My Baby Is Getting Too Big!

Here in South Carolina it was a dreary, rainy and cold weekend. I secretly really enjoyed it! If it is pretty then we are outside, which I love, but sometimes it is nice to relax and do some inside projects. We spent all of our time working in Grace's room (aka my favorite room in the house). 

I recently bough a lot more hairbows for Grace and needed somewhere to put them all. I researched etsy and found a really cute hairbow holder that I loved! Unfortunately it was $15.00, too much for me. So I headed over to Michaels to see what I could come up with...

The hairbow holder from etsy:

My homemade hairbow holder:

How did I do? I am actually pretty proud of it! I am anything but crafty. I wish I was, but it doesn't come naturally to me, but saving money does! So buying it from esty was $15.00 plus shipping and my homemade version $2.34!

We also hung a very special picture that Grace's Aunt Margaret made for her.

Because I caught Grace in the crawl position in her crib, it made me nervous that all she had to do was pull up and she could be leaning over the crib. So we had to lower her crib a level.

We even tried to do a little rearranging, but ended up putting it right back how it was. I just like it this was the best! There is still some more things that I want to do, but that is for another time.

How Motherhood Has Changed Me...

I was laying in bed this morning just thinking about how I have changed since giving birth. Some for the good, some for the bad, and some just different.

- I used to be a morning person and always wake up before the sun. If I did not wake up early I felt lazy. Since Grace was born I get sad when she wakes me up before the sun. This seems so silly! Why wouldn't I want to wake up early still and get things done??

- As long as I can remember I have always been obsessed with running. I would run every day. I would wake up as early as I needed, run through the rain, run through snow, or really anything. There was no excuse that could stop me. Since Grace has been born, breastfeeding has become more of a priority. I never thought I would say this, it feels against my nature, but I am saying it.

- I will never wear a cute little bikini again. Even though I followed all the rules and advice, I still got stretch marks. I would put the cream on three times a day, drank so much water, exercised and anything anyone suggested. My doctor said it really has to do with genetics and since my mom has stretch marks, so do I. I have even tried the 40 dollar cream, no change. 

- I no longer need as much sleep as I thought I did. I can live off of a few hours and function just fine. Now this isn't the way I like it, but I can do it even though I thought I couldn't.

- I do a lot more planning than ever before. With a baby the last thing you want is to be caught somewhere without a paci at nap time. Which is where good planning comes in.

- I now love my mom more than ever! I have so much respect for her and all she went through to have 5 children! (and is still going through)

- My heart breaks so much more easily. I now see a child in pain and I just want to cry myself. It doesn't even matter if I don't know the child, I still will cry. I will never forget when the Sandy Hook shooting occured. Grace was not very old and I spent the entire day in tears. Even as I write this I can not hold back the tears. What if that was my daughter, my heart continues to break for those parents.

- I realized how selfish I really am. I do not think I need to explain this one.

- I now notice other moms and immediately want to talk to them. I am not a social person at all. I would usually never go up to someone and just talk. Now I can talk to anyone with a baby. 

I could probably sit here all day and think of ways I have changed. I would never change them for anything in the world. I love Grace and being her mommy, there is nothing else I would want!

Tips For Surviving The First Few Weeks Of Motherhood

Before I had Grace, I thought I was prepared for "motherhood". I even stopped work a few weeks before she came to be extra prepared. I had decorated her nursery, washed all her tiny clothes, packed her diaper bag, stocked up on diapers, frozen casseroles and cleaned the house. I had it all pictured... the two of us running around the neighborhood, shopping, and all perfectly dressed and put together. However, I should have been a lot more realistic. Here are some thoughts to help you get through the first few weeks of being a new mom:

1. Accept help- We were so blessed that my mom came and stayed with us the first week after Grace was born. She was amazing! She did everything! She washed dishes, made dinner, washed clothes, changed almost all of Grace's diapers, and gave great motherly advice. Also every time someone offers to make a meal... ACCEPT. The more things that you do not have to worry about the better! At the hospital, ask for the help of a lactation consultant. I had a great lady who helped me so much, and thanks to her Grace and I have had no trouble!

2. Find time for yourself- This doesn't mean that you need to go out and do something extravagant. I often take a bath after Grace goes to bed. Most of the time this is my only alone time. I take advantage of it and lay there as long as possible. Find something that gives you energy.

3. Breastfeeding is hard work- I thought breastfeeding would be just a walk in the park. Well it is more like a marathon. It is wonderful in the way that you do not have clean bottles or carry anything extra along. However, you can not put it off on someone else even if it is 2am, you are on call.

4. Do not rush- Time goes by so quickly! You little one is only little for such a short time. Cherish every second of it and take LOTS of pictures.

5. Try not to think about how tired you are- As long as I did not think about how tired I was, I seemed to have a better day. When I obsessed about how little sleep I was getting, the day would drag on forever!

6. Follow your instincts- It is true... mama knows best. 

7. Go outside- Now I know this has to be weather specific, but when Grace was only a couple weeks old we would lay in the shade on a blanket. This would rejuvenate me, and I know it was good for the two of us to get fresh air and some vit D.

8. Don't forget about your husband- My husband so was much help. He changed so many diapers and would run to get me water when I was nursing. With your entire life now centered around your new little addition, don't forget about your husband. This is all new to him too and he is trying to find his place among it all.

9. Swaddle- My husband became an A+ swaddler. We would swaddle her every night and she would sleep so much better! Learn how and use it!

10. If you need to cry, cry- My mom warned me a couple days after Grace was born that I might want to cry and for no reason. Sure enough I did. It is ok. You are not alone. 

11. Make meals ahead of time- I made soups and casseroles and froze them before Grace was born. It was such a relief to not have to make dinner or send the hubby to go get anything.

12. Shower daily- This made me feel like I was alive. Even now I make myself shower everyday. When I shower it makes the day begin. This will also help you differentiate between day and night, even though you might have been up half the night. 

13. Make a schedule- This was a lifesaver for me. When I knew what time Grace needed what, then I knew when I could get things done. This way you also know why she is crying at a particular time. This might be my #1 tip!

I hope this will make the first few weeks of motherhood a little easier for you! Any experienced moms do you have anything to add to the list?

Month 7 Must Haves

I have to be honest I had to rack my brain as to what to add to this list! This month we did not try too many new things. Here is the list I came up with:

1. Toys- We have really loved playing with new toys and discovering how they work. This has been a great toy to learn colors, sizes and shapes. Another great thing, I bought it at a consignment sale for $1.00!

2. Food Processor- I did not give Grace baby food till month 6. I decided for numerous reasons to make my own baby food. If you are going to make your own baby food you must have some kind of food processor. There are a lot of them out there and I am sure they all work well. I opted to get this attachment for my blender, it was cheaper and less to store.

3. Baby Food Containers- Along with making your own baby food you must have something to store them.  I have been using these containers which are glass and easy to store. They work great!

4. Shopping Car Cover- This is a wonderful invention! Grace is in the stage of chewing on everything and putting this over the cart makes me relax! If you are in the market for one of these, get this one! It fits everything and the elastic makes it easy to put in on the cart with one hand.

5. Paci Holder- Now that Grace is rolling everywhere, sitting in a cart, much more mobile this is definitely a must have! Now I know her paci won't be on the floor of the grocery store. 

These are a few things that we "must have". I hope this will help you!

The Weekend!

You know I could not let a weekend go by without telling you all about it! As you know weekends are our favorite time of the week! Mostly because my hunky husband and Grace's wonderful daddy get to spend some time with us! This weekend we had the treat of one of my sisters, Margaret, coming for the weekend! We have an open door policy for family, whenever anyone wants to come we NEVER say no! She had been planning on coming and visiting for quite some time now and we were over joyed to have her!

We began the weekend with homemade black bean salsa, beef and bean burritos and basketball. (Did you notice those were all Bs?)

Saturday morning began early, because we were going hiking! (One of our favorite activities) It was the perfect day to hike in South Carolina! The sun was out, the wind was blowing and the temperature was just right. Thankfully we have a daughter who LOVES to be outside!

It was even warm enough for a little time putting our feet in the water.

We hiked to both upper an lower white water falls in SC. Isn't it beautiful!

Grace never misses a beat. She is so good when we go hiking. If it is time to eat, we just find a hidden spot in the woods and she eats. Then when it is nap time she just falls right to sleep. You know she is sleeping good too when the paci is out of her mouth!

We slept so good on Saturday night after some very tasty goulash. Sunday we woke up a little sore, but that still did not stop us from taking a walk and flying a kite!

I hope you enjoyed your weekend! Have a great week!

Time Saving Tips

(you need this list so you can lay outside like this and enjoy the sunshine.)

Recently I wrote a post on money saving tips and today I want to share with you some time saving tips. I am always looking for ways to save time. Even though I am a SHAM, I still do not have enough time! (I know some of you can relate) Here are a few things that I do to save time:

1. Use the Crock Pot- I can not even tell you how many days a week I use the crock pot! I use it at least once a week and cook a lot of chicken and shred it. Then I have chicken for sandwiches, enchiladas or really any recipe that calls for cooked chicken. Then all you have to do is pull it out and reheat. How much easier does that get? I also use it for BBQ, roast, and many more recipes and then they are done before you know it.

2. Plan out a week of meals- As you know I write down a menu for every week. This way I do not have to try to come up with something for dinner last minute. I also do not have to run the risk of not having all the ingredients and have to make a mad dash to the store.

3. Grocery shop once a week- I know I already listed this for money saving tips, but it also works for time saving too!

4. Pick two days a week to pay all the bills- This way I know exactly when everything is paid and I am not just paying something here or there and forget! I also pay as many as I can online. So much quicker!

5. Keep a box in your child's closet for outgrown clothes- I keep a tupperware bin in Grace's closet for those cute little clothes that I can not fit on those chubby little legs. Then when the box is full it is already packed and all you have to do is label and store.

6. Separate snacks in little containers/ bags for the week. This is both healthy and easy. I go ahead and put things like carrots and celery already cleaned and in a bag to easy grabbing when we need a snack.

7. Grab deals when you can. I have a drawer with steals that I have picked up, I use these for quick presents or anytime a friends needs a pick me up. Also this is a money saving tip too! I have things like baby supplies, books, salt and pepper shakers and all sorts of odds and ends.

8. Keep a list going on the fridge. When you run out of the basics like bread, sugar, milk etc. Just write it down on the list and then when grocery shopping time comes just add your list of menu items.

9. Write it down. Keep a date book or a calendar. If you write down those birthdays, appointments, etc. Then you do not have to worry about when they are? You can just look ahead and plan.

10. Stockpile. When things go on sale like toothbrushes, shampoo and things like that, buy a lot. Then before you know it you are out, you have backup. 

These are just a few things that I have figured out over the years to save myself some time. Maybe this will make your life a little bit easier!

Photo Shoot

So today I was attempting to catch Grace on camera. Much like everyday. I am by no means a photographer, but I can not help but take pictures of my little girl all day! However, she is not the easiest subject to take pictures of...

She was just looking at me I promise.

She was smiling, but I caught her about to stick out her tongue. 

She dashes her face to get out of the picture.

So I move positions and stand up to see if I could catch her smiling at this angle, but she looks down at the last minute.

I did catch her pretty face here, but the smile was gone by the time I clicked.

"Mom how long do we have to do this, I want to play!"

Another look away.

Now she is going in for the chew.

Looking down again!

 She is bored with me now.

I started to tap my hand on the counter to get her attention, but she did not look at me.

Finally! A look and a partial smile.

I Need A Change...

I need a change and some new ideas from you my readers. I have a few questions for you... Answer as many or as few questions as you want.

1. What is your favorite store for clothes for yourself? Also what is your favorite store for your little one?
I have a difficult time shopping for myself. I am NOT a fashionista by any means. I try, but most of the time I fail. I continually see other ladies and want their clothes, and tell myself, why couldn't I do that?? I end up wearing workout clothes more than anything. I am however a lot better at Grace's clothes! Those are so much easier to pick out. 

2. What is your favorite workout video?
I have been using the same workout video since I was 15. (or maybe even earlier) This video has stuck with my for a long time and it really works for me! The thing is, is that I have it memorized and sometimes would like to have a little change.

3. What is your favorite scent for candles?
I bought a candle warmer last fall and now love to have it warming a candle at all times! It just fills my house with the smells of any season. I just need some more ideas on candle scents that you enjoy.

4. What is your families favorite recipe?
I really enjoy trying new recipes and a good friend of mine e-mailed me a recipe her family loves and it made me think that I would love to try some of your recipes! I am always "showing off" recipes of mine and would like to display and try some of yours.

5. What brand of makeup do you use?
Sadly, I am still using drugstore makeup. I have just never wanted to spend money on makeup that I don't really like. Drugstore makeup is a lot cheaper, so I need some advice as where to start.

Don't worry I have more questions, but I will spare you until another post. Please help me out and answer as many or as few questions as you would like.

Fun Had By All!

Our weekends are always interesting and this one was no exception! It began Saturday morning with me headed out the door quite early (for a Saturday) to a big consignment sale in Greenville. I had been planning on going for a while and was really looking forward to going. My wonderful husband was gracious enough to keep Grace so I could have some "me" time. I arrived just in time and began shopping! (one of my favorite activities) Sadly, I was unable to find a lot of goods. I did however buy more hair bows!! 

When I got home the hubby was ready to get outside, and so was I. It was time for a family run! We loaded up Baby Grace and Addis (the doggy) and went for a 5.5 mile run (my FAVORITE activity!) It was a beautiful day and felt so good to be running a shorts and a tee-shirt. 

When we got home it was time to get to work. Since we (and I mean Michael) pressure washed the house the other weekend the porch was now ready to be painted. We began sanding, scraping and prepping the porch for paint. Then Sunday we began the painting process. Actually the painting went a lot quicker than we expected. 

We had two special helpers. Aren't they cute?

Can you tell that we painted it? Doesn't it look better!?!?

One day we will have all these outside projects done?

Need A Little Advice- Part 2

A few months ago I posted that I needed a little advice. Since then I have become a little more mommy smart. Here is what I have learned...

1. Infant Spoons- I stumbled across a coupon for buy one get one free on infant spoons! SCORE! That is how I made my decision on which spoons to buy. We ended up getting the Munchkin colorful infant spoons. Grace really could careless what I feed her with as long as I am feeding her!

2. Highchair- For the time being our wonderful and gracious neighbors are letting us use a an activity seat. This is working out well to feed her and for her to play. It even attaches to a chair so she can sit at the table and eat with us. I am still actively looking for a wooden highchair, so if you see one please let me know!

3. Umbrella Stroller- I have not purchased one yet, however, I am waiting for one to go on sale when it gets a little warmer and will grab one up!

4. Sippy Cups- One of my very good friends has instructed me to only buy the straw sippy cups, because it is better for their speech development. I completely trust and respect her advice and will be buying one that is cheap and on sale soon!

5. Cereal- I ended up buying Beechnut rice cereal. She has never really loved eating it, but it helps her sleep at night. I continue to give her a little mixed with her evening baby food.

6. Teethers- Grace is still not teething. I know when the time comes that I will get anything that works! 

I hope this might help some of you mommys. If you have anymore advice for me please let me know, I love learning from experienced moms!

Daddy Love

This week has been really long, but flew by really fast too. Monday morning I started to feel bad and then I just continued to feel worse as it got later in the day. I woke up Tuesday morning and went to an Urgent Care and found out I had strept throat. YUCK! My wonderful, sweet husband came to the rescue. He came home from work and came home to take care of his helpless girls. He has been wonderful... he has washed dishes, taken care of Grace, had dinner delivered and nursed me back to health! (I know girls don't get jealous, I have the best!) Since all I have been doing is laying around and sleeping, I loved watching Grace with her daddy. She loves him so much!

In the hospital before coming home, he was already in love.

He loves cuddling with this little snuggler.

She loves to sing to her daddy.

They both love to sleep with their mouths wide open!

She only has eyes for her daddy.

She even loves to watch football with her daddy.

She will laugh at anything he says, because he is just the best!

She rarely sits still on the couch with me, but with her dad she always has snuggles for him.

Already she is a Wolfpack, just like her dad.

Who wouldn't love the best dad and husband in the whole world!
Hi! I'm Katie. Wife to Michael. Mom to Grace, David Michael & Emma. Christ Follower. Runner. Stay at home mommy.
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