Great Grandpa Cliff Miller and Great Grandma Olene are here in Phoenix for the week. They came over and got to meet Laken for the first time yesterday! Grandpa wanted me to post this on facebook for him, "To show Ivy and say Eat Your Heart Out." They brought with them a little onesie that says baby's 1st halloween for Laken to wear this weekend. On Saturday evening we went and watched Chase's softball playoff game. It is nice to see them both more while we are in AZ. They winter here every year!
What did I do without this little light in my life? I really have no idea, she has just filled each day with so much joy and wonder. It is so fulfilling to take care of her and spend each moment of every day with her, and I just feel so blessed to have her around. She really is my little buddy and I'm loving the little glances and special moments we are having doing the things that used to seem so mundane. The first is a picture of her peacefully asleep on a long walk. She loves to look at the trees and listen to the birds chirp. She is enthralled in the littlest things and I find myself once again enjoying this simplicity with her! The second picture is of Laken "helping" me make some candies for a Halloween party. She sat in her Bumbo chair and was thrilled with the noise that the wax paper made. So I tore her off a piece and she laughed. Now when I'm pushing her in her stroller or in a shopping cart while she naps.....she lets me know that she has woken up with a squeal, and then she smiles back when I say hello. She is SO much fun and I really wish that I would have had her a long time ago. What a special soul. Chase and I are so lucky to share moments and experiences with her......especially the simple ones.
*I am not sure on my height and weight because I do not have another Dr. appointment until 4 months. But mom is having a harder time carrying my car seat.
*My parents had to pack up many of my newborn and 0-3 clothes because I have outgrown them!
*I am in Size 1-2 diapers.
*My hair is auburn and even looks red in the sunlight!
*I am still breastfeeding and am able to anticipate when it is time to eat. I spit up a lot.
*I'm able to show more of my personality with lots of expressions and vocalization. Check out the video of me "talking" to Dad.
*My laugh sounds like, "Woooo!" and I squeal with delight all of the time!
*I have a crooked smile!
*I fake cough to get your attention ;)
*I love to suck my thumb and sometimes wake my parents up with suckling sounds.
*I sleep through the night!!!
*I continue to bat at my toys with my hands and have just started to kick them as well.
*I grab my moms hair and jewelry.
*Bath time is my favorite event of the day.
*I love to go on walks and to watch others feed the ducks outside the condo.
*I've started to attend Lapsit for Babies every Wednesday with my baby friends.
*I am able to roll over if my parents tuck one of my arms under me.
*My new favorite song (with motions ofcourse, and I know what is coming next so NO cheating ;) "Criss cross applesauce" [cross my legs back and forth], "a tickle up and a tickle down" [tickle me up and down], "a cool breeze" [blow on my face, I squint in advance], "a gentle squeeze" [or just hug me I like it better], "and now I've got the sillies" [tickle my chin and neck, it makes me laugh.....and take your time on this one]!
This is our family fall day at Mother Nature's Farms in Gilbert. We picked out Laken's pumpkin that she will decorate with hand prints later this week! The farm had little piglets that were born on October 17th, Laken wasn't to interested, but they were sure cute! She posed as a piglet herself! When we were all set, Chase buckled in the pumpkin while I buckled up Laken!
Laken could not show up to her 1st Halloween party empty handed.....so I made Halloween cupcake toppers that say, "Baby's 1st Halloween!" Laken ended up with orange frosting all over her pants! That must be why she has such a sad face.....had to post it!
I LOVE Halloween! It is my all time favorite holiday and I am so excited to share it with Laken! Some of my best childhood memories are of getting out all of the decorations with my Mom and Rod in Orofino. It is so cool to see your parents be silly and giddy just like children again. All of Chase and I's decorations are up in Idaho storage :( So I went out and purchased this little Halloween candlestick with an owl on it to celebrate Laken's 1st Halloween. I wrote the date and occasion on the bottom and can't wait to pull it out of the box each year with Laken! So many Halloween traditions and memories to come.....this is what family is all about!
I just started to write down a list of all that I have learned this past year regarding money saving tips to share with the mommies in our baby group. And wow I should write a book.....errr blog post ;) I'm proud of our accomplishments and the ways that Chase and I have learned to stretch out our money so that I can stay home with Laken, and we can remain debt free (student loans don't count right?). It is actually fun and adventurous.........picture me clipping coupons and soaring through the grocery isles and online shopping carts with a giant DG (domestic goddess monogram) on my shirt! Haha, I am totally exaggerating but really it is a glorious feeling to know how much you have saved your family. Don't get me wrong I still like to splurge here and there but I feel less guilty when I do. My famous quote to Chase is, "if you give your wife a starbucks and a monthly pedicure, she will breastfeed your baby and clip coupons to make up for it!" On that note here are a few tips and tricks that I have learned.
~Walmart: Uggg we all hate the place right, but THEY PRICE MATCH all local grocery ads. So literally each week I make my shopping list, skim through the ads, write down where the produce or items are the cheapest and the price, and then put them in my cart at walmart. At check out all you have to do is have a copy of the ads with you. And yeah you only have to go to one grocery store to get the best prices in town.
~Coupons: I keep a coupon pouch in my purse and then I have them with me at all times. It is amazing how much you save just by clipping a few here and there for the places you shop the most. dealseekingmom.com has printable coupons if you do not feel like clipping. Keep in mind that many stores will price match other stores coupons. For example here in AZ, Buy Buy Baby price matches Babies R Us and Bed Bath and Beyond coupons.
~Check out our friends blog: http://www.hantla.com/kiki/ Her blog has amazing coupon codes for things related to parenthood. Most recently she had codes for B1G1 on baby legs, and a $10 starbucks card for the price of $5!!!!
~babysteals.com has a new item at 9am and 9pm every day that is on super sale. They are usually luxury boutique items that make great gifts.
~Groupon.com allows you to type in your city and you get an email every day with an amazing deal to local restaurants, events, or salons.
~The library is my friend! Our library has a free lapsit program every Wednesday for babies. It is a story, song, dance time for babies and their mommas. Most libraries have infant and child DVD's that can be rented. I love this because Laken loves Baby Einstein and they can cost around $16 a piece to buy and she grows out of the content every 3 months. You can also check out culture passes to Phoenix attractions (desert botanical gardens, the phoenix zoo, and the AZ Science center).
~Bath and Body Works. We all want to feel pretty right?.......and/or mask the lingering smell of spit up in our hair;) From my years (yes years during college) of work at BBW I learned that I really should only shop here two times a year. June and January Sales are huge and literally most items are at least half of at these times. I stock up for Christmas gifts and my own stash. The same is true for Victoria Secret (their sister store).
~Set up a coupon email account. I hate when stores ask for my email address and then my inbox fills up with endless junk that is difficult to sort through.....but at the same time I don't want to miss out on a deal. So I set up an email account just for coupons. I've found that most dept store coupons by email are better than the ones you find in print.
*If you have more ideas or tips please send them my way. Special thanks to all the ladies who have shared their secrets with me.....and most of all to my momma (the ultimate frugal queen!)
Today is the first day that it has felt like Fall here in Phoenix! Lakers is all in her fall get up and enjoyed a morning with her baby friends at the Library and lunch. Blame this photo on my crappy camera.....this is actually the best of several :( I am dreaming of a Canon Rebel and it will be one of our first purchases when Dad finishes school. He may have been tired when he said this last night.....but now it is officially in print....BAM!
Grandma Peggy could not resist coming for another visit to see Laken! Here are some pictures of the visit. She got to watch Chase play a baseball game as well, Laken spent most of it asleep in her lap! The last picture is of the bug when Grandma took us out to IHOP for breakfast!
This past week Laken has started sleeping through the night! It must be her Halloween jammies! Right now she is going to bed around 9:30 pm and waking around 5 or 6 am. It is nice for both of us and Mom feels rested for the first time in 11 weeks! Laken is at her happiest in the morning and spends most of the time cooing and playing games, after she eats of course. As I've said before she is not one to miss a meal! Let's hope this trend continues!
Laken has really been working hard at tummy time. At Gymboree we learned a little trick that babies like to be propped up a bit when they practice. This week she propped up on an inter tube and looked at the toy balls inside. So at home we tried it with the assistance of her boppy. She ended up rolling over and the camera caught it just in time. She is able to roll over while on her tummy if we place one of her arms underneath her.
Laken has been going to Gymboree, a baby gym in Chandler. She loves listening to the songs and playing on the props. I think her favorite part is watching all of the older babies and the bright colors. Her class is called Little Bundles and it is for ages 2-6 months. Today Chase got to come too! We are excited to see all of her developmental changes and growth in the months to come.....but more importantly all of the memories and smiles!
Uggggg it's that time, Laken is now 10 weeks old and Mama is showing the wear and tear of mommyhood. Sometimes I look in the mirror and think, "who is that?" it is amazing how 10 months of growing a baby and getting her started in the world can age you by 5 years (and that is a moderate estimate!) The comments, "you look tired." and the sprouting brown roots are screaming, "Mama, get your sexy back!" So this is why I am blogging today as a contract to everyone who reads this, I vow to: 1) highlight my hair this weekend and 2) work out five times a week! This week I joined a gym. I love little Laken but my 45 minute workout alone is amazing.....talk about motivation. The gym has child care, and you can watch your babies on the tv screen while you are working out. The lady who watches babyland is so nice and we have a lot in common......so great to leave Laken in good hands. So far, she has been the only baby and gets rocked the whole time. For those of you who do not live in AZ, there are senior citizens everywhere. They love it down here, and as my grandpa's friend told me last fall, "It's mating season for snowbirds!" Hahaha. During the time that I workout, the gym is packed with senior citizens and yesterday I found out that it is "Silver Sneaker Hour!" Perfect for a new mom who has not worked out in ages! Today I had to sign a get well card for Phyllis who is having knee replacement surgery. I don't know who Phyllis is but lets all wish her well! So here is goodbye to those lingering 15 pounds and larger than usual junk in the trunk.....See ya!
It's time for an excersaucer! Well technically the box says three months......but look at the pure joy on this little ones face! Grandma Ivy took us to Buy Buy Baby last week and Laken loved the floor model. Grandma could not resist buying Lake this as an early Christmas gift;) She can hardly wait for it to come in!
Grandma Ivy was able to come for another short visit to see the ever growing Laken! And it was the perfect time, because little Laken is really starting to enjoy people other than Mom and Dad. She is really developing a personality all her own and Grandma Ivy was able to tune into what she likes right off the bat. Grandma bought Laken a set of dinosaur puppets and she LOVES them. She squealed with delight with Grandma's dinosaur voices, and just thought Grandma Ivy was the bees knees! It was so special to see them smile and laugh together. After much puppet play, Laken tuckered out and snuggled in for a nap with Grandma.