Birthday Thursday: Happy 10 weeks!

I can't believe we are in the double digits now!  I hope you won't be disappointed that today's picture is a little similar to one you have seen. But, I had to go with the patriotic get-up for her series of pictures!  So, what's new with my favorite girl?  Well, as you can see below, she is trying out her Bumbo seat after enjoying Jaxsen's last weekend. She looks so funny in it, resting her arms on the sides like she is a grandpa in a Lazy Boy. We need a Bumbo recliner for this chick. She's really starting to focus on things more intently, and just when I thought she might be getting bored with her Rainforest, she has begun laughing at it like it is screening "The Hangover" instead of flashing colored lights.

Every day she gets older is another day closer to me leaving her to go back to work. I think of this every day and it does not get "better". I do not feel good about my decision (well, its not really a decision, I either go back to work or we are homeless) and wish every day that I could stay home with her. So, there is my sob story for the day. I know what will make me feel better...


She wasn't having the usual lay-on-your-back photoshoot today. That's great grandma's quilt!



Seriously?  
Just relaxin'. Bring me a warm one, will ya?

TV Tuesday: So you think you can dance?

The answer to that question, as any Theta Nu sister will tell you, is NO. But, I have been a loyal fan of the show since season 2. This year promises to be the best since the Katie/Joshua/Twitch season, which was legendary. If you aren't a watcher, start now! The season just started and they have only had one "cast-off" show. In the first night of competition, everyone was so good that they didn't cut anyone (or that may have been a clever, suspenseful cop-out). Either way, here is my favorite dance (and couple) of the season. There is always a story to go with the choreography, and this story is that the man is expected home from Afghanistan and his wife doesn't know how she is going to react. Maybe it will convince you to tune in Wednesdays on Fox....



And, just for fun, check out this video of one of my favorite dances of all time (I can't embed it, it must be too awesome). Keep in mind, Alex is a BALLET dancer and had one week to learn this dance.

Mama Monday: Getting dressed up

Today was cousin Jaxsen's christening and I was excited. Like, almost couldn't sleep excited. Not because he was about to become a child of God and all those wonderful sentiments but because this was an event that called for dressing up.  You see, when you have a daughter (maybe a son, too, I can't attest to that), dressing up is so much fun. I sifted through multiple wardrobe possibilities and used last week's weekly photo as a trial run. And then we found the perfect one:


Not only could we dress Larkyn up for the festivities but we could tie in the holiday, which is like a wardrobe jackpot to me!  Yesterday at Gymboree, my mom insisted on buying the matching espadrilles, which were the crown jewel of the ensemble.

The weekend I found out I was expecting a girl also happened to be Gymboree's semi annual sale. We all know that the ultrasound (especially one at 18 weeks!) is not 100% accurate, right? Well, picture me on Black Friday, shopping for "everyone".  Really, I was at Gymboree buying a closet full of clothes for a child who might be a girl. And here I am with my girl, spending all morning making sure she looked her best....while I myself accidentally walked out the door with my Old Navy purple flip flops on and still sported my "facewashing headband".

So, does it go away?  Will I always want to buy the bikini-that-matches-the-sandals, hat, and coverup, or will it get old?  I guess the good thing is that I only buy things on sale and I have pretty much stopped buying things for myself (except for the Sbicca wedges I bought for my summer "Am I too old for these?" shoes).

Last, is there anything that makes your heart melt more than your baby interacting with other family? And by interacting, I mean, so passed out that you have to hold her up next to her cousin?
We like hats in this family!

Foodie Friday: Peach blueberry crisp

I love peaches, but find that I am very bad at determining their ripeness. Therefore, I often end up eating mushy peaches or apple-like peaches. Solution? Bake them!  And add 2 superfoods (blueberries and oats) to make it a "healthier" dessert. Note: I am not a blueberry fan and threw these in at the last second to use them up. I am now a fan.

Oven Temp: 375 degrees
Time: 30 min
Yield: 4 big servings

Ingredients: 
3-4 peaches, sliced
Handful of blueberries (1/2 cup or so...adjust to your liking)
2 TB white sugar
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour plus one TB
1/4 cup butter, chilled
1/4 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice (I use Pampered Chef Cinnamon Plus, which combines all 3)
Vanilla ice cream (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven while you prepare fruit in a 2 qt. casserole. Mix fruit with 2 TB of sugar and 1 TB of flour (only if you add the blueberries. No flour needed for other fruits). Set aside. 
  2. Mix the flour, oats, and brown sugar together. 
  3. Chop butter into smaller cubes and cut it in (I like to use a dough blender but you can use a fork). Do NOT overmix or it will turn into a crust rather than a crumbly topping.
  4. Sprinkle crumb topping on the top and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. 
  5. Serve with vanilla ice cream!
(recipe based off Better Homes and Gardens Apple Crisp recipe)

Birthday Thursday: Happy 9 weeks!

Before I show you today's pictures, I am feeling the need to compartmentalize. I am a firm believer (with the exception of clothes, which I leave all over the place) that everything has a place. I like to know what to expect and where to expect to find it. So, I am going to try something new with this blog, and it will hopefully inspire me to dig a little deeper in my thoughts. Though my life completely revolves around my baby and I love it that way, there is more to life (and this blog) than the little one. Here is my starting point:
  • Birthday Thursdays: This day will be devoted to news about Larkyn and her weekly pictures
  • Foodie Fridays: A recipe of the day!  I will only publish recipes I have made, eaten, and loved! PS, most of the recipes will come from friends and family:o)
  • Style Saturdays/Sundays: A round-up of my favorite clothing, home dec ideas, etc.
  • Mama Mondays: My take on motherhood, its challenges, and tricks I have learned
  • TV Tuesdays: I love TV! And I like to talk about the interesting, silly, and addictive things I watch
  • Random Wednesdays: Just like it says. Could be anything...like soup of the day!
Disclaimer: This does NOT mean I will be publishing every day. But when I am able to blog and have an idea, I will follow the schedule. Here's to trying new things!

So, this week has brought us our first trip to Easton (and the Nordstrom shoe department!) She loved it just as much as I did, I think. She is taking a more defined nap in her crib, and has moved up to 5 oz. feedings. This made me sad because I had to pack up all her "little" bottles that only hold 4 oz. But on the flip side, she sleeps about an hour more at night now that she has a bigger bottle! We also met and hired our sitter, Ms. Carol. Her house is on my way to work, the price is right, and she has lots of experience. Larkyn will be the only girl, though, which makes me wonder if she will learn to socialize in a "rough" way or if she will be a pushover (like me). I hate to say that it worries me a little. We will see how it goes. OK, here is the week 9 pic, fresh out of the camera!
Another new thing: photos have been moved to the floor for better lighting! Wish I had done this a long time ago. I wish I had a dress to match this one!

Happy girl after her bottle this morning

Movie/product/Fathers Day review

So we had a busy weekend around here! Baby is either going through a "growth spurt", which seems to be the popular advice to me right now, or she is still a little out of sorts from her first vaccinations on Thursday. So, that has taken a lot of my energy. But we also had a full day yesterday with our first Fathers Day. Since Matt's birthday was just 3 days before, I had to come up with 2 gift ideas in less than a week. Ladies, you know how hard it is to buy for the guys, so this was a challenge. We ended up hiding lots of his favorite things around the house for a very simple scavenger hunt. Really, I couldn't find a basket anywhere in the house to make up a gift basket, so this was the creative solution:o)  After collecting his Jolly Ranchers, Beef Jerky, etc., he found a Golf Smith gift card in the microwave!  We ended the day at my parents for a big old (indoor) cookout and baby time. I feel blessed to be able to still celebrate Fathers Day with my own dad and now my baby's dad (and yes, we sometimes say "Baby Daddy" around here). Here are a few pics from the day.
Yes, I cut my hair off. The jury is still out.
He's smitten

Earlier in the weekend, we were excited to receive True Grit in the mail. We always feel like we need to watch all the Oscar movies, and we have about a 50/50 success rate. I end up cringing or sleeping through a lot of them. Anyway, Matt loves the Cohen brothers, and I was intrigued by the leading lady (14 year old Hayley Steinfeld), so we were hoping for a good one this time. "Great success!" as Borat would say. I LOVED it. I expected a dark, depressing Western that would leave me confused in the end (No Country For Old Men, anyone?) Instead, it was lighthearted and even funny at times. Definitely one that the guys and girls would both enjoy for movie night. I loved Hayley's performance so much that I entertained naming the next baby Hayley, then realized her initials couldn't be HO, and dismissed the idea. Not that there will be a "next baby" any time soon, but baby names have always been an obsession of mine. I digress. I watched the movie again today, while HO's big sister napped on my chest.

Oh, and my product review. Let's just say I have had my issues with baby carriers in the last 2 months. I was given a Bjorn, which is incredibly easy to put on but killed my shoulders. I was given a Moby, which is comfy, but the 20 foot piece of fabric that IS the Moby nearly ended up in the disposal every time I tried to twist it into shape and trust that it won't magically unravel and send my precious careening to the floor. Theeeeeeen I got the Ergo. Baby is not going anywhere in the Ergo. However, it takes 2 people to put it on because the wearer is somehow supposed to buckle a clasp that sits between the shoulder blades. Go ahead, try reaching back there with both hands. Seriously. The women in Africa carry babies all the time and it should NOT be this difficult. Enter the Baby K'Tan. It is soft and comfortable like a Moby, but pre-wrapped. So, I just slip it over my shoulders, put Lulu inside and we are good to go. Remember how I mentioned that she has been fussy?  I stuck her in it this afternoon and within a minute, she was pacifier-dropping-out-of-mouth asleep. I love you, K'tan. FYI--I used the money from returning the Moby to get the K'Tan. I will keep the Ergo for trips out side of the house when there is a "Baby Staff" to help me put the freaking thing on.
K'Tan= happy baby and happy mama. Now go put some makeup on, mama!

What about you? Seen any good movies or found any amazing products lately?

First swim

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2 months...I get it

My blog friend, Desiree, posted last week when her daughter turned 2 months old. It was called "Juxtaposition", and now I know why. If I may, I will touch on the same topic...

Reasons to celebrate at 2 months:
-Larkyn is a healthy, big girl who was once labeled "Small for Gestational Growth". Go ahead, google it. It is an actual label that comes up with really fun articles. She is 11 lbs, 22 inches, and falls in the 50th percentile in all areas.
-We are now out of newborn clothes and it is so much fun to dress her every day. No fun to dress myself at this time, so I live vicariously through baby clothes.
-I get to spend time with her while she is at the perfect age for social activities!  She can join us at restaurants, for shopping trips, and she just happily lays there and takes everything in. I know I need to enjoy it now because it won't last!
-Daddy is getting more involved with not-fun aspects of parenthood. He is great at the fun part and I am glad to have him help me with diapering and feeding nowadays! 
-It is time for fun things like tummy time and story time. The latter is probably more for me.


Reasons why 2 months is a little sad for me:
-You know what happens at the 2 month appointment. Yep. The first set of vaccinations. She was a trooper. She gasped from surprise, let out a scream like I have never heard, and turned bright red. But after about 20 seconds, it was over. She just looked so sad, and I had to wipe both of our tears when it was over. Desiree promised her daughter a pony...I got on amazon and ordered the Cloud B Ladybug nightlight that I have wanted for months.
-I am exactly halfway through my maternity leave. Though I love my job and there is no way I could afford to not work, I really REALLY would stay home with her if I could.
-It is going too fast. I am packing up her newborn clothes and her first pacifiers and pulling out the bigger girl accessories. This means that the "just born" part is over!  For the kid who cried at the end of my birthdays and the day after Christmas, this is hard for me. I know it will just get more and more fun, but...it is hard to explain.
-Pretty soon, we are going to run out of all the gifted diapers. Somehow, we had the perfect amount of newborn diapers (one month's worth...I think 4 small packages if you care). But boy are we flying through (or peeing through, rather) the size ones! 

So, yeah...2 months feels like a big milestone. She has even made her first friend...

First field trips

Larkyn has been out and about since she was a little over a week old. But it was time to expand her horizons past Lowe's and Giant Eagle. This week, we hit up Pink Moon Bakery in Powell, which I have already reviewed here.  Kate went with us, as we fought through terrible Old Powell traffic and dashed across the street. Once inside, we were pumped that all the good flavors were still left and there were seats in the sun room. If every business were inside an old house, the world would be a better place. Here we are. Please take note of her onesie. 

If you don't live in Columbus, you don't know that we are experiencing incredible weather lately. I feel bad saying it because all I see on the news is stories about the oppressive heat and tornadoes everywhere else!  Anyway, I thought we better get out to the zoo before this gorgeous weather is gone. Jill and her kiddos met us, and we only had 2 goals: Polar bears and aquarium. I knew Larkyn would wake up and be really into the fish, which she was. And the new polar exhibit is sooo cool (they swim above you in a glass-bottomed tank). The rest of the zoo was for me, I guess!  Even after our friends left for nap time, I enjoyed taking Larkyn around and she was alert, just observing people (people watcher like Mama!) and watching things like waterfalls and such.  Here we are...

Ready to roll in her zebra dress and leopard blanket!         

She's apparently not a fan of pythons

If you haven't clicked to enlarge and see her eyes, you must. Thanks for the pic, Jill!
I grew up LOVING the Columbus Zoo and it was so neat to take my girl to the same place I loved so much. I can't wait til she is old enough to realize what's happening and to pick her own favorite animal.

Do you ever rewind commercials?

I don't drink Heineken (or any beer for that matter), but I LOVE their commercial. This is the video without the product placement. It's right up there with last years' Coke commercial "Sweet Disposition" by Temper Trap.

Are you following me here?

I know we have more than 4 people who regularly read this blog and I would love to know who you are! Please officially "Follow" us by clicking on the button on the left side. If you won't do it for me, do it for the cute baby and her announcement...

I found this one too that made me laugh. Keep in mind that I am an idiot with commentary...

Lucky week 7

Every day this week, I have been amazed at the changes Larkyn has gone through very recently. She is giggling, tracking objects and people and turning around to follow things that go out of her sight. She has slept in the crib for almost a week like a champ, and she is babbling. Not babbling at us, really. Her favorite "person" to talk to is the butterfly on the wall above her changing pad. It is so funny. No one gets a bigger smile than Daddy and we are excited to celebrate his first Fathers Day in a few weeks. Today, we went to Nana's office to have lunch and meet all of her friends. Little did we know that they all follow our weekly pics! 

Before I show this week's pictures, can we talk about The Voice? Jill and Kate both talked me into watching it, and after catching up on a marathon, I am telling everyone about it. I think you know how I am...when I like something, I try to talk everyone else into liking it too. Anyway, here is why I like it and why YOU should give it a try next Tuesday (reruns and marathons are always on E!)
  • There are no ridiculous auditions. I am so over those weeks of Idol where people waste my time being fake!
  • The finalists were selected in a blind audition. What a novel idea! If we are looking for a "voice", we use our ears...not our eyes to judge their size, clothes, etc.
  • And the panel of experts (Ceelo, Christina Aguliera, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton) are not judges, but coaches. This is my favorite part. They picked the singers to be on their teams and spend the week coaching them on their performances. When you think about it, how are the contestants supposed to grow when they are not taught, but judged once a week. I wouldn't expect my students to grow if I did not teach them their sight words but quizzed them once a week anyway. Hmmm.
  • Because of the blind auditions, they got the best of the best. No one could fake their way into this by schmoozing with Simon or playing to Paula with their cuteness. These singers are A-mazing.
You have all week to catch up on hulu and be ready to watch on Tuesday on NBC. Let me know if you like it!  And I am pumped that my favorite show, So You Think You Can Dance, is back for the summer! OK, without further ado...


Card explanation

I just made a Fathers Day card on shutterfly (you can see it below in a separate post) and wanted to tell you about their FREE offer that expires tomorrow, 6/8. The offer is for 5 free cards that should *hopefully* arrive in time for Fathers Day. 11 days should allow enough time. Anyway, shutterfly is always easy to use, and I just dragged and dropped several of my favorites. We needed all 5 to have enough for dads and grandpas and Matt. There are a ton of cut(er) designs but I wanted to use a ton of pics and wanted it to have a message that didn't say "Dad". My total was $6.38 when you add tax and s/h. I think my mom's card at Target was about $5 when it was all said and done, and now I have 5. Hope this is useful to someone out there!

Fathers Day card

 
Happy Day Navy Father's Day 5x7 folded card
Send special Valentine's Day cards from Shutterfly this year.
View the entire collection of cards.

Lazy days of summer

We love to nap at this house. Usually, it happens like this...
 Or sometimes like this...

But it has never happened like this!  Two of my good friends sweeeeaaar by using these Summer Swaddlers, and somehow I ended up with five of them to use with a child who wanted nothing to do with them. I didn't force the issue because it looks a little Hannibal Lector-esque to me. But, as we are transitioning her to her crib, I wondered if she would be interested this time around. Hooray!

Week 6 begins!

6 weeks already?!  Hmm, it wasn't too eventful except for our first attempt at shopping for myself. Oh sure, she has been an angel at Gymboree, the grocery store, and at Lowe's. But the Old Navy-time-to-buy-postpartum-clothes trip was not angelic. Luckily, it didn't get to the full-out meltdown phase...just "please pick me up I'm bored" phase I guess. I am happy with the new clothes I bought, as long as I don't look at the size:o)  I also wanted to include a little letter I wrote for no other reason than to rant...

Dear Insurance and all those involved with my delivery, 

Thank you for billing my epidural separately and submitting it before the hospital submitted the delivery. It was thoughtful of you to make sure I had not reached my deductible by a matter of 4 hours, therefore leaving me responsible for the epidural. 

I also appreciate you jacking up the cost of my birth control pills to $79 a month. It's nice to know that my medicine is so highly regarded that it should double in a year.

And finally, thank you for doubling my deductible the minute she was born so that I am right back where I started working towards it...but now with nothing to pay for it.  

With much gratitude,
Stacie

(Before you ask, "what about 10 or $25 copays?", I don't have them. My employer chose to go the HSA route, which is the root of all evil).

OK, on to something not evil. It's Larkyn's 6 week bday!  Here are some pictures of the week:
Overalls from Nana, The flower on her shelf catches her attention but covers the sweet flowered sleeves of her onesie.




Pretty girl! Her top was accented by hot pink leggings that I could wear on my hand. Thanks Kate and Amber for my cute outfit!



Playing with Daddy. He always gets these huge grins out of her by making her move her arm in Popeye-like fashion (with sound effects)



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