Friday, February 29, 2008

My New Business Card!

Check out my new business card that our friend Chance helped me make! He drew the harp and everything. Pretty cool, huh?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Climbing the Stairs, Sitting, and Pulling Up!

Two nights ago, Kirsten climbed the stairs for the first time! She's been interested in the stairs for the past week, but she would just sit at the bottom with her hands on the bottom step and not actually try to climb them. But then she discovered she could climb!It was so cute and funny to watch her climb up the stairs. She had a fun time!
It's been a really busy week for Kirsten. All in this past week, she's learned how to get herself into the sitting position, pull herself up on things to stand, and climb stairs! The other night she started crying at 2:30 am. I went in there to find her standing up, holding onto the crib railings, and her binky on the floor. Crazy!
She climbed up all three stairs to the first landing, and then wanted to keep going even higher. It's so funny to watch her becoming more mobile every day.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday Travel Talk... (on Wednesday)

The Big Island, Hawaii!
I got lucky enough to go to Hawaii with Stephen's family in December of 2004. I had never been to any tropical islands before and it was SO beautiful! We started off in the Big Island of Hawaii, and spent a week there. The island has so much variety, and I think it's one of the few places in the world where you can ski and go to the beach in the same day (although we stuck to beaches). There are two sides to the island- the drier side, called Kona, and the wetter, more tropical side called Hilo. We stayed on the Kona side, because it rains much more in Hilo and we wanted to spend lots of time at the beach.
We rented a car (definitely a must for any island except Oahu) and took an entire day to drive to the Hilo side and explore. I wish we had had more time, so we could have seen the black sand beaches. But it was a very full-packed day! We went to Volcanoes National Park and saw red lava flowing steadily down the volcano. This picture was taken in front of a lava tube that we walked through. It was awesome!
One of my favorite things we saw in Hilo was this gorgeous waterfall. We took a short hike to get there through tons of old, gnarled, mossy trees. It was SO cool! I love waterfalls.
We did tons of other awesome things in the Big Island, like scuba diving and taking a helicopter tour! There are so many things to do there, it's hard to choose! But island-hopping is fun too, and we spent the second week of our vacation in Oahu. But I'll have to do a whole separate post about that!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Happy Little Explorer

Kirsten's getting better at crawling! She's still pretty slow at it but she crawls on her hands and knees regularly now and will sometimes even crawl into rooms that I'm not in. She's getting brave! Also, as of a couple of days ago, she can now get herself into the sitting position.Yesterday she crawled into the second bathroom from the hallway and started exploring it. It's really cute and so fun to watch her crawl. She follows us into the kitchen and around the couch a few times a day now.
A few nights ago she discovered the curtains that we have hanging in front of the sliding glass door. I don't have a picture of it, but it was nighttime and she crawled between the curtains and the glass door. She had fun in there for a few minutes, but then she started to cry because she couldn't figure out how to get out. I had to go rescue her.
I love that she's exploring her world and learning how to do so many new things. I'm excited to see what's next!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Binky Babies at the Park

All week it's felt like spring, even though it's only February! We had clear skies, sunshine, and temperatures in the high 50's. I know it won't last, so we took advantage of the beautiful weather and went to the park with my friend Miranda and her little baby Sadie. We ate sandwiches there and let the babies play on the blanket. Aren't they both so cute with their binkies?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ice Cream Cake!

I love ice cream cake, so Stephen got me one from Baskin-Robbins last night. It was yummy! Herbie joined the party. He's like our little shadow, and follows us around all the time, wherever we go in the house.

Here's the cake after the candles were taken off.
We played a few rousing card games of Spades and 500. This hand of cards was so bad that Oscar had to take a picture of it so he could show us what he had. High cards are good, low cards are bad... this is probably a bad hand no matter what card game you play though!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Best Birthday Deals

Yep, my birthday was on February 20'th and I'm now 26. It really doesn't sound much older than 25. To me, it'll probably all sound mostly the same until 29. That sounds older, because it's getting close to 30. I love finding birthday clubs that you can sign up for and get free food. Here are my favorite deals:
The Cold Stone birthday club gets you a free ice cream in a specialty flavor. You can sign up online for all of these, and be sure to have your ID with you because they might check for it.

The Black Angus Prime Club is really awesome. They sent me an email with a coupon for a free steak dinner on my birthday. You can choose any steak up to $19.99 with purchase of any entree. That's where we went for dinner on my birthday, and it was great! I was sad that I forgot to take my camera, because Kirsten looked so tiny sitting the restaurant high chair. I wanted to take a picture!
A lot of people already know about this one, but Red Robin gives you a free birthday burger if you sign up for their birthday club. We went there last week!

This was my birthday present that I asked Stephen for... The American Idol Karaoke Revolution game for the Wii! It comes with a microphone, has a bunch of great songs, and if you want you can be judged by Simon, Randy, and Paula. I've only tried a couple of songs so far, but it's a lot of fun!

Tonight we'll be having cake with some friends and playing games, so I'll post some pictures of that later.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Playgroup Fun

Yesterday I took Kirsten to a little playgroup meeting, and it was fun to see so many other babies close to her age. The babies all played with toys on the floor for awhile while the moms ate lunch and chatted, and then we all took a walk outside with the strollers in the beautiful sunshine. It feels like spring this week! I didn't have my camera with me, so these pictures are from Olga's camera. It was pretty much impossible to get a picture of Kirsten without her moving around or sticking something in her mouth. She had such a great time exploring!
I'm not overly comfortable in large groups of girls, unless I already know them really well. Maybe it comes from growing up without any sisters. It does help a lot having babies close in age though, because there's tons to talk about. The other moms were really nice and I hope to get to know them better as I go to more playgroups with them.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

That's One Full Diaper Bag!

I got tagged to dump my bag awhile ago, and finally I got around to doing it! Who would think that I'd need to carry this much stuff around for one small baby? My bag is always stuffed to the gills, so I spread it all out on the floor and wow... nobody could say I'm not prepared!Here's a list of all the stuff:
-3 Pampers Swaddlers diapers, size 2-3
-Changing pad that came with the bag
-A couple packs of baby wipes
-Cute jungle-printed burp cloth and a white one
-Extra outfit (I've almost never needed it, but when you need one you sure are glad you always carry it around!)
-Extra binky
-Baby socks (wow, didn't realize I had four pairs in there!)
-Shout Portable wipe packets and Wet Wipes
-Essentials for me: Hand sanitizer, lip gloss, small bottle of lotion, and Chewy granola bar
-Baby Orajel teething swabs
-And a whole variety of toys, rattles, and cloth books that she can play with and chew on.
Kirsten couldn't resist the pile of stuff. She had to come right over and get in the middle of it all! Some other things not pictured that I always carry with me in my diaper bag/purse are:
Wallet, cell phone, keys, sunglasses, and usually an Avent bottle of formula.
I didn't want a diaper bag that had anything cutesy on it. I figured Stephen would appreciate that too when he carries it. So here is the big blue diaper bag I take everywhere with me and Kirsten.
I love this small brown diaper bag, because it pretty much looks just like a purse but still has good compartments and side pockets big enough to hold bottles. If I go anywhere without Kirsten (very rare!), this is what I take with me. And if we ever need to run somewhere quickly, I can take this small one and just transfer a few things over from the blue diaper bag.
Now I tag Rachel Gunnell, Michelle Black, and Tiffany Andrews to dump their bags!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tuesday Travel Talk

In 2003, I went on an amazing art history study abroad trip through Europe. I adored it! Europe is so incredible. I'll start in this post by talking about the first place we toured... Greece! I apologize for the picture quality. These were taken before I had a digital camera and scanned into the computer. Scanned pictures are not so good.

Athens is a crowded, not so pretty city overall with terrible traffic and lots of architecture that hails from the lovely 70's. But you forget all about that when you see the Acropolis with the amazing Parthenon and the old Agora. The Acropolis rises on a large hill overlooking the entire city, and at night they light it up so you can see it shining above everything. It's really breathtaking! When I saw the Parthenon for the first time, all the Greek architecture terms I had learned like ionic and doric columns really came together for me.
Delphi is an old ruined city set in the most gorgeous setting in the mountains. The vegetation in the area reminded me very much of southern California, but with bigger mountains and wider valleys. I didn't have any scanned pictures of all the ruins in Delphi, just this one of the mountains. But it was one of my favorite places we went to in Greece.
Olympia was a fun place to go, to see the place of the original Olympic games. We loved these columns that were left in their fallen state. We saw lots more amazing ruins there. I remember being really allergic to some of the plants or pollen in the air in Olympia, and I wasn't the only one in our group who had problems with it!
I didn't get to go to Santorini or any of the exotic Greek islands, but we did hop on a boat and made the short trip to Aegina, the closest little island to Athens. It was fun to see a Greek island and the water was so clear and such beautiful colors!
In every European country I have traveled in, I've never met such friendly people as I did in Greece. All through the markets and the streets, people would smile and talk to us and were truly interested in where we were from and if we were enjoying their country. I felt so welcomed there! I definitely discovered why the Greeks are known for their hospitality. I also loved the gyros you could buy for super cheap on the streets and eat while you were browsing through the markets. Greece is unforgettable!

Monday, February 18, 2008


I knew it would happen soon, and now it has... Kirsten is crawling at last! She's been experimenting for the past week with army crawling and being able to scoot forwards instead of backwards. Today was the first time she actually went somewhere! This morning, still in her pajamas, she crawled from her usual play area in the living room around behind the couch into the dining area. She was going after the kitty, and did about half of it on her arms and then half up on her hands. It was so fun to watch!Hmm, I guess it's time to child-proof a little bit better. I thought I did a good job, but she reached right up for the cookbooks and recipe pages I keep in the bottom of the console table.
She pulled down some of the papers and played with them a little bit, and then of course she wanted to eat them!
I want to post a crawling video on here, but haven't figured out how to do that yet. So this was the best I could do at an action shot of the crawling. She's becoming a little explorer!
She had such a great time, and kept smiling like she was so happy with herself that she crawled so far. I'm sure she'll just get better and faster at it every day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Valentine Baby

Kirsten's first Valentine's day was tons of fun. Of course she has no idea what Valentine's day is, but that didn't matter. I loved dressing her up in her Valentine outfit and taking pictures of her.She already knows to reach for the good stuff!
It's too bad adults can't get away with all the stuff kids do. If I had my hair in two pigtails on top of my head and wore outfits with hearts all over them, I'd look ridiculous! But babies look adorable like that!
Happy baby!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Dinner At Home!

I decided that we would stay home for Valentine's day this year, rather than taking Kirsten with us to a crowded restaurant since we have no babysitter. We had a great time, because I made us the yummiest fondue. I made a cheddar-swiss fondue for dinner that we dipped baguette slices and apple slices in. It was almost as good as the Melting Pot! We had Shirley Temples to drink, to go with the Valentine's theme. These are the beautiful roses Stephen gave me, and they made a nice centerpiece.
What would Valentine's Day be without chocolate? We dipped the strawberries, banana slices, pound cake, and rolled wafer cookies into milk chocolate fondue for dessert. It was SO good!
Kirsten was really good and played on the floor while we ate our fondue dinner. I hope everyone had a Happy Valentine's day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

9 Months Old! Wow!

Kirsten is 9 months old today! It's hard to believe, but true!

New milestones she's hit this month:
As of yesterday, she can finally creep forwards instead of just backwards! It's almost crawling, but not quite because she still goes down on her tummy a lot and slithers the rest of the way towards something she wants. But it's definitely a big step forward!
-She now has one tooth poking up from her bottom gums.
-When she's on her tummy on the floor, she can spin herself around to face any way she wants and roll or creep in the right direction.
-When we roll a ball towards her, she can roll it back! It's lots of fun!
-She's taking two naps a day now instead of three.
-(Drumroll....) She can fall asleep on her own! At last! We usually still rock her a little bit to get her relaxed, and then when we put her in the crib she usually goes down without a fuss. If she cries, it only lasts a few minutes. Hallelujah!Her favorite things this month:
Holding onto my hands while I help her stand up and bounce
-Turning her toys upside down and dumping everything out of them
-Sucking on everything and anything
-"This little piggy went to market..."
-Exploring everything that's on the floor

Things she really hates this month:
Getting her hair put into pigtails, or anything that slightly pulls her hair
-Strangers, but only the scary ones
-Being left alone in a room for a few seconds

Her favorite toys this month:
The Amazing Animals Train (pictured below). She loves to take the animals out and take the train apart. She also likes the Amazing Animals tub toys.
-The Fisher Price Learning Birdbath that has music, lights, and different colored shapes she can pull out and chew on.
-A little plastic ball with a jingle bell inside it, and it's actually a cat toy. Whenever she finds it she shakes it for a long time to make the bell jingle.
-The Playskool giraffe ring stacker. She's loved this one for months, and now she's constantly taking all the rings off and playing with them.
-The remote control, keys, paper, phones... basically anything that isn't really a toy.

Things she still can't do:
Crawl, but she'll probably get the hang of it this month.
-Get herself into the sitting position.
-Pull herself up on furniture or her crib. She just doesn't seem to show much interest in doing it yet. I can stand her up against the couch and she'll stand there for a few minutes, but I have to sit right by her because she falls down pretty quickly.

Honestly, I have really loved Kirsten's eighth month. She's been a much happier baby in general, is showing more of her personality every day, laughs at all kinds of things, and has been sleeping really well for the most part. I'm so excited to see what she'll learn in this next month!