Friday, March 30, 2012

Greatest Hits

My lengthy Disney and Universal post is coming, but guess what? LIFE KEPT MOVING when I got back from vacay. Le sigh. Who said that could happen?

I am super excited to spend time with 800 of my sorority sisters or so this weekend (yikes!) and my volunteering (albeit at the last minute) has suddenly eaten my time for a real post. You know, the kind with words? So, instead, you get the greatest hits. In photos.

Ready? Go.

Excited to get going!

Daddy modeling his sleeping baby and backpack combo.

Guess who got ears with her name stitched on the back?

Harry Potter World! 

Still waiting for my letter to come by owl.

There you have it - the greatest hits.

Happy Friday everyone! See you next week!

Evelyn Rae is eight months old

...and she loved every minute of our vacation. I think.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What you need when... need a super useful and cute and cheap and quick Baby Shower gift. Or something for yourself.

As you may remember from this photo...

...we love our hooded towels around these parts. But this isn't just any hooded towel - this is the one that my friend Jess made for me for my baby shower gift. Do you see how much bigger it is than the typical baby hooded towels?

Those are great and adorable, don't get me wrong. 

But they last for like a month. 

They are so tiny! Didn't they invent bath sheets because grown ups got tired of not being able to be entire wrapped up in towel-y goodness? I think the same thing goes for kiddos.

Sure, you can buy toddler sized ones, but they are also kinda pricey for a hood. In my humble opinion.

So, a few weeks ago, when I realized (through my own faulty scheduling) that I could not attend the baby shower of a friend that I had been planning on attending, but PHEW! she had another one (like the DAY after I realized this) that I could attend - I knew I had to make her one of these guys.

Luckily, I had bought a few towels like a week before to try my hand at making an additional one for Ev, after I pinned this tutorial.

I sat down, followed the instructions, and since my friend Whitney (the momma to be) and I are both gaga for monograms, tried my hand at my own little twist...and voila!

Y'all. It was seriously so easy. (Don't you love my display on the lamp? Ha. I didn't have a hook handy.) I was so hesitant to pull my sewing machine back out again - it hasn't been out since I finished Ev's crib bedding - because I spent so.many.hours at it doing those. But, this was seriously so simple. The plush of the terry cloth also hides most of your stitching so it doesn't have to be picture perfect.

I used a white towel for the letters for the monogram (after printing out patterns from my favorite pattern making tool - Microsoft Power Point), pinned them on and zigzag stitched around them, in case the stitching showed, that way it would look cute. But, low and behold, it didn't! The stitching made the letters almost meld into the green towel, and look so adorable. If I do say so myself.

I packed it all up in a basket (don't you always need storage baskets when you have kiddos? I know I do.) with some nursing pads, bath stuff, and a cute little outfit.

In case you can't read it that says CAPTAIN ADORABLE. How friggin cute it that? And there were little matching plaid shorts. Shut up, I die. I cannot wait to have a little boy. You know, someday.

And that, friends, is an easy way to make a personalized gift in colors of your choice in under two hours. Seriously, it took no time at all. 

Try it.

Evelyn Rae is eight months old

...and she is napping right now, and I am hoping it lasts long enough for my date with Jillian Michaels and 30 Day Shred.

...also, she may have a matching towel in the works.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Back dated.

I posted Ev's 8 month update today! Just like last month, I back dated it to be on the right know for when I print this blog or something in the future.

Check it out here.

Why are you looking at me? Click the link already.

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's the little things...

that remind you that you are home from a vacation.

On every vacation, regardless of how much fun I am having, a small part of me yearns to return home. On some vacations, often based on the amount of time "vacationing" with family, that part of me is bigger than others.

Regardless, I always want those things. My things; my bed, my schedule, my life. It's the small sigh of relief as you pull into familiar territory and dream of your idyllic version of home.


But then you actually get home. And it's the small things that remind you what home is really like.

The empty ice container, and no one has bothered to fill the trays (our house was built in 1927...fridges didn't have water lines then.)

The mountain of laundry from a week away.

The empty fridge (except for the expired milk, of course) and inevitable grocery shopping trip.

The random little messes that you forgot you made as you were rushing out the door.

Putting away suitcases.

Realizing what day it actually is, and how many emails one week can bring.

You know, that stuff.


Today is a nice day, sunshiny and breezy, and I was so glad to snuggle with my husband in my very own bed last night.

And today, when I woke up to all of those small things, I decided to enjoy those dumb little things. Because this is in fact my life. And another vacation will come along soon enough.


Evelyn Rae is eight months old

...and I am glad to be back here flexing my typing fingers once more. Photos and updates and recommendations and all sorts of fun to come soon.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Erin Go Braugh

Our little (small part) Irish baby wishes you a happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sorry for the light blogging this week - I will try and make up for it by blogging from the happiest place on earth this week.

Evelyn Rae is eight months old

...and we took these yesterday, but she is wearing green today too!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What you need when...


The internet. It helps. And something is wrong with the connection to the interwebs at Casa AB.

Back tomorrow. I hope.

Evelyn Rae is eight months old

...and thank God for smartphones

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Random Real Talk

Real Talk - It's 12:26 and I have finally given up on Ev taking her morning nap this morning. I think almost three hours is enough a fight for one morning, don't you?

Random - Flipboard on my iPad is my new obsession in life. Do you have it? I know I am probably v. v. v. behind the curve on this one, but it is so aesthetically pleasing. And Google Reader, and Facebook, and Twitter! All in one place! Yes please.

Real Talk - Evelyn has cried like we are laying her down in a bed of coals when she has gone down in her crib for the last 24 hours. The last week she has drifted off to sleep like an angel baby. What a shot in the dark this whole motherhood thing is.

Random - I have actually done like 5 crafts inspired by Pinterest in the last week. When my baby was angelically sleeping that is.

Real Talk - My daughter is currently bouncing in her activity center and alternatively the happiest and saddest baby on the planet. I wish I could provide better visuals, but at the moment all I can muster is that you should imagine this :D and this >:( in real life, on the face of my baby. 

That's pretty accurate, actually.

Random - I have an eye doctor appointment tomorrow and will be bringing Evelyn with me, because what else can I do? Is that weird? I hope the doctors don't think so while she is chilling in my lap while I am deciding which lens is better and if I can read the last line on the chart.

Real Talk - Thursday night my Monday group of ladies is going out for a girls night. And I think I really need one. 

Random - Did you know I have a B.A. in English? I bet you couldn't guess it from my grammar on this here lil' blog. I'm working on it. It used to be better when I had a bit more time to review posts than I do at the moment.

Real Talk - It is now 12:46 and Evelyn has decided that 20 minutes is more than enough computer time for this mom, and is inconsolable.

Onto lunch and laundry. I am determined to not be packing for Orlando at midnight the night before our early morning flight. Say a prayer for me. 

Evelyn is eight months old

...and if this is what the whole month is going to be like...I am in for it. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Eight Months

My darling girl,

Another month has come and gone and you creep closer and closer to being one. I cannot believe how grown and toddler-y you are looking to me these days. It is pretty crazy for me to try and remember that I grew you inside my body and that you are now this crazy active kiddo that makes my heart flip over when you do all those cute things you do.

You are a mover and shaker this month. You still REFUSE to actually crawl, mainly because I think you are managing just fine getting to everything and anything you want to without actually crawling. Case in point in these photos. You refuse to stay still these days. In most of them, you are a blur.

You are also proving to be quite the girly girl, and intellectual one at that these days. Your favorite toys, in no particular order, include your shoes, hairbrush, comb, bows and any and every book that you can get your hand on. Oh, and you still love your puppy more than anything in the whole wide world. You love having your hair brushed too, it makes you coo in fact, which I find hilarious. You are getting much more hair, though it is so fair it doesn't come across well in most photos. So, I took a closeup to prove it.

Mom, please leave me to these leopard print mary janes. 
They are my life. 

 You are getting more and more expressive with every day that passes. You are now doing this super cute little scrunchy nose smile, that combined with the two perfect little teeth on the bottom of your mouth makes you look like the most impish little person who has every walked, or rolled, on the earth. I am trying really hard not to project personality traits on you, but seeing as you look at me and smile like that and bat those long, long eyelashes whenever I say no to you - I think we may be in for it. You have started throwing little baby temper tantrums when I take something away from you, for example, but I am trying really hard to recognize that you are a person, just small for now, and appeal to your rational side on why you can't play with things like, oh, scissors. Or my computer power cord.

As much as you love moving and rocking and rolling, as well as dance parties with your momma, you also sometimes turn into the most contemplative baby in existence. You just sit, and look all around you, taking everything in. More often than not, you clasp your hands in front of you and just look around.

You are a super adventurous eater, which I really love. You eat just about anything and everything, or will at least try it once. You love things seasoned with herbs, and you will even try peppers and any other kind of vegetable. You especially loved the Parsnip and Carrot Rosemary Risotto that I made this month. I love telling people about that one, because it makes you sound like you have such  refined palette. You love Mum Mums and get noticeably excited when I pull them out for you.

All in all baby girl, this has been such a fun month. Hearing you develop your little (and not so little) voice has been so fun. Luckily most of your loud mouthing has been happy, and makes people look at you and go "Awww" when we are in public. (I don't think they would do the same if you were loud and crying...but maybe.) 

We took this photo on our picnic blanket this month, because it seems so appropriate. We have had a super early spring and have been able to really use it! We have taken it to the park, but more often than not, we just take it out in the backyard and hang together. You love the sunshine, and I am relieved that after all the time indoors you really are my little summer baby that I imagined you to be. 

I want you to grow up so fast and hear all of what is going on in that little brain, but I also want you to stay small forever. Someday you will understand. Mommies are crazy.

All my love,


Evelyn Rae is eight months old

...and don't you freaking love those shoes?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Remember When?

First, thanks everyone for the comments and advice re: Disney, etc. I really appreciate it and will post more about our trip prep next week!

On to today.

Today I finally buckled down and have started clearing out Ev's clothes again, because she is moving up to the next size clothing. Again.

Insert happy and sad jumbles of emotions here. 

Sidenote: I always thought it was SO silly that moms would get sad that their babies were growing. I mean, that's what they are supposed to do, right? But, every time I finally decide that we have stretched the usability of clothes to their max and start packing up all those little outfits, I find myself remembering when her tiny little body barely filled them out. Mixture of pride in her growth and reminiscing over her baby stages gone by. I get it now. 

Anyway, long story short, it finally came time to pack away the little Navy onesie that I used to tell A that we were having a baby

Annnnd, she had never even worn it! 

Impromptu photo shoot time.

Happy Friday!

Evelyn Rae is almost 8 months old

...and sometimes it is still so hard to believe that this little miracle exists in our life. And we made her. Crazy.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Vacation Realities

This month is sort of a crazy one for us here at Casa AB. Reality has just set in that in approximately a week and a half, for a few days, I will be at Disney World. With an eight month old.

Shortly thereafter, we {Evelyn and I} are headed to Tennessee to visit one of my best friends and her new baby.

I am looking forward to both trips, but ack! Traveling with a baby!

Though I have done it already, this is the first time we are traveling since she has been eating solid foods, plus THEME PARKS. ALL DAY LONG. ACK!

What if she cries all day because she can't take a decent nap? What if she cries all night because she didn't nap all day? What if we run out of diapers in a theme park? What if? What if? What if?

Ok, I'm back. In the spirit of preparing for this, I plan on sharing my plans here, bien sur. All my plans center around bringing as little into the parks as humanly possible, since that's how I like amusement parks.

So far the plan is...

  • Wear Ev in the parks via the Ergo. I prefer the Moby still, since I can face Ev out and she loves that (I know, I know, overwhelming stimuli, blah blah blah - she likes it, what can I say?), but hubs prefers the Ergo, and I can deal with it, so we will do that instead of bringing two.
  • Bring husband's diaper bag as it is more messenger style - though once we inventory what actually needs to go in the bag...we may be shopping for a new option since his isn't that big. Yikes.
  • Cut food and bottles from packing list to save room. Hopefully we will be able to find suitable things to order off the menu for Ev. Thankfully we do BLW so we *can* cut these things from the list. Plus who needs bottles when Momma and her boobs will be there? amirite?
  • Buy some new clothes for myself, because as I have sadly realized over the last few nice weather days - my supply of spring and summer breastfeeding friendly clothes is LACKING. How did this happen?! Oh yeah, I like dresses. And most of them I can't breastfeed in without hiking the hemline up to my neck. That's cool at Disney, right?
  • Have fun?
Oy. I feel that I am woefully unprepared at this point. 


Any hints/tips would be helpful, of course, and you can count on me saying what worked and what didn't when we get back.

Annnnnnd, I'm off to wash all of Ev's spring clothes. And maybe to buy some for me. 

Evelyn Rae is in the waning days of being seven months old

...and she also woke up at 4:45 this morning. Inconsolable. This may or may not be adding to my current addled state of mind. Maybe.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What you want when...

you have plaster walls.

Ok, so this isn't so much a "mommy" thing, but it is something I have been doing lately, so here you go.

We have an almost 100 year old Bungalow. With plaster walls. Oh, plaster walls. If you have never experienced the JOY of plaster walls, let me just tell you - hanging anything on them is not the breeze that it is with drywall...unless you have a picture rail and want to go that route, but that's a whole 'nother issue.

In any case, I have wanted a family gallery space along our staircase ever since I saw the first season of Brothers & Sisters (remember when that show was good?)

I know walls like this are all over Pinterest and stuff now, but back then, I hadn't seen anything so cool.

Fast forward to now, when I actually have things to hang to make such a statement...and we have plaster. Putting a bunch of holes in the wall is not exactly what you want to do, and for me, the sound of crumbling pieces of plaster falling behind your wall when you try to put even the tiniest screw in....ugh, like nails on a chalkboard.

Enter these babies.

I was hesitant at first, I will admit. But, I love these damn things! They are a bit pricier than using regular nails or screws, but seriously? So easy. 

I will admit that I might not use them if I had drywall and owned my home - but I will certainly use them in Navy housing in the future (since I am sure we are doomed to live there sometime...). No tools required - you don't even really need a level because you can readjust and readjust until it looks right. 

I will probably be showing you guys my hall sometime here soon, so I won't go on and on - but if yoga re looking to do the same thing at your house - these are great.

Evelyn is almost eight months old

...and another plus to these is you don't have to be super careful doing this project this way around your mobile-esque baby! No hammers, nails, etc. Bonus.

Six Month Photo Shoot

This one is for the grandmas...and well, anyone else who likes a gratuitous amount of cute baby photos!

As I mentioned a while back, my friend Jessica was sweet enough to do some six month photos for our baby girl {who was in not a great mood that day so how she managed these cute photos is still beyond me}.

After sharing her daddy's favorites - I think it is time to share mine {read: most of the rest of the disc} - with commentary, of course. <3

Mom, why the heck do I have this flower on my head? 

I guess it's kinda cute. 

Alright, that's about all I can handle with this thing.

Oh, you think you're funny now, eh? That this bow is gonna last longer? 

No snarky commentary here, because I am so in love with this photo I can't even mar it with a joke.

Look Ma! I'm standing!

We got changed and headed to the park before losing too much light...and still had a serious baby.

Have you ever seen someone having less fun on a slide? 
I mean, it's a slide baby girl! 

What's this, a knob? How, er, quaint. 

Seriously Mom, enough of this playground. 
Take me back to my books please - I am right in the middle of The Federalist Papers.

I wasn't kidding!

 Meanwhile...Daddy and Uncle Corey were doing this...

Oh, alright, I will be happy if you HOLD me!

All in all it was a great day, with some good friends <3 Thanks Jessica!

Aunty Jess herself

Evelyn Rae is almost eight months old

...and we will finally have some printed photos of our daughter in our house thanks to this photo session! Parenting Fail.