Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Samantha's first Christmas gift

Today our playgroup had a Secret Santa playdate for the tummy timers.  We were both super excited to participate.  Last week while we were at Target we picked up a rattle ball as our gift.  Samantha has one that is one of her favorite toys so I thought it would be perfect.  Unfortunately, Samantha saw the ball and was quite upset that it wasn't hers to play with!!!  Oh well.  She quickly forgot it once she remembered all the toys she already has.

Here is Miss Samantha with her gift.  She got a new book all about colors!  This was the perfect gift since I am always looking to expand our rather tiny book collection.  Samantha definitely seemed to enjoy reading it and I loved all of the colors and pictures it included.  So fun!

Thank you so much to Lindsay for hosting today and to Katelyn and Dillon for our new book!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


As we get closer and closer to December I keep on waiting for the weather to cool down.  Well, it's not happening.  Today it was 71 degrees out!  At church during the children's sermon, about seasons, the woman giving it asked what season it was.  One of the little boys enthusiastically answered "summer"!  The lady said "no, it's not summer, it's fall".  Though it certainly does feel like summer out.

We had a slew of 6 month clothes that I thought Samantha wouldn't get to wear since at nearly 8 months, she is just fitting into her 6 month things.  We bought 6 month summer clothes!  So today, I put on this gorgeous plaid dress I received at my baby shower and paired it with some bake shop baby legs and we were good to go.  She looked adorable, and I was thrilled that we finally got to use the dress.

Wednesday, Samantha and I head to Chicago to visit with my family.  Forecasted temperatures are mostly in the 30's, sometimes dropping into the 20's.  So Samantha will get to experience a nice true winter after all.  I'm hoping while we are there she might even get to experience her first snow fall!!  How fun would that be?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

it's officially Christmastime...

...and I couldn't be more excited!!  My black "Friday" kicked off around 8:30 pm on Thursday when my cousin picked me up and we headed to Walmart for some shopping.  I scored the two XBOX 360 games I wanted (barely), a Fisher Price grand piano for Samantha, as well as gifts for two of my sisters-in-law.  Minus a few cuts and scrapes after getting shoved to the ground trying to get my games, I made out well and had a good time.

During actual Black Friday Samantha and I decided to brave the mall.  I ended up walking the whole thing but only buying a pair of pajamas for Samantha.  One tradition I've heard of through the years, although not something we did growing up, is getting a new pair of pjs on Christmas Eve.  I thought this sounded fun and decided it was something I'd like to do with our kids.  So, I set out to find the perfect pair of pajamas for Sam. I wanted to get her a 2 piece set which is hard when your kid is only fitting into 6 month clothes.  I ended up getting her this pair from Gymboree.  They are size 6-12 months so I'm sure they'll be big, but that's okay.  They are adorable and I love them.  I was also planning on taking Samantha to have her picture taken with Santa but he was on his lunch break.  I tried my hardest to keep Samantha awake for the 45 minutes until he returned but we only lasted about 20 minutes before it was becoming apparent she had had enough.  So we left and I'll likely venture back to the mall on Monday to try again.  We then went to Target where I knocked out gifts for a few people in Chris's family, a few for Chris, and a few for Samantha.  Then once we got home, I placed a huge order on Amazon to complete the shopping for my side of the family as well as one more member of Chris' family.  I just have a few things left to buy for Sam, a ton for Chris, and three people for Chris's side of the family.  I'm feeling okay right now!

Today since Chris had the day off we decided to do some things around the house.  Chris blew all the leaves out of the yard and into a huge pile in the driveway.  I then plopped Sam in the heap and needless to say, she wasn't amused!!  Hopefully next year she'll enjoy it more.  Inside I hung a wreath on our front door and together we set up the Christmas tree.  We have one set of lights on so far and will add the rest hopefully tomorrow.  Then we can set out to add all of our ornaments.  I'm super excited.  I tested each strand of lights before I put them on and I added each set without them being plugged in.  Once I finished, Chris got Samantha and they stood by the tree as I plugged it in.  Once it lit up, Samantha just looked up and down in awe and confusion.  It was so cute to watch her little face as she saw her very first ever Christmas tree.  We then sat her down and she stayed there for a while just looking up at the tree and reaching for the branches.

I can't wait to see how Samantha reacts to all of the other new things Christmas has to offer!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!  This morning Samantha and I went out for her first Turkey Trot.  It was a gorgeous morning and we participated in the 2K fun run/walk with another mom from playgroup.  Samantha enjoyed being in her stroller and watching all of the other grown ups, babies, and dogs.   I think the announcer said this was the largest race in Northern Virginia!  There were 3700+ in the 5K alone then all of the walkers in the fun run.  So it was jam packed.  We had a blast though and definitely plan on doing it again next year.

This afternoon we head over to my cousins house for some food and company with family!!

We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

meet the sippy cup

We first started giving Samantha a sippy cup at 4 months on the dot.  She is now 7.5 months and still has no idea what she's doing!!  Sam was pretty much on bottles for the first 10 weeks of her life and since then we haven't looked back.  Chris has tried several times while I've been away but she's never taken more than an ounce so this whole 'drink from a piece of plastic' thing is all new to her.

We've been giving her the sippy cup here and there but nothing really ever came of it.  However, tonight I think we finally made some progress.  Samantha was sitting in her high chair and I gave her a cup of water while I prepared her sweet potatoes.  When I came over I noticed her shirt was a little wet.  I watched her suck on the top and her eyes got wide with shock as the cold water went into her mouth.  Now most of it ended up on her shirt but at least she's figuring how to get it out!!  I'm hoping if we keep on practicing she'll be drinking like a champ in no time.  She is growing up way too fast, but boy she looks adorable with her cup!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

hi dad!

In the past few months, the vast majority of my immediate family have gotten iPhones.  I have one along with my dad, aunt, and even my 80 something year old grandma has one!!  Since my family is all back in Illinois and Chris and I live in Virginia, facetime has become a somewhat frequent occurrence.  They all love seeing Samantha and how much she's grown, and we of course love seeing them as well.  Tonight, we got to facetime with my dad, Samantha's grandpa (or babu as he wants to be called - we'll see if that sticks).  It's always great to see them and although Samantha doesn't really understand it, I know she loves looking at the phone and giving a big gummy grin to whoever is checking her out.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Christmas Cards

So sorry for the lapse in posting!!  Today, Chris and I went to Picture People to have our Christmas portraits done.  I was a little worried at first because Samantha absolutely refused to take a nap this morning so I wasn't too hopeful.  However, Samantha was happy as a clam and we got some awesome shots!!  After Picture People we headed to Staples where I picked out stationary for our letter and got markers to address them.  So now I just need to write the letter and we are good to go.  Hopefully the stamps we ordered will get here soon and I can have the cards out ASAP.  I was aiming for the day after Thanksgiving, however, since Chris ordered the stamps online rather than getting them at the post office, I'm doubtful that they will be here in time.  Hopefully before my trip to Chicago!!  On that note, here are a few favorite shots from today.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sam's first day in "court"

Today Chris, Samantha, and I traveled into Washington DC to visit American University.  Chris's younger sister Margaret is here with Quinnipiac University's Mock Trial team.  Since DC is less than an hour from our house, there was no question about whether or not we would be there to watch.  I've never seen a mock trial competition, but Chris and I watch a lot of court TV shows so I was pretty excited.  We ended up staying for the whole trial and thankfully Samantha was pretty well behaved.  Margaret was a prosecutor for the defense and she did a great job.  In the end, the defended was found not guilty of murder, however he was found guilty of manslaughter and driving under the influence.  So I guess they did their job okay.  I had a really good time and I would definitely love to see her compete again.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

nom nom nom

Over my two years of nannying the twins, I went through a LOT of jars of baby food!!  Of course the food was purchased by their parents, however, I at one point picked up a few jars myself for them and I was shocked at the price.  Diapers.com has their organic baby food priced between $11.49 and $16.79.  That's a whopping $1.39 per jar.  There are also several brands of all organic pouches which also average well over $1 each.  When you figure your baby should be getting 2-3 servings of solids per day, these expenses add up fast!  I then thought back to my sleepless nights when Samantha was a newborn and I was left half awake to watch infomercials all through the night.  There was one infomercial that played just about every single night...The Baby Bullet.  They must know that all those new mommies and daddies have nothing to watch so they will lure us in with their yummy baby food and how quickly and easily you can prepare meals for your little one.  Sure enough, I got sucked in.

I did some research and found out that I could pick up a Baby Bullet machine at my local Target store.  The price was greatly reduced which was a plus, and I didn't have to pay shipping and handling.  I got my Baby Bullet for $59.99.  I'm not sure if prices have changed, but the Baby Bullet is currently listed for $99.95 plus $19.95 shipping and processing.  That's half price!!  I do notice, however, that now on the Baby Bullet site it does come with a few more pieces than what I purchased, however, I don't think those were options when I bought mine.  My set came with a power base, batch bowl, short bowl, two blades, batch tray, storage cups, storage tray, and spatula.  It also included a user manual/cookbook as well as a pocket nutritionist which is great for bringing to the store for quick information.  Now on the website, you get an additional short cup as well as two stay fresh resealable lids which I'm assuming are so you can store food in the short cups.  You can now also get a free Turbo Steamer (just pay $9.95 S&P) as well as a Magic Bullet set ($19.95 S&P).  That's a grand total of $149.90.  (Wow, glad I stuck with Target!)  The only thing here I think I'd want is the steamer because we don't have one and I spend lots of time boiling all of the food I cook, which unfortunately looses a lot of the nutrients.  I do use the water from boiling to make the puree a little smoother so that helps, but I would much rather have a steamer.

I think my favorite Baby Bullet feature (which I forgot to photograph!) is the date dial on the storage cups.  That white ring up there has all the dates 1-31 listed and you just turn the ring until the correct day is circled. Then you know exactly when you made your food so you are sure to not keep it too long.  It's great when you are super sleep deprived and forgetful.  Which I still am at 7 months in!!!

As you can see from my photos, today I made Samantha sweet potatoes.  I used one potato and filled all six storage cups and still had puree left over.  After the potato boiled, it took me less than 5 minutes to peel, add water, blend, and dispatch.  It is seriously so quick and easy.  I just love the little faces on each of the bowls and cups.  I really enjoy making Samantha's food and I am even starting to look forward to it.  Making my own baby food has been so much more economical than purchasing jars of food and now I know exactly what is going into my baby's little tummy.  It has honestly been one of the best baby related purchases we've made!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

i love this time of year

Samantha and I had such a fun day today!!  Thanks to the good ol' time change Samantha thought 6:00 was the perfect time to wake up.  I tried all the tricks to no avail: the pacifier, nursing, ignoring her!!  She wanted none of it...it was time to get up!  So up we got.  I put her in her jumparoo so I could lay down for a few more minutes and then we played together on the floor.  Thankfully by 8:00 or so, she was ready for a nap.  Once she woke up I fed her and we headed out to the mall.

At the mall, we met up with Nicole, Ben, & Luke.  This is the family I nannied for before I had Samantha.  Ben and Luke were so excited to see us, and we were equally excited to see them!!  We went to Build A Bear to make animals for ourselves.  Ben (of course) decided to make a cat, while Luke and Samantha both made bears.  The twins had such a great time stuffing their animals, giving them baths, and running around wrecking havoc in the store!!  It was so much fun.  In the end, Samantha ended up with this adorably dressed pink bear named Lucy.

After Build A Bear we went to Picture People so I could look at their Christmas cards.  I picked out the ones I want so now we have her portraits on the 19th.  I can't wait!!  We have a beautiful dress for her and I had a custom headband made to match.  She is going to be so cute.  While walking through the mall I purchased our very first family of 3 ornament.  This is something I have always wanted to do, so I made sure to take my time picking and making sure I got something I love.  My only regret is that they say "Mom" and "Dad" rather than "Mommy" and "Daddy".  Once Samantha gets bigger she obviously won't want to call us that so I should take advantage of it while I can.  Next year!!

As I left the mall, I noticed that JC Penny was playing their Christmas music and it made me all giddy inside. I normally really LOVE Christmas, it's my favorite holiday, but I can already tell it's going to be a billion times more fun with a baby.  I can't wait to share this with her each and every year!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I wanna be forever lazy

Ever since I was a child, I have always been a huge fan of feetie pajamas.  I would sleep in them every night of the year if I could.  They are just so warm and cozy and comfortable!!  Even at 27, I own several pairs of feeties and I don't plan on stopping any time soon.  As a matter of fact, I was just talking to Chris the other day about how this winter I'm going to miss wearing my feeties.  Then I saw the commercial for Forever Lazy.

Forever Lazy is described as "the one piece, lie around, lounge around, full body lazy wear!"  They've got pockets, a hood, and even a drop seat so you can use the bathroom without taking them off, haha!!  That is a feature I would (almost) never use, haha.  Now if only they made a mommy model that had some zip or snap down panels in the front so I could nurse in bed, haha.  Like a built in nursing bra.  Then, I'd probably consider ordering one and could live comfortably in feeties once again!!

Unfortunately this winter I'll probably have to settle with wearing my feeties during the evening but changing into pants and a nursing tank once we're ready to hop into bed.  Maybe in a year or two once Samantha is done nursing, I'll be able to wear my feeties all night long.  I'm getting excited just thinking about it!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!

Okay, maybe it's not beginning to look like Christmas, but my wallet is definitely starting to feel the effects of it. Our stash of "fun money" has pretty much dwindled to nothing since I stopped working back in April.  So it has taken a lot of planning and budgeting to plan for Christmas this year.  We have always had a large budget for Christmas (or at least it felt large to me) but this year is definitely going to be different.  We aren't going all out like we usually do.  Between Chris's immediate family - 16 people to buy for!! and my immediate family - a mere 6 people we have A LOT of gifts to get.  Then add on ourselves and Samantha.  Do I need to buy gifts for all our cousins' kids?  What about all of the kids I babysit for regularly?  It's all quite stressful.

Don't forget the dreaded Christmas cards.  For me, it's always been something I've quite enjoyed.  Every year since Chris and I got married this has been a highlight for me.  I've gone and picked out 12 or so boxes of cards at Target, then gotten matching paper for our letter, address labels, and then the stamps.  Then I take hundreds of pictures to find the perfect one for our card (after I've dragged Chris out to pick out our matching outfits), send it off to Target, and then begin the tedious task of stuffing each picture into the little slot in the front of the card.  It's hard work!!  This year, I'm taking the easy(ier) way out and we're going to Picture People to have Samantha's portraits done.  We'll take a family photo or two as well and see what ends up on the cards that they are printing out for us!!  I'm still planning on writing out a letter and getting cute address labels, but at least I won't have to stuff any photos.  Phew!

Let's take a look back on our Christmas cards through the years.

2007 - our first year married

2008 - first Christmas in our townhouse

2009 - first Christmas in our house

2010 - around 20 weeks pregnant with Samantha!!

I can't wait to see what our card looks like this year!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

it's their birthday!

Today we celebrated all three of our kitties birthdays.  In reality, it's only two of their birthdays but it's just easier to do it all at once.  Penelope turned 3 back on August 3rd and today Wrigley and Cobalt are 4.  It is hard to believe since we got all of them when they were around 8 weeks old, so they have certainly grown a lot.  We got a little ice cream cake and celebrated except Chris and I were the only ones to enjoy the cake.  We left little pieces out for the kitties and they kind of tasted it, but not much and I still think it's too early for Samantha to have dairy.

Overall, I think they had a great birthday.  Time really is flying!!  Before we know it, it's going to be Samantha's first birthday!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

i want a lefty!

Am I the only person that wonders early on what hand my child is going to write with?  Probably not.  I am so excited to see which hand Samantha will use.  Ever since we put her in her in her jumparoo for the first time at 4 months, Samantha has preferred using only one foot to jump.  Over the past 3 months, she has continued to only jump on her right foot.  I got to thinking, does her choosing her right foot mean something in terms of which hand she is going to write with?  So, I set out to find an answer...or at least an idea of an answer.

I first gave the test to me and my husband.  I balanced on my right foot while my husband balanced on his left.  I am left handed, he is right.  The next day, I asked my friend Megan.  She is right handed, and balanced on her left foot.  So far, so good!  I also blog privately over at livejournal and decided to poll my friends over there.  Out of my 30 some friends, 13 answered my poll.  So not a huge population, but good enough for a general idea.  I first asked them to stand up, balance on one foot, and report back with which foot was on the ground.  Then a few days later I polled them to find out which hand they used to write with.  I decided to wait a few days so that they didn't put any thought into balancing vs. dominant hand.

Last night I had a chance to compile all the results and see how they turned out.  Out of the 16 participants 12 of them balanced on the foot opposite of their preferred writing hand.  That's 75%!!!  Pretty interesting.

Based on her jumping on her right foot, will she also be left handed?  Only time will tell!

What about you?  What foot do you balance on?  What hand do you write with?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

7 months!

Today Samantha is 7 months old!!  Where has the time gone?!  These days she is much more interested in eating the sign and playing with Sunny than she is in posing for the camera.  I have a feeling our monthly photos are only going to go downhill from here.  Oh well!  Thanks to Lindsay over at You Are The Roots, I have a much better idea for baby number 2's monthly pictures.

Since last month Samantha has definitely filled out.  She was 13 pounds 4 ounces (I think!) at her 6 month check up.  I don't trust the scale at our house since she weighed 14 pounds when I weighed her the morning of her appointment, so I won't have an accurate weight until her 9 month check up in January.  But she's definitely gained weight.  I think she's gotten taller as well.  She also is starting to get some chunk on her!!  She used to be such a skinny minnie, but now, she's getting some rolls!  It's so cute.

The day before Samantha turned 6 months she started sitting up on her own.  This shocked me since we had just started working on unassisted tripod sitting so I was expecting her to do that for a while and then gradually master completely sitting up.  But nope, she just popped right up and that was that.  There was none of that "I need to surround her with pillows" stage, no falling over, she just got it.  So weird!!  She is doing better with grabbing toys and foods. (Well baby mum mums are the only thing that she feeds to herself, but she's good at it!)  No crawling yet, but she does scoot backwards and when she is sitting up she loves to rock and bounce.  I'm waiting for the day she rocks forward too far and face plants right into the floor.  She gets really into it!!

As for eating, she is still mostly exclusively breast fed.  I do offer solids every once in a while but not very regularly.  Probably this month we will get into some sort of routine.  So far we have tried pears, apples, and sweet potatoes.  She's liked them all, but I think sweet potatoes are her favorite.  Next, I think I'll try squash.  So far, I have been making my own baby food with the Baby Bullet which has been awesome.  Definitely a worth while purchase.

My goals for month 7 include starting to sign regularly with her, introducing more solids and a solids routine, and doing more tummy time and encouraging her to crawl.