Tuesday, September 23, 2014

1001 Days Later...

At the end of 2011, our first year of marriage, just after I had started blogging (I can't believe it was that long ago!!) I made a 101 in 1001 goal list. Today marks the end of that challenge.

I didn't finish all of them, but I have loved looking over the list and seeing how things that mattered now have changed level of priority in my life. Some things were just not practical (or too vague to really count as complete), and others have come full circle and are goals again. I have already started working on another list! I've just loved having such diverse long term goals in place!

#6 Houston Trip
  1.  Go to Six Flags (Six Flags Fun!)
  2. Buy a brown winter coat
  3. Take a Cake Decorating class
  4. Visit another country
  5. Visit family that we don't see often in California July 2014!
  6. Visit family that we don't see often in Houston
  7. See the Grand Canyon and visit family July 2014 (family moved back to Texas so just the Grand Canyon)
  8. Build up an emergency fund of at least $1000 (completed in summer of '13)
  9. Have a baby (or pregnant) or be in the adoption process
  10. #9 Our Baby! 10/21/13
  11. Start a new family tradition (see the plan & why it's still on the list)
    • perhaps make and use a family advent calendar
  12. Do something that worries me, because I usually wouldn't take that leap
  13. Take a cruise
  14. Paint pottery (with John)
  15. Host a party - just because at our house
  16. Finish all major house repairs.We moved!
  17. Attempt at least one recipe from each book in my collection of cook books
  18. Have a "Christin the China" dinner party!
  19. Create a Menu board, including recipe cards
  20. Do something political I voted... Several times!
  21. Make a purchase of at least one item from Etsy.com (my first Etsy purchase)
  22. Spend a day at the lake with John
  23. Go to the Nutcracker or some sort of a Christmasy fine art event
  24. Have my car professionally detailed
  25. Eliminate all credit card debt (Completed Summer of '13!)
  26. Host a game and dinner night Hosted in Spring 2014 - Apples to Apples and Chicken Parmesan
  27. Go to Lubbock for a fun weekend and Texas Tech football game
  28. Clean out closet and donate all too small or too big clothes to good will or freecycle
  29. Clean out John's closet & donate the clothes to a good cause.
  30. Meet my goal weight of 145
  31. Go to Hawaii
    ... A change in plans, this probably won't happen by the deadline.
  32. Visit John's Grandparents at their house in New York
  33. See New York City
  34. See a Broadway play
  35. Have a family photo session Just after Cora was born
  36. Host a Sunday lunch with my family like the ones we had with Grandma (We started this tradition back in July 2013!)
  37. Have a useful and used vegetable garden Summer 2014
  38. Set up the patio completely
  39. Bake for my office just because (Bun in the Oven Cinnamon Rolls!)
  40. Bake for John's co workers, just because
  41. Go on some sort of an overnight trip with friends
  42. Post to the blog at least once every two weeks in 2012 or start over in 2013 if I didn't succeed.
  43. create a Guest basket for the bathroom  (Created for our new house in July of 2013!)
  44. Have at least one guest over for a night - outside of the family (check!)
  45. Eat at 5 new restaurants with John
    • 1, 2 (completed 1/21/12 - Los Toreros for Lauren's birthday), 3, 4 (Mooyah's for my brother Robert's 22 bday), 5
  46. Start a pet emergency fund, have at least $1,000 in it.
  47. Take John on a surprise local date
  48. Take a spontaneous trip out of town with John (see #52)
  49. Have all Christmas Gift shopping finished by December 1
  50. Go to a fine arts event with John Dallas Symphony Orchestra with my brother Robert and his friend Kimmi
  51. Purchase another vehicle. My Mom-Mobile!
  52. Bake for a social event I'm not hosting
    • See the cake I baked here
  53. Take John to Corpus Christi or Galveston
  54. Visit St. Augustine Florida
  55. Go to the Harry Potter Theme park in Florida
  56. Have a spa day - get my nails done and maybe a massage John's 1st anniversary gift to me!
  57. Clean out my undergarment drawer and go panty shopping. Buy at minimum 5 new sets of panties and bras.
  58. Go to either the Dallas or Fort Worth Zoo It was actually the San Diego zoo... which is better so I say it counts!
  59. Help a friend in a major/life altering way
  60. Design/create/buy some sort of kitchen pantry (we moved and have a pantry in this house)
  61. Celebrate 1 year of marriage
    • 2nd Anniversary Yummies!
    • Read about our anniversary celebrations here.
  62. Celebrate 2 years of marriage   - Check! 
  63. Go on a picnic (using my handy dandy picnic basket) We take picnic lunches to Daddy sometimes to get out of the house and visit him at work!
  64. Help a new mom with any aspect of life involved in being a new mommy Dinner for Tiffany's family!
  65. Give a gift to my choir students that is from me, not the choir budget (completed 5/9/12)
  66. Have our house Decorated for Christmas (completely) by one week after Thanksgiving
  67. Clean out our guest room that is currently acting as a storage space. Put everything away or give it away.
  68. Decorate our bedroom - including buying a comforter set and pillows
  69. Find our 9 puppies a safe and loving home (completed some time in mid-March)
  70. Get Pepper spayed.
  71. purchase appropriate storage for my Christmas dishes and store them away
  72. Purchase appropriate storage for my Bankhead silver and store away.
  73. Either buy new or refinish an old china hutch to properly store my nice dishes and crystal.
  74. Have a Will in place for both John and I designed to span, at minimum, until we have heirs.
  75. Draft a Declaration of Final Arrangements for both John and I.
  76. Draw up a Medical Power of Attorney Document for both John and I, to be used in the event that one of us was to become incapacitated. 
  77. Purchase a nice new black winter coat.
  78. Install a television in the East end of the house that can be watched in both the bedroom and the dining room/kitchen. (thank you Daddy)
  79. Should one of my brothers become engaged, host a special bridal event for either the Bride or the couple. Something other than a traditional Wedding Shower: qualifying events include a true Bridal Shower, themed wedding shower, Couples Shower, Engagement party, Bridal Luncheon.
  80. Complete a minimum of 25 of my pins on Pinterest. These pins cannot be counted if they also go towards marking off one of the other items on this list or the home repair list.
  81. Pay off current car loan Fall 2013
  82. Be at least one payment ahead on all student loans by the end of the 1001 days.
  83. Have John visit an orthopedist for his knee and shoulder.
  84. Take a multivitamin every day for 6 months, or begin again.
  85. put together a wedding photo album
  86. Prepare a weeks worth of outfits (including jewlery, accessories, shoes etc) on Sunday afternoon. Do this for a minimum of two weeks in a row.
  87. Cook at home every day, for 5 days in a row. Only days 6 and 7 can be "left over" days.
  88. Read 5 of the books that I have purchased and not started. 
    • Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin; completed on  1/22/12
    • Something Blue by E. Giffin; completed on vacation in late Aug. '12
  89. Finish wedding Thank You cards in some capacity
  90. Host a family affair at our house that my family and extended family attend. Spaghetti Dinner when Cora was born. We had 13 guests, filling the extended family requirement!
  91. Go to a sporting event that I would not normally attend; basketball, hockey, or soccer.
  92. #91 Camping with Clyde!
  93. Go on a camping trip!
  94. Start a batch of Friendship Bread and pass it around
  95. Buy a nice watch John's 3rd anniversary gift to me!
  96. Install smoke detectors in the house
  97. Purchase a new set of Corelle dishes, so we don't break our nice stoneware or china for everyday uses.
  98.  Donate Blood (completed 9/14/12)
  99. No fast food for a month
  100. Update my legal name documents and get John a passport
  101. Run a 5K
  102. Stop biting my nails (consider accomplished if I have successfully not bitten my nails after 6 months)
  103. Create a new 101 list upon the completion of this one.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

New Diet for Momma... almost time to wean.

Pregnancy was the best diet I've ever been on. I know there are those that are cursing me right now, but trust me, I would gladly trade a pound or two for puking at least one... or three times less a day.

After Cora was born I lost a fair amount more... obviously the almost 9 pounds that made up her little body, and about 10 more after that. 

Breastfeeding has helped some. Not as much as I was hoping it would... not having that handy HCG hormone coursing through my body and eating enough to produce the milk but not eating too much has proven to be a harder line to walk for me than anything nutrition wise was in pregnancy. 

Don't get me started on what exercising seems to do to my supply. I didn't think there would be enough fenrugreek in the world to repair what I did to my supply when I thought I could take up jogging. Granted that was months ago, but I sure haven't tried again since!

Back in April I suddenly gained about 8 pounds. I swear it happened in like a week. At the time I didn't understand why and figured I'd drop it right back off. Not so much... and in hindsight I know why I gained the weight. That was right around the time we started feeding Cora solids, thus reducing the demand on my milk supply and that handy built in calorie burner. 

I'll be honest, vacation was not nice to me in regards to the scale. So for the first time in 20 months (I can't believe it has been that long! 20 months of either pregnancy or serious breastfeeding!) I'm back on the calorie counting bandwagon. 

I'm still breastfeeding but we're about a month and a half away from introducing Cora to milk in a sippy cup to prepare for weaning... maybe. I get sad when I think about weaning her, but in that same thought of sadness I also know it will be time. Ugh. I just don't know - but what I do know is that I really don't want another 8 pound surprise gain when I stop being a milk cow! ;)

Calorie Counting became a way of life for me once, second nature to mentally add up what I'm about to eat as I consider a meal. I'm sure that skill will return, but I sure will miss "eating for two". The difference between Calorie Counting then and now is that while I'm not "eating for two", I am preparing food for two! What I eat, Cora eats... both milk and solids. So, adding to the challenge is that handy cheats like Smart Ones meals and such aren't nearly as practical. 

I can't be the only mother that has gone through this? How did you make the change?

How hard was weaning for you?

I don't even know where to begin? Intellectually I do, but emotionally I have no clue.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cora's First Birthday - It's becoming a Circus!

Circus Party
Source
Vintage Circus + Carnival Party
Source
Initially when I started thinking (and pinning ideas like a mad woman) I wanted Cora's first birthday to be a huge backyard bash with a Vintage Circus theme. We were going to have horse shoes and washers for the adults to play, a photo booth, and carnival food galore! I was so excited for this party!


Then I started working on a guest list. I can't leave anyone out, it's my baby's first birthday after all! Before I knew it our guest list was at 75 people (and I wasn't finished making it)! 75 for a first birthday!?!? I started stressing out, where were they all going to fit? Should we rent the Community Center? Oh that's another $200... so use the back yard and pray it doesn't rain because there isn't room to move it inside?!? What will all that food cost?

Don't get me wrong, I've had guest lists that long (and much longer) for events. And Cora's first birthday is a special event.... but it got me to thinking about how does this Circus ever stop???

I'm one of four kids and we feel the Lord leading us towards having a large family. With kids I'm all about fairness, so if I throw a Circus of a party for Cora, I will feel obligated to do so for the rest of our future children. And if we throw this three-ringed circus for her first party, why not her second, and third and every party until she's grown with hundreds of dollars and piles of stress for Mommy and Daddy.

Emily's Vintage Circus Themed Birthday Party: great ideas for decor and food table.
Source
Pinterest makes it easy, easy to fall into the trap of keeping up with the Jones'. If I don't throw a Pinterest worthy party, is it worth having the party? I know the answer to that, but still it's a hard thought to banish from my mind.

Growing up we had very simple birthday celebrations; we would gather as a family, usually the grandparents and aunts/uncles that lived near-by joined us as well. It was at someones home or at a park. We ate a family meal (as we got older Mom took birthday meal requests), had a cake that my Mom made and beautifully decorated (store bought cakes were rare!), and opened a few gifts. In all my childhood, I only had 2 birthday parties that included more than a friend joining us for dinner. My 3rd grade party and an 18th birthday bash that my bestie and I threw for ourselves.

When my Granny hosted the birthday dinners, we had a tradition of rolling out a piece of tye-dye butcher paper on the dining room table and everyone would trace their hands and write their name and age under their hand print. In the middle she would write "Happy Birthday Rebekah" and it was a special tradition that I look back on with fondness. 

Those are the kinds of birthdays I want my kids to have, or some middle ground between the Circus and family only events. I won't say we won't break out some Pinterest ideas here and there but the extravagance just isn't practical for us.

What were your childhood birthdays like?
Do you throw big birthdays every year for your children? How do you draw the line/budget?
What's a family birthday tradition you have?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Coralie - 10 months

Weight/Height - At her 9 month well visit, She was in the 65th percentile for height at 28.25 inches, 90th percentile for weight at 21.8 pounds and her head circumfrence came in at the 93rd percentile being 46 centimeters.

Health -  Baby girl is very healthy. It looks like she has Johns allergies. He'll start feeling a little stuffy and sure enough, the next morning she'll have a stuffy nose. We'd worried about ear infections because she had been pulling at her ears, but no infections! She's just discovered her ears and thinks they're fun to pull. We're fighting a little bit of thrush on her tongue, but I'm doing all I can to handle that naturally so that we don't have to use antibiotics that'll end up wiping out all the good flora in her little body.

Nicknames - "Pumpkin", "Cor-Cor", "Cora Bear", "Cora Bora"

Teething - I am afraid of what life is going to be like when she finally has teeth come in. She has a tiny little speck of a tooth poking though on the bottom, but that's been there for a few weeks and nothing else has poked through.

Did any of your kids make it to 10 months without teeth? When do I start worrying about this?

Clothing - There are a few lingering 9 month outfits in her closet, but really for the most part she's in all 12 month clothes. I can't believe my little baby is in 12 month clothes!!

Diapers - size 3 disposables, but cloth at home

Eating - Nursing - We're still pretty much the same as last month. A middle of the night feeding. Honestly I could probably cut that feeding but it's laziness on my behalf, it's just the quickest way to get her back to sleep. Nursing first thing in the morning, about nap time, dinner time and then bed time. Beverages - she drinks water and the occasional almond milk from her sippy cup. We're waiting to introduce any juices, at least while I'm still nursing, I'd rather just not give her any more sugar than I have to. Solids - I can't really convince her to eat anything with meat, but anything and everything else shes game for! I've decided that it's about the cutest thing ever when she slurps up noodles!

ZZzzzzZZZ Sleeping - We have made huge progress from where we were with this a month ago, but we have a long way to go. We've gotten her to sleep in her own bed again!!! It took me a full week of very tearful bedtimes and putting her to bed lasting at minimum an hour, up to 2 hours to accomplish this, but I'm so happy! She's still sometimes waking up an hour after we put her down, I can tell it's out of habit, so I try not to nurse her or even pick her up. Depending on how quickly I can get to her after she starts crying, I can get her to sleep again just by replacing her passi and patting her on the back. If she's made it all the way to standing in her crib though, I have to pick her up to get her back to sleep. After that, we usually make it another 2 hours before she wakes up again and from there she sleeps in 2 hour spurts throughout the night until I give up and she ends up in bed with us and then she sleeps great until morning. Small steps...
As John and I've discussed all this crazy sleep mess we've got going on with her, it's been very easy to get really discouraged. I just keep reminding myself that I don't know any high school kids that still have to sleep with their parents or wake continually though the night and all of their parents had different methods of sleep training. So, logically, eventually we will get this figured out and she'll start sleeping through the night. And this too shall pass.

Our Little Socialite - She still has the stranger danger. We went to visit Johns parents, she was very apprehensive about being held by them. Then we went again today for Labor day and she was a little wary at first, but warmed up to them much quicker than she did at the last visit, so progress is being made!  She loves being around other babies and children! She usually loves being in church nursery, but this last Sunday was the first time she cried in nursery. When we picked her up between sessions to nurse her, you could tell she'd been very upset with red eyes and puffy cheeks. When we returned to pick her up from 2nd session, she was playing with a shaker toy and having a blast. Hopefully that was a one time deal and she'll still enjoy Sunday School. Right now, it's her only regular socialization with babies.

Likes - The dogs, particularly climbing on Clyde! Music, eating, "helping" in the kitchen (aka pulling everything out of drawers mommy hasn't put child locks on).

Dislikes - Strangers touching her, car rides, being contained (she isn't even really happy in her jumparoo anymore).

New - She drinks out of straws! Honestly she does this better than she drinks from a sippy cup! She is standing on her own, but isn't braving steps without the assistance of furniture to hold on to. She's clapping really well, she'll sometimes wave hi/bye, she's also trying to communicate beyond her only two words (Momma, Dada) by mimiking sounds ("Laaaa" for Love etc). Oh and she has learned to shake her head "no" and seems to know what it means!

Fun things we did - Went to her first Rangers game! Bridal portraits with Aunt Stephanie and her family, met our friend Anuj! Wow... I'm really realizing that it has been a pretty calm/boring month but we're gearing up for fall and I can't wait to share all the fun fall things with our little Pumpkin!

Goings on with Mommy & Daddy - I'm loving being home with her all day! I never imagined I'd love such a simple thing so much! We have our own little routine and play together all day! Next week the Mom group at our church starts and I'm looking forward to that and getting some play dates scheduled on occasion.
John just got a big promotion at work! So, he's been really busy getting ready for that job transition. We're so proud of him and so thankful for this opportunity the Lord has provided him!

Exciting Future - We're moving! And if everything goes as planned, this will be our last "real" move... hopefully ever! More on that later but in the mean time I'm getting that house ready for us and this house ready to move. We're 30 days from the move, but it's going to be a crazy, busy and full 30 days! I can't wait for Cora's first birthday party! It's bittersweet that it's so close and my baby isn't so much of a baby any more. :( and... FALL! I can't wait to share all the fun that Fall is with Coralie! I mean, she was born in October, so she experienced fall last year, but she's so much more active this year, I can't wait!





Sunday, August 10, 2014

Vacation - Part 1


We made a huge road trip to attend Joshua's graduation from Marine Basic Training in San Diego, California.

The trip started off with our family reunion in West Texas, then from there we made a quick stop off in Lubbock for the night. Lubbock to Flagstaff, AZ (stopping in Alburqurque, NM), the Grand Canyon to San Diego. After a few days in sunny San Diego we headed back to Texas after stopping in Tuscon, AZ. 

It was a great trip and I can't wait to share it with you! It had many challenges, the prime one being keeping Cora entertained (and all of us sane) for the 45 + hours of driving (over 3,000 miles!). 

Day 1 - Family Reunion


My mothers family has a reunion in west Texas every summer. When we were planning the trip we were upset that we wouldn't be able to make it this year with it being Cora's first reunion and Stephanie (future sis-in-love) first year (almost) in the family so we reworked the plans and were able to arrive on Friday at the beginning of the reunion and stay through the afternoon on Saturday.

Day 2 - Lubbock
We left the reunion and traveled to stay with family in Lubbock. It was only a couple of hours from the reunion but when traveling with a little one, those hours are important when shaving them off of the long drive we had on day 3.



Day 3 - Travel to Flagstaff, AZ

When planning the trip I knew that we'd need to stop somewhere about half way and let Cora (and the rest of us) have some time free from the car. I picked the National Petroglyph Monument in Albuquerque, NM for us to stop and picnic at for lunch and give us the opportunity to hike some to stretch our legs.


There were several trails and it was an almost free ($2 per car) place to stop and sure beat a road-side park or a gas station parking lot.

Though this was one of the longer legs of the journey, it really didn't feel like such an awful drive but we sure were glad when we made it to our destination for the night, Flagstaff, AZ.

We grabbed a nice quiet dinner at the cutest diner on Historic Route 66.



I must have hit my head and not recalled the incident because I was a mess during dinner. I managed to spill my drink everywhere, make a huge mess with my food and when shaking the ketchup bottle the lid came off and sprayed ketchup all over the restaurant... I about died of embarrassment. The staff was very sweet about my disasters, all of them.


This was just the start of the trip, Grand Canyon (at Sunrise!) and San Diego to come!

Monday, August 4, 2014

What's On my Wishlist

When the holidays roll around (and with my birthday being so close to Christmas, I don't usually get gifts, so I'm pretty much talking once a year here...) my wish list can be a little ridiculous!  Come December, I've spent the last 11 months compiling my wish list.
In some ways I'm the most overly practical person I know. I will splurge and purchase things (sometimes unnecessary) for John and Cora, but I find it hard to justify spending money on myself. I just really value saving money, so I have to be really sure that something I'm going to spend good money on is something I both need and want.

Currently on my wishlist:


Samyo 100ml Aromatherapy Essential Oil Purifier Diffuser Air Humidifier with 4 Timer Settings & 6 Colors Changing Light

I'm clearly a wild one here, wait until you hear how I picked this particular one. It is the least expensive that has good enough reviews that I don't think it'll break in the first while of use.








One would think that the double beverage dispenser is the less practical side of me coming out... but alas no. Well kind of no. Who doesn't love cute glass ware that makes entertaining fun? I love pulling out dishes for entertaining but this particular item is something I'll be getting for punch at my brothers upcoming nuptials.








Now we're getting to my weaknesses. I love TOMS!! I wear them (or a similar style shoe) practically every day! With dresses, shorts, jeans - you name it! I love how versatile they are and I think they're just adorable! Mine are far more practical than this pair, but aren't these cute! I saw them in the catalog the other day and they just might make it to my Christmas wishlist :)





Honestly that is about it for my wishlist. There are a few other things that I need, honest to goodness needs (read another pair of jeans that fit - I have one pair, new bra, other such fun things...), but part of my long history (and success) of keeping from buying impulsively and sticking to a strict budget (and paying off debt!!) means that I've gotten really good at denying myself the fun of making mental wishlists that I really can't afford to fulfill.

What's on your wishlist? I hope it's more fun than mine!


Linking up at Momfessionals for What's on...