Monday, October 31, 2011

Show and Tell: Birth Info


- Microsoft Power Point
- Cheap white frames from Target
- One trip to Kinko's

Okay it probably took me about an hour on the computer flipping back and forth from Pinterest to Power Point making sure that I got everything lined up correctly and then of course I had to play with the fonts and the spacing.  I'm a perfectionist so it did take me awhile to get it all looking exactly how I wanted.

I did one for the whole family.  Natalie is by far the biggest baby with me in second and Craig being the smallest.

Right now the three frames are hanging in Natalie's bedroom behind her glider and next to her closet doors.  I'm thinking that when (OR IF) we have another child I might convert all the colors to black and white and create a new one for the new baby and hang it in our hallway or along the staircase.

I know that YOU all can't see it but ONE of the lines separating the information is a little out of alignment.  Craig had to talk me off the ledge at Kinko's when I noticed the mistake once the pictures were printed.  Upon first glance no one would ever notice but I have a very critical eye and I'll admit....when I look at them my first thought always goes to the mistake.  Typical.  :)

*I do have my template saved on my flashdrive if you want a copy to create your own!
What have YOU been pinning and creating lately?!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Day Book

Outside my is 8:28am and the sun is rising and there is a bit of a chill in the air...finally.

I am thinking...that I have so many things to do tomorrow since I missed a day and a half of school with a fever last week: Kate's baby shower invites, take up and put away volleyball jerseys, collect and record all the cross country information, hand out volleyball pictures, and inventory and put away all my volleyball equipment.  Whew.

I am thankful, a snuggly puppy dog, cooler weather and a healthy baby girl.

From the learning 8th grade girls didn't fair so well at the end of season tournament.  We lost in the first round but they played hard and we all had a group cry in the huddle afterwards.  All last spring while I was waiting for a math position to open up, I knew that my career path was in God's hands and that he was going to guide me to the place where I needed to be.  I needed to be these girls' coach this year.  I needed them to look forward to every morning when I left my sweet Natalie with her daddy.  We might not have won a lot of games, but we had so much fun and I think their friendship with each other became stronger.

From the kitchen...We had taco soup on Friday night just because it's easy to make.  I think I'm going to make my people some pancakes this morning if they ever decide to wake up and get out of bed.

I am wearing...I'll be honest.  I just got out of the shower so I'm wearing a pink fuzzy robe and a towel on my head.

I am creating...lots of lists.  Always lists.  Trying to get Christmas under control before the holiday season gets out of control.

I am leave for work at 8:00 every morning this week and get home by 4:30 each afternoon.  Sweet.  I haven't done this since the first day of school.

I am reading...The Girl Who Played With Fire.

I am hoping...that my mother reads the third installment of the series quickly so that when I'm ready for The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest she'll have finished it and will be willing to let me borrow it.

I am hearing...the Patriots/Steelers it possible for BOTH of them to lose?

Around the house...Craig and I took 30 minutes this afternoon while Natalie was down for a nap to run around the house and pick things up in order to start the week off relatively organized and calm.

One of my favorite things...Natalie's new "big girl" shoes.  She is in a size 3 shoe and officially out of "baby" shoes.  Now her shoes come with real soles because I guess kids her size should be walking?!  We're still a little ways away from that though.

A few plans for the rest of the week: I'm going to try to make it to the volleyball play-off game on Tuesday night but it will be Craig's second day of going in early and coming home late - I know that he'll be tired and will need some rest and relaxation.

A picture to share:
Daddy and Natalie playing with Halloween bubbles.

Not one to be forgotten, Angie had to join in the fun of course.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Show and Tell: Caprese Salad

Marinated Caprese Salad


Here is the recipe card that I created and put into my recipe binder. 

All my ingredients laid out on the island cutting board.

Not long at all!  Definitely under thirty minutes.  The hardest part was the chopping of the cheese, tomatoes and basil.

It looks pretty similar I suppose.

I served it with large yummy pieces of bakery french bread at Natalie's baptism party on Sunday.

- Since I was a wee bit nervous about the party, the baptism and everything in between I was super on the ball and made this dish on Saturday evening.  Although the TASTE was good, the consistency was a bit soggier than I expected or would have liked.  Next time I definitely think it's a "day of" preparation.
- I'm not sure how I felt about the red wine vinegar.  Last night I had some left over slices of mozzarella, big pieces of roma tomato drenched in balsamic vinegar served on bread and it was a much more "authentic" tasting dish.  I will probably combine the cheese, tomato and basil in the same way but maybe use balsamic vinegar as the marinade.

What have YOU been pinning and creating lately?!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Natalie was baptized this afternoon at the same church where I was baptized, received First Communion and then was Confirmed.  My mother was also the Youth Minister in charge of junior and senior high religious education for ten years.  All of our family members and many of our close family friends joined us today at the church to witness and then celebrate Natalie's initiation into the Catholic faith.
Getting dressed in her christening gown before the ceremony.

Being blessed with the holy water while being held by her godparents, my brother Mike and my close friend Kate.

The four adults in charge of the spiritual raising of this child.  Uh oh.  Ha, ha, ha.

At one point during the ceremony Deacon Harry proposed an interesting (and rhetorical) question. 

Why get your child baptized?

As a man of faith he wants to make sure that people are baptizing children with the intent to truly raise them in the Christian manner and not just because the grandparents request it or because "it's just the thing you do."  I've thought a lot about this in the past few weeks leading up to today.  Why do I want her baptized?  What am I commiting to do as a mother for my child through this action?  How does this one ceremony shape the morals and values that my family will uphold?

It's very simple.  I want Natalie to have a relationship with God.

I want her to understand that everything good and perfect is sent from God.

I want her to know that she is made perfectly in his image from the very top of her head to the tips of her toes.

I want her to have a spiritual shield and sword to combat the trials and struggles that she'll come up against in her life.

I want her walk in the footsteps of Jesus and strive to treat people with compassion, respect, kindness and without prejudice.

I want her to lead by example and be a Christian role model for those around her thus spreading the glory of God.

I want her to know that in her darkest hour when she is feeling the most alone, she is not.

And selfishly....I know that I can't always protect her from everything that is bad in this world.  She will hurt and she will cry and I won't always be there.  But God will.  And as a mother who will eventually send my precious baby out into the world, I have to cling to the knowledge that God will always be with my baby even when I am not.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I Feel Pretty

This morning I was getting ready in the bathroom and actually putting on make-up BEFORE I went to school while Natalie was scooting around on the floor.  It was about 15 minutes before we were supposed to take her to Ms. Rebecca's house and she was starting to get fussy and hungry.  I looked down at her and said "Hold on Natalie.  Just let Momma put her make-up on so she looks human." 

A seemingly innocent remark, right?

Not so fast.

Obviously at 7.5 months old Natalie had no idea what I was saying.  Her thought process was focused on getting a bottle into her belly, she was not processing the greater societal pressures that are put on women by the media to be perfectly tan, skinny and always put together.  She was just hungry.  But if I'm going to grow a daughter that is confident in herself despite what the media portrays as beautiful I have to start watching my words and my actions. 

Craig and I can tell her everyday that she is beautiful and smart and wonderful but our actions, especially mine as her image and role model of a woman, will speak far louder than our words.  I have to model for her self-confidence which will mean eliminating negative self talk and reinforcing a healthy lifestyle.

My biggest struggle growing up was my height.  I towered over all my friends....including all of the boys.  I was gangly and awkward and struggled to find clothes that fit my tall and lean frame.  From the looks of Natalie, being tall will be a part of her life as well but hopefully since I know where to shop and how to "dress" a taller frame I'll be able to guide her in the right ways towards appreciating her height and being proud of her build. 

Craig and I were chatting the other day about our experiences with sports growing up and how things would have been different if we knew then what we know now.  I didn't appreciate and take advantage of my height when I was in middle and high school.  Instead of seeing it as an extreme advantage and something other people were envious of, I hated having unnecessary attention drawn to myself and would have much rather blended in with my peers instead of standing out.  It's only now that I view my build as my biggest asset when it comes to playing sports - I'm tall, I'm intimidating, I'm strong and I'm confident.  I just wish that I didn't have to wait until my mid-twenties to figure that all out.

Of course as an athlete I would love to eventually be a parent in the stand watching my daughter play a game that she loves but if she decides to play sports I want it to happen organically, not because Craig and I are forcing her to participate in something that she isn't good at or doesn't want to do.  But if she does decide to become an athlete I want her to recognize her height as an advantage and use it to the best of her ability.  I want her to feel confident on the court and strong as an athlete and as a young woman.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Past Life

Let's be honest.  I don't watch quality television.  My favorite channel is Bravo.  I watch the Housewives and I revel in their stupidity and their drama....probably because I'm happy that I don't have "friends" like them in my own life.  Since August I've been watching Most Eligible Dallas and it turned out to be one of my favorites - probably because I recognize the nightlife scene and I can somewhat relate to their sense of humor, morals, expectations, etc. when it comes to life and dating. 

The other night was the season finale and the "will they, won't they" moment between the two featured people, Matt Nordgren and Courtney Kerr.  They are two best friends who everyone in their circle believes are in love and should be dating each other and the whole season was built around this dance that they did of flirting and fighting. 

I can relate.

When I first met Craig there was a large group of us at my former school that hung out together after hours at Thursday afternoon happy hours and Saturday evening get togethers.  There was a lot of flirting.  A lot of eye contact.  A lot of innuendos.  A lot of heart fluttering and butterflies in the belly.  And a ton of speculation from our friends and co-workers. 

And our "season finale, will they or won't they moment" when we finally kissed for the first time?!  Not as romantic as Courtney and Matt's hot tub rendezvous at the lake, but instead as he was "tucking" me into bed after I sprained my ankle playing basketball against 6th graders.  He had come over after his 8th grade basketball games to bring me dinner and make sure that I had everything that I needed.  I'll admit.  I was a little nervous and definitely scared to try and date him.  I had dated my best guy friend a few years previous and after we broke up I had lost not only his friendship but the friendship of the circle of guys that we had hung out with together.  Craig was my best friend and I didn't want to lose him but at the same time, there was definitely that spark and chemistry between us.

So where am I going with this?

I got a little sentimental watching Most Eligible and I had a mixture of jealousy and sadness in there as well.  Being married is wonderful....most of the time.  There is a sense of security in knowing that I have a partner in life - someone that will back me up but also challenge me to be a better person.  Life is better with Craig as my husband that I know for sure.  But in the back of my mind there is a little part of me that misses the mystery, the guessing game, the flirting. 

My best-friend Amy has been married for more than seven years and she will be the first one to say it - marriage is always like a roller coaster and everything circles around in seasons.  Right now for Craig and I, life is crazy and hectic and we don't have a chance to catch our breath much less any time for romance.  It's not ideal and I would like to be able to slow down and enjoy each other's company a little bit more, but I know that it will circle around.

And although the guessing game that Craig and I played was fun, exciting and entertaining, I wouldn't want to return to that point in my life.  It's fun to reminisce about the "good ol days" but when you get right down to it, I wouldn't trade in my current life even with all the craziness and exhaustion.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Show and Tell Update

I'm thinking of starting my regular Pinterest Show and Tell posts on November 1st - anyone interested?  I will make them a weekly or maybe bi-monthly occurrence.  There are lots of pins that I have that will be corresponding with upcoming events - baby showers, holidays, a baptism, etc.  So I've got lots of material to work with - it's just a matter of finding the time, energy and motivation to get them done.  But I guess that's what the Show and Tell is about, right?!  If you're interested, let me know!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

State Fair

I grew up going to the Texas State Fair with my family every year - my mother has the best picture of me at around 5 years old perched on my oldest brother's shoulders, hands resting on his head while the two of us look over the fair grounds map together.  As a family, we always had to eat our corny dog and check out the selection of new cars!  A few years ago another dimension was added to the fair when my dad began entering his metal artwork into the creative arts competition and when he wins (this year second place!) his artwork is displayed in the creative arts building.  Craig and I have been going to the fair together for three years - the first year with our friends the Mannings and their daughter Madeline, last year with the Mannings again except both Dana and I were pregnant and this year Craig and I took a day off from work to take Natalie!
At the start of the fake farm for the kids.  Craig and I thought that it was going to have real animals for her to look at but nope - all fake.  So it wasn't that much fun for her this year...maybe next year.

Waiting for the puppy dog show to begin.  Craig and I really enjoyed seeing all the tricks that the dogs could do but despite all their tricks, we both still prefer our Angie dog.  Natalie would get super excited anytime the crowd cheered.

Daddy and Natalie watching the show.

The requisite fair picture in front of Big Tex.  When he started talking she got VERY startled and her eyes were HUGE trying to look around and see what was making that big noise!

Daddy and Natalie with Big Tex.

A long day at the fair wipes a girl out!

We stayed at the fair from 10:00 in the morning until around 1:00 in the afternoon when it was starting to get warm outside.  We all came home and took two hour naps - ALL of us, including Angie!

Sunday Day Book

Outside my is 9:24 and bright and sunny with a gentle breeze.  It's supposed to be in the 80s today - can't wait until Tuesday when it's predicted to be in the 60s!

I am thinking...that we might be babyproofing the house before Christmas.

I am thankful, king size beds, Adidas windpants and the blue nose sucker we stole from the hospital.

From the learning rooms...I had a heartbreaking loss on Thursday night to our big crosstown rival (and my former school).  My girls worked so hard and played so beautiful and I couldn't be any prouder of them, but it would have been nice to get the win.  But I only have one more 7th grade game left, two 8th grade games and end of season tournaments for both so there is definitely a light at the end of the volleyball season tunnel.

From the kitchen...I'm ready to get back into the kitchen - Craig has done a wonderful job taking care of the meal planning and cooking during the week when I've been coming home late in the evenings.  But I do actually enjoy cooking and I'm excited about trying out some of the new recipes I've found on Pinterest.

I am wearing...a big t-shirt of Craig's that I slept in last night and a pair of baggy Adidas windpants.

I am creating...I have so many ideas of blog posts and I have a huge list of things that I want to do from Pinterest.  I'll let you know when I'm doing another Show and Tell.

I am have a pretty low key day today - Natalie has been running a fever this morning so we're going to take it easy.  I'm not sure if she is still fighting off her ear infection or if it's just from teething but I'm hoping it's gone by this afternoon so that she can be healhty and go to Ms. Rebecca's house tomorrow.

I am reading...I was clicking around on Kelly's Korner "Show Us Your Life - International Day" the other day and I found this blog, Acord Adventures which is all about this woman's life as an ex-pat in Saudi Arabia.  Fascinating.
I am hoping...that the remainder of my volleyball season goes smoothly.
I am hearing...a quiet baby monitor and ESPN Sportscenter.
Around the house...we have so much stuff that we need to put away - all of Natalie's baby-baby stuff.  I'm thinking it will be put up in the attic over the Thanksgiving holiday.  It will DEFINITELY need to be put away before Christmas!!
One of my favorite giggles.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Volleyball games on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and then Natalie's baptism on Sunday afternoon!

A picture to share:
This is my dad's artwork entry into the State Fair and he won second place in his division.  He takes scrap metal that he uses during car repair and he creates beautiful yard art and household pieces.  I was pretty proud to find his artwork in the crafts building at the State Fair and show off his craftsmanship to Natalie and Craig.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Too Cute

Here are the pictures from last night when she took a little snooze in her bouncer.  Please note the ONE finger holding onto the dangling toy.

Poor thing was just wiped out.  That's what happens when you don't take a nap during the day!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A few things...

- Something momentous happened yesterday morning.  Craig slept in the spare bedroom last night because we've all been struggling with sinus congestion (poor little baby girl has an ear infection from it) and so he was booted from our bed for his snoring.  I knew he had gotten up with Natalie around 2:30 or so and given her a bottle and put her back to bed so when she woke up at 4:00 I knew it wasn't because she was hungry but because she didn't feel good.  I went into her room and picked her up and brought her to the big bed to cuddle and snooze with me.  To be honest, she hasn't really "cuddled" with me in bed in a long time - not since the beginning of the summer when we were working to get her to sleep in her own bed and I was still nursing.  Usually when I bring her into our bed she thinks it's playtime and instead of resting she plays footsie and tries to kick the covers off....or puts the sheets in her mouth.  But this morning I knew her little body was weary because within minutes of being snuggled up in the crook of my arm she was fast asleep complete with a wheezy little snore (much cuter and more tolerable than Craig's) and the occassional cough.  By 7:00 she and I were both awake and ready to start our day so we went to the spare bedroom to wake up Craig and he joined us in the big bed in our bedroom.  Around 7:15 I left her in Daddy's arms in the bed so I could start my shower and a cup of coffee but as soon as I placed her with Craig she began to cry and when I was just about to step into the bathroom I heard her cry out "Ma Ma!"  I turned around and looked at Craig, "did you hear what I just heard?"  And he answered with "she's calling for you."  Well.  Of course I quickly decided that my shower and coffee could wait and I settled back into bed for a few more minutes of cuddling with my baby girl.  I'm not sure if she really understands what she said but I don't care.  It's down in the record books - my baby said "Ma Ma" at seven months old.

- A friend of mine wrote a blog post the other day about bitterness.  This is where I've been this week.  Bitter.  Angry.  Frustrated.  Furious.  Vindictive.  And then mad at myself for having all those feelings towards other people.  I'm stuck and I can't quite see the way out of it right now.  I'm not even sure I can really accurately pinpoint the source of all the anger - is it residual from PPD or is it just a part of my personality?  I know that I'm putting Craig through the ringer.  I'm not myself.  I haven't been myself since Natalie was born.  There are glimpses of me but as I told Craig the other night - this child has thrown me for a loop....I'm 28 years old and sometimes have absolutely NO idea of who I am supposed to be.  It seems like everytime I get my "role" figured out my life moves on and shifts and I'm forced to change.  And I hate change.  My early twenties I was the party girl on the outside but completely tortured on the inside and desperate to have stability and the normal family life.  Then Craig and I were dating and getting married and it was just us hanging out, going to games, traveling and living large.  And then she was born and threw such an enormous wrench into my soul.  I guess I just get overwhelmed with the number of hats that I wear - mother, daughter, wife, friend, teacher, coach, mentor....and somewhere in I just get to wear the hat that says "Laura?"  I want to get rid of the anger and the frustration because as with any emotion that I have, I feel it to the fullest extent, like a tidal wave washing over my body I am consumed by it.  Okay.  Enough tears.  Enough whining.  Enough complaining.  As so many of my dear friends say, this is a season of our lives.  It's a tough season for me personally and I know that the strain of taking care of a baby, the dog and a sometimes emotionally ridiculous wife is getting to Craig. 

- My girls played our big rival last night and they played beautifully.  My goodness.  I was so proud.  Everything clicked - we passed, we set and we hit but above everything else, they played together as a team and they played SMART and they played with HEART and HUSTLE.  I love watching them play a game they love to play with their friends.  And maybe that's why our loss by three points is so hard.  I see these girls everyday and I know their spirits and their hearts - they are GOOD girls and they deserve the glory of a game well played and a victory to celebrate.  Yes, I know that as a coach and as an adult that wins aren't everything and the lessons they are learning together as a team and individually as players are FAR more important than your winning percentage.  But they're 13.  They don't understand that yet.  What they see is that they're the underdogs.  They're the ones nobody expects to win.  They see themselves as not good enough.  Never good enough.  And if there is one thing I could ingrain in their brains and on their hearts is that there is so much more to being "great" than just your skills.  These girls' hearts is what makes them great.  It's their enthusiasm, their joy and their love for one another.  I have coached great athletes and I have played with great athletes.  And sometimes the greatest of athletes are the rudest, the most selfish and the least genuine.  I would take 100 of my kiddos over one great athlete.

- Maybe it's time for something a little more lighthearted?  Natalie fell asleep in her bouncer tonight.  Passed out cold in the seat with her head leaned back and her hand still grasping one of the hanging toys.  Yes.  Pictures were taken and no they're not uploaded yet but there was a tense moment when I thought my bladder would surely bust from the giggles that erupted from my body when I saw her slack jawed and passed out.  Poor little thing was so fussy at Ms. Rebecca's house today and wouldn't take a nap so once she was bathed and lotioned up she couldn't help but just sack out at the first opportunity.

Friday Five

Revkjarla over at RevGalBlogPals writes:

So, I don't know about you, but I have had quite the scattered week. Sometimes, life is that way, right?

In the spirit of Scattered-ness, I offer you a scattery kind of Friday Five:

1. I lose my keys all of the time. Even if they are in my hand, I still am looking for them. Sigh!  What is something you chronically looking for, if anything?
My sunglasses.  I push them up on my head when I pull into the garage and there is no telling where I set them down once I get into the house.  Sometimes I put them in my purse or maybe they end up on the table and they've even shown up on Natalie's changing table!

2. What movie are you looking forward to watching sometime in the future?
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo comes out on December 21st and I've already committed Craig and I to a date night complete with dinner and the movie for that evening.  I absolutely loved the book and can't wait to see the movie.  It's also a movie that I know Craig will enjoy because of the mystery, the intrigue and the plot twists.  Can.  Not.  Wait.

3. What is one of your favorite comfort foods?
My mother's meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  Mmm.

4. Story time. Tell us a story of one your favorite people that has touched, blessed your life.
It's no secret that I have been trying to get out of coaching for the past couple of years and I began this year with a little bit of dread in my heart.  I knew being away from my baby for such long amounts of time was going to be hard but working with the 8th grade group of girls that I have has made this year much easier.  I hope that they know how much I enjoy working with them and how they make those mornings when it's so difficult to leave such a beautiful baby girl...just a little bit easier because I get to come to work and be around such fun athletes.  That's not really a story, but it's just kind of the mood that I'm in today.

5. What do you do to focus or calm or center yourself?
I wish I had an answer for this.  Most of the time closing the bathroom doors, lighting a candle and having a bubble bath while reading a good book does the trick but unfortunately I just haven't had the time for it lately.

BONUS: Share the first thing (or second thing) that comes to your mind after your read this!
The first thing that came to my mind was that I'm terrible about answering these type of questions.  The second thing that came to my mind was maybe I need to ask Craig if I can have a bubble bath tonight.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Seven Months Old!


Okay.  So I haven't exactly gotten around to taking Natalie's seven month photo with the dog and a sign just quite yet.  We had a relaxing four day weekend and I probably had tons of time to get it done....but snuggling my baby was way more fun.  Maybe this weekend.

Friday, October 8th, 2011

Height: 29 inches or so?!
Weight: 19 lbs. 10 oz.
Clothing Size: Mostly 9-12 month clothes
Diaper: 3

- General Schedule: We are still working on the sleeping through the night thing with her.  It's definitely gotten better - she will have several good nights in a row and then one terrible night where she is up a lot.  She usually wakes up sometime between 6:30 and 7:30 and spends time with me in the bathroom playing and scooting around while I get ready for work.  She plays in the pack n play in our bedroom while Craig gets ready for work and then he takes her to Ms. Rebecca's house around 8:00.  During the day she drinks lots of bottles, eats oatmeal and one fruit or vegetable, takes naps and always goes up to the big kids school to pick up Ms. Rebecca's eldest son.  She plays at home with Daddy until I come home around 5:30 and we eat dinner.  After dinner I feed her a second helping of fruit or veggie and then we play until bedtime which is around 7:45 or 8:00. 

- Natalie is scooting on her belly all over the house and she is definitely enjoying her newfound freedom which means that Mommy and Daddy are going to be asking for lots of baby-proofing materials for Christmas! She loves crawling towards any type of tennis shoe which makes me really proud - turns out she's more like her Momma than I originally thought! 

- She is so incredibly vocal.  She screeches when I get home until I pick her up and give lots of hugs and kisses and when you ask her a question she definitely responds.  She is picking up on the talk and response part of language and when she is just about to fall asleep in the rocking chair before bed she'll sleepily look up at me and say "" and then smile and close her eyes - almost like she's saying "I love you Momma, good night."  Love it.  I love that I've finally reached the point in motherhood where I can look at her and say "I love being your mother" because for the longest time those words felt so forced.

- In the mornings I bring Natalie into the bathroom with me and we have a full length mirror on my closet doors.  She loves to crawl over to the mirror (sometimes bumping her little head) and play with the baby in the mirror.  She'll put her hands up to the mirror and then eventually open mouth with tongue...kiss the mirror.  It's pretty hilarious.

- There is a lot more "no" being said in our house and I absolutely hate it.  I really don't want that to be all that she hears AND when we say "no" it frightens the dog as well because she thinks that she's in trouble.  I really only want to use NO when it is immediate danger - like the other morning when she crawled over to the cabinet in the bathroom and was about to grab the cord on the hair straightener THAT WAS TURNED ON.  That was a "NO! Natalie!" and I swooped in and picked her up and put the cord on the counter.  Lesson learned.  We haven't baby proofed the house yet just because she isn't getting away from us too quickly and she is always under our supervision but I have a feeling that by Christmas we will definitely be putting things away that are breakable and dangerous. 

Here are some pictures of what she's been up to this month. 

Okay.  Some of these I might have already posted in her six month post.  Whoops.  My picture uploading ahs gotten away from me this month from being so busy.  Good news is....she hasn't really changed THAT much in the last month and a half.
Being a happy girl and playing with all the toys and boys at Ms. Rebecca's house.

Riding on her new four wheeler that Grandaddy and Nonna found for her.

Playing Duplo blocks with Uncle Michael.

Hanging out on the living room floor while Mommy and Daddy watch football.

We have enough hair for a bow without a headband - but it just doesn't stay in long.  Here she is supporting the RIGHT team.

Crawling and reaching for Daddy's shoe.


Just hanging out with sister dog getting her toes licked.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday Day Book

Outside my is 8:46am and it's gloomy, cloudy and I love it.

I am thinking...that I am pretty proud of myself for figuring out Mr. Linky - we'll see if this Pinterest Show and Tell idea of mine takes off.

I am thankful for...the organizational mind that God gave me.  Yes, maybe that's a little bit of a weird thing to be thankful for, BUT it is so incredibly helpful in my life.  Craig and I have been busy for the past month starting our Christmas lists and the "what have we bought" list.  I've been able to keep us organized as to what we would like to receive and what we have bought or are planning on buying for people.  It is also really helpful on the budget - we can buy a few things here and there instead of TONS of stuff all at the last minute.

From the learning rooms...I had a sad day on Thursday at school.  One of my most favorite students, a 6th grade special needs boy moved to Florida to be closer to his grandmother.  He was just a special kiddo that added so much light and excitement to my classroom and I loved seeing how much fun he had in PE and how much the rest of the class supported him.  He will definitely be missed.

From the kitchen...Craig and I made breakfast for dinner last night - pancakes, sausage and biscuits.  Mmm.

I am wearing...a big t-shirt of Craig's that I slept in last night.

I am creating...DUH!  Decorative pumpkins!  Did you not read my last post?

I am have dinner with my college sorority sisters tonight!

I am reading...Harry Potter to Natalie.  I've kind of stalled on reading The Girl Who Played With Fire.  I am determined to finish it before Thanksgiving.

I am hoping...that my girls show up to play our crosstown rival this week.

I am hearing...Nick Jr on the television.

Around the's beginning to look like fall with all the decor we've been putting up!

One of my favorite things...last night Natalie fell asleep in her crib with her blanket that my BFF Amy made for her and with the giraffe that my parents gave to her in her arms.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Volleyball games on Wednesday and Thursday nights, Craig and I are taking the day off on Tuesday to take Natalie to the State Fair so we'll have a four day weekend!  Hurray!!

A picture to share:
Who doesn't love chubby baby thighs and butt?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pinterest Show and Tell


- Two $6.00 craftable pumpkins from Target
- One free pumpkin Natalie received from a pumpkin patch birthday party
- One giant black Sharpie paint pen
- One thinner silver Painter's paint pen

A little under an hour and most of that time was just waiting for the paint to dry so I could outline with the silver pen.


Natalie's monogrammed pumpkin

Jack O Lantern face

First part of our last name....

Second part of our last name

Ta da!

All three creations on the mantle.

Right now they are all just sitting on the mantle but I'm thinking that closer to Halloween I will move them outside to the front porch.  Obviously Natalie's will be thrown out after Halloween but I'm hoping to be abe to hold onto the other two and reuse them each Halloween.

- Spray the pumpkins with some sort of finishing spray that helps the paint stay put.
- Tie fun ribbons around the stem of the pumpkins
- Get a little more creative with spray paint, stickers and designs.

Okay - so here is the format I'm looking at for my Pinterest to real life blog posting.  What do YOU think?  Obviously you wouldn't have to use my exact format but do you like the overall idea?!

Alright - I'm trying out the Mr. Linky!  We'll see if it works!

Friday, October 7, 2011

SUYL - Pets

I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner today to share about my precious pup - Angelina Marie Nelson.

Here is the link to the blog post that I wrote about her last June on her adoption birthday. 


Thursday, October 6, 2011


Pinterest is a tricky little devil isn't she?  She pulls you in with all the pretty pictures of things you should be cooking, making and decorating.  You close out your Pinterest session feeling rejuvinated and full of creativity - things around your house and in your life are going to change!  Voila!  The house is organized, the dinners are delicious and why yes - I took those beautiful portraits of my children, framed them with homemade frames of birch from the trees in my backyard AND hung them attractively in my foyer, which of course is impeccably decorated and ready for Architectual Digest to photograph at a moment's notice.


It's not really like that, is it?

I usually leave Pinterest feeling lazy.  Look at all the plans I have, all the things that I've added onto my To-Do list....and then when none of it happens, I feel worthless.  Pinterest will not make me a better wife, a better homemaker nor a better mother.  I am not ensuring Natalie's eventual success in life because I decoupaged Halloween pumpkins or upcycled her a dress from her Daddy's shirt.  Craig will not love me more if every cabinet is labeled (although many of them are - one of the upsides of OCD) or the house is perfectly decorated using all organic and homemade objects.  Natalie will become successful because I show her love, give her boundaries and hold her to high expectations all the while treating her with grace, dignity and compassion.  Craig will love me because I make him laugh, I support him in (almost) everything that he does and because I am honest and loyal. 


There's always a "but" isn't there.

I like a challenge.  And Pinterest most certainly does pose a challenge to me.  I am not crafty, I am not patient and I am not comfortable stepping out of my comfort zone.

So I'm setting a challenge for myself.  ONCE VOLLEYBALL SEASON IS OVER I will set myself to accomplishing ONE Pinterest task or activity, whether it is creating a holiday project with Natalie or cooking something delightful for dinner.  I'm going to make my "pins" a reality.  And I'm putting it out there on the blogosphere for people to hold me accountable. 

Ooh.  Idea.

Maybe this can be one of those "link-up" things - where everyone (okay, all 4) people that read my blog and have a Pinterest account can share what "pins" they've created in their own lives?!  Who can tell me how to do that?

I know that I'm not the only person out there that has a general sense of Pinterest guilt, maybe if we work together we can get that monkey off our back?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Food Fight

I am totally stressed about food and beverages for my girl. I read other people's blogs where their baby is already drinking out of sippy cups while Natalie still uses a bottle. Other babies have tried 47 different kinds of food while we're still working with about four "real" foods (green beans, sweet potatoes, bananas and peas). One of my biggest hopes as a parent is that Natalie is a good eater and does not develop picky eating habits. I'm afraid that if we're not introducing the right foods at the right times that she's going to be a picky eater. Sigh. I know that she's not ready for finger foods yet because we put the tiniest piece of tortilla in front of her and she DID NOT know what to do with it. I also gave her a little bite of mashed potato the other night and she was a little hesitant as well. But then when I try to give her those things I second guess myself and worry that I'm doing more harm than good and that she's going to choke on everything.

I am a total rule follower and if you tell me to do or not to do something I adhere to it to almost an obsession.  I guess I don't really like making decisions without knowing that I'm making the "right" decision and when it comes to parenting, there is no "right" decision, there is only trusting your gut....which is so incredibly difficult for me.  And since every kiddo is different what is right for another person's child won't necessarily be right for mine and that frustrates me.  I feel like I'm in a dark room desperately searching for the light switch.

And then I get stressed because maybe she's not sleeping at night because I've totally screwed up on how much and when to feed her. 

So this is what she eats everyday.  She will be seven months old on Friday.  She is a big baby in terms of height and weight - but her weight is only big because she is so tall.  She is built like me - I'm 6'0 and a long, lean and athletic build.  All times are estimated because everyday is different, everyday SHE is different and I do want to develop a baby that can adjust herself and roll with the punches when necessary.  Or maybe that's part of the problem.  Anyways.

7:30 - 6oz. bottle of formula
9:30 - 3 tablespoons of oatmeal with a scoop of applesauce, followed by 4-6oz. bottle of formula
12:00 - as much of a "stage 1" baby food jar (fruit or veggie) that she will eat, followed by a 4-6oz. bottle of formula
3:00 - 6oz. bottle of formula
6:00 - as much of a "stage 1" baby food jar (fruit or veggie) that she will eat, followed by a 4-6oz. bottle of formula
Bedtime - 8oz. formula/rice bottle

I'm almost scared to put her eating schedule out there because I'm afraid that someone is going to see that I'm totally doing it all wrong and I'm going to be a "bad mother."  Eek.  I know that rationally, my baby is gaining weight and growing like a weed so therefore she is getting the nutrition that she needs, but the irrational side of my brain is telling me that I don't know what I'm doing and that I'm completely screwing up my child's eating habits for the rest of her life.

So.  Yeah.  Some advice would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sneak Peek!

On Sunday, September 25th Natalie and I drove out to my sorority sister Heather's house who is a professional photographer.  Her photography business is Cute and Classy Photography and I absolutely LOVE the pictures that she was able to capture of Natalie at six months!  I'm not posting all the pictures that she took just because some of the best photos are going to be given as Christmas presents!

The rainbow legwarmers were given to me by a co-worker and her diaper cover (which says Natalie in turquoise) was given to Natalie by her fairy godmother, Kate.

Of course we had to get some pictures of her in the Stars jersey we got signed last year when I was pregnant!

This was my dress as a little girl and one of my mother's favorite pictures of me as a baby is me in this dress sitting on the infamous orange couch my parents once owned.

And for the finale, something totally fun and girly - a tutu, bow and pearls.  I love having a little girl.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Day Book

Outside my is 9:24 am and the sun is streaming in the kitchen windows and there is an autumn chill in the air.  I hope it lasts.
I am thinking...that I have to feel better soon.  I absolutely don't have time to be sick.  Not until volleyball season is over.

I am thankful for...the fact that Craig knew I wasn't feeling good today and sent me back to bed when I tried to get up with Natalie at 7:00 this morning.

From the learning rooms...I had a great practice with my 8th graders on Friday morning.  They had reached a certain goal earlier in the week and so their reward was to plan our Friday morning practice.  As if this wasn't fun enough, both Division I and II teams had won their first game of the season on Thursday night so the girls were in GREAT spirits at 7:30 on Friday morning.  We had such a fun practice complete with all their favorite games, lots of laughter and of course on court dancing to the Michael Jackson that was pumping through the gym speakers.  Who knew 8th grade girls had such great taste in music!?  We ended the practice with me reminding them that THIS is why they play volleyball in 8th grade - sure there is a ton of work that we have to do to get ourselves prepared for games, but at the end of the day they play because they love the game and they love being around their friends.  It was a great start to the weekend.

From the kitchen...I'm not feeling good and I want something filling and homey so I'm going to make Taco Soup tonight.  Ground beef, ranch dressing and taco seasonings, corn, black beans and navy beans served with cheese, sour cream and cornbread.  Yum.

I am "pajamas" - a big t-shirt of Craig's and some running shorts.  I feel terrible...I might stay in this all day.
I am creating...Christmas lists - one for things that we would like and another for things that we have already bought.  On the already bought list for Natalie - sippy cups, snack traps, bath toys and hair bows for her stocking, four books, a pair of Target "Ugg" boots and a pink fleece zip-up jacket.  Hopefully if we keep going at the rate that we're going we will have most of Christmas done by December and we can just sit back and enjoy the season with Natalie!

I am try and rest for the rest of the day to see if I can beat this sinus crap before I start the week tomorrow.

I am reading...Postsecret.  I don't know what kind of secret I would send in...

I am hoping...that my 8th grade girls can win again this Thursday.

I am hearing...ESPN Sunday NFL countdown and Natalie giggling in her bouncer.

Around the house...we definitely need Martha to come this Friday.  I totally had so many plans to pick up around the house but now that I'm sick we will see how much I can get done.  Probably not a lot.

One of my favorite things...having completely random conversations with my BFF Amy on the phone. 

A few plans for the rest of the week: Volleyball games on Monday and Thursday night, my own volleyball game on Wednesday night and the home opener of the Stars on Friday night with Craig!

A picture to share:
Just hanging out on the ground with a baby girl who is desperately trying to crawl around the living room to get to our tennis shoes.  Maybe my next baby will look like me?!