Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ellie's First Thanksgiving

(So at the rate I'm going, I might post about Christmas around Valentines Day)

James' family all came in to town to spend Thanksgiving with us. We all went over to my sister's house, which is about 2 blocks from me, for the festivities. She has a much bigger living space than our little shoebox of a house that accomodated the 10 people better. Included were Oma, Opa, Uncle Chris, Aunt Penny, Uncle Steve, and our friends Joe and Diana (who are expecting a baby (girl, I predict) in May).  Then, of course, James, Ellie, and I. We had a full house!

Ellie donned her My 1st Thanksgiving bib from her Nana for the occassion, although she didn't get to partake in the feast. And it was a feast! We take Thanksgiving very seriously around here. Growing up, Thanksgiving was always a big deal with tons of food. There were years when we would have a 18 pound turkey just for the 5 of us.  This year's menu included:

Dressing (yep, there is a difference)
Broccoli Rice Casserole
Green Bean Casserole
Green Jello Salad
Cresent Rolls
Sweet Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes
Pumpkin Pie
Pecan Pie
Raisin Pie
Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pie
and some things I'm sure I forgot!

We also took the opportunity to snag a couple of Mommy and Ellie pictures, which are so rare. This is normally where I would put those adorable pictures, but I can't find them anywhere on the computer. So, that cell phone snap above is the only documentation of Ellie's first Thanksgiving. There goes Mom of the Year!

So, that was Ellie's Thanksgiving. How did you and your family celebrate?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Big Announcement!

FYI: This isn't really news to some of you. Sorry about that.

So why have I been so busy that I can barely keep up with the blog lately??? This is the reason:

I started my own photography company, Fresh Light Photography, and I am already getting myself pretty dang busy. Woohoo!  Between my full-time job, Ellie, photo sessions, and picture editing, I'm going crazy, but its a good kind of crazy. My hope is to build my business enough over the next year, that by the time that James finishes his masters, I can stay home with my little girl. That would be awesome!

So, if you are in the market for family portraits, have a baby on the way, or want to document your growing kiddo, give me a hollar. I am doing a great introductory special. You can get all the details on my (other) blog,

Also, Like me on Facebook. It makes me feel special.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Last Month Update Part 2

Ellie turned 3 months old on November 2! It is hard to believe that we've already had her that long. Time flies with a baby.

Things of note:
About 15 pounds
Growing like a weed
Can roll over belly to back
Sleeps sporadically at night (any tips?)

Here were her weekly pictures from the last month.

She is such a cute little stinker!

This last month, Ellie also had her first Halloween. Ellie dressed up as the most adorable bumblebee that you have ever seen.

We went and hung out at our church's Fall Festival. Really, the whole point of a costume on a baby is to show off how dang cute they look anyways.

I was a flower. I thought it was fitting considering Ellie's feeding habits.

Coming up in Part 3
That big announcement that explains why I've been neglecting this blog so much.....

Last Month Update Part 1

My parents surprised me by showing up on my doorstep on my birthday!. Seriously. I was in a towel. They allowed me to throw some clothes on before opening the door though. It was very patient of them.

This was the first time Ellie got to meet her Grandpapa. They got along great, even though my dad admits he prefers them once they are potty trained and understand basic directions.

Friday night was our scheduled pumpkin carving party with our Sunday school class. It was great fun. James and my pumpkin was the best, if I do say so myself.

That Saturday we loaded up the car and headed down to Kemah. Ellie got to ride her first carousel.

See the seatbelt. They made me put the seatbelt around her. As if it will really keep a 2.5 month old from falling off. Ugh....

Up next....
Ellie's 3 month update
Halloween pictures of my little bee

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bad Mommy Blogger!

I blame going back to work. I have been so busy now that I'm back at the 9-5 job that I haven't had a chance to update the blog in forever! I pinky promise and spit shake swear that I will do a huge recap post over Thanksgiving break.

Things to cover will be:
  • Ellie's 3 month birthday
  • New skils like rolling over and laughing
  • A surprise visit from Nana and Grandpapa
  • Ellie's First Halloween
  • And a very exciting announcement about something new....., its not a baby. Lord help me if it was!

And you know I can't have a post without a picture, so here ya go.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I Made It

I made it through my first week back at work. It was hard. I'm exhausted. But, I made it.

Ellie decided that this would be an excellent week to revert to all her old (bad) sleeping habits. Wednesday night she woke up 7, count 'em, 7 times. That was awesome the next morning, let me tell you. Thanks sweetheart. Now we are back to square one at getting her to stretch out her nighttime sleeping. If anyone has any tricks or suggestions, I'm all ears.

As far as work itself, my students are pretty great. I'm getting to know them and haven't had any real issues with anyone so far. I've been able to fall back into the swing of things relatively easily, which is nice. It has just been very hard being away from Ellie for 10 or so hours everyday. I'm sure any other working mom out there understands.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

First Day at the Babysitter

Yesterday was Ellie's first day at the babysitter. She was only there for half a day, so it wasn't too hard on me since I have left her at the church nursery or my sister's for a few hours before. She did pretty good. She didn't nap as long as usually, but she is getting used to a new environment, so that's to be expected.

But today she is going for a full day, and I'm a mess. I dropped her off at 6:30, like I will when I start back to work on Monday, and she was still sleeping in her car seat. It occurred to me when I got back in the car that she has never woken up without me there. I cried. My biggest worry with leaving her is that she will think I abandoned her. She will eventually learn that I always come back at the end of the day, but the thought of her thinking that I'm gone forever for just a day kills me. It is taking some real willpower not to go over there right now and pick her up.

It is also weighing on me that this is my last week at home with her, but I am sending her to the babysitter. I want her (and me) to get used to it before I'm not close to help if need be, but at the same time, I feel so guilty for sending her during our last few days together full-time. I am really trying to make the most of the time I have, and handing her over to someone else makes me feel terrible.

What I want more than anything is to be able to stay home with her and just be a mommy, but unfortunately that just isn't in the cards for the time being. Hopefully in the next year or two, but not right now. It has always been the plan for me to be a stay at home mom, but we knew when we found out we were expecting that it wasn't going to be possible right away. James is in grad school right now getting his master's in educational leadership so he can become a principal. Once that happens, I should be able to leave my job. Right now he is set to graduate in August next year. I am lucky to be a teacher though because I have many more vacation days than the average person to spend with her. I do love my job, but I love being home with her more.

Writing this post and trying to find pictures of her and me together has made me realize I need to spend more time in front of the camera instead of always behind it. That is the goal for the next few weeks.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ellie's First Boyfriend

No question about it: Ellie has a boyfriend. She is absolutely crazy about him too. She just lights up when she sees him and babbles on and on. Sometimes I catch her stealing little kisses while they are snuggled up together. I know she might be little too young to be setting her sights on just one guy right now, but it's ok, because her boyfriend is also her daddy.

I am a firm believer that every little girl's first boyfriend should be her daddy.

Daddy will always be the first man to love her.

He will set the standard on how she will expect to be treated by all other important men in her life.

He will show her what unconditional love looks like.

He will be right there for her anytime and anyway she needs him.

And all other men that enter her life years down the road will always have to live up to him.

Good thing Ellie's first boyfriend is a catch. And I would know.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Naptime Sewing

One of my friends from work is expecting a baby girl in November, so I wanted to make her something special for her shower next week.

But first, I want to let you in on a little secret. I am rather uncreative. Crafty? Yes. Able to replicate ideas? Yes. But creative? Not so much. My big secret is Etsy. I look for something I want to buy, and then shamelessly copy it. I don't know if that makes me a bad person for basically stealing someone else's designs, but I don't say the idea as mine, just the final product. And I do usually put my own spin on things. Case in point: my nursery mobile.


My copy:

Sure there are differences, but there is no denying where I got my idea from. I went so far as to trace the shape of her birds to make my own.

So with this in mind, and in the interest of full disclosure, I copied this onesie from Etsy shop CutSewRepeat. And yes, I traced the outline of the bird again. (I'm terrible at freehanding things.)

And here is my final product, adding in a cute(and super easy) matching skirt and a headband. All little baby girls need matching headbands afterall.

I made the appliqued onesie using fusible webbing found near the iron hem tape and then just stitch around the outside to permanently secure. I first tried out this technique after making Ellie's pumpkin patch outfit. After I had my pattern traced out, it took about 20 minutes to finish. I tried my hand at a more complicated owl pattern too (which you may have noticed Ellie sporting in yesterday's post. I actually made the owl first, but didn't love how it turned out, so I went to Plan B(ird).

The skirt I made is so easy it's ridiculous.
1. Make a rectangle of fabric 2x your kiddo's waist measurement and as wide as you want the skirt to be long.
2. Sew it into a circle.
3. Hem the bottom.
4. Make a pocket for elastic.
5. Put in the elastic.
6. Sew shut.
7. Dance party.

I decided to make the waistband a different color, so add that in if you want. Time for skirt: 30 minutes. My hint for time savings: don't cut fabric, rip it. If you need a straight line, it is much faster and more accurate to cut a small snip and then rip it the rest of the way. Changed my life when I learned that trick and the sound is very therapeutic when the baby has be crying all day.

If you want a more in-depth tutorial than my 7 pictureless steps about, check out Made.

My final project for the baby girl was a matching headband. I am proud to say that I came up with this one all on my own. I made a fabric flower (a la here) and a felt flower (a la here) and hot glued them together. The elastic is a piece of knit elastic with a strip of unfinished fabric sewed on using a zig zag stitch while the elastic was stretch out. Put it all together and voila! Time for headband: 15 minutes.

Wanna see the whole outfit again?

So adding it all up, that is just over an hour to make an entire outfit. Ellie's naps are usually about 1.5 hours, so just enough time left over to clean up and grab a snack. Perfect!

Monday, October 10, 2011

2 Month Update

Like I mentioned in the pumpkin patch post, Ellie is now 2 months old. We had her 2 month check-up last week and her are her stats:

Weight: 12 lbs 4 oz (85th percentile)
Length: 23.5 inches (93rd percentile)

She is growing well and looks great! We also got some of her 2 month shots done. We are choosing to follow an alternative vaccine schedule for her. She is still getting all her shots, but we want to space them out a little for her. A 2 month old is supposed to get 5 immunizations for 8 illnesses. To me, that seems like a lot of stuff entering a little body all at once. James and I just prefer to spread them out a little. For the record, we believe in vaccinations and think that all children should get them and do not buy into the autism/vaccine claim.

Ellie is also holding her head up really well and is starting to work on trunk control. She smiles all the time, but we are still waiting on a real laugh. She does like to talk though, especially to James and to the toys on her play mat.

Since I don't post her weekly pictures to the blog as I take them, I thought I would do a month recap so you can see her growth.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ellie in Her Bouncy Chair

Just a quick post to share some pictures of the kiddo chillin' in the bouncer, which she loves and I love too because it allows me to take a shower at least every other day. Yay!

She has started reaching for toys and grabbing them. She shakes it every now and then. I don't think she's quite figured out that she can make them rattle.

I don't set her in the bouncer like this, but she always manages to get in this position--slung to one side with a leg dangling over. It actually looks pretty comfortable to me.

Want Free Family Pictures?

I've really been trying to work on my photography skills lately, but my normal guinea pigs models are getting tired of me.

What I would really love to do is try my hand at taking some pictures of people who I am not related to. With the holidays coming up and money running tight for many, I thought offering a free family shoot to a few people would be a great win-win situation. You would get some free pictures for Christmas cards and the like and I get some valuable practice time.

Some Extra Details

You must be in the Kingwood, Atascocita, or Humble area.
The shoot will be done on either weekday evenings or on Saturday mornings.
I'm going to limit this to 3 families simply because I have a baby at home.
You will get a CD with full-resolution edited images.
You understand that I in no way consider myself to be a professional photographer and still have a lot to learn. I will do my absolute best to give you pictures you will be happy with with though.

If you are interested, send me a note using the form on the About Me page or you can just Facebook me if we are friends.