Tuesday, July 30, 2013

National Cheesecake day!


Today was AWESOME!!!!
1) I woke up to a clean kitchen
2) We went to play group, and Madeleine went on the swing (as seen above)
3) I have a functioning phone 
4) It's NATIONAL CHEESECAKE DAY!!!!!

I had no idea. 
Poor Harry Potter. 
His birthday was just one upped by this awesome day.
(Harry Potter's birthday is tomorrow if you were wondering)

So in honor of National cheesecake day, The Cheesecake Factory has their cheesecake half off!
And this year they even introduced a new flavor of cheesecake.

Toasted Marshmallow S'mores Galore



Oh yeah, it even looks tasty after Madeleine shook it around.

Cheesecake Factory cheesecake is one of the few desserts I can't finish by myself,
so we hopped on the bus to see Matt to share this deliciousness.

Hanging out at the Chemistry Building aka the Frick.
So if you have time, and you are blessed enough to have a Cheesecake Factory near by,
you should totally get some.
If not...well...there always is Sara Lee.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Paparazzi

Last week Madeleine and I took a wonderful walk around Princeton. The weather was beautiful! It slightly cloudy and the temperature was in the low 80s. We looked at the shops and their old fashioned window displays. We went to our small farmer's market where I got to try ginger limeade. It was sweet, tangy, with just the right amount of spice from the ginger. Needless to say I was sold. Madeleine just chilled out in the stroller sucking on the fresh lemon.

On our way to a large used furniture store (BEST STORE EVER!!!!),
we ran into one of our friends here in the complex!
Her name is Selvy.
She's 1.

Cutie, eh?

And she was hanging out with her sweet nanny.
(Who I'm blanking on her name even though she's our neighbor.)

They were heading over to this cool water pool on Princeton campus.
So off we went, the four of us, chatting away.


We spread out our blanket and watched the babies wander around.
A few minutes after we arrived, a large group of 40 students from China walked by.
They were taking a tour of Princeton,
and they didn't speak almost any English.


They saw the babies and started pointing and talking at them!
Next thing I know all these people surrounded the babies and started taking pictures!
Selvy immediately decided she didn't like it, but Madeleine wasn't fazed.
She used to a camera being shoved in her face.

She cooed at them. Smiled at them.
They were smitten, especially this one guy.
After everyone had left, he sat and kept playing and taking photos of her.



 He had a big bag of treats that he just bought at Wawa's.
Madeleine attacked it.


When his group moved on, she still hadn't let go of her prize.
He asked me if it was okay to for her to keep it in his broken English.
I smiled and said sure.

Madeleine with her prize

Soon after Selvy had to go take a nap.
We walked up to Matt's lab so that Madeleine could give him her present.
I don't think it was on accident that she picked the Cheetos.
Come on, there was peanut M&Ms in there too.
I think Matt trained her to grab the chips, since Flaming Hot Cheetos are his favorite and he is currently not allowed to buy them.

I would have loved to seen all the photos they took.
I wish you could google search a face on the internet.
That would be pretty cool.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mom tips that I didn't find on Pinterest

Now that Tiny is 6 months old, looking back there was a few things that pinterest did not prepare me for. Pretty shocking after seeing how many good list there are for moms. So here are my notes for when we have a second offspring or for any of my friends that are having tiny humans of their own.


1. Buy newborn clothes in gender neutral colors. 
Everyone told me not to get any newborn size clothes. "Most babies are never in them." "They are only in them for a few weeks, so why waste your money?" My tiny was in her newborn clothes for 2 months! I only had 6 onesies that fit her, and I was hesitant to buy more since I figured she could grow out of them any day. (It's like hanging up after being on hold for 10 min. You don't really want to stay on the phone, but there is that small chance that it will be your turn next. Ugh.) So for the next baby, I'm getting gender neutral. That way if the next one is only in them for a week, it's fine. I can use it for the next one.

One of her few newborn clothes

2. Baby cloth sizing is confusing, but you can make it work in your favor.
I was shopping with my friend Kaitlan not long after Madeleine was born. I really wanted to get Madeleine a pair of jeans, but they were so expensive. Kaitlan told me just to get the 12 month size for my 2 month old baby. She said "After all, the waist band is the same size and you can just cuff them." Sure enough I held the 0-3 month up to the 12 month, same waist size different length. Dresses are similar. I found once Madeleine was 4 months old anything from 0-3 months to 12 months fit her just fine. The length was just different.


6 weeks old and wearing size 12 month pants

3. You don't need that many clothes.
Honestly 20 onesies and 10 pj are enough clothing for each size (these aren't quite as flexible with sizing) if you are doing laundry once a week. I have a few dresses and jeans in the 12 month size that she wears too. All in all though, that's not very many clothes and by the time you have tried all the different outfits, the baby will probably be ready for the next size.

4. If you are a diaper snob and like a partucular brand but want to save money...
I found that when I first switch up to a size, I can use cheap diapers. For example, my baby is in size 2 right now, which fits babies from 12lb-18lb. Up until 15 lbs the cheap diapers worked just as well as Pampers (I really love them), but from 15-18lbs pampers work better for us.

5. WIC lactation nurses are for everyone, not just poor people.
I couldn't find any lactation nurses, after I left the hospital. I was looking through the pamphlet the hospital gave me before I left, and WIC was listed under breastfeeding help. I called them up crying when I first got my milk in and those ladies were amazing. They gave me so many resources and encouragement. Anyone can go to them. WIC was made to promote breastfeeding, and the best part it is free!

6. Don't buy an expensive breast pump before you have a baby.
This is more for SAHM but the reason I say this is not all pumps are created equally. Some moms don't even need them. Some crazy people (like me) end up exclusively pumping and needing an expensive double pump. I ended up with 3 pumps. I started out with a hand pump since I thought pumping would only be an occasional thing. Then I had oversupply so I bought a single electric pump. Then after 3 months and still struggling with breastfeeding, I bought a double electric to save time. Luckily for me, I called up my insurance company and with a dr. note, they paid for my $300 pump.

7. Co-bathing is amazing.
Everyone told me that before I had my baby that I would not get to shower frequently. This bothered me a lot. I called my mom and told her about it, and she said "Just bring the baby with you in the bathtub." It was some of the best advice I got, and I don't see it mentioned frequently on the internet. My baby was 8 days old the first day I did it. I carefully picked my baby up and put her on my thighs in the bath tub. She started wiggling and seemed like she enjoyed it! I was thrilled. It was so cute seeing her little body float in my hands, and all that water movement made her tired, so she slept better. To this day we still do it, and it is our favorite part(s) of the day.


8. You can stick your baby next to the bath tub while you to take a bath.
While I love bathing with baby, it takes longer and washing my hair was really tricky. What I ended up doing was just sticking her on a towel right on our bath mat. I would dangle my hand over the side of the tub and touch her if she started to cry, but for the most part she just stared at the lights. Now that she is crawling, I either give her a few things to play with on the rug or put her in her bumbo.

9. Register for restaurant gift cards on your baby registry.
Food brought to me the first week was great, but when my baby was 1-2 months old, I was tired and didn't want to cook. The gift cards to Jamba Juice and In 'n' Out were lifesavers when I was hungry and didn't want to cook.



Those are the big ones that I want to remember. If you have any to add, please let me know and I'll add them. The next tiny isn't coming for a while, but with this kid crawling, I'm not remembering anything. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

7 months

Tiny is 7 months today.

If it wasn't for everyone asking me how old she is, I would have forgotten that she is a month older.
That alone is proof that I'm becoming more used to this mom thing.
I didn't take any "official" 7 month photos because of that.
Thankfully I had these photos on hand from when I was practicing with my camera a few days ago.
The lighting is slightly funky because of that, but I think these photos really captures her personality, because I wasn't even trying to get her to cooperate.


This month she not only did she learn to crawl, but stand up and even climb a bit.

Bulldog baby

She finally doubled her birth weight and is coming in around 15lb 4 oz ish.
She's still perfectly healthy and completely kissable.


She loves to move now.
Matt and I crack up, because she even sits up in her sleep.
Swaying side to side crying in the middle of the night.
She looks like a little drunk sailor. 

I don't know what this face is, but I love it

She follows us around the house too.
If I leave the room, a minute or two later I'll see this little face peeking around the corning.
Smiling and looking for me.

When she is tired and we are busy,
she follows us crawling and sobbing. Every 2 or 3 feet, she gives up in heartbroken desperation and just flops face down to the ground. She'll stay there for a few seconds before she finds the willpower to go a few more feet.

It is so pathetically cute, even if it makes us feel like bad parents.
(But not so bad that we don't laugh as we pick her up)

Huh?

She loves to "dance" with me around the house.
We play outside with the neighborhood kids every day.
She is starting to learn how to interact with other babies.


But most of the time, she would really rather just chew on things.
Unfortunately, with other kids around it usually belongs to someone else.

The next three photos after this had me laughing. She has so much attitude.

 She laughs at Matt when he blows raspberries.
She never really figured out the giggling thing.
It is so cute.
They are still buddies.
They like to go running, nap, and read together.
We often wait outside for Matt to come home,
and she seems legitimately happy to see him.


While she obviously has some attachment to us,
she still doesn't mind meeting new people.
She "waves" hi sometimes so people are always talking to us on the streets.
I make so many friends where ever I go because of her.

Telling me some epic tale

Every day she is getting be a bit more fun.
I love playing "caption this" with Matt at the end of the day when we look through the photos.
She brings so many giggles and smiles to our home.

video

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Carrot Beard

When we first introduced solids, we gave her a sampler.
She loved almost everything we gave her.
(She dislikes bananas and avocados)


She really loves the green onion, pepperoncini, and hummus.
But other than the hummus, she wasn't a big fan of the purees.
Until yesterday.


I put some carrot on a baby biscuit.
She licked it all off,
and later, she even let me spoon feed her!
I love the little carrot beard she had left when we were all done.

So we officially joined the "parents making weird faces to get our kid to eat club".


!!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Award thing of some sort

Matt and I read a book called "Where Mild Things Are" at the library a few weeks ago to Baby.

It was quite an awful book. Each time we turned a page, it got less and less funny, which logically means the cover was the best page.


Where the Mild Things Are: A Very Meek Parody

Matt and I both appreciated the award on the book.
"Winner of the Cheap Gold Sticker"

It was poking fun at how every book seems to have some type of prize.
Just like you "graduate" from each grade.

"Helen: I can't believe you don't want to go to your own son's graduation.
Bob: It's not a graduation. He is moving from the 4th grade to the 5th grade.
Helen: It's a ceremony!
Bob: It's psychotic! They keep creating new ways to celebrate mediocrity, but if someone is genuinely exceptional..."

So yeah, in celebration of mediocrity, a while back I got a blogging award!
It's called the Liebster Award


Tada!!

I have a Junie B. Jones quote to go along with this to show just how excited I am.

"I've never been first or won anything before! Not ever, ever, never! And so what is my prize for winning?"
"How about a broken piece of chalk and a yellow rubber band? Mrs. asked"
"Sold!"

The person who nominated me is my friend Natashya.
Her blog is wonderful, and it happens to be one of two blogs that Matt reads.
It's http://thoseweirdheims.blogspot.com, and you should check it out, 
because it really is quite delightful.

As part of the receiving this award, you get to answer question about yourself.

11 Questions

1. What is your favorite color?
I'm just "slightly" obsessed with blue, especially french blue. It's my favorite color. It's so bold, beautiful, and romantic all at once, which really does make it the best color ever. (And everyone knows you get your kitchen aid in your favorite color. Sadly they don't make french blue anymore...just cobalt and other shades of blue. I told Matt if mine ever dies we are just replacing the motor so I can keep the color.) 

                                             

2. What is your favorite time of the year?
I really love fall. I love cuddling up by a window with a book and hot chocolate. It's not so cold that you can't hold hands and you get to kick and crunch leaves. It became even more special because that's when Matt and I started dating. He thinks of it as the season that he fell in love with me, which is really quite romantic.

3. Do you have a Disney princess with whom you identify? Why?
I did identify with Belle. But then I married Matt...and he isn't very Beastly. So now I think I'm more like Anastasia (from the movie...not real life). Only thing is she isn't a Disney princess...so...I'll just hope they make another movie that fits me just right.

4. What is your favorite genre of reading material?
Children's books, I fairly consistently I love those. One of the very first things Matt and I do in any new place is find a used bookstore.
But I really do read all sorts of books. Right now I'm reading Oliver Twist and 

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children.


5. What is your favorite thing to make (be it food, craft, drink, music, or whatnot)?
Babies. You get to poke them in your belly and after they are born. You get a lot of random weird comments from people and get to have "cravings" for whatever you want. I mean I've only made one so far and she turned out pretty cute. 

Other than that...desserts.

6. What do you think is your best feature?
My fingernails. They are really quite gorgeous.

7. What luxury item do you most want?
I'm going to cheat. I have 2. 
1) a claw foot bathtub with a chandelier above it.
2) a butler pantry

8. Why do you enjoy blogging?
I basically use it to remember the good things that happen in our lives. It makes me more grateful and helps me find something positive even on really gloomy days.

9. Who is your hero, past or present?
The Queen Mum or Coco Chanel. The Queen Mum helped lead Britain through WWII and Coco Chanel invented the little black dress.

10. What is your favorite thing to wear and why?
Dresses...and to quote my 2 year old self "Because they are twirly." The reason hasn't change much since then. I also love wearing my wedding ring. It sparkles and it reminds me of Matt which makes me happy.

11. If you could be in any book, which would it be?
Magic Tree house book (any of them) but is that too much like asking a genie for more wishes? If so, probably Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows (7th book), because after Voldermort is dead, having magic would be a pretty sweet gig.  

11 random facts about me
1. I love linens. We own enough for a 4 bedroom house.
2. I hate the color orange.
3. Matt buys me sunflowers and so they are all over our home.
4. I'm a starter not a finisher.
5. I'm currently learning about opera in my free time.
6. I own 6 aprons and use them all the time.
7. I count grocery shopping as one of my hobbies. 
8. I'm quite vain about my nails.
9. I have a bucket list for each decade of my life.
10. I hate getting up when Matt isn't up in the morning. It really irritates me.
11. I can't grow anything to save my life.

I don't follow many small blogs, so I don't think I'll nominate anyone, but here are some you should check out.

1. A blog about love. This is without doubt my favorite blog. I love reading it. Their love story is to swoon for. She so far has posted 41 post of emails and pictures of them falling in love. It's like a movie I tell you. I read it when I can't find a good chickflick. On top of that, Mara writes some of the most inspirational blog post I've read. Checking her blog is part of my daily routine, and I highly highly recommend it. 

2. Bright Bazaar. I've been following Will for ages. His blog was the very first one I followed. I love his style and everything is so bright and happy. I love that he deals with a lot of small spaces and I'm constantly inspired by his eye for beauty. 

3. The Glamorous Housewife I was reading through Home and Garden magazine I think, and I saw photos of her house. I fell so in love with it that I found her blog and instantly I knew I could be friends with her. She likes all things vintage, but it's different than most of the vintage stuff on pinterest. I think it's a bit more fun. She has recipes, advice, clothing, tablescapes etc. and I love all of them.

4. Her Romantic Mind This is my friend Catherine's blog. I love reading her blog. It is cute and she updates it regularly. Her little boy is so adorable.

5. Women Living Well This is a more religious blog. Courtney is a preacher's wife and blogs about spiritual things. I don't agree with everything she writes, but a lot of the time I feel a bit more inspired to be a better person. I like her writing style and the simplicity of many of her messages. 

So tada! I'm done. :) Let me know if you read or check out any of these blogs.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cousins

A week ago or so Madeleine's cousins stopped on by on the way to DC. They were only here for a bit, but we really like seeing them. Willa is only 6 months older than Madeleine, so we're hoping they'll be friends.


The problem is Madeleine still isn't really sure what to do with other babies.
She was actually really excited to see Willa and her older brother Jonas.
But last time Madeleine saw Willa, she wasn't mobile.

video

In anticipation of Willa's next visit, Madeleine learned to crawl determined to keep up with Willa.


But unfortunately for Tiny, Willa had learned to walk,
and run,
and climb.

To quote one of Matt's favorite lines from an incredibly hokey movie:
Offspring: "My powers have more than doubled since we last met, Count."
Willa: "Good. Twice the pride. Double the fall."


Willa did most of the falling though.
Tiny just sat confused in the middle of floor, not really sure what to do.
Jonas thankfully gave her a bit of attention before going outside to catch fireflies.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Baby Butt!

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Did I mention we love baths?

Matt, Madeleine, and I all find baths relaxing.

Matt was converted right after we got married.
I was taking 4-6 a day during my last trimester to cure aches and pains.
Madeleine got her first bath in a bath tub when she was 8 days old.

One of the major requirements for our Princeton apartment was a bath tub.
Thankfully we got an apartment with one.

Last night I turned on the water for Madeleine's bath.
She started crawling her way towards the bathroom.
(Pretty good sense of direction, eh?)

When I came in she was kneeling by the bathtub.
Matt and I sat there watching as she slowly pulled herself to standing.
And then she tried to put her leg in!
(I was horrified. What if she's a climber? I'm so not ready for that!)


After a few attempts she fell back down to sitting and gave up in defeat.


 Lucky for her, her parent slaves were right there, 
so in the tub she went with me.


Emo rubber ducky has become one of her favorite chew toys.
(Probably helps that he is her only bath toy)
I'm hoping now that he has a life purpose he'll stop trying to drown himself.
But with how much Tiny loves bathes, I'm seeing more bath toys in our future.
So maybe it doesn't matter.

(Offspring wasn't in danger during this photo shoot. I was really careful and paranoid.)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Purpose of cribs

Cribs are for chewing


Cribs are for climbing.



Cribs are for getting stuck.


And if you were wondering...cribs are not for naps. -_-

(This was from a month ago.
And people wonder how she learned to crawl so early.)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bubbles


What is this mom and why is it on my table?
It's not food.

(I thought she'd be a bit more excited about bubbles)

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Shore

Some of the moms from church organized a trip to the beach this week.
I was not planning on going, since money is really tight this month, but then I saw the weather report.

Clear
Partly Cloudy
Mostly Clear
85°F
FEELS LIKE 93°
95°
HIGH AT 4:25 PM
76°
LOW
Clear
Partly Cloudy
Mostly Clear
Past 24-hr Precip:
0 in
Chance of Rain
10%

Today is supposed to be the hottest day of the year.
"With the humidity, it will feel like over 100".
I looked at our window AC
and changed my mind.

Best decision ever.


I have a confession.
Although some of the best memories of my life are hanging out on California beaches, 
Atlantic Ocean > Pacific Ocean.
I was really excited to play in the Atlantic.

I started 2nd guessing myself on my way there, 
when I got lost 4 times while Madeleine cried in the backseat.

But when I got there...
it did not disappoint.


We showed up at 9:30 at the Shore.
The wind was blowing and the sun was shining.
Perfect beach weather.
The little report by the beach announced that the water was the sweet temperature of 72*.
Madeleine and I slathered up in sunblock before running down to the beach.
(Quite a feat with 2 bags and a baby)

And then we played.


Madeleine loved it.


She splashed.


We watched boats.


We dug our toes in the sand.



She even taste tested the sand.


And the salt water...(she didn't like that much)


After an hour (when everyone else showed up), she started getting tired.


So she sunbathed.


She has a slight tan now.
I'm burned.
lol. 
I was so excited to get down to the beach that I didn't wait for my sunblock to dry completely.
It looks so blotchy. 
White hand prints next to really red.

I love the beach.
Smelling it.
Splashing, watching kids play in it.
Old people walk on it.
Boys surfing.

It was a happy place.

On the way home, I saw this place.

They sell happiness. I'm pretty sure they gathered it from the beach.