Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Goal Update

If anyone's been following my blog for a length of time, you'll know that every year I participate in the One Little Word challenge. It's easy. Step 1: Pick a word that describes how you want your year to be. Step 2: Make it happen.

Last year my word was Embrace (post here), i.e., embrace the changes. I just re-read last year's post myself, so here's a couple of my thoughts on how well I "made it happen."

Embrace Change: As far as major life changes, I didn't actually have any this year. I remember last year I was worried I would be put into a new position at my school, but fortunately for me I ended up going right back to my 8th grade math spot. So as it turns out, I didn't quite have to embrace too much change in that area.

Embrace the "Baby Year": I think I've been doing a good job at this. I'm kind of a big ol' sap already, so those nights where I just want to put Lincoln in his bed at 6:30pm on the dot and close the door behind me and not have to deal anymore, I've been able to remind myself pretty easily that these nights won't last forever. I knew last January that my six-week-old was going to turn into a toddler by the time the year was up, and I can honestly say I've (mostly) cherished the moments. I've snuggled my baby well past the time he's fallen asleep in my arms. I've snuck into his room to watch him sleep countless nights. I've kept myself from getting (too) discouraged as he's refused to sleep or has his occasional meltdowns. The baby year went by fast. They say it does, but you don't realize it until you're at the end of another year.

See? This guy's practically ready for college now, for crying out loud!

Embrace Relationships: This one. I did not do well with. At all. I'd like to blame it on time and other life issues taking priority, but I know I've had plenty of time to work on this, time that's gone to other things like reading cloth diaper forums and catching up on NCIS LA. I'm continuing to work on this in the coming year.

Embrace Fitness: So I thought I'd failed on this one, but then I really stopped to think about it, and I'm going to give myself a C+ on this one. In the spring I signed up for Stroller Strides when it was offered by my school. Over the summer I continued with the weekly Stroller Strides course at a local park and we all joined the Y. Lincoln had a blast at baby swim classes and the child watch class, while I did dance and yoga/pilates. In the fall, we did Stroller Strides again at the school. This is way more than I've done in years, but still less than I should be doing, so C+.

Embrace Food: Oh, man, this one was tough. I'm just going to go ahead and say we all failed on this one. Yes, there were definitely weeks when I took time to plan out our meals, bought groceries according to plan, and actually stuck to the plan... but there were a lot of times when I let the busyness of work take over instead.

Embrace (My) Creativity: I was fortunate enough to have quite a bit of extra time in the beginning of the year. I was on maternity leave and in a position that did not require a ton of my home time, which led to creative time in the evenings after Lincoln went down. (Well, on the nights that I didn't go down at the same time... which sadly happened quite a lot.) I also had a really great opportunity to be on a creative team for my favorite scrapbook designer, Liz Tamanaha. I even almost finished Lincoln's baby book this year, which, come on, is pretty huge.

Embrace Frugality: Ah, my last minute throw-on. I'll go ahead and give myself a B- on this one. While the couponing didn't last too long (hello, that stuff takes a lot of time), using the Ibotta app to reverse coupon has been great. I've also been paying attention to the coupons that come out with receipts at the grocery stores these days. I almost always get Plum coupons and coupons for our favorite bread. Still working on convincing Chris to buy only what we plan to use in the following week (his method is to just buy all the things so there's always something at home to eat), but I think we've taken great strides in using up what we buy. We used to throw out so much that had gone bad before we used it, it was awful.

So that was my year. Not the best as far as goals go, but not at all the worst! T-Minus two days for the new year to start, and I'm excited to get going with my new word and ideas for the year.

As you can see, this little guy's also excited for the year to come. Another year of fun, learning, and growing- this time toddler style!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


We'll, we're on our way back home from another fabulous Christmas in Yucaipa. It was cold enough there that it actually FELT like Christmas. It even almost snowed! 

As usual, we did not get a Christmas photo of our little family. Sigh. People think that photographers have lots of pictures of themselves; really, we have lots of pictures of our babies, some pictures of our husbands while they're with our babies, and occasionally a picture of ourselves. (But that only happens if we want to spend time setting up the timer function or convince our husbands to leave their desks to take a picture. Ain't nobody got time for that.)

But I digress.


Notable events this year:

Chris' dad is recovering from knee surgery he had literally a week ago. Lincoln helped by snuggling and reading books on Grandpa's lap.

Lincoln discovered the magical pantry at Grandma and Grandpa's house. It's full of Lincoln sized items like sprinkles containers and parsley jars. Perfect for a little boy to rearrange and move to nearby benches.

Lincoln also discovered that Gracie is now bigger than him and even more rambunctious than him. He kept a cautious eye on Gracie the whole time.

Lincoln discovered the big toy that makes music, aka, the piano.

He now LOVES the piano.

We of course opened gifts. Lincoln's much better at it than he was at his birthday, especially with the gift bags. But his favorite things to play with Christmas day were not his many new toys, but a box of cotton balls and Grandpa's pick-up stick.

Favorite gifts all around include a new flask (Chris, from "Lincoln"), Lularoe leggings (Jordan, from Sarah), and a few Duplo Lego sets (Lincoln, from Justin and grandparents).

Oh, and of course, this Rudolph from Sarah, the first gift Lincoln opened.

Lincoln got his first lollipop on Christmas day, which he seriously loved. No, really, he loved it very seriously. You wouldn't think he was enjoying it, until the tantrum he threw when I took the last little bit away from him.

AND for another first at Grandma and Grandpa's house (well, kind of), Lincoln executed his first bowl-to-mouth spoon maneuver with Christmas night lasagna. The entire table clapped every time he did it, and you know that kid lives for the praise. He also likes to praise himself along with everyone else. 

So Christmas this year was mostly centered around Lincoln. As is life these days. But that's okay, because having a toddler wading through life for the first time is pretty entertaining, and honestly makes life a lot more fun. You never realize how special things are until you experience them with the fresh eyes of a one-year-old. And though he didn't really "get" Christmas this year, it sure was fun watching him walk around with Grandpa's pick-up stick and reorganize Grandma's herbs for the tenth time. Here's to next year's Christmas with a two-year-old!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day

As usual, Christmas has been a long, slow day of relaxing, eating, and opening presents at Chris' parent's house. The usual suspects are here: mom and dad, Chris and me, Sarah and Justin, Grandpa Ed. This year we added a one-year-old and a puppy to the mix, which made for a bit more of an interesting time. For the first year, we had ornaments being pulled off the tree, toys being eaten, popcorn being spilled, tantrums being thrown, naps and walks needing to fall into the festivities somewhere, etc. It's been an exhausting and beautiful day, summed up by the picture below.  

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, November 4, 2016


Oh, my goodness, we are at November already.

So much for my commitment to blog more frequently. My last post was August 24th!

So here's just a quick life update while Lincoln naps and I finish my lunch, before diving in to mapping out my Unit 3 that we'll be starting on Monday.

This week was fall break for school. Over the weekend, Lincoln spent two nights with grandma and grandpa Trementozzi while Chris and I had a double header wedding weekend. It was super weird not having him at home with us! But we definitely had a nice sleep in on Monday!

Monday was Lincoln's first Halloween, and he was Anakin Skywalker (found the outfit on Amazon). We really weren't expecting much from him when we showed up to church for trunk or treat, but that kid took to collecting candy like it was nothing new. He loved getting to pick a candy from each bucket, then drop it in his bag that daddy was holding. Eventually, he realized he wanted to keep hold of the ones he was collecting, so he was double fisting candy, dropping previous candy into new buckets and collecting more. Chris and I just tried to make sure the good stuff made it into the bag. :D  We went house to house trick or treating in a friend's neighborhood after that, and ended up at the house of one of the nurse volunteers from Grossmont's breastfeeding support class! So random!

Tuesday Lincoln and I went around looking for items for his camping themed birthday party. He pooped out on my early, though, so we came back home for his nap, and I went out on my own to finish up and get my hair cut. Got some more brown in this time and I'm loving it!

Wednesday was Disneyland day! This really deserves its own post, but the highlights are: 1) Lincoln's first ride was the Haunted Mansion, and he waved at all the characters, 2) He actually took a nap in his stroller (first time EVER), 3) He met Tigger and Rabbit and got an awesome picture with them, and 4) He was the best little baby all day! No fussiness at all, and he stayed up way past his bedtime. He's such a good little buddy to bring along anywhere.

Thursday Lincoln and I got out of the house early to give Chris some time to work. We went to the breastfeeding support class and saw our trick or treating nurse, stopped by his pediatrician to confirm his terrible cough is only from teething (poor guy's going to get a whole bunch all at once soon!), hit up Party City and found some more camping party supplies, and then came home for naps again.

And today's Friday! We just finished up a Walmart shopping trip, where we surprisingly found the BEST fabric to make table runners for his party. We had planned to get some more errands done, but Lincoln started nodding off in the carseat, so back home we came. Hoping he gives me a couple of hours to get some work done for school. :D

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Life right now.

Well, school's back in full swing again! This is my first year teaching my regular math class while simultaneously being a mama, and I fully expect this year to be ridiculous. Gone are the days of coming home exhausted and just falling into bed for a late afternoon nap. Now the days are go, go, go from 6am until Lincoln goes to bed around 7pm... and then it's finally time for me to get to do all the fun stuff I couldn't do while he was awake, like the dishes, or prep for the next day.

Despite all this craziness, life is feeling pretty good right now. My students are pretty awesome. They're the same kids I had last year when I was teaching 7th grade study hall classes and tutoring, so it's fun for me to start the year already knowing them all. And it's definitely helpful already knowing who I need to keep an extra eye on during class. I know which kids I need to frequently visit to make sure they're keeping on task, and I know who can probably answer my questions before I even ask them. It's going to be a fun year for sure.

Lincoln's been having a ball the last couple weeks. Along with attending "Daddy Daycare," he visits our friend Kristin a lot, who takes him to the Y with her kids, so he still gets to see his friends at the infant child watch there. Two days a week he goes to his daycare house, run by a parent of twins in my class. He goes along with our P.E. teacher's daughter and occasionally other staff kids, and getting to hang out with other kiddos in the 2-4 range is so much fun for him. Our little guy is super social and just loves being around anybody.

To add to the craziness this year, Chris and I are considering buying our next house! Because, you know, that sounds like a great idea in what will probably be my most challenging teaching year yet. (Except for the first year. Oh man, that first year....) No idea if we're actually going to go through with it, but we've been dreaming and scheming up ways to try to get into a 4 bedroom. I suppose that's one way to really make this year memorable!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Lincoln at 8 Months

Slowly but surely... ;)

At 8 months, Lincoln...
- weighs 14 pounds, 10 ounces
- pulls himself up on things easily
- has started searching all the drawers and shelves in the house for interesting things
- plays independently for long periods of time
- lights up when he spots mama
- got sick for the first time (Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease is no joke!)
- ate dirt for the first time
- loves pulling his books off the shelf
- hates to be on his back for diaper changes

He is a ridiculously happy baby. We are so blessed to have such an easy going guy. Hoping that part of his personality sticks for the long run! :D

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Baby PSA: Plagiocephaly

Cranial helmet (doc band) decoration R2D2

Our little monkey's rocking some new head gear these days. Something they don't mention at the hospital when they let you take your lovely newborn home? Watching out for signs of a flat head, aka plagiocephaly. In Lincoln's case, if we had just been watching for the signs, we probably would've been able to mitigate the problem from the get-go and L wouldn't have to wear the helmet. But we didn't know, and so he does, and here we are, making lemonade out of lemons... or protocol droids out of cranial helmets. And I've made it my mission to make sure people know to be looking out for plagiocephaly (and in L's case, the torticollis which caused it).

Cranial helmet (doc band) decoration R2D2

At Lincoln's two month appointment, his pediatrician noticed he was having a hard time looking to the left (the torticollis, or tight neck), and that he was developing a flat spot on the right side of his head. This was due to him always sleeping with his head tilted to the right, something we realized after that appointment. The doc set us up with an appointment for baby physical therapy.

Lincoln loved his PT appointments. He got to play on a giant mat and flirt with this therapist while she helped him see that he could turn his head to the left if he wanted. She told us that his neck was apparently tight since birth, possibly due to being pulled out at a weird angle, so he had just learned to always look right rather than deal with pushing past the tightness on the left. But the good thing was that his neck could twist that way easily. We just had to get him doing it more often to make that tightness go away for good.

Cranial helmet (doc band) decoration R2D2

For a few months we had him sleep with "rice socks" we were instructed to make: tube socks full (and I mean full) of rice. When Lincoln slept, we swaddled him tight, laid him between the socks, and tilted his body to the left so he didn't have the chance to keep sleeping on his flat spot. The hope was that since he was still so young it would work itself out. But Lincoln became too much of a mover at night, and soon he was busting out of the swaddle and out from between the socks, so the PT began talking helmet with us around four and a half months. At least the tightness in his neck was gone from his physical therapy!

Lincoln didn't get to start his helmet until he was about six and a half months old. (We had to do a little runaround with our insurance for quite awhile unfortunately.) Because of that, he has to wear his helmet a bit longer than was originally forecast. We were told at his last appointment that he probably has about six weeks left, so that's exciting! That helmet may look cute, especially once it's decorated, but it has a bunch of drawbacks. For one, that thing HURTS! Lincoln is a big mover and squirmer, and both Chris and I have been smacked in the face with the front of that helmet. It also makes cuddling really hard since we can't feel his sweet little head against us. And second, it makes his head stink! Poor guy has had it all summer, and he wakes up in the morning with a sweaty, stinky head. He also has begun to think he's indestructible, because that helmet absorbs the impact from any fall–he's in for a rude awakening when that thing's not on 23/7.

Cranial helmet (doc band) decoration R2D2

So here's the PSA: take note of how your baby sleeps and if they can turn their head both ways! Chris and I had no idea to be looking for something like that, but we feel pretty confident that if we had noticed the neck tightness, and made sure that we placed him to sleep making sure he was alternating facing left and right, that Lincoln would not have developed that flat spot. When Baby T. #2 comes along, you can bet we'll be super vigilant watching for the first sign.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Lincoln at 7 months

Again, behind with the months, but I'm slowly catching up! Lincoln turned 7 months on June 15, just in time to kick off the summer!

He was not AT ALL happy about doing this photo shoot. Pretty much anything that requires him to be on his back for longer than half a second is the worst thing in the world to him. Changing diapers are great fun these days (said super sarcastically). I'm pretty lucky I got what little pictures of him smiling that I did! Because in reality, most of the pictures look like that little one the middle right side of the spread....

At 7 months, Lincoln...
- weighs a little less than 14 pounds (yes, he's a teeny guy)
- has mastered sitting up on his own
- figured out how to crawl! (over Memorial Day weekend)
- loves blowing bubbles
- lets me know he wants to nurse by pulling on my shirt
- eats tons of food!
- loves his jumper
- rides in carts like a big boy
- can stand up in his crib
- wears a helmet to fix his flat spot
- crawls into my lap and melts my heart
- loves to crawl over daddy and mommy when they're laying on the floor

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Paislee Press May Guest Designer

In May I got to be a guest designer for Paislee Press. Paislee Press is run by my absolute favorite scrapbook designer, Liz Tamanaha, so I was pretty thrilled to get to play with all the brand new products, as well as some of the old goodies.

I took the opportunity to try to finish up some of my 2015 album. Because let's face it, once Lincoln arrived, there was no way I was finishing that album on time.

The first layout documents life at our house about a month after Lincoln was born. We did a lot of lounging bed apparently. These were the good ol' days, when we could bring Lincoln to bed with us and he would stay put. I miss having him sleep between us!

I went further back and did a spread of some of Lincoln's birth pictures. The whole story is definitely not recorded on this page, but the very abridged and wholesome version is here!

I also wanted to add a few new spreads to Lincoln's baby book. For his book, I'm using one of the new 6x8 Project Life albums. It doesn't feel quite as daunting as filling a full size book and I'm loving the smallness of it. It fits really well on my shelf. Anyway, I had planned to do three spreads showing his typical routine, morning, noon, and evening, but I ran out of time (May was crazy busy) and focused just on the morning. I'm sure I'll go back sometime this summer and finish up those other pages, since they're about halfway done.

And that was that! Super fun seeing how the whole design team thing works and being part of the behind-the-scenes of it all!

Lincoln at 6 Months

So, Lincoln actually turned 7 months a few days ago. But as our May was crazy, and the beginning of June was all about the final push to the end of the school year... I just did his 6 month page a couple days ago.

And, wow! So much has changed from those 6 month stats! At 6 months, Lincoln was trying desperately to crawl, he'd just started eating solids, and bedtime was becoming a bit frustrating for us. Not to give away too many spoilers for his 7 month page, but he crawls all over the house now (and has totally set his eyes on walking next), he eats everything, and puts himself to sleep pretty easily now, for a full 12-hour night. What will 8 months bring?!

At six months, Lincoln...
- weighs about 13.5 pounds
- loves avocados and prunes, and also eats sweet potatoes, squash, and peas
- hardly ever spits up anymore
- puts his own pacifier back in his mouth
- takes longer naps during the day (finally!)
- is really hard to change because he flirts to his stomach and tries to squirm away, every time.
- doesn't like when we leave him alone to play
- army crawls everywhere
- can sit up when we prop his arms in front of him

And here's the final page for his baby book!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tuesday blues

It is 8:54 and I have achieved my main goal of the day by being in bed before 9. I am so thankful this day is over.

Lincoln woke up around 4am and took his sweet time going back to sleep, so I've basically felt exhausted all day. Last night was, sadly, one of those nights I chose to stay up doing things, instead of my usual-and safe-10pm bedtime. Bad luck.

My 7th graders and I got moved to a tiny classroom this week, so the noise is compounded. And have I mentioned 7th grade Drama? Holy Bologna, I cannot with it anymore. I just cannot.

So I survived the day (with a little help from the Coke Chris brought me when he came with Lincoln for L's morning nursing), and managed to make it to our neighborhood pho place for some takeout, then Chris and I tag teamed cleaning the kitchen (a wreck for several days now-we were out of baby bottles!) and getting Lincoln down for the night.

Here we are, Link and me eating his dinner. He loves salmon, and seemed to like the spaghetti squash, too. He couldn't finish it all and I'll admit, I definitely helped myself to some finger foods. (Good thing, too, because I didn't get to eat my pho until 3 hours after I'd brought it home!)

So. I got the kid down. Chris took our ballots next door to our polling place. We ate our pho. I started Lincoln's diaper laundry. I took a shower. I packed Lincoln's things for his daycare house tomorrow. And now I am done.

And I am totally showing a movie in class tomorrow. ;)

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Typical Saturday in June

Today I took no pictures.

I think this is the first day since Lincoln was born that I can say that.

As I sat down to write about the day tonight, I reached for my phone to upload some pictures to go along with it, and had this realization. No pictures to go along with the story. Feels weird.

Today was one of those days that just felt good. I think it's that San Diego finally feels like summer all of the sudden. We've been in this weird, gloomy, chilly funk for awhile, but that last few days have been gorgeous! Sundress-wearing, baby with no shirt on, crank that AC and nap in front of the fan kind of days.

Warning: this is very much a journal-of-my-life type post. It's probably only interesting to me, but it's definitely a glimpse into our life right this second, which I know I'll want to remember.

After going to bed way too late last night, Lincoln and I both woke up around 7:30 this morning. Lincoln had his morning milk, I had some cereal, and then we played in his room for an hour or so. He is so much stinking fun and happy in the morning, I love it.

I got Chris up at 9 so I could take a shower. When I came back to Link's room, I found Chris lying on the floor talking on the phone and Lincoln sitting nearby playing contentedly with a new toy. Lincoln crawled into my lap and started pulling on my shirt, his way of demanding milk these days. We swapped again, and Chris went to take his shower. I went up to the attic and pulled down Lincoln's extra clothes to start sorting through the 9 months. (Trying to figure out what kind of clothes I should keep my eye out for; turns out we're all set for 9 months in every department!)

We went to the kitchen and I pulled out a spinach, pear, apple mix for Link. He loved it, and slurped down the whole packet in about two minutes, no joke. That kid eats everything. I made myself some hard boiled eggs and let Link give that a go, too. Unsurprisingly, he loved it.

At 10:45 I had to leave to go be on an interview panel for school. My friend Sarah was actually the one being interviewed, and the other two people didn't even show up, so it was a quick one. (Sarah nailed it, hurray!) After, I invited Sarah out to lunch, ran home to get Lincoln, and the two of us met her at Olive Garden. Heck yeah, unlimited chicken gnocchi and salad–the only meal I get there. I brought an avocado for Lincoln, and was totally that mom who cut it open at the restaurant and put chunks of it on the table in front of him. (But I was also that mom who cleaned up after his mess before we left.)

Lincoln and I came home around 2, and I decided we both needed a nap. He had pretty much skipped his morning nap, so I knew he was needing one bad. I took my pillow into his room and laid down next to his crib, in front of the fan. I tried to snuggle him with me, but he wanted to crawl over my head instead, so into the crib he went. He was not a fan of this plan, and scream cried for about 20 minutes straight while I continuously reminded him that I was right there and he was just fine. (We've been trying to do a nice version of cry-it-out during nap times and nights where he fights sleep, and he's really been pushing back lately.) But eventually he put his head down and immediately fell asleep, and so did I, on the floor by the crib.

Chris woke us up around 4, so we could go to our friends' house for a "meet our baby!" party. Jesse and Lily had their third girl, Naomi, a couple months ago, and we were eager to go hang out. Jesse was bbq-ing when we got there, so Chris set right in to eating a pulled pork sandwich, while I took Lincoln out back to see the kids. He loves watching kids play. I brought him back inside the house, and another friend's five-year-old brought him a gazillion toys to play with– he was in baby heaven with all those new things to pick up and chew on. When it was cooler outside, we went back out to the yard. I put Lincoln down on the actual ground for the first time ever to see what would happen. He totally showed off his crawling skills, even though the cement driveway had to be rough on his knees! That kid doesn't let anything stop him.

Chris dropped us back at home, then took off to meet Ryan for a movie at 7. Lincoln and I began prepping for bed, having one last nursing session, putting away his clean laundry, reading a book, then bath, nighttime diaper, and jammies. He was pretty tired after his fun day of crawling and seeing people, so he conked out pretty fast after he finished his bedtime bottle. I rocked him for a bit longer to make sure he was good and out before transferring him to the crib.

And then I was free to do whatever I wanted! I had so many things on my list... and instead I wound up just internet surfing. (Sad face.) Well, I did get to place a Target order I needed to do, and checked our electricity bill online. So it wasn't a complete loss.

Chris just got home, and I think I'm ready to go check on Lincoln one last time and climb into bed myself. There's always tomorrow to get to the rest of the things on my list. ;)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Sewing is the new math class

Wow, today was exhausting. Not only is it state testing week for us, but during the non-testing parts of the day, we're doing Mother's Day projects with the kids. One of my fellow teachers is doing bath bombs with the kids, so I volunteered to show them how to sew envelopes for them out of burlap.

I may have picked a craft too advanced for the average 7th grader.

Day 1 is down, and only about 5 kids in each of my classes got to start the craft. While the actual sewing part isn't that difficult, I failed to take into consideration the thread cutting, the needle threading, the knot tying, and the instructing of how to stitch. By the time I get through all that with one group, the module is over and I have to start over again with another group.

Fingers crossed that I get in a better groove tomorrow. At least it's really adorable watching 7th grade boys concentrate so hard on stitching up the side of some lacy burlap. :D

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Cloth Diaper Update (a.k.a. the We Love Thirsties blog)

Back here I wrote about our experience with cloth diapers thus far. At the time I was still torn between which brands were my absolute favorite. But now, five months in, I am definitely sure that Thirsties are the far and away winners.

Still not sure if pockets or all-in-ones are the best. It literally changes day to day. I love the fit on both types, especially in the front. The fit stays flat, with no inner fluff poking out on the tummy and wetting the front of his jimmies. This is where the Alva babies finally failed us. (They're still great for the most part, but that gets super annoying.)

So if you're thinking of doing cloth diapers, I love, love, love Thirsties. Love. I may have an addiction to buying them. (Which I'm trying to break, since we now have ten total in our stash, along with all our other BumGenius and Alvas.)

But they're so stinking cute! How can I stop until I have all of the woodland and sea creature collections?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Going oily

All righty, people, I've taken up distributing with Young Living. If you're unfamiliar, Young Living is one of the top two companies selling 100% pure essential oils. (And you want the pure ones, believe me.) Essential oils probably seem like the latest "gimmick" these days, especially if you, like me, see everyone and their mother trying to convince you to try them. But if you're also like me, you're starting to become very aware of all the chemicals that show up in pretty much everything these days, including air fresheners, lotions, salves, even diaper rash cream! Having a brand new human to take care of has really made me start looking at ingredients and doing some research, and while I don't know nearly everything I'd like to on the nasty chemicals topic, I've learned enough to be convinced that essential oils are the first big step.

So if you're interested in seeing what this oil thing is all about, let me know. I'm going to be posting some sweet deals and freebies in the next week or so (including a free diffuser!), but if you know you're interested in trying anything specific, I can make a deal specific to what you'd like. Deals for you means deals for me, so it's a win-win.

And if you've been on the fence but you're ready to go all out, the starter kit has some sweet oils in it right now. I haven't tried several, so I'm excited to look up some uses and get started with them. And, no, I did not set up this photo with Lincoln's hands; when I put the box on the floor to photograph it, he swung himself around and pulled himself forward to try grabbing for them. Just another reason I'd like to get all the chemicals out of the house, with a baby grabbing at everything these days!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday sleep-in

This morning all three of us are lounging in bed, recovering from a big family wedding weekend. Lincoln pretty much didn't nap at all yesterday, so we're trying to give him as much time as possible to catch up on those zzz's.

He sleeps really well in our bed in the mornings, and even though I'm squished on the edge, unable to really move, and constantly checking him to make sure he didn't move his face into a pillow or flip over on his tummy, I really love these times he's sleeping peacefully between us.

During mornings like these is when I really get a chance to look at him, and it hits me all over again that this is my baby.  I made this baby. He's got my nose and, according to Chris' uncle Ron, my smile. He lights up when he sees me, and has conversations with me, and strokes my face at night as he's falling asleep.

People say once you have a baby, it's so easy to forget the hard part of bringing them into the world. Man, is that true. I barely remember being pregnant–was I really pregnant twice as long as Lincoln's been with us? And his birth... I remember it, but I also feel removed from it at this point, like it didn't really happen to me. Even the first week home, which was pretty bad emotionally and physically for me, is hard to really feel now. I remember it, but I can't really conjure up how it felt.

Being a mother is kind of weird like that. (And also, it just hit me all over again that I'm a mother. What?) Maybe I'm just an overly reflective person. Or maybe I just like this baby so much my mind is willing to shut off those other memories. 

I mean, he is pretty cute.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Lincoln 4 Months

Oh, this stinking cutie. I can't handle him sometimes.

I feel like he has an old soul. Maybe it's the hair, but he really seems so much older sometimes. Not the times he's screaming his head off because he thinks I've cut him off of the milk supply (though even his sad pout face is freaking adorable). It's when he stares at me suddenly like he's trying to figure me out. Usually this is after he's eaten and he looks straight into my eyes with this amused and quizzical expression.

At 4 months, Lincoln...

-weighs 13 pounds (picture is incorrect)
-flips over onto his tummy any chance he gets
-is super into his own feet
-has moved up to six month clothes
-tries to turn the pages in his books
- grabs everything... his toys, others’ fingers, others‘ faces, cloth wipes, his feet, blankets, mama’s hair...
-loves toys that light up
-ends up all over the bed when he sleeps
-can hold his own bottle with a teeny bit of help from mama

Friday, April 1, 2016

Happy April

Someone suggested I do a Lincoln calendar, so here's the first month! I'm excited to put these up in my classroom; my 7th graders go ga-ga over Lincoln every chance they get. :)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sometimes when I go into Lincoln's room at night, I just stare at him. I mean, he is an actual live baby that is mine. That is crazy. I voice this to Chris frequently, and he just looks at me like I'm crazy. Of course he's ours. We wanted him, and now he's here, forever part of our lives.

I have always been one to stop abruptly and really consider what my life looks like. I think for the first five years of our marriage, I would suddenly pause and turn to Chris and say, "What the heck. We're married." And he'd think I was crazy, but that's just because he isn't quite the reflector of life that I am. 

But seriously, we're married. For going on seven years now. How did that even happen? 

How is it that I woke up one day in a house that we bought? How am I finishing up my fourth year teaching at a wonderful school with amazing staff and kids? How did we stumble into a photography business that led to Chris working from home full time, so that when we did have kids, one of us was able to be with them all day?

And seriously, how did we become parents to this incredible four and a half month old?

I love that squishy face.

In other news, we've started letting Lincoln gnaw on veggies when we make them. So far he is not a fan of bell peppers, but he loved slobbering all over a green bean the other night.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Around here...

Around here, we are playing Baby Signing Time a lot. Like, to the point that when I'm at school, the lines running through my head are "These are the pets I love, bird, bird, bird, bird, tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet," "I'm in a car... here I go!" and "Mom has a mom and she's my grandma, she's another mother who loves me." Dang those songs are catchy.

Around here, Chris is editing engagement shoots and newborn shoots, while simultaneously keeping Lincoln entertained all day. Link doesn't nap during the day that much, unless one of us lays down with him. Then that kid will sleep for hours. It's cute in a way, that he just loves being right up next to us, but it's definitely hard when we're trying to get anything done during the day. I keep telling Chris to just embrace naptime when I'm at school, but so far he's been anti-nap. Until today.

Around here, we're pretty tired. Lincoln's regressed in his sleep habits a bit since I went back to work. For the first couple of weeks I was back, he was waking up again 2-3 times a night, and it was hard to get him back down. He was getting better, than two nights ago, he woke up around midnight and refused to sleep if we weren't holding him. As in, we would get him asleep, really, truly asleep, and as soon as we would put him down he would wake up screaming. That was a hard day at work for me after that night. Fortunately, last night he was so much better. I pulled out all the stops: looooong bath time, thin cotton pjs, lavender essential oil diffusing in his room, and an extra top off bottle. He only woke up once, around 2 am, and just long enough for Chris to feed him a bottle before he was out again. Thank you, Jesus.

Around here, I spend my days with 7th graders. And we're just about at the time of year when the Drama starts. I don't know how many times I had to say today, "I don't want to hear about your drama," "Why are we still talking about this?" "Just ignore them," or "If this conversation doesn't end there will be CONSEQUENCES." Seriously, one track minds, those kids. And that track ain't math.

Around here, the monkey is 4 months old! He now is seriously into his toys, enjoys his tummy time and baths, no longer gets swaddled at bedtime, has graduated to 6 month clothes (in Carter's), tries to hold his own bottle during feedings, and has wiggled his way off the bed for the first time. (He was fine.) He still loves being outside the house and seeing people, but he's enjoying his play mat and even being in his crib much more lately.

That's it for now. It's almost 10pm on a Thursday night, so I'm torn as usual between going to bed to get a good amount of sleep hours in or staying awake long enough to finish Lincoln's 4 month scrapbook page. Oh, decisions, decisions.

Friday, March 11, 2016

3 Months

Little Monkey's three month page came together quickly. He's up to so much these days, it was pretty easy coming up with some journaling for this page. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Lincoln Update: 15 Weeks

Our happy baby boy is up to all kinds of new things these days! Obviously he's sitting in his Bumbo these days. Chris was at Target this week and bought a tray accessory for it and Lincoln LOVES sitting up and playing with his toys that are now harder to drop out of reach.

He's also started smiling for the camera, which these two photographer parents are thrilled about. :) He used to stop smiling every time we put the camera up to our eyes. His brow would crease and he'd concentrate on staring at it– so frustrating when we were trying to catch him mid-grin.

In the last week he's become OBSESSED with his feet. As soon we plunk him down on the changing pad, up come the feet (as well as that little tush)! On a side note, he also thinks its hilarious when he gets pretend spankings during diaper changes. What is it about a naked baby tush that just makes you want to smack it? I'm not sure, but Lincoln just cracks up when I lift his legs and ask if he wants a spanking. What a weirdo. ;)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Project Life 2016: Week 3

Before I had a baby, I would often run out of pictures to put in the weekly project life page. Yeah, not so much anymore. Now my problem is that all my pictures are of the same subject! It is definitely the Lincoln show around our house. At least until 8pm when he usually goes down for the night. :)

As I'm going back and filling in the weeks of January and early February, it just really hits me how much Lincoln has taken over our lives. I'm hard pressed to find a photo he's not in! Then I remember that I've been home with him for the past twelve weeks, normal life having been put on hold. Now that maternity leave is over I'll probably have a few other topics to document, but I'm sure Lincoln will continue to be the main character in our project life album this year.

Sunday, February 21, 2016


Tomorrow I go back to work.

I'm about as ready as I possibly can be. I've got my list of things not to forget tomorrow (pump, parts, bottles, laptop, lunch, lots of water), and I'm only slightly paranoid about forgetting something. I've got my morning plan ready, as well as Plan B for when Lincoln doesn't cooperate with the first plan. I don't feel like I'm going to be a mess when I leave tomorrow. Pretty sure that has more to do with the fact that Lincoln will be home with Chris all day, and not actually a reflection on me. But still. It's nice knowing I'm not going to fall apart not the drive in. And it helps knowing that my kids really missed me these last three months.

But I'm still going to miss this little monkey. (And all that hair.)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Cloth Diaper Update

We love cloth diapers!

Here's Lincoln in one of our faves, a Thirsties all-in-one.

When we decided to do cloth diapers back in... oh, I don't know April of last year (like a month after we found out we were pregnant), we really had no idea how many options were out there. And I was seriously confused at first with all the crazy lingo. Pockets, all-in-twos, prefolds, all-in-ones, covers, liners, inserts, bamboo, hemp, microfiber, oh my gosh, So Many Words.

Well, we did eventually figure it all out. But then we had to decide what system to go with! Through all the research, I was pretty confident we were going to love the Thirsties most, but after reading all the Amazon reviews on all-in-ones, pockets, and a cover system, I still didn't know which ones we should go for.

When Lincoln was first born, we planned to use diaper covers with prefolds and the fancy Thirsties duo inserts. We got four of the covers and a bunch of inserts. This was our plan due to learning that most one-size-fits-all diapers don't actually fit the brand new babies very well. This system worked well in theory; the problem with it was Lincoln– he did his business to the side every time so the cover always had to be changed with the insert.

I had also made a ton of flannel fitteds to use with snappis inside the diaper covers. Unfortunately, Lincoln came out bigger than expected (8 lbs, 4 oz), and the majority of my fitteds were too small right off the bat. Luckily, we'd also got a sample of BumGenius all-in-ones in the newborn size, and those lasted for about his first two months. I really liked those all-in-ones; they always fit really well under Lincoln's clothes. They don't have flaps like the bigger version, so everything's contained within the diaper, but they still dried super fast.

Around six weeks, we also started trying out our assorted one size diapers on him. By that time I'd accumulated a good collection of Thirsties, BumGenius, and Alva Babies. (Oh, and we also had two size small gDiapers I'd gotten for free. We didn't use those ones much since they were a bit girly–pink and yellow–but they served their purpose once in awhile.) I've found that cloth diaper shopping is pretty addicting. Even now, when we have a good sized stash–enough to get us through three days if we wanted to wait that long between washes– I still find myself adding diapers to my Amazon cart now and then.

This picture shows most of our diapers; I think it's just missing a few Alva Babies.

Our stash includes:
   11 Alva Babies (3 of which are colored tabs with gussets)
   2 BumGenius all-in-ones (the black and emerald ones above)
   3 BumGenius pockets (the blues in the bottom right corner)
   3 Thirsties all-in-ones (left bottom corner–mint, plaid, and teepee)
   2 Thirsties pockets (the blue and orange)
   1 random... I can't remember the brand name, but it came from Amazon and we had to have it since it had little orange foxes on a gray background.
   4 Thirsties diaper covers (not pictured)
   2 Small gDiapers (girly colors, not pictured)

And, I just added a third gDiaper to our cart, this one in medium. The smalls fit a bit funny on Lincoln for now; the inserts bunch up quite a bit. I'm hoping he'll grow into the medium soon so we can try it out for real.

So with all that, what did our favorites end up being?

Well, Chris has literally no preference. He says they all work, so it really doesn't matter. Although he does agree with me that the 3 Alva Babies with gussets are a bit crazy when double stuffed, which we do at night. Here are my opinions on the diapers we have on hand:

Thirsties Pockets: I actually ended up liking all of our diapers, but the Thirsties pockets are my faves so far. We've got one in snap and one in velcro and both are great. The velcro on Thirsties is WAY better than Bumgenius' velcro; the quality between them in incomparable. I love the gussets on the Thirsties pockets, the way they fit trimly under Lincoln's clothes, and the fact that the opening is in front and back, meaning the insert washes out. Oh, and the insert? A microfiber and a hemp insert. And they're super easy to stuff.

Thirsties All-in-Ones: These are my next favorite. An all-in-one is hard to beat for convenience, but I like these ones over BumGenius' because there's only one flap to deal with. Makes it trimmer, and still seems to hold the same amount as the two-flapped BumGenius.

Alva Babies: I can't believe these are so cheap. Seriously. We love the Alva Babies (the gusset ones, not so much, sadly). They're a little harder to stuff, but they fit great. And we can double stuff these easily and they still fit nicely.

BumGenius pockets: I really like the BumGenius colors and the trim fit... but the reason these are so trim is because the microfiber liner is thin and really doesn't hold anything. Double stuffing really bulks up the diaper unfortunately.

BumGenius All-in-Ones: The double flap is a little annoying because you have to really make sure both flaps stay inside the diaper, and it definitely chunks the diaper up a bit. These also seem to stain easier.

Thirsties Diaper Covers and Duo Inserts: We don't use these much anymore. When Lincoln was newer, we used them much more, either with the micro fleece/hemp inserts or a prefold. We do still use them when we've run out of the others, or they're in the wash, or they're all sitting in a laundry basket in his room for a day and a half (like now). Those things give us an extra day of diapering easy. Having those (and the gDiapers) on hand makes it nice and easy to cloth diaper since we can do laundry without the rush.

Seriously, cloth diapering is so much more fun than disposables. And in the three months since Lincoln was born, we have bought exactly one box of disposable diapers... and it's taking us a loooooooooong time to go through that box. Lincoln might move up to size twos before we finish the box! Good thing all our cloth diapers grow with him! ;)