Monday, January 30, 2012

Makeover Monday

I am linking up again today with Katie for Makeover Monday.
Us gals are chatting about our foundation today.
For about three years I was smitten with:
I absolutely love this stuff. Great coverage, evens out the skin, does not feel like super-chunky-cakey-stage make-up. I am not a huge make-up person but when I find something I like, I love it. However, the downside to the is that it is a little spendy. Maybe not for some but for this new stay-at-home-mom it is. So, in anticipation of my new role, about 6 months ago, I thought I would venture to Target and see what I could come up with that may be along the same lines.

I tried this:
I do like how light it is and doesn't feel like I have anything at all on. The price is better but I don't think it has great coverage which I don't really need for blemishes but more for the even-ing out of the skin-tone. I am almost out so I have been thinking I may try another of their formulas like:
This is described as a creamy, loose powder so maybe it would have better coverage.

Head on over, link up and drop off your tips at Makeover Monday!

Any foundation suggestions for a budget-minded, powder-wearin', needs-some-coverage type-o-gal?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thoughts Around Here Lately

Life sure is full of difficult decisions. Sometimes it is hard being an adult and not having someone else just go ahead and make those decisions for you. Sometimes, though, it is exciting to be in charge of your own decisions.

Ben and I bought our house in 2008. The market was at an all-time low and we thought that was the low point. However, it kept getting worse as we all know. Anyhow, we love our house. We just aren't in love with the location. Or even our state for that matter. We pledged that in five years when, of course, we would have gained some equity in our house, Ben would be at a point in his career to stay at his company or leave with great experience, and most likely we would have a child (or two), we were moving to Denver, Colorado.

This may sound random however, we had been to Denver on our honeymoon, hear great things about Colorado, like the way that Denver is a big city but you don't have to drive far to be out of the city in the beautiful mountains and who can beat 300 days of sun a year?! We also factored in that we would be just a 2 1/2 hour plane ride away from both families. Right now we are a 5 hour plane ride away from one family and have one family here. When considering this, though, we think a plane ride? Not such a simple way to have to visit family. 

We just kept telling ourselves that we obviously couldn't make a decision like that then and that over the next few years things would become more clear.

Well here we are, almost 4 years later and it feels like things have not cleared up. In fact, it feels as if things just get more complicated. We had a discussion on Sunday night about the situation. We love being near my parents because they are helpful, involved and it is nice to have grandparents close. However, both of my parents were born and raised within 30 minutes of where they currently live and even though they sometimes mention or joke around about moving, Ben and I aren't convinced that they really would. We really don't think Texas is the ideal spot for our family either even though when it is in the 20s here and 70s there it does seem appealing.

We discussed the fact that even though we don't feel like this is the right spot for us, we feel this is where we are tied down. Even though the idea of moving to Denver sounds like it would be ideal for many reasons--weather, cost of living, fun city, good outskirts, etc.--we know it would not be ideal to move somewhere with no family and no friends. We like the idea of our kids growing up with grandparents because, for the most part, neither Ben or I really had involved grandparents for most of our lives.

We are also discussing different parts of Washington than where we live. We are also picky because we need to be within reasonable commute to a city for Ben's career and we don't want to move to the middle of nowhere because we obviously want our kids attending good schools. We think about the Spokane area due to jobs there and the climate being less rainy than here. We think about south east a little bit from where we are due to it being a nice driving distance from a bigger city yet with the possibility of more land and good schools near.

Neither one of us like the feeling of being unsettled but that is somewhat how we feel. We loooove our house. The set up, the yard, how cozy we have made it so that is a positive. We aren't in a situation where we feel like we will outgrow our house, need to get out, or anything like that. We are just trying to feel out the best place to raise our family. If you know Ben or I, then you know that these types of issues weigh heavy on us. We get to points where we just put it out of our minds and think it will all work out but now we are getting to a point where we will have to start seriously thinking about things.

I just wanted to get this down because it was a conversation we had and I feel like writing about it sometimes makes me feel better. It is very surreal to be in the stage where these are the kind of issues we have. Not what we are ordering for dinner and what movie we want to see like the good ol' college days!

What big decisions has your family had to make and how do you handle it? Any advice on any of these areas to live? How important has it been/is it for you to have grandparents near your children?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Mom Community

I know there is a lot of talk out there about competition or jealousy between moms. Comparing your kids, wondering if yours measures up to the next, wondering if your kids are hitting milestones at the right times, and having the "right" clothes, toys or accessories. All of this to me is stupid.

The other side of being a mom is having compassion. Especially for your own kind--other moms. You know, when you're out and about and open up your diaper bag and realize you forgot wipes and there is a mom willing to share. You are in a restaurant and your kid is throwing a fit and instead of getting a sideways glance with an eye roll, a mom looks over and gives you the knowing glance saying "I've totally been there."

I have yet to experience a lot of this, obviously. Today I feel like I got my first taste. I tried to be on top of things this morning and I was going to make two dishes. After I am halfway through both, I realize they both need milk. We are out. Luckily I could put what I had made in the refrigerator and wait for milk. Well, come afternoon and I am a little restless. I don't want to load the baby in the car just to get milk. There are other things I could get at the store but I'm really not in the mood for a bigger shopping trip. Definitely something to adjust to with having a baby--can't just run out at a moment's notice and have it be easy. There is a convenience store about a 10 minute walk from our house so I decide to load Eleanor into the front pack and take a walk. We bundle up and head out. I get milk and two Gatorades and end up with two bags. I start heading back home.

I am about halfway home and as I am walking past an apartment building parking lot, a car pulls into the parking lot and a lady sticks her head out and says, "Do you need a ride somewhere?" I smile and say I am almost home and thank her.

This was a busy road she pulled off of. I can only assume she is a mom or grandma and was about to take time out of her day to help another mom. Or she's just a really nice lady. I'll assume she's a mom.

Thanks, nice lady, and of course I will pay your nice gesture forward into the mom community. What a nice community I decided to join!

What helpful experiences have you had with other moms? 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Makeover Monday

This sweet girl and her friend are having a link up now on Mondays to share what products we all use. What a better way to start your Mondays than with a little beauty sharing!

This week we are sharing hair care. This is fitting that this is the first week I am linking up because Katie did my bridal hair! 
There she is, in the mirror--can you see her?!
Side view--not a great view.

From the back.
So I am a little embarrassed in front of her to show my current hair care regimen. Oh well, I am keepin' it real around here.

My hair currently lives in two styles. Braid. Messy bun. I know. It's embarrassing. However, I don't really leave the house much so my priority in the morning goes to Baby E not to my long locks. This is also a conundrum I am having lately. Keep it long or cut it off. If I keep it long, it is very easy to pull back from my face. Easy and quick. If I cut it short, it takes time to style--not too much--and I could be a little more stylish. Anyway, back to the matter at hand. What I do to my hair right now.

About every other day, sometimes longer, I wash my hair. With this:
I know, this is a little embarrassing and I'm sure that Katie will not be happy with this (actually, come to think of it, I think she already lectured me about it) but it's cheap and I have never been one to spend a lot on my wash or conditioning. I don't know why. However, I feel like I have been having a little extra buildup lately. Probably due to some crazy hormones and not great shampoo.

And then I use this:
Another pretty generic product. I think it was on sale at Fred Meyer.

So I would say I have wavy hair. Sometimes I like to tame the wave and not have it look all frizzy and stuff so when it is wet, I put this in:
I really like what happens when I use this. I would like to find something that keeps my hair looking wavy, not frizzy and dry looking, though. This mousse kind of keeps it looking wet.

If I have gone some days without washing and my roots are startin' to look like I poured some grease from the bacon pan in them, I use this:
TRESemme FreshStart Dry Shampoo, For Oily/Straight to Normal Hair
I like this stuff, I don't know how efficient it is. I like this smell. I think it seems to hide the fact that I have greasy hair.

In other hair talk--I would like to learn how to curl my hair so I don't look like Shirley Temple. I would like to learn how to use hot rollers properly because I have heard they can be awesome. I would like to learn how to do some quick up-dos that would look normal during the day so I am not always rockin' a messy bun, ponytail or a braid. However, the reality of my life right now is that my hair is not really top priority but if there are ways that you think I could short cut to some hot looks, please, enlighten me. 

Thanks for the link-up, Katie, and if you disapprove of my regimen, please don't be too harsh. :)

Go link-up and share you hair care products and regimen.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Little Cabin Fever Leads To...

Too much time on Pinterest.

Between feeling like I only have short windows with the babe and her feeding and sleeping schedule and snow that just won't stop outside, I resort to pinning. I want to get a little list going of some projects that I may tackle once I feel like I have a little more semblance of a schedule. If that ever happens. For now, I dream.

I don't have a mobile yet for Eleanor's room and it is already apparent that she really loves things hanging over her head to stare at so here are some options.
Ribbons would be super cute, easy and I could most definitely get colors to go along with some of the colors in her room.

Again with the east of these mobiles and being able to interchange colors. I could use the scrapbook paper that I used for her banner to match, I already have that on hand so it wouldn't cost money for the pieces. I would just need a form of some sort to hang them off of.

We love animals around here so these are super cute. I don't know how capable I would be of making them but they may be just be cute enough to order. Maybe. Well, never mind, I just checked the website and they are definitely pretty spendy. Cute, but spendy!

Moving on, I would love to put together a simple wreath for spring. I don't know how I can be thinking of spring when it is a blizzard outside but I am. 

I don't know if I love these colors--well I like them well enough but I just don't know about on our front door--however, I love the design and they look easy enough. 

Gosh, I sure wish I could have the patience to learn how to make all of these flowers. So cute!

Very cute if I had leftover fabric. Or found some cute fabric on sale. I love all of these bright colors.

Well, that's it for now I guess. I think Baby E may have just given me a present...
I will get back to a more normal schedule and will have time to craft once again. However, for now, the crafting items remain in the closet and pin my life away. *Isn't it funny that we use pin as a verb now and everyone knows what we mean?*

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snow Day!

We sure get a lot of rain around this parts but usually not too much snow. I would say on average we get a pretty good dumping of snow every other year, it lasts for about 3-5 days and then it's gone. I wouldn't mind living in a place that gets a lot of snow every year but is prepared for it. You know, life doesn't stop because there is snow. That's what happens around here. So it's nice for a couple days to slow down and enjoy the white scenery but by day 3 we are all pretty ready to get back to business as usual. We have about 10 inches at my house right now which is quite a bit for these parts.

I just had to get the girl out for a picture in her first snow. My favorite little snow bunny. However, we are now, back in our warm house enjoying the view from inside!

Monday, January 16, 2012

So What if we Like to Snuggle

I know there are many opinions surrounding co-sleeping. I don't mean in a co-sleeper that pulls up to the side of the bed or a co-sleeper that you put in your bed. I mean baby in bed with the parents. Both my husband and I grew up sleeping in our parents' beds. Our baby is sleeping in our bed. *Cue gasping.*

Before we had Eleanor, we talked about what we thought we would do. Ben was all for her being in bed with us. I was a little hesitant for a couple of reasons: having it be a hard habit to break later and us getting good sleep. Well, from day one that we brought her home she has been in the bed. We had her propped up on the Boppy pillow for about a week with a blanket spread over the top so show couldn't fall in the middle because it seemed like she liked to sleep propped up. She started being kind of fussy and wiggly so we pulled her back down onto the mattress with us and she has been blissfully sleeping ever since. Well, as blissfully as a 6 week old can sleep.

At first, I was barely sleeping due to getting used to all of her noises. Ben adapted pretty quickly and has obviously been sleeping very soundly since he has gone back to work. If it is not a work night, Eleanor sleeps in between us but all other nights she is on my side of the bed. I am possibly working up to putting her in the pack and play in our room to see if it would get me some better sleep and get her used to sleeping somewhere else, also. For some reason, even though I get a little frustrated with the "type" of sleep I am getting I can't bring myself to get her out of the bed.

I just love her being close.
Hearing her breathing right next to me.
Snuggling her back to sleep when she is wiggling around.
Picking her right up and nursing.

I obviously know that there are many opinions against this type of sleeping due to infant deaths. For some reason, I have never been afraid of this. I was reassured by the girls at my birth center that a breastfeeding mom is so aware of her baby that there isn't really a need to be afraid. I can now definitely attest to this. I am very careful with how I sleep with her. I don't let the comforter or my pillow get near her. She is swaddled. I found this article on co-sleeping interesting. Also, Dr. Sears has opinions as well.

As I have said before, I think parents have to do what is right for them and their baby. This is what has felt right to us. However, every time this topic gets brought up to others we get looked at like we are crazy. I think the majority of people we know may bring their baby in bed sometimes but not all the time. We may get to that point, we just aren't there yet. It is my goal this week to try to put her in the pack and play in our room during a nap and me try to take a nap in there and see if I can fall asleep and stay asleep.

This whole parenting thing is just one big learning experience and that is what we are up to everyday: learning.

What are your opinions on co-sleeping if you feel like sharing? What sleeping arrangements worked for your family?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Baby Wearing

I don't know why this is such a tough decision. I want to be able to wear my little nugget, you know, around the house, walking, maybe in stores if she isn't asleep in the car seat but I just cannot decide which carrier is the best, most comfortable, most cost effective and best fit for me.

I tried on a Moby today for the first time and I loved it because it's so comfortable and Eleanor and I felt like we were just cuddled up. It would definitely take some getting used to of learning how to get it on and get her in by myself. Granted I didn't wear it for too long so I don't know the comfort level and for how long.
The thing that is off putting to me about this wrap is that it is close to $50 for a long piece of fabric. I know it is a piece of fabric that serves a very big purpose but I feel it is a little on the steep end.

We received a Baby Bjorn as a gift and today was my first day trying that out. I love how easy the Bjorn is to put on. A couple of clicks and she is in. It is pretty comfortable, I wore it for about half and hour. I vacuumed with it on. The only thing I worry about with this carrier is that it has no lower back support and I have read some reviews that say once the child is heavier, it can put a lot of strain on the shoulders and not be very comfortable.
The other option I have been contemplating trying on is the Ergo. I have had a few friends tell me how much they like theirs. It seems like the best of both worlds, comfortable, cozy, functional and great support. However, also the most expensive of the options. Hence why I would most likely forgo both of the above options and just have the Ergo. Now I just need to take my baby to try one on.
I really love the idea of always having the option of having her with me. Whether she is fussy or not, needs to be put to sleep or I just don't want to put her down. This way, I can go on about things with her right with me.

Are there any suggestions out there? What is your favorite carrier? Any advice for or against any of these products?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I am loving my new nail polish that my brother's girlfriend gave me for Christmas-Panda-monium Pink. I finally got the chance to paint my nails on Sunday and I must say I do like OPI. I have never bought it for myself but it goes on really nicely and we will see how long it lasts for.
I am loving these baby smiles I have been getting this week!
Poor picture quality from my cell phone but obviously
that's the only way to catch them these days!
I am loving my coffee every morning!


My new vacuum! Gets up all the dog hair!

And I always love some fun pins!
Source: via Elisa on Pinterest

What are you loving this week? Head on over and link up!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Current State of my Cooking

Not only have my blog posts taken a turn in topic due to my big life change but mostly I have just been pretty embarrassed at how my cooking "talents" have taken a turn for the worse so I haven't been too motivated to post any of my kitchen adventures. I guess by posting mistakes I am being real though so maybe I just need to get on it. I am not bragging and saying I am some gourmet chef, wife who whips up something amazing every single night. However, I enjoy cooking, I enjoy trying new things and I do have my stand by recipes as well. My husband generally likes what I cook and appreciates a home-cooked meal.

The first week Ben went back to work after a week home with us and a week's worth of eating other people's cooking whom had been gracious enough to bring us meals, I decided to put a roast in the crock pot. I put some vegetables, some broth, salt, pepper, etc. I thought, Ben will be so impressed on one of my first days home, I am able to get a meal done. Not that I try to impress my husband and this thought was half sarcasm but whatever. I got the roast in a little bit late for the time I thought we might eat so I put it on high for a while and was going to turn it down. Well, a while turned into basically the whole time. I don't know what I was thinking. I wasn't really. Ben arrived home, we chatted, dished up dinner, he commented on how good it smelled and then started eating. Something was on TV so he was watching that and I took a bite of my roast. I looked over at him and said, "This is terrible! It is so dry. How are you eating this?" He replied with, "Yeah, not  your best." And then proceeded to eat.

I was so embarrassed that I had screwed up a crock pot roast. How does that happen? Crock pot=easy dinner, does it not? Apparently not for me in this case.

A couple of weeks later, I put a chicken in our dutch oven and it turned out okay. The last chicken I had made in the oven had turned out so good.

Next up, this past weekend, on Friday night I was half paying attention to one of our favorite shows, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and saw a dish I wanted to try: pasta carbonara. I told Ben this when he walked in the door and he asked if I had recorded the show. I replied that it looked really easy, I knew the ingredients and I didn't need to have the show to be able to make it.

The next night, I set out to "throw" this dish together. I figured I would make the sauce ahead of time so that we could just heat up the pasta and eat whenever we were ready because nowadays around our house there is a certain little lady who dictates when we eat our dinner. Well, this was a big mistake. I assembled the ingredients just as I remembered in the order I remembered them putting them in the pan: bacon, garlic, white wine, lemon, cream, cheese and egg white. I mixed it all together, tasted it and it tasted good. I left it on the stove on low and went about watching a movie with Ben. Our Idiot Brother was a pretty good movie. It was kind of quirky which made it easy to watch.

Anyway, back to dinner. I went into the kitchen and peeked at my sauce. It had curdled/lumped up/turned into a scrambled mess and my shoulders just slumped. I deemed this inedible and Ben tried to re-create it. What a nice husband. He knew how much I wanted this dinner so he tackled it. The problem is that the sauce is meant to be eaten right away. Not left to simmer on the stove. Lesson learned. Ben wasn't too impressed with his dinner but I thought it was good. It is definitely on the rich side but I guess that's what I was in the mood for.

Moral of the story: I don't know what is wrong with my cooking. I need to get my groove back or I may lose my job. I think my mom hat has risen about my chef hat and they maybe need to gain a little more equality.

Any simple recipes out there I could try to gain some confidence in the kitchen back? Any kitchen/recipe blunders you would like to share?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Room Updates

I have never posted a "home tour" on this blog, mostly just bits and pieces of the house. Someday I will get around to that. However, there are a couple of rooms that I would like to show our progress on and that is the nursery and the office.

I am so, so happy with the way Eleanor's room turned out and I hope she will enjoy it too. I will have to use words to explain the transformation because we didn't take a picture of this particular room when we first moved in. All the trim in our house was wood, so the chair rail was wood with a bluish-gray paint on the top and a navy blue on the bottom. Very depressing and dark. We had company coming to stay just a couple of months after we moved in so we needed to brighten this room up ASAP. Cue in me thinking ahead and choosing the gender neutral bright, cheery color of yellow. We painted the trim a shade of white and painted the walls yellow. Instant happy.

Fast forward three years later and we are getting ready for a baby. The yellow had become just a little too bright and I thought it needed a little balance. We painted the bottom half of the wall under the chair rail gray because after I had painted the office gray (more to come on this) I loved gray.

Over the course of my pregnancy, the look of the room developed and evolved. We mostly chose second hand, borrowed or handmade items. I feel this made the room very personal and I enjoyed the project while trying not to obsess and count the minutes before we met the baby girl. We also chose to stay fairly neutral on the colors instead of choosing the traditional "girly" pink so that we can re-use items if I ever decide to pop out a boy. Or, wait, I guess the dad chooses gender...? Anyway.

Here she is in all her glory (she and her being the room):

The frame collage has a Corinthians bible verse, scrapbook paper, a picture of Ben and I (separately of course) as little kids, and two maternity pictures. I love how it is coming along. There are a couple more additions I have in the works.

Moving into the room next door, we have our office. I am embarrassed to say that I reported on beginning to update, rearrange, paint and decorate this room last year in February. I wouldn't say we have made tremendous progress, but I definitely enjoy the room a lot more. We painted the room Valspar's Notre Dame and when it was finished I absolutely loved it. We painted the trim different that the rest of the house because we realized white pops more than the other color we had chosen in the rest of the house. It looks so clean and nice up against the gray.

The decor on the walls is aiming for a hodge podge but I think if we keep it organized enough, it will look good on the gray backdrop. Right now all we have are Hub's Spurs flags and our college diplomas. We have a picture hanger and Hub's grandpa's flag to hang up. You can see that sitting on the corner of the desk.

As far as my "craft corner" that I had discussed organizing, it kind of just got shoved placed on the top shelf of the closet in a bin for now. I haven't been crafting too much lately but it is easy access in case I need it. We got some shelves for the closet which helped a lot.
I am embarrassed proud to say that most of that is Christmas decor. It may look messy, but it is way better than it was, it is nice to have shelves that house multiple tubs and it is pretty organized in real life.

So there we have it, a lot of progress over the last year in the rooms that were basically "catch alls" that housed a lot of junk we never used and had icky carpet. Oh, that's right! We got new carpet in both rooms. We were pretty sure the carpet in those rooms had been there for about 20 years. The age of the house. It was so nice to get new carpet in those rooms. 

Very happy with our results in both of these rooms.

What has taken you almost a year to update? What room updates do you have going on lately? Do you fall in love with a paint color and want to paint everything that color?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

One Month

My Dear, Sweet Ellie Bear,

You turned one month old on New Year's Day. I cannot believe it has already been a month. I am sure I will say that every month but really, this one has gone by quickly.

 This month was all about learning. For all of us. You and I have had to learn all about each other. I have started to learn your different cries. I have learned that just because you are snorting, grunting, breathing, squeaking and squawking at night does not mean you are waking up and I need to sleep through it. We have learned about breastfeeding. We are not all the way there yet but we have made some great strides. Dad is great at changing diapers, giving us support when we are feeding and awesome at knowing just when I may be giving up at putting you to sleep.

You seriously are an easy baby. I am a little scared to type that for fear of jinxing us, but it's nice to be able to remember that for the first month you were very easy. You go to sleep at night pretty easily. You eat during the day every 2-3 hours and at night for the past couple of weeks you have been going about every 4-5 hours. I think for a four and a half week old baby that is pretty good. Dad and I are learning to adjust to our "new way" of sleeping. Even though we are getting quite a bit of sleep, it is still broken and not as sound but that's okay. We are adjusting.

We gave you a bottle of breast milk for the first time this past week and at first you gulped it down too fast and it came back up. You then got about an once down and kept it down. We tried again another day and you took three ounces like a champ and Mom and Dad learned that we need to pace you because you won't pace yourself just yet.

You are a little long for some of your newborn outfits. I am still fitting you into your newborn size white, long sleeve onesies but it is getting to be a stretch. At exactly 4 weeks old you weighed in at 8 lbs. 7 oz. Today, we went to the pediatrician for your one month check up and you weighed 8 lbs. 15oz. and were 21 inches long. The doctor said you are perfectly proportioned. Well, obviously I already knew that. ;)

You are such a sweet girl and love snuggling with Mom and Dad and sleeping on our chest with your face in the crook of our neck has got to be your favorite. You are sleeping in between us in bed and you definitely favor being snuggled up against one of us.

Mom was an idiot about two weeks into this whole thing and accidentally bought size 1 diapers instead of newborn so you have been fitting in size ones for about a week and a half now. They are a little big but not too big.

We have started doing more tummy time which you like for a few minutes and show us your strong neck muscles. You have started tracking our faces when we move back and forth in front of your face. You like to be in your swing for about an hour's worth of a nap. We took you out for a walk this week and you loved your stroller so much you fell asleep. You like the car. You have had 2 baths and loved both of them. during the second one, you loved dangling your foot over the edge of the bath sling and wiggling your toes in the water. You like a lot of stuff actually!

We love you so much, Eleanor Grace, and have loved this new adventure. You grow and change everyday and although it makes us a little sad to see how quickly the time goes, we are always eager for the next day.