Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Daughter is 17 Months

At what point do you make the transition from speaking in terms of month to years? When someone asks how old Klair is, I find myself considering my audience before I speak. For the most part I've been telling people lately that she's a year and a half... because with a bit of rounding that's about what she is. Occasionally, when someone has a child her age or is really toddler savvy, I give them the month response. But, if I tell the average person that's she's 17 months they look at me quizzically while visibly doing the math in their head, trying to assign some meaning to that measurement of time. I'm starting to think I should ditch the month thing altogether. It's strange to think that's she's graduated to the realm of  years and half years.... I remember when I was still counting her age in weeks... in days, even!

That was a random tangent. I never really did a 16 month post (I wrote this post to commemorate 2 years since we found out we were pregnant instead)... so this can be her 16 and 17 month post combined.

Here are a few important and most recent highlights:

Klair folds her arms and bows her head for prayers. At the end of the prayer, she also says amen. She's actually been doing this for a while now, and it's so sweet it makes me want to cry. It's a huge payday for Sam and me.

Klair is really, ridiculously photogenic. Always has been. Trying to choose which photos to use was nigh unto impossible... so, sorry for the overload but let's face it. I'm not really sorry. She's just too cute to narrow it down anymore. 

Lately, she has been responding to us by correctly nodding and shaking her head when we ask her questions. Additionally, if she's hurt I can ask her where and she'll point to whatever is ailing her. These are really convenient abilities.  My life has turned into a perpetual game of 20 questions, but I'm grateful for the increase in communication capabilities.

Klair loves to try and mimic words and has added "water," "more," "all done," "puppy," "bum bum," "eye," "bubble," "baby," "girl," etc., to her vocabulary. Furthermore, she is constantly trying out new words from the books we read. The most impressive one was "umbrella." The least impressive is "no no no Mama" while shaking her head. Okay, it's actually pretty awesome that she can say it, I'm just not particularly fond of the meaning. Several days ago I gave her a cookie and asked if I could have a bite. She shook her head and said "no no no." I went in to take a bite and she pushed me away and ran off with it. It was so funny! I was dying with laughter to see how protective she was of her cookie. Is it terrible that I sometimes (often) giggle when she does mischievous things? It's hard keeping a straight face sometimes (all the time). I think she's too funny! I'm going to create a monster if I'm not careful...

Klair is constantly on the go. She's also pretty fearless, which is good in some situations, and not so much in others. She's great in new places and is a social little butterfly, but she also has a lot of bruises lately because of her lively, adventurous personality. I actually considered photoshopping the bruise off of her forehead in these pictures, but then realized that it wouldn't do justice to her little personality. 

Klair loves milk. She didn't show much interest in it when we first weaned her from breast milk, but a switch flipped and suddenly she can't get enough of it. She would drink it all day long if we let her.

Speaking of which, she has become a picky little eater (I can't emphasize that enough). If I even offer her something she doesn't like, she will scream at me and hold her breath until she turns bright red. I don't want food to become a battle, so I offer her what we're eating and then try to find healthy foods that she will eat instead. There are a few good things she'll eat--oatmeal, peanut butter, sweet fruits, wheat bread (sometimes), sweet potatoes, cheese, yogurt, rice cereal.... and, well... that's about it. I try to dress these things up with added nutrients by throwing flax and chia in just about everything and making her fruit smoothies with kale and spinach blended in. She also loves macaroni and cheese, so I've found a pretty good compromise. I buy the Annie's brand. The noodles are made out of whole wheat and they don't use any artificial colors or preservatives. So, while I'm not delusional that it's actually healthy... I figure it's healthier. And some days, that's good enough for me.

She knows a lot of the people in her life by name including her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and the family friends that we see frequently. She can't say their names (with the exception of Papa) but if we ask her where someone is, she points to the correct person.

Klair is a major daddy's girl when Sam's around. She's actually pretty clingy altogether, but when he is present her entire world revolves around him. And, when he leaves, she has a nuclear meltdown. Every. Day. I'm actually looking forward to the time when I can tell her that Daddy is going to work/traveling for work, but will be home soon. That level of communication will lend itself nicely to my ability to soothe, comfort, and reassure her. For now, mornings are just plain hard and evenings are like Christmas.

...but, when she's sick, sad, or tired she wants her mama. I can't say I'm too upset about this fact.

Furthermore, she has a lot of separation anxiety in general these days. Well, not a lot, but more than she's ever had. She loves loves loves to be held and to cuddle, and I love it back. Is my house as clean these days? Are my dinners as creative? Not at all.

Klair has gone over a month without being sick!!! That is a huge accomplishment. This winter was rough on us between teething and the all around cesspool of germs and viruses that she's been exposed to as we've started venturing out of the house more and more. I should probably go knock on wood or something now.

Klair's hair is getting long. We had her bangs trimmed up, but we left the rest of her hair alone and it's growing really well. She's transforming from a baby to a little girl so rapidly, I can hardly believe my eyes.

She made the switch from a high chair to a booster seat at the table. We have a convertible high chair and I swapped it out while she was napping. When she woke up, I surprised her with it and she was all "wows" and smiles. She really enjoys being at the table with us and it's nice to have her there.

Klair can open doors now. We have the long door handles that you pull down to open, and she figured them out the other day. She gets on her tippy toes, reaches up, and pulls the handle down. The first time she did it she looked to me and said, "WOW." Despite the fact that I'm proud of her for figuring it out, life just got a little bit (lot bit) harder for me.

She loves to play "Ring Around the Rosie." She gets impatient and can't wait for the end to fall down. The game essentially consists of us getting up and falling down repeatedly. Good thing she's so cute!

Klair loves to dance. She'll go in her toyroom, press the button of one of her toys that plays music, and dance around. Her version of dancing consists of stepping back and forth in a swaying motion while spinning in circles (think of a dancing Snoopy).We dance a lot lately. It's a blast.

She's starting to imitate animal noises. Just the other day I was reading her a book and told her that a duck goes "quack, quack, quack." She looked at me, smiled, and said "glack, glack, glack!" She also likes to try and make dog noises, and she's an expert growler when I ask her what sound a tiger makes. She thinks it's hilarious to make these noises.

She can point to most of her body parts on demand. I'll ask her where something is, and she'll point and say "right der." She knows her hair, head, forehead, eyebrows, eyes, nose, cheeks, mouth, tongue, teeth, chin, ears, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, stomach, bum, legs, knees, feet and toes. She can also say "I La" when I ask her to say "I love you." And, she'll say "down" and oblige if I say "sit down" and say "uh" while standing up if I ask her to do so.

She loves to sing the itsy bitsy spider and do the actions. Her singing consists of saying "isty bisty." She also gets impatient with this song and often skips ahead.

Klair has a silly little sense of humor. She loves to laugh, and she loves doing things to make us laugh. She likes to blow raspberries on Sam and me and tickle us. And, when she does it (and often right before) she giggles very mischievously.

It's amazing how familiar she is with her books. She has a ton of board books, yet she knows what everything is in each of them. If I ask her where something is, she can easily point to it, and I often find her flipping through the pages "reading" the books aloud to herself (in her own language of course). It looks like I need to invest in some new reading material for her.

She adores her stuffed animals. She has to sleep with them at night, and every morning when we go in to get her she looks at us in a panicked sort of state, and starts gathering them all in her arms as fast as she can. It's imperative that they come with her.

She's very good with real animals. She'll gently pet them, and give them hugs repeatedly.

She LIVES for balls and balloons. Everywhere we go she is constantly on the look out for balls or anything even slightly spherical shaped. It's like she's wired with a special kind of radar. As soon as she sees something ball-like (a light bulb, a plant, the big red balls in front of target, an actual balloon) she yells "Ball!" at the top of her lungs until her voice is raspy while pointing excitedly. We were in church the other day, right in the middle of sacrament (worship service) and suddenly she yelled "ball!" at the top of her lungs... multiple times. I had no idea what she was talking about until I noticed she was pointing upward. I looked up, and sure enough there was a purple balloon floating against the ceiling. Why it was there is beyond me, but leave it to my child to hone in on it.

She loves bubbles and says this word very clearly. Blowing bubbles with her is like Christmas morning on steroids.

Klair loves my makeup, jewelry, scarves, shoes... basically, she's a girly girl and wants to be just like her mama. I'm okay with this (except when she gets into my makeup, I don't love that so much).

She hates being dirty. If food gets on her hands while she's eating, she throws a tantrum. As soon as I clean it up, she's fine again. If I give her a paper towel she'll often do one of two things. Either she'll use it to try and wipe her own face, or she'll hold it up to her nose and blow a raspberry. She started doing this the last time I had a cold because she things it's what I'm doing when I blow my nose.

Whenever I tell her something new, she watches me intently. Once I'm done, she'll typically say "wooow!" (think Wall-E). Nothing could be cuter. Later, when I ask her about it, she remembers.

I can ask her to go and get me something (a diaper, my phone, her sippy cup) and she kindly obliges.

I could go on forever. Basically, she is brilliant, happy, funny and so so so much fun. I love this age, and I love this girl with my whole heart. 

She brings me more happiness than I know what to do with, every day. Every. Single. Day. 
Happy 17 months baby girl!

Klair's Outfit (Similar Items)
Blouse | Jeans | Shoes

This post is part of the "Little Things" linkup with Words About Waverly.
All photography is by my talented husband... except for the ones of Sam and Klair. Yep, I'm totally taking credit for those...

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mercy River | 4 Albums and $20 Gift Card Giveaway for Mother's Day

Today I am so excited to be collaborating with Deseret Book, Shadow Mountain Records, and the lovely ladies of Mercy River to host a giveaway just in time for Mother's Day! Mercy River is a group of three busy mothers (Whitney Permann, Brooke Stone, and Soni Muller) who have spread their message of peace and hope all around the nation. These female Christian singer/songwriters have released four albums since 2008 and are a beloved part of the Time Out For Woman tour. They are known for their bubbly personalities, and they are an inspiration to all women. They have 13 children between them, but have still found the time to pursue their dream of music and share it with moms and families all over the world.

One lucky winner will be receiving all 4 of their albums including their newest addition, "Come Alive"--which is the perfect album to play in the home. I received a copy of this album, and I absolutely love it. With all of the less than wholesome music out there, it's so refreshing to listen to something that is both uplifting and, well... good. Don't get me wrong, I love hymns, classical music, and perfectly orchestrated choirs! But, it's nice to have a more...  modern musical option for the times when I need a spiritual and emotional boost (which is quite often). Mercy River's music provides inspiration in a fun, unique, and beautiful way. The winner of this giveaway will also walk away with a $20 gift card to Deseret Book! 

In addition to entering this contest, you can also listen to and/or purchase Mercy River's music here and here

This contest will run for one week. Simply click on the link below to enter. 
Good luck! 

Sharing Style | The Comfortable Cotton Dress

As a kid dresses were the antithesis to everything that I stood for. Climbing trees, riding bikes, playing sports--all were hindered by a singular, flowing piece of fabric. Despite my distaste for them in my younger years, I grew to like and even love dresses during adolescence. At that time, however, I thought they could only be made of the stiffest fabrics, and paired with the biggest earrings and tallest of stilettos--rendering them useless for much more than taking Myspace-bathroom-duck-face selfies (I think I may have dated myself a little there). More recently, I've discovered that dresses can be both practical and stylish simultaneously... the perfect staple piece for the mom of a busy little toddler. They have become an essential part of my warm weather wardrobe. 

If you haven't noticed by now, I'm all about combining the best of both worlds--I like to be comfortable, while still managing to feel pretty. And, I like polka dots. A lot. I found this dress and knew that I would probably wear it way too much this summer. Anytime I come across a dress that's modest without the need for any kind of modification, I jump at the opportunity. Sleeves? Knee-length? Affordable price? It's almost unheard of. I paired it with my go to booties, added a few simple accessories, and called it good. I suppose the younger versions of myself just wouldn't understand... A fact that I'm okay with. 

Similar Items:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bows | Easy DIY Ribbon Tutorial

I've had a few people ask me about the bows that I've made for Klair, so I finally got around to putting together a tutorial complete with pictures that my photographer husband took. This particular tutorial is for bows made out of ribbon. It is ridiculously easy and only requires a few simple hand stitches. It only takes a small amount of ribbon... a little goes a long way. I make them for my Klair, but they are versatile enough for women of all ages. They also make an easy, thoughtful baby shower gift! 

What You'll Need: 
  • Ribbon of your choice (I used 1 1/2 inch ribbon) 
  • Needle and Thread
  • Scissors

1. Cut the Ribbon to your desired length. The length I used is shown below (about 6 inches). 
 2. Fold the sides of the ribbon inward ("hamburger style"), meeting in the middle with a little bit of overlap.
 3. Use a simple straight stitch to sew it all together. 
 4. Cut a small piece of the ribbon (mine is about an inch) and set aside. 
5. Take the larger piece of ribbon, and fold it accordion style, and pinch the folds together to give your bow shape. You can play around with this a little to get the desired look. With a bow this size I made three folds and pinched it together. 
 6. Take your needle and sew through the folds to keep it in place. Don't worry about making it look particularly neat, because the little piece of ribbon will cover it up. Just make it durable. 
 7. Take your little piece of ribbon and fold the sides inward (like step 2). 
8. Wrap the smaller piece of ribbon around the center of the larger piece, and hand-stitch it in place on the backside of your bow. 
Once this is nice and secure, cut the thread and you're done! 

You can sew or hot glue them directly onto headbands, clips, bobby pins, etc.  For Klair, I prefer to attach them to metal hair clips by simply sliding the clip through the smaller bit of ribbon in the back of the bow. 
 Let me know if you have any questions. Happy crafting! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Five on Friday | J. Crew Summer love

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 
The season of the late night sun is upon us, and I couldn't be more excited. In honor of the impending heat I put together this swim inspired list of picks. And, in honor of the $125 giveaway that I'm currently involved in, all of these items on my wish list come from J. Crew. 

I mentioned before that I love polka dots, so when I saw this swimsuit, well... it's kind of perfect. And the hat is both practical for a bright beach and oh so chic. I will admit that the pale pink statement necklace isn't very practical for swimming, but I just loved it too much to not include it. You could wear it if you were just soaking up some sun, right? It would look pretty with that suit... 

For those who haven't already entered, the contest goes until next Tuesday and it is open to international readers. 
Good luck! 

Date Night Style

Sam and I have been so busy lately, between Klair, work,  blogging, and a to-do list that seems to grow exponentially. We definitely love each other. There's no question about that. Yet, as time goes on, it gets harder to set aside the time to really stay connected. What once was easy when we were young, penniless, and kid-free with, you know, work that stayed at work... is now a bit more complicated by the demands of a growing family and responsibilities.We have to put forth more of an effort to focus on us

As this roller coaster of life keeps speeding up at every turn, it's easy to simply go along for the ride without really noticing much about the journey. It takes a conscious effort to slow things down, to admire my blessings, and to appreciate the man who holds my heart. 

We've made pledges in the past to go out once a week, but this falls to the wayside too easily. We've decided to recommit ourselves because we both want it, and need it. Our time together is a precious commodity. Last weekend we were feeling a bit overwhelmed by the day-to-day, so I called Sam's parents on a whim and asked if they could watch Klair. They kindly obliged, and we jumped at the opportunity to spend some time alone.  

Since it was my idea to go out, I did all the planning. I wanted to do something he loves, and also mix things up a little from our usual "dinner and a movie" routine. (Don't get me wrong I love movies, but it's fun to try something new.) Sam loves a good burger so went to Red Robin (they have awesome gluten-free buns) and did a little shopping afterward for a few wardrobe pieces he has been needing. He also took some time to practice his budding photography talents, and captured a few photos of me in this casual date night attire. (I'm so fortunate to have a husband who will not only take photos for my blog, but actually enjoys doing it!) Then, we went down by a local lake that's paved with surrounding trails for some longboarding and scootering. 
We only have one of each, so we took turns on them. 
And, for the night, we felt like kids again. 

After the fun was over we hurried back to his parents house and fought over who got to hold Klair first. I guess a little freedom is nice, but Klair is better. 
I mean, who wouldn't start to miss this face after just a few hours? 
For this outfit I wanted to find a balance between comfort and style. Afterall, longboarding was on the agenda so a pencil skirt was out of the question. I went with my favorite stretchy black denim and chambray. Also, I love the look of layered necklaces and have wanted to try it for awhile now. I'm usually quite reserved with my jewelry, only wearing a little at a time, but I went all out and had fun mixing things up a bit.  Also, as far as hairstyles go, this messy top knot was great for our adventurous night. 

I'm looking forward to our next weekly date. This time Sam said he will be doing all the planning. We're both rather competitive, so I'm excited to see how he outdoes me...

What are some fun/creative date night activities you've done? What are some methods you've implemented to focus on each other? 

Similar Items: 
Chambray | Tribal Print Shirt | Belt | Black Denim | Leaf Necklace | Disc Necklace | Amber Necklace | Earrings | Turquoise Bracelet | Turquoise Ring | Boots | Sunglasses (here & here)