Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sarah's First Christmas

Our Christmas was so wonderful and a bit crazy! We started off the festivities on Christmas Eve with our evening church service. Sarah was still kind of sick so we decided not to drop her off in the nursery and brought her into the sanctuary with us. She sat still for the music but then wanted to go play for the sermon.

After church we headed to my in-laws' house for dinner and gifts. Ryan's family does what they call a "snack supper" every Christmas Eve. I honestly think it's Ryan's favorite tradition. It's basically just a dinner full of little appetizers and it is so good. After dinner it was time to open presents and we had a pretty good time doing that. Although Sarah was more interested in the bows than anything else.

The next morning, we had our own little family Christmas with Sarah and she was sleepy. She's not used to tons of activity right after she wakes up. None of us are real morning people so it usually takes us a while to get up and going.

Her favorite gift by far. She can "walk" anywhere with this thing.

Once we finished up our Christmas morning we headed to my parents' house for gifts and dinner. And it was a blast. Having a large family makes things so much more interesting for the holidays.

I told you she liked the bows!

Finally after 5 1/2 hours of straight activity, Little Bit passed out.

I hope you all had a merry Christmas too!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

On the Mend

Sarah's little cold was passed to Mama! The bad thing about being a stay at home mom is that even when you feel like you've been hit by a truck and your head is in a vice, you still have to work. No sick days or holidays here. Although it wasn't too bad because Sarah was very sleepy from being sick herself so we napped on and off for the last few days while Daddy was hard at work! (He's still healthy though.)

My poor girl hates getting her nose wiped and she is not a fan of that little booger sucker thing they give you at the hospital. Unfortunately we have had to use that and saline drops consistently since Tuesday. It's so sad to see a baby miserable and know that you can't do anything to make her feel better. Her nose was so stuffy that she couldn't comfortably drink her bottle or use her paci. She made this little snuffling sounds that just about broke my heart every time. I just wanted her to be back to her healthy, happy self.

 But things are looking up. She hasn't been running a fever today and we've had to wipe her nose a lot less the last two days. So I think she is finally getting better! And I am doing much better too. Less hit by a truck feeling and more just lethargic. So here's to a healing weekend so we can all enjoy a HEALTHY Christmas celebration!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

So 8 1/2 Months of Good Health

is now gone. Poor Sarah has her first cold. Runny nose, then stuffy, slight fever, and just an all over icky feeling. I'm doing everything I can for her. We have her humidifier running.We put Tylenol in her system and ibuprofen on standby. I even have little saline drops and a booger sucker for her tiny nose. So just keep her in your thoughts and hope for some good healing rest for all of us!

Wordless Wednesday (Laundry Edition)

Everything was fully supervised!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fun and Productive Day

Sarah and I had our last MOPS meeting of the year and it was so much fun. I dropped Sarah off in her Moppets class and left for my meeting. We had lots of good food, good devotions, and great giveaways! I was able to sit and chat with the ladies at my table and just have a good relaxed time.

Apparently so did Sarah. When I went to pick her up she was sitting with another little boy and saw me at the door and got VERY excited. So instead of going around this poor baby boy, she went OVER him in her hurry to crawl to the door. The boy didn't know what had just happened. Her teachers informed me that she was very happy and playful all day. They also told me she had been more vocal than ever before. Her little growls apparently drew a lot of laughs.

After MOPS, Sarah came home and took a TWO HOUR NAP! That's completely unheard of these days! So Mama took advantage and got some dusting and Christmas cards finished. (Weird combo, I know.) When naptime was over we headed out to finish out our errands and the day ended well.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Readers Come On In

Recently the traffic to my little blog has gotten much heavier. The problem is I don't know who all is visiting my blog, because no one is leaving comments or becoming a follower. But my daily hits are definitely higher than there were a few months ago. So this is just a PSA to introduce yourself and tell me either how you found this blog, or why you read! I LOVE getting comments and hearing what others have to say! Don't be shy, I promise I won't bite. But Sarah is a different story. She hasn't realized she has bottom teeth that hurt when she chomps down on you. OUCH!

Monday, December 6, 2010

What a Weekend

Ryan, Sarah, and I went to Omaha yesterday to go see Ryan's side of the family. We piled into Ryan's parent's van and took off on the road together. Sarah did so well in the car. She slept half the way there and ate ate puffs and cheerios for the rest of the ride. Ryan even fed her lunch while we were driving. Car seats are great high chairs.

Sarah was able to meet her great-grandparents and her great-aunt and uncle. Everyone loved her and thought she was absolutely adorable. And of course Sarah put on the charm. She was happy and smiling and waving the whole time. I was prepared for a cranky, clingy baby and that is NOT what I got. Trust me I was pleasantly surprised.

Sarah played happily at Ryan's grandparents' house while we ate a HUGE  lunch made by his grand daddy. He made course after course of delicious food! I was full after finishing my bowl of homemade minestrone soup, but there were so many other things to eat that I couldn't resist overeating a bit. After spending some time catching up with Ryan's grandparents and then headed over to his aunt and uncle's house. There were cousins galore because we were celebrating a birthday. So there were tons of people there to comment on Sarah's cuteness and good mood. She let people hold her and crawled all over while we had dinner and cake. Then it was time to head home.

Thankfully the whole trip tuckered out my little girl and she was really easy for the return trip. On the way home, she slept the entire way and woke up about 15 minutes before we hit home. We had a wonderful time trying to get her back to bed, but she eventually did fall back asleep around midnight. And overall the whole experience was a positive one. It's always great to see family and show off your little one.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

When Toys Are Boring ...

try kitchen supplies. Sarah was happily playing with measuring spoons, wax paper, plastic cups, and aluminum foil last night. Not all at once, but they kept her attention much longer than her boring old light up toys. Just look at this picture her grandpa snapped.

I'm fairly certain metallics are the "in" thing right now? Aren't they??

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Eight Months

Sarah is eight months old today! Someone needs to give Father Time a memo for me. "Slow down!!!" And while you're talking to Father Time could you let Mother Nature know that I would appreciate it if the weather would stay above 35 degrees. And if it has to be that cold or colder at least let it snow. Anyway, back to Sarah.

Seriously, my baby is growing and learning like crazy! I had the opportunity to see my friend's fresh out of the oven baby and I was amazed at how gargantuan Sarah looked. I can barely remember Sarah being that tiny. Now she's all over the place. She crawls everywhere and pulls up on anything within reach. It used to be that she just made it to her knees, but she has graduated to full on standing. I have vague memories of a child that was immobile and stayed right where you left them. If I get up to put a dish in the sink or even take a few minutes to use the restroom without putting Sarah in the pack n play, well who knows where she will be. My pack n play is my new favorite baby gadget! Fill it with toys and Sarah is content for at least 5 minutes, which is just long enough to dress and brush my teeth and hair.

Sarah's latest trick is clicking her tongue. She figured it out yesterday, and she will do it for hours! Usually if you do it back or clap for her, she stops. She is also mesmerized by the Christmas tree and lights. Lucky for us, she just likes to look and not really touch. That in itself is strange to me, because Sarah loves textures and to feel things. Unless it's food.

Solid foods have been sort of a challenge as of lately. Sarah really doesn't like to have much texture to her food. It took her a while to figure out chewing and she wanted absolutely nothing to do with puffs or table food. If her food wasn't completely smooth, then she wasn't going to eat it. That changed around last week. She gobbles up puffs and even manages two or three at a time. The funny thing about that is, she won't feed them to herself. I pour a few into my hand and before I can really pass them to her she face plants into my palm. It's a little like feeding the goats at a petting zoo.

We have come so far from that little baby we took home for the hospital. She turns into more of a little girl everyday!
Look at those two teeth! She's working on getting a matching set on the top!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Mind Dump

  1. I am a perfectionist and it causes a lot of problems. I obsess over little things like Christmas card photos, the clothes Sarah wears and the coordinating bows, and whatever I cook/bake. I wish it was easier for me to not sweat the small stuff.
  2. I find myself wishing there was more time in the day way too often. I think I need to reduce my to-do list.
  3. I really enjoy getting to know other mothers near my age. I just wish I knew more of them. Sometimes being a mama can be lonely.
  4. I get frustrated way too easily a lot of the time. I am working on it.
  5. I need to remember that my dogs are just dogs. They don't deliberately try to make me mad. 
  6. My husband does not set out to make my day harder, he really wants to help out and I should let him.
  7. Having a mobile baby really makes you exhausted by the end of the day.
  8. I should invest in some baby gates.
  9. If there is one thing I don't want Sarah to have, she will find it.
  10. I am excited to celebrate Christmas as a family of three. I can't wait to start our own traditions.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

I just wanted to share my favorite picture of me and my girl!

We had a great day filled with turkey and family!  Ryan and I had dinner at my family's house first. After spending a couple of hours there, we headed over to his folks' house and had dessert. Both families gave us lots of yummy leftovers. My dad smoked TWO turkeys and roasted one. So they had plenty to share.

I even braved the crowds and went Black Friday shopping for the first time in my life. I went to Kohl's at 3:00 AM and ended up getting clothes for my whole family. Of course that meant no sleep for me on Thanksgiving night, but it wasn't too bad. I got home around 6:00 AM and went to bed an hour later. My wonderful husband allowed me to sleep for most of the afternoon while he watched Sarah. I did manage to find a cute Christmas dress for Sarah at a ridiculously good price. $7.00
Once I finally got up, I had to get ready for family Christmas pictures. My sister, Stevie, came over and took some of us and some of Little Bit by herself. I am so excited to put them together this weekend and get them ordered so we can send them out. The best part is that my cards aren't going to cost me anything!

Well I hope everyone else had a great Thanksgiving/Black Friday! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. This time last year, I had just learned that I was having a baby girl and I was contemplating what a great blessing it was to be expecting my first child. Well this year, I am happy to say that those blessings I dreamed about when I was pregnant, don't measure up to the reality of having Sarah here with us.  But in honor of Thanksgiving, I made a list of all the things I am thankful for this year.

  1. A husband who works hard every day to provide for his family. It means he wakes up early every day and stays up late (sometimes too late). He is a great man and father. I don't thank him enough for what he does. So thank you Ryan for being you!
  2. A daughter who brings me so much joy and happiness. I love being her mother and getting to see her grow and learn. She is already this great little person and I can't wait to see what else lies ahead for us.
  3. The ability to be a stay at home mom. While this may not have been my dream job, it has proven to be one of the best learning and growing experiences of my life. Each day brings new happiness and frustration. I finally feel like I hit the groove on where I am supposed to be.
  4. A great church and life group. Finding our church has been a HUGE blessing! We have made new friends and connected to people in ways that had been lacking for a while. 
  5. Family! I have great parents and siblings as well as great in-laws. They love my daughter, husband, and me so much.
  6. As cheesy/corny as it sounds, I am thankful for a roof over my head and food to eat. Not to mention the clothes I have to wear. 
What are you thankful for this year? Have a great Thanksgiving and cherish those family moments today. Even if they are a bit stressful!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Birth Experience Revisited

Not too long ago, I was thinking about Sarah's birthday. I loved my hospital experience for the most part. I had a great nursing staff and loads of visitors. My doctor and Sarah's doctor were absolutely wonderful to us. They both stopped in several times to check on us. I even liked the food I was served. But everything has two sides. There were a few things about my labor and delivery that I hope don't get repeated with future kids. (Yes there will be more kids even though I sometimes claim there won't be. Usually that's just my sleep deprivation and frustration speaking.)

First off, I was induced and I don't regret it one bit. Although it was not my ideal situation. At my last few appointments during my pregnancy, my blood pressure was elevated and it caused a LOT of swelling. So my doctor felt that an induction would be good not only for my comfort but to also keep my blood pressure from rising to dangerous levels. But I do feel like I missed out on the "going into labor" thing. I never got to call Ryan or tell him that our baby was on the way. I didn't get to labor at home or walk the hospital halls. I was virtually tied to the bed from the minute I was admitted. So with the next child I would like to avoid an induction if possible.
 The top is Sarah's heart rate looking good. The bottom is pitocin induced contractions. Boo!

Then there was my blood pressure. It shot way up there during delivery, causing me to be bedridden well after Sarah was born. I wasn't allowed to get off my left side for hours. I couldn't get out of bed to shower or hold the baby. She had to be brought to me and I had to wait an eternity to get a shower. Now, I know that was out of my control, but I still wish I could have been up and around more after birth. I think it would have helped me feel more normal. They thought that my blood pressure would stabilize after Sarah was born, but it didn't. I almost didn't get to go home as planned because my blood pressure wouldn't cooperate. So they medicated me for 6 weeks until my body finally caught on.

But I think the most disappointing thing about Sarah's birth was her respiratory distress. Sarah also had several heart rate dips as I pushed and that was a big cause for concern. She had the hiccups as she was being born and that may have caused her to inhale fluid into her lungs. It may not have been the only cause of the fluid, but I think it played a big part. Anyway, because of that she was born this sickly grey/white color. Ryan didn't get to cut the cord and she was rushed over to her little warmer where a team of nurses began working on her. I was in such big shock that I didn't cry or really have much emotion at all. It was almost like it wasn't really happening to me or Sarah. I didn't hear her cry for what felt like forever. There was talk of her getting sent to the NICU and those are words no mama ever wants to hear. Because they needed to keep a close eye on her breathing, Sarah spent the first couple of hours after she was born being monitored in the nursery. I really felt like I missed out on a great bonding experience with her and often wonder if that's why I felt so disconnected from her at first.

Sarah finally arrived.

Notice her white feet/legs and hand, her whole body was that color. She was limp and white. Very scary!
The best part about the whole thing though was my beautiful daughter. And even though there were some things that I wish had gone differently; the end result was this miraculous, tiny human. She is such a great little person with a HUGE personality. I love her laugh, and her claps, and the funny way she holds her mouth to the side. She is a very inquisitive baby that likes to get into everything she shouldn't. She keeps me on my toes. But watching her learn about this world and the things around her is a truly amazing experience.

Something caught her interest.

I think that God may have allowed these complications so that my gratitude and love could be so much bigger than they would have been. It was rough in the beginning, and I often felt like maybe I had gotten into something I shouldn't have. But God was there through it all and He listened to my prayers and granted me the grace to get through the tough moments. He chose me to be this girl's mother and He knows best. I need to remember that more often.

So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am very thankful for my daughter, no matter how she got here. There will always be something that doesn't go as planned, but at least this time I got a great gift. For a split second (that seemed like it would never end) every nerve in my body was rigid with fear and worry. God blessed me and turned that fearful moment into a lifetime that is sure to be filled with love. Even when I am frustrated with naps or frazzled from chasing a crawler, I will be grateful because things could have gone so differently in that delivery room.

Christmas photo test shot. We are going to get pictures done for cards this weekend. It's the first time we are going to send out cards as a family! I am way excited for this! Lots of cute outfits for Sarah!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mall Blowouts ... Yes THAT Blowout

Last week I was at the mall with Sarah. I like to go there and just walk, especially if the weather is especially nasty. It's a good climate controlled area and it gives me a place to go when I need to get out of the apartment. Sometimes we buy things, but most of the time it's just window shopping and lunch.

Anyway, my sister was with us and we were at JC Penney's looking at all the cute Christmas clothes when we notice a funny smell. I decided to head towards Nordstrom, since they always have the cleanest bathrooms. I got there and went to lift Sarah onto the changing table when I noticed that her light pink sweatpants had changed colors. Yup, they were that yucky green/brown color that means one thing, a major diaper fail! Sarah has a diaper blowout usually once a week, but I was totally not prepared for it to happen in a public place.

I had forgotten our changing pad that goes in the diaper bag so I had no choice but to lay her on the store's table. Luckily it was cushioned and I did put paper towels down to help minimize the mess. It didn't help much. Poor Sarah had poo all up her back, down her legs, and even in her socks. So there I am trying to clean her, wrap up the clothes, and avoid getting poo all over everything within 5 feet. I managed to get her in a fresh diaper and clothes without too big of a problem. Then it came to putting her dirty clothes somewhere, I had no bag to tie them up in.

So I grabbed a handful of paper towels (again) and wrapped them around the clothes. It semi worked. Trust me I did think of just tossing the clothes with the dirty diaper, but I liked that outfit. My sister is standing on the sidelines just mortified. She couldn't believe someone that small had made such a huge mess. So now that Sarah was all taken care of, it was time to turn to me. I had poo on my hands and my sweater. I washed my hands and positioned myself behind the stroller and headed home. It was a true learning experience for me. I will always have a grocery sack with me from now on. Oh did I mention that the stroller needed to be washed down too?

The things you learn about as a mom are very different from what you think they will be. And being a mother totally changes what you deem as appropriate conversation/blogging.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm Back

So after a rather long week I am finally glad to say things are back to normal. I really don't mind looking after my siblings. They are pretty well behaved, for the most part and very low maintenance. We had a good time hanging out, shopping, cooking together, and yes even doing homework. Well, really they did it and I either helped or checked it. But there's something to be said about the comfort of a normal routine.

Sarah's naps were complete crap this week. By crap, I mean two fifteen minute naps for the entire day! That meant that we had both a crabby baby and mommy. When Sarah doesn't nap, she gets whiny and inconsolable. This in turn makes me irritable. Her naps are when I get that "me time". It's a vital part of my day, that time that I get to sit, read, blog, clean, or simply be still.

But like I said, this week it didn't happen. So poor Ryan had a very frazzled wife at the end of the day for a few days this week. But luckily things are going to be semi-routine this week. Monday and Tuesday will be business as usual, but Ryan has the rest of the week off. Which isn't our normal thing for the week, but at least I have an extra set of hands. So if for some reason Sarah just won't nap, I can hit the mall with all the crazy shoppers and leave my husband with the cranky baby. And trust me Black Friday shoppers have nothing on an angry, sleep deprived baby.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Busy Week Ahead

My parents are going out of town for a week and Ryan and I will be taking care of my brother and sister. In all actuality, all we will really be doing is playing chauffeur and chef. My siblings are fairly self sufficient teenagers, especially when compared to my daughter. So I have a busy week of school pick ups, drop offs, and other miscellaneous errands. That means my blogging might be just a few quick lines here and there.

But before I head out of here, I have some EXCITING news. One of my friends just had her baby boy this morning and he is gorgeous. I am so excited for her and her husband. They are going to make great parents and I know that they already love this little boy more than they thought would be possible. Like I said their son is an adorable baby, although I am slightly jealous of all of his hair. Poor Sarah was born bald and is still working on overcoming it.

So to make up for what is sure to be a bad week of blogging, here are a few pics of Sarah.

Her baby wipe is her favorite toy!

Gotta hold those toes!

I love this picture. The loves of my life.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Check It Out

So I'm sure nearly everyone that reads this blog has heard of Shutterfly. It's a great website to get photos, cards, photobooks, and all kinds of other things from. I didn't find out about this site until we did Sarah's birth announcements, but I am glad I found it. Sarah's birth announcements turned out wonderfully. Every thing that I have had done at Shutterfly is of great quality whether it was a card for Father's Day or pictures for a baby book.

Now this year they have a spectacular line of holiday cards out. I can't wait to take pictures for ours and get them all ready to go out. We haven't sent out cards before, but we thought it might be a good idea to do it now that we have a baby. Everyone likes getting baby pictures right??

I'm having a hard time deciding on which ones are my favorite but I think these are my top three.

Peppermint Ice Snowflake Card I love that the year is at the top and it says Merry Christmas
Believe in Magic This one is just so cute and simple. Nothing too fancy.
Our Ornaments Story Card This one makes the traditional newsletter easy! Just add it into the pictures.

And for all you bloggers out there ... Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly… sign up: 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Splish Splash

I was taking a bath and so were Mommy and Daddy. So says little miss Sarah. Last night we were doing the whole bedtime routine thing and that includes a nightly bath. Usually Ryan is the one that bathes her, but I volunteered to do it because I like watching how happy she is in the bath tub. She absolutely LOVES water.

So back to the bath last night. I put her in the tub and reached to grab the baby soap, when SPLASH! I am totally soaked. My shirt, my jeans, my socks, everything. Sarah has always splashed and kicked in the tub, but last night was something else. Ryan came in to watch as Sarah geared up for another tidal wave. She lifter her legs so high that the lower half of her body was off the bottom of the tub and she was virtually folded in half. Then she let her legs drop. She ended up kicking so hard that she propelled herself across the bathtub. She kept doing it over and over which made it hard to actually wash her legs and feet.

By the time we finished her bath everything within 10 feet was sopping wet. I looked like I had just taken a shower in my clothes, there were huge puddles all over the floor, the counters were wet, and the mirror even had some droplets on it. Ryan and I were cracking up the entire because we just couldn't believe such a small body could cause such a huge mess.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Seven Month Stats

So this is over a week late, but better late than never. She turned seven months on the second.

Height: Around 26 inches
Weight: About 17 1/2 lbs

New Developments:
  • Crawling
  • Clapping - no sound yet, just putting hands together
  • She plays in her pack and play for twenty minutes at a time or so. This way I know she's safely contained and not getting into anything she shouldn't be.
  • Pincer grasp is almost perfected
  • She loves to bounce whether it be on someone's knee, in her jump up, her jumperoo, or on her own
  • Getting into a sitting position all on her own
  • She loves to talk and it's nearly constant. Still no real words just a whole lot of babble. But there are some "mamas" and a BUNCH of "dadas".
  • Headbands may become a thing of the past. :( She takes them off when she gets agitated.
  • Solid foods are definitely more appealing now. Her favorites are bananas and sweet potatoes. But everything better be a puree because she does not like things with textures.
  • Everyone in the house is getting more sleep! She consistently sleeps through the night. She goes down between 9:30 and 10:30 and stays asleep until at least 5:00 before she wants a bottle and then goes back to sleep until 9:15 or so. Sometimes we make it to 7:00 before she needs the bottle.
  • Anything with fur is her best friend. She ADORES dogs and cats. If you are feeding her and a dog walks into view you have to wait for the dog to move before she will give you her attention again.
  • She is holding her own bottle now! The only exception is when she is sleepy. Then she still needs some help.
Things I miss
  • Her toothless smile
  • Having her sleep on my chest and not feeling like there's a brick on my lungs
  • Setting her down in one spot and having her be there when I get back
  • All of her cute newborn and 0 - 3 clothes
What I love
  • Watching her grow and get to important milestones
  • Seeing her learn new things
  • Making new hair accessories (flowers, bows, etc)
  • Buying baby clothes ... it's a sad obsession
  • Discovering the world all over again through my daughter's eyes
  • Feeling like I am finally adjusting to being a stay at home mom 
  • Seeing my husband be a great father and my daughter's love for him
  • Redefining my ability to love each and every day

Monday, November 8, 2010

And We're Off...

Sarah has officially started to crawl and she is one fast baby. For weeks now she has been able to get up on all fours and do this little rocking back and forth thing. Then she started to do this little bunny hop thing where she only moved her legs. But a few days ago she started to move forward a bit and yesterday she finally put everything together.

Now that she has figured out all the mechanics of crawling she's nearly unstoppable. It's a good thing our place was pretty much baby proofed to begin with. I did have to put a few pillows around the coffee table to prevent her from getting under there, but it's not that big of a deal. Now I just need to teach her the difference between her toys and the dog toys. Seriously all she wants to play with is my dogs' nasty old bone.

I'm excited that she's able to move around now and discover more new things each day. I mean who knew that blinds, rugs, and dogs could be so much fun? But I'm also a little sad because she is moving further away from that tiny baby from SEVEN months ago. (I need to do a seven month stat soon ...) As she grows, I follow her and see the world through new eyes each day. I get to experience my ordinary life with a fresh perspective because I have a little one who knows nothing but wonder every time the dishwasher kicks on, the wind rustles the leaves, or she touches the funny texture of the couch. It's a new and exciting place to be and I know it's going to be a fun ride!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Last Home Game

Last night was the last home game of the season for my alma mater and what a game it was. I know I have mentioned before how marching band was a HUGE part of my life during college. It was literally like a second family to me. That was made so much more obvious by my director's thoughtfulness last night.

The year my sister would have entered college and become part of the marching band, she was murdered. So I never was able to experience that with her. My director dedicated the first half time show of that season to her. He also ordered wristbands and pins for the entire marching band to wear for that entire season. He told my family that for each year that Kelsey should have been in the band, he would make the wristband a required part of the uniform. This way she would be with them always. Her section (and mine), the clarinets, have tied a blue ribbon to the bell of their instruments to show her being there in spirit.

Flash forward to this season. This would have been Kelsey's 4th season with the band. Her senior year. At the last home game of each year all of the seniors are recognized and given a special plume to wear in their hats. The director invited my parents to come onto the field at half time to accept Kelsey's senior plume. It was so touching that he thought of her in the stress of all that the last game is.

Never have I been more proud to be a Wildcat!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Christmas Songs

Starting on November first, one of my favorite things happened. A local radio station started playing Christmas music!! Yes, I am one of those crazy people that could listen to Christmas music all year round. There's something about hearing Carol of the Bells or Silent Night that just puts a smile on my face. Sometimes if I am in a particularly nasty mood humming a few lines of one these tunes, reminds me that there is good in the world and things to look forward to.

I know tons of people hate the fact that the Christmas season starts the day after Halloween. I mean, you can go into a store on Halloween and see all the creepy decorations and that same store will be all dressed for Christmas the next day. It's like a team of elves went crazy overnight to make sure every shopper knows that Christmas is creeping in on them. ---That there are only a few more weeks until the holiday stress will take over. Make sure you all buy the perfect wrapping paper with the matching bows and if you look to the left we have Christmas cards for you to fill out and send to everyone you haven't spoken to/seen in the last year.---Even I don't like that! But they can play all the Christmas songs they want, it won't bother me any.

There's something about carols that makes my heart happy. (Excluding things like Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer of course.)Listening to all the messages of joy and peace and goodwill make me hope that one day this world can be a better place. Now that I have a daughter, I want her to know that yes, this world is scary but it's also beautiful. I think the holiday season reminds us of that. This is the time when people feel a little more friendly to their neighbor or maybe go out of their way to give that bell ringer some change. (Someday I will go into me and bell ringers. Seriously I HAVE to give them money anytime I see them.)

And the songs remind us of home and family. That really this holiday shouldn't be stressful but cherished like a great big meal. You should eat every last crumb. It's a time to reconnect and love on one another. So for me all these Christmas songs are a reminder of what I should do when Christmas rolls around. How I shouldn't be worried about the gifts I've given or the food I *tried* to make. And it puts me in a better mood. So if you see some crazy lady in her car singing Christmas carols and totally rocking out to them, just smile and wave because it's probably me.

By the way, only seven more Saturdays until Christmas!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Believe

... in voting. Every vote counts and just one person can make a difference. It's so important to be politically aware especially if you are a parent.

... Panera's iced green tea is awesome. I wish they sold it by the gallon.

... that Disney and Pixar animated films are appropriate for any age. No one is every too old to enjoy them.

... sleepless nights call for mid day naps with your baby. I love snuggling with Sarah on the couch. We both get some badly needed rest and sleep much better that way.

... Christmas is just around the corner and I am SO excited about it.

... Sarah's new love of her wet wipes is hilarious. She's hard core attached to them but HATES having her face wiped.

... in family.

What do you believe in this week? Link up to Mrs. Trophy Wife and let her know.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Baby's First Halloween

Sarah was dressed as a pumpkin. I know it's the go to costume for babies, but she was sooo cute. Plus the costume was a thick jumper with feet and it kept her warm. It was VERY cold last night. Ryan and I took her out to our church's Trunk or Treat event. (People decorate the trunks of their cars and pass out candy.) Obviously she didn't get any candy, but we went to socialize and see other kiddos in their CUTE costumes. Some of them were just great! Lego man, giraffe, and lots of princesses.

After we finished up there, we went to Ryan's parents house for some pictures but Sarah really didn't want to give anyone smiles. She was just tired and not wanting to really do anything. Luckily Daddy was able to get her to smile for some good pictures though. Sadly they are all still on his camera and he won't be able to upload them until later tonight. So for now I will just have to post some pictures of Sarah when we were carving pumpkins. Yes we put her in one. And she loved it! I took off her clothes and left her in her diaper because I figured it was easier to give a baby a bath then try and get dried pumpkin strings off of clothes later.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Believe

... in productive days. Days where you get all the laundry, dishes, and vacuuming done. Oh and throw in dinner and a trip to the store. Those days make me feel like super woman or super mom.

... dessert completes a meal. Enough said.

... that baby "growls" are both funny and sweet to listen to. 

... family is a blessing. No matter if they drive you crazy or are your best friend, family means home. I love that my family is less than a 15 minute drive from here. It's just an amazing comfort.

... in giving and serving. Someone, somewhere, needs a hand. It could be donating time or money to your favorite charity or just giving someone a hug.

... I will miss my sister everyday for the rest of my life. Every happy event will have a shadow of sadness because she isn't there to share in the joy.

What do you believe in this week? Link up at Exploits of a Military Mama

Wordless Wednesday

Look close there's a tooth there. And note the candy corn colors.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Happened

The weather has FINALLY turned. It officially feels like fall. The air has a crispness to it, the trees are more orange/yellow than green, and there are pumpkins everywhere! I am so excited that Kansas decided to grace us with fall this year instead of skipping straight to winter. I can break out the apple cider and the pumpkin spice coffee without feeling like something is missing!

Not to mention that in a few short days we will be dressing our little girl up as a pumpkin and showing off just how cute she is. We'll be taking her out with her uncle when he goes trick or treating. But before we do that there are pumpkins to be carved and seeds to be toasted. I'm thinking a carving party is in order. Friends all getting together and making boring old pumpkins come to life with fancy, funny, or creepy faces. There will be treats and cider and all kinds of things. This is only the prelude to holidays that are JUST around the corner. Seriously, less than 2 months until Christmas. Who's excited??

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I believe

... that making new friends is a scary but rewarding experience. I have some great new friends in my life.

... every mama deserves and needs some time to herself. Sometimes the only thing that can recharge a tired soul is some alone time or time out with the girls.

... having a busy schedule makes me cherish the slow moments at home, like playing in the leaves.

... having a good hair day can make you have a good day.

... God is personally involved in my day to day life.

... I have been blessed with a great family, immediate, extended, and in-laws.