31 December 2013

14 months (+ a few Holiday shots)

31 December 2013
Dear 14-month-old Scout,

You can say Mama/Mom, Dada/Dad, Doggy/Dog, and Bye-bye. You can snort like a pig and bark like a dog. You can sign for milk. You're not quite walking yet, but you can go just about anywhere with a little support, and you can free stand for about a minute at a time. You love music. Your current favorite song is Beyonce's Single Ladies, and whenever it comes on, you shake your head and wag your finger along with the chorus. You love the Baby Genius videos/songs, especially B-i-n-g-o. You love dogs in general. You're a dream sleeper. You go to bed around 6:30/7 and typically wake up around 8am. On Christmas Eve, you slept in until 11:00! You love the sound of your own echo and can often be found howling into hollow objects. If anyone is clapping (including people on TV), you immediately join in. Your favorite thing to do while eating is anything but. While in your high chair, you especially like peek-a-boo, and of course flinging your food and sippy cup across the room. You also love to "cheers" your sippy cup with Mom's water cup which is very cute until you do it unexpectedly when Mom is mid-drink. You've got this strange habit of hitting yourself - with your toys, your sippy cup, or your own hand. You also like to bonk your head against things. You enjoy crawling up the stairs and then celebrating your accomplishment at the top by diving into a pile of laundry, rolling over and waiting for the tickle monster to attack. You're a serious wiggler, and you're resistant to being held for any period of time. You've got a soon-to-be-naughty dead giveaway glance. You always turn on the charm for strangers and make their day by flashing your big smile and then playing shy and nuzzling your face in Mom's shoulder. You're very generous with your kisses. You refuse to wear socks. You like to nod at everyone for no apparent reason. You already have 8 teeth - 4 top, 4 bottom and 4 more on the way. Splashing around in your bath is the favorite part of your day, and you hate when it's over. You're a clever little thing, and you're constantly trying to close the drain while Mom tries to empty the tub. Every morning, before your nap, you like to be tossed into Mom and Dad's comforter and pillows and then dive in yourself, face first.

Your little personality is getting bigger and bigger, and we adore everything about you.

See pictures below to see some of Scout's December.

Scout meets Santa (Meridian Village). It only took two hours of waiting in line out in the cold.
But maybe it was worth it for this look. She was absolutely enchanted.

Scout's non-Christmasy Christmas PJs!

Earlier this month, this is how I found Scout in her crib. Apparently, she's turning into a PJ escape artist...
either that or a fashionista who prefers the one shoulder look.
NYE with this cute little one. You can't tell from the picture, but today was Scout's first time getting a haircut and my first time giving one. Just the back. I didn't do a very good job, but it's not easy to cut a squirrely girl's hair. Hopefully, it's still an improvement over the baby mullet.

11 December 2013

Classy Crafting

11 December 2013
When my lovely sister-in-law asked me to share some of my "crafting" secrets on her fabulous blog, I wasn't sure if I was the right person for the job. I'm not a "crafter". I've never embroidered my favorite quote on a couch pillow, I've never knit myself a turtleneck dickie, and I don't fancy snowmen made out of styrofoam balls. I don't like "cutesy", and I don't like crafting for the sake of crafting. I do, however, like to create things or (hopefully) improve things where I see the opportunity. I'm a graphic designer who loves decorating and new creative ideas so, per Amy's request, here are a few tricks I've picked up along the way...

Faux Luxe

I know people don't typically think of spray paint as a way to class things up, but it's actually a pretty clever option for making cheap things look a little luxe.

Like porcelain? Try high gloss white spray paint. Gold? Metallic spray paint. Easy as that. See examples below.

I wasn't particularly fond of the bronze/brown speckled look of this owl so I thought he was a
perfect candidate for a fake porcelain makeover.

For a gold look, I used Valspar's Metallic Gold which I was happy with. I like more of an antique gold tone.
(The pears look a little brassy here, but I think that's because of the harsh overhead lighting in the photo)
Click the pic below for a great blog post from Chris Loves Julia comparing four different gold spray paints.

That's a Wrap
I'm one of those weird people who actually enjoys wrapping gifts, and I'm always looking for fun new ways to do it. This year, I decided to add a personal touch to my gifts...(Don't judge my rusty doodling skills)

Black butcher paper or Kraft paper with white bistro chalk marker doodles.
You should be able to find these kraft envelopes at your local paper or craft store or on Etsy.
I have an Illustrator file with all of my contacts' addresses, then I just run the envelopes through the printer.
For me, it's much easier (and much tidier) than handwriting them all.

A Wee Calendar

You can get this great calendar template from Paislee Press, comes with a 4x6 or 5x7 option. Originally, I planned to have mine bound, but I thought it might be nice to let the person you're gifting it to choose how to display it - bound, one at a time, etc. One year, I printed them all together on a poster and framed it. Or - you can use a small acrylic standing frame and display one month at a time, or I've also seen people just slide the current month under their glass desk topper.


It didn't take much convincing for me to make the switch to digital scrapbooking several years ago, and I think most of you, if you're not already there, are going that direction as well. With that being said, I just wanted to share a couple of my favorite digiscrapping secrets.

  1. I LOVE two page layouts and Simple Yin templates. I take a lot of pictures and Simply Yin has this magical way of organizing the chaos and making your pages look more deliberate and polished.
  2. Like the rest of the world, I typically print my photobooks with Shutterfly. The quality is decent and the price is competitive. Especially if you take advantage of their 40-50% sales (usually around holidays). However, I recently did a post bound album as a gift, and I was actually really happy with the final product. I bought a nice $30 12x12 flat-lay album at Hobby Lobby, $15 after 50% off (black leather look), and then I printed my 12x12 pages with Persnickity Prints at $1.99/pg. I've heard people recommend Costco, but $3.00/pg is a little steep for me. I was really happy with Persnickity Prints - quality, price & speedy shipping! They also do small square prints for your Instagram shots! So, now I'm torn as to how I'm going to do my next album. There are advantages to both. The photobook is thin and sleek, but the sheet protectors in the album are nice for saving your pages from little busy hands, and they also allow you to easily add keepsakes (letters, cards, ribbons, drawings, etc.). The album is also nice because you can easily add and remove pages.  

And those are a few of my secrets. Hopefully, there's an idea in there somewhere that you can use! 
Happy crafting!

01 November 2013

Not your typical pumpkin, ladybug, bumble bee kind of baby

01 November 2013
Scout was born just a few days before Halloween last year so this was our first official Halloween. We decided to brave the crowds on the historical Harrison Blvd in downtown Boise, and I'm glad we did. The colorful tree-lined street was gorgeous as always, and it was so fun to see all of the clever costumes and decorations, and everyone was so friendly. A lot of people confused Scout as a koala bear or raccoon, but that's all right. She was a lemur sillies, and the cutest lemur around! Ok, the only lemur, but still!

Ghost Rider. Loved it. Scout, on the other hand, wasn't so sure.

Have you ever wanted to cuddle a lemur more in your life?

What I want to know is who carved all of these pumpkins?
All in all, it was a nice Halloween. Because our townhome is gated in, we never get any trick-or-treaters so we've learned to not buy any candy...which is nice because then we don't eat it all ourselves and suffer the next-day regrets. Instead, we swapped the Halloween candy regrets for chocolate chip cookie regrets.

Saturday we get to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day with our British family where I'm sure we'll consume all sorts of tasty regrets.

29 October 2013

Happy birthday baby girl

29 October 2013
Dear Scout, 

You've added "Dadda" to your vernacular. You still get giddy when Mom or Dad enter the room. You're still very generous with your kisses, and you've started making kissy sounds/fishy faces when we're at a distance. Whenever you hear the word "yay" or hear anyone clap (including people on TV), you immediately get excited and join in the applause. You've started nodding your head yes and shaking no. "No" is adorable because you sometimes throw in a cute little finger wag, but "Yes" is our favorite because it requires more effort and you can't nod without raising and lowering your eyebrows at the same time. You're not a snuggler, but sometimes when I'm holding you and a stranger approaches, you get sheepish and nuzzle your face into my neck which I secretly love. You're not quite walking on your own yet, but you get around pretty well with support. It's impressive to watch you walk around furniture because you're always on your tippiest of tippy toes. Every second I turn my back, you're racing up the stairs. You've started to get a little sass, and you're more clingy. Very recently, you tend to get a little fussy if you're not in my arms. You're not licking as much anymore, but you still put everything in your mouth. We can't put you down in the grass without finding a leaf, a twig, or a handful of grass in your mouth within seconds. When you hear upbeat music, you get a big smile and start to bounce on your bum. Your dad sneaks into your room almost every night and snaps a cell picture of you while you're sleeping because he doesn't get to see nearly enough of you during the day and you're just so sweet and peaceful.

We just adore you and every single thing about you. My heart hurts a little that you're no longer my little baby and suddenly a toddler, but it's also so fun to see your little personality develop. 

We just can't wait to see where your those sweet baby toes go.

Scout was very dainty and controlled with her "Cake Smash". Part of me wanted her to dive in face first and part of me was relieved that she wasn't really interested. (By the way, that big chunk that's missing from the cake? That was Dad.)

My first two-layer cake! :) Not perfect, but I was still pretty proud of myself

Taking a moment of reverent silence for the twelve months passed.

12 months

We made it! It took a bit of work orchestrating these monthly shots, but now I can finally say it was totally worth it! I just love seeing how much she's changed. As parents, of course, we've always been biased about her cuteness factor, but I swear she just keeps getting cuter!

I do have to apologize now though to our subsequent children who will most likely...no, most definitely, not have as many pictures. Sorry, just one of the perks of being the first.

You can see this pretty clearly in her twelve month collage below, but Scout has definitely gone from short and chubby to long and lean. Apparently, we're going to have to start feeding her cheeseburgers. Check out her measurements from her 12-mo wellness visit in comparison to her 9-mo visit below. At 3-months, she was 70% in weight and 10% in height. :)

Weight: 18lbs 5oz (30%)
Height: 29 ½" (70%)
Head Circumference: 43.25  (15-20%)

Weight: 18lbs 10oz (65%)
Height: 27 ½" (50%)
Head Circumference: 42 ½ (25%)

First set - Months 1 thru 12

Second set.
Because I'm indecisive.

27 September 2013

11 Months

27 September 2013
Your first word was "mama". You actually started saying it a couple of months ago. Your dad's not entirely convinced you know what you're saying, but he's just silly and jealous.

You still lick things...mostly cool things like the wood floor, chrome, leather, porcelain (yes, porcelain. ie. toilets). You're still very happy and easy going. You can also be mischievous. We have to keep a close eye on you because we never know what you might be putting in your mouth or getting into. As soon as we open a door to a room that's off-limits (ie. pantry or bathroom), you immediately come crawling full speed to try and weasel your way in. You find great joy in biting your dad's finger and watching him squirm.

We had a few sad nights when you woke up hysterically crying and there was nothing we could do to calm you. This was strange because you've been a 12+ hour sleeper for several months now. After doing some browsing, we think it may have been night terrors...which is so hard because you get so upset and we feel so helpless. Fortunately, it only lasted 3 nights.

You love your baths, you love to play, and you seem happiest when we're out in the fresh air on our lovely walks.

You love sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, rice, greek yogurt, and Gerber cookies. You like bananas, whole wheat bread, turkey, cheese, and pureed apples & pears.

You can pull yourself up and stand when you have support. You can clap, wave, give wet kisses, and you're working on your high fives/hand hugs.

Lots of things make you laugh - peek-a-boo, tickles, raspberries, being tossed in the air, nuzzles, funny noises & sometimes absolutely nothing at all. (Listen to sound bite below)

Holy moly, those eyes.

This expression is sort of fantastic.
Now that the weather is cooler, you get to wear your fleece footies,
and you're even more snugly than usual! I think we'll just wear these everyday until spring.

Beware: this picture is not for the faint of heart. 99% sure that that is a bug's leg on her tongue. Protein?

Scout's new thing: She randomly breaks out in this great laugh/cackle.
It's hilarious. Listen to sample below.

27 August 2013

10 Months

27 August 2013
I'm not sure how we've arrived at 10 months, but this parenthood stuff is pretty rad.

Scout is definitely still living up to her nickname, "Scouterific"! She's so much fun and so happy. She's not walking yet, but we're ok with that. She's an army crawling machine though, and she's pretty darn fast when she wants to be. She's always pointing her toes which is absolutely adorable but could pose a problem for the whole standing/walking thing. I'm starting to think she might just do a pirouette before she takes her first step.

P.S. If you haven't noticed, we're digging the whole Rosie the riveter headband thing these days. :)