Hello Old Friends

No, I didn’t die. I’m alive and well and exhausted and stressed and here.

If you follow my blog, you may have noticed that I’ve been gone since late November. Due to some pretty insane and unforeseen circumstances, I decided to take a two-month hiatus from my blog. I then extended it by a few months, out of sheer laziness!

But I’m here, and I’m ready to get back into the blogosphere!! So much has happened, so why don’t I just start by filling you all in?

Well, in December, amidst the aforementioned craziness, we celebrated our first Christmas with Owen! We had such a blast and got so many awesome photos! My favorite gift, by far, was out new Boba baby carrier!! We’ve gotten some great use out of it so far!

We also had our first Valentine’s Day, and my in-laws graciously watched Owen so Marshall and I could have a date night. I got drunk. Lol!! It was much needed, and a great time with my hubby.

Owen and I traveled to California in March. My parents were driving down, so they invited us to join! It was the longest, most sleepless week of my life, but it was such a great trip. We got to see so much family that Owen has never met before, and at one point we had five generations in one photo! We went to the Sacramento Zoo one day, and got to feed a giraffe! I’m really happy that I get to stay home with Owen and that I get opportunities like this one.

I also opened up an Etsy shop in March!! The name is StampAndCocoaDesign! Stamp because I’m making stamps, Cocoa because I’m a chocolate nut…so, ya know, pretty fitting! If you like me, go check it out: http://www.etsy.com/shop/StampAndCocoaDesign

About a week and a half ago, Owen had another EUA (exam under anesthesia). It went so well that his doctor doesn’t need to see him under anesthesia for six months!! Praise the Lord.

And, last but not least, my sweet, funny, happy boy is turning one in ONE WEEK! Aaaah!! I can’t believe it!! He’s walking, got six teeth, and is growing like a weed, but he can’t possibly be one year old yet, can he? We’re planning a really casual party for him for next weekend, and I’m pretty excited!

Well, I’ll leave you all with a photo dump, and I’ll be back next week! Good to see you all again!

                                                   

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Welcome Back Me! An Update

I haven’t posted anything in over a week! It has been so stinkin’ hectic over here, and we’ve had lots going on. So, I’ve decided to do a recap of this month, as well as a bit of what’s to come!

November:

-Owen Is growing like a weed! He turned seven months old on Monday, and I can’t help but feel like things are moving way too fast! Wasn’t he just born?! And he’s hit a ton of milestones this month, which only adds to the feeling that things are moving too fast.

-We started Owen on solid foods this month, and it seems to be going really well! He really likes bananas and sweet potatoes! And he’s very eager to grab the spoon to feed himself, but I’m just not ready to clean food out of his hair, ears, and rolls!

-We’ve also got two teeth! After all the torture of dealing with a teething baby, we have teeth. They’re small, but at least they’ve cut through the gums! Owen loves biting our hands and arms!

-Owen is not quite crawling on his hands and knees, but he is army-crawling! He’s been moving for a while, now, but he only seemed to know how to move backwards. Now, however, he can definitely go forward if he sees something he wants! We’ve been cleaning the floors more often this month…

-Owen outgrew his baby bath tub and his infant car seat! So, we’ve started bathing him the big bath, with a non-slip bath mat, and we hit the stores in search of a new car seat. We ended up getting a car seat that will allow Owen to be rear-facing until he’s 40 lbs. and front-facing until he’s 65 lbs. I can’t believe he’s so huge! When I nurse him, he takes up half my body!

-After having Owen sleep in our room for the last seven months (in his pack & play), he’s finally moved into his crib in the nursery. This is huge for me. I was so nervous the first night! It’s really strange not being able to hear every little noise he makes, but the baby monitor is a sanity-saver! It’s also really strange having to walk all the way into the nursery to grab him! I’m used to just leaning over to soothe him, barely having to wake up to do so…but those days have passed!

-Owen met Santa! Our mall’s Santa arrived last weekend, so I decided to take Owen to meet him and get pictures. I’ve never sent out Christmas cards before, but I’d really like to this year, and I’d like to show off my cute one! I actually bought him a “Baby’s 1st Christmas” outfit for the photo. It turned out flippin’ adorable!

-We had a very busy first Thanksgiving with Owen! In the early afternoon, we went to Marshall’s grandma’s house for a late lunch. It was great spending time with family that we really don’t get to see too often. We stayed for a few hours, before heading to my sister’s house to see my family. We had a less traditional dinner, consisting of lasagna and garlic bread. Tasty! After dinner and dessert, we gathered in the living room for some pretty intense games of Catchphrase and 5 Names in a Hat! My family is pretty competitive, so it got kinda loud! Most of the family said goodbye around 8:30, so I put Owen to sleep. The men stayed home with him so us girls could do some Black Friday shopping!

-We got our Christmas tree and decorated the house! Black Friday was actually spent decorating the house, then On Saturday we went with my dad and step-mom to get our tree! We live right down the road from an awesome u-cut tree farm, so we went there! It was cold, rainy, and muddy, but we had a great time and found an awesome tree! It’s definitely a tradition I want to do every year with Owen.

Looking Forward:

-Next week, my aunt will be staying with us for a few days. My aunt is mentally handicapped, and has the most beautiful heart. She has been looking forward to staying with me for months! She can’t wait to help me with Owen. I’m going to take her to Portland while she’s here, to go to the Children’s Museum. She doesn’t know it, but they have a Wizard of Oz exhibit going on right now! She’s a Wizard of Oz NUT! She’s going to be so excited, and I can’t wait to surprise her! The zoo is right next to the museum, so I’m considering taking her to Zoo Lights, as well!

-Christmas time is my favorite time of year. I love the music, the lights, the smells. Everything about this season makes me feel all merry and bright! And I am so excited that we get to share Christmas with Owen this year. I know that it won’t mean much to him at this age, but I’m sure that the memories we make this month will stay with me forever. I planned on not buying him much, because he won’t know the difference, and I’m sure his grand-parents will spoil him. But, I just couldn’t resist. Amazon was having a BOGO thing going on for Black Friday, so I ordered him some new toys!

-New years is always bittersweet for me. I am looking forward to the new year, but it’s always kinda sad to look back and see that certain things never got crossed off of that never-ending to-do list. It was a busy year, and I’m not too down on myself for not doing what I had hoped (I mean, I had a kid! Things are supposed to slow down a bit!), but I’m really looking forward to 2015!

Visual Aids:

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Glaucoma Update

On Friday, Owen had an appointment with the eye doctor at OHSU. This was not his surgeon that we saw a little over a month ago, but this was the eye doctor who first diagnosed Owen’s glaucoma, and sent us straight to the surgeon.

She originally told us that Owen would most likely need glasses at this point in his life, so that was my big question for her: Will he still need glasses???

After checking the pressure in both of his eyes, and watching how he focuses under different lenses, she informed me that she doesn’t see glasses in his near future! His eye pressures were excellent. As long as his eye pressures remain excellent, and he seems to be seeing fine, glasses won’t be necessary for a very long time!

When we first found out Owen had glaucoma, I felt like I was caught in a whirlwind! One day he’s fine, the next he’s getting surgery! And we just began to pray. We had our family praying, our church praying, and even random strangers praying. And God has been so faithful. He’s answered our prayers and has taken such good care of my sweet boy. I am so grateful that God has helped us through all of this, and that we are surrounded by such awesome prayer-warriors!

Teething: Are We Done Yet?!

After what has felt like forever, Owen has finally cut teeth! He’s been exceptionally fussy the past several nights, so Friday morning I took a chance and felt his gums. And, what do you know? I felt teeth!

He was still pretty fussy Friday night, so I checked his teeth again on Saturday morning. Phantom teeth. I keep hearing about this happening to babies…teeth popping up and down and up again. And I guess it’s a real thing, because his teeth had disappeared! By the end of the day, they reappeared, but geez! No wonder he’s been so fussy lately!

As of Sunday, his teeth seemed a bit more permanent. There’s not much to them yet, but I am just thrilled that they’ve broken through his gums.

Now, I’m curious…Will we go through this crazy nonsense for every new tooth? Or will the fussiness and discomfort go away over time, as he gets used to the sensation of new teeth? Because, I have lost so much sleep over the last few days, and I’m so dreading any new teeth he gets!

Pediatrician Appointment

Owen had his 6-month appointment with his pediatrician yesterday. We were there to get his next set of vaccinations, as well as his flu shot. I have to say, he actually did pretty great!

Owen is a pretty social kid, so he spends the majority of our appointments talking and smiling with our nurses and doctor. He did cry when the shots were given, but I was able to nurse him right after, and he calmed pretty quickly.

While there, he was weighed and measured. To me, this kid seems enormous! But I guess he’s kinda short! He’s in the 75th percentile for weight, and only the 17th for length! Short like momma 😉 I’m just so grateful that he’s so healthy!

He has an EUA in January for his eyes, so we go back to the pediatrician in a month for his pre-op, as well as the second dose of his flu shot.

As winter approaches, I’m really hoping I can keep Owen healthy. It breaks my heart when he’s not feeling good! I plan to be hyper-vigilant with hand-washing, hand-sanitizing, and keeping people from touching Owen’s hands and face (which is difficult, because people love to touch babies).

Have your kids been sick yet this year? Got any tips on how to soothe a sick baby?

Halloween Festivities

If you saw yesterday’s post, you’ll know that Marshall, Owen and I dressed as a beekeeper and his bees for Halloween! We also dressed the dog as a bee, but ended up not taking him trick-or-treating.

We started our festivities by going into town at 3 o’clock to do trick-or-treating at the businesses on Main St. The police actually closed off a section of Main St. just for the trick-or-treaters! We had a ton of fun, and we got so many compliments on our costumes!

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I have to admit, I had some anxiety about taking Owen out, seeing as he’s just a baby and can’t eat candy. But once we started and people kept stopping us to say how cute we looked, I started to feel better about the whole thing! People really did get a kick out of us! One business even took our picture for their Facebook page!

After we hit up all of Main St., we headed to my sister’s house in Albany. She opened her door to this cuteness:

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The five of us then headed to the mall in Albany to do indoor trick-or-treating! There were so many families! We had our picture taken twice at the mall!

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I snapped this cute photo of my sister and her hubby:

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After the mall, we headed to my in-laws’ for pizza and Uno! We ended up having an awesome Halloween and eating too much candy!

Halloween Costumes for the Whole Family For Less Than $25!

For Halloween this year, my family is doing coordinating costumes! And the best part is (apart from the cuteness), I dressed all four of us for under $25! How did I do this, you ask? DIY baby!!

I had sooo many ideas for family costumes, but I finally settled on a hive of bumblebees (me, Owen, and the dog) and our beekeeper (Marshall)!

In this post, I’ll show you how I costumed all four of us on the cheap:

The Beekeeper:

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Marshall works with a ton of different chemicals, so he has these suits at work! He just asked to borrow one for the day! It was clean, of course, and just what we needed.

The hat was part cheap/part DIY. I bought the white hard hat for $3 at Goodwill. I then bought a yard of black toole, worth $1.39, and hot-glued it around the edge of the hat.

Final cost = $4.39

First Bumblebee:

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I looked high and low for a cheap doggy costume, but I just couldn’t find one for an affordable price. So, I took to Ebay and found a great doggy costume, size large, for only $7.98 shipped! What a steal!

Final cost = $7.98

Second Bumblebee:

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Owen’s bumblebee costume was purchased at Goodwill for $4! It’s a 6-12 month size, so it fits him perfectly! Plus, it’s in excellent condition with no rips, tears or stains! I highly recommend checking out Goodwill’s costume section before going to Walmart or Target.

Final cost = $4

Third Bumblebee:

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The only bumblebee costumes I could find at Goodwill were for little girls, and the only ones at Walmart and Target were a bit revealing for my taste.

Not to fret! I found a very pretty set of yellow wings at Goodwill for $3, so I scooped them up! I bought a pair of black fleece-lined leggings for $6, and already own a black long-sleeve tee. I also have black boots that’ll be nice for the rain. My sister was selling her size small (in kids’ sizes) bee costume at our garage sale in September, so I bought it from her for $1! I had to do some minor adjustments (removed the zipper and added elastic, which I already owned), but I made it work!

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I went to Walmart and bought a bag of black pipe-cleaners for $.87 and a bag of yellow Pom-poms for $1. I already own a black headband. I bent the pipe-cleaners around the headband, then hot-glued the Pom-poms to the ends. My antennae are done! What a simple DIY costume!

Final cost = $11.87

Thanks to Goodwill, Ebay, and some DIY, we managed to dress our whole family for Halloween! And it only cost us $25.24! Okay, so I went a bit over $25, but man, I’m good!!

Has your family ever worn coordinating costumes? Do you DIY your costumes?

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