Sunday, May 31, 2009

Baby Proofing and the Unhappy Baby

The big box that had been keeping Mara contained in the living room has pretty much stopped working. We knew this time would come eventually! Mara figured out how to push it out of her way or climb over it - whatever she needed to do in order to get through.

She's started to get into more things too. She often opens up the cabinet that holds all of our DVDs...and then starts dumping them all out on the floor. In the kitchens she's figured out how to open cabinets. So far she hasn't been emptying those. (So far!) Some of her other favorite activities are pulling things off the fridge, sticking her hands in the cat water fountain, and the most annoying - grabbing cat food out of the cat dishes and throwing it all over the floor.

So, we went out today to try to find a gate. Most of the standard gates won't fit the space that we needed so we had to get an extended one (which also happens to be really tall!) to block off the kitchen. It does have a door, so that's nice. Of course, as you can see, Mara still managed to get to the cat dish through the gate!

We also got the DVD cabinet baby-proofed. She sure wasn't happy about that when she tried to get the doors open!

We already had a gate for the top of the stairs, but lately she's been trying to climb up the stairs too, so we got another gate that we can use at the bottom of the stairs when she's in the kitchen. She's a great climber - but forgets that's she's on the stairs and will start to topple over if you aren't right there.

She's been walking for about 2 weeks now, and is a PRO! It's hard to even remember her NOT walking! Her balance is great and she is so proud of herself as she does it. She is such a big girl!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

13 Months Old

I decided to continue with the monthly pictures, even though Mara's over a year now. I was glad I did, because she was in a good mood and sat really well this time, so I got some decent pictures! I can't believe it's already the end of May, and that she's already 13 months old. Apparently her second year is going to fly by just as fast as the first year did!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Walking Video

Well, this video is already outdated! Jay put together some clips from the first couple days that Mara started walking. Now that she's been walking for over a week, she's a pro, so watching this is already funny. She's a lot more confident now, and can walk across a room without a problem!

Hope the video works...enjoy!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Holiday Weekend

It has been a nice weekend. I wish every weekend was this long! Jay worked all day on Saturday, so Mara and I hung out at home. I took Mara outside yesterday while Jay was at work. She LOVES going outside, and I am so sad we don't have a yard. Sure, we could go to a park or to Grandpa and Grandma's house, but it just isn't the same as being able to run around in your own yard. That is the big thing that I am looking for in a house. I really wish we could afford to move right now!!

Yard or no yard, Mara still didn't want to come back inside, and immediately went back to the door to try to get out again. She wasn't happy with me for bringing her in!

We went to my parents house in the afternoon and checked out the progress on my Dad's new shop. It's looking good! Hopefully the progress will continue quickly so that my Dad can get back to work in there soon!

Then we headed over to my cousin's graduation party. Mara was in Heaven with so much open space to walk and crawl, and just wanted to be out in the grass. It just makes me feel bad that she can't do that at home! But, she had a great time, and we hung out with family and ate lots of great food! It was a beautiful day, so it was nice to spend time outside.

I don't know what her deal was last night, but we woke up at 4:30am because Mara was awake and giggling. I'm not sure what was so funny, but she just kept laughing! I eventually went into her room when she started making more noise, and rocked her a little bit. I was afraid she wouldn't go back to sleep (and I REALLY didn't want to get up at 5am!), but luckily she did, and we didn't have to get up until about 8. We haven't done much of anything today. It's nice out, but we're just taking it easy.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Next Craft Project

So the next craft project I'm going to be working on is a Christmas stocking for Jay. I bought this last winter in the hopes that I would get a good start on it so I wouldn't be finishing it on Christmas Eve! Hopefully by starting on it now, I can work on it as I have the time, and have no problem finishing it by December! I do have high hopes to also get one made for myself (I have the kit for that one too), but I'll just take it one day at a time and see how this one goes first!

I did really enjoy the process of making Mara's last year, and now that I really know what I'm doing, hopefully this one will be a breeze! I'm cautiously optimistic, even as I'm looking at all the tiny pieces and sequins...


I started working on this cross-stitch birth announcement for Mara when I was pregnant. Actually, I had started a different one, and then I happened to find this one, and it was perfect. I needed something kind of neutral since we didn't know if she was a boy or a girl, and we had decorated the nursery with a jungle/safari theme. So I couldn't resist, and ended up starting this one about halfway through my pregnancy.

Well, even though she was 9 days late, I still hadn't quite finished it when she arrived. I was finding it hard to sit and concentrate on it towards the end of my pregnancy, even though I really hoped to finish it before the baby was born. And then with a newborn baby around, I sure didn't have time to work on it!

Fast forward several months after she was born, and it was still sitting around, ALMOST finished. In the meantime, we were too busy, and then I had the stocking project that I was working on.... Well, I finally decided that I just need to get those final details done. I finished it last night! It hasn't been pressed (obviously!) or framed yet, but I am excited about how it turned out! I had to tweak the personalization a little bit because her name was too long to fit with the letters/size they suggested, but I think it turned out nice! I'm excited that it's finally done...only about 13 months late!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Mara started walking on Monday! We thought it might just be a fluke at first, but she hasn't really stopped walking since, so apparently it's for real!

She is surprisingly steady on her feet for the most part. She had been standing pretty steady for awhile, but never wanted to walk (except sideways, along a couch or table). But, it's always been Mara's style to just decide to do something and go for it. She doesn't always do things in the 'natural' order, and definitely keeps us guessing!

She giggles and cheers for herself sometimes while she's walking, which is really funny to watch!

I'll try to post a video soon!

Jenna and Derek

Photo overload!!

My sister Jenna got married to Derek on May 16th. The wedding was in Pine Island, and all the girls got their hair done at the church, and got ready there. We took all of the photos before the ceremony. Jenna was a beautiful bride! Her dress was very simple and very pretty. It was a nice ceremony, and then we headed out on the party bus afterwards. We stopped at Whistle Binkies on the Lake and hung out there for awhile. Then we went to the reception. They had their reception at the Ramada, which is where Jay and I had ours.

The reception and dance were a lot of fun. I was surprised how well Mara did. We could tell she was getting tired in the evening, but she was a trooper. After we changed her into her jammies, she finally crashed. It was a long day for her! I was glad that we got to stay for the majority of the dance though.

The next morning we went back to the hotel for the gift opening. Jenna and Derek set out on a cruise on Monday and should be arriving home this weekend. Hopefully they had a blast! Congrats to the happy couple!


Last week I took a few days off of work and headed to Las Vegas. I'd never been there before (besides flight layovers, and driving past on the highway), so I was excited to see the sights. I met nine other ladies there that I originally met online. We all had babies in April 2008. It was crazy to meet up with all of them after having 'known' and chatted with them all for at least a year or two.

We all got along really well and had a lot in common. We stayed at the Monte Carlo, which was a nice place. The pools were great! It was really hot so we spent quite a bit of time in the pool or lazy river! Also checked out the buffet for lunch one day, and ate way more than is neccessary of course...

Didn't see any shows, but we did explore The Strip. Several of the girls had been there before, so they were great tour guides! We checked out a lot of the hotels/casinos. I didn't really gamble, but it's fun to just walk around and see everything (and people-watch!). Two of the girls surprised us all with a limo for one of the nights, so that was a lot of fun too!

I wouldn't mind going back someday, there is so much to see and do there!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Now What?

American Idol is done. Adam didn't win. I'm disappointed.

But the real issue what am I going to do with my time?? American Idol has been taking up two evenings a week for several months now.

Ok, I actually have a lot of options. I have a craft project that needs to be finished desperately. I have tons of books to read. I have projects to do all over the house. Lots of organizing to do. And of course - I should really get started on the stockings that I want to make for me and Jay for this Christmas. We all know that I cut it too close with Mara's stocking last year, and I don't want that to happen this year! And of course - I need to get caught up with my scrapbooking! I haven't had time to scrap since February. I haven't even ordered any pictures in the last few months. So I'm really far behind!

Also, I'm still behind on blogging some recent events.

So, the real question is....where do I begin??

Suddenly I'm feeling busy again...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mother's Day

We went to my parents house for Mother's Day. Us girls had to get some final alterations done on our dresses for Jenna's wedding, so Mara hung out with Daddy, Uncle Dave, and Grandpa while we went to do that. Aunt Michelle and Uncle Dave had just gotten back from their trip to Hawaii and brought Mara a cute new dress. So she had to model it for everyone. It's so cute!

Shelly and Dave brought the dogs, and Mara loved watching them, and giggled every time they ran past her. Very cute!

And unlike last Mother's Day, when Mara was less than two weeks old, this year I did manage to get a couple of pictures of me and Mara! Last year on my first Mother's Day, I took a couple pictures, but none of myself. So that was my only goal for the day!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Time to Relax!

I think I might finally have some time to relax now!

The last few weeks have been crazy busy, but things should be calming down quite a bit now. I went to Vegas last week from Tuesday to Friday, then got home just in time for the rehearsal dinner for my sister's wedding, and had wedding stuff all weekend.

I'm back at work today. Thankfully things should be pretty quiet at work and at home for awhile now. A few graduation parties here and there, but that's about it!

I'll be back to share lots of pictures of my recent adventures soon!

Friday, May 8, 2009

busy, busy, busy

It has been a pretty busy week! Lots of appointments and errands, and now I'm coming down with a cold. So I'm drinking lots of orange juice, and heading to bed early tonight. I can't afford to get sick, with so much going on next week!

Here are a few pictures from this week. I can't remember what she was distressed about in the first picture. Maybe I walked away from her for a minute! Lately she wants ME whenever I'm around. I guess she is so used to seeing Jay all the time, so when I'm home, she wants to be with me. I don't mind for the most part. If I'm not around, she does just fine with Jay. It's kind of nice to be loved. But, she doesn't want me out of her sight when I'm home!

Today she had fun playing with some newspaper. You know, tons of toys sitting around, but the newspaper is way more entertaining! You'd think we'd learn...

I have lots to get done this weekend! Next week Mara has an appointment on Tuesday morning, and then that afternoon I am heading to Las Vegas to meet up with some friends for a couple days. I've never been there, so I'm looking forward to it! I will get home Friday, just in time for my sister's wedding rehearsal! So, this weekend will be busy - getting ready for a trip AND a wedding.

I may not get a chance to post much for the next week or so...but I'll be back with lots of photos and updates as soon as I get a chance!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

12 Month Appointment

Mara had her 12 month doctor appointment yesterday.

She is 23 lbs, and 30 inches tall. Her weight gain has slowed down a lot, which is just fine, since she had always been at a very high percentile for her age. She only gained about half a pound since February.

She also has an ear infection, so we started antibiotics last night...hopefully she will be feeling better in a day or two! We'll be taking her to see ophthalmology next week. Our doctor said not to worry, so we're hoping everything will look just fine.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Busy Girl!

Mara is constantly on the go lately. She is always busy, busy, busy!
Jay had to work today, so Mara and I hung out at home this morning. She has figured out how to get the doors to our DVD/CD cabinet open (it's not that hard, I need to get locks for them!), and loves to pull them all out. She knows she's not supposed to do it, and kept sneaking looks at me as she made her way over there.

After an unsuccessful morning nap (Mara talked happily in her crib the whole time she was supposed to be sleeping), we met Jay at work when he took one of his breaks. We looked at some kitties and got a bit to eat (they had a hot dog stand outside, yum!!). Then Jay went back to work and Mara and I went over to Home Depot to look at some plants. I bought a few, and will probably go back to get a couple more. There were a lot of people there since it was so nice out!!

We played outside for a bit when we got home, and Mara tried to put her shoes on after I took them off once we got inside. It was funny to watch - she knew where they were supposed to go, she just couldn't coordinate it. We attempted an afternoon nap, and this one went a little better - a little bit of sleeping anyway! The rest of the afternoon and evening we just played inside. Over the last week Mara has gotten pretty good at standing by herself. She doesn't even wobble! Tonight she was even 'dancing' (swaying back and forth) on her own!

She's feeling a little under the weather - has a bit of a cold and I think there must be something going on with some teeth. But, she was still a pretty happy little girl today for the most part!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Oxbow Park

It was a pretty nice day out today, so after Jay got off work, we decided to go to Oxbow Park. It's a small park/zoo nearby that has animals that are native to Minnesota. There is a lot of picnic space, hiking trails, and a small nature center too. It's a great place for kids, and I remember going there a lot when I was younger.

I hadn't been there for a long time, and it looked really nice - I think they had made a lot of upgrades. We got there kind of late, so we didn't have a lot of time, but we did get to see lots of animals. Mara seemed to enjoy much as a 12 month old can, anyway. The bear was so cute, pacing back and forth. Then when we got up to it, it just sat down and looked at us. Mara liked the prairie dogs too (that's what she and I are looking at in the last picture). We also saw a cougar, some foxes, coyote, a badger, some otters, several birds and owls, and some turkeys. We didn't get a chance to see a few of the other animals, but I'm sure we'll be back there this summer to see them, and explore a bit more. Can't beat free entertainment!

Mara's Birthday

Mara's birthday started off with some crazy hair! Her hair is growing in quickly, and I think it's going to be thick like Mama's. I love when it sticks up all over the place! She was happy to see both Daddy AND Mama when she got up that morning! Usually I am already at work when she gets up. I took the day off to spend with her, and to run errands.

After breakfast we got ready and went to tour a daycare center. Jay will be back in school full time in the fall, so we need to find daycare again for Mara. I am already stressed out and nervous about it. We are hoping we can afford a center this time. I like the idea of an in-home setting, but it just didn't work that well for us previously. With a center there won't be unexpected days off for the provider, the hours are better (more flexibility) and there are lots more activities and structure to the day. So we are checking out quite a few to see what our best options are. This was the second one we visitied, and we have an appointment to visit another on one Monday. Then I have a request in to one other place to get more information. These places all have waiting lists, but hopefully by getting our name on them NOW, we'll be set in the fall.

After the daycare tour, we went to apply for Mara's passport. We're going to Toronto in July and with the new laws, Mara will now need a passport. Last summer we drove there, and just brought her birth certificate, but this year we'll be flying (THAT should be interesting!). So, after a fiasco with the photo size, running back to the photo place to get it re-taken, finding something to do while they developed it -- we were BACK at the passport office to finally put in the application.

Mara took a nice nap after we finally got home. If it had been nicer out we probably would have played outside in the afternoon, but instead we played inside. Jay had class in the evening, so Mara and I hung out. She played with her birthday balloons, and I wrapped up some new jammies for her to open, so that she'd have at least one present on her actual birthday.

Finally, it was time for bed. I got a little sad after putting her to bed. It's crazy how fast a year has gone, and how much she has grown. I know the next year will go just as fast. Before I know it, she'll be leaving for college!! Ok, maybe not THAT fast. But it's definitly a reminder to enjoy every minute!