Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hard at work

This past weekend Brent's parents were in town to visit the little (and us) and to help us re-build a portion of our fence. We have been trying to get this fence building thing organized for some time now, over a year actually, but things never seem to fall into place. So finally, we just decided to do one side at a time. Our neighbors to the West (Tom and Lyla) were just waiting for the go ahead from us, and they were up and tearing down the old fence early Friday morning. I felt terrible (literally) because I couldn't help much, I was down and out with a bladder infection. But they were so quick, the fence was down in less than 3 hours. Tom got a little trigger happy with the chainsaw and buzzed the fence in half, making it easy to just lift the old slats out, and the posts were so rotten they were easily pushed right over. It was weird not having a fence on one side for a full day. Abby was super confused, not sure which yard she could pee in or why she could now go up front freely, I found her several times at the front door when she was supposed to be out back eating. Thank goodness she's never been one to run off. We are so thankful for all the help we had this weekend! The boys took over the fence job, while Beth and I had baby duty, and took on a couple other projects around the house, including re painting our front door (again) and putting new hardware on it, and also sprucing up the front of the house with some new numbers (finally!) that we have been meaning to put up for 2 years now... oops. It was a productive weekend, and we are so happy with our new fence and gate! 

A portion of the new fence already finished. and the old gate just hangin' out.

Jim, Brent, and Tom working hard on the fence, 3 2x4 rails meant lots of screws!

Isn't it pretty!!!

Stella had a blast watching the boys and chewing on her indestructible book

Lunch break! Tom and Lyla joined us also and we had a great time visiting with our neighbors

Abuela Beth napping with Stella after a hard days work

She had a rough weekend, lots of playing and snuggles, we had one tired baby

Thanks to Opa and Abuela for all their hard work and help this weekend!!! We had a wonderful weekend!!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Living room makeover

I've been trying to post these pictures for a few weeks now (ok, for almost a month...) but with many visitors, and a baby who is kinda a not great napper right now, it's been tough to get pictures with the living room clean, let alone in decent light... which i'm still not sure I captured. While my mom was here at the beginning of the month, we decided that my living room needed a little sprucing up. I've been tired of the red theme for some time now, and was thrilled when she suggested we tackle this big project! The new color theme?? Blue! I wanted something calming and beautiful, and I'm so happy with how it turned out! So, after looking through some recent Pinterest pins of things that had caught my eye, we got to work, and, I'm beyond happy with how things turned out! Even Brent likes it, Thankfully. He was out of town while we did all this, and it was a total surprise. I'm so thankful my hubby is ok with things I do to our home, he knows when I get a creative itch, it's hard not to scratch it, and that's just one of the many amazing things I love about him. So, want to see our new living room?? I'm sure you're dying to know how it turned out, It's pretty awesome. 

The Ottomans came from TJ Maxx Home Goods... probably my most favorite store, ever. 

The whole living room, well almost, minus the large sofa along the front wall, but you get the idea

Abby enjoying the new pillows, curtosy of TJ Maxx and Fred Meyers (floral print)

We added a few new "home" photos, prints that I've collected of Washington over the years from Pike's Place, they help us miss it a little less in some ways. We also bought new end tables (which I LOVE!) to help us be a bit more organized. and see the new lamps? Those were our color inspiration, the perfect shade of blue.

Our new lamps, from Lowes. They are so perfect!
So, what do you think? I'm wanting to add a few lemon yellow accent pieces, but its really hard to find the right color for some reason. As always, the house is a work in progress, never ending, but so much fun to work on. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Whats with the awful week!?!?

This week has been horrible. I honestly have not ever wished a week would just be done and over with more than I have this one. 
On Monday, I woke up to a text from my mom, a friend of our families week old baby had passed away, unexpectedly. SIDS is something that I have feared from the minute I found out I was pregnant. and I feel so blessed that Stella is amazingly healthy, but it can still happen to anyone. The funeral was last night, my parents went, and they shut down their shop so all of their employees could attend and support their fellow co-worker. I wanted to be there, to support them, and tell them that they are not alone in this journey. But I will be there next week, and I will hug them both when I see them, and pray that their hearts heal, and I will let them know that this little blessing may have been in their lives for very a short time, but will be in their hearts forever. 

Also, My car is in the shop. And it's going to cost us twice as much as we were expecting... awesome. Don't ever buy a Land Rover, they are super expensive to fix. Ugh. 

Then, I get sick. While Brent is out of town. I think I have a bladder infection. Awesome. 
My sister tells me to go to the dr. immediately, she's dealt with many of these and they can get out of control quickly. I've never had one, so I wait until the pain is crazy, and it's almost 7pm... 
So last night I pack the little up and head on over to urgent care, hang out there, pee in a cup, 
Yep it's an infection...... Yep you get antibiotics...... Yep it's going to take a few days to fully get out of your system. 
Oh, and I made sure they gave me the pregnancy and nursing safe antibiotics... this mama does not like meds, and if I have to take them, I don't want them affecting Stella. 
Got home, went to bed. 
Brent had to take a taxi home from the airport at midnight, we had been asleep since 9. 

Woke up feeling better, could finally pee somewhat normally, But then???
Sick. I'm not sure if it's from the antibiotics, or from the infection, or the fact that I took the antibiotics on an empty stomach (dumb of me, I know, but they said it was ok to do), but they did not like me this morning. 
Thank goodness Stella was napping! She woke up right when I laid down to rest, of course, so I scooped her up, brought her to bed with me, and we slept another hour or so. 
I felt good enough to eat a hot dog bun (the ones from costco, so yummy and fluffy!) and drink some water and chicken broth. 
So far so good. I think I just need to keep food in me and i'll be feelin' better in no time. 

So, the last two awesome events above now mean our weekend plans to build a new fence (I really dont know what were thinking, building a fence in the middle of August when it's 100 outside...) around our house are getting somewhat scrapped, and we'll only be building one side. and the awesome neighbors on that side made me go in and sleep, refused my help to tear it down, and told me if I needed them, that they would watch Stella. They tore the fence down, and Brent and Tom (our neighbor) will go get the materials we need when Brent is off work. 

Since things have been a bit rough this week, we've made sure to love on Stella a little bit more (although I dont know how that was even possible). We've also let her get away with some things she normally doesnt get away with.... Like riding the dog. One day this will be a no-no, but for now? Sure. Why not climb on up and have some fun. There will be no separating this girl and her dog.

Here's to hoping for a better next week. 

And many prayers and blessings going out to our friends back home who are missing their baby girl this week. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Not much has been happening with us this week, which is why I have had a lack of posts as of late. We've been taking it easy around our house, trying hard to get Stella on a regular sleep schedule, which she still fights like crazy at every nap, and every bedtime. Even if I lay down with her and nurse her to sleep, she wakes up as soon as I get up... lame. The other night she was awake for 2 full hours from about 2:30 til about 4:30.... again.... lame. She has such an active mind, and is such an active little girl, I think she just prefers going a million miles a minute, and we prefer her to chill out and nap at least twice a day, so for now were agreeing to disagree, and trying our best to get her to like sleep a little bit more. She is so active, that currently I am sitting out on our deck blogging (because it's finally tolerable to sit out here and there is an awesome breeze going through), which she bounces away in her activity jumper. I never thought I would be one of those parents who rely's on a big toy to keep their child happy, but seriously? She is so active, it's tough to put her down and have her stay happy for more than 5 minutes, even if surrounded by toys. She wants to be into everything, touching, seeing, biting, jumping. Her favorite thing to do is stand up on our laps and jump, she laughs and we get the biggest, gummiest grins when she's jumping, she just loves it. 

This little girl is going to keep us on our toes. We can already tell she's a mover, we've known this since the first ultrasound, she was wiggling all over, just this little embryo, standing straight up.  Where most babies at 10 weeks gestation are curled up and looking like a seahorse, Stella was dancing across the screen, even the tech warned us we were going to have our hands full. I wouldn't have it any other way though, She keeps me moving, gets me out and about, loves the park, loves being outside (literally, could stay out there all day) and is just our little firecracker. I cannot wait to see what her activity brings us as a toddler :)

I have a ton of pictures to share from the last 2 weeks, I am just now getting around to uploading them, and didn't realize just how many there were... Enjoy!

The little, or Gremlin as we affectionately call her when she's got this face/attitude going, is now into EVERYTHING. Fighting hard to reach things she wants, putting everything she successfully grabs right into her mouth, yea, it's fun

Daddy's cup is especially yummy to chew on

mmmmmm. cup.

Daddy trying to take it back... Stella was having nothing to do with handing it over though...

look at the sheer happiness and huge smile on Stella's face, you can see it, even though she's upside down, you can see it on Brent's face too, I love it. 

so happy!

Have you ever had an ORANGE watermelon??? We have! and it was delish!!

I've only dared take one photo of Stella sleeping... i'm afraid the flash will wake her. But isn't she so freaking adorable!?!
She's such a big girl now sleeping in her own crib!!

Last week I finally got around to painting our dining room chairs, yay! I had been wanting to for awhile, but it's tough finding extra time for crafty stuff with the little. So, I had daddy watch her, and I was able to paint all 4 chairs! I only got one coat, so they are a little rough, not as smooth as I had hoped, but at least they are yellow!! I love the color, it brightens up our kitchen a ton! 

We've had some pretty awesome sunset's lately, and I finally got a picture that turned out! For some reason the pink skies never look the same in the pictures, but orange? It looks pretty great! 

These next pictures are of Stella eating some of her first foods, I just loved the intense look on her face watching daddy scoop the rice, and how big her mouth gets as the spoon approaches, love it.

And don't you love her bib? Yes, my sister bought it for her, so it's totally ok that she is pretty much advertising her auntie is Hot... and Single. Her number is 555.... ;)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

a few of our favorite (and necessary) things

I've been wanting to share the things that are our saving grace with Stella these days, things that keep her entertained, things that keep her engaged, things that make her happy, things that make our lives a little simpler. We have our go to items, the ones that never get left at home, always make it in the diaper bag, or in the carset with Stella, the ones that i'll even tuck inside the wrap with the little while were are the grocery store. I know every baby is different, but I do think that most enjoy similar simple toys at this age, things that make noise, feel good in their hands and mouth, and keep them entertained for more than 3 minutes. 

So, in no particular order, Stella's favorite things:

Indestructibles - books that were built for babies.

These books are AWESOME! Stella is totally in the destruction stage... chewing, tearing, pulling, ripping, kicking... she is pretty much into everything right now. The other day at Starbucks, she grabbed a handful of straws and knocked over a stack of bubble lids... in one fell swoop. She totally destroyed one of Brent's work documents just a few minutes ago, it's now covered in baby drool, ripped into pieces, and crumpled into an unrecognizable blob. I found these books at one of our local downtown book shops, The Rediscovered Bookshop , and from the moment Stella had them in her grasp, they have not been let out of her sight without a fuss. She loves them! The cool part? These can be crumpled, chewed, pulled, dunked in water, washed in the washing machine, run over, etc. and wont be damaged.... The only thing that really ruins them? The microwave... which I don't know about you, but I don't normally microwave my books ;)



Sophie the Giraffe has been around for 50 years (as of 2011! Happy 50th Sophie!) and thank goodness she's still one of the best teething toys around! Stella loves her Sophie, she goes everywhere with us, and is always the first toy I go to if Stell is fussy. 

Rich Frog Duck Crinkler

Duck Crinkler

This little duck is another one of the little's favorites. She'll twist, pull, chew and overall try to destroy this little crinkly duck in everyway she possibly can, and it has held up over the last month just perfectly. She loves the crinkly noise, and that she can chew, and I love that it is soft, entertaining, and fits perfectly in her little hands. 

Homemedics sound spa lullaby 
Homedics SS-3000 Soundspa Lullaby, White

This sound machine has been our nighttime saving grace since Stella was born. It was a gift from a family friend, and we honestly use it almost EVERY night, I love it, Brent loves it, and Stella for sure loves it. It helps block our the street noise, or neighbor noise, or any other noises that the night brings. The light show is great for getting Stella calmed down and relaxed for naps or bedtime, we turn it on while were reading books if she's not really into the book, it's a good distraction but keeps her calm. The projector part tilts, so it can be shown on the ceiling above the crib, or on the wall at any height. I love the rain setting, it reminds me of the sound I grew up with in Seattle, the constant rain drizzle hitting the roof, hitting the patio outside my window, it's a very comforting and soothing sound, both Brent and I love it. 

Didymos wrap

I realize you cant see the whole wrap, but check out their website to see more beautiful patterns and wraps

Stella loves being worn. I've worn her since the first day we brought her home.... we'll, my sister actually wore her in the Moby that first week while my milk came in, it was just too painful to have her snuggled tightly against my chest. But, she's been worn almost every day of her life. I wear her around the house, on walks, at the grocery store, to the market, to parks, pretty much anywhere. Only recently has she been in the stroller, which I think she enjoys for short walks and when it's really hot out. Otherwise, she's being worn. We now use a Didymos wrap, which I borrowed from a babywearing friend, and have decided to purchase from her, I love it because it's so much more sturdy and breathable than the Moby. I can no longer wear her in the stretchy Moby wrap, they are not safe for babies to wear over 15 or 16 lbs, they just sag and get super loose. Woven wraps don't do that, they only have a slight stretch, which is perfect for small adjustments and for the baby to be able to move and wiggle a little, but they wont sag or need to be adjusted, even if you're going hiking or will be wearing the baby for a long time. I also prefer these to the more structured carriers that are advertised so much, such as the bjorn or infantino, which are not safe baby carriers at all, and can cause injury to babies when worn too long or improperly (i.e. facing outward). I love seeing moms and dads wearing their little ones, but please research before you buy, try on carriers, and look a little more deeply into good carriers vs. the inexpensive and not so great ones. I've been thinking of asking a good babywearing friend if she would be interested in writing up a blog post on the different types of carriers and carry's, so keep an eye out for that sometime in the future. 

Raw Baltic Amber Teething Necklace

Maximum effective Raw sea amber oval form teething necklace for your baby.

We ordered this exact Baltic Amber necklace a few months ago for the little and I am SO thankful we did. Not only is it absolutely beautiful, but Stella is a different baby with it on. She was getting to the point where her hands were always in her mouth, crying in pain constantly, nursing non-stop, and had some major rashes going on down there from all the acid building up in her body from the developing teeth. This necklace took about 3 weeks to arrive from Latvia (my first piece of international mail!) and was hand made to order just for Stella's little neck. Baltic Amber is a natural healing analgesic, it has natural anti inflammatory and pain relieving properties that the skin absorbs from the amber beads which help with teething. So far? It's perfect. Stella is super happy almost all the time, and hardly seems to have any pain from teething anymore. She wears it 24/7, and the days we do take it off? the rash returns, and her pain seems to come back, so we just keep it on to keep the pain away and keep the little happy. Stella also has a Healing Hazelwood necklace, which helps pull the acid out of her body and into the wood and also is a huge help with teething. We put that on her when her rash flares up, and in a day it's usually under control. 

Well, these are just a few of the things we cant seem to live without these days. Do you have your favorite, go-to items, the ones you never dare leave the house without, the ones that are babies tried and true happy time things? I'd love to hear what they are, and what you can't live without. 

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Our week by Droid, week 1!!

I'm so excited to be linking up for the first time this week and share our week in phone pics! I've wanted to do this link up for awhile, but I rarely upload all the photos I take, until I realized I could easily upload them right to the blog through picasa, how awesome is that?! So, hopefully now i'll remember to join in the phone photo fun!

Want to hear another really exciting new thing for us this week??!?! Stella is sleeping through the night!!! Well. Almost. We've started putting her in her crib, in her room for naps, and she sleeps so well, that we thought we'd try out putting her in there for bedtime. She slept 9 hours the first night (albeit, after a 2 hour sleep fighting battle between her and us...). It was rough, especially for me, but she finally went to sleep, stirred once and daddy calmed her down in just a few minutes, and then... she slept! All night!!! So, we tried again last night... and it only took about 25 minutes of fussies and just a little bit of dancing and again, she went right to sleep!!! Tonight??? Umm, she was asleep in less than 10 minutes :) I AM SO HAPPY!!! She has woken up a couple times tonight, but she was down by 8:45... which meant Abby and I could go on a bike ride, which I haven't been able to do with her since last summer, it was so great! I would love to share a picture, but I don't dare sneak in there and use the flash... i'll get a cute one of her napping, we don't mess with nighttime. Hopefully it will continue to get easier every night, and soon, she'll just lay down, and go right to sleep, babies do that, right? 

so, here's some of our week in Dphone pics...

The beginning of the week I found myself doing some projects around our house... I installed a retractable clothesline, which, I love. and I painted our dining room chairs an amazing shade of yellow! I looove them! They have brightened up our tiny dining room a ton! and now pull the living room and kitchen together :)

Brent, Stella, Abby and I took a walk along the greenbelt downtown, our power went out for a few hours and it was way too hot to hang out inside with no AC, so we packed up, and walked almost 4 miles along the river. Stella passed out halfway back, and I kicked an exposed root somewhere along the way, leaving me with a split big toe and lots of blood to clean off my sandal. 

We are officially starting Stella on more solid foods, still mushed, but different from her norm. This week she LOVED avocado, which is the green stuff smeared around her mouth. She also enjoyed chewing on a green bean that we picked up at the market, she would not let that thing go, and cried when it broke and I had to take it away :(

More of Stella's culinary adventure a few nights later, applesauce on the left (the yellow mush) and zucchini on the right (the green mush), the small bowl in the middle is a mix of the two... this wasn't a big hit with her. and the last pic was out grilled dinner that night, chicken, squash, and corn with a garlic parsley butter, yum!

Linking up with Amy @ a good life, head on over and check out their week in pics!

Oh, and how about sharing the love and clicking through for a vote? Thanks!

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

More visitors

On Friday around lunch time we had the pleasure of having some great family friends swing by on their way back to Washington State. They have been traveling in their 5th wheel all summer long, and have not been home since the end of June I believe! What a way to spend the summer!! I've enjoyed following their adventures over the past few weeks and they have truly been to some amazing places around the US. Multiple national parks, several states, and they visited a ton of family, even making it to a wedding, family reunion and 1st birthday of a great grand niece! It was a pleasure to have them in our home once again, even if for just a few short hours over a long lunch. Brent was able to make it home to visit, and we loved hearing the stories of their past couple of weeks on the road. 

Sharon snuggling with a very sleepy baby

And the eyes are closing...

Finally passed out and so cuddly

Sharon loving the baby time

Nick gettin in on the snuggles action too

and Stella giving daddy the evil eye, hahaha

Their Golden, Tucker, smelled the grilled chicken in Brent's hand and came to investigate :)

Nick entertaining the baby

Stella's favorite toy, the ball, she seriously loves this thing
All the visiting Nick and Sharon did with babies back east and Stella is sure to prepare them for their families newest pending arrival! They will be welcoming their first grand baby this December!! We cannot wait to meet the newest little love in just a few short months, Congrats Nick and Alicia!!!

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