Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cameron Lee - Twelve Months

The day has officially arrived! I have a one-year-old!

The cliches are so true... "the days are long but the years are short"... it amazes me that we survived Cam's first year. I've been slightly emotional about it, as expected, but not too bad.

Twelve months is an interesting stage, it is very exciting to see how quickly she learns new things and I love that she is becoming more independent. But the attitude!!! I want to cry (tears of fright) when I think that it's not "terrible ones" instead of twos and threes. This little lady has OPINIONS, and the inability to coherently communicate them to me.

She goes from 0 to 60 on the turn of a dime, especially anytime past 5pm. I think she would go to bed at 5:30p if we let her, but we are sticklers about family dinners and Brice can't leave work any earlier than 5:45 on a good day. So, we tough it out. And by we, I mean I tough it out while trying to cook dinner and ward off baby meltdowns.

Then, every meal lately has resulted in food on the floor.  GAHHHHHH

But I can't get mad at this face. There are lots of happy times around here too.

Cammie has the most hilarious "meowing" that she does when you ask her "what does a kitty cat say?". Truthfully, she only meows 1 out of 5 times you ask, and it's more like a screeching cat in heat, but I know what she means. We went to lunch yesterday to celebrate her birthday and she started her version of meowing when she saw the cat on the patio. It was so funny.

When we were in Colorado last month, Grammie taught Cameron how to comb hair after her bath. Cameron loves when we lean over her and let her comb our hair (we all just pretend Daddy has hair to comb), and she even makes some darn good attempts at combing her own hair.

That, my friends, is the look of a troublemaker.

Can we talk about her outfit for a sec? Cam has so many cute new summer outfits to wear and I had some contenders for her final monthly post, but this one definitely won out unanimously between my mom and I. Anything Mini Boden and I can't find the will to resist.

My mom got this outfit for Cameron when we were shopping for my cousin's new baby girl (hi little Cora!!), and this outfit in it's smaller size is infinitely cuter. Anything miniature is better, right? Especially when it comes to tiny clothes for a tiny baby. So while I'm sure Cora would win in the battle of "Who Wore It Best", I will still smooch on my cutie pie.

Plus my mom said a mint headband would look dumb with this outfit, and I wanted to prove her wrong. Or at least stand my ground. My baby, my blog, my headband.

In truth, I snapped these pictures in Cam's 364th day on this planet instead of the official year because I have a gigantic photo shoot planned for today. I may or may not have gone overboard in the crafting and planning of this. We even have friends coming over to assist with this undertaking.

The first birthday madness will be continued all week! Stay tuned!

XO, Em

Friday, April 18, 2014

Photo Dump Friday


Brice asked me last night why I am so excited for Fridays when everyday is Saturday for me.



But in all honesty, I only love the weekends because no one is getting up at 6am and loudly showering, ironing clothes and brushing their teeth. Hehe!!

Anyways, things have been quiet but busy around here. Since we returned from our trip to Colorado I have been much busier doing "mom things" with Cam and we have made some new friends. Cam has also been out of sorts the last couple weeks... she's not sleeping super well, she is much grumpier than her normal sunshine-y self, and she is not being a champion eater. I guess she is dreading turning one just like I am. 

Case in point, we are having to employ many new tactics to get her to eat her vegetables. Spinach wrapped meat is occasionally thrown down the hatch. Tricked! Mostly the joke is on us and the whole pile ends up on the floor.

Apparently the phrase "children playing at your feet" is a real thing, lately this is Cameron's second favorite place to be while I'm making dinner (her favorite is being wrapped on my back and peeking around my shoulder).

Stylin' on our afternoon strolls. Cameron is actually keeping her shades on for at least half our walks these days!

OK OK OK OK!!!!!! Are these not the cutest babes you have ever seen? Some of our new friends at our weekly swimming classes! Precious.

Cammie Boo is starting to pull up onto everything. My favorite part of this new skill is that she literally crawls all over me when we play, I love smooching on my best girl.

Cam has figured out that the cats like their stick toys. Whenever Hops comes around Cam will grab the toy and start whacking it around and chasing Hops. Sometimes Hops will even hang around and bat at the toy, which causes Cameron to scream... thus ending play time with the kitty. Baby steps.

Brice has planted a garden for us this year and he was not very optimistic that his seedlings fared very well when he transplanted them... but we have little green things popping up all over now! Yay! Brice doesn't really know what anything actually is (he doesn't have my Type A organization gene), but I think we will figure it out eventually.

Finally, my happy girl had a slump-busting lunch and ate like a champ. As her reward I let her eat her yogurt herself and make a giant mess.

Hope you have a great weekend!

XO, Em

Monday, April 14, 2014

Landscaping in a Weekend

Not long after we moved in (nearly two years ago!), we knew we would eventually tackle the front landscaping. The beds were covered in weeds and the whole look wasn't our style, or our neighborhood's style for that matter. Nearly every other house on our street has beautifully manicured landscaping in a pretty traditional Southern style.

Womp womp.

It was a sad state of affairs. Brice spent all last summer begging me to make up my mind on what to do. I had just given birth and was in NO state of mind to make such a large decision under the influence of so many hormones and a lack of sleep.

I came home from my trip to Colorado to beautiful spring weather in the South, and all our neighbors had been busy little beavers getting their yards in shape. I had spent the last year taking walks around the neighborhood, creepily snapping pictures of my favorite yards and pulling together my wish list. Over the last couple weeks I trolled the neighborhood on a mission to decide.

This weekend, on a spur of the moment (if you can call it that after spending the better part of a year agonizing over your yard), Brice and I threw on our work clothes and ripped out the landscaping before we had a chance to think it over.

Cam was a rock star baby and took amazingly long naps, including an unprecedented 2 hour 45 minute nap on Sunday. It was probably wonderful for her to sleep with absolute peace in the house, while we destroyed the outside of it.

She spent some time supervising us outside, but I'm nearly positive she has seasonal allergies and I didn't want her to be too miserable.

We left the two major trees flanking the house, along with the four bushes that went with my new design plan. Brice bore the brunt of the work, while I did light cleanup, weeding, food preparation and caring for the baby when she was awake.

This bare mess was a vast improvement over the jungle of grass and weeds that we removed. I joked that we could just leave it like this with blank beds and be a billion times better than it was before.

That night, after we had finished all the removal and cleanup, I did a little bit of research about shrubs and a quick photoshop of what I wanted. Brice needed to see my vision to fully understand it and I wanted to make sure it would look good.

It's much simpler and cleaner than it was before and I was satisfied.

Sunday morning we hauled off to Home Depot (three separate times to be exact) and loaded up on new plants.

I made Brice snap a picture for proof that I actually did a little manual labor. In flip flops, making my inner Safety Committee leader cringe.

We worked hard and fast all day under threat of rain, and it opened up right as we finished spreading the mulch. We came in just under the wire!

The results are pretty underwhelming, especially in photos, because the new plants are fairly immature still. We hope they grow and fill-in quickly so they aren't so pathetic.

The back rows are camellias (Brice and I are about 95% sure these are the same bushes we left from the previous job, only time will tell), the middle row is full of boxwoods that we hope to keep nice and neat, and the front is lined with pretty purple and pink flowers.

We are pretty proud of the huge impact we made in 48 hours, and that we did it for just over $500! I've had professional landscapers banging down our door saying they would charge $500 just to clear the beds for us! 

Here's to not being the neighborhood eyesore anymore!

XO, Em

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Logan's Quiet Book

It only took me 6 months to create two quiet books! Unfortunately for Logan, his Christmas gift arrived three months late. Luckily, I don't think he will remember or care that his Auntie Em is such a slacker.

Much of those 3 months were pure procrastination though. My second quiet book went much quicker, as I learned many lessons from the first one and became much more efficient and skilled with my sewing machine. I knew I would bring it with me on my March trip instead of shipping it, so I took my sweet time wrapping it up.

I still need to refine sewing a curve, but not too shabby!

The first page is a volcano that has a long stream of chiffon "lava" while the second page is Logan's Toolbox packed with a screwdriver, hammer, wrench and saw. I'm not going to lie, sewing these little tools was the biggest challenge and I had some serious procrastination going on instead of finishing these bits.

Next up is the barn with animal finger puppets - these pages, according to Heath and Amy, are the biggest hits of both quiet books. Next to the barn is a color-matching stop light page, the lights attach with velcro for easy matching.

The number pages are, again according to Heath and Amy, the worst pages (my words, not theirs!). Annabelle's number strings already fell off, but luckily Amy's mom is crafty and sewed it back on. I did do things differently for Logan's book, so hopefully it's a little more durable. I hate to mess around with babes and beads!!! Next to the hazard page is snap-on letters spelling Logan's name and a handy basket to store the letters.

A swimming goldfish bowl and a tent that reveals a campfire.

I finished the book with a car track with two cars. Probably my favorite pages in the whole book, I would personally want to play with this now!

And that is Logan's book! I asked Brice if Logan's book was totally lame compared to Annabelle's, but he thought it was way better. I'm not convinced, but I'm just chalking it up to boys vs. girls and I prefer girly things over boy stuff like hammers and volcanoes.

Brice and I are drawing up the plans for my own craft/sewing corner in the office so I can bust out my sewing machine again and have my own dedicated space instead of taking over the kitchen table. It was such a relief to clean up the table after 6 months of clutter. But I'm itching to start working on Cameron's very own quiet book, although I have lots of time before she's old enough to play with it.

XO, Em

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Photo Dump Friday

I think you will forgive me for being a day late on this post when you see what we were up to yesterday...

And I'll skip ahead right to the action so you don't feel the urge to scroll straight to the bottom to check on little Boo Boo

We were playing at the park yesterday when Cameron had a severe allergic reaction. At this point, we are about 90% sure it's a tree pollen allergy, but we are being extra vigilant about everything to be on the safe side.

It started with a swollen lip about 30 minutes after we arrived at the park (I snapped this pic to send to my mom/on-call nurse). An hour later we were leaving the park and she had a few red/itchy spots on her face and neck. My new friends helped me decide to head to the pharmacy for Benadryl and to call my pediatrician (who made me an appointment for a few hours later). Well, by the time we got to the pharmacy Cameron Lee's eye was nearly swollen shut and her face had completely broken out (middle picture). I cut in line at the pharmacy counter and check out (of course everyone jumped out of line when they saw my poor Cam), dosed her in the parking lot while I called the doctor, who said I could come straight in.

Well, the nurse took one look at Cam in the waiting room and walked us straight to the ER, where I texted Brice "ER. Can you come?" He didn't delay and was there within 20 minutes, making Cameron much happier and me much more relieved. The last picture was at the height of the reaction. Cameron was her charming self and we had oodles of help in the ER, and lots of people stopping by to see the cute baby they had heard about. Cam was given a dose of steroids and we were left to wait it out. After 90 minutes she started looking better and was discharged, but was completely starving, exhausted and screaming.

Cam is doing much better today, her body has cleared up immensely but her little eye is still pretty swollen. The picture was taken right after she woke up, and it's gotten even better now that it's afternoon. Poor little peanut.

So that's our saga for Friday. It doesn't help that today is day 5 of the Whole30 Challenge, where you eat nothing fun for 30 days but protein, eggs, fruit and veggies. I am a grumpy, detoxing mess and yesterday seriously challenged by commitment to Whole30 when I had to throw together a real meal for dinner when we got home from the hospital instead of ordering the pizza I deserved normally would have saved my sanity with. So if I can make it through that, I can make it through 30 days.

And with that, back to our regularly scheduled program of cuteness:

My last blog post/photo dump ended with our first day at my Grannie's house, when Cam was pretty terrified and unsure of the dogs. Well, that didn't last long and she was soon delighted with them, especially when she realized she could feed the doggies. Gracie was SUCH a good girl and didn't even flinch when Cam teased her by putting food on her nose and then yanking it away and eating it herself.

I have some more pictures from Michigan I will share separately (along with the million other posts I keep promising...)

My happy girl found the measuring cups at Grammie's house!

Just more cutie pics of my sassy girl. Her daddy was going through withdrawals at the end of 2.5 weeks without us.

Although obnoxious, I was deemed "Best Wife Ever" when I texted Brice about 15 of these images from every case at Davidson's Liquor so he could pick his beer before he arrived for his quick stay in Colorado. Of course, he was mid-meeting and he had to explain why his phone was buzzing off the hook, but I was given a pass and Brice had his say on a couple selections for the weekend.

One gorgeous afternoon, my mom and I took Cam for a walk in the open space and stopped at the park so Cam could take her first ride in a big girl swing. She loved it (and couldn't be more adorable).

Cameron got her first birthday gift (IT CAN'T BE TRUE!!!!) from Grandma Nay (Renee) and it included this adorable outfit. My girl couldn't be any cuter.

I did some running in Colorado (mostly on the treadmill with my parents' sweet TV setup), but this view in the mountains was gorgeous and the fun snowman greeting me didn't hurt. Made all those damn hills worth it.

Brice's trip was so quick, but on Sunday night we had the whole Kahler gang up for dinner in the mountains and snapped some pictures of the cousins. Cameron was ENAMORED with her cousins (and so was I, for the record!) and giggled and scooted after them the whole time. For the millionth time, my heart broke into pieces knowing that she doesn't get to see them nearly enough.

Finally, the weather has been gorgeous here in Shreveport so (before the chaos of Friday) we were spending lots of time outside playing in our backyard. And wearing lots of cute new spring/summer outfits.

XO, Em

Friday, March 28, 2014

Cameron Lee - Eleven Months

STOP!  STOP STOP STOP!!!!! I'm a broken record every month, and someday I will get it together and accept reality but don't count on it this month. Definitely not next month either.

Honestly, I can't take it. My baby is days away from turning one. I'm trying to enjoy this period (and really, I am), but I'm in major denial that Cammie Lee is closer to a toddler than a newborn. It doesn't help that we are on the roller coaster of infertility struggles again, and I'm really yearning to add another sweet little munchkin to our family. Although, if our next baby is half as fabulous as Cameron is then I know the wait is well worth it.

Cameron is still an incredibly happy girl. She is nosy as all get-out, and loves to spy on and wave hi at everyone she sees. When we go out to eat we cannot make the mistake of facing her back towards the crowd of people or else she will twist in her seat so she can see her adoring fans.

About a month ago I realized that Cameron wasn't really growing out of her clothes at her previous clip, and I even had the thought of "what if she doesn't grow into all her cute summer clothes in time?!" Well, about a week into our trip to Colorado little Cammie Boo Boo lengthened out and outgrew all her pants. Womp womp. So now it looks like her wonderful mother put her in capris (high waters...) in the middle of the cold Colorado and Michigan weather.

Now the only pants I have with us that fit properly are these Gap Jeans. (Sidenote: these are probably my favorite fitting jeans that Cameron has owned - they fit her big cloth-diapered booty with enough room for her legs to actually move. I love the the look of the jeggings, but they aren't practical for my girl)

These pictures were taken only a few weeks apart and you can see that the cuffs don't need to be rolled up anymore for the pants to properly fit.

Taking composed pictures of this little mover-and-shaker is becoming increasingly difficult and I worry I won't get any good shots. But a little time and a lot of blurry pictures later, I get some gems.

Grandpa came up to try to help get a smile, but in the end all I was left with was a riled up baby that needed to hold onto a puzzle piece.

If you look closely, you can see her top left tooth poking out. She is furiously working on her other tooth, and it's so swollen but I promise you it's not actually there. My little lopsided monkey is pretty funny, only her left teeth on the top and bottom are really out while her right side is barely (or not) there on the bottom.

Thanks for stopping by today! Have a great weekend!

XO, Em

Friday, March 21, 2014

Photo Dump Friday

Technically, I'm still on vacation in Colorado but we made a little trek to northern Michigan for the weekend to see Cam's Great Grandma and Great Grannie. I'm posting this for the first time from my phone... Hope it goes well!

The Jolo has a sunken living room, which equals giant playpen!! My dad tried to teach Cameron to crawl out of it but she needs a few more lessons before she is successful. 

We went to Pug Ryan's for dinner where I actually had a beer (one of maybe 3 in the last 2 years...). Ben snapped a pic to send to Brice, who responded with his own pic. 

This was Cam's reaction to seeing her daddy. She loves pictures of him. 

Cam and I spent the afternoon with Brice's family on Sunday. Cam was fascinated with her giant Uncle Andrew!! Unfortunately, Heath and Amy and their kids had the stomach bug so they had to miss the party. Boo!!

Spaghetti girl!

We got to see a lot of our baby friends this week, which has been a blast. Unfortunately I am horrible at remembering to take pictures, but we did get Cam and the always adorable Lana! They already have the "what the hell, Mom?!" look down perfect. 

Cam and Grandpa getting the mail. 

My faves!!

Cammie wasn't sure about the dogs last night when we arrived but she was pretty happy to see them this morning. 

Happy Friday!! See you next week!!

XO, Em