Work It Girl

I bet you are here looking for Halloween costume pictures.  Elle is just going to be a ballerina because I had everything in the house and she’ll be in bed for most of the trick or treating, so probably won’t have pictures to post.  Next year I’ll try to plan something good, maybe a family costume of some sort.  She should be going as a model because this girl has some MAD SKILLZ!!  These are from over a month ago she wasn’t quite two months old.  I think she looks so different now, but I had to share this little iPhone photo shoot because I laugh every time I look at them.

 

Pretty sure she has perfected the Blue Steel!

Never Before

Tonight we went to Best Buy to sell back my iphone and get another phone for me.  Unlike most people I know I sold back my phone for the exact same phone I had, well the new one is white, but I traded in my 4 for a 4.  I asked the guy if he has ever had anyone do this before and he said, “actually never, and I’ve worked here a long time.  Our computer crashed a couple months ago and since then I’ve been using Andrew’s really old Mac to blog and do a few internet functions.  It doesn’t have word or anything fancy, but it has gotten us by and for that I’m really thankful.  Then I got this idea, let’s get an ipad.  Can we afford an ipad, um no, will we go into debt to have the lastest and greatest things, no way, but do we have credit card points…mmmhmm.  So we have enough credit card points to pay for a little over half of an ipad 3 and then I got $170 for my phone.  So we might have to pay a little tiny bit for the ipad, but we’ll have what we want and won’t feel the need to replace our broken computer with another laptop.  We are SO EXCITED!!  Alright if you know us then you know that I’m excited and Andrew is sorta looking forward to it, he doesn’t exactly get excited.

Tips on This Pin

Only one pin done this week for Pinned it Did it Monday.  Not sure what I’ve been doing this week that I didn’t get more done, but I’m up to my eyeballs in paperwork trying to organize our office space, so perhaps that’s what’s up.  Here is the original pin, click on the picture to go to the link.

Here is my first attempt at this scarf.  I found a top that had some holes in it that I was saving for a project like this, I thought it would be perfect…

FAIL!!

It’s almost comical how unlike the picture this one turned out.  Here is where I think it failed.  The shirt was WAY too thin and I didn’t have sharp enough scissors.  I didn’t give up and I rummaged through my goodwill bag and found a jersey knit dress.  Kind of like the material in a maxi dress and decided to try again with sewing scissors.

So much better. It is so comfortable and just adds a little pop to any outfit. Wishing now I would have smiled in this picture!

The original link has good instructions, you just want to make sure you have the right kind of shirt and I would suggest a dress if you have one because you get much more fabric to wrap.  Have you tried any of the pins after seeing them on here?  I’d love to know!  Jill told me she did the make-up brushes and saw a huge difference.

What Makes a Good Mom?

I have no idea, I mean seriously I have been trying to figure this out because believe me, I want to be one.  People have different measuring sticks to decide what a good mother is.  Here are some of the things people have asked me.  Is she sleeping through the night, yep…oh you are such a good mom.  Does she use a pacifier, no….oh you are such a good mom.  She is so chunky, are you nursing, yes…oh you are such a good mom.  Are those cloth diapers, yes… oh you are such a good mom.  And I could go on, but you are probably gagging right about now.  Truth is I believe my way is the best way.  Don’t you believe that about yourself?  I sure hope so.  I think that if you don’t think your parenting style is the absolute best then you need to re-evaluate how you are parenting.  I mean if you thought what you were doing for your children was second best why would you be doing that?  We all want to do our best for our children.  I can’t say that my way is the best for you or your family, but I do believe that it’s the best for Elle and us.  This is not to say that I have it all figured out, I ask questions, I am curious how people do things with their kids, but ultimately we have to make the decisions that directly affect our own child.  I question myself constantly.  Am I holding her enough?  Am I talking to her enough?  Do I take her out enough?  Am I feeding her enough?  And that is just the tip of the iceberg.  What I do know is that I love her enough, I actually don’t think I could love her more.  My hope is that love is what makes a good mom and that all the other stuff is just preferences played out.

It’s Barely Still Monday

I have a few random things I’ve tried from Pinterest over the last few weeks.  Pinned it Did it Mondays is such a great idea on Emily’s part.  It motivates me to do more than live a pretend life on Pinterest.  I have never washed my make up brushes.  Apparently you are supposed to do that like every month?  I have had these brushes for at least 7 years…yeah I know that’s really gross.  HERE is the original pin:

Wow I had no idea how much of a difference this would make.  They feel like brand new brushes and it was so gross how much stuff came out of these brushes.  I can pretty much guarantee you I will not do this every month, but I’m shooting for quarterly, we’ll see if I can keep that up.

Alright I feel like I shouldn’t even tell you about these.  They have 2 CUPS of brown sugar and a whole lot of butter!!!!  So bad for your body, so good for your taste buds.  Consider yourself warned, don’t make these if you have no self control or if you want to live a long and healthy life.  I will likely be making these for small group this week though because they were down right delicious! Snickerdoodle brownies:

And the last tip I got from Pinterest was to rub a dry bar of soap on a bug bite to take the itch away.  It works decently well, and it has come in handy too much this week!!  All pictures are from the original pins, my pictures were no bueno this week, click on the links or pictures to go to the pin and get the instructions.

I have so many thoughts to post about this week, but we’ll see how many I actually write down.  I’m trying to decide how much to sensor myself when it comes to politics, motherhood, etc.  Maybe I’ll just stay neutral and post some pictures of my house, I’ve had some people ask me to do that and my friend Lydia motivated me to do it before my house hits what I would consider “perfection.”  Thanks for coming back daily to read, makes me feel loved and connected to the outside world, especially when I don’t leave my home…which is pretty often these days!!

3 Month Letter

My Sweet Sweet Ellery Wynn,

You had a month of firsts, I’m sure that will happen a lot in this, your first year of life. Your first real laugh was so sweet. Of course you were laughing at the ceiling fan. The fan is your best friend and the fastest way to calm you down. My favorite first this month was sleeping through the night!! You started going to bed around 8:30 and then I feed you around 10:30 and you get up for the day around 7:00. It’s a very long time to be away from you, but getting a whole night of sleep is amazing! You started grabbing onto things. I really noticed how good your grasp was when you got a really good fist full of my hair! You found your voice this month and I love hearing you “talk”. You can lift your head up SO HIGH, and you are beginning to rock, rolling over will likely come soon. You have a strong startle reflex and we have made you cry many times on accident! When I look at you sometimes it hits me that you are ours, that you aren’t going anywhere and in the same instant it hits me that you aren’t really ours. You are on loan to us for your lifetime, you are really God’s and I pray that we can be the parents he wants us to be. It’s a lot of pressure to raise a child so when you are older and you realize all the ways we failed you please have grace for us. We love you more than we can express and I PROMISE you we are doing our absolute best!

Love you forever
Mama

20121021-165802.jpg

Should We Play the Lotto?

That was the question Andrew asked me earlier today.  Not because he thinks it’s a particularly good idea or use of our money, but because today I got lucky.    I never win anything.  I used to enter blog giveaways quite a bit, but after not winning even one single time I gave up on it.  Until yesterday.  Suzie Davis is doing 31 days of giveaways on her blog and yesterday she was giving away her husbands latest book Enough.  I have wanted this book since the day it was released, but seeing as we are on a spending freeze as we pay off the birth of our child I decided to wait.  And then this morning I got the e-mail that I WON!! I am most definitely looking forward to reading it, this is the lifestyle Andrew and I strive for, but I’m interested to see if there are areas we could be doing better, because there is always room for growth!

Jewelry with a Mission

Have you heard of Noonday?  I am not really a home party person.  I know you are shocked considering I sold 31 for a short time, but I did that mostly because people wanted to host parties so I became a consultant.  Typically if you asked me to host a party I would politely decline, but then my friend Shanyn approached me to host a Noonday party and I was totally onboard.  This company is AMAZING.  Their goal is to create a pathway out of poverty for women in other countries or refugees living in the states.  They also help support adoptions which is very cool.  I have my eye on quite a few pieces, but I’ll show you my favorites from each category.

Stacked Arrow Necklace $39

Large Cow Horn Hoops $28

 

Zig Zag Gourd Bangle $24

Nahuala Oval Tray $18

They also have handbags, scarves, stationary, bags, sandals and tons more jewelry items.  I encourage you to check it out!  I would describe many of the items as anthropologieish (I know that isn’t a word, but you know what I mean!) If you would like to order something PLEASE LET ME KNOW!  There is something for everyone, you might as well get some Christmas shopping done!  If you live in the Austin area I’d love to see you Sunday from 2-4 at my house.  Message me at Lauracampbell2008@gmail.com if you want to come and need my address.  I’ll be baking some fall treats for our little shopping party.

10 Ways New Dads Can Help

I won the new daddy lottery with my husband. Reflecting back on the early days of parenting I have tried to figure out how he was so helpful. Part of it is that he is just that helpful and part of it is that I’m just that blunt. Here are 10 things that a new dad can do for his new mom wife.

1. Find the humor in her moodiness. When I would start crying about Ellery being one day older or turning double digit days old. Andrew helped me find the humor in this and we would laugh. On the flip side when I cried because I had a c-section and was disappointed with how little I could do he reminded me that everyday things would get better.
2. Know Nursing. If your wife is going to nurse learn about nursing. Go to the class with her, read a few chapters in a breast feeding book or go on the Internet. Nursing is hard work at first and can be very painful. Be her biggest cheerleader and know enough that if she wants to talk about it you can carry on an intelligible conversation. If you are doing formula learn how to make a bottle and feed your babe.
3. Encourage her to go out. I believe it was day 5 the first time I left Elle for her first “daddy daughter date night,”. It was good for all of us and we’ve continued this once per week since. Also don’t take offense when she leaves you with detailed instructions. Yes, you are the dad, but there is nothing more powerful than motherly instinct, we can’t help ourselves!!
4. Become an expert burper! It was so nice in the early days to nurse and then hand her over. When Andrew was home he did 100% of the burping the first couple months.
5. Cut her a break. Lower your expectations about the house and intimacy the first couple months. She is trying to figure out how to be a mom, it’s overwhelming and the house and the bedroom aren’t at the front of her mind. If the house really bothers you and she’s on board hire a cleaner to come clean a couple times in the first couple months.
6. Cook dinner. Or bring home take out once a week for the first 6 weeks and on the other nights if you have to eat a PB&J sometimes, eat it with a smile. This will get better, or at least in our house it did. By two months I was able to make dinner almost every night.
7. Be a team player. You will not regret team parenting. We do baths together, bedtime together, take her on walks together, read her books together, we even change her diaper together when Andrew is home. Just be involved however you can, it is so much fun!
8. Get on board. There are so many different ways to parent. Don’t be a passive bystander. Make the choice together, will you do Ferber, Babywise, Attachment Parenting, co-sleeping, child led sleep and feed, the list could go on and on. Talk to your wife about how she wants to do things and learn the ins and outs so when she isn’t sure what to do she can go to you, instead of google! The biggest problems I’ve seen in marriages with kids is a divided home, dad gets left out from the get go, so make sure you are in the decision making from day one.
9. Take the monitor. Every Saturday morning I get a monitor free nap. Once Elle goes down for her first nap of the day Andrew takes the monitor and I go to bed. He started this on his own and it is total bliss. I tell him what time I have to nurse and unless she is extremely upset he does not disturb me until that time.
10. Compliment her. She has just had a body change 10 times more awkward than puberty. In the early days Andrew would say that he couldn’t believe how thin I looked. I know I still had a pooch and still do, but for him to compliment my appearance was so flattering and made me feel like a million bucks. And when you think she is doing a great job as a mom tell her that too!

Well there you have it. These are just my thoughts, take them or leave them. I hope this post inspires you men to be helpful and inspires you women to have an honest discussion with your man about what you need! All you mamas out there leave a comment with your helpful tips!

20121016-152253.jpg

The Countdown Begins

In 11 hours my love will be home.  My husband travels.  I don’t talk about it much and I’ll never tell you when he’s gone because it feels unsafe, I feel vulnerable if people outside my close group of friends know when my man is gone.  This was the first trip since Ellery arrived where I’ve been alone, my mom was here for his last trip and Elle came at a time when he didn’t have to travel so we were extremely blessed with that.  He left Monday morning at 4:00AM and I’ve missed him just about every minute since then.

I used to somewhat enjoy his trips.  They gave me a chance to remember who I was before him.  That sounds kind of bad, but it was a time when I could meet up with girlfriends for dinner, watch silly movies by myself, do crafts late into the night and never have to consider someone else’s schedule.  Don’t get me wrong, I still missed him, but it was bearable.  Now that Ellery is here it isn’t so bearable.

When she arrived we became a team.  I thought we were a team before, and maybe we were, but nothing like we are now.  Every parenting decision is made together, I consult him when she is crying, should I feed her, should I let her cry, should I pick her up?  We make decisions together on sleep training, bottles, baths, holding her, getting her out of bed, and the list goes on and on.  It is SO FUN to do this parenting thing with Andrew.  He is the best dad I could imagine for our little girl and I’m completely smitten when I watch him with her.  I have done an entire week of parenting without my teammate and it’s been really tough.

I made a decision that I was going to look at this trip in hours instead of days.  I wasn’t parenting 5 days by myself, only 14 hours.  Yeah I know that math doesn’t seem quite right, but I figure Andrew is home while she is awake from 5-8 everyday, the rest of the time I’m here alone or she’s in bed.  14 hours, I can do 14 hours right?  Well I’m in the home stretch and let me say it hasn’t been easy.  Babies are smart, my baby loves her daddy, and my baby knows daddy isn’t home and it’s made for some cranky evenings.  We FaceTimed last night while she was screaming and as soon as he started talking she was quiet until I took the phone away and then she was a total wreck.  Thank goodness for technology!

I took advice from a wife of a traveling husband, get dressed and go out everyday.  Monday we went to the outlets with my brother, Tuesday we drove down to a friends and took a long walk, Wednesday we went to the grocery store, Thursday we went to Mom to Mom and Kohls, and today we might venture out to the other grocery store to get the rest of my list if I’m feeling brave.  It definitely helps break up the days, but the evenings are LONG.  We’ve taken LOTS of walks in the neighborhood, at least 2 per day, so the exercise has been good for me.

Wednesday night I had to laugh at my situation.  Ellery had just cried for an hour which ended in a 30 minutes nursing session, clearly something was off because she is a 10 minute nurser.  Once she went to bed I went into my bathroom to get ready for bed to find a “roach” (probably wasn’t actually a roach) on my ceiling.  Of course I can’t go to sleep with that critter crawling around so I get the vacuum out.  We have 10 foot ceilings, one of the selling features of the house, one of the downfalls when trying to vacuum a bug.  So I get the step stool out.  The hose still won’t reach while I’m on the step stool so I get Andrew’s luggage and set the vacuum on top of that, I’m about an inch away from reaching and I decide against trying to suck it down because I can just picture it falling on me instead of going in the tube and then I’d be screaming and wake up a baby that had FINALLY fallen asleep.  Plan B, broom time, I get the broom from the garage, swat the bug down and then it’s gone.  I’ve looked for 2 days for this stupid bug and he is no where to be found.  This after our fire alarm started chirping earlier in the day during Elle’s nap where I teetered on top of a ladder with my dad on speaker phone just in case I fell and he needed to call 911.  Yeah I know what you are thinking…why didn’t you get the ladder for the “roach,” the answer is I don’t know!

Counting down the hours until our family is reunited again… thankful he has a job and thankful that I miss him!