Thursday, February 26, 2015

Eli Thursday

Week 52

He shoved the rest of his granola bar in his mouth just as I took the picture. The nut seems to think that the only acceptable way to eat food is to have your mouth stuffed to capacity (or better yet, overflowing). It makes me a little crazy sometimes. Even though I know how to do the Heimlich (yeah I know they updated the name but I also don't care... haha), I'd really rather not have the need arise at all. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

12 months

Little Eli, I can't believe you'e been in our family a whole year now. You are such a good little buddy and we think you're pretty much the best. Love you lots, baby boy!

Around 18lbs
Size 3 diapers
8 teeth (plus two molars coming in!)
Size 12m clothes

Food! You still love to eat, and are pretty good about trying new foods
Climbing on everything, which is terrifying
Flipping light switches
Books (Mr. Brown Can Moo is your current favorite)
Walking when we hold your hand (still no interest in doing it on your own)
Waking up early
Dancing by waving your arms around
Clicking your tongue

Brushing your teeth
Getting buckled in your carseat (although you're fine once you're in the car)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Happy Birfday to Eli!

Well folks, I officially managed to keep this little human alive for a whole year. I think that's definitely cause for celebration, no?

Eli's birthday was actually on Friday, but we were out of town so we did cake and such today. 

Dallin kept the candle at a safe distance while we sang "Happy Birthday" to Eli. Both sets of grandparents were there via Facetime too.

It took him a few tries, but he managed to blow the candle out by himself!

At first he tried picking off the sprinkles to eat, and then ended up shoving globs of frosting in his mouth. 

He wasn't much interested in the actual cake part... at least not eating it.

 It didn't take long for him to smash it all up...

 ...and toss it on the floor.

Silly goose. 

It makes me glad I didn't bother making a healthier cake since he didn't eat much anyway, just as I suspected. 

Then we ditched the clothes for present time! He made short work of this. 

Sure do love this little munchkin! I really can't believe it's already been a whole year since we became a family of three. He makes our home such a happy place and I'm so glad to be his mama. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Memory-keeping for the non-scrapbooker

I have long since learned that scrapbooking, like with actual paper and glue and all that jazz, is not my forte. Like... at all. I have tried and failed many times in my attempts to become a scrapbooker. It takes too long, it's messy, and can be really expensive.

However, I love pictures. If you know me at all, you know that I take pictures of everything, all day erryday. Now that is my forte. But I don't want my pictures to be stuck on my computer or in my phone. I may have grown up in the digital age, but there is just something about actual printed photos that you can't replicate on a screen.

I'm a pretty busy person, but I've found a good system for memory-keeping and I thought I'd share it with you. A key factor in my success as been my iPhone. It has helped me become so much better at taking frequent pictures and recording memories, especially with the Project Life and Chatbooks apps.

I love Project Life because of how easy it is to make scrapbook pages with lots of pictures. I almost always have my phone on me so I can whip up a page any time I have a spare minute. Since I have a Macbook it's even easier because I can access recent photos taken with my DSLR through the photo stream on my iPhone. Pretty snazzy!

Here are a few examples of pages I've made:

Shutterfly often has free 20-page 8x8 photo book promotions, so once I have enough to fill one up that's how I plan on getting my Project Life pictures printed. Easy peasy!

Chatbooks is another app I've fallen in love with. It automatically uploads pictures and captions from your Instagram account and makes them into little books, which are only $6 (including shipping) for each edition. I'm currently on the one book per month subscription, but I've been wanting to switch to five per month so I can get caught up faster. It's going to take a few books, to say the least, to get the many pictures I take printed. ;)

In addition to Project Life and Chatbooks, I also keep an eye out for the 101 free prints promo that Shutterfly has every few months. They serendipitously happen to have one going on today through Monday with the code FREE4ME (Tip: Shipping is a bit cheaper if you order 99 prints instead of the 101 they advertise). I just slip them into a big photo album (I think this one was around $12 at Ross and holds a million pictures) and also hang them on the clotheslines I have in our dining room and nursery.

Have you tried either of these apps? What do you with your pictures? Any great memory-keeping tips I should know about? 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Eli Thursday

Week 51

His current favorite form of mischief to get into is digging in the garbage. I just wish I had a picture of the impish grin he gave me when I found him, Stinker!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


The travel bug has bitten me in a major way the past few weeks. I've always got the itch, but recently I just cannot ignore it. Last month I found plane tickets for all three of us to Italy for only $1,700 (Roundtrip! For all of us! Such a smoking deal!), and it's kind of killing me that a trip like that really isn't in the cards for us right now. Oh, but I dream. I've been spending altogether too much time lately planning trips we won't be able to go on (yet!). It's both torturous and satisfying. I should probably stop before I accidentally-on-purpose book something.

I love being a mother. I really, really do. I always wanted this, and I wouldn't trade my job for anything. At the same time, I do occasionally think about the lifestyle I kissed goodbye when I assumed this role. There is a level of spontaneity and flexibility that you lose when you have a tiny human that depends on you, and sometimes I miss that a lot. I miss being able to take trips without needing babysitting arrangements (which we can't do anyway until Eli is weaned) or planning around the unpredictable nature of traveling with a wee one. 

We still do lots of fun things as a family, but I haven't been canyoneering once in more than a year and a half, something that Dallin and I used to do together at least a couple times a month. We also have so many places we want to go together (Italy/the Mediterranean and Peru are at the top of the list) that realistically won't be a possibility until our kids are older... so 15 years from now, at least? 

In the meantime, I just have to remember how much fun it is the have our little buddy along, and how much more fun we will have when we starting adding more little munchkins. Even though we have to slow our pace a bit, our lives are so much better with Eli around, and that makes any sacrifices we've had to make worth it. It's not like we can't have fun anymore, not one bit. It's just a different kind of fun now, one that makes us take time to smell the roses, so to speak. And that's a good thing.

But still, I miss this...

(Voronezh, Russia in 2011)

...and this.

(Segovia, Spain in 2013)

And I'm glad I had a few chances to scratch that travel itch before little Eli came along.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Eli Thursday

Week 50

You can only fight naps for so long before sleep wins. 

That little hand holding his graham cracker! Oh I just love this tiny man. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hello Sunshine

As pasty white ginger folk, my husband and I always jest about how the sun is our mortal enemy. And you know what? That's actually pretty accurate. I can't believe how quickly my skin burns. It's impressive and extremely annoying that I still burn even when I'm so careful, and every time it happens I feel like the ugly skin cancer monster creep a little closer. Gingers have problems, man. Lots of them.

However, this winter has made me realize just how much I love the sun. I've been checking sunrise and sunset times at least once a week all year, and the lengthening of days has been making me even happier than it ever has before. It's been around 70° every day this week and it is doing my soul so much good. The open windows let in such sweet, fresh air and I'm convinced my house smells exactly like heaven right now. It's been so nice that my daffodils are venturing upward to enjoy it too.

Also, the fact that these have survived my black thumb of death is truly a miracle. Now if only I could kill the weeds that spring up every summer (the remnants of which are still hanging out in the yard, as you can see) as effectively as I do the rest of the plants the have the misfortune of finding themselves in my care.

Hello spring, you beautiful thing. You should stay a while.

Friday, February 6, 2015


I really like being married, and I really like talking about it. If you want to read some things I have to say on the subject, head over to Jen's blog to read a guest post I've written!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Eli Thursday

49 weeks

This cheap bubble machine is one of the best purchases I've made. It's also apparently the most amazing thing Eli has ever seen.

I love that little pointing finger.