Monday, September 30, 2013

Mommy & Me Monday

I've been busy, busy lately. If I'm not hanging out with Aria, which is most of the time, I am decorating or DIY-ing decorations to decorate with or meal planning or blogging or blog reading etcetc. Having a kid, an obsession with holidays, a blog, and a life is time, who else needs a nap?

Yesterday Aria's godfather came along with us on errands, and got to tote around a baby. It was good practice for when he has a baby and a work out all in one. Aria has pretty awesome-sauce godparents, though. Who else would want to tag along to the library, Target, and Home Depot just to get in some hang time with the little one?

October is tomorrow, which means the start to my 31 Days of Fall Fun. Don't forget to link up on Thursdays! I picked up a slew of Halloween/Fall children's books from the library, I've got a couple hearty recipes lined up, plans for a pumpkin-y treat, and a craft in the works. Can't wait to see what fun things everybody else thinks up!
Sweet Turtle Soup

And, since it is Monday it is time for the Mommy & Me link up with Dear Owen and Everyday Love. This week I got Chris to take a few pictures of Aria and me inspecting the fallen leaves in the backyard.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sweet Sunday

September 22nd -28th
It feels good to be back with real pictures!

That is the face of a trouble maker - an extra cute one. Her absolute favourite activity these days is pulling herself up on anything and everything - and usually licking it.

 Aria is the best ice cube tray filler-upper helper. She likes to steal the peas though. Daddy caught her red handed.

Playing under the table while daddy is home from work on his lunch break. Then when he is distracted with his Jello Aria can make a beeline for the water bowls.

Aria gives her Boon high chair two thumbs up because she can ninja it from the dining room and wheel it down the hallway. Good clean family fun!

Talking Great-Grandma into giving up her purse.

We have been devouring watermelon around here. Aria loves her fruit, she hasn't turned down any that she has been offered so far. Fruit for breakfast is the most exciting!

 Great-Grandma has a rapt audience for imparting all those pearls of wisdom.
Aria is my little helper getting out the good stuff from the Halloween box. She dragged around that green skull for a while before hunting for something else even more exciting.

Aria has 3 whole teeth now. You can see the top two. The first one broke through without so much as a frown, and when the second two worked their way out Aria turned extra clingy. But, I think the next one is being a rascal because Aria has been inconsolable at times, particularly at night. I hope it isn't a trend from good to worse to terrible. I'm okay with clingy, the clingy isn't so bad.

Aria has really grown to love her Zany Zoo cube now that she can pull herself to standing with it. And, her two favourite sides are the ones actually in the picture (lucky coincidence). She clicks the doors closed over and over, and whacks the heck out of the tiles. Plus, look at that grin! I love her new toothy smile.

She found the secret stash of floor tile edges. Now she can really have a blast waving them around and chewing on them and making a big mess in general.

I have all my Halloween craft bits and pieces on the coffee table, which is just large enough that she can't reach anything in the middle. But, she tries and tries before eventually settling for the coasters. Although, yesterday she did manage to get the little zodiac book. It was funny because she grabbed it and took off like she'd stolen the treasure.

 Part of the seasonal decor is this little Beagle that sings a Halloween song and flaps its ears (I think my grandma got it for me at Cracker Barrel - a few years back). I plopped it down in front of Aria and she looked it at like it was the strangest thing. But, she quickly warmed up to it and now has no problem trying to chew on it.

As you can see, the blog is getting a facelift. It is still a work in progress so hang in there!

Linking up with:

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Historical-ness: First Summer Back in Florida

If you missed any of the previous 'Historical-ness' posts, click here for 1: How We Met, 2: The First Three Years, 3: Baxter, 4: Lizzy, and 5: Life in Colorado

We pick up today with the summer of 2010 - the summer we left Colorado to move back to Florida.

The Move:
When we drove to Colorado from Florida we took I-95 N as far as we could and then turned westward ending on I-70 for about 800 miles - big, heavily driven normal roads. For some reason I wanted to go a different way back to Florida. So, we went south to Texas then east on whatever road takes you through Louisiana, Alabama, and into Florida. It was that Texas part, however, that was terrible. We took slightly better than dirt roads through back country bits of Texas with no gas stations, and a lovely little rest stop (pictured above) with a hole in the ground, some walls, and no sink. Thank God there was toilet paper. Not only did we fear for our lives and gas tank, but it was flooding in Texas. Roads closed, standing water on the alternate routes, torrential can't see out the window down pouring type flooding. Plus, we got a ticket when it finally wasn't pouring. So, if I ever say hey let's go a new, fun, different way just tell me no.
Texas roads flooding
We made it home in one piece though. I can't remember how long it took, but Chris refused to stop and sleep. He drove the entire way back to Florida in one go - some sort of man challenge I guess. He couldn't sit in the passenger seat because the car was packed so full it had to be slid almost all the way up, so I couldn't take over the driving. The cat was mad at the world and hid on my lap the whole time. He needed a two day calming down period in a closet when we got to the house, and probably half an hour with in his litter box because he refused to use it the entire trip. The dogs were pretty chill about the whole thing, but definitely bored. I sat cross legged the whole time, so I was glad to finally unbend myself. And, I know Chris was ready to sleep for a few days.

St. Augustine:

One of the first things we did was drag a few friends along on a trip to St. Augustine. St. Augustine is one of my favourite places, I'm a sucker for all things old.
The Fort at St. Augustine, Florida
We visited the fort - aka Castillo de San Marcos, where they fired a canon and pirates attacked.

The Red Train at St. Augustine, Florida
We rode the trolley.

We went to a wine tasting at San Sebastian, and picked up a few bottles that we had to carry around the rest of the day.

The Oldest House Museum at St. Augustine, Florida
We poked around a few historic houses.

Ripley's Museum at St. Augustine, Florida
And, we did Ripley's Museum.


Baxter and Lizzy hung out with their old friend, the family weenie - aka Buster.

And, Loki took full advantage of being able to lay in windows. (He wasn't allowed to at our apartment in Colorado because we weren't allowed to have a cat - we're such rebels.)

 Next up is for the 'Historical-ness' series is Loki! Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Favourite Nail Polish to Drool Over for the Fall

I've had my eye out for something new to wear on my toes for the new season (because, I never seem to have the time to paint my finger nails). I love to wear a classic red on my finger nails, but something more fun on my toes. Right now I have bright pink and spring green alternating - from forever ago during the summer months since I haven't found the time to give myself a pedi.

What I would love to get my hands on is a navy blue or that hunter green. I've never been able to find a really pretty hunter green, but that one from butter is killing me (at 15 bucks - my gosh). But, berry reds are always a solid choice too. The grey is totally calling my name, a bit random from my usual colours. Blacks, however,  are a bit outside my comfort zone. I've never gotten into the black trend, I've only gotten as far as a deep purple. I'd rock it though if the nail polish fairy left it under my pillow.

Basically, I love all these colours below. I did pick them after all! Now who wants to lend me their nail polish fairy?
[ 1 - after school boy blazer / 2 - incognito un sausalito / 3 - berry naughty / 4 - lost on lombard 
/ 5 - british racing green / 6 - cashmere bathrobe / 7 - licorice ]
Aren't nail polish names the bees knees?
What about you, which colours are you itching to pick up this season or dig out of your collection? Hm, now that I think about it black and orange is fun for Halloween. I have a nail polish problem.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Countdown to Halloween - 31 Days of Fall Fun

The holiday 'season' is my favourite season. Hands down. From the first day of Autumn to the beginning of the new year I am in heaven.
Aria pushing the stool in fall
Decorating has to be one of my top ten favourite things to do. I love creating a space that makes me happy. I smile every time I see the wreath on the front door. It is a little more difficult to make and put up the decorations this year because of Aria, but it is 100% worth the effort. I also love to cook yummy fall foods and bake themed goodies, and especially share them. I'm nutty for traditions, and the change to (slightly) cooler weather, and the magic of each holiday. There is so much to love about this time of year.

Now that I have Aria I'm even more into creating a festive atmosphere for her. She is definitely too little to understand right now, but I still love going the extra mile just because it makes things a little more fun. So, with that in mind I decided to have a countdown to Halloween. And, I wanted to invite you to share in it with us!

Every Thursday in October I will host a Countdown to Halloween recap link up.

The rules:
1. Write a post on anything you've done to make each day in October a little (or a lot) whimsical for you and/or your family. Or, any day in October. Some days managing to brush your teeth is the high point, so it doesn't matter if it happens to be one day or all the days. It can be anything fall related or Halloween related - making apple cinnamon pancakes, or bat shaped waffles, or buying/making a costume, or decorating, or apple picking, or crafting, etc.

2. Grab a button and link up on the 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, and/or 31st. Feel free to link up on as many or as few days as you want, and each link up will remain open a few days so you can hop on board at your convenience.

Sweet Turtle Soup

And, that is all there is to it.

Need any inspiration?

There are so many ways you can make each day spook-tastic, from something simple to something elaborate. Go to the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect gourd - make it quirky and have everybody wear cat ears, remember to take a picture. Bam, you've made that day fun. Take the pumpkin seeds and roast them for a snack. Instead of buying pumpkin puree, make your own. Then make pumpkin cheesecake, or pumpkin spice chocolate chunk muffins, and surprise Aunt Susan (insert your own relative, friend, or neighbor here) with them. Or, carve jack-o-lanterns. Or, paint them. You can take one activity, like all things pumpkin, and spread it out over several days.

Little Baby Garvin has taught me that you can take a meal and elevate it to awesome with a cookie cutter. You know what Aria and I had on the first morning of fall? Leaf shaped toast. You know how much effort it took? 23 seconds worth, and less if I hadn't knocked over the drying racks.

Go to the library and find a book on Halloween or fall and read it together. Get a whole bunch and read one each day. Here is a list of 50 Children's books for the fall.

Hop on pinterest and type in fall activities. You now have approximately 30 billion ideas. Type in fall food, or fall goodies and prepare to drool.

Do a google search for 31 days of Halloween activities for kids, or countdown to Halloween with kids and there are tons of links. A few of the ones I found that have inspired me are: the spooky vegan, NoBiggie, and Dixie Delights.

You can DIY or purchase an advent type countdown system, and designate something specific to do or make each day. But, I know that things get too crazy around here for me to do something so regimented. I have a list of all sorts of things that would be fun, and then I will pick what is done based on the day (and Aria's mood). Organized chaos if you will.

The one thing you don't have to be is supermom to pull off a Countdown to Halloween. Just be a little creative (or know how to use google), and think outside the box. Make a day out of things you normally do - like cooking a new recipe for dinner. Or, try to think of a way to tweak it and turn it into something new and festive - like the cookie cutter idea. Things don't have to be complicated, time-consuming, or pricy to be fun.

I hope to see what everybody comes up with, so mark your calendars! If you have any questions, concerns, or comments as always please send me an email or leave a comment.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mommy & Me Monday

The first of the fall decorations made their way up this weekend. Literally only a of couple things because for some reason finding the time to DIY anything with a 9 month old is challenging, who knew?

The first thing that went up was this wreath on the front door. I've never made a wreath before, but I am semi obsessed now. I have 4 more in the works. Cutting those felt roses out took way longer than I anticipated, but I love how they turned out. It is like being greeted with a colourful smile!
Aria noticed it every time we stepped into the foyer. Maybe she will have the decorating gene!
I am linking up with Dear Owen and Everyday Love today. 
I think the concept behind this link up is great - the perfect motivation to step in front of the camera rather than always being behind it.
My Everyday Love

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

Aria and I wish you a magical start to the best season of the year!

Friday, September 20, 2013

What to Register For: Clothing

Trying to decide on what clothing to get Aria before she was born was the most confusing thing. Probably because I read all sorts of recommendations for specific onesies that were awesome and how many of every clothing type ever made that I absolutely needed. I'm just glad that I never got around to buying many baby clothes by the time Aria arrived a little over a month early. It would have been a complete waste of money.

You know what newborn babies wear? Footed sleepers. All day. All night. Anything else is adding unnecessary work to an already overworked and exhausting time period. I mean sure you can dress them in something else, maybe for a photography session or holiday. But, pretty much anything beyond that and you are an over-achiever in my book - it doesn't take much, huh?

Aria didn't wear a thing other than footed sleepers until she was a month old, and only then because I thought it would be cute for her month-day picture. But, I quickly realized it was way too much effort to put on more than one piece of clothing every diaper change and spit up incident. And, she was so tiny still that the tiny clothes were baggy on her and she would have been perfectly adorable in her elephant sleeper (my favourite).

My only real baby fashion rule is that it has to be comfortable. If something doesn't look comfortable to me even if Aria doesn't seem to be phased by it at all, I still take it off of her. And, pretty much the only time a frilly dress is acceptable is for Easter. I'm getting off topic...

So, what to register for under the clothing tab? Nothing. People love to gift baby clothing. Aria had storage bins full of clothing, some as big as 3T. But, if you register for clothing most of the time it is going to be hard to find when it comes time for your friends and family to shower you. Something is no longer in stock, or they don't have that size, or you can't find it anywhere in the brick and mortar store. Plus, if somebody wants to get you baby clothes they probably want to pick it out themselves. By the way, we didn't get a single footed sleeper until Aria was a few months old - I think we got a grand total of 2 from people. Not cute enough, I guess? But, I do have a closet lined with frilly dresses.

Also, baby clothes shopping should be illegal it is so fun. I almost always love the things I pick out myself more than gifted clothes. Not because of cuteness but because it comes with a memory - aww I remember waddling around the store and saw this and immediately had to buy it after staring whimsically at it for 10 minutes wondering what you would look like and now I get to put it on you and you are the most precious little thing ever sniff. Or, maybe that is just me? Feel free to let me know I am insane at any time. It is always good to know these things.

The title of this post is a little misleading, no? But wait, she has a point!
What clothing should you buy baby for the first couple of months?
  • A take home outfit (ours was a (drum roll) footed sleeper!), newborn and 3 months size.
  • 5-7 footed sleepers, 3 months size - you can always pick up newborn size if you need it, but it is easier to dress bigger than smaller.
  • A couple of onesies that don't have any buttons anywhere if you want to get fancy, 3 months size.
  • Something cozy if you are having a winter baby and don't live in Florida - I have no perspective on this being that I do live in Florida. Footed sleepers were plenty warm enough.
After you get into the swing of keeping a baby alive, and are hopefully getting a nice 4+ hour chunk of sleep at night (so you are more awake to put on baby clothes) then what clothing should you buy?
  • More footed sleepers! I like to have 5-7 in the appropriate size. Laundry sucks. Also keep in mind how cool it is at night in the nursery when picking the material. I like to get micro fleece sleepers, so I can keep the ceiling fan on for circulation.
  • 7-10+ onesies, in the appropriate size. Go ahead and get buttons now if you want. I wouldn't recommend getting a neck that doesn't have either buttons or stretch, because who the hell thought that was a good idea? Long sleeve and short sleeve - I find the long sleeve ones to be the cutest.
  • 5-7 pairs of bottoms, in the appropriate size. Soft and stretchy bottoms. Jeggings, leggings, cotton pants, etc. I think shorts are a complete waste of my time and energy. They cover an extra inch of flesh, and add 4 hours to diaper changes. Wha....?
  • Dresses, up to the appropriate size prior to crawling (for the little ladies). Although, I hate those bloomer diaper cover up things - I think there is a trend towards lazy going on here. But, I love dresses. Or I did until Aria started to crawl. So so easy for diaper changes and adorable. However, now that she crawls it would end up around her neck and being that we have tile she would be a frozen baby. So, there is a small dress window between teeny newborn and crawler that you should take advantage of. Then after crawling has turned to walking I'm imagining the dresses will be golden again.
  • 2-3 rompers, in the appropriate size. These ones are included purely because I find them adorable. I consider a romper anything that is one piece that isn't a onesie or footed.  Like this, this, or this.
  • Again keep in mind that I live in the land of perpetual sunshine, so winter ware is foreign to me. Maybe you need some socks, or a hat, or a coat too. I had some socks, but I mostly put them on Aria when I was feeling particularly overzealous and they were Disney. But, I am pretty sure she hasn't worn them since March.
Phew. There you have it. A week of all things baby stuff. I think I am all talked out on the subject of toys, favourites, and gear.

Have a FALL-tastic weekend guys! I am seriously pumped to decorate.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

What to Register For: Ultimate List of Baby Things

Longer Title - What to Register For: Ultimate List of Baby Things Except Anything I Forgot and A Few Things I Would Have Liked to Have Had, Which Will Be Noted with a Star (*).

This post has been 9 months in the making. Actually more like 15 months in the making, since I starting obsessing about the registry sometime in the second trimester. I read product reviews until my eyes bled, or at least felt like it. Now I can share all the things we've actually used and loved that would have made the perfect registry for Aria. And, I tried to rack my brain to include absolutely everything that we've needed. So, this is what I would have registered for and/or purchased if I had seen 15 months into the future. I've also included a few things that I think would have made life easier that we didn't have. I can only hope it will help somebody else decide what to register for, make the whole registering process easier, and end up being the perfect baby products for them. I dream big!

For Sleeping:

For Feeding:

For Diapering:
Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive Diapers - for sizes newborn to 2 / Pampers Baby Dry Diapers - for sizes 3 and up / Pampers Sensitive Wipes / Ikea SUNDVIK Changing Table / Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad / Carters Super Soft Dot Changing Pad Cover / Earth Mama Angel Baby Angel Baby Bottom Balm / Fuzzi Bunz One Size Elite Cloth Diaper - for more on cloth diapering check out these posts / Bummis Bio-Soft Liner / Planet Wise Wetbag - Large / Rockin' Green Classic Rock REMIX Formula in Smashing Watermelon Scent / Sterilite Step-on Wastebasket - 11 Gallon Capacity - Solid Color with White Lid - we have something similar to this one, but it could be better. Stainless steel keeps odors in best and there is always the ever popular diaper genie, or this awesome looking Ubbi I have my eye on after Sunflower State of Mind recommended it!

For Traveling:
Make a Change Baby Bag / Graco SnugRide Classic Connect Infant Car Seat / Graco UrbanLite Stroller, Rittenhouse / 4moms Breeze Playard (*) - we have the graco pack n play, but I hate the bottom and I think something better made is preferable / Bright Starts Snuggle & Teethe Monkey Teether / Beco Baby Carrier (*) - we have a mei tai, but Aria hated facing inward and I think something with more options would have actually gotten used / Inglesina Fast Table Chair (*) - I hate restaurant high chairs, for one they gross me out and two they never sit level with the table / The Cambridge Neatnik Saucer High Chair Cover & Baby Placemat All-in-One (*) - something to help keep the mess contained would make eating out more pleasant

For Cleaning:
Isopropyl Alcohol / Cotton Balls - for stump cleaning / Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo / Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Duck Tub - for 6+ months / Elegant Baby Squirties / Spasilk 10 Pack Soft Terry Washcloth / Safety 1st Whale and Baby Spout Guard / Blooming Bath Baby Bath (*) - we had a pod tub, for more on my opinion on that check out this post / 3 Sprouts Hooded Towel - we don't have this exact variety, but a hooded towel any hooded towel / Boogie Wipes Great Grape Scent Gentle Saline Wipes / Vicks Baby Rectal Thermometer (*) - we came home from the hospital with a thermomter that worked well enough / BabyComfyNose Nasal Aspirator / Little Remedies Tummys Gas Relief Drops / Baby Banana Bendable Training Toothbrush, Infant / Summer Infant Dr. Mom Brush and Comb Set / Safety 1st Steady Grip Infant Clipper / Satsuma Designs Baby Mittens, Natural, One Size

For Playing:
Multi-Purpose Foam Floor Mats / Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo / Bumbo Floor Seat / Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym (*) - we have a different variety / 4Moms MamaRoo Bouncer in Silver Plush (*) - if I could go back I would get a mamaroo instead of a bouncer or swing / Combi All in One Activity Walker (*) - I think this is the cutest thing I've ever seen and I think Aria would have had a blast in one if I had known of its existence earlier / Rhino Toys Oball Rattle / Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether / Lamaze Play & Grow Freddie the Firefly (*) - any hanging toy, lamaze makes the best / Sassy Ring O' Links (*) - anything that looks like a key ring / Apple Park Organic 4' Apple Seed Rattle, Red / Little Sapling Toys Wooden Teether / Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes

Bonus Suggestions For the Nursery:
Books, books, books / Glider or Rocker / Storage bins / Keepsake Baby Book / Humidifier - if you live in a dry climate / Fan - if there isn't already a ceiling fan, it helps reduce the risk for SIDS to have air circulating / Night light / Lovey - we have a Pluto Lovey / Framed art or pictures

Linking up with Sunflower State of Mind today!

*many of the above links are amazon affiliate links!