January is probably my least favorite month of the year. The weather is typically pretty gross, and it seems that there is never anything fun going on. It has too many days, and seems to never end. It is right after the best Holidays of the year, so it ends up being just a lull.
February has Valentine's and my birthday. oh, and super bowl.
March has Craig's birthday. (and the weather is usually pretty awesome here in Texas.)
April has bluebonnets, wildflowers, and ANNABELLE's birthday.
May has our Anniversary.
June has, well, it's summer.
July, the 4th! and summer.
August. well, I guess august is pretty boring too. And school starts in August, and that's no fun. SO, august is lame too.(WAIT, when I have school aged children, i might just LOVE August, huh?)
September has the beginning of fall, my second favorite season.
October, pumpkins and Halloween.
November, I think COZY and Thanksgiving. And football.
December. Christmas. :D

So, there, January stinks really. We only have 4 more days of it! yes!

This year, though, I havent hated it so much.(I am SURE Annabelle has TONS to do with that.) But, I have unconsciously found ways to refresh myself, my spirit, in January. The beginning of the year began with me thinking of ways to better spend my time. I have done my best not to forget that. One of the best ways I have made better use of my time is by hiding my computer in my Guest/sewing.workout room. I waste too much time when I open it to look up just one quick thing. it ends up being a FEW quick things.

Also, it seems like Jan has quite a few of those grey, chilly, wet days. You know, the dreary ones that sort of depress you? If there are too many of them, it can really wear on you. I have been sort of enjoying those days. Cozying up with some hot cocoa. NOT feeling guilty for being super lazy and staying in your jammies all day. Making cookies that dont fit into the "eating better" deal you made with yourself. And letting yummy stews and chilis simmer for a few hours in the crock pot, wafting smells throughout your house that smell, well, COZY.

Today in Texas, the weather is a nice 66 degrees. Incredibly gorgeous. I couldnt stand being in the house. Annabelle and I NEEDED to be refreshed. I havent taken her outside as much the last couple weeks. It has either been too cold, or too wet. OR, I just came up with a lame excuse to stay in. But, today, we HAD to enjoy some of this incredible sunshine. In fact, I dont think we are done enjoying all we can today. She was a little cranky this morning, and wasnt really satisfied. Maybe she knew it was so pretty out, and wondered why the heck we werent out.

I feel so lucky that THIS is the park I get to take my babe to. Isnt it pretty?

Yesterday, I purchased a new jogging stroller that I found on craigslist. It's fantastic. Jogging is a way that I refresh myself, and I find it very therapeutic for me. The treadmill has been getting quite a bit of use this boring month.
I got to jog, and Annabelle took a nice little snooze in the stroller. The sunshine was AWESOME on my face, and the wind blew just at the right times to dry the sweat trickling down my forehead. I feel so refreshed and so does Annabelle.

I think all of YOU need to find ways to refresh yourself this month, even though we only have 4 days of it left, next month , and the following months.

On another note...Annabelle is doing great. We had her 9 month appointment, and doctor is happy with her. She is a bit on the short side, even for DS, but at this point, she is not concerned about it. It's almost as if she has hit a plateau and is staying the same size, except for her weight. She has been able to wear the same clothes for a couple months now, where before, she was growing out of them like crazy. I guess it's ok.(?) anyway, she develops new bits of personality, and always has new "tricks". She is moving quickly across the floor, as her OT says, like an inch worm. Not quite a 'real' crawl, but definitely moving. It's pretty awesome, because we had a little re-evaluation for Annabelle with ECI. We went over the goals we had for her when we first started, at 3 months. She has reached them, and now we have set new goals. I am a proud Mommy!! :)

Speaking of ECI, ugggh. I am thankful for them, but she often makes Annabelle cry. And to be honest, Annabelle isnt a big crier. Last weeks little session was a challenge for me as a mommy. I wondered when I am supposed to step in and say things, and when to keep quiet and let the OT work. I also wonder when we LET our children cry and when do we cuddle them up to help them feel comfortable? I am sure these are lessons I will continue to learn as long as there are littles in my home. ;)

Her newest, and most AWESOME and adorable little trick, is "SO BIG". we will ask her, "How big is Annabelle?" and she will lift her little arms up and wave her little hands. Its amazing. I love it. here is a little video of it...


Happy Heart

On Friday, we had an appointment for Annabelle to have an ECHO (?), which she hasn't had since right after birth. She also had an EKG. Both were fantastic, and we left with good news. Her heart is looking great, and I could not be more thankful. God is still healing her little tiny heart. I continue to pray for her health every single day. Gosh, this little girl is amazing. Look at her, being so patient. There was a lot of waiting at the doctor's. She did so wonderful. I wish we could have rewarded her with like a milkshake or something.

I also posted some Latte Sleeves on ETSY, if any of you would like to purchase any. I can always add more, too! :)

HERE is my Etsy store.

I hope you all have a great week! WE will be busy with a 9 month well check, (yes, punkin turned 9 months yesterday and I can NOT even believe it!) MOPS, and E.C.I.


Thankful For's

While sitting around the dinner table during a Christmas meal with Craig's family, we were asked to tell our "Thankful for's". Since we missed Thanksgiving together, Christmas was a good time to do that. I love it. It's one of my favorite things to share what we are thankful for, especially as a family. I want to do it all the time, and as my children are growing up, I want it to be a topic of discussion at our dinner table almost daily. No matter how bad a day is, I want to think of ONE thing I/we can be thankful for.

So, when we were asked this, I got excited. To hear what everyone had to say, and to be able to speak out loud, what i THINK every day! ya know? I am the MOST THANKFUL I have ever been in my whole life. Every day I am overwhelmed with the Lord's blessings in my life. I knew right away, when it was my turn to speak at the table, I just might start crying. (i guess i dont take thankfulness lightly). So, to possibly avoid crying, i swallowed my lump and said, "Annabelle", and "health". It's true, two things I am incredibly thankful for every day. But, I didnt want to say much more, so I wouldnt be the only one crying. Welp, that didnt work. I did end up being the only one to get emotional. Leave it to me. o well. I was emotional, because those moments, that moment at the Schmidt dinner table, i was overwhelmed with the Lord's love. God's amazing grace in my life. I couldnt think of anything I was NOT thankful for. (except maybe being 1300 miles away from that wonderful family.)

When I am appreciative of someone in my life, I find it hard to tell them in words. I wish people knew sometimes just HOW much I appreciate them. I feel that way with God. I want Him to know how blessed I KNOW that I am. Of course He does, because He knows my heart more than I do. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for my life.

ok, so on another note, i have found a fun new way to make some extra cash moneys. COFFEE SLEEVES! So fun. I like to accessorize, you know that if you know me. And, now I get to accessorize my "2 pump Gingerbread lette" cup. :) Once I have more, I will add them to etsy. But, they are selling as quick as I am making them right now. One more thing to be thankful for!

I also just learned another fun thing to do. Making wrap bracelets. They are time consuming, and detailed work. But, maybe I will sell them, too. who knows. HERE is a site that has started this new trend. I will NOT be selling them for as much as she does though.
My incredibly talented momma is teaching me the art of wrap bracelets. she made some for us sisters for Christmas, and i wear it all the time.

happy thursday!!!
*Annabelle has an appointment tomorrow for an ECHO. Please keep us in prayers. I have a hard time going back to the place she spent a week after birth. Every appointment there gets my stomach in knots. BUT, she has been so healthy, so, again, SO THANKFUL!!


Baby Proofing.

So, Annabelle is "basically" crawling. I mean, its more like leaping and scooting, but she is movin! It has us talking about how to baby proof her little territory. Last night we were at my parents, and she moved from one side of the room to the other(on her hands and knees, not rolling) to get a toy she really wanted. It's awesome. I am so proud of her!

yay, Annabelle


T Shirts in January. Nice.

5 days in to the new year, and I am happy with the way I've spent my time.
TIME outside:

AND....time sewing!!! I was feeding Annabelle the other day, and was noticing, again, how much i dislike our high chair. The high chair was a 10 dollar purchase from a garage sale, and it looked like it. My only requirement for a high chair was wheels. I was a nanny a couple years ago, and they had wheels on their high chair. I then realized I NEEDED them! Anyway, the cover was pretty ugly. So, I decided to change it, and I have spent a good amount of hours the last couple days, sewing a new, way cute cover on it! Check it out:

I am pretty proud of myself. :)

I also cooked meatloaf for the first time last night, and tonight, a super delicious meal. Balsamic chicken over noodles in pesto-cream sauce!

We also have gotten back on some sort of normal schedule with Annabelle. The Holdays threw her off a bit, which is fine.

I have even fit in a work out a day.

It feels good to be getting things done and spending time wisely.

ON a completely different note:
I had a conversation today about a mom that was very upset with her childcare providers. After only the first day in daycare. It got me thinking about how much I miss being a teacher. I know childcare. Some people know business. Some people know service. Some people know retail. I feel like I know childcare and what parents need and want when they spend good money to have their child taken care of all day. Now that I am a parent, even though its only been 9 months, I feel like I would do some certain things a bit differently as a teacher than I did before. I would be more sensitive towards certain things, and maybe less sensitive too. I have been a waitress, and a barista. Customer service there is NOTHING like customer service as a teacher. (I taught between the ages of 0 and 5 by the way.)
You are taking care of a prized possession ALL day, that is ultimate customer service.

I have no idea where I am going with this. I just miss it, and hope to get the opportunity to do it again someday. Even to give someone, a teacher advice on things. OR, give a parent the appropriate list of questions to as their potential childcare provider, before making the decision to place their child there. I have thought about being a nanny, but it hasnt worked out, and i do not want something full time. By the way, this may sound harsh, or come across wrong, but I hope it doesnt. I am often bothered by the hourly rate that some parents try to offer their nannies. I dont think I ask too much when babysitting. To be offered LESS than minimum wage is offensive, and rude. It bugs me that people take it, because then it makes it harder for the rest of us. I do know that parents think that babysitting is an easy job. A good job. like, You get to stay at home with them. and play. and whatever. Sure, but we are also taking a job, a role as a leader and a role as a parent in place of the parent not there. It's still a 'job'. whether its fun, or easy, or NOT. That's only a BIT of my rant.

ANYWAYS...wasnt planning on all that. The main reason I was posting was to show you my cool high chair, and my beautiful daughter!!!!!!!!! :)


Milestones and Goals

Annabelle has made me so proud when it comes to baby milestones. Since the milestone scale for DS is SOOO vast, then my goals for her have been from typical charts, which is also vast, but not as much.

I wanted to post a couple videos of her silly "crawling". She has mostly just been lunging forward to get where she wants to be. I had to get theses messed up pigtails too.

I know I said I'm not much of a resolution maker, and i'm not. But, I have been thinking more about how I want to spend my time. I dont want a lot of wasted time in my day. So here is what I want to do with my time:
-Spend LESS on this computer.
-Spend MORE reading. My Bible, good books, books to Annabelle, etc...
-More time outside.
-More cooking
-More cleaning
-More time with people.
-Working out.
-Learning new things~crafts, cooking, about Down Syndrome, about our country.
And when I'm done breastfeeding sometime in 2011, I want to drink more coffee!!!!

Pretty simple. :)


Happy New Year!

2010 was a quick year, and a year that changed my life in ways I never expected. 2010 will be remembered as a cornerstone in the building of Craig and Katie. I will never think of 2010, and not immediately think...ANNABELLE.

Randoms from my year 2010:
I began the year 25 weeks pregnant.
Craig went to MN for a week.
I turned 27.
Took childbirth classes with Craig.
Spent lots of time with Tina.
Had many doctor's appointments.
I stopped working with my precious little students.
Moved homes at almost 9 months pregnant.
Had Annabelle.
Spent a week away from home while Annabelle was in the NICU.
Schmidts came to Texas for loving support and to meet the babe.
Tina and Chad spent a week at our house.
I started working out.
Spent almost every day of the summer with Lisa.
Craig had his first Father's day.
I had my first Mother's Day.
Took a road trip to Minnesota.
Rachel and Jesse came for a visit.
Went to the "Buddy Walk"
Lisa got engaged.
Went to Minnesota for Christmas.

I am not one to do New Year's resolutions, but I do have some "I hopes" for 2011. I have NO idea what the future holds, none of us do. But, I am anxious to see what may happen in 2011.

I know I will be content as long as we follow what the Lord has for us. I pray for health, safety, provision, clear direction, peace and joy.

Happy 2011, friends.