Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bright Eyes

Since the day Olivia was born, she has had the most beautiful bright eyes and loves to look around. It is the most amazing feeling to look at her and have her eyes light up when she sees me. Her eyes are still changing colors and I can't wait to see if they end up blue or brown. Her momma is pulling for blue eyes! Here are just a few pictures of her bright eyes over the past few weeks... enjoy!

I know every mom says this, but my daughter is seriously the most beautiful baby and has the most gorgeous eyes. I love her adorable long lashes and her chubby little cheeks! These pictures of when she is still so little and precious will be treasured for so many years. I love my little girls' bright eyes!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Beautiful Quilts for Olivia

Olivia is so blessed and already one of the luckiest girls in this world. She is so loved by her parents, grandparents, family, and friends! Olivia has been blessed with lots of beautiful gifts and some of the most precious are these handmade quilts from family and friends. The gift of a handmade quilt will be treasured for years to come. Here are some great pictures of the quilts Olivia has received...

This beautiful quilt was made by my mom and the fabric matches Olivia's nursery. I absolutely love the fabric and the adorable heart quilting pattern.

This amazing quilt was made by my Aunt Mary in Las Vegas. The pattern is absolutely beautiful and the colors are perfect for my little girl.

This beautiful pale pink quilt was made by my Grandma and has an adorable print with dragonflies and daises.

This heart quilt was made by a quilt group in Las Vegas that are friends of my mom. The heart pattern and fun pink fabrics are so beautiful!

My daughter is so incredibly blessed and will cherish these quilts for years to come. I can't wait to spread them out for her to play on and to snuggle up in one while I read her books. Thank you to all of the amazingly talented women in my family for making such beautiful quilts for my daughter!

Valentine Outfits for Olivia

Holidays are so much more fun with a little one and the outfits for little girls are so dang adorable! Valentine's Day is just around the corner and Olivia has some cute outfits to wear during the week of Valentine's Day. This little girl has so many clothes and she is already growing way too fast! Since this is her first Valentine's Day, we just had to buy her a few cute outfits to show her off and take her picture in. Can't wait to post some pictures of her in these outfits in a few weeks :)

this love bug outfit is from Gymboree
this adorable heart set is from Carter's

And for more fun Valentine ideas, be sure to check out my Valentine Ideas Pinterest board!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Homemade Lemon Sugar Hand Scrub

A few weeks ago my mom found a really easy recipe in a magazine for making homemade sugar scrub for your hands. We have always been a fan of the Mary Kay Satin Hands products and this sugar scrub seemed very close and would cost us at least half the price to make it on our own. This scrub is only a few ingredients and easy to make and would make a fantastic gift for family or friends. This jar of the scrub was made for my best friend Laura to thank her for taking such amazing pictures of our family over the past few months.

Here is the recipe and directions for making the homemade sugar scrub:
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2-3 drops of Vitamin E oil
  • 3-5 drops of lemon essential oil (or any fragrance you like)
  • 16 oz glass container with a lid
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl until well blended. Transfer to a container and secure lid. The contents will settle, so be sure to mix before using. Scoop a teaspoon or two of the scrub on your hands and gently massage in circular motions onto your skin. Leave on for 3 to 4 minutes and then thoroughly rinse off the sugar scrub with warm water. Scrub can be stored at room temperature. 

This scrub feels heavenly on your skin and leaves your hands feeling silky smooth. With the winter weather being so harsh on our skin, this sugar scrub is a nice treat to pamper your skin and makes a great gift!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Must Read Books for New Parents

Parenting can be tough... the nights can be long, the days unpredictable, and the emotions of it all can by trying. Over the past two months I have found two books that have been an amazing resource and comfort as I ventured in this new world of being a mommy. Reading has always given me comfort and during the tough days and nights, these books have helped provide me with advice and even just a good laugh.

The first book, Happiest Baby on the Block, was recommended by our pediatrician at our first appointment for Olivia. 
This book has explained the first few months of a baby's life as the 4th trimester and has really emphasized creating an environment for Olivia that mimics what she experienced in my womb. I have learned a lot from this book on how swaddling can help her sleep, making the shushing sounds can calm her down, and bouncing her while holding her can help her fall asleep. Every new mom should have this book in her toolbox!

This next book, It Sucked and Then I Cried, I stumbled upon while searching iBooks when Olivia was just a few weeks old. 
I loved reading the sample of the book and ended up buying the book and reading it on my iPhone during lots of pumping sessions and middle of the night feedings. The author of this book was by far the most candid I have heard and she wrote about motherhood in an honest and humorous way. I appreciated how honest she was about the difficult challenges of motherhood and the emotional highs and lows that come with having a baby. Each time I read a chapter, I felt like the author was cheering me on during the tough days and helping me laugh and seeing the humor in babies. I love this book for being so candid and bringing a smile to my very much sleep deprived face.

Motherhood has so many emotions that range from pure and complete joy to sleep deprived frustration and tears. But the beautiful thing about life is that these emotions are teaching me valuable lessons as Olivia's mommy. I cherish all of her good moments including her smiles and sweet sleeping face while also taking in stride her fussiness and crying. Reading these books has helped to give me perspective on how the days can be good or not so good, but overall they are a blessing because I get to spend them with my sweet daughter!

Friday, January 11, 2013

2 Months Old

Our sweet Olivia is two months old today. She is growing like a weed and is already 12 pounds and almost 24 inches long. She has the most adorable chubby thighs, the brightest eyes, and a smile that could melt anyone's heart. 

The past month has been full of highs and lows. Olivia has been diagnosed with severe acid reflux, which means her little tummy gives her fits often and she cries quite a bit when she is having pain from the acid in her tummy. We started some new medicine this week and are hoping and praying that it starts working soon! She has also been smiling a ton and making all kinds of cute noises and coos. One of my favorite moments in the past week was when she was napping on my lap and had an all out giggle in her sleep... must have been a great baby dream!

We took some fun pictures today in her 2 month old onesie and it is amazing how much she has changed since her 1 month old pictures. Here are a few of my favorites...

To my sweet Olivia... mommy loves you more and more everyday. Even though we have had some tough days and lots of crying, I will forever be grateful that God has blessed me as your mommy. I can't wait to watch you grow and learn new things, but I also want to savor each day while you are my little baby. I love you baby girl!

New Book Club Selection - The Birth Order Book

Last night our book club group chose the next reading selection, The Birth Order Book by Kevin Leman. This book was recommended a few months ago and was finally selected by our group. 

Here is a short summary about the book: 
  • Birth order powerfully influences who you are, whom you marry, the job you choose, and the kind of parent you are. And Dr. Kevin Leman's The Birth Order Book will help you understand yourself, get along better with others, overcome ingrained tendencies you never thought you could get rid of, and be more successful in the workplace. This revised and updated edition of Dr. Leman's classic book includes more than thirty years of experience and research, current examples, and fascinating stories to show how birth order impacts your life.
I have always been fascinated with how birth order affects our lives and can't wait to read this book. It will be interesting reading this book from my perspective since I am a firstborn, my husband is a firstborn, and we just had our firstborn Olivia. I will post an update in a few weeks once I have finished the book. Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Book Recap - Winning Balance

It is a miracle I finished the book club selection the day of book club. I was able to catch some free time this week and read quite a bit while Olivia was napping. I loved reading the book Winning Balance by Shawn Johnson and grew to love this girl from the Midwest. 

Shawn's story is filled with ambition, achievement, ups and downs, and grace from a beautiful young girl. I only hope that I can raise a daughter that is as bright and beautiful as Shawn and has the courage to chase her dreams. I look forward to discussing the book tonight with the group and can't wait to see what book we choose next. I will post our next book club selection soon!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Book Club Updates

It has been awhile since I posted about book club and as you can imagine, my life has been a bit busy with Olivia. I missed going to book club in December, which really was a bummer since I rarely miss book club with the ladies. The book club selection last month was Origin and I made it about 75% of the way through the book. It was not my favorite read by any stretch and reminded me that science/action is not really my preferred reading genre.

This month's selection is Winning Balance by Olympian Shawn Johnson. 

I haven't even started reading this month's book and not sure if I will find the time before book club this Thursday. My time for reading lately has been drastically reduced and this book is actually one I would probably enjoy. I hope to find sometime this afternoon for some reading and will make an attempt to read some of the book before we discuss it as a group this week. 

I have really enjoyed book club over the past few years and hope to be able to continue with the reading and getting together with some of my favorite girlfriends. I know that my time will be precious in the coming years but I hope to still carve out some time for myself to enjoy one of my favorite hobbies, reading. I will keep posting about book club on my blog (even if it is not as timely) and hope you are enjoying a great book right now! Happy Reading!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Family Pictures

Over the holidays, my best friend Laura took some great pictures of our family with Olivia. These pictures will be treasured for years to come as we remember celebrating Olivia's first Christmas. The picture of my grandma, my mom, myself, and Olivia is such a treasure as we capture the four generations of our family. And I just love the picture of my mom holding Olivia as I try to get her to smile at me. The last photo of our family of three is just one of many that we will take in front of our Christmas tree for years to come. Photos are truly something that I treasure more now than ever as we capture these precious moments while Olivia is so little. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goodbye 2012 . . . Welcome 2013

The past year went by so incredibly fast and truly was the best year of my life. I spent most of 2012 pregnant with our daughter and experienced our entire life changing when she arrived in November. The memories of 2012 will be in my heart forever and I am so blessed by the incredible year it was for our family. The year went fast and I doubt that time will slow down anytime soon. Each day seems to fly by as Olivia grows and changes and becomes the sweetest little girl. I already get tears in my eyes looking at photos from weeks ago and realizing how much she has changed and how fast the time has gone.

2013 will no doubt be a busy year with so many milestones. It is crazy to think that this year will include things like our daughter's first Easter dress, her first baseball games this summer, crawling around the house, getting her first tooth, celebrating her first birthday, and probably walking by Christmas. I hope to spend my time this year soaking up the memories with Olivia. I have always been a New Year's Resolutions maker but this year I have kept it simple... I want to focus my time with Olivia, create as many memories as possible as a family of three, and live a simple life without all the chaos and focus on the little things that truly make me happy.

I hope 2013 brings you health and happiness. Love to all!