Monday, November 29, 2010

Eight Months!

Wow! Eight months already! I remember when you were eight weeks and I accidentally said you were eight months old. I laughed at the idea of having such an old daughter, and now you are there! I am watching you sleep in your swing as I write this post, and I couldn’t love you more if I tried! This has been a busy month for you! Here’s what you’ve been up to:
• You are constantly on the move. I have to follow you around to see what needs to be baby-proofed around the house! Your crawling has become very good and you move so quickly now! You are up on your knees, rocking, but still not crawling on your knees.
• You have become a yoga baby and practice Downward Facing Dog all the time, even in your sleep! It’s as though you want to skip your knees and go straight to moving around on your feet.
• You love music. You like to dance all the time and love playing with musical instruments!

• You are such a talker now! You started saying ba-ba, blah-blah, DA-DA and MA-MA!!! You don’t connect the words to us yet, but I know in your heart you are saying, “I love you Mommy and Daddy!”
• Sometimes you nap really well. Other times, we resort to the swing, like today. I’m glad you still fit and will fall asleep there! This weekend you borrowed your cousin’s swing and figured out how to swing yourself! You got that thing swinging so fast!
• You have also started swinging in the big kid swings at the park!

• You are very strong. You can pull yourself up from laying to sitting if you have something to pull on, like a blanket or sheets!
• You got to play in a baby bounce house this month and had such a great time! You were the last one out!

• You want to stand all the time! I have to bend your legs while you’re still in my arms and trick you into sitting, and that often doesn’t work anymore! You also are taking practice steps! You really want to stand on your own, but keep falling every time you try. Keep practicing, and you’ll be a good stander very soon!
• Your Mohawk has become more pronounced and everywhere we go, people comment on it. It’s a good thing you are so cute!

• You had your first casting call for baby modeling this month! Daddy and I aren’t sure how long we will have you model, but as long as you keep up your big smiles and love for the camera, we’ll keep building up your college fund!

• You love pillows! You’ll crawl over to pillows and rest your head whenever one is in sight!
• You met Santa this month! You weren’t quite sure what to think of him, but at least he didn’t make you cry!

• You are a smiley girl! You smile all day long and smile at every one you meet. I think you got your dad’s outgoing friendliness!

I love you more than life itself sweet Tessa girl. I am so excited to share Christmas with you and show you all the lights and sparkles that come with this season! Your daddy and I are the luckiest two parents to have the sweetest, most clever, spunkiest, cuddliest baby girl!

*These monthly photo shoots are getting harder and harder as Tessa moves around more and more! Here's a peek into our photo shoot this morning:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Consider Me a Seamstress!

Now that I have learned to sew, I am loving it!! I have made 3 1/2 pairs of baby legwarmers, Tessa's disco dress, a doll, a blanket, a tag blanket, I'm working on a ruffle skirt, and last night I made a bib. Easy, right? Well, I wanted a very specific bib.

Tessa has this bib, which I love because you just wipe it off and it's ready to use again! Plus, there is a catch-all at the bottom that velcros on the sides for easy clean up. I decided to try my had at making one, and after reading countless tutorials on sewing different things, I decided to just jump in and go for it! Basically, I just bought some cute oil cloth, traced her other bib on it, sewed on some velcro and bias tape, and voila!

The bias tape was a bit tricky, and I'm not very good at sewing anything that isn't a straight line, but I'm very happy with it! I'm not ready to go into the fashion design industry, or anything, but I feel very accomplished!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankgiving Dinner Blog Hop

Welcome blog hoppers! I hope you are enjoying our Thanksgiving Blog Hop so far! If you came directly to my blog and want to start from the beginning, link back to Robin’s appetizer here.

I’m excited to share with you the broccoli salad my grandma always made during the holidays. I have strayed a little from her recipe, but I don’t think she’d really mind. In fact, I think she’d love it! After all, it is delicious!

Krista’s Version of Grandma’s Broccoli Salad

Salad Ingredients

2-3 bundles of broccoli crowns
½ lb bacon
½ lb shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
½ red onion
6 oz (one bag) dried cranberries
A couple of handfuls of walnuts, pecans, or sunflower seeds
~ Add any ingredients you like to make it your own

Dressing Ingredients

1 c. mayonnaise
½ c. sugar
2 T. cider vinegar

I start with the bacon so it has time to cool. One tip my mom taught me is to cut the bacon before you cook it when using it in a recipe.

Next, cut the broccoli into small pieces, using mostly just the top part, and very little stalk.

Chop the red onion. I don’t have any tips for chopping onions, and I cry every time. If anyone has a tip, please leave me a comment!!

Mix all salad ingredients together. I made two different salads, one delicious one, and one for my mom, the picky eater.

In a separate bowl (or measuring cup), mix the dressing ingredients together and chill.

About ½ hour before serving, pour dressing over salad and mix. If it seems dry, don’t worry! By the time you are ready to serve it, stir one more time and it will be covered with dressing.

I can’t eat this salad without remembering my grandma. I hope you enjoy it as you create new holiday memories with your family!

Now, hop on over to Becky’s blog to see what she’s cooking up!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Little Dancing Queen

I got a great video of Tessa dancing this morning! She loves playing the music on her exersaucer and has started dancing along with it! So cute!

~Snapshots of Life~ Thursday, 9:00 PM

Once Tessa is in bed, my life is not very exciting. I am usually cleaning house, working on a craft, or on the computer. Last night I decided to finally try to edit some photos to submit online. I was trying to change the DPI to 72, but had no luck. I hope Tessa isn't disqualified because I don't know how to edit photos!
Isn't this picture of Tessa so cute!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Weekend with Daddy!

I just realized I haven't posted all week! I have my Snapshots of Life post ready for tomorrow morning, and saw that my last post was Snapshots of Life for last week! Tessa and I have been busy!
Last weekend, Ryan was home for four whole days! It was spectacular! We picked him up from the airport late Wednesday night, and Tessa couldn't stop smiling! She was asleep in his arms, but kept waking up just to smile. It melted my heart to see her with her daddy!

Thursday morning, Ryan went to our MamaFit workout with us! It is always nice to have a Daddy or two there to help with the babies. We also had our monthly morning picnic in La Jolla. Ryan joined us there, too!

Saturday was a fun family day. We took Tessa to Toys 'R Us for the first time! Ryan really wanted to get her a wagon. She LOVES it! He had to go all out and get the Radio Flyer with the canopy and the cooler attached to the back. I know this wagon will become a necessary part of our trips to the park and beach in the years to come!

After our trip to Toys 'R Us, we went down to Balboa Park and met up with some friends from one of my new moms groups. We had an impromptu photo shoot! Two of the moms have nice cameras and they wanted to get some shots of the babies. I am always up for getting cute shots of little T! I love how they turned out, even though nobody there was a professional. Here are a few of the pictures we got:

And of course a baby group photo!

Ryan even got behind the camera for a few shots! Not surprisingly, he is a really good photographer!

Saturday night we went to a friend's house to watch the big boxing match. I am not really a fight fan, so I spent a lot of the time upstairs talking to our friend who is a soon-to-be new mom and sharing any advice I could! I do have to say, I enjoyed watching the main fight. I watched the 60 Minutes about "Pac Man" and was glad to see him win!

Sunday was completely a family day. We took Tessa to the park in her new wagon. She went on the swings for a little while, and we blew bubbles! It was such a nice, low-key way to spend time together as a family. We don't get to do that often enough!

Sunday night we were supposed to go to a charity event at my friend's gym, but we opted out and stayed home to spend the evening relaxing as a family and enjoying our last few hours together before Ryan had to fly back to Sacramento. If you are feeling charitable and want to donate to a GREAT cause, you can "buy a pie" for Thanksgiving. If you live in San Diego, you can actually get a pie in return for your donation!

Ryan won't be coming home this weekend. I'm pretty bummed, but am very excited for the upcoming four day weekend! My birthday is next week and I am so excited to spend the day with Ryan and Tessa!

Friday, November 12, 2010

~Snapshots of Life~ Thursday, 10:00 AM

Tessa and I work out 3 days a week with a group of 10 new mamas and their babies. We often incorporate the babies into the workout as weights or our target (like, when we are jumping up and then touching the ground, we'll tickle our babies instead!) Now that most of them are moving around much more, the babies spend most of the workout playing in their gym-inspired punching bag play area! I love these mornings. The babies interact so well (most of the time) and I know it has been so good for me, physically, mentally, and emotionally, to get out and to the gym! Gina, our leader, is a championship Muay Thai Kickboxer, so you KNOW these workouts are not easy!
Check out Gina's link. There's a picture of me doing a kettlebell workout when I was 7 months pregnant!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shutterfly Holdiay Cards

One of my favorite holiday traditions is the sending of Christmas cards. I love getting mail. Let me re-phrase. I love getting personal mail! I remember growing up, checking outside to see if the flag on the mailbox had been put down, signaling that the mailman had come! The best time of the year for mail is the holidays because of all the holiday cards. The best holiday cards are, of course, photo cards! I love seeing all the unique shots families choose to send each Christmas. I love the different designs available to make cards. I love it all!

For the past three years, I have made photo cards for our little two-person Lopez family. I am so excited for our Christmas cards this year. You know they will be featuring Tessa! Shutterfly has their Holiday line up and ready for ordering. I have already been to their website 3 or 4 times, looking at the different cards, and playing around with our photos. I love using Shutterfly because you get an instant preview of your card, they are extremely quick (for those last-minute orders!), you can have your photos printed at a local store for pick up if you prefer, and they are very affordable!

You may have heard (or maybe not!) that Shutterfly has upgraded their cards this year to premium cardstock. I would never have known the difference until I received a birth announcement on cardstock a few months ago. It is really nice! I was very pleased to see that Shutterfly is now offering their premium cardstock for the holiday cards!

They have both folded cards and flat cardstock stationary cards. I like the folded ones because you can personalize the greeting, but I really think the flat one makes for nice and easy Christmas card sending! If you don’t really have time to sit down and write a card to all of your friends and loved ones during this busy season, you can personalize the inside of the folded cards with more pictures and a greeting! They will even stamp and mail the cards for you, for those who REALLY don't have time!

Shutterfly also has a great line of their good ol’ flat photo cards. You’ve got to go check out the really cool features they have added this year! Now is the time to get your order in if you want to be ahead of the game!

I won’t be ordering until December, when we get Tessa’s photo shoot images. I’ve already been playing around, though, with our “sneak peek” image. Isn’t this Joy card so simple yet sweet! I think it’s my favorite. Just imagine it with Tessa's sweet little smile and sparkling eyes!

Another really cool thing Shutterfly is doing this year is a special blogger promotion! Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly… sign up: Whoo hoo!! Go sign up today and get those free cards!

There are also many photo gifts available. My favorite is the personalized wall calender. I made one for my sister 4 or 5 years ago, and it still hangs on her wall! The photos are just too cute to throw out! Almost everything is 20% off right now, so hurry and order!

*And for those of you who are right on top of it all, Shutterfly actually has their Valentine's Cards ready, too!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tessa's First Dolly

About 5 months ago I started hand sewing a dolly for Tessa. I finished both arms and most of one leg. Then I took a long break from it. I finally finished the dolly last night. Now that I am borrowing my mom's sewing machine, it went much faster! The head is a little misshapen. I am not good at sewing anything other than a straight line (and I'm not too good at that, either!). It's not great, but I love it, and I hope Tessa will love it as well. I gave her blue eyes and black hair to match Tessa's.

I introduced the doll to Tessa this morning, and she really liked playing with the hair. She kept staring at the face, and then pushing the doll away. I don't think she knows what to think of it quite yet. After all, it has a face, head, and body only a mother could love!

Friday, November 5, 2010

~Snapshots of Life~ Thursday, 8:00 AM

I had just put Tessa down for her morning nap ~ finally! She had been up since 5:15, so it was due! I need to finish her stocking (which I've been working on since January!) so I've told myself no more crafting until her stocking is done!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Etsy Lady!

Now that I am so crafty (hahaha!) and after much convincing, I have decided to open an Etsy shop! So far I only have one item, but I have so many ideas. I just need to be confident enough in my stuff to post it in my shop! I plan on selling the flowers posted, poinsettia pins, several different kinds of hair clips (flowers, bows, korkers, holiday themed), appliqued onesies, tutus, and I'll add things as inspiration hits. Wish me luck!

Of course I have to post a picture of Lil' T! She learned to drive today at the gym. Her friend, Serenity, got a new toy, and all the babies had to try it out. It was a hit!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Not-So-Scary Baby Halloween Party

We celebrated Tessa’s first Halloween with the Baby Mamas at a Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. One of the families opened up their beautiful home on Mt. Soledad, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We had 45 parents RSVP, so you can just imagine the crowd ~ lots of babies! Little T wore her Boo! Onesie most of the day because it was pretty warm out. I put her in her costume for the group picture, though! Not surprisingly, during the group photo shoot, a couple of babies started crying, which caused a chain reaction. As a result, we only got about half of the babies in our group shot. It’s still pretty cute! I had to patchwork it together, but you get the idea!

I brought raw veggies for my appetizer. Here is what I planned to bring:

I left the trays at home, though, so it just ended up being a plate full of carrots and yellow peppers with ranch dressing. Nobody seemed to mind, though. Most people brought desserts, so I think everyone was just glad to eat something without sugar!
I’m already looking forward to next year’s Halloween! This holiday is truly all about the kids!