Monday, June 9, 2014


I majorly hate when people start blogs and then don't write on them for like, oh, a year and then all of the sudden come back and say, "Oh, I'm sorry. I've been busy having a life, so I haven't had time for this blog." Um, then why'd you start it in the first place? Who knows why. It's not like I didn't know I would be busy. Hello? I'm raising a human. Yes. I'm going to be busy. I guess I just wanted something else to complain about having to do.

So here I am, vowing {like every other too-busy-to-blogger out there} to at least acknowledge that I have a blog that I really do want to post things to so that my daughter can see how amazing and super fun her life was when she was too little to remember. We'll see....

I'll spare you the boring line of "We have been doing SO MUCH!" because, well, duh. Of course we have. I can't just come back on here and try to recap the last 8 months of our lives on one post. Plus, most people that read this already know me anyway {Hi, Mom!} and know that we moved to a new state, I got a new job teaching firsties, and Olivia scoots on her butt instead of crawling and STILL isn't walking at 14 months. So, this is me sparing you those kinds of details.

I was reading something that said that little kiddos should read like 1,000 books before kindergarten. When I first read it, that number seemed awfully high. But really, it's not! It's totally doable. If you read a different book every day with your sweeties, 1,000 books will be read before you know it. And we're getting to the point in this house where Olivia will actually sit still and listen and point to the books when I'm reading them to her, so we are actually up to 2 a day now. {As of last night, anyway.}
So, my thought is that I just thought it'd be neat to start writing down or recording some way all the books that we read together now that's she's interested and understands the concept of reading. I did read to Olivia when she was much younger, but she looked around at everything else except the book when I did, and once she starting faux crawling, getting her to sit still for a book wasn't on her agenda. I still read to her most nights, but it wasn't until recently that she has really started to take an active interest in reading. This is when Olivia was about 3 months old and look! She's actually looking at the pages!

I still think that the most important thing you can do with your baby - even your itty bitty - is read to them. Read, read, read. They'll eventually take an interest, and especially when you have a fresh one, it's easy to read to them because they're just kinda like blobs. They can't walk or crawl or really even move, so they can't get away. They have no choice but to at least hear your voice as you read to them. Sometimes they'll look at the pages, too! I just think it will make the difference in so many aspects of their lives - from school to just being a successful human. Reading -- It's survival. Get your kids acclimated early.

Olivia so amazing and she's definitely the smartest baby ever because I will ask her to point to things like the pig or the baby in the book that we're reading and she totally does. Genius. So reading with her is starting to get really, really, really fun because she's taking an interest with me! I think we'll visit the library this summer. She'll love it.

I just thought it would be neat to have a collection of all of the books that we read to her. Here is the website that I found to track her books:
The website has all kinds of features, but I just use the "My Library Feature" to list all of the books. I KNOW I do not have time to be tracking how many minutes we read every night. Maybe when she is older, she can use some of those features.

Anyway, that's all I wanted to share! Happy Reading! And here's to making sure I post more stuff on here like a good momma should!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween Craftiness!

My sweet baby is getting oh so big. She's almost 7 months old. SEVEN! I love everything she's doing from sitting up by her big-girl self to blowing raspberries of slobber everywhere to her belly laughs. LOVE this child. We have so much fun together. And ooohhhh boy, can she snuggle!! Sweet little snuggle piglet. It's hard not to squeeze the poop out of her. :)

She's getting to that age when I can start utilizing some if my millions of Pinterest boards. I love Halloween time because there are so many crafty things that I can make for her. Next year, we will be doing some crafts together, but for now, while she's still figuring out how her hands work, I'll take care of the crafts. I made her a peacock outfit and we ventured to Boo at the Zoo last weekend. She loved it and she wore that costume like a true diva.

Let me just say that making a no-sew tutu is, like, the easiest thing in the world. And el cheap-o. I'll be making her a Thanksgiving, Christmas, AND Easter tutu, thank you very much. She will never want to see a tutu again by the time I'm done with her. Ha! I just googled how to make it and followed the 'ole instructions. All I had to do was tie the tulle around the elastic. Done. Then I just found a plain black headband and hot-glued a bunch of peacock-looking crap to it and viola! A peacock she was!

Of course, no costume is complete without the mother dressing up to match the kid. You know, 'cause it still has to be about me at least a little bit. I peacock-ified my eye makeup. What a nerd!

We had a great time at the zoo as a little family! Can't wait for the next holiday so that I can use it as an excuse to play dress-up with my sweet daughter!

Thursday, August 22, 2013


I have been waiting for this Olivia's whole life! It's homemade baby food makin' time! I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself. I have been 100% committed to providing la crème de la crème for my sweet baby when it comes to nutrition. Hence, the reason for my stubbornness to go through THREE bouts of mastitis and still continue to breastfeed. And now, it's time to give her the best of the best as we introduce solids. Fun!!!

I toyed with the idea of buying a Baby Brezza or a Beaba Baby food maker. But the more reviews I read, the dumber the idea sounded. There was a ton of reviews that said these things breakdown quickly, get disgustingly dirty {and not to mention - unsanitary}, and were generally a waste of money. Especially since I already have most everything that I need to make baby food. I actually just visited my kitchen and realized that not only do I have a restaurant-quality Cuisinart food processor, but I also have a KitchenAid blender, AND a Cuisinart hand-held blender with a mini-blender attachment - which is actually turning out to be PERFECT to make baby food! {All of these things were wedding gifts, but a good, old-fashioned food processor or a blender would be plenty.}

Duh. Why would I buy a baby food maker when I already have one? What am I - made of money?? Um, no. 

So, now - how do we do this? Well, easy. There are TONS of recipes for baby food online. And I stumbled upon this gem in my quest for good recipes: Tons of great baby food makin' resources, like when to start and what to start with. It also has great suggestions for how to prepare, store, and freeze baby food. Again, no reason to spend money on recipe books when you can literally find everything you need online. Of course, your pediatrician is also a good resource, especially if you have an awesome one like mine who also just had a baby.

Now my personal two cents on the issue is this: if you're going to spend time making baby food, you may as well make it in large batches and freeze it. It is time-consuming to make your own baby food, but if you make enough for two weeks at a time, you're only spending two days a month making it. This is where a little money is required because you gotta spend a little on storage containers that are BPA-free, and are dishwasher, microwave, and boiling water safe. I personally will not use a microwave to defrost my baby food and will instead defrost overnight in the refrigerator or heat it up using boiling water. I did a ton of research on the best ones, and the winner is the OXO brand storage container. They are specifically designed for baby food and are the perfect size for baby portions. And use common sense - freeze things that take time to make - like sweet potatoes or squash or other things that require cooking. Freeze them in the aforementioned containers and pop them in the fridge the day before you need them. Then warm them up to room temperature by leaving them in hot water for a few minutes. These are also perfect to throw in a daycare bag straight from the refrigerator once they have thawed. Easy!

And now for Olivia's first taste of something other than the milk from her Momma's body......SWEET POTATOES!! She loved, loved, loved her sweet potatoes!!

And now, two weeks later, this little piggy eats a tablespoon of sweet potatoes, a tablespoon of green beans or peas AND a tablespoon of applesauce - all in the same feeding! Ha!! And this is after she gets a little nibble from me!! Love her. 

We are having too much fun making this baby some fresh, delicious food! I highly recommend it for all you mommas out there!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Oh, Hi!

Lots of things happening in the Brown household these days! Getting lots of coos and smiles from our sweetheart. She's so much fun to be around. She is really talking to us - like, she moves her little mouth when she's babbling and it really seems like she's forming words. I really believe that she thinks she's saying actual words to us. It's hysterical!! We're {sort of} sitting in our new Bumbo seat and we're {almost} getting too big for our favorite swing. What the heck am I gonna do with her when she grows out of her swing? Oh boy.

I've got 3 more weeks until I return to school {work}. 3 WEEKS. WHAT. THE. HECK. ??? Major sad face. But, really - I am ready to go back to school. I need to. Just to get out of the house and to socialize with humans that aren't still pooping in their pants. Don't get me wrong, I am in LOVE with the fact that I get to stay at home all day with Olivia and play with her and just be with her! But it's reaching unhealthy levels. I need to socialize.

So, I opened a new can of worms in my teaching world. I have decided that I don't have enough projects to tackle, so I started creating clipart. I had initially planned on opening an Etsy shop to sell my photo enhancement services, but let's get real. I don't have time for that. I mean, I'm a MOM. Who has time to sit around and make edits to photos all day? People that aren't moms, that's who. Instead, I started doodling away and my new clipart packages were born. I have 4 packages right now and I am going to wait until I have 10 to re-open my Etsy shop. Hopefully, that will be sometime between now and when Olivia turns 5.

Photo book! I am working on the cutest photo book for my cutie. I wanted to do something unique and different {not that photo books are unique and different} - but I keep seeing the same pictures with different kids in them. Like the onesies with the number of months on them. I didn't want to do that. I wanted to track Olivia's growth by using real pictures of her {not staged ones wearing the same outfit}. I love it so far:

I'm creating it custom using iPhoto by designing the page layouts first, then uploading the jpgs to blank pages in the layout of iPhoto. Love. So it'll be about this time next year when it's all done and printed. I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Newest Pinterest find: Family Yearbooks. I LOVE the idea of doing a family year book every year. I mean, duh. It's still fun to look at my old yearbooks from school  - so OF COURSE it will be awesome and fun to look at family-based yearbooks for years to come. I love, love, love it and this will be the first one of many to come. Thanks, Pinterest! You have really turned me into a super-mommy craft addict teacher.

Things are basically the same as far as our schedule goes - and she hasn't really reached any other milestones yet- except that she LOVES talking to herself {and to us} - and she has recently discovered her hands. She slobbers all over them and sucks on them ALL the time. Hilarious, that child. Oh, and she can hold her own head up. She was sleeping all the way thru the night for a while there, but she's back to waking up once at night. I'm not too concerned though - she just gets a bite to eat and goes right back to sleep. The next big change will come here in about another month. She'll have to start sleeping in her crib {GULP} - and she'll start eating pureéd veggies/fruits shortly after that.

Well, it's 7:12am and the snuggle piglet is up! She's in her co-sleeper in our room just talking away to herself. I could sit here and listen to her all day long. It's so cute. She's even laughing to herself! I mean, I'm not sure what could possibly be funny on that wall that's she has a nice view of, but as long as she's entertained, that's fine with me. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Day in the Life of Olivia

What do we do all day? Well, we do a lot. We love hanging out! It all starts at around 5:15am. She gets a little restless at around this time, wanting something to nibble on. I change her diaper and feed her for about 20 minutes and she usually goes right back to sleep. Some days, she wakes up earlier, but she always goes back to sleep. Now is the time when mommy contemplates getting up and getting her workout over with, but it never happens.

Next, she'll wake up again at around 7:15 to finish off her meal that she started earlier. We change her diaper, feed her and.....yep. Back to sleep. Again, this is when mommy thinks really hard about getting up to get her workout over with - but dangit - this little piglet is so snuggly - I can't do it. I usually let her sleep in our bed at this time of the morning. We love to cuddle.

I especially love this flattering angle of myself. Maybe I'll tape this to her co-sleeper so it's the first thing I see when I wake up. Motivation for staying awake and working out. Meh.

After our morning cuddle, I finally decide it's time to get my workout over with. But little bit still isn't finished sleeping, so I just move her to her to her swing. She loves to swing. Most days, she'll sleep until 9:30. It's during this time that I finally do get my workout in.

After my workout - she usually wakes up. It's almost like she knows I'm working out and she lets me finish it before she wakes. Or maybe she's just tired. Who knows. Another diaper change and feeding for my buddy.

Play time! She loves this time. She's really starting to participate in play time. For the first few weeks, I think I was just playing with myself. She had no idea what was going on. But now - she coos and talks and SMILES. Lots of smiling. She especially loves her giraffe rattle. We play until she gets bored of it. Usually lasts for about 45 minutes.

Nap time. She will either nap on me while she's in her little carrier - like right now - or I'll hold her or she'll go back in her swing. She's starting to only take 20-30 minute naps. This girl loves to be awake during the day. She doesn't want to miss anything. But she knows that nighttime is for sleeping. She's a great little baby. All babies are great, but she is especially great because of this.

It's during this time that, if I'm feeling especially brazen, we'll venture to Target (where I am becoming a regular) or to Publix for our grocery trip.

She'll wake up, get a diaper change and another feeding and off for more play time. Then she'll doze off for another quick nap.

At around 6:00, she'll eat yet again and we'll get ready for our nightly walk. Today is a little rainy, so we may not get our walk in. I hate that. I love routine and I especially love our walk. She loves looking around at everything and it gives us a chance to get out of the house. Layla Brown especially looks forward to this time every night. Plus, it's an extra workout for me. We usually do about a mile.

Then, we come back and sit outside and play ball with Layla Brown. We usually listen to some Pandora, do a little dancing and then the fussing commences. This is fuss hour. She's worn herself out from the daily activities and she's ready for bed. This is when the swing comes in handy again. I can put her in there and she can occupy herself long enough for me to make and eat dinner.

But - routine first! We start our bedtime routine at around 8:00 - as long as she isn't too fussy. I think our little routine has been what has caused her to be such a great sleeper. It's bath time, then we change into our jammies, and eat for the last time.

She loves her bath time. Such a sweetie.

I try to put her in her co-sleeper right after she gets her little belly full - while she's still awake so that she can learn how to fall asleep on her own. This isn't always the case, but she does do a great job of falling asleep alone. Very seldom does she cry when I put her in there.

Bedtime is 9:00. I'd like to start reading her a book when she gets a little older, so we'll push our routine back at around 7:45. I've got LOTS of books for her. I can't wait!!

I put her to bed and turn on the monitors and then it's a little mommy and daddy down time. Sometimes, I'll have a little glass of vino and we'll watch a movie or we'll just have a little chat time. It's the perfect way to end our little day. I'm usually in bed by 10.

I love our days together and I know they will be coming to an end before I know it.  I'm enjoying every minute of these days with my sweet baby girl.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

All Smiles

We got our first smile last week!  It was the moment that you realize that someone is actually in there! It's not just a pooping, sleeping, eating "thing" - it's a person that loves to smile. I love it. And now I cry every time she smiles at me. I don't know why.

My little girl is getting so big already. It goes by too fast. She wiggles, she's looking at everything now - and she's smiling. I can't get enough of her. We snuggle and play and she is starting to interact with me. I still don't get a smile every time I play with her, but she's only 6 weeks old and I know it will just be a matter of time before she's laughing her head off at her silly daddy. Speaking of silly, my little angel is going to be such a character. She already is, actually. See:

What a silly little goose!

Olivia experienced her first Derby 2 weeks ago. Us being from Louisville, she will get plenty of opportunities to dress up, waste money, and drink ridiculously sugary drinks. But for now, we will just take advantage of the dressing up portion. Incidentally, Olivia has a knack for gambling. ORB {Olivia's initials} won the 139th Kentucky Derby. And yes, we put a nice little bet on him to win! Olivia will be choosing our horse next year, too.

We went to the pottery place this week, too and had her little footprints put on a cute little plate. She hated it, but we loved it! I'm sure she will love eating off of a plate that her feet were once on. Ha! But it's really cute. Her name will be added by the professionals there. I did enough damage.

Last, I want to address the baby clothing situation. Whomever is responsible for sizing this stuff needs a lesson. The newborn stuff is too small and the 0-3 months stuff is too big. And there's nothing in between. Ugh. My child will likely go naked until she catches up with the "normal" sized babies.
Someone needs to design some clothes based solely on weight. Instead of weight ranges. I mean, the 0-3 month stuff is designed for babies from 8-12 lbs. 8-12 lbs!! That's 3 different sizes of bowling balls!! And we all know that different sized people use different sized bowling balls. Same thing for babies and clothing.

I may have just found a way to stay at home. But first, I would have to learn to sew.....

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

One Month Later

It's already been a month. A month! How is that possible?! Olivia and I are getting used to each other and we're hanging out all day together and I LOVE it. We go shopping, I read her stories, we take bubble baths, we play dress up, and we snuggle. And nap. LOTS of napping going on. Well, for her. Not so much for me. I'm busy making photo books, wasting time on Pinterest, and doing copious amounts of laundry.

So far, she kinda just stares at me when I try to play with her. She's still so little, she has no idea what the heck is going on or where the heck she is. Ha! But she's definitely starting to look around more and more. And I think she is starting to recognize my face. Before too long, she'll be driving. Ugh.

I've been looking for activities and things to do with babies as itty bitty as she is and there's a lot more to do with newborns than you'd think! I wanted to wait until she was a month old to start tummy time, and we tried that yesterday. She wasn't impressed. Of course, we'll keep trying because I know how important it is to get them on their bellies so that they can strengthen those neck muscles. I don't think we are going to have a problem with this one, though. I'll lay her on my chest to snuggle and she'll raise her little head for a few minutes at a time! She's amazingly strong. Strong like bull!

We found a great Pandora Radio Station that we love listening to - Lullaby Themes. It's awesome. I sang "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid in its entirety yesterday to Olivia. She loved it. She thinks I have the voice of an angel. She told me.

I put together a Pinterest board of activities that I cannot wait to do with my little one. I'm bummed though because by the time I will be able to do most of these with her, I will have to go back to work. Sad face. Praise God for teacher's schedules, though! And weekends.

Here's my board. Click the pic to visit. Lots of good stuff on here. Enjoy!