Thursday, December 31, 2015

I will never forget my 2015

There is just something about being a first time mom, something about celebrating the life of a new baby.  And that's what my 2015 was about for me. It was a year I will never forget, filled with so much happiness, weak moments, stress, frustration, and in the end, so-much-love. I cannot imagine where I would be if I weren't a mom, let's just say my 2015 would have been much different and I can bet that I would not have enjoyed it as much as I did.

As this year comes to a close I can't help but get teary eyed and nostalgic.  As we were at our traditional Denny's tonight I just kept staring at Hazel -this time last year I remember being there with Brand and thinking into the future. Thinking about how -in a year from then- we would have an almost one year old. And thinking about those thoughts, wondering how my first year of being a mom would go, I don't think I could have given myself any idea of how much I would go through, how much I would love this little bitty girl with all my heart. 

I couldn't help but think back on the year, remembering all the milestones Hazel has met, remembering all the little quirks she has. And thinking about how stinking smart she has become. This girl is seriously my whole world and I cannot begin to describe how grateful I am for her. 

And with 2015 coming to a close I sit here in this reclining chair -probably right where I was last year- and I watch as New York brings in 2016. I think about what my 2016 will bring, what milestones will Hazel accomplish, will her sassy side get even more sassy? Is that possible? HA! 
Also, call me crazy, but Hazel is sleeping in her room -she's been in our room, all year, in the pack n play. And I'm getting anxious. I know I'm going to miss having her sleep in our room, because I like having her so close, I like being able to wake up and see her sleeping peacefully right there by me. But, I know we all need to grow up and what better way to start the new year?  Second, help me get in shape. I'm talking I need to exercise and eat right. What are your go-to leg and bum exercises?

Anyways, from my second favorite spot in the house. HAPPY NEW YEAR! 


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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

one year older and wiser too

 top: gifted, cardigan: gifted, jeans: f21, flats: jcpenny (similar), necklace: c/o Choies

My birthday was Sunday and now I am officially 27. It's the absolute weirdest thing, being 27 because I forever will feel 22. You know, I think everyone has an age that they feel like for the rest of their life. For me, it's 22, but that's always subject to change of course.  They also say one year older and wiser, but let's be honest, I am not sure I qualify for this saying. This year I have acquired mom brain as it's called. And it is one hundred percent real, I kid you not.  Have you ever played Sims? Okay, well if you have, mom brain can be described as having your sim go to complete a task and then that task being deleted by you. The sim just stops, dead in his tracks, looking a bit confused. Mom brain. 

With this past year under my belt I can however say that I survived the first year of being a mom. Gosh, it's a tough job, but I wouldn't trade it for the world -and if I'm being honest I would rather be a mom than go to work any day!  Also, I cannot begin to imagine being a single mom -but that's a subject for a later time.  

This past year has been one crazy adventure. When I think about it, I really have learned so much, I mean I have a baby for heaven sake and I've been able to keep her alive! So I guess I've earned some kind of pat on the back. I love this life of mine, and I love all this year has brought me. A few weeks ago I was searching through old pictures from the year. I was looking at pictures of baby Hazel and remembering how small she was. And holy cow was she a cute baby! I mean, she's still cute, but seriously her baby face is the cutest I've ever seen! 

This year has flown by and it kind of has me teary eyed. Christmas flew by -that made me cry, and now we are headed to a new year. Full speed ahead friends, because I really don't have a choice of slowing it down so I really might as well just embrace it all. 


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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I'm convinced time goes by faster when you have a baby

Top: Jones New York (similar) leggings: HUE, Skirt: Old, Shoes: Cotton on (similar), watch: Michael Kors (similar)

I feel like it should still be February, anyone else?! I'm convinced that ever since Hazel arrived the time has just sped by, I mean, we are already in December for heaven sake. And let me comment on that as well, I keep hoping that it will get colder and colder, but it's only getting warmer why?  I'm dreaming of the time I get to wear the layers I've waited all year to wear. 

Also, since when was it allowed for a 9 month old to start walking? My life has changed, I knew it would, it was only a matter of time. She's all over the place and it scares me because she isn't that steady yet -I mean she gets a bruise on her body every couple days from falling, I'd say that's a pretty good record, but I'm certain people think I abuse her.  And that's when I tell them that she's ten months old and walking. Which is usually followed by an ohhhhhh or a wow, already!?  Sunday she was walking from the tile to the carpet and boom, she fell flat on her face -well, on her forehead. I especially hate head bruises. I mean, I feel like she is going to get brain damage or something, maybe they make helmets for these types of things? 

I also keep talking about how I'm going to get back to blogging. How have I not, I miss it, and I know I'm missing out on all the fun stories I could read Hazel when she gets older. For me, and if you read this other post, you'll see that my brain has really just turned to mush. I can't really seem to form complete sentences and I can't remember what I do during the day. It's all one big blur, please tell me that I'll get my mind back. Until then, I guess I'll be sitting here writing these I-O-U type posts to my current self and my future self. But really my I-O-U is getting quite unbearable. 

Maybe it's the time of year that especially gets me thinking, but I just love all the feels this time of year brings. It' my favorite time of year, being with family, creating traditions, decorating the house, baking. I've got lists and lists of things I intend to do this Christmas, but so far I've had the hardest time just buying gifts. 

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Sunday, December 06, 2015

a condensed version of my weekend

Tis the season for all these wonderful hilarious pictures of kids crying on Santa's lap. I swear, my facebook feed was flooded with Santa pictures on Saturday night, it was seriously my favorite. I was convinced that Hazel would be completely fine with Santa holding her, she's pretty social and doesn't mind being held by other people. But I was very mistaken, she hated him, she cried and reached for me, and when she looked up at him she was just taken back. The funny thing is that it was our friend -who has held her before and she really likes him, but the beard. The beard and the suit guys, it's killer. What is is with babies and men with white beards? It's tear worthy, that's what it is.
Friday I painted Hazel's toe nails. I've forever been worried about how I would do this, and I've been meaning to do it for like ever!  So, I just put her in her highchair, gave her some snacks and painted away. She did so well and I can't believe I actually got it done. The color she picked was gold -girl after my own heart. After I painted her toes I showed her and she wasn't at all phased. It was kind of like, oh-great thanks mom, nbd. 
Hazel played outside with her cousins, and it was her first official time eating sand. It must have been really delicious because she kept going back for more, She really seemed to love the way it felt in her hands, she would pick it up,  throw it, and laugh. She found some sticks and tried to eat those and when it was time to go she wasn't thrilled, but she didn't have a huge melt down so we chalked it up to a good day at the park and enjoyed the time we had. It's nice having cousins your age to play with. Our girl is pretty lucky.

After Hazel woke up from her nap this afternoon she was really cranky. Kind of like a don't-talk-to-me-I'm-mad kind of cranky. She was kicking, throwing her head back, and just all around beng fussy. Later in the night my mom realized that there were four top teeth coming in. FOUR. Poor girl. I'm sure glad we don't remember getting teeth, what a real pain it must be.
Tonight when we got home from our Christmas party Hazel was walking all over the place yelling into her toy, and I just sat there watching her. Seeing how big she was, realizing that she is growing up and that next month, next month, she is going to be turning one. I cannot believe it's been almost a year since I first met this little girl. And I really can't believe I've been a mom for such a long time. It just seems like it's gone by in the blink of an eye.

Happy Monday eve. and Merry Christmas! 
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Saturday, December 05, 2015

Christmas in the eyes of my little Hazel

So, last week I put up Christmas -and allllmost practically that, last week meaning it almost took me the whole week. And because now that I know what I know, next year I'll be doing it all in two nights and not even trying to lift one box when she is awake. Okay, maybe she will want to help decorate the tree? I've always dreamed of decorating the house for Christmas with my kids, and so I guess there is just a liiiittle bit of me that really wants Hazel to be as excited and gung-ho as I am. I mean, she was sure excited, but it was a little bit of a different kind of excitement. More of a oh my goodness those shiny orbs, I need to pull them off the tree. Or, what seems to be her favorite yessss the gold necklace. I love my curious girl.

Anyways, last week I was putting up Christmas during Hazel's morning nap but because it lasted about fifteen minutes I learned my lesson in the matter.  And that is to never, maybe ever, put your Christmas decorations up when you have a curious, walking, exuberant ten month old who wants to be right were mom is. She was so interested about what was in each box, all the glitter and sparkle, I loved watching her reach her little arms into each box to pick up something she was interested in. Usually she would look at it and then just throw it to the ground, but she's learning. 

I think my favorite part was here when she sat for about five minutes shaking that gold garland. I think she loved the sound, the clinking noise they made, that it was the longest necklace she had ever seen. And I was actually letting her play with it.  I loved watching her little eyes look at it in curiosity, wondering what it was all about,  She's a smart girl. 

In the morning when we wake up her usual request is to see this Christmas doll. It's an older doll and the top half of its body pivots and chimes two Christmas songs. I'll put it on the couch and Hazel will stand there -at the foot of the couch, point at it, say "sat" and look at me and dance. She'll smile with her pacifier half way out of her mouth as she turns her head back at me with an almost a flirty like look as she is bouncing. She's got me wrapped around her finger that girl. She'll dance till the doll stops, recently she has started singing too, it's more of a hum really. Maybe she does it because that's what I do, it's really cute though. 

Then she'll move on to the nativity sets that I have -kid friendly of course. She prefers to hold baby Jesus, she'll walk about with him, put him in her mouth, and when she has moved on to the next nativity I'll find him on the ground right where she dropped him because something more interesting caught her eye. 
We walk to the front room and look at the Rudolf, she'll laugh at him -maybe she thinks he is a dog. She'll shake him, like she's trying to figure it all out, but then she moves on. We walk back to the kitchen and head to the ceder chest, right for that gold garland, she loves it. She'll shake it and move on because been-there-done-that.  We continue these rounds for a while with a few detours here and there -especially to that one kitchen cupboard. 

Although I get tired, and sometimes my back aches, I wouldn't have it any other way, and seriously though I'll decorate for Christmas any night if I get to spend my days with this little person, she's my favorite. 

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Monday, November 30, 2015

It's never to early to plan for retirement, even for your baby - three steps to show you how

Let's get this this right, retirement is something everyone looks forward to -three simple words, no more work.  One day I picked up a my little brother (the boy I used to baby sit but that's what I call him) from school. I asked him how school was and he immediately said I can't wait till I retire.  From the mouths of babes people. Voya Retirement Readiness has given me the itch to start saving for my little one. 
For me I always feel like I want to plan for Hazel's future.  I want to make sure she will be financially secure with little to no debt. So I guess that means I need to start now. Voya Born to Save conducted a survey asking parents how much they think they overspent on items they thought their baby needed. These things included clothing, diapers, toys, and all that baby furniture. The results are in and above is what they found. 

So let's talk about how we can put away money for these cute little people
Budget: When budgeting your checkbook every month set aside $10 for each child and put it in an account for them. $10 may not seem like much now, but in a year's time you will have $120 put away.
Sell your unused toys: You know those toys that your baby doesn't play with anymore because she is too big now, or she's just plain bored with them? Sell them and put the money you make from them into an account for her!  
They don't need it: Remember all those extra clothes you have just laying around because your baby grew out of everything too fast? Or the multiple number of shoes he doesn't wear? If you don't think you'll use it, and if you've already got enough don't buy it. Instead put that money you would have used into an account for them! 

Saving can seem so tough at times -especially with the holidays in full swing, but never fear, all it takes is one step at a time. Saving money for your little ones might just become your number one investment

If your child was born October 19, 2015 you have the ability to receive a $500 investment from Voya. Registration deadline is December 19th so make sure to enter!  
Thank you to Voya for sponsoring today's post and inspiring me to plan for my baby's retirement! 

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Monday, November 23, 2015

sometimes my brain turns to mush

I'm trying to think of a cleaver way to start this post. I've deleted and rewritten three sentences a number of times and I just can't seem to get the right words to form in my head. It seems to be an on going thing in my life lately and now I understand why they call it mom brain. It's a real thing.  I'm not as cleaver as I once was -I guess talking to a ten month old on the daily will do that to you.

Life around here has been busy, I guess it's like that for everyone really. Hazel is WALKING and crawling and saying things. I can't get over this girl. I've been dragging my feet with so many projects that I need to finish, but today I wrote a list and so far I'm pretty pleased with what I've accomplished. Let's just say when Hazel takes a nap or goes to bet I get a little bit distracted by other things on the Internet or my phone, or I've got things to clean up -also, sometimes I go to bed early.  So there's that. It also doesn't help that Brand has been home from school for the past two weeks for a Thanksgiving break. It's nice - don't get me wrong, but I'm out of my routine and need to get back into the swing of things before he goes back so I don't get a big kick in the pants when he goes back to school -he's been a big help with our active Hazel. And when he's home I just want to hang out, the laundry seems to pile up more and so do the dishes.

So here I am, popping in because I need to get back, I've got loads to share. But, because my brain turns to mush and I can't figure the right words to use to form a complete understandable sentence -I'll need some time. Also, it doesn't help that I've got the words in my head and they sound great, but once I write it down I'm like yiiiikes. Third, I forget about the cool stories I have -usually I think about them at night, riiight before I go to sleep, it's unfortunate.

Let's just say happy Tuesday eve.


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Sunday, November 22, 2015

ten months old

At ten months old Hazel: 
Can walk

Can crawl
Says "sat" when she wants to know that something is
Loves her doggy and her dolly, she laughs and gets really excited when she sees them.
Tries to say different words -I think she can say phone and shoe.

She loves walking to the front door, getting the key and trying to open the front door. 

She loves walking around the house holding her doggy, and usually takes her most places. 

She loves eating everything mom eats. 

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Thursday, November 05, 2015

pretty soon I won't be able to stop her

There comes a point in time when your baby becomes mobile, this has been Hazel for the past four months. Ever since I can remember Hazel has been on the go, she likes to move and is quite the active little girl. Every day we walk back and fourth between the family room and the living room. We admire the Halloween decorations -we still have them up, mom fail, and we look at the wall outlets -I still need to get those covered. We go in the living room and say hi to a picture of Hazel when she was a baby. We walk to get the key -she knows that she needs me to lift her up so she can get it, and then she knows that the key opens the door and we walk outside. It's a daily routine and it's become just what we do.
Because Hazel is so active and curious about so many things it's important for us to have diapers that allow her to be active and curious. These Huggies Little Movers hug Hazel in all the right places, but that's the thing they just hug. We don't have to worry about anything being too tight or too loose, and she is able to move in all the ways she wants to.  No baby or toddler wants to be slowed down by a diaper that gets in the way -that just holds them back, especially when they are learning and growing,

Huggies Little Movers Diapers are the newest baby moving system and have great a fit, they grip well, and they protect from wetness -and absorb on contact, which means our babies can get the most out of growing and learning new tricks. There are three key features that make up Huggies Little Movers: the driytouch liner absorbs on contact, double grip strips for comfortable movement and a comfortable fit that will last, and also a contoured shape for freedom of movement.

I'm not to keen on my little Hazel starting to be such a big girl. I still remember the day we brought her home -oh how I miss that little-ness of her. She is such a smart active girl now who loves learning about the world. I do really love watching the wonder in her eyes and she sees a dog, or as she walks in excitement to the front door.  Keep learning and wondering little lady and while you grow I'll make sure you've got the best kind of comfort.


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Wednesday, November 04, 2015

those first three weeks

 top: old navy, jeans: f21, flats: toms (old), necklace: mamma and little
We are far past those first three weeks of being new parents and time keeps going by quicker and quicker. But I can't help but think of all things I went through in those first three weeks. They seemed to be the trickiest three weeks of my life, being a mom is tough and there is a lot to learn. I found myself very high strung at times, but over the months -learning the ropes of motherhood, I've learned to not take everything so seriously, to go with the flow, and not have such high expectations for... anything. So, during those first few weeks of having a newborn here are some of the things that I experienced: 
Sometimes it felt like those late night feedings were more frequent than they really were.  Hazel was mostly a 2-3 hour eater, except for those early weeks where it was every hour for a few hours a day -mostly at night.  
At night I would dream about feeding Hazel, and then wake up to her stirring around because she was hungry.  It was so confusing and I think it made me more tired because I felt like I was just up feeding her.
Not getting out of the bedroom until sometimes noon. Oh how those days sometimes stressed me out. Trying to figure out what Hazel's cries were, if she was hungry or tired. I felt so overwhelmed with everything I needed to get done, I really stressed myself out thinking about how I needed to be out of the bedroom way before noon. Little did I know things would get better. 
Learning to swaddle, Brand was very much a pro at the swaddling business. Hazel did not escape a Brand swaddle, I think it was because I was too afraid to make mine tighter... 
Diapers with the wet mark line -all the way. 
Hysterical diaper changes -as in crying, she hated getting her diaper changed -especially at night.  There were several times when she got so mad that she went potty as I was changing her which made her even more mad. It was allll kinds of drama.
I feel like nothing ever can really prepare you for having a baby, and looking back on it, all these little things sure were frustrating, and had me emotional all at the same time, but I would never trade these moments for anything. Not for anything in the world. 
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