Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Ellia's First Birthday Wish List

All things birthday are definitely on my mind and I really can't believe I'm already putting this list together!  Ellie took out one of her newborn pairs of jammies about a month ago when we were packing away more of her smaller things and I still haven't put them pack in the storage bins yet.  She was carrying them around the house last night when I was trying to wrestle her into her 6-12 month jammies that look to be about twelve times the size of those teeny tiny newborn ones.  I can't believe she was ever that small!  I'm sure I will cry about a million times over the next month just thinking about Ellie's birthday - all the feels!!  Needless to say, we've been doing a little brainstorming over here for first birthday gifts for our little lady, so I thought I'd share what we've come up with so far.

The pig and the slide are really going to be her two gifts that she's actually going to be excited about (I think so at least).  I had dreams of putting that pig under our Christmas tree, but really think she'll be into it now.  She climbs everything and will stand up in her little rocking chair with her hands on the back and rock back and forth... this just seems to be a little more safe.  Hopefully.  I picked this slide because it can fold up for storage purposes.  I'm going to sound like a snob when I say that I really don't want an entire yard full of baby toys, so I wanted to be sure we picked ones that Ellie will actually enjoy and won't just clutter everything for no reason.  It gets great reviews and seems like it'll be something she can use inside and out which is always nice.  The rest of the stuff we'll get her are really just things we would probably buy for her anyways, but I'm using her birthday as an excuse to wrap them up!  The sprinkler is so cute and I'm 500% sure she will love it come summertime.  Ellie loves any kind of water, especially running water, and I like that this one looks like it won't wipe her out completely if she takes a nosedive onto it while trying to take a sip... because I'm also 500% sure that will happen.  We'll also grab some sidewalk chalk that she'll probably just try to eat (at first anyway), but I can't wait to doodle up a storm and have messages waiting for daddy in the driveway when he comes home from work!  We have catnip scented bubbles that I bought my cats a couple years ago (hey, crazy cat lady) and I was just showing them to Ells the other day - she thought they were hilarious so I'm sure bubbles will be a hit.  Some new jammies + more likely than not some hair accessories will also make the cut.

We really don't want to go to overboard since she still doesn't care a ton about her gifts, but wanted to get a few things that she can play with outdoors.  The nice weather is coming and I'm sure we'll be out there quite a bit!  She already has a kiddie pool and a little tricycle contraption that she can use outside too.  I can hardly wait to see her on that piggy rocker!  If I don't run out of time before her birthday, I want to make a floral crown for it to wear... because Ellie totally cares about things like that, you know? ;) 

Here's a little throwback to Ellia in her pool last Summer!  I am so excited to see what she thinks of it this year and really get to play with her outside this year. :)

Do you have any gifting recommendations for a one year old?  This is my preliminary list and I haven't committed to actually buying anything just yet, so I'd love to hear if there's anything you recommend! :)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Weekend

Happy Easter, everyone! :)

This may have been my favorite holiday yet since Ellie was born.  Yep, it may have even topped Christmas, which is saying a lot.  She seemed to actually enjoy some of the festivities this weekend and it made my heart so happy!  It’s sad to think that this was her last first holiday, but I’m sure they’re only going to get better from here on out. :)

Saturday morning, we colored Easter eggs - all PINK!  Or maybe I should say I colored eggs while Tyler and I took turns chasing Ellie around the house.  Afterwards, Tyler hid plastics eggs all around the yard and we took Ellie out for a little egg hunt!  She wasn't overly excited about the eggs, but loved dragging us around outside.  We planted her "magic jelly beans" at the end of the hunt so they could turn into lollipops overnight. ;) 

First thing Sunday morning, Tyler made pancakes for breakfast and then we let Ellie open her basket.  I was a little surprised to see how much she enjoyed going through it.  She loved the eggs (breaking them open to see what was inside) and the grass (getting herself + her kitty all tangled up in it) the most, but took the time to check out all of the things that the Bunny had brought for her. :)

 How about that grass tail? ;)

The Bunny also brought Ellie a morning snack!  This was the easiest festive snack ever - I just cut the egg carton from the eggs we used for coloring, grabbed a few plastic eggs + threw in an assortment of crunchy foods, fruits + one sweet treat.  Ellie loved digging through the little compartments and taste-testing along the way.  I'm honestly not sure what she liked the most - the raspberries or the five whole seconds I let her suck on the pink Peep. ;)

We all got ready, checked to see if our jelly beans had turned into lollipops overnight (they did!), and headed to my parents' house for the rest of the day.

 dress // bow // cardigan // ears from Target, felt flowers made my me

Ellie was more than spoiled with all kinds of Easter baskets + gifts (including her first tutu!!).  She loved having everyone play with her and loved being the center of attention.  This was the same thing Tyler said about their visit with his family on Friday, so I think Ellie may be out of her "stranger danger" phase! :)  We had lots of good food, good company + beautiful weather.  Ellie even got to go help feed some sheep some carrots! 

We had the best Easter and hope you did too! :)  Now I'm in full on birthday mode for the next month - can you believe it's almost April?!

P.S. Here is Ellia's first picture masterpiece she drew with her new crayons! You bet it's hanging up on our fridge right now. :)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Eleven Months of Ellia


Age: Eleven months tomorrow.
Height: Still not sure, but her one year check-up is on her birthday eve so we will find out then!
Weight: About 21 pounds.
Clothing size:  Pretty much the same as last month, but have been mixing more 12-18 month sizes in and her 6-12 month clothes are getting more and more snug. I have been trying to put her in all of my favorite smaller sized clothes (Halloween jammies included) just because I know she'll outgrow them soon and I'll be sad about saying goodbye. ;)  Also, she's currently in a size 3 for shoes.
Diaper size: 4
Sleeping:  Getting closer to sleeping through the night!  Bedtime is usually sometime around 7-7:30 and she's up around 5-5:30. She goes to bed in her crib every night now; however, I'd be lying if I said she didn't usually end up in our bed at some point - even if it's at 4:30 in the morning and we stretch out the morning wake-up with lots of sleepy snuggles.  She wakes up so much more often in her crib than our bed, but it's a definite improvement since this time last month so I'll take it!  Naps are still crazy.  I wish I could find any kind of rhyme or reason to them, but I think her walking has made her want to nap less and less because she just wants to keep moving!
Eating:  Still loves pretty much everything we give her.  She is definitely big on getting to feed herself, but it really doesn't seem to matter what we give her.  Pancakes with raspberries + bananas is her favorite breakfast.  She also loves mac + cheese for lunch or dinner.  My mom gives her homemade mac + cheese, but I'll buy the single serving cups of Annie's and she will eat the entire thing.  Also, Gerber crunchies are a definite favorite snack of hers!  Bottles seem to be gradually becoming less and less as she eats more regular food and drinks more water.  Her pediatrician said we could slowly start mixing in cow's milk with her formula starting at 11 months, so I'm interested to see how that goes!
Favorite toys:  Really anything that is not actually a toy is what she is drawn to most, but one thing I haven't mentioned in any previous posts  that she enjoys is this learning table.  She got it for Christmas and we originally had it set up without the legs so she could sit and play with it, but once she was pulling herself up on everything we set it up so she could stand and play. She really just keeps rotating all of her toys and seems to like to play with pretty much anything. Generally speaking, she's not much of an independent player.  I find that the times she plays best by herself are when she's not playing with toys, like when she's emptying out all of the cat food cans onto the kitchen floor. 
Loves:  Eating. Walking (running!) around. The cats.  Touching everything + putting it in her mouth. Bath time. Being naked. Her binkies (a definite love!). Music + dancing.  Sorting through + climbing in any kind of container she can fit. Being outside. Playing peekaboo with anything that will even partially cover her face.
Least favorite things:  Still is not a fan of the baby gate, the front door shutting or locking, getting her diaper changed and having to sit still + lay down.  She also really doesn't like being told she can't do something or physically being moved away from somewhere we don't want her to be (like standing at the top of the basement stairs). 

This biggest development this month was definitely Ellie starting to walk.  She took her first steps on March 2nd (10 months, 5 days old), and never looked back. ;)  She picked up on it so quickly and has no problem waddling her little way around the house now.  Ellie loves to wave, gives hugs + kisses when asked (when she feels like it), and points to everything she's looking at.  The cats are just her favorite things ever.  We do lots of kitty hunts throughout the day and she always laughs whenever we find them sleeping in a quiet place where they don't think they will be bothered. ;)  Ellie still has four teeth (two on top, two on bottom), but I have a feeling another one or two might be coming soon.  She's a climber and has even made her way on top of our TV stand. I'm sure I won't win mother of the year award for this, but we never used to buckle her in her highchair until recently since she learned she can stand up no problem in it. She's also a tiny bit rough with her hitting + slapping... still working on that. ;)

I really can't believe how fast the last eleven months have gone by!  We're in the homestretch of the first year of her life and it makes me go in the corner and cry a little bit.  Of course it's exciting to see her grow, but it's also sad to think that my baby isn't going to be a tiny baby for much longer (or maybe she's not really so tiny anymore already).  I only have one more of these monthly posts planned - I'm sure they are more for me and my lack of baby book documenting anyway, but I figured I'd probably stop at one year and then move updates every few months instead.  Plus, she's pretty much the star of every post anyway. :)

Happy eleven months, baby girl! We love you! XO

Two things before I go:
1.) Thank you for your response to my last post!  I always love hearing your comments + feedback either on here or otherwise, so thank you, thank you + thank you again!
2.) The swing I mentioned two posts back that I wanted to put in our playroom and didn't think Tyler would go for?  Turns out, he might be more excited about the idea of it than I am and wants to make one big enough to fit an adult.  I should have known seeing as though he might be the biggest big kid I know. ;)

Hope you all have the best Easter weekend with lots of time spent with loved ones + lots of chocolate bunnies! :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Blessings & Curses of Social Media

Do you ever stop and wonder what life would be like if social media wasn’t even a thing? Then I wouldn't be able to share silly pictures like this of Ellie doing her Ellie tornado thing with the world.  Crazy thought, right? ;) 

I think it’s clear that I am pretty into the social media and networking scene.  Between my blog and Instagram, I am sharing almost daily posts + photos of my life with my small group of followers.  I love getting to see a glimpse into other people’s lives through these outlets as well - cute baby faces, adorable clothes + pretty houses (delicious food too!) fill my feed all day long.  While I do believe social media brings a strong sense of community and has allowed me to meet people from all over the country (and world!), stay in touch with old friends, be inspired by others' photos + words, learn new things and hear others' suggestions + stories, there are certainly downsides to living in a world that is so centered on sharing everything with each other.   The biggest downside to me is definitely the strong sense of competition among my set of social media peers - who dresses their children in the cutest clothes?  Who lives in the best decorated houses?  Who has all the new "must-have" products? I need to have this or do this because this person has that or did that.  The list could go on and on...

 I certainly am pretty obsessed with Ellie and think she's the best thing in the entire world, but also am pretty sure every mom feels that way about their own children and rightfully so.  So yes, I am going to talk about her like the sun shines out of her cute little bum because that's exactly how I feel.  Anything that I buy or do is because I want to buy it or do it, not because I want to show the world that I can afford something or be exactly like someone else.   This is just a space to share my thoughts, opinions and ideas.  Social media has a way of shaping everyone's thoughts whether we like it or not, but I always do my best to be true to myself and always share others' ideas that I love as well, because they deserve the credit too!  That being said, I hope this little space doesn't come off in a negative way at all. I work really, really hard (lots of long, late hours) to keep this blog up to date with our lives and my ideas - just ask my husband who finds me glued to my computer screen way past my bedtime at least a few nights a week.  I’m not showing you all of the things I buy for Ellie or our house because I want to brag, I’m sharing them because I want to provide my feedback in hopes that it might help someone out.  I have used several other blogs as resources for many things over the past few years and have loved being able to look to others for suggestions, especially when it comes to all things mom-related. 

We are certainly very blessed and happy over here, but things are not perfect either.  I am totally guilty of planning a photo or sharing something if I think it "looks pretty" but I also like to try to keep it real too and hope it comes across that way.  Tyler got me this birthday card the other day (my birthday isn't until July) just because it reminded him of me and it made me giggle.  He said "Happy Instagram Mom Day" when he gave it to me... I suppose me knows me pretty well. ;)

I have no plans to stop writing anytime soon because it’s something that I really do enjoy. It's my thing to do while Ellie's sleeping that doesn't involve washing bottles, scrubbing the floor/walls/highchair (how does she get food everywhere?!), picking up toys, etc.  If I'm not up late cutting out felt leaves + burning my fingertips on hot glue, you can find me putting together another post to share.  Sometimes I think I'm talking to a wall on this thing, but I can see that people are reading it and really hope that you enjoy it as much as I do. :)  If you have something you really enjoy reading about, I'd love to hear!  Also, if you take any of my suggestions, recommendations or ideas, I really do love to hear your thoughts + feedback.  While they are my opinions and everyone has their own, it's nice to know if you think I'm actually helpful or a complete crock of shit. ;)

Long story short, social media can be a bit of a bitch sometimes but I am pretty obsessed with sharing our lives (Ellie) with the world and hope you find this to be a fun, positive place to visit.  As always, thank you for reading these ramblings of mine (especially with the number of typos I find three days after I post something - I swear I proofread approximately twelve hundred times before I hit "publish"!).  It means more to me than you know. XO
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