Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Blog Book

So for the past 3.5 years I have always blogged with the intention of putting all of my posts into a blog book for Emmy.  I tried all of the blog publishers - Blog 2 Print, Blurb Books, etc., but I didn't like how they formatted the blog book.  So I kept researching (as I love to do) and came across Lulu, which is a service for you to self publish your own book.  While I am sure the intent is self-publish best sellers, people like you or I can use it to publish one (or a few books for family and friends) for very little.

It was super easy to use. I just copied and pasted all of my blog posts into Word, formatted as I saw fit, turned into a pdf (they tell you how if you don't have Adobe on your computer) and then you just upload it. For a 285 page hard back book it only cost me $60ish with a coupon code they sent.

I ordered Emmy's book first, but was so impressed with the quality that I went ahead and ordered one for Holden.  He will just get another one someday :).  

The interior quality of the book reminds me of a text book. The pages are somewhat glossy and have a good page feel. I did notice that the images are a little dark printed, but that could because the majority of them are from my phone. 

As I mentioned, Lulu isn't just for people who have had a blog. You could easily publish anything you can put into Word - like photos and a journal from a trip, etc. I would say that this is better served for when you have something to say vs a photo book by itself, those are definitely higher quality paper.  This isn't a paid ad. Just thought I would let you all know what worked for me. 

I know my kids will love looking back on these as they get older! And, truth be told, I have loved looking at them too! 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Holden 18 Months

The past three months have been huge for Holden’s verbal developments.  He is a talker and sometimes I am the only one who can understand him, but it is so fun to watch his little mind work!  He loves to point at things and tell us what they are (airplane, lawn mower) or tell us what he wants to eat (cracker, chicken, CAKE – boy loves himself a sweet). When he doesn’t get his way, he throws a solid fit.  Ha!

He and Emmy are interacting more and he is totally monkey see, monkey do. At dinner the other night, she coughed, he coughed, she wanted a drink, he did. Ha! He is also really, really into dipping his food into a sauce. He loves salsa, too! As far as eating, Holden isn’t as good of an eater as Emmy. He loves himself some carbs, meat and fruit, but won’t really touch any veggies. He also loves “popsicles” (which are really just frozen yogurt sticks) and will go to the freezer about 5 times a day and scream “op ick le” until you get him one. He isn’t spoiled at all. Ha.

Some of his favorite things are Bubble Guppies, Peppa and Paw Patrol (sadly he LOVES tv, but I do limit it to 1-2 shows a day or he would totally be a couch potato), playing with balls/balloons, coloring/playing with chalk (this must be because of Emmy because she had zero interest at this age),  racing Emmy and reading.  He used to let me just put him in bed at night, but now he makes me read him a story before bed. HE also has taken to a puppy and wants it wherever he goes. He needs both his pappy (pacifier) and puppy. He also hikes his little puppy up under his arm and it is just the cutest thing.
Another cute thing he does is give kisses. He will lean in and stick his little tongue out for his kiss and is a total mama’s boy. I love it!
He absolutely REFUSES to wear any kind of flotation device in the water, so that will make for a long summer.
We love our precious guy so much!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Emmy is 3.5!

Our sweet girl turned 3.5 in April. Better late than never! This has been the epitome of what everyone tells you about age three – creative, full of personality and HARD.  She is a very strong willed child and is full of great attributes for a future CEO.  She also gets up before six every.single.morning.  OMG. We have done literally everything including a sleep consultant and her sleep is average at best. I have even been so frustrated with her constantly getting up that I have written in her journal that I hope she has a daughter that hates sleep as much as she does.  Ha. #motheroftheyear

This year Emmy started school and really loved it. I also love that it opened her eyes to art. She loves to do an art project, which I think is so fun.  She would also come home talking about Jesus, the bible and singing so many songs, which was really sweet. She also can write her name and most letters of the alphabet now.

In April she began swimming lessons and she just loves being in the water! She loves the pool, splash pad, sprinklers, but I still have to coax her into a bath.
Her other favorite things to do are playing with her cousins, going on ncations (vacations), and playing mom and dad. I am almost always the grandmother and Tommy is the dad. Emmy also got a new cousin this month and she is very smitten and interested in the baby!
Emmy is still a great eater. She loves fruits, many veggies and, of course, anything sweet.  For as obstinate as she can be, she can be equally sweet. Last night she told me she wants to grow up and be a mommy just like me. Heart melting. Emmy is outgrowing her naps, but still needs them every few days to catch up on the sleep she doesn’t get at night, so we make her rest daily.  She gets to watch one or two tv shows a day and still likes Peppa Pig as her favorite.  Next week she starts dance camp, and is sooooo excited to take it with her cousin Tatum. 
We love our little girl and are hoping that she begins loving sleep by my next post. Ha! 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Holden 15 months

Long time, no blog. Ha. Two kids, a job and just wanting downtime at night, keeps me off of my home computer. I have also had this written for over a month, but apparently Windows Live Writer doesn't work anymore, so I had to upload my post to blogger, but my Google Chrome wasn't one month later here's my post! I guess that's what you get for never blogging! I also had about 20 pictures included, but those deleted too. Take it from me, he's super cute ;)!

With Emmy I kept a journal on my blog documenting her milestones each quarter. It would only be fair for my little guy to do the same!  Big milestones include walking and talking more.  He started really walking around Christmas (maybe New Year’s? Good gracious I can’t remember). Anyway, he now walks and will even run when he wants to go somewhere.  I honestly can’t remember if I ever blogged about this, but when he was born, his right foot was atrophied because of his position in my stomach.  We had to take him to an orthopedic surgeon when he was two months old and he assured me he would walk fine, and he does.  He did wear the cutest little splint for the first four weeks of his life to get his foot stretched out. I wish I would have taken a picture of him in it. I just have a few here and there.

Holden also got his first ear infection and fever around Christmas. He was soooo fussy and not himself. We finally got him a new antibiotic and he was back to himself again within a day.  Sweet boy.  He and Emmy were both really fun at Christmas. His “big” gift was a basketball goal that he loves to play with. 

I am embarrassed to type this because with Emmy I followed the tv rules, but with her watching tv, he gets sucked in. And this child LOVES Bubble Guppies. He will sit on the couch, grab the remote, point it at the tv and demand “Bubble” until we turn it on. This weekend he even threw a little fit when the show was over. Haaa!

Holden is also a book lover. He definitely has his favorites, too. He loves books about trucks, animals and anything that he can open and close.  He will crawl up into your lap and will pull you out book after book.

Sweet boy is also an animal lover. He gets so excited every time he sees an animal. Miss Julie has a cat and he LOVES when he sees Oatmeal.

Since he was born, Holden has had the sweetest demeanor. He gives hugs and kisses, loves to be held and is an all-around good natured baby…almost all of the time. As of late, he will fuss until he gets his way or demand that you pick him up and bring you to what he wants. Ha!!

Emmy and Holden have started to interact more.  They still aren’t there on playing together, but have sweet moments here and there.

His favorite toys are still balls and he loves this little cash register that Emmy has. 

I am just soooo surprised at how different two people with the same DNA can be.  Emmy and Holden have such different personalities and it always surprises me. He is very content to sit and observe. She would NEVER sit in a stroller after age 8 months. I can take him on long walks and he will be happy to sit.  He also is soooo much more cautious than Emmy. She is a daredevil who loves to climb and explore.  He wants you to hold his hand if he going down an incline or help him up a ladder. It is just so funny to see their little differences. She also is a great eater of veggies and he won’t touch them Ha!

He does love pizza, spaghetti, any fruit, cheese. He absolutely cracks me up. He will go to the pantry, grab the pirates booty and then bring them to me and grunt until he gets them. Ha!

Recently Tommy took Emmy to Colorado to ski, so I stayed home with Holden. I loved having the one-on-one time with him, and let’s be honest, having only one child when you are used to two is a cake walk.  However, while he was away, I was so excited about getting extra sleep, but alas, I had to ruin it. Holden was playing by the grate so I pulled him up by his hand and apparently pulled his elbow ligament out of socket. Luckily, our pediatrician was still in the office at 5:30 when this happened, so I rushed him up there and it was back in place. Apparently, Holden is overly flexible, so he was sore for two more days. Poor guy. Note to self, don’t pull your child up by their hand. He didn’t use his right arm for two days.

Holden is now talking here and there. He can say a few words that are really clear like mama, dada, bubble and then a handful of other words that I can figure out what he is saying like Memmy (Emmy), Ba (ball), Baaaa (Bath), Tuck (truck), etc.

We lucked out with this sweet guy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Sending out an SOS

OMG. I have a threenager. “They” weren’t kidding when they said two is a cake walk compared to two. And we are only two months into it. I am waving the white flag. Oy.

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Photo from Lindsay McDaniel Photography

Anyway, this leads me to this post. At three I told Emmy she could have a big girl bed. You can guess how well that is going.

Anyway, once she moved to a big girl bed, sleep went from 11-12 hours a night to not going to sleep, awakenings in the night and the most frustrating – rising between 5 and 5:30.

We actually thought we were working through this because the evening struggle and night awakenings stopped and she at least slept until 6, but we seem to have had a regression.

I am all ears because I spend about 80% of my morning frustrated with her because I have been up since 5. And the early mornings mean she’s super cranky by 11. Ugh.

I have tried putting her back in bed without talking to her, putting her back in her crib, giving up her nap (which is only an hour to an hour and a half anyway), earlier bed times, later bed times, rewards, punishments, Santa calling her, but nothing works. Silver lining – maybe her tenaciousness will serve her well in the future.

Other than her growing out of this (or waiting for the time to change), any ideas?

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Happy 1st Birthday, Holden

I can’t believe my baby is one! Truth be told, I had no idea what to think when I found out I was having a boy. I only have a sister and my nieces far outnumber my nephews. But like everyone said – little boys steal your heart. He really is a sweet, lovey baby. Now, it isn’t all sunshine and roses over here, but overall, I couldn’t ask for a more precious little guy. 

This month he started taking a few steps, but still crawls mostly. He’s been nicknamed speedy because he’s so fast.

We also had a stretch of about 3 weeks where he was super fussy, clingy and waking up at 5 a.m. daily. We were wondering where our happy baby had gone. Once his molar popped fully through, he was back to his old self.

Other milestones include, Holden knowing where things go and following commands. He will put glasses on his face, use a tissue to wipe his mouth and has even taken my moisturizer out of my hands to put it on my face.

For Holden’s first birthday we did a family party with a Woodland Onederland theme. It really wasn’t terribly exciting, but here are some pics for documentation’s sake!

I am not sure why my shirt is riding up in this picture, but hopefully my shirt wasn’t up this high all night. Grr.

The man of the hour:

I got my invitations and printables on Etsy and they were so cute.






My cake lady was booked, so we just did a Nothing Bundt Cake and I got the topper on Etsy.

The cake wasn’t a huge hit. He liked it just okay:

However, he loved the cookie cake I gave him on his actual birthday. (I knew he was a mama’s boy!)

Can’t wait to see what year two brings!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Emmy Three Years

My little princess is now three years old! The age of two was super sweet and super challenging all at the same time. Her little imagination has EXPLODED. She LOVES to play and I just love to watch her play. On the flip-side she is also strong-willed and knows what she wants and will certainly let you know her opinion Winking smile.

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Some big milestones:

- She is now potty trained! Yay!  This was really easy, actually. I literally just waited until she was telling me she needed to go to the potty almost every time (this was in June or July). Then my mom put in her big girl panties while she was babysitting and that was that. No weekend at home, no bootcamp. She has had a couple of accidents, but overall is easy. (She does still wear a diaper at night and naps at home.)

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- She has had a few sleepovers with her grandmothers. To all those reading this…don’t wait until your child is nearly three to go on her first sleepover. I don’t know why I waited. Probably because I am a type A person who likes her to remain on a schedule and grandmothers don’t care about schedules, but I should have done this before she was 2.5.  Truth be told, I did try to get her to have a sleepover at my mom’s back in April, but it was pretty much a fail because she refused to quit talking to Tatum and Finley, so my mom had me come and pick her up.  But her other three sleepovers have gone great for me (and mostly fine for our moms – ha)!!

- Emmy started preschool this fall. She was soooooo excited about it and it was all she could talk about since January! We would drive by her school and she couldn’t wait to go. She did soooo well when we dropped her off, but her teacher said she was teary after I left, but did well the rest of the day.  She subsequently didn’t want to go the next three times (she goes Tuesday/Thursday), but she has gotten to where she isn’t asking to go, but not sad about it and no longer cries when Bop drops her off.  My sweet friend Iris picks her up for me and she is always excited to see her!  Her day is full of lots of fun, so I hope she really loves it by the end of the year!

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- She has now moved to a big girl bed. This was a milestone she was looking forward to. The transition has gone okay. It definitely could be better. In the past month, she has woken us up more than Holden has. I keep thinking that “this too shall pass.” So far we have a little alarm clock that comes into our room between 4:45 – 6:15. Mama needs sleep!

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Some other fun things:

- She loves to play mommy and daddy.  I am almost 99% of the time the little girl and she is the mommy.  The other 1%, I am the grandma.  Ha! Holden plays himself. She also plays this with my father-in-law and he is always the little boy.

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- Her other favorite thing to play is with any character toy (small plastic ones – forget stuffed animals – the girl has no interest).  For some time her favorites have been her peppa pig characters. She has almost all of them.  She will often play with them and have real life situations…she has had to send her peppas to the “calming area” on more than one occasion for poor behavior.  She will also give them two options, much like she gets. It really is hilarious.

- She also just loves the new dollhouse she got for her birthday.

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- Our night ritual lasts for quite a while. There are books read, stories told (they range from a Peppa story to wanting to hear about our old dog Pudge) and songs to be sung. She is on a patriotic kick since around the 4th of July. The child LOVES to spot an American flag too. She keeps asking why we don’t have one. (Maybe a Christmas gift! J) 

- Emmy is a major homebody.  If given the choice to go to the store with me, to go to Lowes and ride on the tractors, etc., she will almost always choose to stay with Tommy and play.  She will be happy to go to her cousin’s house, the zoo, or somewhere equally fun like the park.

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- When at the zoo, Emmy loves to ride the “carrotsell,” the train and her new fascination is with the camels.  Forget the animals. Those are just ancillary.

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- Emmy is a really good big sister. She is mostly sweet to Holden and likes to hug him (ahem, sometimes this is a chokehold) and hold him.  She has also been known to push him, but we are focusing on the positives here. They have been interacting more, so that is so fun to see! 

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- Right now Emmy’s favorite show is Team Umi Zoomi. It seems super educational and teaches them about counting, but for a good 6 months she ONLY wanted Peppa Pig.  For a brief period of time there was a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse thrown in there, but Team Umi Zoomi seems to have stuck. 

- The girl loves a dress. Those are her favorite things to wear.  She has gotten more opinionated about her clothes and likes particular dresses that she will wear over and over. I think it is a texture thing.  She has some knit dresses from H&M that are her favorites. Too bad we don’t have an H&M here because she loved picking them out when we were in Dallas on vacation.

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Some cute words she says:

- Gode (translation – went)

- Ncation (vacation)

- Mbecca (Rebecca for Rebecca Rabbit)

- Brudder (brother)

- Psketti (Spaghetti)

- Nilla (Granola)

- Ncord – (Her friend McCord)

- Nfessor (Professor)

I am not sure why the words have an “n” in the front, but it sure is cute.

We love our sweet girl and she certainly keeps us on our toes. I just love to watch her little personality blossom and just love this innocent, inquisitive, magical stage. (Minus the fits and the sleeping issues. I can sooooo live without those.)  Can’t wait to see what this next year holds.

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