Friday, January 22, 2016

Easy DIY Gift for L&D Nurses

So remember when I recapped my birth story? And how it took for-freaking-ever?! Yeah, we were in the hospital for DOUBLE the amount of time I expected to be since little miss Annabelle was (is... she really, truly still is) STUBBORN. 

Since we made ourselves at home and REALLY got to know a few of the nurses and a couple doctors pretty well, I was so glad I'd prepared beforehand and made little gifts for them. It's not much, I know, but the hospital staff works super hard to keep everyone happy - especially those nurses! I know they don't expect gifts, but I bet they love being recognized for providing great care.


• cello baggies
• pink ribbon (or blue for a boy)
• gift tags (I made mine on Photoshop and printed them at Staples)
• bubble gum
• clicky pen (the clicky top makes it easier for them to use it one handed)
• chapstick (bonus points for nice ones that smell good!)
• hand sanitizer (Bath & Body Works has pretty and delicious smelling ones for less than a buck!)

I simply filled each bag and tied them shut with the ribbon, attaching the gift tag in the process!

I think the hospital staff enjoyed getting these little baggies... but I don't know if it was worth putting up with me for four days! ;-) 


Friday, January 15, 2016

Easy DIY Mistletoes Christmas Platter

Okay, so if you have the squirmiest, wiggliest baby in the world like I do, the "easy" part of this may be subjective. Annabelle is in perpetual motion, so it's a difficult task trying to get her to be still... even if we try holding her down. But if your baby is normal... then this project will go much quicker!

Since we live far away from family members, I wanted to make something special for them for Annabelle's first Christmas. I saw a lot of ideas floating around Pinterest-land, and I settled on the Mistletoes. I didn't want this on canvas, though, because I KNEW it would take us forever to actually get footprints. And we made THREE of these plates - one to keep, one for her Grammy, and one for her Great Meme! Since we could just wipe bad footprints off of plates and try again, I opted for these plain white ones from Dollar Tree. Yep, they were $1 each! 

All I did was use a foam brush to paint the bottoms of Annabelle's feet. We did one at a time. We got her right footprint on all three plates before moving on. We had to reapply paint after each plate. (And yes, we had to wipe the smeared footprint/paint off several times before we got a good one - baby wipes came in handy here). 

Once those dried, I used the paint pens to draw the bows over the footprints, and then I added the little dot embellishments. After that dried, I then drew on the string of lights with black on each plate. I let that dry for a couple hours, and then I did one color of light bulbs on all three plates... let it dry... did a second color... let it dry... did the third and final color... let it dry... and THE I wrote her name. 

After all of it is painted, place the plate into the oven, turn it on to 350ยบ, and bake it for 30 minutes to set the colors in. Do not preheat the oven first - you want your plates to gradually warm up so they don't crack! 

Overall, I spent $3 for this project since I already had the paint and paint pens at home from other projects. If you don't, though, each color is only about $1 for regular paint and close to $2 for the paint pens! Not too bad, and you can use them again and again for other grandparent gifts throughout the year. 

Do you enjoy handprint / footprint crafts with your kids?


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A PCS is Upon Us

When Lieutenant Lovemuffin graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2014, he was all set to head to pilot training. He's been flying for YEARS and can't wait to train in Air Force planes.

... but then he was offered a slot at AFIT, the Air Force Institute of Technology. A free master's degree? Heck yeah! Dan will be graduating in March as a Master of Physics, and his ladies (Annabelle and I) are pretty proud of his hard work while writing his incredibly long thesis.

He is chomping at the bit to be in the air again, though. His old flying team teammates are finishing pilot training in waves, and he is just stuck in Ohio going to school... still. But it'll all be worth it!

In fact, it'll SOON be here... because we are moving to TEXAS! Sheppard Air Force Base, here we come!

We've actually known since before heading to AFIT. These were his original orders... but we didn't know if the Air Force would mess anything up. Dan received his official orders about a month ago, and he'll be flying down soon to look at houses. We'll leave Ohio at the end of March, and Dan is SO excited to start flying again!

He'll be at ENJJPT (Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training), where he will start out flying the T-6 and move on to the T-38 before finding out what aircraft he'll be flying for his career. We are so ready to be there!


Monday, January 11, 2016

Annabelle's 12 Days of Christmas

Over the holiday season, I thought it would be fun to do something special with Annabelle since it was her first Christmas. That said, she is still to young to understand what is going on, let alone remember something fun from that time in her life... so I decided on photos. What better way to capture memories, right?!

We had a lot of fun putting the 12 Days of Christmas photos together. And when I say we, I really mean me. Dan thought I was out of my mind, and Annabelle... well... I think she got tired of being a model by the end.

We made it work, though, and I'm so happy with the end result... a collage to print out of each of the pictures to use as a Christmas decoration for years to come!

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably already see these. Sorry!

I'll let the photos do the rest of the talking for this post:

Did you do anything special for the holiday season?


Friday, January 8, 2016

Four Months: Annabelle

A third of a year has flown by since we became Annabelle's parents! It's insane... I almost don't even believe it. Except the joy that is in my heart all the time now. Waking up to this precious girl each ad every day is the best. 

I walk into her room, and I turn off her sound machine and humidifier and pull back the curtains and open the blinds to let the natural light take over. Then, I walk over to Annabelle's crib, and a giant, goofy smile peers up at me. I poke her nose, and she giggles. She is delighted to see me every single morning, and that's such a special feeling. 

These past four months have been the best ever.

Annabelle is still loving being vertical - she hates being held "like a baby". We are convinced she's going to be full of attitude in a couple years. Her spunky personality is already shining through, and we like to refer to her as our little firecracker.

We're still calling her many nicknames, but the ones that are sticking around the most are: Anna Banana, A-Belle, Hungry Hungry Hippo, Annabellina, Stinkerbelle, Smellybelle, and Waaannabelle, and Cheeky. And despite her tiny tiny tiny hair growth, Dan has dubbed her as Baldylocks, which is cute in its own way too. 

Annabelle is wearing 0-3 month AND 3 month clothing now. She's finally growing a ton... and so far, she is super tall and lanky, but the doctors are happy with her weight too - she has more than DOUBLED her birth weight - YAY! All that pumping I'm still doing is working! I'm able to feed her AND store 1-2 feedings in the freezer every day. My stash has slowly grown to over 700 ounces in the freezer, and I am super proud of that!

She really has grown so much! I get sad thinking about how quickly she is growing, but I'm also so excited to see her achieve new milestones. It's bittersweet seeing her grow out of things and learn new things. Annabelle is SO close to rolling over back to tummy (she already rolls tummy to back), and she is teething hardcore... so maybe by her five month update I'll have more to share!