Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A born reader

Reading has always been an enjoyable pastime for me. As a little girl, my books fascinated me. I loved being read to, especially my favorite stories over and over and over again. My mom would usually end up falling asleep as she read to me, thus leaving me to recite the rest of it by pure memorization as I turned the pages.

I don't remember exactly when I learned to read on my own, but I'm sure it was a monumental day. I loved the quirkiness and rhyming rhythm of Dr Seus. I loved the family togetherness of the barenstien(?) bears. The classic appeal of toad and frog. Ah it is all too much. Nostalgia is at an all time high!!

High school was when my book preference really took a transformation. In my AP english class, we had a required reading list. I took one look at it and didn't find one title I had ever heard of! Boy did that get me out of the box. I started reading novels like Me Talk Pretty One Day and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I realized there was more out there for me than teen girl melodramas. I discovered a new world in books. I still get excited each time I open a new cover. Where will I go today? What will I be doing? I root myself in the story and allow myself to get taken to another place. It awakens my soul and broadens my imagination.

I hope Winnie will like to read one day. I hope she will find it enchanting and life altering. I want to share with her my favorite books and hope she keeps coming back for more.

I always wanted to be with someone who loved to read almost as much as I do. I envisioned late nights in bed as we both hold tight to the pages completely enthralled with our stories. I pictured early Sunday mornings reading the newspaper together and sharing a cup of coffee.

Kyle likes to read. No wait. He loves it. Hallelujah! Crisis averted.

I recently started my first Steven King novel. It's called 11/22/63. It's over 800 pages! Easily the longest book I will have read. My mom finished it in a matter of days. Piece of cake for her. I know without a doubt that is who I got my fierce desire for reading from. Watching how glued she was to the thing, I can only imagine it's good. It's about time travel and a man's quest to stop the assassination of JFK. So far, 150 pages in, I'm hooked.

In fact, I must go. I have more to read!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The realest of the real

Last night, as I tried to convince myself to get sleepy, I read a blog from a girl I went to high school with. Quickly I became entranced by her stories. Apparently we had more in common than I thought. We were never close in school, but as we've grown up, it seems as though our lives have taken similar paths. Anyways, her writing swept me away. She was so real. Her stories so bare and organic. It inspired me. I find myself always writing about the great things in life, the wonderful, joyous moments. And while that is all fine and dandy, it may be possible that you don't constantly want to read about how magical my life is. And trust me, it isn't always so. In the past, I thought "who would want to read about things that are sad and depressing?" But truth be told, and I can attest to this, it takes those true, deep, and sometimes low points in one's life to be able to connect with an audience. I believe people are rivited by personal challenges. And success, of course. But the tough times are what bind people together, bring you closer in. Because let's face it, we are not perfect. So here I am. I am getting real.

In the past couple of months, we have undergone quite a few changes. And besides the most obvious one, our new addition to the family, we also managed to loose one as well. My beloved cat, Skeeter, has a few issues. Ok, the cat is seriously bonkers. But I love him. Probably, wait, no definitely, more than I should. Before making his home permanately outdoors, he peed all over our bed, thus forcing us to buy a new mattress (which we really couldn't afford, so we had to buy an inexpensive, and just so happens to be an extremely firm one.. causing much back pain for both of us and a lot of trouble falling asleep because it feels like laying on wood floors). For the longest time, it has been hard for me to admit this harsh reality about my cat to others. I was, and continue to be, ashamed that I let matters go as far as they did. It put so much strain on the relationship between me and Ky. I still don't know why I let it get between us like it did. My stubbornness has GOT TO GO! Let me continue. He then peed on our couch, multiple times. We are still trying to get the stench out. Cat urine is honestly the worst smell. It's the kind that permeates all things around it, and the kind that you can't get out of your nose no matter how hard you try. He also managed to pee in the nursery, before it was a nursery of course. So every once in a while, the smell comes wafting back. Ugh. It is an absolute nightmare, one that we are fighting to end once and for all. He has caused so much irrepairable damage. I am exceptionally cranky today because of my poor nights sleep. Awful. Miserable. And I can't even blame the baby. What is this!? We were blessed with a good sleeper and I can hardly reap the benefits. Boo. And yet, I continue to love him. One will never know or begin to understand why, not even me.

On to other matters..

From the beginning, breastfeeding has been a challenge for us. Winnie and me, that is. At first, it was just painful. Excrutiating hardly describes it. Sometimes, I could do nothing but cry as I tried to feed my baby. Eventually the pain subsided and we moved on to other issues. She began to get fussy almost every time she nursed. It was so hard to get her to latch on and be content. It has been such an internal struggle for me, a new mom. Not only was I feeling downhearted because it wasn't easy, but what is a brand new mommy like me to do when she can't provide for her baby? I tried not to get too down on myself about it because it only made things worse. I know it's not always a piece of cake for people, and certainly not me. But every once in a while, the feelings of not being enough, not being sufficient for my child creep back in. I know I am a good mother, and in some form or another, I will find a way to nurish my baby. But the road has been and continues to be a long and challenging one. She still gets fussy from time to time, and it's hard to tell if she is getting enough. My newest worry is her constant spitting up. More times than not, she will spit up quite a bit after she eats. It is a lot. I am not overexaggerating. Is she having a bad reaction? It is something I ate? Is she allergic? I just don't know. It is exhausting. And yet, I won't give up. I have gotten used to the fact that most of the time I am covered in spit up. We even joke sometimes that I have become immune to the smell. And it doesn't smell nice. Oh the wonders of mommyhood...

Since sitting down to write this post, I have had to get up three times to calm my crying baby. It's bedtime, and definitely not her favorite time of the day. I've had to learn to let her just cry it out sometimes. As hard as it is, she sleeps so much longer and deeper because of it. It just makes me so sad listening to her unhappy though!

Four.

Being faced with these struggles has tested me in more ways than I can count. At the end of the day, I am grateful. For gaining more patience. For becoming a nurturer. For earning strength and for letting go of what I cannot change. I am grateful for battles big and little, because they shape me and force me to grow. And that is a good feeling.

Goodnight.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Winnie's first snow!

Little gnomie baby loved the snow! She was in quite the photogenic mood (*see other post on photoshoots..) I just couldn't wait until the perfect opportunity to get her in this cute poncho and bootie set that I found on etsy! Today was the day. She totally rocked it!

(* sidenote: look at how long my hair is!! I'm chopping it off soon.)



Love these precious moments with my girl.

Can't believe she is already sitting in her bumbo chair! Seriously, where did the time go?! I simply can't get over what a big girl she's turning into. She loves when she gets bumbo time. She could sit there for hours if we let her!

I'm gonna be sad when this little snowsuit doesn't fit anymore. It's so soft and cuddly.





This girl smiles like it's goin outta style. LOVE her! Can't wait for more snow days spent with my little family. I was just thinking... next year is going to be so different with her when it snows. She might actually wanna play in it, or my guess.. eat it! ha!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lake Chelan Fire & Ice festival

Lake Chelan is always one of my favorite vacation destinations. I love the hot, hot summers and am glad to say, the winters do not disappoint either. Winnie experienced her first snow while we were there-- what could be more special than that?? I had no idea there was such a thing as professional ice sculpting, but apparently there is! These people were incredible. All throughout town, there were giant ice blocks set up that were eventually turned into masterpieces! They used chainsaws to do it, too! It was unreal.

We went to a few different wine tastings at our favorite wineries. Yum!

But the best part was being with my family. Big ups to our little girl for being such a good trooper through it all. The long car rides, no swing to lull her to sleep, a different environment-- she did so great!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Recipes

As I've said, one of my new year's goals is to cook more often. And let me tell you-- I have been workin' on it! Thought I'd share a few recipes with you, in case you are looking for something new to try.

Tonight for dinner I made:
-chicken
-green beans
-spicy roasted sweet potatoes (!!)
They weren't kiddin-- these babies are SPICY! Loved em. The recipe is super easy. All you need is cayenne pepper (1/2t), chili powder (1/2t), garlic powder (1/2t) and some salt. Coat a baking sheet with olive oil, heat the oven to 400*, peel and cut potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces and coat with ingredients. Cook for 20-25 minutes, flipping half way through. Delish! Click here for a better reference:http://homeiswheretheholmansare.blogspot.com/2010/11/spicy-roasted-sweet-potatoes.html

I also made a version of the oh-so very popular PAZOOKI )deep dish cookie with ice cream on top) for dessert. It gave me a great excuse to use my sweet little ramekins that Jaimie gave me last year for Christmas.
You can find the recipe here: http://www.blueeyedbakers.com/home/2011/8/8/deep-dish-cookie-pies.html
*sidenote-- I didn't put as much butter as it calls for and I substituted the milk chocolate chips for white chocolate :)

I've found so much inspiration on Pinterest for new recipes to try. Tomorrow I am going to make crockpot Chicken Taco chili and put it over rice. Yummmm (hopefully ;))

Cheers!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A full nights rest

This is just too good to be true not to say anything.

WINNIE SLEPT 8.5 HOURS IN A ROW LAST NIGHT!!

That was after she took a 4 hour nap before that. And after I fed her, she went back to bed for another 3 hours! That girl really likes her sleep apparently.

She must be growing. :)

I am a happy and well-rested mama today! Bring it on, world!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Winnie- 2 months!

video
Yeah, that's right-- our girl is two months old today!! And to celebrate the occasion, I thought I'd show you a video of baby buggy in the tub. She's getting so big!

Mama bird and Poppa bear love you sweet cheeks!

Welcome, 2012!

I must say, 2011 was one of the best years of my life. Wait, no it was the best year of my life. SO many amazing and wonderful things happened-- it was definitely hard to see it go.

However, I look to the upcoming year with much excitement because I know there is a lot in store for me and my little family. I can't wait to see the magic that unfolds!

After reading a new years article in the newspaper I felt inspired to change up the all-too-common resolutions and turn them into things I want to do more of. The word 'resolution' has a bit of a negative connotation, meaning that there is something that needs to be resolved, as if there was a problem there in the first place. And although there might be, I really want to focus on the positive side of things. So I contemplated my life and how I see it and how I want to improve it. First, I know I want to learn to cook more often and be more daring in the kitchen while I'm at it. For some reason, the thought of cooking has always intimidated me; the fear of messing up turned me away. But not anymore! And I have my parents to thank for the awesome new pots and pans that have gotten me all the more inspired!

In my new role as a mommy and soon-to-be wifey, it has become more apparent that I am shifting from life all about me to life all about my daughter and my fiance and us as a family. I am no longer a single unit but I have multiplied! I am a provider and a nurturer, a person attempting to break down my walls that I've built up as an individual and I'm learning to welcome others in. This year, I want to create the habit of putting others before myself. I want to do more random acts of kindness to both those I hold near and dear and those that are merely strangers in my life. I am opening my heart and hope to become a better person for it.

Here are a few other habits I am working to eliminate or improve upon:
-wear robe LESS.
-eat LESS sugary treats and eat MORE healthy
-work on time management and get out of the house MORE!!
-more simply said, I want to work on the notion that LESS is MORE. I need to recognize that excessive desires (shopping, candy) are a major impulse for me and a not so good one at that! I want to break life down to the simple joys- the things that really matter.

So here's to a new year, another great year I hope!

Cheers friends