Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spring Break Tahoe Trip

I love that my sister and I have girls so close in age - it's been fun, and I know it's going to be a blast as they get older together.  Over my BIL's spring break - we took a quick trip to South Lake Tahoe.  We stayed at The Fireside Lodge (we've stayed here before).  The experience was a little different this time around (the owner is a little wacky, but if you can avoid him, the place is great!).  

We had a great time - had good weather the first two days, but a major snow storm came in for our drive home.  It was beautiful, but a little scary to drive in.  The girls went on a couple walks, we took a bike ride, went on a short hike to Vikingsholm in Emerald Bay, explored and ate at Heavenly Village, made s'mores by the campfire both nights and had dinner (and Rum Runners) at The Beacon.  The girls both did so well - and it was so fun to see them play and interact with each other.

Andie with "Kona"
 S'mores by the fire.
Playing before bed time.
We drove home in this!  Beautiful.

I love Tahoe... and feel so lucky to live so close to such a beautiful place!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Birthday Trip to Palm Springs

For a couple days over my Birthday (April 9th) we took the short airplane ride to Palm Springs.  It was hot (almost 100 degrees), pretty, fun, and a new experience for the 3 of us.  TL had never been, and I haven't been in years!  We stayed at the Westin Desert Willows, and spent most of our time by the pool.  Our sweet girl loves the water - she cries when you take her out, so we had to get creative with her!  She did well on the plane both ways, enjoyed meeting new people, tried a few new foods, wore about 4,000 layers of sunscreen and loved her time in the water.  TL and I also got a few games of cribbage and yahtzee in after her bedtime.

The retired people in Palm Springs loved Andie, and she was a big ham for all of them.  It is so much fun to share her with others, she is such a joy!

I had some time to myself to lay out by the pool with a cocktail on my Birthday, and it was awesome.  For Birthday gifts, TL and I like to make memories and travel - and I love it!
Off the plane and right into the water. This girl has no fear!

A fun and quick adventure to kick off another year.  I am so blessed.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dear Andie... You're 11 Months Old


Adorable, sweet, lovable, and a smile that lights up our whole world... your spunky little body is the cutest thing, and we can't get enough of you!  It's amazing how much you're growing and changing every week.  We have spent the last couple of days in Palm Desert and you are loving the pool!  You're quite the brave baby, jumping right out of your floaty and into the water.  Scared me to death the first time!  You want to swim so badly, and it frustrates you that you can't do it by yourself.  But even with those moments of frustration, you have been screaming with happiness, smiling at strangers and embracing your celebrity "status" because the senior citizens think you are the cats pajamas.

You are scaling walls, pushing anything you can reach, crawling at the speed of light, and understand what "no" means.  Sometimes, instead of listening, you do what we tell you not to do and you flash us your "look how cute I am" smile.  Sticking to our "no" is quite tough, but we know we have to - otherwise we will be wrapped even tighter around your tiny little fingers.

This month, you became fond of giving 'high fives' and finger bumps (Pops taught you that one).  You are still nursing several times a day and eat pretty much anything.  Your favorites are still bananas (you eat a whole one every morning), avocado, bread, black beans, and sweets... you LOVE sweets - and we are really looking forward to your first Birthday party when you can smash into your cake.  We've gotten some practice in with ice cream, popsicles, and frozen yogurt... we can't eat it in front of you with out you making your way over to us and grunting until we give you a bite.  You are very familiar with your high chair and the high chairs at restaurants - you've become very comfortable with eating out, we do it quite often.

Gramz got you a convertible car to drive in outside... and my goodness, you love it!  We have taken that thing everywhere with us so you can "ride" - the store, Town Center, the mall, you name it.  You seem to really enjoy being outside!  You still are not a fan of riding in the car... but occasionally, you do okay.

Your daddy loves to play with you... tossing you in the air, chasing you, snuggling with you.  He tells me about 100 times a day how cute he thinks you are.  He loves you to pieces and it warms my heart to see you two together.  We love watching you play, make noises, and concentrate.  You are very observant and catch on to little things we teach you fairly quickly.  We think you are a good baby, sweet, laid back and content.  On the flip side of that, you are determined and know what you want... and you are not afraid to let us know!  You are absolutely, with out a doubt, our favorite part of this blessed life we live.

You are wearing size 9 month clothes, size 3 diapers, and have such tiny feet we still have trouble keeping socks or shoes on them.  You have been sleeping pretty well, usually 7-8pm until 7-7:30am, and I am very fortunate that you do well.  You still wake up every once in a while, and secretly, I don't mind - our quiet time in the middle of the night is so precious to me.  You are a petite little thing, but you seem very healthy.  We still have many nicknames for you: stinker, little butts, Andie Jean Jean girl, baby butts, love bugs, pumpkin butts... and you answer to pretty much all of them.

Last night, I was leaning near you to get something out of your diaper bag, and you leaned in to me and gave me a kiss on my lips - it was unsolicited, and I felt your love.  I was so touched.  You are truly such a sweet little baby girl, I still can't believe you are mine.

My baby girl, your big blue eyes are so beautiful.  I can't believe this is your last month before being 1 year old... time has gone much too quickly.  I admire you and love you with out limits.


Friday, April 4, 2014

5 on Friday

ONE.  I am looking for the perfect, easy and delicious recipe for a white (or light colored) Sangria.  I have been looking around pinterest, found a few with lots of fruit, which I think is great, but I need to know measurements and how much.  Any ideas??  Also, do you put the ice in it if it's going to be sitting for an afternoon?

TWO.  One of my favorite ladies who I have met through blogging is Natasha from Hello Happiness (most of you know who she is - she hosts this link up!) - if you haven't heard, she started her own children's clothing store, Sugar Bit.  So many adorable options for babies, tots, and kids!  I am eyeing the swimsuits for Andie :)

{Images via Hello Happiness}

THREE.  TL and I just recently starting buying organic coconut oil from Costco to cook our veggies with.  I was searching around on Pinterest and found this pin that has some great info about multiple uses for Coconut oil... so awesome (especially the diaper rash and dry skin)!

FOUR.  I am not a huge one for subscription boxes - but I recently came across one that is pretty cool.  It's a traveling box that explores unique (lots of vegan) things - it travels around the country and finds vendors to feature.  They do mens, womens, and kids boxes (mini explorer) and the items inside are so cool.    
Currently they have a giveaway going on through their Instagram (@Hazel_Ln) and facebook pages.  You can win a Brooklyn Mini Explorer Box.  They are also offering $5 off to anyone who wants to buy a box by entering "ThenIGotToThinking" at check out.


Have a beautiful weekend.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sweet Baby Nella

This online community of women that I have gotten to know over the last few years is truly remarkable.  I have "met" some of the sweetest ladies - many have touched my heart, taught me new things, encouraged me, and amazed me.

So many mamas are also in this social media world, and I have loved connecting with all of them.  Seeing their baby pictures, watching their journey through pregnancy, and reading their stories is enjoyable for me.  Lately, one in particular has pulled on my heart... her name is Grace Grutter, and she is mama to sweet baby Nella.  Nella was diagnosed with SMA (spinal muscular atrophy) - something I knew nothing about until 'meeting' Nella and seeing her pictures online.  In a few words, her muscles aren't working like they should, including her muscles that we all need to do basic functions like breathing.  Many babies with SMA Type 1 (which she has) don't live to see their first Birthday and even fewer make it to their second Birthday.

Grace has shared so many photos of her sweet baby girl, and each time I see them, I am overwhelmed.  She is just a beautiful little baby, and her eyes capture me.  I am praying for a miracle for this family - and I am so glad that Grace has shared this beautiful baby with the world as she spreads awareness about this awful disease.  I think because Andie is close in age to her, I feel such a deep sadness and wish so badly that there was something I could do.

If you have a few moments, please visit her on Facebook or instagram (@bowenandnellasmama).  Send a note of encouragement, or just keep their family in your thoughts and prayers.
 {photos courtesy of her facebook page}

Hope you're having a good week.