Nov 30, 2011

Happy Birthday!!!

This post will be short and sweet, just how I like it :]

Today, my baby turned ONE! I stayed home with her, slept in, made her pancakes, finished decorating the house with all types of Christmas decor, cleaned, went to Hobby Lobby with my mother and Laila, went out to lunch with mom, Laila and my aunt, did a ton more cleaning, played and played with my one year old. She was SO pooped out, and is already in bed and has been since 6:45. I think it was the cupcake and Red Velvet Ice Cream and not only did she get it ALL over her, she smothered my face in it while we were trying to take pictures. She seriously is THE best ever.

Lately, Laila has been showing me how smart she is. She is starting to repeat everything  you do. She wipes her mouth after eating, puts toys away, she even repeated "you did it" just like the show she was watching. I tip-toed into her room last night to find her awake and playing, so I brought her into bed to get some snuggle time in and attempt to read a book. Instead, we just lied there and guess what she did?? She continuously rubbed my forehead and hair back, just like I do to her.  I am so amazed at how much she has grown in the last year.

I look back at the times she was just born, holding her for the first time, kissing her, smelling her and telling her how much I love her and how happy I was she was finally here. I remember everything. the labor and delivery, the overflow of emotions that took over my body. I remember leaving the hospital and bringing her home for the first time and all the sudden I was stressed. Not because I just had a baby, but because I had to put too much stuff away that was taken and received at the hospital. No matter how tired, stressed or wondering "why am I crying about this stupid crock pot I can't put away" (yes, I did cry over a crock pot) I was still overly grateful to have a healthy, happy baby-family.  Everything is still so fresh in my mind and I love remembering it all but I look forward to all the other milestones, her 2nd birthday, 3rd, 4th, the day she learns to tie her shoes, ride a bike,the day she gets married, has kids, everything.

I'm so proud to be her mama and I'm so in love with her. Happy 1st Birthday, Laila. Mama loves you, to the moon and back and back again.

(how's that for short and sweet, :P)

Nov 23, 2011

convertible carseat hunt

Laila has been in her infant carseat for almost a year now and it's definitely time that we switch her on over to a convertible carseat. But finding the right convertible carseat has not been as easy as I thought.

I want something super safe, comfortable, something that will accomdate her as she grows and something not to ugly. Oh, and one that won't break my pockets. Is that too much to ask for? Apparently, for me, it is because I just cannot find the perfect one. Scratch that, I did find the perfect one, Graco Smart Seat All-in-One, linky here. Unfortunately, $300 isn't in our budget at this time, especially around the holidays. But, this morning, I noticed it was on sale for $239.99. Better, but still more than what I wanted to spend.

Then there is this one, Graco My Ride 65 and I have heard lovely things about it. Everyone seems to rav how awesome it is, and one of the biggest things I loved, it was for rear-facing or forward-facing. To me, that is very important because I want Laila to stay rear-facing as long as her little legs can handle it. I've heard during the summer the seat can get very warm, it's just not breathy enough. Does that make sense? Some also say once you face it forward, it tilts too far back causing they're child to constantly try to sit up. Also, I'm not sold on the pattern and have seen others elsewhere and for a little less money.

Next up, Graco Nautiuls Three-in-One. Seems SO incredibly safe it's undelievable, biggest down-fall for me, it's only forward-facing. I do like that she could go in it now and then when she gets old enough, it's also the booster seat for her. The price also doesn't break our pockets. 

Have you noticed a pattern here? All of these convertible carseats are by Graco. What can I say?! I love Graco! Anyone have any recommendations on convertible carseats?! Help me out!!

30 Days of Thanks: Days 15-23

Can you believe it?! Thanksgiving is tommorrow and I couldn't be more excited. I am so ready to surround myself with family, homemade recipes and laughter. AND my daughter's birthday is NEXT Wednesday!

Day 15: Coffee, I cannot function without it. Coffee keeps me sane and is the reason I can function on a day to day basis. Whether it be coffee I make at home, Starbucks or my new favorite, Dunn Brothers, I love it all. Thanks coffee!!

Day 16: Hot water, If I wasn't able to run a hot shower or bath, I would be pretty freaking miserable and super cranky. Hot showers are one of my favorite parts of the day and after Laila goes to bed, I enjoy just sitting in the water and thinking about anything and everything.

Day 17: Leah, my sister who lives all the way in Ohio..ok ok, it's not that far away. I miss my sister every single day and I hate not being able to see her as often. I just long for that siterly-bond/sercret-sharing that I see going on with other sisters and wish her and I could spend more time together. She's amazing, kind, and such a hard worker.

Day 18: Foodgawker, feed your eyes! Ah, why oh why must I love this site so much?! Because it has delicious recipes right in front of my face. :] Sometimes, I can't help it if I drool all over the place.

Day 19: Thanksgiving, an amazing time of the year where you can surrond yourself with family and be thankful for everything you have. Although, you should be thankful everyday.

Day 20: My camera, which goes along with pictues. If I didn't have my camera, I wouldn't be able to take pictures. I wouldn't be able to capture those beautiful, sad, mad and exciting moments that happen throughout everyones life. I'm hoping to use my camera to share other peoples moments with them, in time.

Day 21: Sunshine. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray. La de da de da. I love the sun and the sun keeps me in a good mood. I can get very depressed if I go days without sunshine. So winter can be especially hard on me. I'm hoping this year isn't too bad.  : /

Day 22: Comfortable clothing. I have so sense of fashion, haha. I wear what feels comfortable and what I look good in. And most days, that's usually just jeans and a hoodie. So boring but it's what makes me feel comfortable. Not going to lie, I definitely need to step out of my bubble and try new things out!

Day 23: Every single family member I have. I mentioned that I am thankful for my mom, dad, aunt, and sister but what about all the other family members I have? I'm thankful for every single one of them because every single one of them accepted me into their lives when I was adopted, every single one of them watched me struggle growing up and every single one of them helped me overcome my hardships. How could I not be thankful for such an amazing family?!

Nov 15, 2011

christmas meme - join in!

Jess from IROCKSOWHAT posted this Christmas Meme on her blog and I wanted in on the fun. Everyone should do this :]

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? I absolutley hate egg nog, so hot chocolate it is

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? he has the elves do them, silly.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? I prefer white with colorful ornaments on a tree. On my house, color!

4. Do you hang mistletoe? never have, maybe this year I will ;)

5. When do you put your decorations up? our tree is already up :] thank you to the guy from CL who sold it to us!

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? um, pie. no doubt!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? all of the kids would head over to my grandma and grandpa's house and bake/decorate a crap ton of cookies and take our own home! we've done this every year and this year, i'll still be joining in.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? can't remember. i'm guessing my parents just decided to tell me.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? use to all the time..

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? well this year we bought the tree pre-lit with white lights and pinecones and I just finished a pinterest project and made my own ornaments. hopefully it looks nice

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? if I can sit inside with some slippers, sweatpants on and some coffee, then I love snow. If I have to go outside and drive in it (if it's bad) then I hate it!

12. Can you ice skate? pft, when I was younger, now I'm sure i'll just fall on my arse.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Laila was born a month before Christmas and I'm pretty sure that was the best gift ever, awww :]

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? spending quality time with family and lots of delicious food

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Pie and all sorts of pie

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? baking and decorating cookies @ my grandma and grandpas house with all the other kids.

17. What tops your tree? A star.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? hate both. I suck at giving gifts and I hate when people watch me open mine, I just feel so akward. But this year, I'm pretty excited about giving because i'll be making a lot of cakes in a jar

19. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum? yum but I mostly use them for decoration

20. Favorite Christmas show? Elf, Santa Claus (all) and pretty much everything else that is Christmas

21. Saddest Christmas Song? Silent Night

22. What is your favorite Christmas song? I want a hippopotamus for Christmas

Nov 14, 2011

All About Laila: 11 Months

Dear Laila,

This is only the second letter I've wrote you, one at birth and now this one, closer to your 1st birthday. Can you believe that in only 2 weeks, you're going to be one?! I can't because just yesterday, I was cradling you in my arms and singing a lullaby to you. I remember the day you were born, I was lucky and had a fast and easy delivery. You were so eager to come out and once you did, you cried, the most beautiful sound ever. You were placed on my chest and I couldn't stop crying and saying "I love you" over and over again. And since that day, you have grown up right before my eyes.

You no longer sleep in bed with us, or need me to hold your bottle, you love to do everything yourself and are so independent, it scares me. But there are still days where you want to sit on my lap all day long and cuddle. I love those days. I miss having you sleep right next to me though, the warmth of your body, listening to you breath and guess what?! Sometimes, you even snore. But, I can still hear all of that on the monitor.

Your appetite seems to be getting bigger everyday, all you want to do is eat. You aren't a fan of eggs (anymore) avocado, carrots (depending on how they're cooked) and some other items, like fruit. The only fruit I can get you to eat all the time is a banana. You totally love those things. Pretty soon you'll be on whole milk, woohoo! You hate your formula, anyways.

You've been going to bed around 7-7:30 for a while now and usually wake up around 6:30. I enjoy spending my mornings with you, lounging in our pajamas with the sun beaming in through the window. It's always a great morning. I miss taking you for walks but it's to cold for that, and I really think you miss it too. You are SUCH an outside baby toddler.

You wave bye-bye to everyone except me. I think you are just too smart and know that I'll be right back. You love strangers, is that weird and when did that happen? I remember the days you would scream if someone looked at you that you didn't even know. But now, you love when random people talk to you. You even wave bye-bye to them. You also clap, all.the.time, especially in the bathtub.

You also have some awesome moves and love to dance with me when there is music on. You're walking now, and have been since 10ish months. I love seeing you walk everywhere or even run. Although, seeing you run just scares me because you tend to fall a lot. Have to work on that balance a little more. Once walking came along, a few more bumps and bruises also came. But, you picked yourself right back up and continued to walk. You don't give up!

You have come to love the dog, Mykenzie. You give her hugs, pet her, pull her tail, play with her water and food and Mykenzie's favorite, you feed her!! I hope you continue to love animals as you get older.

Last weekend, you spent your first couple nights away from me but I don't even think you noticed, haha. You did awesome. I think I had the most trouble being away from you. I felt weird being so far, not able to give you a hug or kiss whenever I wanted but you and I talked on the phone a lot, that was nice!!

Speaking of talking, you still say the same words that you've been saying. One word you did pick up is puppy! You still love to read books and will sit and read them to me instead of the other way around. You have learned how to open the cabinets so it's time for us to lock those suckers up. You enjoy doing laps around the house, pulling on the gate, looking out the window, and the best - giving hugs.

I'm so proud of everything you have accomplished and I am so excited to watch you grow into this beautiful girl. Just don't grow too fast, mama isn't ready. Mama loves you, to the moon and back and back again.

30 Days of Thanks: Days 11-14

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. Ours involved paint samples, ripping up carpet, leaves, and sunshine and some talk about putting up and knocking down walls. Having a home makes my mind wander in all sorts of directions.

But, back to thanks.

Pictures and lots of them. Pictures are a great way to capture a very special, sad, mad, exciting moment and there something you can hold onto forever, even if that memory of the day starts to fade away. I often find myself looking back at my old pictures of when I was 5, 10, 15 and being so thankful to have these pictures. And that's exactly what I want Laila to do, to look back and be thankful to have all these pictures of her life growing up.

Naps. Who doesn't love a good nap? I sure do and to be honest, I never get to take a nap anymore. If/when Laila naps, I stay awake because that's time that I have to myself to get things done around the house or even just sit and read a good book, or enjoy a good workout. But, when I actually do give in and take a nap, I almost never regret it because I feel oh so wonderful afterwards.

Disney Junior Yes my child does watch Disney Junior on the Disney channel in the morning. She loves to watch Little Einsteins, that pirate show and some other ones. No, she doesn't sit there all morning, staring at the tv but she does enjoy what she is watching so why not let her?

Pinterest I can't get enough of Pinterest and it really inspires me to bring out my crafty side. Over the weekend, I even managed to make some of my own ornaments that I saw on YoungHouseLove, who pinned them with the oh so awesome, Pinterest.

There you have it, the last 4 days of what I'm thankful for.

Nov 10, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Days 9 & 10

I'm greatful for a TON of things, some important and some not that important at all and certainly, things that I could live without.

Food: Our bodies need food and water to survive and I hate knowing that there are a million people out there that don't get to eat. I feel horrible when I throw a bunch of food away or let it go to waste, because that food could definitely go to someone else. Sometimes, I just have to realize how much I have, and how little some people have. If I could help everyone, I could. But, I'm not superwomen. I'm thankful for food

Coca-Cola: Totally lame but I am a Coca-Cola addict and I am so thankful for that soda. That's all I have to say about that... Lame, right? Yes, I know...

taking a second... pray for the families of loved ones that were injured/killed in a horrible accident that took place Wednesday at 9 a.m, involving 2 semis and 6 other cars.

And even though I do not know a single person that was involved, I do have friends that knew someone and it breaks my heart that something SO tragic can happen.

Please be safe while driving!               & Stay tuned for Days 9 & 10 of 30 Days of Thanks

Nov 9, 2011

Wordless{ish} Wednesday V.1

I was suppose to be back today with my All About Laila: 11 Months but instead I'm participating in Wordless Wednesday for the first time ever, I think.

And look what we have here, our first snowfall of the season. This makes me pretty excited. It means Christmas is coming up soon and I just love Christmas. The snow, the fresh smell of apple pies, Christmas trees, Christmas decor, lovely scented candles. It's just too darn breathtaking not to love.

Luckily, none of the snow is sticking because I definitely need new tires this year!

Nov 8, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Day 8

I promised I would be back today for my 30 Days of Thanks with Day 8 and here I am.

Day 8: Buying a home was a very very stressful situation for Justin and I. We got approved, looked at a few houses and fell in love with the one we currently live in. But, buying a home goes much deeper than that. There's money involved and a lot of it, and that scared the both of us. At the time, we weren't sure what we were getting ourselves into when we realized all the money that would have to come out of our pocket. But luckily, it wasn't too bad and at the end of the day, we are SO glad to be here, in our home and I don't regret anything. Were just hoping we can create many memories, traditions, and special moments here that we'll remember and cherish for the rest of our lives. And it was very important to us, that Laila would have a place to call home. I'm very thankful that everything worked out and we live in an amazing home, even if there were a couple speed bumps along the way.

Check back tomorrow and hopefully I'll have All About Laila: 11 Months up. YES, that means my daughter is turning ONE in a a couple of weeks. Someone, please stop time, just for a little while. Pretty please?

My trip to Ohio

My trip to Ohio was amazing, I had a blast spending time with my sister and her fiance, Matt and a couple of her friends. But to say I was excited to come home is definitely an understatement. Because, well, I missed my daughter more than I ever thought I could.

I stayed home all day on Friday to spend as much time with Laila as I could. I just wanted to be with her before I had to leave. We cleaned, played, napped, danced, sang, did some more cleaning, Laila helped with laundry and by helped, I mean, Laila throwed the folded clothes around the living room. I even patiently waited for her early birthday present to show up. And alas, it did, 2 hours before I had to leave to head to the airport. Woohoo!

And look, here she is, sitting like a big girl in her chair, which was her early birthday present. She loves that chair. If anybody is wondering which one it is Harmony Kids Rocker in Light Pink Dot, they have other color options as well but Justin and I both agreed on this one. And it's sooo soft.
When it came time to heading to the airport, I got real nervous and sweaty. It's not that I'm afraid to fly because I love taking off and landing, I was just nervous to leave behind my daughter. And for a second, I even thought I was going to miss my flight because traffic on the way there was HORRIBLE. We drove for probably 20 minutes doing 20 mph. It sucked. By the time we got there, I said my cya laters and gave a ton of kisses. I was bummed Justin and Laila weren't able to come in and spend time with me before I headed to security but we didn't think there would be time. :[

I didn't cry when I said cya later. It wasn't until I was sitting at my gate when tears showed up. I was bummed and kind of regretted not bringing Laila with that time. But once I landed, my sister and Matt picked me up at the airport around 9ish and we had a late dinner and laughed our butts off watching Bridesmaids. Best movie ever.

Saturday was filled with dress shopping for us bridesmaids and that was stressful. The first place had nothing, except some complimentary water, and the second place was way too expensive. So we hit up Davids Bridal and we all found a dress, the same dress in the same color. It's a beautiful dress. After that stressfulness was over and done with, we hit up a Japanese Restaurant called Otanis for my sisters 26th birthday! YUM.

The rest of the evening was filled with way too many Vanilla Vodka + Pineapple juice, Irish Car Bombs, Jameson, Beer, and some other weird drink that I couldn't even name. A nightclub that made my heart feel like it was about to jump out, and late night drunk pizza. I wasn't expecting to drink as much as I did but it happened and it rarely happens. I almost NEVER have a drink in my hand. Last time I drank was my 21st birthday and that was almost 4 months ago, it's really just not my cup of tea and I definitely prefer to be sober. But overall, I had an amazing night, even if I don't remember even going to bed! *sigh*

And even though I stayed up till 3 am, my butt was up at 7 am. It's out of pure habit since Laila is an early riser. I had to take medicine, drink a ton of water, and force myself to go back to sleep. It was a rough morning but nothing french toast can't fix...until it makes you sick on the way to the airport and you have to shyly ask to stop somewhere to use the bathroom. TMI, so sorry.

And, I made it home in one piece and I was so excited to see Laila and Justin. Laila looked like she got bigger while I was gone...can that even happen??!!

It's so nice to be home with my little family but at the same time, I miss being with my sister and hanging out. Not to mention, it was soo nice to sleep in and have some freedom. Gosh, that makes me sound horrible.

&; sorry, I didn't take a single picture what I was gone. The only one I have is of my sister and I, drunk. Not to sure if I want to share that picture...

I'll be back a little later with my Day 8 of Thanks!

Nov 7, 2011

30 Days of Thanks: Days 1-7

November is a beautiful month. Filled with leaves falling over the trees, crisp air, delicious food and tons of much needed family time. November is also a special month because it's the month I welcomed my daughter into this world. The 30th, to be exact.

So I've decided to do write down everything I am thankful for, all in 30 days. And since this is a week late, I'll be writing 7 things I'm thankful for..

Day 1: My daughter, Laila Rayne. The most precious, beautiful, sweet, loving, joyful little girl. It's so hard to describe what she means to be because every time I try, a little tear trickles down my cheek. I never knew my heart could ever feel such an immense love for such a little child.

Day 2: My fiance, Justin. The one that's there to let me cry on his shoulder, who gives me strength, who knows exactly how to make me feel better, the man who makes, the one that doesn't care that I still act like a kid sometimes. My rock, my soul mate.

Day 3: My job. This may seem lame but I love my job, even though it's a desk job. Every one there is and has been so supportive through out the years that I've been there. Yes, I've had hard times there and yes, I've cried on more than one occasion. But, my job means a lot to me. My job (as well as Justin's) helps support my family. And that's very important to me.

Day 4: My mom and dad. These two are the best. I don't know where I would be without them, literally. They took me in when I was 5 years old because my biological parents couldn't take care of myself and siblings. The feed me and gave me clothes and most importantly, they loved me. I've had horrible horrible times with them and I've said some pretty hateful things but at the end of the day, they were the ones that still loved me and supported me. If they hadn't picked me, I don't know where I would to today and for that, I love them a ton.

Day 5: My best friend, Laura. I've known Laura since freshman year of high school, over 5+ years ago. She knows everything about me, I tell her my secrets and the things I'm too embarrassed to tell anyone else about. This girl is amazing, my best friend.

Day 6: My aunt, Sherry. I love my aunt, so so much. She has always been there for me, especially when I was having troubles with my parents. She bought a bed and would buy food for her house and let me stay there every Friday night to have time away from my parents. This was always a re-fresher and felt nice to get away for a little while, even if she lived right next door, lol. Now, we still hangout all the time. My Saturdays usually consist of Laila and I bumming around with her. It's always a great time, no matter what we do.

Day 7: My blog. I don't blog much, mainly because I just can't find the time. I have so much other stuff to do with my job, my home, my daughter, myself. And sometimes, I just don't want to feel like I have to blog. I blog because it's nice to jot down what we did over the weekend or a fun milestone that Laila did. But I definitely don't make my blog a priority and I'm honestly fine with that. But just knowing that I have a blog and can write what ever I want, makes me feel good.

So...there you have. Seven days of what I am thankful for. I'll be hopefully back every day to make a note of what I am thankful for. I've even thought of doing a "Thankful Jar" at the house. But who knows if Justin would be on board or even remember! Haha

What are you thankful for this November?

Nov 1, 2011

I'll be leaving but coming back..

 My heart is breaking at this very moment...

On Friday, I leave my daughter for the very first time and I'm having a hard time dealing with the fact that I won't be seeing her till Sunday and who knows what time. I won't be the one bathing her, putting her in her snuggly pajamas and reading her a bedtime story. I won't be able to give her a kiss and a hug, say sweet dreams and kiss her some more. I won't be able to listen to the sound of her fan and breathing over the monitor, the wonderful sound that I fall asleep to every night. I won't be able to sneak in her room and check on her in the middle of the night after a bathroom break. I won't be the one getting up with her, watch cartoons, eat breakfast and play. I won't be able to be with my baby till Sunday and I'm struggling with this.

Maybe I should get to the point of WHY I won't be seeing her. I'm going to Ohio to visit my sister, Leah. I'm stoked to see her since I don't see her that often but at the same time, my heart breaks because I've never been away from Laila...especially overnight.

Justin and I debated back and fourth on me taking her along but the end result was a no :[ I'm terrified to have her fly on a plane..I have this mindset that something is going to go wrong...I feel more comfortable with her staying home with her daddy. Plus, he really wants alone time with her.

I don't know how I'm going to make it...I'm going to cry while I wave bye bye to her :[ It's natural for me. Have I mentioned I cry, like a lot?? Especially lately...

I'm teaching Justin how to Skype before I leave, that's a must because I will NEED to see her somehow and what better way than Skype?! I wish leaving for a couple days would be easier but I just have to remember that I will be back and I'll get to see her smile and laugh all over again.

And of course, what's a post without a picture? Here she is. ALMOST one :]