Wednesday, March 4, 2015

It's the Little Things: Ah-Choo

It's the Little Things: Ah-Choo
Aria spent a little over a week looking like the above pictures starting right before Valentine's Day. Festive. Much Disney Jr was watched. A ton of tissues and wipes were gone through. Almost a whole bottle of baby Tylenol was consumed. All the crackers in the house were eaten. Mom was pathetically repeated every minute, along with 'tummy hurts' or 'tongue hurts' or 'nose all fuzzy'. Thankfully everybody is feeling much better now, apart from another molar popping into view.

While Aria was sick she started to fake sneeze. I don't know where she picked it up, but it was like she thought it was the natural end to a cough. She would cough and then tack on an ah-choo, or just throw out a few ah-choos for fun. It was particularly adorable.

I finally managed to catch it on video. So, short and cute today. Check it out below.

Linking up with Jess at Sadie Sky Boutique:

Monday, March 2, 2015

Two and One Quarter

25 Months Old
26 Months Old
27 Months Old
weight: 29.5 lbs.

height: 35.5 inches.

wearing: Wearing a mix of 2T and 24 months in clothing, and even a few 18 months here and there. She's decided she hates shorts though, which will make for an interesting summer. Shoes are a size 7. Diapers are 4s until we run out; we just ordered a box of 5s for this month.

milestone progress: Long term memory is really kicking in. She will remember something we talked about doing from the previous day. She remembers bits from our trips to Disney. On our most recent trip the Mermaid ride was closed for refurbishment, but Aria kept asking to ride it without us mentioning it. She also can identify her favorite rides as we walk by. And, it is fun to talk about what we did that day on the car ride home unless she passes out within minutes. We were also talking about who and what eats carrots and she remembered leaving the carrot for Santa's reindeer on Christmas Eve. So, that just totally blows my mind.

The realization that there are things to fear is also kicking in. She was such a fearless baby, so this is pretty new. Whenever anything worries her she puts her hands over her mouth, which is pretty cute. Anything dark on a Disney ride usually results in her putting her hands up, and the big ice monster thing Elsa creates does too. 

Her latest obsession is counting. 1, 2, 8, 9. She still hates 3 though. She counts body parts when she doesn't want to go to sleep. Her color recognition is pretty good now. Everything isn't orange anymore. Her favorite shapes are moon and star, but she can do that shape sorter toy like a pro these days.

potty training: Her favorite time to get on the toilet is when nobody is paying attention. So, she is getting some use out of her little boon potty now. But, if you ask her if she wants to go she will still say 'nope, no, I'm fine'. She has been running to me after pooping and saying she wants changed so perhaps that is showing more interest in the whole process.

talking: Saying all the words. Stringing several words together. Repeating everything. Her faves - 'no', 'I'm fine', 'thank you much much', 'that's funny', 'come back here', and 'mom' repeated without end. My faves - 'rocking chair', 'beer', 'oh me oh my', 'hello, good morning', 'nose all fuzzy'.

teeth: 17, but that 18th is working its way through. We are not big fans of molars around here. That bout with the icks we had for days on end recently was combined with teething. Tons of fun had by all.

eats: Loving all the fruit. Loving all the bread. Loving all the cheese. A fan of corn and tiny veggies, yogurt, chocolate, butter, beans, and anything that is a dip. We can sometimes talk her into eating some meat or the occasional noodle. She is a big fan of 'mmm-ing' everything she likes though, and she isn't afraid to do it with every single bite of an entire meal.

sleep: Up and down. Teething and a bout of the icks turned sleeping into the not much sleeping. Generally sleeping all night long though, and not waking up at unappealing hours. Falling asleep is the tricky part. Some nights no problems, other nights I sit in her room with her until she settles down. There have been a few no nap days, but those have been surprisingly fine. She will just hang out in her crib for an hour, and then she goes to sleep at night like a dream. Overall, she's doing pretty good.

loves: Clinging to mom, reading esp her new Dr. Seuss and Sofia books, trips to Disney - esp the Carrousel and Dumbo, watching home videos, strawberries and oranges, animal butts, playing outside - getting dirty or getting wet, laughing, singing, opening the mail, playing pretend - esp pretending to eat food, spinning, Sofia the First and Micky Mouse Clubhouse, animals - particularly dogs and her godfather's bunny, mermaids, the beach, wearing socks to bed, playdoh, stickers, coloring and painting, helping mom bake, great grandma's rocking chair, and dancing.

hates: The usual toddler things - not getting her way at the exact moment she wants something and being told no. She was being rude at bedtime the other night, so her cuddle and singing time was cut short. She continued to be rude, so she lost it altogether. She wasn't a fan. A couple weeks ago she wouldn't stop eating the ingredients (raw eggs) while we were making muffins, so I told her she couldn't help out any more. She wasn't a fan.

1. What makes you happy? Babies. (Not sure where she got that, she wants nothing to do with babies)
2. What makes you sad? Tongue. (She says her tongue hurts when her teeth hurt)
3. How old are you? 2!
4. What is your favorite thing to do? Play in water.
5. What do you want to be when you grow up? Mama. (I hear she is a wonderful woman)
6. What is your favorite food? Jelly beans.
7. What is your favorite animal? Bunny.
8. Where is your favorite place to go? Disney!
9. What is your favorite color? Meatloaf. (That's not a color) White and blue.
10. What is your favorite ride at Disney? Dumbo.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sweet Turtle Soup!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sweet Turtle Soup!
Today is Sweet Turtle Soup's second Birthday! I hit publish on Aria's birth story, my first post, two years ago. And, Aria was just turning 15 months old this time last year. Time flies when you are having fun!

Here are this year's stats:
I have 104 followers on GFC, 167 followers on bloglovin', 126 likes on Facebook, 127 followers on Twitter, 138 followers on Pinterest, and 282 followers on Instagram. I have 73,578 total pageviews. And, my top search keywords apart from Sweet Turtle Soup are 'baby fall outfits', 'maxi cosi pria 70', and 'want need wear read'.

I have published 507 posts, co-hosted several link ups, and celebrated a goal with my first giveaway. I have made several fabulous friends along the way and have a wonderful circle of readers. I love documenting all of our family adventures - and I'm working on turning them into family yearbooks as well.

My top 5 posts based on pageviews from the past year are:
Gift Ideas - Want, Need, Wear, Read
These are a few of my Favorite Things - Christmas Wish List
A Day in the Life - Winter Edition
How to Create an Inspiration Board with Pinterest
Five on Friday - Summer Pin-spiration, Really Yummy Food, and Sippy Hatred

My personal favorites are my weekly Sweet Sunday posts, 3 Days of St. Patrick Shenanigans, our Disney trip recaps, and this year's Countdown to Halloween posts.

Thanks for following, reading, and commenting. I hope to see you all for another year.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

How To: Create & Install Category Buttons on your Blogger Sidebar

DIY blog design, blogging help
When you build your blog's sidebar you want it to be engaging. It is a good idea to have some of your best content featured. When you get a reader that likes what they see you want to be able to entice them to check out older content too. And, the easier it is to get those clicks the better. I really like showcasing my favorite categories with mini clickable photos. So, today I will show you how you can do the same thing with your blogger blog.

The first thing you need to do is design your graphic. I go with the mini photos, but you could also design a graphic with just the names of your featured content. I'm going to show you how to do it with pictures.

You'll need to have the content you want to feature in mind, and a photograph to represent each saved in your pictures folder. You'll also need to know how wide your sidebar is (blogger > template > customize > adjust widths > it will say your blog dimensions).

Go to picmonkey. Open up the first photo. If it needs any editing tweaks do those now.
DIY blog design, blogging help
Click on 'crop'. Type in the dimensions you want under 'actual size' and select 'scale photo'. Adjust your box however you want your photo cropped. My sidebar is 330 so I always use 300 for any sidebar graphics I do. I have a lot of favorite content I like to list on my sidebar, so I tried to keep the height of each button pretty small. If you have fewer buttons you could go bigger.
DIY blog design, blogging help
You'll want to add what your content's name is. I added a faded rectangle using the color scheme of my blog design behind the title. Do whatever tickles your fancy. Repeat for each one of your desired content buttons.
DIY blog design, blogging help
So, you've got all your mini photo buttons designed. Now you need to merge them into one graphic. Go back to picmonkey's main page and hover over design, click custom, and type in the desired dimensions. Use the same width as all of your mini photo buttons, and then for the height add up how tall they would be stacked together and tack on a few pixels so you have some room to work with.
DIY blog design, blogging help
Once you have your blank graphic go to the 'overlay' tab (the one that looks like a butterfly), and click on 'your own' at the top. That will open up your pictures folder. Add in each of your photo buttons until you have them all.
DIY blog design, blogging help
Drag each photo button to exactly the graphic width, and then space them all out in the order you want. After the whole thing is perfect go back to the 'basic edits' tab and crop out those extra pixels you don't need. Basically you don't want any extra white at the top or bottom. Save your graphic.
DIY blog design, blogging help

Now you need to map your graphic so that it is clickable.

Go to your photobucket and upload your perfected graphic. Copy the direct link.

DIY blog design, blogging help
Go to and paste in your direct link in the designated box and then click 'start mapping'. When it loads click 'click to continue'.
DIY blog design, blogging help
Have all your content links handy. Right click on your graphic and select 'create rect'. Drag the box to cover the entire area you want clickable and then replace with the link that matches up with that particular area. For example, I dragged the box to cover my sweet sunday mini photo button and then copy pasted in my 'sweet sunday' label blog url. Click save. Repeat for every mini photo button you have.
DIY blog design, blogging help
The box turns red for each area. So when your graphic is completely mapped, right click again and select 'get code'.
DIY blog design, blogging help
If you don't see anything pop up scroll down until you get to the coding box. Click the second tab option 'html code', and then copy your code.
DIY blog design, blogging help

Now you have your graphic coded to be clickable. Time to install it onto your sidebar.

Go to your blogger homepage. Select 'layout'. Click on 'add a gadget' and then pick 'html/javascript' from the options. Paste your mapped code into the content box. You can leave the title blank. Hit save. Drag your new gadget to the proper spot and click preview to make sure everything is where it is suppose to be. Then save your arrangement.
DIY blog design, blogging help
Now open up your blog and admire your new sidebar category buttons. Click on all those links to double check that they go where you want them to go, and hover your mouse around the whole graphic to make sure all the clickable boxes are where they are suppose to be.
DIY blog design, blogging help
And, that is it you are done!

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask me. I'm happy to help in any way I can. I'm definitely not a graphics or coding pro, but I do like being able to do my own blog tweaking and design.

Also check out my other how to posts: How to Create & Install a Blog Button and How to Create an Inspiration Board with Picmonkey.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

[Guest Post] Getting to Know Laurie from andiamo

Day 11 of plague and pestilence. Send coffee and food. Aria is feeling better. Not great, but better. Chris is still feeling like death. I have so far avoided contamination and even earned my gold medal in catching throw up with a burp cloth. So that is why I've been seriously lacking in the posting department around here. Maybe we will all be better by the weekend? Pretty please...

In the meantime, let me point you in the direction of one of my fave bloggers who is actually posting these days to tide you over. Today I'd love for you to get to know Laurie from andiamo. She has the blogging trifecta - three adorable children, a super handy husband, and a love of Disney. All good things, all good things. If that didn't sell you she also drinks all the wine and coffee, does Christmas up right and decorates like a pro. You should absolutely hop over to her blog sometime and take a look around, but first scroll down to see our little Q&A!

Thanks for saving my empty blog today, Laurie!
[Guest Post] Getting to Know Laurie from andiamo
[Guest Post] Getting to Know Laurie from andiamo
[Guest Post] Getting to Know Laurie from andiamo

Make sure to stop by her blog today, and tell her Courtney sent you!