Monday, December 21, 2015

Evelyn's First Birthday

You baby is one... I cannot believe it! I mean, where has all the time gone?? Some days seem long (you know, the ones where Graham is at work late and she's teething and cranky), but for the most part, this year has flown by. Prepare yourself to be inundated with lots of pictures, because I'm feeling like I need a walk down memory lane of this past year (plus I compiled my favorites for a slide show at her birthday party, so I already had a slightly narrowed down pool to choose from).

To celebrate Evie's Birthday, we hosted a party down at Graham's parents' house. We invited family and friends. Graham and I neither one are big-time party people who go all out (on decorations, invitations, food, etc.), so we tried to keep things simple.

*Preparation: Because Evie's birthday is so close to Christmas, I knew that we wanted to get an invitation out soon so people could have the date saved. I waited until after Thanksgiving though, knowing that people would be more focused on replying and figuring out their December schedules after Turkey Day. I brainstormed with Graham (aka me bouncing off ideas on him and having him reply with a yes or no), and then made a list of everything that needed to be done, organized by when it needed to be completed (week before, day of, etc.).

*Invite: I sent an invitation out through (which let me send a link to Facebook friends, so that was easier than figuring out everyone's emails), and instead of having people bring Evie a birthday gift, I requested food. Which, if you know Evie (or remember back to any of my previous posts), is quite a good gift because the girl loves food!

*Food: I made cupcakes (instead of a cake) and sugar cookies (for decorating), and had guests pitch in to cover the rest of the food items. Her party was at 4 pm, so we didn't need a full meal, just snacks.

*Decorations: All we added were some balloons on the mailbox outside (so people would know they were at the right place), a sign on the door (so people would know they were at the right place), and some party streamers with pictures of Evie attached. During Evie's nap a couple days before the party, I created an "All About Evie" poster as well. We also borrowed "ONE" letters and a "Happy Birthday" banner from Graham's sister.

*Entertainment: I created a slideshow of pictures from Evie's first year and had it playing on repeat on the TV throughout the party. We played Christmas music softly in the background as well. We had a cookie decorating station where guests could decorate their own cookies! We made the sugar cookies that morning and then had various colors of icing and sprinkles on the table for guests to choose from. We had recently ordered Evie's "big girl" car seat and still had the box, so I wrapped it in wrapping paper and created a tunnel for the kiddos.

All in all, I had a fun time planning and executing this party! We had so much help, and that's literally the only reason we had as many things (food, decorations) as we did. We had 22 people there (including us, family, and babies) so it was definitely bigger than I was originally thinking. Most of the food was devoured (and Graham took the leftover cupcakes to work with him the following day, which the nurses loved!), so we planned for the perfect amount.

My mom was in town which was perfect because it meant I didn't have to remember to take pictures during the party. Evie loved her cupcake, although she was shy about it at first with everyone watching her.

This girl is a champ at opening presents and is ready to open more on Christmas! She got lots of books, a stuffed animal, a headband, and a fun little bike! She isn't quite tall enough for it yet, but she loves using it as a walker or being pushed on it. 

Now, for a trip down memory lane with pictures of Evie :) Enjoy! (Want to reminisce with me back to those newborn pictures? Check out this post!)

Anyone have plans for Christmas? We will be going to New Mexico with Graham's side of the family to go skiing! I'm excited as I've never been skiing before. Plus, it is always great to spend time with family that you don't get to see often! 

My scripture for this week is Proverbs 31:26: "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness." 

Graham's scripture for this week is Words of Mormon 1:7: "And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will."

Merry Christmas!! 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Daily Schedule (with an 11 mo old)

In a post that I did several months ago, I talked briefly about what my daily schedule looked like in order to give some perspective on finding time to exercise. I didn't go into a ton of detail (see the post that I'm talking about here), and a lot has changed since then. I thought I would do a daily schedule post to update that. *I had been thinking about this and then I talked with my sister on the phone and she actually referred to that post. It gave me the extra push to put this together.* Maybe one day I'll be motivated enough to put this into a cute little chart with the times/brief descriptions...maybe. Until then, you get to enjoy the detailed version. ;)

Evie goes to bed late (9 pm) because Graham works at a hospital and doesn't get home until 8 pm on the nights that he works. We do dinner then, followed by Evie's bedtime routine and get her to bed! Because of that, she has a late wake-up time. If Graham wasn't working at the hospital Evie would be going to bed around 7:30 pm. Her schedule typically looks something like this, plus or minus up to an hour :)

Daily Schedule/Routine 

7 am: Wake up and nurse, back to sleep (I added in this nursing session whenever Evie wasn't gaining weight super well and haven't cut it back out yet, simply to make my life easier and to not have to deal with any early morning crying, hah.)

**If I'm feeling particularly motivated (which...I'll be honest with you...happens less than 50% of the time right now) I will stay up, read my scriptures, eat a snack, exercise and shower during this time before she wakes back up. Often, though, I go back to bed to catch an extra hour of sleep :)

9-9:30 am: Evie wakes up for the day and I nurse her, change her diaper, and let her play for a bit while I get breakfast ready

9:30-10 am: Breakfast! She typically eats whatever I am, (a brief description of baby-led weaning back in this post) which varies from eggs and toast, muffins, oatmeal, and occasionally cereal, along with some sort of fruit (banana, peaches, applesauce) and protein (typically cheese for her and I'll drink milk).

10-10:30 am: Evie plays while I clean up the kitchen from breakfast and do the dishes. Often she will read books or play with toys while I am doing this. Sometimes she will come crawl at my feet and fuss at me, so I'll take a minute to read her a story or play with her just for a bit before going back to cleaning, and that seems to help keep her from being under my feet whining at me to hold her.

10:30 am: Story time at the library (Mon and Thurs) or play with Evie. During the morning I love to spend time to just play with Evie on the ground, stacking blocks or reading books.

11:30 am: Nap time. I change Evie's diaper, read her a story and sing a song, then put her down in her crib (with her bear!) for her morning nap. She will sleep anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half typically.

**While Evie naps, I clean up the toys in the living room first thing, hop on the computer to check email/check in on the blog (I try to limit this to 15 min or less so I don't waste the entire nap on Facebook or Pinterest). If laundry is going I try to keep up with it during the nap and I'll try to get a little bit of cleaning done. Obviously I don't do any vacuuming while she's napping, but I'll clean the bathrooms, kitchen counters, de-clutter, or something else along those lines. On days that I sleep in, I'll exercise/shower during this nap as well.

12:30-1 pm: Evie wakes up and nurses, then I let her play in her room for a bit (I'll put away clothes in her room while she does this) or we play in the living room for a few minutes before we go get ready for lunch.

1-1:30 pm: Lunch time! I really hate lunch...I never know what to eat/make for this meal. If we have leftovers we'll eat them (often that's what Graham takes to work in his lunch though), or I'll make sandwiches for us. Evie loves cheese, so she almost always has cheese at lunch. I'm bad about getting veggies in at lunch unless we already have some cooked and in the fridge, but we'll have fruit again at lunch.

1:30-1:45 pm: Lunch clean up. Evie plays in the living room while I tidy up things in the kitchen. This clean up doesn't last as long because I don't normally have as many dishes to do at this time.

1:45-3 pm: Play time! We read books, play with her toys, go for a walk when the weather is get the idea. I enjoy taking this time to play with her. If we have any errands to run, we do them during this time (but that is often just once or twice a week) and play for a bit when we get home before her afternoon nap.

3 pm: Afternoon nap. Same routine as before. This nap is anywhere from 1-2 hours (normally on the 1-1.5 hour side).

**While Evie naps I again do a quick clean-up, switch over laundry, take the opportunity to actually use the bathroom in peace, etc.. If I exercised/showered during her morning nap, I'll use this time to get household things done (pay bills, balance bank statement, random cleaning). I also try to do any dinner prep that I can during this nap (cut vegetables, get meat out to thaw). Sometimes I'll go ahead and even set the table. After doing those things, I sit down on the couch with a snack and read. I try to be really attentive when Evie is awake (unless I'm in the last 50-100 pages of a Sanderson book...then we sit in her room and I read while she happily tears every book off of her bookshelf and plays with her toys), so when she is napping, I try to get a few minutes of ME time! As I've mentioned before (pretty sure I talked about it back in this post), my main hobby right now is reading. It's the best, guys. You should do it too ;)

4:30 pm: Wake up, nurse, and then go play!

5-5:15 pm: Snack time. We normally will eat whatever we have that sounds appetizing to me. When we had bags of popcorn, Evie and I split one every afternoon. It was the greatest. That was actually what added in this snack session, hah. We've had banana and peanut butter, cheese and crackers, and peanut butter sandwich, among other things.

5:15-7 pm: This is when I am more than ready for Graham to be home and I find myself looking at the clock. All. The. Time. When it was summer and light out, we would go for another walk or go play outside on the swing. Now, however, it is I run out of ideas. We will play in her room and I'll read her stories (right now we are reading in a collection of Dr. Seuss books) to mix things up a bit. If we ran errands during the afternoon, the evening isn't so bad because it is the first time (especially on Mon/Thurs when there is story time) that I really have the opportunity to sit and play with her for an extended period of time. Another life-saver we've found is calling my older sister (they are in a time zone two hours behind us, so it's mid-afternoon for them) and chatting with her/her boys.

7-7:30 pm: Sometimes, if Evie is really tired, she will take another nap at this point. Other times she is totally fine. Graham gets off work during this time and will call to say he's on his way home (normally around 7:15 pm). I normally get started on dinner at this time too.

7:30-8 pm: If Evie naps, she'll play again during this time and "help me" set the table. Graham gets home, showers, and then we eat dinner!

8-8:30 pm: Dinner. Evie eats whatever we eat. Oh, how I love Baby-Led Weaning.

8:30 pm: Bath time **Graham does Evie's bath while I clean up the kitchen/do dishes.

8:45-9:15 pm: Night-time routine. We brush her teeth, dress her in pjs, and then we have family scripture study and family prayer. After that she says goodnight to her Daddy and I take her into her bedroom to nurse her before bed. I sing to her, say another prayer (for Evie's personal prayer), and then put her down with her bear and blankies for the night.

Then I take a deep breath and am done for the day! Haha. Graham and I will watch Netflix together (he's currently on clue what season), or he'll play on the computer and I'll read before bed. We normally go to bed between 10-11 pm.


Wooh. Man, writing this post made me tired just thinking about it all! Most days are fantastic, however, and Evie is a such a sweet little baby. I love getting to spend time with her every day. It is so fun to watch her learn and to see her grow.

Anyone have tips on lunch foods? What do you do to keep from going crazy at the end of the day, just before your husband gets home from work??

This past week my scripture was 2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." Have you been choosing a scripture to study each week? Share below in the comments!