Saturday, January 28, 2012

Baby's First 5K

Milestones are a big deal in the baby community. First smile, first ponytail :), first step, first word... However, capturing and memorializing these achievements is harder than I thought it would be. The days go by so fast, and Grace is changing and growing every single day.

I did manage to get some pictures of this milestone, though: Baby's First 5K!

Fort Bragg 5K starting line
My apologies to all of the small dogs and children I took out with my stroller. I'm still learning to drive this thing. (I even saw one of the moms from the Stroller Strides class! She had a double stroller (2 kids!), a dog and she's pregnant. Whoa lady, you're making me look bad!)

Over half way done!
Grace slept up until this point, and then she started to look around. What a good little copilot she is! I was sad I didn't bring Griffin. :( There were tons of dogs out for their morning 5K!

No, we didn't win, but we made it to the end without walking, tripping, falling or taking out any of the other participants.

Map from my Nike + GPS app on my iPhone
Slow and steady! This is the farthest I've run since baby Grace has been born!

Cole comes home tomorrow! I love you, and can't wait for you to see how much Grace has grown. Also, Griffin is driving me crazy and would like for you to play fetch with him for a good solid hour, at least.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Some Assembly Required

I finally ordered a glider chair for Grace's room. She's just reaching the point where she's too heavy for me to just stand and sway back and forth until she falls asleep. I think a comfy chair is just the thing we (I) need.

This meant a trip last weekend to Babies "R" Us because, of course, all of my coupons say "valid on in store purchase only." That place is always understaffed and full of chaos! I guess that's to be expected in a military town where 7 babies are born every day at the base hospital! Even though I bought the chair in the store, they had to order it and call me when it was ready to be picked up. Thank you, BRU, you are so very convenient.

Ok, whining aside, I got the chair home and unloaded it from the car all by myself. I was feeling really proud and ambitious, so in a moment of clouded judgement, I decided to assemble the chair and surprise Cole.

I recruited my team (Grace and Griffin), and we set about assembling the glider.

How difficult can this be, right?

This looks pretty serious, but I will proceed with caution.

Looking at the "HARDWARE BAG" makes me break out in a cold sweat...

Grace, are you getting frustrated? Doubting my abilities? What happened to Griffin? Why isn't he helping?

Maybe we'll just lay out all of the pieces really nice and wait for Daddy to get home...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Like Nice Things and People Who Make Me Happy

Happy Tuesday! I'm so glad this is the last week of the hubby's training at Fort Polk. Hooray! Of course, I can't get any definitive return date from him, but he should be home by the 3oth at the latest!

Hurry home Daddy, your family misses you so much.

No word yet on his official deployment date either. Oh the Army life! I'll admit it has its tough times, but I try to remember I'm still in control of my own happiness. I am very thankful for the support I get from my amazing husband, family and friends.

Today we had temperatures over 70 degrees.
Perfect walking weather.
Tomorrow Grace and I are headed to our second Stroller Strides class. Muscles be warned!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Grace Meets Her Grandad

We had a very special visitor last week.

My dad, Grace's Grandad!

How crazy it must be to see your daughter with a baby!
How special to be her one and only Grandad.
She is one lucky girl.

(So am I!)

Thanks for visiting, Dad
We LOVED having you here.
Please come back soon!
*Picture from card design

Grace, you have so many people who love you so much:
Grandma Suzy and Grandma Anna
Grandpa Dale
Great G&G Betty and Les
Great Grandma Elsie and Papa Ken
Auntie Jen
Aunt Marie
Aunt Bri
Uncle Brandon
and so many more!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

B Is For Book (and Baby)

YAY! I finished Grace's baby book! Here are just a few of my favorite pages:

I made it using Booksmart from Blurb. I'm obsessed with Blurb. There are tons of book making sites around now, but I started using Blurb a few years ago. The quality is great, and the free design software lets you customize your layout however you like!

I decided that I am going to fill in the information by hand. My sister convinced me it would be more special and meaningful for Grace to have the book handwritten when she's older.

I agree! There's nothing I love more than using a great pen on a shiny new piece of paper... taking my time to make sure my penmanship is perfect... Soooo excited!

I'm placing my order tonight, and I can't wait to buy an awesome new ball point pen, and start journaling the entries!

Use the code NEWBK2012 at Blurb to save $10 if you spend $50 or more by January 31, 2012.

You're welcome! ;)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gettin' Our Stroller Strides On

Everyday Grace and I try to get out of the house at least once, so I'm constantly on the lookout for baby friendly things to do. (I can only go grocery shopping so many times a week...) I've been looking to join some sort of Baby Bootcamp. Something where I can work out with the baby and meet some other moms. I hadn't found anything until I started looking on Eureka! It's called Stroller Strides. Have you heard of it? I guess it is a franchise all over the country. It's a stroller fitness class for moms and moms to be. Hmm... that sounds like a pretty fun business to me! I contacted the owner, Becca, who has a little boy who is a few weeks older than Grace (and 2 older kids), and she invited me to try out a class.

The verdict? It was fun! And hard! I was definitely the girl with the red face struggling to do a push-up or plank, but it was energizing and the hour actually went by really fast. While I sweated and struggled to do a star leap, Grace slept. While I did lunges and bicycle crunches, Grace opened one eye, yawed and went back to sleep. Becca, the instructor, made it fun for the older babies by singing songs while we did reps, "the ants go marching one by one hoo raw hoo raw..." "5 little monkeys jumpin' on the bed, 1 fell off and bumped his head..." She made sure we kept moving the whole time and found ways to incorporate the stroller and babies in with the work out. I think that I am going to have to sign up for some more classes... as soon as my burning quads recover.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chalk Block DIY

Here is our little Grace at 2 months old! I can't believe how much she's changed in such a short time. We love you sweet girl!

Here are the instructions again:

-Clean off the blocks and apply the first coat of paint. Let the blocks dry at least one hour. Apply the second coat of paint. (I ended up doing 3 coats on my blocks because I wanted to make sure the painted letters on the blocks were sufficiently covered up.) Let cure overnight.

-Lightly rub chalk over all of the surfaces of the blocks to condition. Clean off with a wet wash cloth and soapy water.

-Grab your chalk and design away!

-Pose blocks with your baby each month as a milestone!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Spend Freeze Challenge Confessions

I'm 9 days into the January Spend Freeze Challenge so here's an update:

I'm trying hard to stick to the challenge, but I'll admit I've had a few tiny missteps. If you're trying not to spend money, don't go into Tarjay! Somehow I always leave there with $100 worth of fabulous things I DON'T NEED! Agh! This time I reigned it in, and only bought what I needed plus some hair bows for Baby Grace... and some cute Valentine's Day decor... and eye makeup remover... a small victory!

I also fell off the wagon a tiny bit when I decided to set foot in JoAnn's Craft Store. I bought a couple yards of fabric to attempt pillow covers with the new sewing machine and some chalkboard paint for baby month chalk blocks. All in all the total damage was a tad over $20. I'll take it.

I'm feeling good after confessing my spending sins.

I can do this!

(How many days are there in January???)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Weekend For The Girls

Well, this is the first weekend with the hubs away, so it's just us girls (and Griffin). Luckily Grace is pretty content no matter what we do. We slept in late, caught up on our reality tv, had an impromptu photo shoot, read a couple magazines, went out to lunch, did some shopping and went for an evening walk. While Grace rested after dinner, I started in on a project I've been wanting to attempt- blocks to photograph with the baby each month.

Initially, I got this idea from Eden Rose Photography:
(She is a fantastic Reno photographer I follow on Facebook. Isn't her little boy adorable!? And his name is Lincoln, which I LOVE! Maybe one day I'll get the chance to work with her...)

I thought I would try to make a variation of these blocks to photograph with Grace each month. I've been dying to do something with the chalkboard paint that I see posted everywhere on Pinterest, and with chalk I can easily erase and draw whatever I want on the blocks. I'm working on finishing this today (just in time for Grace's 2 month birthday). If they turn out somewhat decent, I'll post pictures! Fingers crossed!

In other news: I'm pretty sure Grace smiled (a real "I Love You, Mom smile) for the first time yesterday! She was kicking around on the ground, cooing and kept smiling up at me. So precious and so worth the wait!

She also slept for 5 hours last night! However, Griffin did not, and needed to go out at 2am! What can you do? Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Years Challenge

Happy 2012 to all! It's that time of year that everyone is making resolutions and planning ways for self improvement in the coming year. I'm no different! I already know that this year is going to be like none other, but I genuinely like the idea of making goals, so I wrote down a couple of resolutions for 2012:

  1. Take care of my skin (SUNSCREEN people!)
  2. Be active with my baby (complete 3 half marathons...aaannnd beat my last time of 2 hrs. 13 mins.!)
  3. Start a blog (this is a good start, don't you think!?)
  4. Create and follow a budget (and save some money!)
We're only a couple days into January, but I'm feeling good about my resolutions.

I'm stocked up on my skin care products and sunscreen. Now the hard part is actually using them EVERY DAY!

I've scouted out the first half marathon I want to attempt and even went on a couple of runs post baby! Woot woot! I have an awesome stroller, too, so Grace and I will be hitting the pavement together soon!

I'm working on getting the "Math In My Head" blog up and running, and I'm super excited to use it to stay in touch with friends and family! Hopefully I can find a little bit of time between feedings and diaper changes to post at least a couple times a week... we shall see... I'm making goals not promises!

To keep my money straight, I've signed up for (more on that later), but it's an awesome way to manage a budget. I've also decided to start the January Spend Freeze Challenge. Basically this means no unnecessary purchases during the month January. I can buy groceries, gas, and baby things and pay my utilities and bills. That's it. No clothes, home accessories, manicures or starbucks. I think January is the perfect time to attempt this challenge because I'm coming off a Christmas high. I got tons of great gifts for Christmas, and I can fit into my normal clothes (read: no more maternity clothes). I'll let you know how it goes. Feel free to join me!