January 31, 2011

Project 365: Week 4

(this week's pictures go up and down instead of across)
22. On Saturday I went shopping with my mom, 2 older sisters, and niece. We had so much fun and I found some good sales for clothes for Manny.
23. We went to church with my family and out for some Mexican after lunch. Manny practiced waving at us all.
24. I found a gym that has great child care so decided to join. Here we are before heading out to the gym. I was trying to get a picture of us in the mirror but it was HARD! I love the way he's looking at me in this one though. :)
25. Right before I took this picture, Manny climbed up on that little tool bench in front of him and stood on it (while resting his hands on the hearth). He is such a daredevil! I freaked out when I saw it because he was wobbling like crazy. I pulled him down and luckily he hasn't tried it again...yet. :)
26. Manny absolutely loves his 100 First Words Book. It is one of the few books he'll actually sit still for while I read it. He looks at it all the time by himself too. And there's something on the back of the book that he always stares at. He flips it over and just looks and looks...so cute.
27. I was playing on the living room floor with Manny when I looked over and noticed a water bottle sticking out from under the couch. Upon further inspection, I saw SIX water bottles shoved under one corner of the couch. Looks like we have a little pack rat on our hands. :)
28. Friday was a beautiful day! We decided to take advantage of it and played outside for awhile. I cannot wait for spring!

January 27, 2011

Answers: Part 2 {Creative}

First of all, major thanks to you guys for all of your suggestions on my questions yesterday! Y'all are always so helpful and I appreciate it more than you'll ever know. Have I mentioned that I love the blogging community? Manny thanks you for your help, too. :)
Now to finish up the answers to the rest of your questions! This is kind of long but I wanted to get all of them answered before I forgot. :)

I would love to know if you miss work at all and see yourself going back to work any time in the near future. Honestly I can't say I miss work at this point. I'm sure the day will come, but for now I'm loving every minute of being a stay-at-home mom. Maybe because it's something I wanted for so long? I don't know. It is harder than I ever imagined but I still am so thankful for the opportunity to stay home with Manny. I think it also helps that I still do some work from home. I just finished creating a new website for SheShe Made, and I also still do some work for a handful of clients that I worked with at my last job at the college. I think it's good for me to have some other projects to work on from time to time.


Where do you make all your beautiful projects? Do you have a "scrap room" or do you just do it where ever you have room?
I keep all of my craft supplies in our office/craft room/workout room (previously referenced as the dump-yo-junk room) and everything has a pretty good home there. However, we're actually toying with the idea of turning our formal dining room into a study since we never use it. If we did that, then there would be a space for me to have an actual craft table in the same room as I store all of my stuff. As it stands right now, I usually grab the supplies I need and bring them downstairs and work on them at my kitchen island. Nothing fancy, but it would be nice to have a table in the same room my supplies are in. If that ever happens, I'm envisioning a distressed turquoise (maybe farmhouse?) type table. :)

Tell me about your Cricut. What kind of Cricut do you have and where is the best place to buy products for it? How many cartridges do you have? Do you think it's worth the money?
I have the Cricut Expression, and it seems like Wal-Mart has the best price on it right now. The Cricut Create could handle the majority of my projects - the only difference I'm aware of is the ability to cut larger sizes with the Expression. When I got mine, they were having a sale on it such that it was basically $20 more for the bigger one, so that's why I chose it.

I buy all of my vinyl from Expressions Vinyl. Their prices are sooo much cheaper than buying at Hobby Lobby, etc. They also have awesome t-shirt vinyl, chalkboard vinyl, and flocked vinyl for great prices. (Silhouette users should check them out too...I really don't think their prices can be beat on vinyl stuff.) You can also sign up for their newsletter and they always send out coupon codes.

I only own one cartridge and it is the one that came free with my Cricut. I purchased the Sure Cuts a Lot program which allows me to cut fonts and all sorts of files from my computer. You can buy it at Expressions Vinyl also. It is well worth the price (around $80 but you can get it cheaper with their coupon codes) when considering most Cricut cartridges are around $50-$60 each.

For me, yes, the Cricut was well worth the money. I use it for many things...to label stuff, to make gifts, to decorate my house, and so much more. I don't paper scrap at all but I still feel like I use my Cricut all of the time. It really just depends on how into projects you are on if you'll get your money's worth out of it.

How do you come up with your crafty ideas? Is there a specific site you get them from?
I am often inspired by something I see either in a store, magazine, or of course on another blog. Sometimes I'll do something a little different and make the project my own, while other times I'll just make the exact same project. There is not a specific site where I get all of my ideas from as I read far too many crafty blogs. :) There are some that have weekly linky parties where people link up their projects, and I often find inspiration at those. It's a great way to see a lot of projects at a glance. Some of my favorite blogs that host linky parties are Today's Creative Blog, Tatertots & Jello, I Heart Naptime (this is a link to a list she has complied of TONS of linky parties), C.R.A.F.T. and The Girl Creative.

Have you always been creative or did that happen later on in life?
My mom is super creative so I feel like she encouraged that growing up. I think in the later years I have really tapped into that side more, especially since I have started blogging as there's always so much amazing inspiration.

Are all of your (teaching) ideas in one post? And you can still add more ideas?
Here is the post where I gave my classroom tour, and then I shared some files I made in these two posts here and here. I will have to dig into my memory bank and see what other ideas I have that I can share. :) If you have any special requests please let me know!

What are some of your guilty pleasures and what would we find if we looked through your DVR or Tivo?
Guilty pleasures...let's see. I love crafting...it's so fun and really helps me unwind. I also love to get a massage or pedicure from time to time. And of course a little shopping is always fun. :) Our DVR is full of randomness from Mean Girls to Dateline...haha! Things you'd see on a regular basis include Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, The Office, The Bachelor, Teen Mom, Castle, and Law & Order SVU.

Okay, I think that covers all of them. If I missed yours please let me know!

January 26, 2011

New Blog Design, Sign Language, & Crib Guards?

I am still working on answering the rest of the questions you guys asked, so in the meantime I thought I'd mention a few other things on my mind.

First of all, if you're viewing via a reader, come on over and check out my adorable new blog layout! My sweet friend Tiffany was kind enough to fix me up with something fresh and fun...I just love it! Tiffany has an absolutely precious son named Maddox who is just one day younger than Manny. She takes the most amazing pictures of him and I just love her blog. Thanks so much Tiffany! :)

Now for a few questions. First, anybody do sign language with their baby? If so, what age did you start and what books and/or videos do you recommend?

My other question has to do with our crib. Manny has started chewing on the edge of it like a little beaver basically, and it's leaving marks. Aside from the fact that I'd rather him not ruin our crib, I'm starting to get worried about splinters. I know I'm not the first person to have this problem, so any advice? Is there any kind of protector I can put on the railings?

Thanks friends...Happy Wednesday! :)



January 25, 2011

Answers: Part 1 {Family}

Thanks for all of the fun questions! I'm going to break the answers up into 2 parts so this post doesn't get too long. Most of the questions fell into 2 categories: family or creative stuff. Today I will answer the family related questions.

How did you meet your hubby hubs?
You can read all about our story here! :)

What do you love most about being a mom?  
Gosh, this is a hard one. There are SO many things I love about being a mom and it far exceeds anything I'd imagined. Right now something I just love is how excited Manny gets when he sees me. We can laugh and play and he just smiles non-stop. This age is so fun and it is the best feeling in the world when he smiles at me, reaches for me, or says ma-ma. :)


What is your favorite part of your day with Manny?
I love playing with him as I just mentioned, but my absolute favorite part of the day is our morning time as a family. When Manny wakes up for the day, I go get him and put him in bed with us. He is in such a great mood and loves to laugh and romp around. He gets so excited to see Patrick and I love watching them play together. It's been known to bring tears to my eyes. :) Cheesy? Yes, but I just get this overwhelming feeling of being so blessed and couldn't be happier during these times.

What do you and your hubs like to do now when you get some baby free time?  
Okay, I'm ashamed to admit it, but the only baby free time we've had so far has been when Manny goes to bed at night. We've talked about going on a date and really, really want to but things have just been so busy that we haven't done so. We are planning to have a date night this month though!


How many more children would you guys like to have?
We would love to have a couple more kids, but who knows? When we first got married we always talked about wanting 5 kids. Since things got off to kind of a slow start for us, I'm not sure that will be realistic now. We would love for it to work out for us to have at least 3 though!

Now that you have Manny, do you still plan to adopt? How long do you think you'll wait before adding #2?  
The desire to adopt is certainly still in our hearts. We are currently praying about our future as a family, and seeking God's direction in the timing of it all. It is hard to know what to do & when, but one thing infertility taught me is to stop trying to plan things myself...it just doesn't typically work out that simply. :) I've had people ask me why we don't go ahead and start the adoption process since it can take a long time. However, you might recall that the agency we were listed with before (and plan to use again when the time comes) things can take awhile or they have been known to happen extremely fast. To be completely honest, we don't feel a release yet to start that process. Maybe it's because we have some other things we need to line out first with Patrick's job & financially, but who knows? In the meantime we are just continuing to pray and trusting that the Lord will let us know when the time is right. 


I'm wondering about Manny's eating schedule. What does he eat during a day? Have you tried a sippy yet?
We are not on an exact schedule, though his days usually look the same. Manny nurses about 4 or 5 times a day. He eats about half a jar of fruit for breakfast, the other half for lunch, and a jar of veggies for dinner. We are working on getting him to eat more but he's not super interested and it really varies day to day on how much he will eat. Except Puffs of course...he'd eat those all day every day if I'd let him. :) I'm also trying to introduce little pieces of fruit for snacks throughout the day. We are working on using a sippy. We have tried a few and he definitely prefers the Tommee Tippy kind.


That does it for today...thanks so much for all of your questions. :) Happy Tuesday!



January 24, 2011

Project 365: Week 3 & My Niece's Birthday Party

15. Manny loves his package of Boogie Wipes. Since he's had a runny nose, we've been keeping a package sitting on the ottoman for easy access. Of course this means he's always playing with them. The other night I noticed he had a little something on his bottom...he somehow managed to tear the top piece off the Boogie Wipes and apparently sat on it, thus leaving it stuck to his bottom. :)
16. Look who found the remotes this week! It is an ongoing battle to keep him from trying to eat them, so it looks like they'll be finding a new home soon.
17. Bubs turned 8 months old! Definitely our hardest photo shoot to date. He is SO busy!
18. Fortunately Manny's sickness was pretty much gone by Tuesday, but he did give me a few cuddles...those are priceless, and unfortunately few and far between these days now that he's becoming a busy big boy.
19. Patrick was giving Manny a bath and I was downstairs cleaning the kitchen. He texted me this picture stating that Manny's favorite bathtime game is giving his superduck mouth-to-mouth.
20. Still lugging around one of his beloved water bottles, he stopped for a few minutes to watch Baby Einstein.
21. My wonderful niece Gabi turned 15 years old the day before, so our family celebrated with dinner at P.F. Chang's. So yummy and so much fun!

I wanted to include a few more pictures from Gabi's birthday celebration. It was great to have a night out with my family! Unfortunately Patrick was on call so he couldn't come, and my little sister that lives in Dallas wasn't able to be there either...we missed you guys! Manny did SO good...mostly thanks to his new found love for Puffs. As part of Gabi's gift, I gave her 15 dollars in dimes (since she turned 15) in a water bottle since that's Manny's current fave. I printed off a picture of her and Manny to put on it for a fun little touch...she loved it. :)
And to my sweet little Gabbers - I cannot believe you are already 15 years old! It seems like just yesterday that I rushed home from 9th grade cheerleading practice so I could meet you when you guys arrived from Texas. You are such an amazing young lady with a beautiful heart and I am beyond proud of you and all of your accomplishments! I know I'm twice your age, but I hope to be half as cool as you one day. :) I love you sister...Happy Birthday!! :)



January 20, 2011

Embrace the Camera, Question Time & Monitor Recall

I haven't participated in Embrace the Camera in awhile, so I thought I would today. Patrick snapped this picture of Manny and I cuddling yesterday...and though it's kind of cut off, I still love it. Can't get enough cuddles from my sweet boy! :)
And now I think it's time for some questions! I always enjoy posts from other bloggers who answer questions from readers. It's fun to get to know them better and I usually learn a thing or two from some of their answers. So if you have a question you'd like to ask about me, Manny, crafting, etc...now's the time! I will answer them, along with some I've recently received via email, at the beginning of next week. 

Oh, and wouldn't you know that the minute I take to the internet professing my love for our video monitor it gets recalled?! Sure, it's just the rechargeable batteries, but still...I had to laugh. Here is the link in case you have the same monitor and haven't heard about it yet. 

Happy Thursday! :)


January 19, 2011

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: Water Bottle Love

A boy and his...water bottle? Yep, he's still super attached and drags it with him everywhere he goes.

And a little video where he keeps his beloved water bottle nearby the whole time while ignoring my requests to wave or say ma-ma...isn't that always how it is? :) It's kind of long, but towards the end you see his true dedication to his water bottle and I thought it was too cute not to include.



January 18, 2011

DIY: Dry Erase Vinyl Calendar

I decided at the last minute to join the "just something I whipped up" vinyl party at The Girl Creative. And by that, I mean I'm behind on my blog reading and just saw that she was hosting this. :)
I made a dry erase calendar using vinyl I cut with my Cricut sometime last spring and absolutely love it! All I have are these lousy cell phone picture from way back in May, but they give you the general idea. Basically I used my Cricut to cut out the pieces for a generic calendar, added some lines for notes, our name, and a decorative bird. I bought a 16x20 frame, removed the back, and hot glued the glass into the frame. Then I put my vinyl on the back side of the glass so it wouldn't get ripped when I erase things or clean it. That being the case, I flipped the text before cutting it out.
Lucky for me, someone in the Sure Cuts A Lot forum made the template of the boxes, so I downloaded it there...saved me a lot of time! If you have Sure Cuts A Lot, you can go to the forum and download it here. You might have to sign up for an account first. If you don't have Sure Cuts A Lot, you could always piece together boxes; it would just take a lot longer.

Please let me know if you have any questions! I didn't post this when I first made it because I know not everyone has a Cricut. However, I'm thinking of creating a printable version that you could just frame and re-use each month, along the same concept of the Christmas Countdown printable I made...so stay tuned. :) Thanks for stopping by!



January 17, 2011

8 months

Dear Emanuel,

You are 8 months old! Doesn't that sound old?! I just can't believe it. So what have you been up to this past month?
  • You weigh right about 19 pounds and are growing so tall! I don't know your exact measurements but can't wait to see what they are at your check-up next month.
  • You are still wearing size 3 diapers and a lot of 3-6 months clothes, though the pants are getting too short so you've gone up a size in pants. You wear some 6-9 month stuff but it doesn't fit you quite right yet.
  • Those teefers of yours are just too much. You have a total of 5 teeth - 3 on the bottom, and 2 on the top. Your top 2 teeth are kind of funny because they're your "fang" teeth. And if you weren't so stinking cute, they'd probably be creepy. As in vampire creepy. Your 2 front teeth have been so close to coming in for awhile now, but they just haven't come through yet. I can see them though, so hopefully soon!  I will say though that with each new tooth that comes through I worry that your nursing days are numbered. You have been a model citizen so far and kept your chompers to yourself...let's keep it that way, okay?
  • We still call you a variety of nicknames, with Bubbers being one of the most common ones. Papa started calling you Manford and that's stuck. Of course you earned the nickname Dennis the Menace with all of the trouble you manage to look for stumble upon. Oh, and we can't forget Fang, for obvious reasons.
  • You are quite the speed crawler, especially when you have your eye on the prize. You want to stand all the time, and will crawl anywhere if there is something you can pull up on. I love when you crawl over to my leg and pull up...it is so sweet!
  • Your favorite song is "Fix You" by Coldplay. If we are riding in the car and you get upset, you almost always calm down if we play this song. I think it's so sweet because that whole album is very special to your daddy and I. We listened to it all the time when we first started dating. Glad to see you have good taste in music like us. :)
  • You are starting to talk so much and you have the sweetest little voice! You say ma-ma and da-da alllll of the time. I think you're starting to realize who da-da is and it's so cute. 
  • Sometimes you'll just be sitting there and start clicking your tongue. I don't know why, but I think it's so funny. You have also started blowing raspberries on me occasionally when you're done nursing. Really, Bubs? You're such a boy.
  • Christmas brought some fun new toys and you really enjoy them all. But your favorite toy this month? An empty water bottle, hands down. You drag it around everywhere. I swear, it's like your lovey or something. Maybe I should offer it to you when you wake up crying at 3 am?
  • You had your first taste of juice this month when you had a little, ahem, blockage. Fortunately a little bit of watered down prune juice got things back on track.
 
  • This month brought your first snow and first visit to the nursery. And shortly thereafter, your first sickness. You had your first official fever along with a yucky cough and runny nose. It was so sad but the extra cuddle time was nice as you really don't do that anymore. When we took your pictures today you were still struggling with your runny nose, and started feeling yucky pretty quickly after we started taking pictures. It's so sad and I can't wait for you to feel 100%!
  • It seems you are fascinated in a whole new way with your hands this month. You will just hold your hand in front of your face and turn it back and forth, carefully inspecting it. Better yet, you are really close to starting to wave! You'll hold your arm up in the air when we wave at you and it's just precious.
  • You are eating like a champ and have tried all sorts of fruits and veggies. You also tried puffs for the first time this week. You weren't sure what to think but didn't hate them.
  • You tried to eat the tissue paper in the monthly birthday gift from my friends in Waco. You love the monkey they got you and have played with it all day! I love the adorable paci clips they got you and just wish you'd actually take a paci so we could use them. :)
The month was full of so many great memories as we celebrated your first Christmas. Have I mentioned how much fun you make my life? Cause you sure do. Every single day is a new adventure and it is so fun to have you as my side-kick. I love you baby boy. XOXO.

Love,
Mommy

January 15, 2011

Project 365: Week 2

It's project 365 time again! To answer a few questions, I made my collage in Photoshop using a storyboard I downloaded from the CoffeeShop blog. As far as dating the pictures, I'm not putting the actual date on the pictures because I want to keep this as simple as possible. Yes, I know it wouldn't take much longer to add, but I'll just always list the pictures left to right below (like you'd read a book) and that should help me match the date to the photo. I think that covers the questions - if you have any others, please let me know!
8. We went to church Saturday night and took Manny to nursery for the first time. He loved it!
9. It snowed a little in Dallas Sunday so Manny got to see his first snow.
10. We hung out with my friend Ashley for a bit and Manny did some modeling for the SheShe Made Valentine's line, which is Ashley's amazing clothing business. View the cuteness here!
11. I think the first visit to the nursery led to Manny's first real sickness. This is how he felt most of the day.
12. Though still sick, he managed to play long enough to start crawling up on my niece's little couch. He thought he was a big shot!
13. We came home on Thursday, and his sickness was still getting the best of him. He slept on Daddy's chest most of the day.
14. Manny had a small burst of energy Friday afternoon. I set him down in my bathroom while I was putting away laundry in our closet and all of the sudden he disappeared. I found him in our shower just looking around. He's always crawled up to it and looked in, but this was his first time to crawl in and hang out...so cute. :)

January 13, 2011

Symphony Brownies

I've talked about these before, but you guys. I just made these to take to a new neighbor, and shortly thereafter received a thank-you card from her in which she compared me to Paula Deen.  
Me? Little ol' I-just-burnt-my-freezer-dinner me?? Yes, my friends. Your eyes do not deceive. And while my neighbor has asked pleaded with me for the recipe, I have not yet shared it with her. Because when I do, she'll realize I'm not the super chef she had envisioned I just haven't had the chance to do so. But lucky for you, my lovely blog readers, I will let you in on this "prize-winning" recipe!

Symphony Brownies
  • brownie mix
  • vegetable oil
  • eggs
  • 3 jumbo Symphony candy bars (I like the kind with the toffee bits in them)
1. Prepare brownies as instructed on box.
2. Pour half of brownie mix in the pan. Unwrap the candy bars, and lay them in the pan whatever way fits best. (I usually don't break mine up except for the last one - I break a few pieces off to make it fit right.)
3. Pour the rest of the brownie mix over the candy bars.
4. Bake as directed on the box.
5. Eat your heart out!
They are just that simple. And as evidenced above, yield a high approval rating. Enjoy! :)

January 12, 2011

{Months 6 & 7} Must-Haves

I never got around to posting our must-haves for month 6, but there actually weren't very many so I decided to combine them with month 7.

I found this at TJ Maxx and it has been so awesome. I love that it has straps to buckle him in since he doesn't sit snugly in some carts. It also folds up easily into the attached bag.
As soon as I saw Jennifer using this, I knew I'd been missing out. While I don't carry Manny around in his seat very often any more, I do still occasionally and this padded piece makes the strain much less on your arm. This is definitely one of those things that I wish I'd had from the beginning.
I first used this to help with Manny's teething by putting in an ice cube and letting him suck on it. I also use this when I want to let him try a piece of fruit or veggie but I'm not comfortable giving it to him outright.

Since teething has been pretty much non-stop these last few months, we usually try a variety of things to help/distract him. When we find something he likes, we just add it into the rotation of things to give him when he tires of what he's using. So here we have yet another teether! When he bites down on it, it vibrates...maybe like a little massage to the gums? :) I don't know, but Manny likes it. (I should mention that while the Amazon link shows it for $15, I got mine at Wal-Mart for around $6. Just thought I'd include the link for your reference, but I don't think it's the best place to get it.)

We've been using this since he was born, but the real test came when we moved him upstairs. I was really nervous that it wasn't going to work as well since I've read mixed reviews about it. Fortunately it works wonderfully and I absolutely LOVE that I can take a peek at him while he's in his crib.
I don't think I ever posted this here, but he recently found the camera in his crib and likes to crawl over to it and stare in...a little creepy, no?! It's like he's calling out to me to come get him. I should mention he doesn't usually do this when he's crying...just when exploring his crib. This kid seriously cracks me up.
We opted to go with a booster seat rather than a high chair for space-saving purposes. It attaches perfectly to our bar stool and is easy to fold up and take with us when we travel.

Well that's all for this month! In case you missed them, here are months 1&2, month 3, month 4 and our month 5 must-haves. :)


January 11, 2011

A Weekend of Firsts!

This past weekend was a big one for Manny! We are down in Dallas at my sister's house and have been enjoying spending time here. We decided to go to church Saturday night since winter weather was predicted on Sunday. And guess what? I put Manny in nursery for the very.first.time. Yes, I know he's 7 months old, but I just haven't been ready to do it at our church. My sister goes to a large church and they have an amazing kid's program so I thought this would be the perfect time to try something like this. (He's kind of started waving...it's so cute!)
I checked in at the information booth, and they told me to take him to the green 5-8 month class. When I found his class, I started talking to the worker while giving her Manny's stuff. She sat him down and he immediately took off crawling and went and pulled up on something. She turned to me and said, "Um I think we might need to move him to another class...let me call the coordinator." So next thing you know, the coordinator is there and she says they're going to move him to the 9 month - walking class because he's too active for the 5-8 month class. And I may or may not have teared up at the realization that it's not just me - my baby really is trying to grow up too fast! :(
He didn't shed a tear when I left (which I was very thankful for!) and I was so anxious to go back and get him after service. We rounded the corner and looked in the door to see him off in the corner chewing on a book. I said his name and he looked up at smiled at us - it was soooo sweet!
 
I asked the worker if I could take a picture because this was his first time in nursery and I'm "that mom" who has to document everything. :) She said she couldn't believe it was his first time because he did so great and didn't cry one time! I'm pretty sure he was student of the day. I mean, they didn't actually give that award out, but if they would have? He had that wrapped up, baby. So yeah, it was a smashing success and I'm so glad I tried it. I will definitely be putting him in on a more regular basis now.
And as if that wasn't enough excitement for one weekend, on Sunday Manny saw his first snow! He was excited to go check it out, probably just because daddy and I were so excited.
Because once we got out there, he wasn't so sure what to think.


We let him touch the snow for a minute, and in true Manny fashion...he just stared.
I love watching him experience things for the first time...it's always so fun!

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