February 27, 2011

First Day...

 (a sign made by one of my second year students)

The days leading up to my first day back I was a mess. I would start crying when I looked at Bria or when I would smell her while holding her close. I would tell Clint, "I wish there was a way to become a Stay-at-home-mom" If there was a a way. I would take it in a heartbeat. But for now, it's going back to the classroom :)...

Thursday was my first day back at work and my first day away from Bria. It was bitter sweet because as much as I absolutely hated to leave Bria (we haven't been away from each other since she was conceived last April) I was excited to get back to my school kids and classroom.

When we first dropped off Bria at her babysitters. I was okay. I knew she would be taken care of, loved, and played with just as if she was home with me.

It ended up being a great first day back with my kids. They were just as excited to see me as I was to see them. We read, sang songs, played, and of course learned.  They showed me all their projects from when the long-term sub was here, who by the way, was amazing! I am really glad that the substitute the district picked for me was so good! I couldn't believe how much my kids learned in such a short amount of time....Kids are seriously like sponges. 

But... After a fun day I couldn't wait drive the snow machine (yes, I drove the machine for the first time...in a blizzard mind you) to pick up my sweet baby. When I arrived at the babysitters, she was sound asleep and looking pretty happy, which made me happy that it went so well. Did I mention they are also using cloth diapers? 

We are so blessed to have friends in our lives that are willing to help take care of Bria while we are at work.

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February 22, 2011

Morning Delight!

Good Morning!




I am at my 7 week mark postpartum and that means that it's time to get my body back in shape! Not just for this summer when we are going to the beach, shopping, hiking, camping, and taking wine tours (Oh yes!), but because I want to be as healthy as I can and not have to worry at all about the way I look or feel.

So, yesterday was the start of me getting back into exercising (not just yoga). I started Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and at level 1 it was h.a.r.d I have a lot of work to do but it felt good getting my heart rate up and moving around.

After my workout I had the most delicious breakfast! And....It only took me 10 minutes to make! This recipe is from Oh She Glows it's a one woman show and she has an abundant amount of healthy recipes!


Apple Pie Oatmeal
adapted from Angela @ Oh She Glows

* 1/3 cup regular oats
* 1/4 cup milk or water
*1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
*1 apple (I used gala) but Granny Smith would work too! 
*1 tsp. ground cinnamon 
*1 tsp. nutmeg
*1 Tbs. maple syrup
*pinch of kosher salt


Now, this may not seem like an amazing breakfast, but trust me it is! I just wish I had all the ingredients that Angela at Oh She Glows had in her oatmeal. She added chia seeds, lemon juice, walnuts, vanilla extract, and used Almond Milk instead of milk/water. I wonder how scrumptious it would taste with all those added in?! 

Oh, life in the bush :) ... I'm off to order some ingredients so I can make some more delicious oatmeal recipes!
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February 21, 2011

The Adventures of Cloth Diapering


Even before Clint and I got pregnant, we both knew that we wanted to diaper our little one in cloth. There are many reasons, but the number one reason for me wanting to cloth diaper is that there are absolutely NO chemicals that are touching my baby's bum-and that in itself was reason enough for me. I also found out that cloth diapered babies have less diaper rash, fewer blowouts, and are often potty trained up to a year sooner. This lovely lady has some in-depth information on cloth diapering!!

Are you intrigued yet?

Here's more:


Did you know?

*Disposable diapers have traces of a toxic called Dioxin which is within the bleaching process of the paper within the diaper

*Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills.

*Consumer reports state that you will spend between $1500-$2000 on disposable diapers before your baby is potty trained

(all statistics are from this site) 

Okay. So I found out some reasons that going cloth will be better for our growing family than disposables. But then you get into what kind of diapers to get.

There are literally dozens of different kinds of diapers: AIO (all in ones), pocket, fitted, etc. You can read up on them here

For now, I am using all the cloth diapers I received from my Mom(!) She gave us:

(2) Flip diapers with cloth inserts (6) BumGenius pocket diapers.
All cloth diapers (with Bria's legs)
                              
                                     Bum Genius "pocket" diapers
                                               

The Flip diapers are called hybrid diapers because it come with an exterior shell and a cloth insert that can be taken out and washed while you can reuse the shell multiple times (unless, for obvious blow-out reasons). They also offer biodegradable disposable inserts for when you are away from home and don't want to carry around soiled inserts. The Flip diapers use snaps to close and can become very small.

The BumGenius Diapers are AIO (all-in-one) diapers that have a outer shell and then a "pocket" to put your cloth inserts into (see above picture). These also use velcro in order to close the diapers (which, I'm not a huge fan of velcro, but we'll see how they do). Both the outer shell and insert have to be washed after each use which means you probably would need more of these diapers than the Flip kind.


**Both of these diapers GROW with your baby meaning that once you buy the diaper they can be used until your baby is potty trained! So really, it's truly an investment. 



I have been wanting to order some of Kawaii Eco-Friendly Bamboo Minky and Minky diapers when they become available in the 2011 colors :). Also, I would like to order a couple of GroBaby ( now called GroVia) diapers as well as some FuzziBunz.



But for now, I will be using my Flip and BumGenius diapers until I can build up my "stash" of cloth diapers.

And now for some cuteness, because I know you were all waiting for it! It's so much better taking "naked baby" pictures with a cute colorful cloth diaper than a disposable!





Now all I need to do is create cloth wipes to use with the homemade wipes instead of paper towels!

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February 20, 2011

Bria and her blanket

Just some cute pictures with Bria and her blanket from Ama Shultz (which by the way was entirely hand sewn)...! Can you say gorgeous?!

Thanks Ama! 



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Happy Sunday!

I just wanted to share a bible passage that I recently discovered.

To all the wives, mommies, sisters, friends, and any other women out there in blogland :) ...

 Proverbs 31


    10 Who can find a virtuous wife? 
      For her worth is far above rubies. 
       11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; 
      So he will have no lack of gain. 
       12 She does him good and not evil 
      All the days of her life. 
       13 She seeks wool and flax, 
      And willingly works with her hands. 
       14 She is like the merchant ships, 
      She brings her food from afar. 
       15 She also rises while it is yet night, 
      And provides food for her household, 
      And a portion for her maidservants. 
       16 She considers a field and buys it; 
      From her profits she plants a vineyard. 
       17 She girds herself with strength, 
      And strengthens her arms. 
       18 She perceives that her merchandise is good, 
      And her lamp does not go out by night. 
       19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, 
      And her hand holds the spindle. 
       20 She extends her hand to the poor, 
      Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. 
       21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, 
      For all her household is clothed with scarlet. 
       22 She makes tapestry for herself; 
      Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 
       23 Her husband is known in the gates, 
      When he sits among the elders of the land. 
       24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
      And supplies sashes for the merchants. 
       25 Strength and honor are her clothing; 
      She shall rejoice in time to come. 
       26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, 
      And on her tongue is the law of kindness. 
       27 She watches over the ways of her household, 
      And does not eat the bread of idleness. 
       28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; 
      Her husband also, and he praises her: 
       29 “ Many daughters have done well, 
      But you excel them all.” 
       30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, 
      But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. 
       31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, 
      And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Pretty cool stuff huh? As I have done, I encourage you to take the time to find your God given beauty and be confident in knowing that you are Beautiful!  


Happy Sunday family and friends. We love you all!  

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Bria's Tree

Do you remember the owls and birds from this post?

Well, I asked Clint to find me a big tree branch from outside and put it in the corner of Bria's room. At first he was very skeptical, but of course he went outside right away and found me the perfect branch to tack to the wall.

I finished 3 owls and 4 birds and hung them gently on the tree branch in her room:


Here is an up close shot of the lil' hoots:


One of my good friends in Nome graciously gave me an ornament owl made out of burlap, and the pattern! She is an amazing artist and wonderful woman. She has a cute lil' blog too...Go check out her handmade lovelies!

Here is a close up of one of my birds:


I found the bird pattern here.

The wonderful thing about these owls and birdies is that once Bria is older and needs toys, I can just take them off the branches and let her play with them as stuffed animals.


I'm off to start yet another project for Bria's Toy Box!
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February 18, 2011

Aloha!

It's no surprise that when you live in a cold climate that you crave some warm weather... So when I woke up to this and after 5 months of snow, I am ready for a change....

Instead of this:


I want to see this:
(source)

Maui has been on the mind lately... I would love to have my toes in the sand and to swim in the deep blue on this beach!

aaaannnndddd....


Apparently Bria is thinkin' about it too. How is it that she is already so smart?




She is creating the "shaka" with her hand...What is a "shaka" you ask? Well, I did some research because I always thought it was slang for gangs and hoodlums to use in Hawaii to say "Hey Brah!" and have believed that "Hang Loose" was something naughty to say, but in all actuality, it has a lot more meaning than that! Here is what I found:
(source)
"The shaka is a simple yet powerful way to remind locals and visitors of the way people look out for each other on the islands and strive to spread aloha day in and day out, in keeping with the Hawaiian principle of malama i kekahi i kekahi, - take care of one, take care of all. If you’re new to the islands, don’t be shy about throwing up shakas, just make sure you’ve got the hand gesture down first! Aloha in the Hawaiian language can mean love, hello, goodbye, affection, regards, fondness and compassion. The amazing “shaka” communicates all this and more with just a simple wave of the hand. "
(source)


So, we are ready to plan a vacation to the sweet, warm place called Maui!

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Yet Another Giveaway?

Have you ever heard the line: "desperate times call for desperate measures?" of course you have! Well, I'm desperate. I'm desperate to get a new blog design for this little home of ours on the internet. That is why I am entering yet another giveaway chance to win a blog make-over. If you have a blog. This is another chance for you too :) ...





Here is what Bloggy Blog Designs says:
"Bloggy Blog Designz  is having a Giveaway!!!   They are giving away all kinds of goodies.     Plus ALL entrants will receive 20% off any purchase through the end  of   the month!  Be sure to check out their website for more information, or to enter yourself.  Take a look at their portfolio and packages  to see what's right for you.  The   first 5 entrants will receive a $15  giftcard.  The giveaway will close   on February 26, so be sure to  have your posts done and comments left  by  midnight!  Good Luck to  everyone!"
Good luck! 

*******************************
 And...Another! 



Also, I found a wonderful Teacher's blog! It's chalk full of fabulousness and she's doing a giveaway also! I guess it's a good thing I'm going back to my classroom on Thursday so I will spend less time on the net entering give-a-ways I never win. How cool would it be to win this one though?  She's giving away EVERYTHING in her TpT (Teacher's Pay Teachers) store to two lucky winners! Lets home one of them is me...or you! Go HERE to enter!
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February 17, 2011

Good Morning & Baby Wipe Recipe

Okay, before I let you in on a little secret about baby wipes I have to do the most important thing first...

Bria wants to say good morning...

It was so sweet this morning, Clint took Bria because she was just being fussy and he let me sleep! I actually went into the deepest of deep sleeps for 3 hours! It was truly Bliss.

When I woke up today and put Bria in her playpen I found this:


I guess Clint decided to change her and didn't fasten the velcro all the way. Ha. Goofy Daddy!

*********************************

Now for the homemade baby wipes! 
If you know Clint and I personally, you know that we'd rather go the eco-friendly, organic route with anything that we possibly can. Now, with that being said it is extremely difficult to full-fill that in everything we do because of 1) Our rural location and 2) shipping is extremely expensive from most eco-friendly websites. 

So, when a friend of mine gave me a recipe for homemade baby wipes I was so excited. Finally, I know exactly what is going into my baby wipes and exactly what is touching my little angel.
 Homemade Baby Wipes:


All you need is:

1 plastic container with lid that will fit 1/2 a paper towel roll
2 cups of water
2 Tablespoons of baby oil
2 Tablespoons of Baby bath
1/2 roll Bounty paper towels
**note: generic paper towels don't hold up as well as Bounty**


1) Cut paper towels in half with a serrated knife and pull out cardboard tube:


2) Put paper towels in plastic container:


3) Mix the water, baby oil, and baby bath together and pour into container:


4) There ya go! Homemade baby wipes:


Not only do you know what is going into your wipes, you get more bang for your buck!!

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February 16, 2011

April Showers Blog Design Giveaway!

 source: April Showers Blog Designs!

I am wanting a new blog design, but can only change my blog so many times before I get confused and mess it up! So, for the first time I am entering an online giveaway for a free blog make-over from April Showers Blog Designs! There are nine winners, and a lot of chances to win!!

If you have a blog, I highly recommend checking out April Showers Blog Designs and see other fabulous designers and their work. Fine designers such as A Mommy's Sweet Blog Design, Bloggy Blog Designs, Adori Graphics, Eight Days Design, Grey Bloom Designs.

Check 'em out for fabulous blog designs. It's a bloggy blog world on the internet...Might as well join! 

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What she said...


A mother understands what a child does not say...
-Anonymous

  ...and my baby is thinkin' "what on earth are you doing to me, taking so many pictures!" 

You will understand one day my love, that a mommy can not take enough pictures of her baby! 

February 15, 2011

Love Day!


Like I said in our last post. Valentines Day is not one of our favorite holidays. Yes, I think it's wonderful to show loved ones that you love them and care for them, but shouldn't we do that everyday? I really don't like the flock of chocolate buying, card crazed, over-priced flowers, gotta have a nice expensive gift kind of mentality. Anyway, today I broke the "not going to do anything" rule about Valentines day and went with KISS (Keep It Simple Silly). Also, I realized that having a little one around really does make every.single holiday a bazillion times better! So that in itself is a good reason to break the rules. I did a couple things this year:

1. We received an exceptionally cute onesie and bib from Auntie Erika! THANK YOU AUNTIE! So of course, I had to put Bria in it to show her off. It was a tad bit big...But cute anyway :).

2. Our last post showed a couple pictures that were taken for a card we were making Clint. He received a homemade card along with some cheap chocolate!

3. Last year for Clint's birthday I had ordered supplies to make him a Pecan Pie, but they didn't come in the mail in time for his special day. So. I took those ingredients and made a pie for him.

homemade photo card +  cheap chocolates +  pecan pie + smooch 'n hug from both his girls

equals a good Love day for the special man in our lives :)  




Oh and here's the pie that I made:


It may not look good...But it was SO delicious!

Hope everyone had a good LOVE day :)
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February 13, 2011

My Valentine...

Clint and I have never been big on celebrating Valentines...Throughout the year we like to do little things for each other that shows we love each other: emails, notes in desks at work, little coupon books, etc.

This year however, I thought that since this is the first holiday with our little babes it would be fun to do a valentines for Clint with both of his girls.

So, on Friday we got dolled up and had ourselves a mini photo shoot! It turned out fabulous and with a 10 second self-timer that we used over and over and over again- we took over 200 pictures to find just the right ones.

This one...

This one is my favorite!


I remember this moment so vividly. Through all the snapshots we took, this one took my breathe away. This little girl-this person that is us-looked up at me and smiled for the very first time. Our eyes were locked and I wish I could freeze this second for eternity.

p.s. did you look at her shirt? I think this picture captures love...Our love.


Find more fabulous valentine photos here full of inspiration and amazing photography..Im linkin' up my photo:

The Paper Mama


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