Homemade Thank You Notes

Paige got a lot of Christmas gift and I think it’s important to send thank you notes. So instead of purchasing boring, unoriginal thank you notes for her to send to the awesome people who spoiled her for Christmas, I decided that we had to do something special. I considered letting her create the artwork for her cards but since she’s just 3 months old (er, a few days shy of 3 months), I thought something different might be a better idea. This is what I came up with:

Cute, right? I think so. The husband took a picture of her next to the Christmas tree at my sister’s house that I really liked. So I submitted it to Costco online and had it printed as wallet-size prints. For $.39, you can get 4 wallet-size prints to a sheet. Fabulous! Baby Girl and I took a trip to Michaels for the rest of our supplies. I wanted to find blank cards that were slightly larger than the photos, but those were unavailable so I got some that were bigger than what I wanted. I knew the photo would be too small for those cards, so I found some Christmasy looking scrapbook paper that I could use to frame the photos. I hadn’t planned on doing this, but fortunately I wasn’t able to find the smaller note cards I had originally wanted and came up with something even better and cuter! I also picked up some black photo corner mounting thingies to use to stick the photos to the cards. This way the thank you note recipients can easily remove the photo if they want to keep it. I used my Fiskars wavy edged scissors to cut out the scrapbook paper photo frames. I glued those to the front of the cards, stuck the photo on with the black photo mounting thingies, stamped a big P (found in Michaels dollar section) on the back of each card, and the cards were done! I also used the P stamp on the back of each sealed envelope.

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Homemade Christmas Gift

Christmas 2010 was Baby Girl’s first Christmas and she wanted to give her dad something nice. Since she was just 2 months old, she didn’t have any money to spend so she decided to paint him a picture. We went to Michaels and picked up an 8×10 artist’s canvas for half price and some kid safe paint and headed home to start our project. I already had paint brushes for her to use. I considered letting her finger paint, but quickly changed my mind when I realized what a mess that would make. I put some old towels on the kitchen floor, stripped Baby Girl down to her diaper, and let the creativity begin. While she sat in my lap, I dipped the brush in the paint, put it in her hand gave her a little support to keep the brush in her hand, and let her put paint wherever she wanted to put it. Here’s the finished product:

Her dad loved it!

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I’m a mama!

Guess what I got for my birthday in October. A baby girl! She was born on my birthday. What a great gift, huh? She was born via emergency c-section, 5 days late, weighed 6 lbs 4 oz, and was 19.5 inches. She’s 2.5 months old now, 10+ pounds, 22ish inches, and I love being her mom. Life has changed drastically since her arrival. I naively thought I would be able to return to work shortly after her birth. Ha! Wrong. I don’t even know what I was thinking. I took my maternity leave from the salon and ended up quitting. I went back one day when baby girl was 3 weeks for a few hours to see a client and that was the worst 3 hours ever. She stayed with one of her grandmas so I knew she was fine, but I hated being away from her! We were working really hard on getting breastfeeding worked out, so being away from her would have made that even more difficult. So I am now a stay at home mommy. I love my new job as a full time mom, but wowza. When people say it’s the hardest job ever, they’re not kidding. It’s seriously a 24/7 job. But it’s also the greatest job ever. And lowest paying. Although I love it, I’ve also found that it can get really lonely staying home all day with a newborn. I’ve discovered that when you have a baby, all your baby-free friends feel like they need to give you space because you’re too busy to see them. In reality the opposite is true. I feel like I need my friends more than ever! Sometimes I just want to have adult conversation or a trip out to lunch. Lesson: when your friends have babies, they’re not too busy for you. Sure, it’s a little rough at the beginning, but once they get into the swing of things with the baby, they’ll be ready to hang out with you again.

Before baby girl was born I thought I’d have tons of free time to myself while she slept. I thought she’d be sleeping all the time. She is sleeping lots, but free time…what? It doesn’t exist. I used to think I didn’t have any free time. Ha! Silly me! I used to be the queen of Facebook. I kept up with everything. Over the past 2.5 months, I’ve barely read anything on Facebook. During those precious moments I’m supposed to have to myself while she sleeps, here’s what I do: check the baby, frantically search the kitchen for something to eat, check the baby, shower very quickly, check the baby, laundry, check the baby, fold laundry, check the baby, attempt to check and respond to email and Facebook, check the baby, attempt to get dressed, check the baby, try to clean the house up a bit, check the baby, attempt to make dinner, check the baby, and lots and lots of other things. Yes, I’m one of those obsessed, paranoid parents who is constantly checking on my baby. Go ahead, make fun of me. I don’t care. The point is, free time does not exist. Baby girl always knows when it’s time for me to eat because, as soon as I get my food prepared, she wakes up. Every time. How does she know? Ah well. It’s chaos but I love it and I love her and it’s all good.

Baby Girl on her birthday.
Baby Girl and I. She’s 13 days old.
My girl and her BFF, Minnie. She’s almost 2 months in this pic.
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Back From The Babymoon

I think I need to be more attentive to this blog. Obviously I’ve been sleeping better because I haven’t been writing. Ha! Thank you Unisom!

We went on our Maui Babymoon a couple weeks ago and it was fabulous! We did lots of snorkeling, relaxing, and sightseeing. And the husband got to take a surf lesson. I was so proud of him! He stood up on every wave he caught! He went to Maui Waveriders in Lahaina for his surf lesson. Of course, we ate lots of shave ice. My favorite!

My Surfer Boy
Baby Girl on top of Haleakala

Here are some good things we discovered on Maui:

Napili Bay is awesome for snorkeling! We went there the day after going on a boat to Molokini and I think I liked snorkeling in Napili Bay better. The beach is beautiful and we saw lots of fish and coral and some sea turtles and the husband saw squid. Best of all, it was free!

The Gazebo Restaurant. Wowza! If you go to Maui, you’ve gotta get breakfast at this place. It’s my new favorite breakfast place. It’s located at the Napili Shores condos. There’s a long line to get a table, which I usually don’t mind because that always means the food will rock your world! I got the Macadamia Nut Pancakes and some fried potatoes. Both were so delicious! They even had coconut syrup on the table, which I smothered my pancakes with. Mmmm! I can’t wait to go back!

Macadamia Nut Pancakes at The Gazebo

The Flatbread Company in Pa’ia makes some good good good pizza! Pa’ia is a little hippy town a few minutes east of the airport. Actually we discovered this place on our last trip to Maui 1.5 years ago. They’ve got yummy root beer made from sugar cane, salads that they claim are very good, but I’ve never had one, and some pizza that will create magic in your mouth! So make sure you visit Flatbread when you go to Maui. It was our first meal of our vacation, and our last meal.

Pa’ia Bay Ohana pizza at Flatbread. Topped with their in-house made pizza sauce, mushrooms and sweet Maui onions.

Ululani’s Shave Ice in Lahaina. I saw a location near the airport too, and I think they may have a few other Maui locations. The Shave Ice here was deeeeelicous! The guy who works there (owner maybe, I don’t know) is a Shave Ice master and was constantly feeling the ice and adjusting the machine to make the perfect shave. They let you get 3 syrups on your Shave Ice and they make almost all of their syrups.

This Shave Ice place is awesome! If you to go Lahaina, you’ve got to get Shave Ice here.

To save money on the snorkel trip we took to Molokini, we agreed to do one of those timeshare presentations. Ugh. Big mistake. We were told that it would take 1.5 hours, and that there would be food. So we scheduled it for 11:30 and arrived ready to munch on some yummy Hawaiian fruit. Sadly, all they had for us was coffee and water. Not cool! I didn’t bring any snacks with me and the presentation took 2.5 hours but felt like 8. I told the presentation lady right off the bat that the only reason we were there was for the discounts. We did not have plans to buy anything. Apparently that didn’t matter because she did everything she could to take our money and be our best friend. “I’m so excited about your baby!” “Oh, you’ll have to email me a picture of her when she’s born!” Eww. No way, crazy! Anyway, for attending this session of torture, we got $80 off our snorkel trip and $100 cash, which we blew on a fancy dinner that turned out to be a bit of a disappointment on our last night on Maui. Oh well. Lesson: unless you want to waste a lot of your vacation time being pressured into buying an overpriced timeshare that you probably won’t even use, and you don’t mind being looked at and talked to like you’re a moron for not wanting to take advantage of this “unbelievable” deal and saving a few bucks on a snorkel trip or something is really important to you, just say NO to the timeshare presentation. It’s not worth it. No, we didn’t buy one. For what we would have been investing into the timeshare to take one yearly vacation for a week, I could take 3 or 4 vacations a year. I’m a bargain shopper. It was a rip off.

So, besides the torturous time share session, the trip was great! Perfect weather, yummy food, and lots of fun. I love vacation!

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Babymoon in Hawaii

That’s a new word to me. I had never heard it until I got knocked up. I think it’s defined as the last vacation you and the dude get to take before the baby takes over your life. (From the outside, I mean. It has already taken over from the inside.) Anyway, I was afraid we wouldn’t get to take a vacation, er, I mean babymoon, this summer. But, alas, we’re going to Maui next week and I CAN’T WAIT! We were given a timeshare to use and found a cheap rental car. Yippee! My plans for Maui: laziness, avoiding sunburn, eating lots of yummy fresh fruit and delicious food, and indulging in a big dish of Shave Ice every day. No, not Shaved Ice. It’s Shave Ice in Hawaii. Yeah, I don’t know. I suppose proper grammar isn’t important when you’re talking about something so refreshing and awesome.

Scandinavian Shave Ice in Kona, HI

Even though we’re not leaving for a week, I’ve already started laying out the stuff I want to pack. This is unusual for me. I’m a procrastinator and typically put off packing for anything until late the night before. I think this means I’m really excited for my trip! My husband and I have decided to share a suitcase, so we’ve got to pack light. We’re doing this because the airlines are now charging to check bags and we’re trying to save wherever we can. But our suitcase can’t be over 50 lbs. That sounds like a lot, but once you get all your junk packed and weigh your bag, it’s easy for it to be overweight. Ugh. You suck, airlines! Oh well. Good thing we’re going somewhere hot so we don’t have to take any heavy clothes. I’ll be living in summer dresses and my favorite Cobian flip flops all week! Yay for vacay!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

A few days ago I found this picture online.

YUMMY! I had to make them! So I did some Googling and found the recipe and went to work in my kitchen. Delicious and quite easy to make! But very rich. My husband loves peanut butter, but decided that he preferred the rice krispie squares without the fudge layers on top. Since I couldn’t have these little squares of high calorie yummyness in my house, I took them to work the next day, thinking they probably wouldn’t all get eaten. Nope! Within 2 hours they were all gone! And I got rave reviews. Here’s the recipe.

Oh, one more thing. Since I should give credit where credit is due, HERE is where I found the recipe.

Rice Krispies Treats

3 tablespoons butter
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows or 4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal (or any puffed rice cereal)

In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated. Using buttered spatula or wax paper or wet hands, evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. (You may want to line your pan with parchment paper or waxed paper large enough to have flaps hanging over the sides. This will make it easy to pull the giant block of goodness out of the pan when it’s done. If you do this, be sure to also butter the paper so the treats will not stick.) Cool. Make Peanut Butter Fudge.

Peanut Butter Fudge
recipe from Alton Brown

1 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar

Microwave butter and peanut butter for 2 minutes on high. Stir and microwave on high for 2 more minutes. Add vanilla and powdered sugar to peanut butter mixture and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. Pour over the Rice Krispy treats in the pan and spread evenly. Let cool in the fridge while you make the Chocolate Fudge.

Easy Chocolate Fudge

2 Tbsp butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Combine butter, milk, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil; cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in marshmallows, chocolate, and vanilla. Beat for about 1 minute, or until marshmallows melt and mixture is thoroughly combined. Pour over peanut butter fudge, spread evenly and place in the fridge to harden and cool. Cut into 1-inch pieces or smaller and serve.

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Half Way There

Guess whose pregnancy hit the half way point today. MINE!! I’m 20 weeks today. I can’t believe how fast it’s going! Before I know it, my little girl will be here. Oh my. So much to do. I’m soooooo excited to meet her!

They (“they” being pretty much everyone who has ever been pregnant) say one of the side effects of pregnancy is crazy dreams. And let me tell you, it’s true! Every night my dreams are full of crazy, random stuff. I don’t know where they come from. Random people who I haven’t seen or even thought about for years suddenly appear in my dreams. Usually I like dreaming, but a dreamless night of good sleep sounds sounds wonderful right now. Sometimes the dreams are stressful or scary. Bah. No good. Between all the crazy dreams and waking up to pee and having a new baby soon, I don’t think I’ll get a full night’s sleep again for a few years. *SIGH* Oh well. It’s all for a good cause, right? Yes yes. All good.

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Sleep + Pregnancy = Oil + Water

It’s 3:40AM. I’ve been up since 3AM. Sleep feels far away. I think it’s because I forgot to take my sleeping pill when I went to bed. Can’t take it now. I’ll sleep all day! Ugh. I think it’ll be years before I ever sleep thru the night again. I mean with all the waking up at odd hours to pee and sleeping restlessly thru the pregnancy. Then the baby is going to want to eat at crazy times. It’s okay though. I’m not complaining. It’s all good and I’m happy.

Anyway, about my pregnancy. I’m 19 weeks, 2 days. Translation: I’m 4.5ish months. That 9 months of pregnancy thing is not exactly correct. Pregnancy doesn’t last exactly 9 months. It’s 40 weeks and when 40 weeks is divided by 4 weeks per month, that equals 10 months. I know there aren’t exactly 4 weeks per month, but it’s still a bit confusing to figure out. So I’m going with 4.5 right now. Since I’ll be 20 weeks on Sunday and that’s exactly half way, I figure 4.5 months works.

It’s going well, except for this sleep issue that I have. I had big bad nausea for the first 15-16 weeks. But it’s all good now. I had an ultrasound last week that revealed that the baby is a girl. Yay! I didn’t have a preference either way, but it’s just nice to now have a pronoun for the baby besides “it”. Nobody likes to be called “it”. No, she doesn’t have a name yet and when she does, it will be revealed when she comes out of me. I know. Smug, right? I figured that if we tell everyone what her name is, it’ll probably change because, well, I don’t know. It just probably will. Plus people love to give their opinions on names of babies who are still in the womb. Not cool. I don’t want to hear it. Therefore, no name until she shows her face.

Oh, here’s an interesting fact. My due date is 10-10-10. Pretty cool, huh? One more detail: this is my first pregnancy. I supposed that’s important.

Alright, I’m going to attempt sleep again. I need it. G’nite. Or, I supposed at this point g’mornin’ is more appropriate.

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