in a house where we didn't get sugary foods and my hubby doesn't like sweets at all.

But lately I have been eating all the sugar I can get my hands on. Cookies, cake, name it I have indulged and overindulged. I was doing really well with the baby weight and working out...then I went back to work. After school I have been teaching a class, so I basically bolt out the door and run to get bug before she crashes for the day. Once I am home and she is asleep, hubby is around so I could head to the gym then...but my motivation has left me.

With all the sugar and no motivation I am stuck at the last 10 pounds I want to lose. So giving up sugar for me is also a step towards getting my healthy, working out mojo back. This is the last week of my class so that won't be an excuse any longer, and I have Palm Springs in two week....the threat of a swim suit usually gets my booty beelining towards the gym.

Ocoee on the other hand gets plenty of exercise. She owns the bouncy thing at home and daycare. She loves to boink-a-boing! She has a spot at the door at daycare and just bounces away all day watching people go by.

I think it is interesting how you, my darling bug, are a mix of both me and your dad. You chat up a storm and have so much to say...much like your momma, but when in public you are much quieter and reserved, like your dad. You have been active since week 12 in the belly so I am not surprised you love bouncing and swimming so much. I think that is something you get from both of us.

After the doctor yesterday you are now just shy of 17 pounds, your eyes are a brilliant blue, like your Uncle Dale's. Your hair is getting longer and lighter every day. You are squirmy wormy during changes and when being are more interested in seeing what is around you than looking at your folks anymore.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

get your stroll on-stroller review

Ocoee during her swim lesson with daddy. She floated, back kicked, swam under water and did a little doggie paddle!

It was a fabulous 4 day weekend. I truly have an amazing baby. She is tough, sweet and has a great spirit. She has had a cold all weekend, plus was teething and still she was a joy to be around.

We did another swim class on Monday. She swam so well and hubby was there to see her in action. When it was time to practice under water skills he was nervous at sending her under but even the instructor was impressed at how well she does. No fear at all and she just has a blast. Here is a little video...excuse my cutesy voice in the video....I am working on not sounding like a moron on the home talk is hard to break.

Also we received our Maclaren Stroller. It is so light, super cool looking and I am excited to use it. I might do a 5k this weekend at Fur Rondy....Alaska's winter festival, with the new stroller. The one thing I have had a hard time with is the snap for the harness. It is a nice 5 point harness but SO freaking hard to push and open.

I know they want to make these so kids can't open them but seriously my 6'3, 210 hubby had a hard time getting it open. We are hoping that it gets easier with use. Look for an update when we use it more. So far the way it opens, folds and stores is nothing short of brilliant! It will be great for our trips to Napa, Kodiak, and Tennessee.

Ocoee looking very stylish in her new Tea Collection outfit. Wish they made mommy clothes.

The Maclaren stroller...she is almost ready to leave the infant seat behind...I am just not quite ready to give it up...having a moving bed works so well!

Speaking of trips, Hubby leaves for an ice-fishing trip to North Dakota tomorrow. God only know why someone would willingly visit North Dakota in Feb. much less leave Alaska that is filled with ice covered lakes to go to ND to fish... but that is what he is doing. It is an annual trip with old buddies so I am happy he has a cool tradition.

But that leaves me on my own...with a baby... 4 1/2 months old, who has a cold, for 5 whole days! OH, jeez. Let's just say I am going to be extra careful with my keys this week!!

Check out Ocoee's latest photo shoot here...she even manages to look cute with snot dripping from her nose!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Brave, brave baby

On Thursday when I picked Ocoee up from daycare I discussed teething with mrs. Renee. She said, "God choose babies to teeth because they are so brave, adults would never handle it."

I think this is very true. Babies have to be so brave day in and day out. Baby Ocoee you are very brave. You have a cold and a bout of teething. You slept from 3:30 pm to 9:30 am on Friday. You were wiped out. Even when you are feeling crabby you try to smile and make us happy. Your heart is big!



Friday, February 17, 2012

names and things

Ocoee and Ellis during out first board meeting...very important members of the team!

My friend Martina and I got a good start on our business we hope to plan. We are both newbie moms who love creating and sharing the best baby products. Ocoee had a bout of teething and fussiness before we arrived but was in good spirits during the meeting at Jitter's in Eagle River, Alaska.

Baby Ellis slept most of the time we were there...he is growing and changing so much. I joked that if this was the first date it wasn't going to well...Ocoee spent the whole time playing with her rattle and he slept soundly beside her....actually maybe that is a good date!

We are in phase one, coming up with a great name. We want something Alaskan, baby and catchy...if you have ideas let us know!

We went next door to the Frame and Gift shop to look for inspirtation. Lots and lots of cute things. Picked up a few more Lifefactory bottles in the large size because baby bug doesn't really even mess around with the 5 ounces bottle anymore.

Also picked up some great deals at Spoiled boutique in Anchorage.....I am obsessed with this brand...Tea Collection...super soft, colors beyond just the typical pink, and globally inspired design. Ocoee basically got a new wardrobe.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Working at home versus at work

Going back to work after 3 months at home with Ocoee was hard! I will always treasure those precious 3 months and wish I would have taken more. If I would have known......the feelings and emotions I would have for sure taken more.

But the plan was to go back to work and I am back. I purposely took a year off from the classroom working in a school as a project coordinator instead...and that has been a blessing. No grading, stress or lesson plans. Next year I don't know where I will end up but I have been toying with the idea of staying home for a year.

It is a difficult decision. I love teaching, we have a great schedule and I have a lot of education wrapped up in my career...still paying the student loans! But I miss Ocoee like crazy. It is hard emotionally to not be with her. I feel as if everyone is getting shafted by me because I feel spread so thin. My house isn't clean enough, my dogs don't get enough attention, I don't take me time for the gym and yoga like I should, baby is at daycare 6-8 hours a day, my hubby barely sees me. And I am running around like a chicken with their head cut least I feel that way some days. I really loved staying at home and NEVER thought I would.

So we will see how the cookie crumbles. I am meeting with my friend Martina to see if we can figure out a business that will allow us to make some money for the family but also be at home with our kids...Fingers crossed. Here is a cool infograph about the real PAY a stay a home mom should get.

We have a 4 day weekend coming up...WOOOHOO!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Books, Books, Books

We are a book worm kind of family. We love books. When I backpacked Europe the one thing that I missed about living out of a backpack was having my books around me. Ocoee has shown a real interest in books. I have read her a book pretty much every day since birth...and a few before birth.

Ocoee has been very lucky to receive lots and lots of books as gifts. My book club members gave her unique books as gifts after she was born. Each one had a story and reason why that person picked that book. As a book worm at heart this made me all warm and fuzzy inside.

Below is a huge stack of books that Mark, from hubby's work passed along to us. There are many DR. Seuss books and local books as well. Alaska has amazing local childrens' authors and illustrators. One of our favorites is Sleeping Lady by Ann Dixon. We have also made it a habit to buy a new book from each place we visit. In Seattle we got A day at the Market by Sara Anderson.....such a lovely book!

We also received a great treat from grandma to Ocoee. She was able to dig through her attic and send hubby's old Serendipity books.

These are real treasures. They are in amazing shape and have some very relevant to our life titles, such as The Gnome from Nome and Maui Maui. The stories offer moral tales and beautiful illustrations. Hubby's favorite was Kartusch. He had such good memories of these books and now we can share them with Ocoee. They sale on ebay and some are consider collectibles.

As a young person I spent a lot of time outside parents were the types that said, "Go Outside!" often. The other times I was inside... I was reading. We didn't spend time watching TV. As an educator I credit this to my success in school. Even though my parents were not highly educated and we moved a lot from school to school, both my brother and I were always in the top percentage on the big nasty standardized test and both were in gifted programs.

Research shows that student achievement is linked to early exposure to reading. That is another reason why I am such a big supporter of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. This program gives kiddos free books, every single month, from birth to 5. Ocoee has already received several and we support efforts to fundraise for this cause whenever we can. If you have a kid of your own, or one in your life, I recommend you sign them up. My niece was signed up from birth and has a great book collection, just from this program.

Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.
Maya Angelou


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Moose...I love you!

Another lovey day treat. I really love moose....they are adorable. Of course they are dangerous big animals....they have a habit of charging hubby. All the ones I have met are very well mannered. We get them very often in our back yard and on the street.

Even after 3+ years in Alaska I still take photos when I see a moose. Below are some of the ones posted on our newspaper favorite has to be the one of the moose standing on the car to reach a high branch!


Happy Pink/Red Day!

Before I met my husband, I'd never fallen in love. I'd stepped in it a few times. -Rita Rudner

So it is that Hallmark created holiday, known as Valentines Day. Don't get me wrong. I am no cynic and actually love all holidays. Gifts and a chance to stop the chaos of life to celebrate, are all good things to me.

Hubby knows a way to a girls heart.....good quality smart wool socks! I love these socks and they are spendy. But they are all I wear. And since our dog Guiness has a fetish for grabbing my socks and taking them outside, which is now buried under the most snow in Anchorage history....I could use the new socks. So I was very please to see a sweet letter and several pair of new socks waiting for me this morning.

There is also this bug who makes every morning special. Happy first Valentines' Day!

A bit of romance, this is in our town square with a lot of other cool ice sculptures. I sure hope she said yes.

Cards from Mike's mom for us and for Ocoee....always nice to get a card in the mail! Thanks :)

For Hubby I made him a "words with lovers" card where he has to unscramble the message...we will see if he figures it out. I thought it was a brilliant idea since we play words with friends all the time. I also got him some monogrammed beer glasses for his homebrew....if you brew your own the least you deserve is your initial on your glass.

Tonight we will do a nice meal of ahi tun, parmesan scalloped potatoes, roasted broccoli and a bottle of red vino at home...just a nice night to spend with someone you love.

Hope your day is filled with pink, red and love :)


Monday, February 13, 2012

First solids

All our solid baby food gear: A waterproof bib, cute plate and spoons (BPA free of course), packages of plum organics and Ella's Kitchen food...for later when we travel. Plum even has a cool spoon that attaches to the package for instant feeding.

The cereal ended up outside the mouth more than inside.

We used her bumbo chair with tray for the first feeding while we wait on her high chair to be delivered.

If you notice a fuzzy black head it is because Guiness was very interested in Ocoee's first food. She really wanted to be helpful and get any that didn't make it into Ocoee's mouth...which was a lot!

On Saturday Ocoee tried her first solid foods. Well it was more a water, paste but it wasn't in a bottle so that counts.

Hubby is a brilliant investigator and only wants the best for baby of course. When we had to go to formula he spent many hours reading about all sorts of things I would not have thought about and finally picked Baby's Only Organic. We order it in bulk from Vitacost and it has been really great for baby. She is growing well and seems to love the stuff. There are many reviews on the page you can read. Basically it has all the good stuff and none of the bad stuff, and is produced under strict recalls!

When our doctor suggest solids, of course hubby was ready to dig in and find the best options. Homemade is what we realized would be best. We read a lot and decided to make homemade sweet potatoes for her first food. I had recently purchased a Quisinart food processor and also have the green sprouts storage containers to freeze the extras.

I actually like to cook and in the summer I spend lots of time canning our homemade raspberry jam from our zillion raspberry bushes and of course, smoking, canning and vaccum sealing salmon. So making baby food should be easy.

If you want more info about storing, cooking and serving baby food, check out wholesome baby food here.

Then we talked to our wise sage, day care provider who suggested starting with a little cereal. After talking it over we decided this was a good option...since the first few weeks seem to be play and practice at eating more than anything. Hubby decided Plum Organics rice cereal in wholegrain was the way to go. Our all time favorite store bought is Ella's kitchen. It is hands down the closest to homemade and we will be using it when traveling. It is spendy...but the good stuff always seems to be. The best news is that all this can be found at Target....woohoo, that makes life so much easier.

To make a long story short, we whipped up the cereal, grabbed the camera and started spooning it in.

Lots of laughing and making a mess happen. She seemed to get a few good chews/slurps in. She liked all the attention eating solids gave her.

Ocoee has really been watching us eat and been enthralled as we do it so I expected her to really like the solids. She tried again on Sunday and she seems to like pushing the food out of her mouth with her tongue more than eating it really. Like all things she does, we loved it and were delighted...yes I know we are googly eyed new parents, but really she is adorable.

This new phase seems so sudden to me...but they all have. I am excited she is learning a new skill but to be honest I am just thinking it all goes so fast. Our little bug is fast approaching 5 months and I can't help but wish time would slow down.

Grandma was so sweet and sent Ocoee a Valentines Day card and a check that we are going to use to get her a high chair. After many months investigating I decided on the Keekaroo high chair. I like that is is wood, gets excellent reviews and can grow with baby. I went back and forth between it and the Stokke. They both look cool and will fit in our house better than the plastic ones that can be not so cool looking and also bigger...with a small house we really had to look at size.

We also ordered some Oxo tot feeding spoons and bowls. The ones we had were a gift and still a little big for her little mouth.

Now we plan to keep practicing this eating thing and watching our baby grow and change. The dogs are super excited for this new it means more food on the floor and a sticky yummy tasting baby to lick!


Friday, February 10, 2012

Shopping and Deals

So I am going to admit it....I love me some retail therapy. But after working at Von Maur in Omaha, while working on my teaching degree I learned that you have to get a deal. And I love me some deals too.

I used to shop for myself, the house and hubby. When baby came on board last January I had a whole new shopping need. I held off for a long time since I had a shower coming up and so many people were kind enough to give or lend us things....but this baby is outgrowing things left and right. Just today I put her in a 12-18 month onesie that she might get to wear for another few weeks.

She is growing like a weed and her diapers being cloth also make things fit a bit snugger that usual.

Shopping for Ocoee is so much better than shopping for me. First small clothes are so cute. Second I still want to shape up a bit before I invest in to many new clothes. Also with all of my old cloth fitting now after months of pregnancy I feel as if I have a whole new wardrobe anyways. One mommy concession I have been trying to make is to buy more mom friendly clothes. A lot of my clothes tend to be dressy and non-spit up friendly materials like silk, cashmere and linen. I am now looking for cute cottons!

Shopping for her I have the same philosophy as shopping for myself. I am very tactile and want fabrics that feel nice against the skin. We often buy organic for her sensitive skin and because we believe in voting with our dollars, and organic is a much better way of producing textiles for our enviroment. In 4 short months I have found some brands that I love and others that are not worth the money. Below is a few of my favorites.

I love Hannah Andersson. The clothes are always soft, fun and with a great fit. The quality is obvious. They can be a bit spendy but our Costco has been carrying the line for a few months now. We have several versions of the organic zip up PJ's and just last night scored some super fun dresses. Not sure when she will wear these but at $14-$17 a pop, I stocked up! The Hannah Andersson sizing chart is also cool and innovative as you go buy the length and weight of the baby instead of the notoriously wrong months sizing.

I am also a huge fan of Small Plum. My friend Martina gave us one of their onesies right after Ocoee was born. It was pink, soft, made of bamboo and said on the front, "Produced Locally" which is right up our alley. Ocoee has lived in this onesie.

She is starting to outgrow it so I ordered a bunch of new ones when I saw Zulilly was having a sale. I love Zulilly. It takes forever for the orders to get to me, but it works out as a nice surprise. I can barely remember ordering them and then one day a package pops up and we have new much fun.

Below is a picture of a Nosilla organic outfit we got of Zulilly. I was so impressed with the convertible feet. They can become footie cool is that and why aren't all pants made this way. Plus the cute butterfly pattern and extra seam in the pants works so well for cloth diapers.

Here is a recent package from Zulilly that arrived to our delight. The softness of the Plum clothes is addicting. I always find myself grabbing these clothes before all others because of the fit and feel. Now she has more to choose from...cause a girl needs choices!

So there is my slightly materialistic post about adorable, cute and quality kids clothes. We also shop at the used kids store because when kids grow so quickly, the used market is excellent! I do believe that a few well chosen quality pieces make a better wardrobe that a lot of pieces that you avoid because of fit or other poorly built design flaws.

Happy Friday. We are off to a play tonight after bug goes to bed, to see Blue Bear, based on a book of the same name that hubby read. He recommends it if your into outdoorsy, Alaskan type books.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

My not so crafty craft-tutorial

Let me clear the air and explain I am so not crafty...unless it is in a Beastie Boys, "She's Crafty" song kind of way. Beautiful items do not spin off my sewing machine, handmade is something I buy off Etsy. If you want to buy a banner and not do this at all click here to check out ones I love on Etsy.

Inspired by my new momma-hood, I am trying though. I have started a scrap book, which looks pretty scrappy but it is a start right?

So with the help of my truly crafty friend, Martina, I purchased some great fabric that coordinated with the homemade quilt she made Ocoee.

The plan was to cut the fabric into pendant shapes and sew to some cute ribbon to create a fabric banner. Well sewing involves threading a bobbin and other crafty things beyond me so I decided to whip out the glue gun. Below I will show you the steps. Beware this is no where near as detailed as Martina's guest blog on the towel tutorial but you guys are smart and will figure it out :)

All the items you need are here: Fabric was pre-washed to prevent fraying, and I cut with pinking sheers (the weird ones with teeth) to keep from having to sew the edges. The pinking sheers prevent fraying and give a little decorative edge. Ribbon was small but different sizes can be used..a little bit bigger would have been nice because you would have an easier time glueing. A hot glue gun and a magazine to lay the fabric on while glueing.

My Pendant shapes were not all exactly the same size but I think that gives it a more homemade least that is what I tell myself.

Lay the ribbon with the back side facing you on the back side of the fabric as shown below. This way the pretty side of the fabric and ribbon will show and the glue and messy bit will be in the back hidden. Place little drops of glue along back pressing ribbon into fabric as you work your way across the top.

When your done string along the wall of your choice. I put up in the nursery, this can also be used for a party and letters can be added to spell out Happy Birthday or another sweet phrase. I would cheat and buy big sticker letters but you truly crafty people could cut them out of fabric. Maybe you could glue gun for a no sew craft.

I think it turned out really well and cost less than $15 for the whole project. I have extra fabric left over that I hope to make baby scarf bibs out of like these here.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Check out new pictures..

New photos of our trip uploaded on Oh, The places you will go page and more on Photo Shoots with Ocoee page.

Hope you enjoy them!


Time to kill

If you have some time to kill and are stuck inside surfing the internet, check out the online magazine I occasionally write for here. It is pretty funny :)

Tomorrow I will post my non-crafty craft that I am EXTREMELY proud of! Love my glue gun!!



The image is a little blurry but the moment was so sweet I am posting anyway. She really enjoys her time to cuddle in the parents bed in the mornings and always turns towards the iphone for a chance to mug for the camera.

After hubby took me to the doctor we are now on Steroids....I am eager for the 'roid rages the doctor said could

Honestly I feel out of it. Most of you know I never take drugs...even aspirin really. Clean living and all that. So after getting a steroid shot, taking Benadryl, Zyrec, and another steroid in pill body is just out of wack. But I am not swollen like a monster anymore and just got a call from the doctor and I don't have Leukemia...yep they tested for that...scary!

The Doc basically has no clue and neither do I. I can't figure it out and that is what worries me. Nothing new as far as cleaning products, food or drink. But I am taking this seriously now and will be keeping my eyes open.

I now have to keep Benadryl and an Epi pen with me at all times. I am seeing the specialist for all those super fun test in a few weeks.

I crashed at like 7 last night and slept until 6:30 this morning. I sweated like crazy all night..ick!

In baby news, Ocoee loves her new daycare. Because of all this we didn't get there until 5:30 but she was so happy. I had called to check in and Ms. Renea said she was eating like a champion. When I arrived she was just mixing her a new bottle so I settled in and fed her. I could tell how relaxed she was and her interactions with Ms. Renea were so positive.

She was also a sweetheart and slept through the night and went down really easily. This morning she had of course peed all over everything and needed a bath. But she knows mommy comes and get her every morning and was awake and smiling waiting for me. Love that bug!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Allergic to work...seriously!

So I had my 5th allergic reaction this month today and it was a doozy. My whole face swelled like Will Smith in the movie Hitch. My whole body was broken out in hives, my sinuses instantly fill, I sneezed 100 times in a row and then I started having trouble breathing.....

So I ran to the nurse.

This was the worst of the reactions, so bad I really thought I might pass out in my office all alone. I really panicked and was freaking out. By the time I got to the nurse she was ready to stick me with an epi pen. It just all happened so fast.

I talked her out of the pen and took a double dose of Benadryl and sat down while she took my vitals. Within 5 minutes I started to feel better. It has been about 2 hours now from the first attack and my symptoms are almost all gone.

My principal took a picture of me, but it is so bad I am not going to post it....I mean what is on the internet is forever right.

My eyes were too swollen closed to drive so hubby came and got me. Everyone was super worried and made me call and make a doctors appointment right away. I refused to go to the ER , so I have an appointment at 4. My school nurse says I need an epi pen since the attacks are getting more severe. I need to buy some Benadryl for sure...not sure what I would have done at home. We have no drugs and my face was too swollen to see to drive.

We have no idea what is causing it. I have never been allergic to anything in my life. I can literally roll around in poison ivy and never get it. There is nothing I ate or unusual that we can link.

Whatever it After the attack is over the drugs leave me so loopy and sleepy. I hate that feeling. Hopefully the Docs have an answer.

Hanging out with hubby at his office until the appointment. Ah, crazy stuff.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Guest Blog-Pink and Purple birthday that warms the heart!

Today's post in from my mommy friend Tahya. She is a military wife and writes her own blog here. She is a prolific writer and her smiles of the day area always warms my heart.

Tahya and I are friends from my Omaha days and she is someone I constantly turn to for mommy advice....because she keeps it real, which as a rookie mom I apprecitate. She has two little ones: Kenley age 3 and Kelton age 1.

Here she talks about Kenley's birthday party:

We wanted to do something really special for Kenley's 3rd birthday for 2 reasons. Number 1: last year we celebrated her 2nd birthday driving from San Antonio, TX to Pensacola, FL. For those of you that don't know, that is about a 12 hour drive and we had a two year old and a 3 month old. Luckily, the kids did awesome. There wasn't any meltdowns until we were 40 miles from home.

Reason number 2: Kenley's father was deploying a few weeks before her birthday. So we wanted to make sure that we had a party before he left. My friend Renee and I decided to do a joint party. Her little girl will be turning 1 in March, and her father is also deployed.

Since both of the kids are girls, we decided to do a sweet shop theme with all of the food and candy being different shades of pinks and purples. We also incorporated a heart theme to go along with it since we were able to find such cute heart spoons and bowls. My friend Renee made the cupcakes. Some were just plain Vanilla and others were a Raspberry Vanilla flavor. Each guest left with 2 cupcakes and a bucket full of candy.

Overall, it was a great way to celebrate Kenley and Ellyssa's birthdays and a great send off to some very special dads.

Kenley looking adorable with her posh pink and purple decorations behind her. The table was the candy bar for the kiddos. Does this count as kiddy happy hour?

Pink lanterns adorned the ceiling for an extra pop of pink.

Who can pass up heart shaped serving items...after Valentine's day is a good time to stock up on all things pink, purple and heart shaped if your considering a similar theme....maybe even for a baby shower?

Goodie bags for guest to take home.

Tahya and Janelle