August 31, 2010

101 in 1001

I'm a perpetual list-maker. I know I'm not the only one. For some reason writing down a to-do list thrills me. When I came across the idea of 101 in 1001 a couple years ago I thought it was awesome. Like a long term to-do list. But I never really started or tackled the project. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, just google 101 in 1001, the first couple of sites will give you a pretty good idea as to what the deal is.

Lately I feel like I haven't been making very good use of my time. When Ry finally goes down for her little cat naps, I usually either grab something to eat, or zone out in front of my computer or the TV. During all that computer time I usually browse blogs, thinking man I want to make that, or I should do that, I wish I knew how to do that, etc... Or I see projects that other people are completing on their houses, and I wish that I was better at tackling ours. So...

I am going to do it. I am committing myself to a 101 in 1001 list. Mine might not be quite as challenging or ambitious as some I've seem, but hopefully it will encourage me to learn something new, finish tasks that have been left undone, take better care of myself and have a little fun.

My start date is tomorrow, September 1st, 2010, and the finish date is May 28th, 2013. Wish me luck on this task! And now for my list...
  1. bake a pie
  2. bake and decorate a cake
  3. make homemade ice cream
  4. find a great recipe for sweet salsa, and make jars for my friends
  5. host and cook a family meal
  6. buy produce at the farmers market
  7. make Ryann animal shaped pancakes for breakfast
  8. run a 5k
  9. do a pull-up
  10. take an exercise class
  11. lose 15 pounds
  12. go to the beach
  13. go skiing
  14. ride a roller coaster
  15. visit a national monument
  16. see the Grand Canyon
  17. visit a state I've never been to
  18. ride a motorcycle (going to help me out dad?)
  19. organize recipes into a cookbook
  20. read ten new novels (9/10) - Second Glance, The Help, The Violets of March, Winter Garden, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay, Redeeming Love, True Colors
  21. learn to sew
  22. make a quilt (not to include the item below)
  23. turn dance t-shirts into a quilt
  24. make Ryann a headband
  25. sew a dress for Ryann
  26. spruce up a t-shirt for myself
  27. put together our wedding scrapbook
  28. paint a canvas for Ry's room
  29. go a whole day without tv or internet
  30. go a whole day without my iPhone (this seems impossible)
  31. spruce up an old piece of furniture  painted Ryann's bookshelf
  32. go a whole summer without killing the potted plants
  33. plant a tree
  34. make a wreath for the front door made an ornament wreath
  35. finish my kitchen chalkboard
  36. make a decorative pillow
  37. send ten homemade cards via snail mail (1/10) - participated in Elevated envelope
  38. send someone flowers
  39. throw a surprise party
  40. enjoy a cold beverage and some Wheel pizza
  41. take a friend to get a pedicure
  42. visit a friend in another state
  43. get a return address stamp
  44. go to the zoo
  45. visit a museum
  46. go to a KU football game
  47. go to a KU basketball game
  48. go to a Chiefs football game
  49. fly a kite
  50. build a snowman
  51. carve a pumpkin
  52. learn to play a song on the piano
  53. take a dance class  Well I didn't take a class, but I did learn a dance and perform on stage.  Good enough for me!
  54. go to a wine tasting
  55. 'finish' Ryann's room and submit pictures to various design blogs
  56. meet one or more of my favorite bloggers in real life
  57. blog everyday for a month (and not just pictures of Ryann!) completed November 2011
  58. host a giveaway on the blog headband giveaway!
  59. program my computer to back up everything regularly Time Machine is up and running
  60. learn to take pictures in complete manual mode I don't know if I learned it, but I did it!
  61. organize my printed photos into albums
  62. make photo books from photos living on my computer
  63. take the cats to the vet
  64. weed through my junk in the basement
  65. organize the kitchen junk drawer
  66. make a spice rack in the kitchen
  67. go through EVERYTHING in my closet and dresser
  68. clean out all my junk at my parent's house (hi mom!)
  69. create a cleaning schedule
  70. stick to above cleaning schedule for an entire month
  71. make the bed everyday for four weeks I did it for about five, and have made the bed maybe twice since.  So much for making it a habit.
  72. do something to support a local charity participated in runs that donate to charity
  73. do something to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation
  74. volunteer for Habitat for Humanity
  75. do something nice for one of my neighbors
  76. try five new restaurants (1/5) - Eddoku
  77. go on a date night with Chris once a month - MASSIVE FAIL
  78. go on vacation with just Chris - we stayed at a wedding overnight without Ryann, I might just have to count it
  79. find a church to attend
  80. see a movie of Chris's choice in the theater
  81. watch a movie that Chris wants me to see, no complaining... (that will be tough!)
  82. go on a picnic
  83. go to a drive in movie
  84. update and revamp my business website
  85. post on my business blog once a month - MASSIVE FAIL
  86. have wood floor transitions in the kitchen completed
  87. replace the bathroom fixtures
  88. have all of the pipes in the house replaced
  89. get a new vanity for the master bath
  90. get a new counter for the hall bath
  91. finish trim in master bedroom
  92. finish trim in kitchen
  93. redo back patio
  94. fix the cracked window in Ry's room
  95. build a desk and shelves in the family room closet
  96. put up a backsplash in the kitchen
  97. get the fireplace cleaned and inspected
  98. repaint the hall bathroom
  99. paint all of the trim in our house
  100. paint the exterior of our house (at least the unpainted part!)
  101. get a new front (storm?) door
So there you have it. If anyone wants to join me in any of these tasks, or thinks they can help me out, let me know! And wish me luck :o). I can't say I'm the greatest at completing projects I start.

stupid cats

If a post of mine just happened to show up in your blog reader, my cats posted it. That is what happens when you leave your laptop open with an unfinished post.

Man. I'll be back with the finished post later!

August 30, 2010

five months

Five months. Which is super close to six months. Which is half a year. Way too close to being a year old. Oy.

No doctor's visit this month (yay!) so Chris and I had to do our best to attempt the length and weight again. We figure she weighs roughly 15 pounds 9 ounces, and is about 25 inches long. Growing like a weed that girl is!! Ry is wearing all 3-6 month clothes (though some of the onesies are seeming a bit short) and size two diapers. She is eating 3.5-5 ounces of formula every 3-4 hours.

Lets see, how are her sleeping habits? That is pretty much the number one question these days. They aren't wonderful, but I guess they aren't terrible either. We started putting her to bed unswaddled last week, which is definitely causing some wake ups, but not as many as I was expecting. Usually I rock Ry to sleep between 6:15-7, she is out for about 45 minutes, she needs a little help getting back to sleep, and then she will stay asleep until anywhere between 11 and 1. From that point on it is hit or miss as to how the rest of the night goes. Sometimes we can just go in and quickly soothe her back to sleep if she wakes, sometimes she really wants a bottle, and sometimes for no apparent reason she decided she is not going back to sleep and it is an all out fight.

I'm going to call this her pirate face... and her pretty lashes :o)

Yes I am still rocking her to sleep, and I know that is a habit I should be trying to break at some point. Honestly though? Putting her to sleep has gotten a lot easier, and when her little warm body melts into mine as she drifts off, I almost can't put her down. It is just so comfortable.

This little girl wants to be on the move so bad. She rolls to her tummy almost instantly when she is put down. Then starts the 'crawling' attempts. Ry is getting pretty good at tucking her legs up underneath her and pushing with them. Unfortunately she does it with her face on the ground. That limits her movement, not to mention if she gets off the blanket she is at serious risk for rug burn on her face :o).

this is what she looks like trying to crawl... makes pictures tough!

Anything in her reach is no longer safe, at ALL. If you are holding something, she wants it. And she'll get mad if she doesn't get it. Ryann goes crazy if I don't let her hold my phone. She can send quite the text message!!

Ry is also VERY interested in anything we are eating and drinking. She watches very intently as we put food in our mouth, and just stares while we chew. We tried out the high chair today and she sat pretty well, so I think sometime this month we will attempt some rice cereal. Hopefully that will help reduce some of her spit up, and who knows, maybe make her sleep better? Ha.

she was obviously thrilled to be in the high chair

Ryann loves the kitties. Definitely more than they love her, but are you surprised? Her eyes get so big whenever they are around, and her little hands start to reach out and open and close. Her petting skills are rather limited. I'm surprised that Max doesn't have any bald spots!

A few habits that Ryann has developed this past month are kinda cute, kinda not :o). Now that she has started going to bed unswaddled, she enjoys sucking her thumb. I wouldn't say she is the best at it (sometimes she pokes herself in the eye, fingers up the nose, etc...) but it is sure cute to see her try. Also, she has started doing what we refer to as the 'drama cough'. It is a sound that is somewhere between a laugh, a cough and a cry that she does when she is kind of tired and a little worked up or upset. Mostly I find it funny, but sometimes it drives me a little nuts. Oh well. Her definitely not so cute habit? She is starting to throw a fit when she isn't getting her way. She kicks her legs, arches her back and throws her head around. DRIVES ME CRAZY. Most of the time it is because she doesn't want to be held. But it isn't always easy to just let her roll around on the floor!! Hopefully that little habit doesn't escalate.

Happy five months Ry Ry. Mommy loves you very much!!

August 29, 2010

this and that

I had a lot of random pictures I wanted to post, so I decided to just throw them all in one. Sorry for the lack of interesting posts the past week. With the iMac going down, plus a little weekend trip to Omaha, I haven't been much in the mood for blogging. I forgot how much slower my laptop is than my iMac. Anyway...

:: One of our playdates with JT and Jenn...

... we didn't exactly get a good picture before the kids decided it was naptime. Ooops.

:: We spent last weekend at my parents house. Ry modeled her daisy swimsuit cover-up while testing out her exersaucer. My baby girl as a daisy is so ridiculously cute I almost can't handle it. Her and daddy also enjoyed a quick dip in the pool. The water was a little chillier than usual so she didn't last long!

:: Thank you all for your responses about my interest in a playgroup. I signed up on, and last Thursday Ry and I went to our first playdate. I'm not going to lie I was absurdly nervous to go. I'm pretty shy about making new friends, especially ones that I've found on the internet :o). But the ladies I met were incredibly nice, and I am excited to go to more outings.

:: Another playdate with JT and Jenn. How cute are these two snuggled in Ry's little pink chair? They were holding hands. :o) We even thought JT was going to put his arm around Ryann...

... he smacked her in the face instead. I'm sure it was out of love. :o)

:: We were in Omaha this weekend for my families annual golf tournament. Chris took second place (way to go hubby!) and lost his wedding ring on the golf course (boo!). Amazingly the course called today and someone turned it in. We are both pretty surprised.

Daddy and Ry up way past bedtime watching some football.

Ry met her cousin (my cousin's baby girl, I'm calling that her cousin) Isabelle. She was very intrigued by her.

Isabelle was apparently more interested in Ryann's owl. :o)

:: My baby girl turned 5 months old today. She is getting so big! Tomorrow I will have her 5 month post with pictures and stats. I know you absolutely can't wait :o).

Hope everyone had a great weekend!!

August 26, 2010

embrace the camera

This occurs approximately every two minutes in my house.

eh, so we're not both in focus. you get the idea

She thinks it's funny. :o)

August 25, 2010

a day in the life - amy

Happy hump day everyone! Meet Amy, from The Mistress of Oxford...


Hello blog world! I am Amy from The Mistress of Oxford. I am so happy to take part in Ashley's Day in the life series. I have a 5 month old daughter, Sophie, who we call "Pea" or any version thereof - "Peanut" ...."Peas and Carrots" get it. She makes up the best of my husband, Spencer and me.

Ahhh...those eyes...I get lost in them.

My husband Spencer and I are high school sweethearts - we've been together 10 years. A year ago we bought our first home and enjoy making it our own.

HE: Lover of paintball, hunting, fishing, welding & sports
SHE: Loves wine, photography, walks, shopping, traveling & dancing

To give a little background, this particular day is a Tuesday. I work part-time with a web company M,W,F and am off on Tues/Thurs. This seems to be the best schedule for us now as I build my side business on my off days and do shoots on the weekends. Yup, I'm a photographer. I love it and hopefully someday soon I will be able to quit my part-time job and run my own business full-time. On M,W,F we are lucky enough to have my mother come to our house and watch Sophie. My mother retired this year and now watching Sophie part-time is her new job! :)

I hope you enjoy a little glimpse into our life!

7 am
: I wake up to Sophie's gurgles and coos. I go in her room to see a big smile on her face. We decide on her outfit for the day and I change her diaper and outfit. Today is a cute striped polo romper. I bring her downstairs and tidy up a bit in the kitchen and wash a few bottles from the previous day.

8 am:
Sophie finally realizes she's hungry and I make her a bottle. I balance her in my arms while I make it and mentally give myself a gold star for that task. (Hey, it's the little things!)

8:30 am: Sophie finishes, I get dressed (big accomplishment - another star!) and we head out to the local bagel shop to get our stash for the week. I decide on 4 cheddar poppyseed bagels and 2 everything bagels. I ask for one cheddar bagel to go with light cream cheese. The workers ooh and ahh at Sophie for a bit and we head on over to Starbucks. I get my summer regular (Grande Iced Carmel Machiatto) and get the car washed.

9:30 am: We get back and I put Sophie on her activity mat. Drool is everywhere. I attach a bib and let play away. I notice she has grown particularly fond of the crinkle leaves and keeps pulling at them.

She giggles as I rub the leaves over her hands.

I can see she is getting frustrated and pick her up to cuddle with me on the couch.

9:45 am: Sophie fights sleep and finally falls asleep in my arms with a paci. I take her upstairs and put her in the Rock & Play Sleeper (LOVE!) next to the desk in our office. I sit down and start editing photos from a recent newborn shoot.

11:30 am
: Spencer gets home for lunch. Sophie wakes up and it's time for her to eat. We sit at the table discussing our day so far.

12:20 pm: Spencer leaves to go back to work. Sophie falls asleep in my arms and once again I bring her upstairs to the office to finish editing.
1:30 pm: Sophie is up. I bring Sophie downstairs and catch up on a couple DVR shows.

2:30 pm: I make another bottle for Sophie. She scarfs it down. I grab my camera and snap away since she is full and happy.

About 2 seconds later, she takes little nap.

4:30 pm
: Spencer is home from work. He grabs a shower and works on painting the master bedroom ceiling. We continue to play.

6:00 pm: Sophie eats. I contemplate about making dinner, but I think I am feeling pizza. We order it along with 2 chocolate malts. We all 3 pack up and go downtown to grab the dinner to bring home.

Now that I made you lick your monitor....

7:30 pm: Dinner is finished and I pack lunches and get the coffee ready for the next day. Spencer plays with Sophie.

8 pm: Spencer puts Sophie in her pj's and they unwind on they couch together. I put a load of laundry in downstairs. I tell myself I need to do laundry much more often than I do.

9:30 pm: Sophie takes her last bottle for the night and falls asleep right after.

10 pm: Bedtime for us!

Q&A with Ashley

1. What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mother?
  • How things come naturally. You know every little thing about your child. You know what every different cry means and become "crylingual". The whole women's intuition comes into play for sure.
  • I am also surprised how well I am able to balance personal and professional life. Life gets hectic sometimes, but you just do what you got to do.
  • And, of course, how I could love something so much.
2. What are some tips you would give to new moms, or soon to be mommas?
  • No matter what your plans, your kid runs the show.
  • Never say never - You will do things you told yourself you wouldn't do as a parent.
  • Take time for yourself. A child is very demanding but it's important to do the little things for yourself too. A happy mom = a happy baby.
  • Go on a date night at least once a month. It's easy to get lost in baby. It gives you a break for a few hours and lets you reconnect not only with yourself, but your significant other too.
  • It's ok to feel overwhelmed. Let the mess in the house be, leave the dirty laundry alone and savor the time with your newborn. You will never get that time back.
  • Don't leave work to do when your 9 months pregnant. I can promise you that task will be 100% harder - let others help!
  • Invest in a good camera - you will be taking more pictures than you ever thought you would when your little one is here. It doesn't have to be the best out there, or a DSLR, just something you feel comfortable with and will last. It is worth the investment.
3. What are your top three baby products?

Fisher-Price Rock & Play Sleeper
Number one product hands down. Most mommas buy this as an inclined sleep solution. For the first few weeks Sophie would not sleep on her back. We were apprehensive of letting her sleep on her belly in the pack and play next to our bed so we looked for a more permanent solution. I like how light and easy it is to fold and move. Sometimes she will nap/lay in this while I am editing photos and she is content.

Itzbeen Timer
Like Karen from Karen At Home, I view this product as a must-have especially early on. It's easier to see the pattern your child distinguishes. There can be a lot of chaos when you have a newborn and knowing exactly when your child last ate, was changed and how long they nap for is simple with a touch of a button. This is great for sleep-deprived moms and dads who don't want to write down/remember the last time their child. The first week we almost forgot we had the timer and let me tell you, life has been a lot easier since using it. It even has a nifty clip on the back of it. I carry it with me even in the diaper bag. It gave us a good sense of Sophie's habits.

Boppy Pillow
Initially for use as a pillow to help breastfeed, we keep the boppy on the couch so Sophie can sit with us. We only use it for her to sit in while we are supervising her. She loves hanging out and playing with her toys and teethers while sitting up like a big girl.


We hope you enjoyed your glimpse into our lives! Being a mom is definitely a full-time job, but very worth it. It is just amazing to see our love in one person - our daughter who I am in awe of everyday.

Thanks Ashley for the opportunity to share our day with your readers!


Thanks so much Amy!

August 24, 2010

ruffles and flowers

My Ryann pictures for the day :o)

The kitties LOVE to tease Ryann. They always sit just out of reach.

So Ryann has started getting really good at sitting up with assistance over the last couple of weeks. I wanted to get some pictures. Unfortunately today she was having all sorts of issues. The cats were making her really excited and she could barely hold herself up. I said 'what's your deal little lady?' and go the face on the right. If you don't recognize it, that is Ry's poo face. I suppose it would be tough to sit if you aren't that good at it, AND you're trying to poop :o).

Check out this series. She couldn't decide if she was happy or sad. What a goober.

Man I love that smile. Melts my heart EVERY time.

August 23, 2010

iMac status

Hard drive failure.

I'm trying to keep the tears to a minimum.

The good news? Supposedly I had an Apple Care plan (I don't remember purchasing it) so they are replacing the hard drive for free. And they just swapped the batteries on my laptop (I don't know why, that thing was purchased in '06. There is no way it is covered!), so I'm not completely lost. Most of my music is loaded on my laptop, and the music I've recently purchased is on my iPhone. All my photos from up to a week after Ry was born are on my laptop. I've got over 400 photos posted on facebook of her (ridiculous, I know). So, even if the magic data recovery man (a guy at apple gave me the phone number) doesn't get anything off my old hard drive, I haven't lost EVERYTHING.

I am short some design files from my business, but I have pdfs in e-mails, so I should be able to easily recreate the files on my laptop. Luckily I had just finished up all of my current invitation projects, so there is nothing that is in need for production in the next week or so.

But I'm still kicking myself for not backing up on an external hard drive like I knew that I should have been doing. I had an external in college. But, I dropped it more than once trying to run across Kentucky street to our house senior year. I'm surprised that it survived until after graduation.

Moral of the story? If you have anything important to you on your computer, BACK IT UP. At least monthly, if not weekly. Burn DVDs. Get an external. Protect your stuff. I can deal with losing my music and my files, but the photos are killing me. I know I have all of my favorites on facebook and the blog, but I want them ALL.

Come on data recovery!

my life is over

Ok maybe that is a bit dramatic, but it sure feels that way. My iMac won't start up. And my MacBook is broken. None of the troubleshooting for the iMac has worked.

I was going to try and connect my two computers together (to back up the iMac via firewire) even though the mouse on the MacBook is broken, but when I picked it up the battery pack fell apart. I'm not kidding.

So wish me luck, because unless I find a babysitter, me, the babe, the iMac and the MacBook are all going to have to make it into the apple store at 4:15.

Please please please don't let my hard drive be shot.

Completely unrelated, this is what Ryann thought of my attempts to keep her from rolling over after she ate.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

August 22, 2010

headband obsession

Whew! We just got back from spending a little time at the resort (aka my parents house :o) so I'm feeling a little out of sorts. But oh well, it was great to hang out with my parents for the weekend, and let Ry spend a little time in the pool. And I mean a little time. The water had been perfect for a while, but of course it rained before we went, so she thought it was a little chilly! Anway...

I've had a few people ask about where I get all of Ryann's headbands. Where else? Etsy. I love that site. It distracts me for HOURS. Plus, I have the etsy addict app on my iPhone now, so I can browse etsy pretty much anytime anywhere. Its terrible. Especially considering my headband obession. I don't know why I feel like Ry needs so many, but I do. Probably because with her short little blonde hair makes her look rather bald, and although I try not to care, I don't exactly love it when people ask me how old my little guy is.

The most recent headband purchse I made was from etsy seller lisigirl. I found all of my skinnier colored headbands there. All 20 of them. Yes 20 :o). For $7.50! No, there isn't much to them, but they have a loop to put clips on, they are super soft and don't dent Ry's head, and she has 40 colors to choose from. I also purchased 6 flower clips for $9.00. Not too bad right? It's a great way to get a headband that matches every outfit. You can get all 40 different colored headbands for $15.

Here are some other headbands I wouldn't mind having in Ry's collection :o).

find it here

find it here

find it here

find it here

There are so many others. Man I love etsy. And headbands. :o)

August 19, 2010

embrace the camera

Today Ryann and I played dress up...

Yum. Tutus taste great!

She looked so cute that I thought I'd try and take a self portrait of the two of us... kinda tough!

Then I decided to put the camera on self timer continuous shot. Ryann still didn't really want to look at the camera (there were cats and other various inanimate objects to look at of course) but I love them. And there are like 30 more. I love continuous shooting :o).