May 30, 2011

Florida Trip: A Photo Shoot with the Cousins

While I was in Florida, my sister and I were determined to get at least one good picture of our kids together. 

By good picture I mean, all three kids looking in the same (or similar) direction and not screaming.

We wanted to capture our babies and we wanted to document this time for my mom and dad as our three kids are currently their only grandbabies!

Laur and I are hoping that Katelynn and Justin add to the clan in many, MANY years.  After a throw down of a wedding, Southeast Louisiana style, of course!

I am by no means a professional photographer.  I am simply a mom who wants to capture memories of my family!  My sister is also a photography hobbyist so we decided we could get a few good pictures!  We met up in Ocala Saturday morning in hopes that the kids would cooperate.

We were working with a 4.5 year old, 2.5 year old, and 9.5 month old.  Miles (the 2.5 year old) is currently obsessed with picking his nose.  It made things interesting.

However, we accomplished our goal and got a few decent pictures!  I haven't gone through Lauren's pictures yet but here is what I captured!

I am in love with this - and I am very critical of pictures I take - so for me to love an image I shot, and edited, is HUGE!

Another cute one - I guess Graham and KK were occupied by something else!

We also got some wonderful pictures of Mimi in action!!  Thanks to my friend Maxine for the amazing black and white edit of my mom and the kids!!

Four people looking at the camera?  Success!! And how good does my mom look? 

After the pictures of the kids, my sister asked me to take a few of her family.  I was way nervous because, let's face it, I'm just a mom with a fancy DSLR.  Thankfully I got a few cute pictures of them!

The same picture cropped!  And my first attempt at a custom black and white conversion!

You know, just your average family walk!

I'm so glad that we have these memories of our kids hanging out and having fun!  My trip to Florida was so wonderful - and I can't wait to head back in October! 

I've still got pool fun to blog about - maybe tomorrow!

AMP Cloth Diaper Coupon Code!

Just a quick reminder that the AMP coupon code I blogged about in April expires tomorrow! 

Head on over to Amy's store and receive 10% off all orders greater than $18!  Be sure to enter coupon code BLOGGIVEAWAY at checkout for your discount!

Happy shopping!!

May 28, 2011

Florida Fun! Picture Overload!

Kate and I flew out  to Florida Wednesday afternoon for a visit with my family! 

After an extremely hectic morning, Kate and I made it to Hobby on time for our flight!  Kate adores people watching and she got her fix in the airport!  She was too busy to look at me!  These first three pictures are crappy iPhone pics!
Kate did great on the flight and slept most of the time!  I was blessed with a wonderful woman (who is a mom to older children) sitting next to us that was more than willing to help out while I got situated, made Kate a bottle, etc!  It made things much easier.

We landed in time to grab dinner with my brother and his sweet girlfriend that I am hoping becomes Kate's Aunt in the next few years Katelynn before making the drive to my mom's house!  I swear my "little" brother grows an inch every time I see him.  He is SOOO tall!

We've been busy, and soaking up the sun, since we got here! 

Thursday morning started off with breakfast with Pops.  Kate made a huge mess in Cracker Barrel but, I'm realizing that is just how life with a baby goes!  It was great to catch up with my Dad!

We headed to my sister's house Thursday afternoon so Kate, Graham, and Miles could play!  They had a blast in the pool we set up in Lauren's yard!

Diva baby in the pool!

The only picture we have of all three kids!

Graham man playing hard!

Yes my sister and I are dorks and take pictures of each other taking pictures of each other.  Don't judge.  Also, I love that we are both Nikon girls.  It makes playing with someone's camera gear so much fun!  I am coveting her external flash after using it Thursday night!  And, I'm pretty sure she is trying to get a 5 finger discount on a 50mm...

Kate is not impressed with another DSLR in her face.  A crazy momma is bad enough.  A crazy momma and a crazy Lala is just too much!

MooMoo inside after a fun afternoon in the sun!

Kate and Lala!

Kate and Mimi!

Sorry for all of the pictures - I didn't feel like fooling with Picasa to make collages but I probably should have!

We headed back to Ocala Friday and went to the YMCA so the kids could hang out in the "big pool".  They have a really awesome kiddy area that Kate loved.  She is such a little fish - jumping, splashing, and crawling everywhere!  She loves the water so much!  I didn't have my camera out but my sister took pictures - I'll get them today and post some later.

Our plans for today include attempting a photo shoot with all three kids (I'm hoping that between my sister and I we get something cute), a family photo session for my sister (I'm going to attempt to take pictures of someone other than Kate - wish me luck), and a bit of shopping! 

We fly back to Houston tomorrow morning.

We are having a blast but Kate and I miss Alex so much!  Can't wait to get home to him tomorrow!!

May 27, 2011

Giveaway Winner Posted!

Head on over to my giveaway blog to see who the lucky winner is!  And, to hear about the next giveaway taht will be taking place in the next 2ish weeks. 

May 24, 2011

Just a Few Pictures!!

I took these yesterday and am blown away how green Kate's eyes look in these pictures.  I guess it's the green bow?

Her eyes change so much - some days they are much lighter, other days more blue, and then days like today they are very green!  I love how much they morph and change!

Pretty dimple!

She is obsessed with her new toy and pushes it all over the house!

I hope everyone has a great Tuesday!!

May 23, 2011

OMG!! She did it!!!

I am super excited to announce that Kate has officially taken her first step!!! 

We were hanging out in her nursery post nap today.  She loves to hold on to her crib rails and stand up.  Well, she let go, got her balance, took a step, and looked at me like "wow, did I just do that?".

I freaked and started clapping and such which resulted in Kate getting excited and losing her balance and plopping back down on her butt.

She did it (just one step we haven't gotten to multiple steps at once) several more times!

I am seriously one proud momma today!!!  I don't have any pictures or video yet because she isn't steady enough for me to feel comfortable taking pictures and not being able to catch her the second she starts to tumble!

I really think her push toy has given her the confident to start taking steps.  This is the one she has!

If anyone wants to explain how to upload video (the video button thing on blogger doesn't work for me) I will gladly post some video of Kate pushing her walker all over the house.  I'm thinking I might need to upload to YouTube first, yes?
Also, Kate can now crawl up the stairs!  No clue when she mastered that one but she is a pro!

May 22, 2011

Kate, The Goat Hater

Yes, that's right, my kid hates goats.  Innocent little sweet petting zoo goats.

Here's how it all went down...

This past week Alex and I have been talking about taking Kate to the Houston Zoo - specifically to the petting zoo - as she is increasingly aware of our dogs and always wants to pet them.  We stupidly eagerly assumed this meant she would want to pet all soft, cuddly, living creatures. 

Because, you know, goats are the epitome of cuddly living creates.  We were (are?) dellusional.

After Kate got sick, we decided to see how she was feeling Saturday morning and then decide if we would still go to the zoo.  She woke up bright and early acting like her normal self so we kept our plans.

Alex and I were way too excited about the whole petting zoo thing.  I'm talking, got to the zoo as before it opened to avoid crowds, excited.  I was so excited that I forgot my wallet, membership card, and ID.  Thankfully a nice zoo worker let me pay $3 for replacement cards and didn't charge us the insane price for the zoo (seriously, why is it ok to charge a family of 4 almost $40+ to get into the zoo?).

We got back to the petting zoo 3 minutes before it opened.  Perfect - no crowds, just Kate and some goats. 

Yes, only goats.  Apparently that is the only animal children in Houston want to pet?  Well, that's what the zoo thinks at least.

It was a FAIL.

Kate didn't cry, she just had a really sour look on her face and a death grip on Alex.  Almost like she was utterly disgusted we would even contemplate making her touch animals. 

After about 5 minutes, Kate realized we were persistent and we weren't going anywhere until she touched a goat. 

I'm kidding, kind of. 

But, we really wanted to see if she would warm up to the animals once she got on their level and felt that they were soft and similar to her puppies.

This was the best we got.  I'm pretty sure Kate is thinking "Fine then, I'll touch this disgusting thing with one finger.  Ok?  OK?  Now get me out of here.  NOW"

As soon as we were on the outside of the petting zoo Kate was happy and talking/ smiling at the goats.  Lesson learned.  My child prefers animals to be behind fences.

We weren't at the zoo much longer after the petting zoo fiasco.  We quickly walked through Africa to see the giraffes and the chimps.

It was so hot and humid - my hair is evidence of that.  We headed to an indoor exhibit to cool off a bit before heading home.  Kate loves fish tanks so much.  We need to make a trip back to the aquarium!

Being outside in the heat was just too much for a recovering Kate. I feel horrible that we took her out because the heat made her diaper rash worse.  I'm so glad we have a zoo membership because it makes quick visits to the zoo ok!

On a different note - be sure to click on over to my giveaway blog - big things are happening over there and I already have 4 giveaways lined up!! 

May 21, 2011

9 Month Stats!

This post is a few days late and I feel horrible about it.  But, I've been so busy and Kate has decided that she is going to fight bed time these days so my "me" time to check email, blog, edit pictures, etc has been very limited.

We had our 9 month well baby yesterday but, it turned into a sick baby visit.  Kate woke up Friday morning and seemed off.  I noticed that she had a pretty bad diaper rash when I changed her so I smeared on half a tube a nice layer of Triple Paste (the best diaper cream ever).  By 8am she was totally out of sorts, screaming bloody murder non stop, and burning up.  I took her temp and it was up to 101. 

We headed to the doctor thankful that we already had an appointment on the books.  Kate's pediatrician thought it was best to cath her for a urine sample because she suspected a UTI.  Sure enough, Kate had blood and white cells in her urine.  She was diagnosed with a UTI and a yeast rash.  She got an antibiotic shot in the office and started oral antibiotics today.

Her poor diaper rash is horrible.  We are using prescription cream that better work because it was $213 for one tube.  As of today, it looks worse and she has an open, oozing sore on one spot of the rash.  We've been letting her hang out nakey as much as possible to dry out the area and hope the rash gets better.

Kate woke up this morning and was acting much better so we headed to the zoo - that was a mistake!  I'll blog about out trip soon!

Despite the adventure we've had, I wanted to document what's up with Kate at 9 months!  I just love that she is wearing this dress -  it was one of the first monogrammed things I bought for her when I was pregnant!  I blogged about it too!

Weight: 18 pounds 6 ounces
Length: 28 inches
Clothing size: totally varies - she's up to 9 or 12 month jammies for length but can still wear 3-6 month dresses.  Shorts are typical 3-6 or 6 months and bubbles are 6-9 or 9 month for length purposes.  She's all over the place!
Diaper: Still hanging out in size 3s.

What Kate's up to:
*She is totally mobile and gets to whatever she wants.  She is also cruising everywhere and can walk from couch to end table to couch to coffee get the picture!
*Sleeping through the night consistently.  We still have a few rough nights every so often but, for the most part she goes down by 7 and wakes up between 5-6 every morning.
*Stranger Danger is in full effect.  Crowds freak Kate out (as do goats - another thing I'll be posting about) and she is extra clingy when she is around anyone she doesn't know.
*We are completely off of pureed baby food.  Kate hasn't eaten baby food since we were in Mississippi a few weeks ago.  She currently loves black beans, steamed carrots, lima beans, green beans, broccoli (she loves to hold it like a lollipop and take bites out of the top part), pears, black eyes peas, ground turkey, Kix cereal, and lots of other things!  She eats like a champ but it is hard to find things that are egg, dairy, and soy free due to her allergies.
*Despite all of the classic signs of teething, Kate is still tooth free.  Maybe we'll have a tooth by August!
*Is walking with a push toy - I have a precious video and when I learn to upload I will share!
*Knows how to high five!
*Gives me and Alex kisses!
*Still not saying anything but loves to babble and make noise!

We are having such a blast with her these days!  I cannot believe that we are so close to Kate's first birthday - this is all going way too fast!

Don't forget to head over to my review blog for a chance to win 24 invitations from Pear Tree Greetings!

May 20, 2011

New Look!!! And a Giveaway!

I am so in love with my new blog design!  I've had the itch for a new look for a while now and am so glad that I reached out to the wonderful Cat Moore of In a Nap's Time design for the change!

Cat was amazing to work with.  I am one of the most indecisive people on the face of this planet.  And I also am horrible at vocalizing what I want in terms of design.  However, Cat was able to create what I was invisioning by simply reading a few possibly incohearent emails from yous truly!

You'll also notice, to the left, a link to my new giveaway blog!  I've decided to have all of my product reviews and giveaways in a central location - and I wanted to make sure this blog was kept as Kate's baby book/ journal!  Be sure to click on over as there is an awesome giveaway waiting for you!!

A few things are a work in progress - the "Our Story" tab will be populated with details of Alex and I and our struggle with infertility.  I want our struggles to be easily accesible in hopes that our pain and suffering, and eventual success can inspire someone else that is in the trenches of infertility.  I also never want to forget where we came form in regards to building our family. 

It's a work in progress because bedtime has turned into a two hour event these days and I have limited computer time!  I will be done by this weekend though!

Be sure to follow me on twitter and grab our button too!!

Again, big thanks to Cat for this beautiful new look!  I have a feeling it will be around for a while!

May 19, 2011

Big Day Today!!!

We have several important things going on today!

This sweet girl is 9 months - she has officially been on the outside longer than she was on the inside.  Where has the time gone? 

Her 9 month post will be up later today!

This wonderful guy and I are celebrating 4 years of marriage!  Again, where has the time gone?  We have been together for almost 9 years - that is CRAZY!!
I love this picture of Alex form Hawaii!  I have tons of wedding pictures on my 3 year anniversary post!

I'm not going to lie, a baby is a huge stress on a marriage - sleepless nights, total exhaustion, a completely new normal - it is HARD to stay positive with each other and remember that we are a couple first and that we need to nurture each other. 

I haven't done the best job at that over the past 9 months.  However, I am so thankful that I married a wonderful, loving man that puts up with my type of crazy - especially the type of crazy I was right after Kate was born.

Thank you Alex for loving me, being the best Daddy Kate could ask for, and taking this marriage and parenting adventure with me!  Kate and I are bless to have you in our lives!!

And, today is my sweet Momma's birthday!  I am so thankful for my mom - she has always been an amazing mom that went out of her way to put her kids first!  She would do anything for me, my sister, and brother.  I hope she has a wonderful day today amidst the major changes that have occurred in her life this year.  Kate and I cannot wait to celebrate with you next week Momma!!

May 18, 2011

Sweet KK

I couldn't come up with a decent post title today.  Nothing really represents how blessed I am feeling this week.

After the few weeks of work hell, things have calmed down, and Kate seems to be extra happy.  I truly believe she feeds off of my emotions and is calmer/ happier this week because I am putting of a calmer/ happier/ more put together vibe.

I adore getting home from work - Kate is so excited to see me and lunges into my arms when I get home.  It literally makes me day.  I can't even begin to describe how much I love this precious girl.

And, I love witnessing her excitement when her Daddy gets home.  She knows that the garage door = someone coming home so she crawls to our railing (our living area is on the second floor), stands up, and waits for her Daddy to walk in.  She gets so excited when she sees him! 

Again, we are so blessed.

We had our daily photo shoot today and KK was so happy. I can't pick a favorite from today so I have several pictures to share!

Sweet smiles!

Signature look - tongue sticking out!

Please notice how light Kate's hair is getting!  It has a beautiful red tint when we are out in the sun!!

When Kate is playing with her toys, she either has something in her mouth or is trying to put it on her head!  Silly girl!

Kate has recently mastered bending down and picking up whatever she wants - today it was the remote.

And since she is cruising everywhere (and attempting to take steps without holding on - where has my baby gone?) she totally peaced out of our photo shoot today! 

A few blog related things - my new blog design should be live this week!  And, I will have my first giveaway on my new giveaway blog this week as well.  It is an AWESOME Pear Tree giveaway - if you are planning a first birthday party (or any party) you won't want to miss out!

May 16, 2011

Happy Days!

Kate has been so happy the past few days! It is hard to think that she was such a colicky baby the first 4.5 months of her life and screamed 99% of the time she was awake.

I am so glad we are past that stage!

Yesterday was such a fun day - Kate had a blast playing with her toys, we went out to lucnh (and got covered in avacado - all of us - it was on my legs, Alex's shoes, all over Kate), and came home to play some more!

I love how Kate crawls. She almost always puts her left foot flat and pushes off of it - almost like she is half walking half crawling!

Pretty girl!

I think she is sick of me interrupting playtime!

Pretty smile!

Now that Kate can cruise all around our living room, she loves to chase/ annoy the dogs.  She simply could not contain her excitement about almost reaching the prize, aka Sadie!

I'm not sure if Sadie loves or resents the baby explosion in our living room...

Several of y'all asked about Kate's sunglasses.  I got them on Amazon!  They have a strap that goes around her head and she has never ones tried to pull them off.   So, they are functional and cute!

I hope y'all are having a good week so far!  The weather has been wonderful here! 

May 15, 2011

Sun Tanned Toes Tickling the Sand!!

Ok, maybe more like super pasty in desperate need of a pedicure toes, man toes, and sweet little chubby baby toes tickling the sand!  Either way, we had a blast yesterday at the beach! 

I think all three of us needed time away from the city and Matagorda was a wonderful day trip!  It is not Destin, and cannot even remotely be compared to Hawaii, but there was sun, sand, a light breeze, warm Gulf water, and cold beer!  We couldn't really ask for more!

Kate did great!  Our drive there was timed perfectly to her morning nap so she slept in the car.

She loved the sand as soon as we put her down in it - and only managed to eat a few bites.  I was impressed!

Kate was apprehensive about the water for all of 5 minutes before she realized it was just a big bath tub and fell in love!

The first time her sweet toes touched the Gulf!

Taking it all in!

Me and KK!

Hanging out under the tent for a bit.

Alex set up his surf rods but, the seaweed problems we are having on the Texas coast made it impossible to catch anything but gigantic globs of seaweed.

Kate loved standing in the water and thought it was too funny when the waves would come in.  Alex and I about broke our backs bending over so she could stand up!

Hi little beach baby!  I just can't get over the cuteness of her swimsuit, shades, and hat!

She crawled all over the beach!  Kate is fearless and kept trying to crawl into the surf. 

She even tried to go for a swim!

We picked up 15 pounds of huge, fresh, yummy Gulf shrimp before heading home!  Alex boiled about 5-6 pounds last night and they were amazing!!!

I am so glad Kate had such a good time!  I was starting to stress out that maybe we booked our Hawaii trip prematurely.  I mean, what would we have done if she hated the beach?  I'm glad we don't have to worry about that!

I'm sure we will be heading back to our Texas beaches soon!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!!
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