Friday, July 31, 2015

TGIF + Follow Friday

Friday, thank God you have arrived! :)

So, being back at work is hard.  Really hard!  I know I'm not the first mom who's gone back to work after having a baby, and I know everyone is different and some people really enjoy their jobs and the time they get to spend conversing with adults and getting out of the house, but I miss my little monkey so much.  I would love to be spending all my days covered in spit up, changing dirty diapers, and bouncing a drooling babe around the house in 90 degree weather. ;)  I will say that coming home to Ellie after work is like waking up on Christmas morning.  And, it's so, SO nice to know she is in such good hands.  Getting updates throughout the day and knowing that we still have four days a week together certainly helps, too!

With going back to work, I hope to continue to blog on a regular basis.  I starting blogging more regularly when I was on my maternity leave because 1.) I had a little extra time on my hands (occasionally) and lots of time to think! and 2.) it gave me something else to look forward to doing (which is really why I started blogging in the first place)... to the point that I woke up at 4 am on more than one occasion just to make sure I got time in to blog before Ellie was up for the day.  I've gotten a few very sweet compliments on my blog recently, which is so flattering and as I always say, it's nice to know someone is reading it!  Sometimes I wonder if the daily view count goes up because one person keeps refreshing the page. ;) Some people have also told me that they are thinking about starting their own blog.  I am by no means a professional (far, far from it), but what I can say is that I really enjoy having my life documented in this way, especially everything about my pregnancy and anything Ellie-related.  It's so cool for me to be able to look back on prior posts and know exactly what I was thinking when I was 20 weeks pregnant, for example.   I really do this whole blogging thing for myself, and if I get a few readers along the way, that's great!  I would encourage anyone to give blogging a shot, if it's something you're interested in. :)

That being said, I'm sure you've all seen "Follow Friday" on Instagram.  Today, I thought I'd do a Follow Friday for blogging!  One of the biggest inspirations I've had in the blogger world (and everything world?) is definitely Jessica over at Little Baby Garvin.  I've been following her blog since her first pregnancy and she's had me looking forward to being a mom for over three years now!  She's the obvious inspiration behind my weekly bumpdates (although her chalkboards were infinitely more creative, I was just thankful to get mine done), and one of the reasons I decided to give blogging a shot!  I love how real she seems, and how reading her blog makes you instantly want to be her BFF - based on her insane following, I'd say I'm not alone here!  In the most non-creepy way possible (although Tyler might disagree with the non-creepy part haha), I have loved watching her family grow, seeing pictures of her three beautiful baby girls, and all of the fun + creative things she does as a mama. :)  If you're not already following her, you should be!

Also, be sure to check out my sweet friend, Karissa's blog.  She encouraged me to start my blog almost a year ago today!

I'm always on the lookout for new blogs to read, so I'd love to hear any suggestions you have for others I should be following.  :)


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Three Months of Ellia

Age: Three months
Height: We tried to measure ourselves and we got about 24 inches.
Weight: According to our scale, 11.8 lbs.  Can't wait to find out exact numbers next month!
Clothing size: 0-3 months for the most part, except jammies she's wearing 3-6 months.  She'll definitely be in 3-6 months for everything before we know it.
Diaper size: 1, but I'm pretty sure this will be our last box!
Eating: She had her first bottle of formula at exactly 11 weeks old.  It's been touch and go with the weaning, and we're currently trying a few different types of formula to see what she likes/what agrees with her the most.  I'm pretty happy we made it 11 weeks exclusively breastfeeding!  I said I would be happy if I nursed her for 3 months, so it feels good to have met our goal.  I was hoping she'd be fully transitioned to formula before I go back to work, and we're not quite there yet - it's harder than I thought it would be!  Hopefully over the next couple weeks.  I will definitely be trying to breastfeed again with future babies!  Overall, it was a good experience with Ellie - and I'm actually a couple pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight (although I don't feel like it at all) without any changes to my diet and really just walking for exercise.  Yes, I'm counting bouncing Ellie around the house as exercise! Even though it's not strenuous by any means, we logged a TON of hours over the past three months and are constantly moving!
Sleeping: Ellie's still sleeping in our bed.  I definitely thought she'd be sleeping in her own room by the time I went back to work, and clearly that's not going to happen.  I also thought she'd be on some kind of sleep schedule, and that's not happening yet either.  She typically wakes up once (maybe twice) between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am to eat.  Some days she'll sleep until 8, others she doesn't get up until 10 or 11.  She also still catnaps all day long. I have this strange feeling that I'm not going to want to have her sleeping in her crib after I go all day long at work without seeing her, but hopefully this month we'll try to put her in her own room? Maybe?
Favorite toys:  I have to add her gloworm that my mom picked out for her!  She loves this thing. It's seriously cute.  She also likes this new activity gym we got her since she loves to kick!

Loves:  Eating.  Being held. Walking/being bounced around the house.  Watching TV (especially while being held so she's sitting up on her daddy's belly).  Dance parties + listening to music.  Looking at herself in the mirror. 

Ellie's very much a little chatterbox!  She loves to pull my hair and is starting to grab more things with her hands.  Ellie smiles with her whole body and thinks her daddy is the funniest when he pretends to be a puppy.  She's the biggest wiggle worm and cannot sit still.  She is really not digging the carseat and tries to escape any way she can.  I think we're going to have our hands full once she's mobile! ;)  Ellie can hold her head up and is starting to teeth (we think)!  

Happy three months, girlfriend!

And some scenes from our weekend...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Bridal Shower Baskets + Date Jar

Both of my sisters-in-law are getting married in September - essentially a double wedding, two ceremonies, one reception, same day, a whole lot of crazy + fun! ;). They had a joint bridal shower this past weekend.  I bought them each something off their registry but also wanted to do something a little different.  I decided to put together gift baskets for the brides-to-be, who also are about to finish building their first house!  I was supposed to spend about $40 on each basket, and I think it came close-ish, though I know I went over a little.

The baskets I got on clearance from Pier1.  I hit up Target, including the dollar section, for pretty much everything I included in the baskets.

dish soap // hand soap // kitchen towel // sponges // candles (Target dollar section) // paper straws // wooden letters (I painted them and added saw tooth hangers) // shopping lists

As part of the gift baskets, I put together date jars.  These are not all super creative or anything, but I know there are times when you just want to do something and aren't sure what!  I tried to keep in mind who I was making these for (i.e. I wasn't going to put going to a wine tasting or brewery tour for girls who don't drink, although those definitely sound like good ideas!). I also tried to keep it on the free or low-cost route, knowing that while a hotel stay might sound nice, it's probably not something they'd do on a whim - we wouldn't have either!  I bought a 100 pack of Popsicle sticks and split them up between both girls.  With a couple of screw-ups, I ended up with just under 50 dates for each jar.  Here's what I included (Tyler thought of a few so I have to give him some credit):

Mini road trip + explore a new city
One-on-one basketball
Fruit picking + make a pie
Go to a sports event (of any kind! i.e. high school football game, NFL game, etc.)
Watch old home movies
Go for a bike ride
Have a picnic - indoors or out
Pizza and movies at home
Play frisbee golf
Donuts + coffee date
Go camping (backyard camping counts!)
Make a bucket list together
Have a water balloon fight
Teach each other something new
Give each other 15 minute massages
Reenact your first date
Mini golf + ice cream
Swimming/beach day
Double date night with friends
Build a snowman
Living room campout
Have a scavenger hunt
Play truth or dare
Breakfast in bed
Make dinner together
"Unplug" for a night - no technology
Rollerskating or iceskating
Sledding + hot chocolate
Make a mixed CD/playlist (+ have a dance party)
Go to a concert (again, could be something local or professional)
Try a new restaurant
Go kayaking or canoeing
Drive-in movies
New recipe night - chicken/pork/beef
Workout together
Go down an untraveled road
Board game night with friends
Go fishing  
Volunteer somewhere together
Dinner + movies - her choice/his choice
Go out for dessert only
Go on a hike
Do a home improvement project together
Watch the sunrise + eat breakfast
Campfire + s'mores
Watch the sunset

I also put together jars of stove top potpourri - just a lemon, two cinnamon sticks, and one sprig of fresh rosemary.  This smelt so good just sitting in the jar.  I've never tried this potpourri before, but I've tried other stove top potpourri and loved it!

I tied ribbon on pretty much everything, just to add a little something extra!  I think they both liked their baskets - the date jars seemed to be the favorite. :)  These baskets took approximately 500 ten minute naps to complete (hopefully they can read my handwriting - I worked fast!), but I had fun putting them together.

I'll post more pictures from our weekend + Ellie's 3 month update as soon as I have time to go through the 100 pictures I took of her this morning. ;)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Linley's Love List

I thought I was making a solo trip to Target the other night, but ended up being accompanied by my two sidekicks.  Ellie is really starting to hate her car seat, so I decided to just hold her while Tyler pushed the cart.  She passed out after about two minutes of walking around the store and didn't wake up until I was putting her back in her car seat to go home.  I snapped this picture on our way in - that little face peering over her daddy's shoulder? I die!

These cute little moccasins! Currently on sale (with code "MIRACLEBABY") and the proceeds go to a good cause.  Ellie has yet to wear any shoes, but I'm thinking she'll need a cute and comfy pair of shoes for the fall.  Plus, they're much more affordable than other moccasins out there, which is nice since I'm pretty sure she'll grow out of them in .5 seconds.  Now, if only I could commit to one color! 

I found the prettiest dress for Ellie to wear to her aunties' wedding(s) in September.  It was a little pricey (in my opinion) for a baby dress, but I think it's pretty perfect for the occasion. Plus, as my sister said, it's technically for two weddings even if they're on the same day. ;)  This woman makes such beautiful dresses, all handmade to order.  Since there's a little bit of a turnaround time, I decided to just order one now and really hope and pray that it fits in a couple months (pretty sure it will).  I'm going to look for a cute cardigan for her to wear with it.  Can't wait to see my little cutie dance partner all dressed up! :)

I'm thinking of trying to make some baked zucchini "fries", similar to these ones (sans Parmesan cheese, because I don't like it).  Lord knows I won't follow the recipe exactly because I don't really play that game, but I think they look pretty good!  Anyone try making zucchini fries before?

I've had a slight beadboard obsession for awhile now and I think we're going to put some up around our kitchen table!  My mother-in-law brought down a piece for us to test out and see how it looks.  She's convinced that she and I can put it up ourselves but I think Tyler vetoed that idea. ;)  We don't plan on hanging around this house for too much longer (more on that later), so maybe we won't end up doing it, but I think it would be a pretty cheap way to make a big impact.  Here's one of my favorite inspiration pictures:

The other day was National Bump Day (seriously, who makes these things up?).  I posted a photo on Instagram with the caption "I miss my bump (but not that little foot stuck under my ribs)".  While that's a legitimate statement (girlfriend's foot came out crooked from the way it was jammed up in there and we had to do exercises for the first couple months-ish to encourage it to straighten out), I wouldn't trade my pregnancy for a thing.  Not trying to get all sappy here, but I know there are so many people who want to experience pregnancy and cannot, so I definitely don't take my experience for granted!  Now, if you want to put a smile on your face (and maybe get a little pregnancy fever, or maybe that's just me), search the hashtag nationalbumpday on Instagram and browse all the posts. :) 

Lastly, I'm thankful for a sister who's willing to come to dentist appointments with me to sit in the waiting room with Ellie, and a mom who came down every week to visit with us while I was on my maternity leave!  I can't believe I go back to work next week already.

Happy weekend, everyone!  I'll be back with Ellie's three month update soon. :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Christmas in July

I love (love love love) Christmas.  It's definitely my favorite holiday and I'm so excited to have Ellie here to celebrate with us this year!  I'm sure she won't really understand what's going on yet, but it's exciting nonetheless. :)  Last year, we found out we were having a girl right before Christmas, which was pretty much the best present ever.  It's so crazy to think she was just a tiny little thing in my belly then!

 In case you're slightly crazy like I am and are already thinking about Christmas, I put together a few tees inspired by some Christmas classics for the whole family.  A whole family wearing festive attire morning?! Yes, please.  That will 100% be us this year.

 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

I love them all, but this one takes the cake as my most favorite EVER.  I say "you serious, Clark?" to Tyler (and the cats) all. the time.

"You mean Santa's coming to bring me presents?" ;)

 I doubt we'll be doing much of anything this year since we already have other plans, but I think it would be so fun to have a Christmas in July party!  String some Christmas lights up on the deck, and have a cookout with a festive drink or two (this sangria has my name all over it).  For little kids (or big kids like us), having a "snowball fight" with white water balloons would be fun.  I also love these candy cane pool noodles if you're having a pool party!  Of course, you'll need to play some festive music to really get into the Christmas spirit.  Aside from country music, Christmas music is my favorite.  I'm lucky if last through October before I start breaking it out.  Most of my favorites come from decorating our tree each year growing up, and whatever my mom had playing in our CD player throughout the month of December, with a couple of my own picks mixed in.  In case you want to get a little Christmas-y in July, here are some of my favorite songs (this list could go on and on so I limited myself to ten):

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays - 'N Sync
You Make it Feel like Christmas - Neil Diamond
Merry Christmas, Darling - The Carpenters
Happy Xmas (War is Over) - John Lennon
All I Want for Christmas is You - Michael Buble
The First Noel - Lady Antebellum
What if Jesus Comes Back like That - Collin Raye
Christmas for Cowboys - John Denver
Song for a Winter's Night - Sarah McLachlan
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Sarah McLachlan
(Sarah McLachlan's whole Wintersong album is really good)
Clark Griswold Christams Vacation Quote Typed on Typewriter

Whatever you end up doing, I hope you have a very merry Christmas in July!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Our Weekend

The weekends go by way too quickly, especially when your baby is the definition of cranky for half of it.  We went to my parents house on Saturday, and then to a graduation party for my cousin. On Sunday, Tyler's parents came over and Ellie was so, so miserable.  Why?  I'm not sure.  I'm thinking any crankiness was just ten (million) times worse because of the heat.  Maybe we jinxed ourselves when we gave her the middle name Summer.  ;)  Anywho, she's been sleeping most of the day so far, which is a good sign because she really wouldn't nap at all yesterday. 

We put Ellie in 3-6 month jammies for the first time this weekend.  They're a little big still, but she gets annoyed when her pjs are too tight, so we decided to give them a shot.  She also fell asleep while drinking a bottle twice this weekend, which has never happened.  I think we're making good progress on the transition to formula. :) I can't believe my baby will be 3 months old on Sunday!



I got this tissue tassel garland in the mail that I ordered months ago for Ellie's nursery.  I had forgotten I had even bought it!  I got about 2 seconds into finding a spot for it before Ellie woke up from a nap, but trying to put it in a place where a kitty can't get it is definitely a challenge!  I love the colors though.  I'm thinking of doing Ellie's (and sibs) future playroom with bright white walls and lots of color.  See my Playroom Pinterest board here.
Hope you all had a good weekend and are staying cool!

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