Thursday, May 30, 2013

Charlotte's room

As requested from a fan (you know who you are).....a post about the nursery. Apparently I never got around to posting photos of Charlotte's room after we moved! Shame on me!! So, without further adieu, here is little Miss' room....

Using the phone camera, I took this one of the entire room

When you enter her room, there are a few stairs (the house is on a hill), and this is the first thing you see.....

Left to right.....the changing table/dresser

We decided to just purchase a dresser rather than a changing table. This way she can use it for many many years (hopefully). We got a pad to go on top of the dresser, and some baskets to organize all those baby supplies.  The dresser and crib are Munire. They were middle of the road in cost. Not super cheap, but not outrageously expensive either. Good quality, good reviews, and the style we both loved. Plus the crib is convertible, so it will be her toddler bed and big girl bed someday. 

Wall decor: that big mirror, which used to be in our dining room in San Diego, is covering up the circuit box. It is a HUGE box and so ugly!!! It was the only thing I could think to hang over it. And Charlotte seems to love it. Every day when she wakes up from her nap I show her the baby in the mirror and she always smiles and giggles. So cute!! If we were living here forever, I would look around for something else to hang there, but it fits the bill for now. The other pictures have all come from family and friends. Personal, creative, and very near and dear to us.

All her bedding is Pottery Barn. It had great reviews and we got it all as a gift. Plus, I love a good monogram! You can see the quilt is monogrammed with her name :). I placed it there just for the photos, because we all know "no blankets in the crib". We do use a bumper. It is breathable, and I believe I also got it from Pottery Barn.

And thank goodness for the built-in bookshelves in this house! Without them I would need to get a lot more creative about storage. They hold all her books, baskets with her stuffed animals, etc. And the closet even has them too!

And finally, our much loved Pottery Barn rocking chair! I actually wanted a glider, but Matt hated how they looked, regardless of the comfort or that I would be the one spending the majority of the time in it. And he had a good point: we should get something we can eventually put in our living room, especially considering the cost of these chairs. So we shopped and shopped and eventually settled on the PB Comfort Small & Ottoman - french stripe oatmeal fabric. We tried to select a neutral fabric, knowing it will eventually end up in the main living space. We love this chair. 

Two things I really want to add to her room: first, her name in wood letters. I have a shop on Etsy I want to buy it from, and I plan to place it right above that chair. In another house, it will be centered above the crib. And second, a beautiful rug for the floor. Something pink and white (of course!), with a lovely pattern. I think it will really complete the room and bring it all together. 

Hope you enjoyed this post! Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 24, 2013

memorial day

Never ever ever did I think I would marry a military man. Living in San Diego, I was adamant against dating anyone in the military. Most of the guys I met were douche bags not my type. And then I met Matt at In Cahoots and he won me over with his good looks and charm. DAH! And as soon as we got semi-serious I specifically said I would not move....5 months later I was packing up a U-Haul headed for Washington, DC! DAH! And now...a dog, a baby, and 5 years under our belt, I could not be happier. Do I love being a military wife? No, not always. But most of the time I do. Sometimes I hate the moving around, and sometimes I think it is a lot of fun. It definitely keeps us on our toes. My hope is that Charlotte learns to love being a Navy brat. It won't be easy for her, especially when it comes to making friends every time we move. But hopefully she will be outgoing and see the positives: she gets to live all over the country!

I think I somehow got off on a tangent purpose of this post was to thank all those who serve. My hubby, all his wonderful friends (our second family), their amazing and supportive wives (ladies I could not do this without you!!), and all those service members out there we have never met. Thank you. It's not easy. It's a birthday away from home. A Christmas without a spouse. A phone call dropped when you haven't heard from someone in a month. Sporadic communication. Worrying nonstop. Being homesick. But it's a job with a purpose. Protecting our country. Defending our freedom. It's definitely not easy. Thank you.

And now for some pictures of my man in uniform! ;)
LOVE the whites!!!

So cute!

our first deployment - goodbye

sure was bright out there

gotta do the dip kiss right?!



Cuddling Miss Charlotte

kisses from Daddy

Can't believe she was ever this small

Enjoy your long weekend everyone!! Stay safe and remember why we have this extra day off! :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

birth announcement tips and tricks ~ by Rachael McAdams, guest blogger

Was there something in the water nine months ago? It seems to be baby season right now! I know a ton of ladies who are about ready to pop, some with their first and even more with their second bundle of joy. It all brings back memories of Charlotte's birth, and that wonderful time in our lives. During those first few weeks, while we were busy getting acquainted with our little girl, changing diapers, and trying to get sleep, I was also trying to find the time to send out birth announcements to our family and friends. It was insanity. Research, selecting the photos, the cards, getting the addresses was a lot of work! I ended up sending mine out as Christmas cards, I just couldn't get my act together any earlier than that. 

But for all of you ladies who are about to pop, my guest blogger, Rachael McAdams has put together some great tips for you. These will save you time and energy! Thanks Rachael for the wonderful ideas!

Family Photo Tips & Birth Announcement Etiquette

So you have decided you want to do a full family photo for your new baby’s birth announcement. This is a great way to bring the entire family closer together after bringing your baby home. Once you take a variety of different shots, take your time and go through each of them one at a time and narrow your selection down to two or three photos to use for your child’s birth announcement. Tiny Prints and other online photo printing companies offer services where new parents can create their own, specialized birth announcement using the photos you took of your newly expanded family. You can then customize exactly what you want the announcement to say.

Here are a few suggestions to make your photos the best they can be for this special announcement.

  1.  Clothes: Don’t wear clothes with many different patterns. They will be distracting in the photo. Instead go for solid colors or a simple pattern. Think about your flesh tone when choosing your outfit, as well. If you are very light and have freckles, for example, don’t wear black, as it is too opposite from your skin tone. Go for yellows, greens, and blues.
  2. Lighting: Make sure your subject is facing the light source instead of standing in front of it. If they are in front of the light source, all you will wind up with is a silhouette or a very dark photo. If you want to take a silhouette, however, then this is exactly how to do it. Remember that if you are using your smartphone try to add some light to the subject. One of the biggest photography weaknesses with most smartphones is their inability to take great photos in low light conditions.
  3. Avoid Digital Zoom: Avoid using the digital zoom at all costs. This is a pretty useless feature. It will make your photos look grainy. Instead just move closer to the subject.
  4. Children and Pets: Taking photos with children and pets can be tricky. When children are young, they really aren’t interested in sitting still and pets are never interested in posing for the camera. Make sure you get down to their level and move in close when taking your photos! Remember children and pets are MUCH smaller than you so your photos will immediately be better when you sit down on the floor or wherever they are located. Pick a time of day when kids and pets are fed and well rested. And make sure you take lots of photos. The more photos you take, the better they will be and you’ll have a better chance of taking that once-in-a-lifetime shot.
  5. Use Apps: There are plenty of apps available to help you improve the shots you take. One great photo app is Instagram. This app has plenty of filters to give your photos that little something extra that can take a good photo to a great photo!

Now when it comes to birth announcement etiquette, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you should send out the announcement as close to the actual birth as possible. Is it expected you send them out the day you come home from the hospital? Of course not. But they should go out before the baby is six months old. Pick out an announcement design before the baby arrives to save time. This way when you get home all you need to do is add all the specifics.

It is important to remember that you do not need to include a personal note in the announcement. When you use a website, like Tiny Prints, to create your birth announcement, there are services available that can have your announcements addressed and mailed for you by simply uploading your address list. This will save time and stress on your end so you won’t have to worry about hand-addressing each envelope or running out of stamps. Think about using your Christmas card list as a basis for your announcements and go from there. You will probably want to add to it. When it comes to who should receive your new baby’s birth announcement, send them to anyone who would normally be a part of happy family news!

Thanks to the extra time you took to get your photos just right, and remembering a few points of etiquette, you will definitely have a memorable birth announcement for your new baby that involved the entire family!

Rachael McAdams is a new member to the SAHM community and is loving every minute of it! Rachael has been a writer for years but has recently been delving into the mommy blogging world. She loves writing about various subjects, but especially enjoys providing advice to new moms. If you'd like to follow Rachael, you can find her at @livealittleNYC.

Monday, May 20, 2013

weekend at Nana's!

Three weeks ago we spent the weekend at my Mom's. Because she lives so close (only a 3 hour drive), we can see each other more often. I love it and know I will really miss it when we move. And I was supposed to get my butt in gear and post the recap and photos weeks ago, but well, life got in the way. 

While we were visiting, my Mom's friend Jane was nice enough to spend the afternoon with us and take some photos. There were so many good ones it was hard to choose which ones to post.....

standing girl! 
"want my toy?"

ooo bubbles!!!

"I'm gonna get it!"

Nana and Charlotte. love

Then we headed to the pool since it was sooo hot outside!! And while Charlotte napped in the stroller, Mommy and Daddy got to swim together. Matt was helping to improve my swimming skills (which needed quite a bit of help)!

wow. that's pretty hot.
family photo

"give me those sunglasses!"
not too sure about the pool.

daddy finally got some smiles!

looks like it's time to leave!

And on Sunday we went to the Canine Cancer Walk.....

relaxing in the shade

a bunch of Goldens, and Harley. 

Matt and I also managed to sneak in a little date while Nana babysat! We went to the movies, the first one together since Charlotte was born! It was wonderful :)

Not too sure about the kitten. She knows what dogs are but was so confused
about the cat! She tried to "pet" and got the cat's entire head instead. haha

Papa Ryan and Storm

Harley was obsessed!!! He wanted to take it home but Matt said NO WAY!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

happy mother's day

Today is my first Mother's day. I never thought it would mean so much to me, but it does. It is the first holiday I had to earn. Pregnancy, labor, childbirth.....and the job never actually ends. It's wonderful. It's rewarding. It's also really damn hard. So today, on Mother's day, I want to send out some thanks of my own. 

the day I became a Mommy.

To my mom, a thank you is never going to be good enough. You have done so much for me, for us, and I can really appreciate it all now (not that I didn't before, but now I really know what's up!) You are an amazing Mom. Loving. Supportive. Generous. Beautiful. A perfect example. I love you so much and wish we could spend more time together. Charlotte is so lucky to have you as her Nana. 

bath time circa 1983

the day my Mom became Nana

To my Grandma, I love you. Talk about the best Grandma in the world. I say it ever single year but it is so true. You are the best. I don't know how is the world we got so lucky. You are patient, loving, giving, and pretty darn funny. We love traveling with you and creating so many wonderful memories. And I am so happy Charlotte gets to have those memories too. Thanks for everything Gma. 

me and Grandma :)

Charlotte and her Great Grandma

And a special shout out to Rachel. You are one crazy fool, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Without you, life just wouldn't be as entertaining. Plus, who would I call with my random questions? You seem to know it all! We love you!

I would not be the woman, or mother, I am today without each of you. You have all supported me and loved me unconditionally and for that I am forever thankful. Charlotte is so lucky to have each of you in her life. She is one very loved little girl.

three generations

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

happy 8 months Charlotte!!

Miss Charlotte,

Today you are 8 months old. Again I ask, where oh where has the time gone? My little baby is turning into a big girl before my eyes. Every time I blink you are learning something new, or babbling a new word. I think about where we were 8 months ago and I smile. What an amazing journey so far. And I know things will only get better.

photo shoot in the garden

Since you did not have a doctor's appointment this month, we had to do a non scientific weigh in at home. You are roughly 20lbs and 28 inches long. It was really hard to measure you when you kept wiggling! 

And what a mover and shaker you have become. Your big accomplishment of the month...CRAWLING!! Watch out world, here comes Charlotte!! I just knew you would figure it out, and now I am silently regretting all the encouraging we have done. I miss my immobile baby. I have to constantly worry when I walk away from you for a second. You roll and scoot and make your way around the living room like a mad woman. Especially when the remote is on the floor! I am waiting for the day when you sneak up on Harley and scare him half to death. I sure hope I can capture that on video! Speaking of video, here is one of you crawling....

You also said another word....NANA! We were sitting at the dinner table and you just started jabbering away. I quickly grabbed my phone so I could capture the moment. And then I sent it over to Nana to enjoy! I bet she was smiling ear to ear. 

You are still happily enjoying dinner with us, and I am now trying to get you used to breakfast. I don't know if you nurse too close to breakfast time or if you just aren't interested, but so far you are not a fan. You swallow a few bites for good measure, but then start shaking your head no and giving me "the look" until I give up. 

something you are a fan of.....the chargers!! All decked out for the draft!

And you have a new "most hated" food. Peas. I made a delicious (just ask Harley) dish of pureed peas and you were having none. of. it. You took a few bites, made a nasty looking face, and when I tried to get you to keep eating you threw it all up. You are definitely your father's daughter. He did the exact same thing when he was growing up. I didn't think a dislike of peas was genetic, however I have been proven wrong. haha. But as you know, Mommy does not let perfectly good food go to waste, so I added apples, pears, and bananas to the pea puree and bam, you love it. Yummy fruit to cover up the pea taste = success!

hanging out at stroller strides

We went wine tasting again this month. You loved it. Little lush :).

give me that glass!

And we got to go visit Nana. It was so hot that we spent most of the weekend in the pool! (a whole separate post about this trip coming soon!!)

This month we took you on your first hike at Garland Ranch! We finally purchased a baby hiking backpack and just had to try it out. It went so well that two weeks later we followed it up with a 3 hour hike in Big Sur. Seriously, not sure what we were thinking there, even Mommy was ready for a shower and a nap by the end. But it was wonderful to be outside, see the beautiful views, and get a workout in at the same time. 

H came with us too!

family selfie

finally at the top!
beautiful view
You have finally started napping in your crib again! After a week of short naps in the swing and one cranky baby we decided it was time to force the issue. The first day was awful. You cried for almost an hour, but eventually you fell asleep. And since then it has been so much better!!! You barely cry and you sleep for over an hour at each nap. You are so happy when you wake up and easier to deal with too. Nobody likes to be tired and cranky. Eventually we will try this sleep in your crib at night thing. Someday. For now, I have come to accept things as they are. You sleep in our bed, I still feed you at night, but that is ok. You will only be this little once and I plan to just enjoy every single moment I get with you. You are my little snuggle bunny and I love it. 

getting ready for bed
Every time I write your monthly post I am reminded of the Darius Rucker song "It won't be like this for long"

He didn't have to wake up
He'd been up all night
Layin’ there in bed listenin’
To his new born baby cry
He makes a pot of coffee
He splashes water on his face
His wife gives him a kiss and says
It gonna be OK

It won’t be like this for long
One day we'll look back laughin’
At the week we brought her home
This phase is gonna fly by
So baby just hold on
‘Cause it won't be like this for long

Gosh, how true those words are. Those phases, good and bad, fly by way too fast. That is why I try to capture and remember all these little moments and milestones. 


We love you more than you can ever imagine. Happy 8 months!

Mommy & Daddy