Tuesday, January 31, 2012

the eve before February 2012

Happy Eve before February 1st 2012

Isn't my little guy adorable
Happy Heart Month
We had these pictures taken this past Saturday by
Grayson was so shy at first, but slowly he warmed up and even gave Katie loves (that is what we call a hug or kiss at our house).  He loves giving loves to kids and people he knows. 
Thanks again Katie for being so patient and loving towards Grayson.

I thought that I would share a few photo ideas for the month that you might want to do each day to think outside of the standard portrait image of your loved ones.
Several people I follow on instagram did a January challenge similar to the February challenge shown below.  It was neat to see the photos each day so I found this on pinterest and thought that I would share it with all of you.

Last February I did a Joy of Love Challenge each day and I looked back at my images from last year and here is a recap by day:

1 - what they do
2 - how they look
3 - then and now
4 - what they wear
5 - love to hate
6 - who they are
7 - generations
8 - gift from the heart
9 - passions and hobbies
10 - space
11 - dreams
12 - the eyes
13 - routines
14 - jewelry
15 - kiss
16 - together
17 - staying in
18 - going out
19 - when they're gone
20 - when they're home
21 - hands
22 - portrait
23 - sisters
24 - where
25 - when you love them the most
26 - the bromance
27 - what they say
28 - what they say
29 - create your own

I hope you will be inspired!
Happy Heart Month!

My Organization Tips

A few questions I get asked ALL the time is
 How do I do it all?
How do I stay organized?
How do I have a clean house?
How do I work and seem to have it all together every day?

I will first start by telling you that I do have a cleaning lady that comes once a week.  I love it!  I HATE cleaning bathrooms and if all she did was clean our bathrooms I would be one happy girl, but she does clean our house each week and does an amazing job.  I am blessed to be able to have a cleaning lady because this does give me more time during the week and weekends to spend with Grayson and Chad and not clean or run around like a crazy person every night after work or during the weekend trying to clean.  I know not everyone can have a cleaning lady so some tips I have for you is to do something each day that way you don't feel like you are spending an entire day (ie.Saturday) cleaning.  I should have mentioned at the beginning of this post that I actually both Chad and I are VERY NEAT people... we like a clean and organized house.  You can ask anyone that has been to our house or is friends with us that our house is always clean.  As for being organized I will tell you we do have areas, like my side of the master closet that REALLY needs to be organized and clothes donated.  It is on my list of things to do before baby Crew arrives.  Chad and I both go through a phase twice a year where we organize all closets, cabinets, get rid of things etc.  This helps us to not accumulate unnecessary things and helps our house stay organized.  We are currently going through this phase right now.  For example we just went through several kitchen cabinets and got rid of glasses and dishes that we no longer touch.  We will donate these items this week to our local church compassion center.  We also do this with clothes we no longer wear.  As I stated earlier I still need to go through my closet and drawers.  So if you feel as if things are unorganized or if you have too much take baby steps and do one room at a time.  I promise getting rid of the clutter or extra things that you don't use will help and will make you feel so much better.  We really try to only have our holiday decor and paper work that we need to save in storage in our house.  That is Chad's ultimate goal for our attic storage. 
I hope I am not boring you, but I thought that I would also share what I do each day to make things easier for me.
I make our bed every day after getting up
I dust our bedroom furniture almost everyday, it is dark and shows dust horribly
I straighten up Grayson's room and get his clothes ready for the day after he wakes up for the day
We do laundry as a team in our house some mornings Chad will start a load of laundry before going to work and I will put it in the dry when I am up for the day than we usually finish it up after work.  I always do laundry on Sunday and make sure it is completely done before the work week begins.  We probably do laundry twice or three times a week.  
As for the the dishes and dishwasher... all dishes from each meal are cleaned up after the meal and put in the dishwasher.  Each morning I unload the dishwasher while Grayson is eating breakfast.
Another tip I have is everything in our house has a "home"...
for example our keys go in the same spot everyday
or phones go in the same spot
my purse and work bag go in the kitchen each day
Grayson's diaper bag is always by the garage door
I think these things really help us stay organized that way we are not looking for these things each morning.
By now you are all thinking WOW she is SUPER organized...
it may appear that way based on what you read, but we do have moments where we get unorganized and need to spend some time on certain areas of our home.  For example a few weeks ago I went through our freezer, fridge, and pantry and cleaned out all unnecessary items.  It looks so much better and I know where everything is which helps with meals.
It may seem like I do it all, but I have amazing support and help from Chad.  If you are still reading I hope something that I wrote helped. 
All of this allows me to feel organized and keep our house some what in a clean state while we both work.
I enjoy having an organized and clean home because it gives me time in the morning, after work, and all weekend to PLAY!
Now we will see if this all continues when Crew arrives...
stay tuned! 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

week 33 baby crew

Week 33

The images this week were taken with my iPhone because I left my camera battery at work and usually when Chad gets home from the day during the week I am already in my PJ's.  It is just so much easier to get these pictures completed on the weekends.

I am looking forward to my appointment this week to talk to my doctor about Gestational Diabetes and see what she has to say about my sugar levels that I have recorded.  I am hoping for some sort of good news.  I do really well in the AM and at lunch time with my sugar levels.  It is in the evening where I struggle to pass.  I dislike that I can't eat what I want and because of this thought I think it makes it difficult.  
I am moody and emotional over all of this and I dislike deciding what to eat or where to eat...because what I really want is a BIG piece of Chocolate Cake...HA! 

Only 7 weeks or less to go... I can do this :)


4:52 close

moments of close

these are the moments I captured this past week...
our moments of closeness

all of these wonderful ideas can be found by following Lemongrass
Photography and joining the one every seven photography challenge.
I enjoy it because it has allowed me to think outside of a standard picture of our family and capture different things that take place during the day or week.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

20 Months Grayson

Yes I am now just finishing up with Grayson's 20 Month Post it is 11 days overdue, but at least it is done :)

We had a tough time getting Grayson to take pictures.  He was either more interested in playing, who can blame him or he wanted to stare at the TV.  So I have photos from 2 different days we tried to get the "perfect" picture. 

They may not be perfect, but it will be a month that I will remember how challenging it was to get Grayson to even look my way to take a picture. 

Happy 20 Months to my Sweet Boy! 

Friday, January 27, 2012

StickyGram Discount

Hi Friends happy Friday!

I am SO glad today is Friday!

I wanted to share a discount code with all of you for STICKYGRAM!

StickyGram's are magnets that you can create with your Instagram images.  We have several of them and the quality is GREAT!

the discount code is mlstafford26123
the code is good until Friday, February 3rd, 2012
you will get $2.00 off

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday Tidbits

Thursday Tidbits

I haven't done a post like this before, but I just thought I would share a few thoughts.

~ thank you so much for the comments and emails from my last post I appreciate every word. I plan to try several of the ideas that were sent to me.  One comment left was, "how did I feel after having the 3 hour test?" I felt fine, however I am exhausted and I thought it was just because I am always on the go with Grayson and don't get to rest at all until bed time.  I think that has something to do with it, however I have seen my energy level increase slightly since changing my diet.  I hope I answered your question.  If you are interested in hearing from others check out the comments on the last post :)  

~ who doesn't LOVE pinterest...
Anyways, I was on pinterest yesterday afternoon and I pinned a site suggestion for iPad's. When I went to the link which is peanutblossom.com she shared a link to Let's Lasso the Moon and she shared this adorable Valentine's wallpaper for your iPhone or iPad.  It is adorable and I thought I would share with all of you!

~ yesterday I also spent some time going through my blog list I read daily and deleting blogs that don't do updates anymore.  It makes me sad.  I remember reading some of the blogs I deleted when they were going through infertility than they received an amazing blessing of getting pregnant and after they had their baby or babies no more blog posts.  I spent the afternoon thinking how are they doing and wondering how old their babies are etc....
I may not update my blog everyday, but I am glad I have stuck with blogging after having Grayson and REALLY hope to continue to blog after Crew.  I miss some of those blogs...
I know that some times you have to give up things such as blogging or social media after having a baby because it can become too much, but this really is my record keeper of Grayson and allows me to look back on what we have done over the past 20 months.  I have YET to do anything with Grayson's baby book that he got from his Auntie JJ, however I do have all of his photobooks printed and updated. 

~ our updated list before Crew arrives:
(I crossed off the items we have completed)

1. Crew's Nursery Furniture Needs to arrive and be setup in his room.
2. Order Crew a chair like Grayson's for pictures - done and completed 01/15/2012

3. Get the carpets cleaned in Crew's Nursery
4. Crew's Bedding waiting for it to be completed and picked up
5. Crew's coming home outfit need to figure out what I want and purchase...decisions decisions!
6. Organize ALL closets in our house
My closet and drawers
Chad's closet and drawers
Grayson's closet and drawers
Crew's closet and drawers - need to also wash all clothes that are currently in the attic and organize by sizes
7. Find a toy chest for the playroom - the little toys are getting out of hand and they need a home after Grayson is done playing with them.
8. Finalize Health Insurance for the boys!
9. Register at the hospital before delivery day
10. Finalize plans for Grayson on delivery day
11. Finalize Maternity Leave for myself and all the details
12. Decide on what to wear and take to the hospital for myself
13. Take bounce seat, swing, and nap nanny out of the attic
14. Pack bags for myself, Grayson, and Crew. Chad will also have to pack his bag too for the hospital.
15. Organize cabinet in kitchen for the boys, clean bottles, and get breastfeeding things organized.
16. Register for baby shower
17. Setup Pack N Play in our room
18. Chad wants to paint our bedroom and bathroom before Crew comes, knowing him he will do it!
19. Decide on doing something special with Grayson before Crew comes... ideas?

Slowly we are getting things completed!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

living with...

Living with Gestational Diabetes has not been FUN, but I will do what I have to do to have a healthy pregnancy these last 7 weeks.

One thing that I have learned is chocolate cannot be my friend for the last 7 weeks of my pregnancy.  It is sad and it makes me moody from time to time.  I LOVE chocolate!  I also had to give up my daily chocolate milk each morning. I still can have my Nutragrain Bars each morning, which my nutritionist thought might be too many carbs, but my sugar levels have been great after eating them.  Trust me I have "tested" several things.  Which my OB doctor said I would probably do.   
The main problem I have is lunch time.  I am the type of person that will typically have a grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly sandwich...something quick and easy.  Since I work in a soul office I don't typically go out to eat for lunch.  So at lunch I struggle a bit trying to figure out what to eat.  Panera salads and half a chicken sandwich seems to be working.  I tried to have a smoothie from Panera once and that didn't go well at all!  Chad and I have gone on several lunch dates to help determine what I can and cannot eat.  IT is helping as all of this is new to me. 
As for dinner I have to try to stay away from pasta, pizza, rice, basically anything carb related.  We did find pita wheat flat bread that I can have and we have made homemade pizza on these and my sugars were great.  I also have had fajitas at home the only problem is that I can only have one tortilla shell, but I can eat all the meat I want.  It has been a HUGE adjustment because after eating what I typically would eat if I didn't have restrictions I end up getting hungry before the two hours is up after each MAIN meal. 
Plus if you don't know this about me I DO NOT LIKE veggies or eggs at all.  Under the diet restrictions you can have the following all you want:
fats such as peanut butter, mayo, cream cheese, sour cream, whipping cream, avocados, olives, and oils
Nuts and Peanuts (which I cannot have)

All other food groups you can have a certain serving per each meal.  I guess what I am trying to say is I like carbs, fruits, and chocolate BUT for now I have to limit or eliminate these things from my diet.  I remember after learning the rules and restrictions on GD I went to the grocery store for the first time and to be HONEST with you I wanted to CRY I didn't know what to purchase or what to eat.  I left that first shopping trip frustrated.  I thought to myself how am I going to gain weight the remaining of this pregnancy eating a limited amount of food.  Don't take this wrong there are a lot of options I am just a "picky" eater.  So Chad made the trip for me and found several options for me to try in the first few weeks of this diet.  Some have worked and some have not worked.  I am still learning and by the time I get it all figured out Crew will be here! 
I am not a fan about talking about food I actually HATE deciding where to eat or what to have for dinner each night.  I eat to survive not the opposite of that makes sense. 

I didn't write this post to complain I wrote this post to share my experience thus far.  As well as, one to help others facing the same situation I am or two to get advice from all of you that have had Gestational Diabetes while being pregnant.
I am secretly hoping that the next 7 weeks will go by QUICKLY!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

week 32 baby crew

Happy Sunday
Happy 32 Weeks

 We are happy and excited to have Crew join our family in 55 days
and I really think Grayson is going to LOVE having a playmate!

I am having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions throughout the day, but they do subside when I sit and rest!
My back and hips are starting to hurt again and if I am sitting on the floor playing with Grayson and I get up to walk I feel like I am waddling...HA!
It is all worth it!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Week 03 - frame a day

Week 03 Frame a Day

I have decided to do the frame a day/366 project each week different that way our book this year has something different on each page!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

3:52 new


Is the challenge put forth by the one every seven photography challenge.  The only rule was you could not use people or animals.

My photo for the week is our something new
thank you notes
for our new bundle of joy that will join our family in March 2012!

These lovely cards were created by my friend Sarah!
She is so talented and I love how they turned out!
Check out Sarah's blog here and if you are interested in working with her on cards, invites, etc just email her!
You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

a list to do before Crew

So I am making a list of things that "we" would like to get completed before Crew arrives.  I figure if I write it all done and mark them off as they are completed my mind won't be racing with a million thoughts of what needs to get completed in 8 weeks. 

1. Crew's Nursery Furniture Needs to arrive and be setup in his room.
2. Order Crew a chair like Grayson's for pictures - done and completed 01/15/2012
3. Figure out what type of animal (sock monkey) I want to use for pictures with Crew each month
4. Get the carpets cleaned in Crew's Nursery
5. Crew's Bedding waiting for it to be completed and picked up
6. Crew's coming home outfit need to figure out what I want and purchase...decisions decisions!
7. Organize ALL closets in our house
My closet and drawers
Chad's closet and drawers
Grayson's closet and drawers
Crew's closet and drawers - need to also wash all clothes that are currently in the attic and organize by sizes
8. Find a toy chest for the playroom - the little toys are getting out of hand and they need a home after Grayson is done playing with them.
9. Finalize Health Insurance for the boys!
10. Register at the hospital before delivery day
11. Finalize plans for Grayson on delivery day
12. Finalize Maternity Leave for myself and all the details
13. Decide on what to wear and take to the hospital for myself
14. Take bounce seat, swing, and nap nanny out of the attic
15. Pack bags for myself, Grayson, and Crew. Chad will also have to pack his bag too for the hospital.
16. Organize cabinet in kitchen for the boys, clean bottles, and get breastfeeding things organized.
17. Register for baby shower
18. Setup Pack N Play in our room
19. Chad wants to paint our bedroom and bathroom before Crew comes, knowing him he will do it!
20. Decide on doing something special with Grayson before Crew comes... ideas?

I am sure there is more, but for now that is our long list of things to do...

Sorry for the boring post, but now I have it all written down and can cross off once complete!

Monday, January 16, 2012

week 31 baby crew

Week 31 Pregnancy Update

I hope these templates are still easy to read...

Here are a few images of Grayson that Chad took after he took my weekly picture!

I love them because we were both saying, "Grayson can you say cheese?" You can tell in the first image that he is saying it, at least we can...
I also love the last image of him looking at the chalkboard... I wonder what he is thinking...
This weekend I would point to my belly and say baby Crew and he would lay on it or kiss it.  I wonder if he really knows what is going on.  We will see!

Chad HAS been REALLY busy this weekend working on Crew's Nursery!  It is turning out perfect and I can't wait to share the details with all of you!  It is adorable and nothing like Grayson's Nursery! 
Thanks hubby for all that you have done in Crew's Nursery and for your particular eye to detail I appreciate it so much!
Love you!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week 02 - Frame a Day

First I would like to share a little tip with all of you who are participating in the 366 project this year.

I used Mixbook for my frame a day book for 2011 and I saved all my images in one place by utilizing facebook, I do have them saved by each month on my hard drive.  However I wanted to have one place to pull all the images over to a photobook and that is why I used facebook.  I have since ordered my Mixbook photo book for 2011 and I have had SEVERAL issues in regards to getting it printed.  It seems that my images that are in facebook and than transferred to the mixbook program are disappearing.  Thus missing pictures that I thought were there.  As a result I have to NOW start over basically...trust me I have tried everything and my sister Amie is looked at it for me, and we both have contacted Mixbook for support.  Mixbook has been VERY supportive and they are not sure what is going on, but I wanted to give all you the heads up... don't transfer your images from facebook to Mixbook.  I have created SEVERAL books through Mixbook and have not had ANY issues until now!  I don't want you to have to go through the same pain I am going to have to go through to get my 2011 frame a day book.  I hope this TIP helps!

Now onto Week 02 2012

can you please ignore the fact that I interchanged 366 and 365...
I noticed after I completed all the template files and didn't feel like going back and changing.  Oh well!

this week's theme over at one every seven photography challenge by Lemongrass Photography is

my plan for the week was to do all my images around a circle theme, but that didn't happen and it is okay.

I do have one simple image I captured of Grayson to describe circles his tunnel into his tent.

If you have any questions on anything in regards to the 366 project please let me know. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

a friday

a Friday spent with Grayson

Today I thought that I would do a post on a day spent with Grayson.  I want to look back and remember the moments we had together just G and I!

Every morning our day starts with snuggle time in mommy's bed.
We watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for about 30 minutes at the most and Grayson is READY to go play! 

While Grayson is playing I get breakfast ready for both of us.  This morning waffle and bananas for Grayson and Mommy has water and oatmeal!

As Grayson eats I usually stand in the kitchen and eat my breakfast and check work emails and get a few reports completed.

After breakfast Grayson is off to his playroom to get a few toys that he ends up bringing into the kitchen to play with while I clean up the kitchen from breakfast and unload the dishwasher.  Sometimes he helps with unloading the dishwasher, but today was a day of all play!

Once the kitchen is clean I change Grayson into his day clothes and we spend the morning playing.  Today we colored! 

Lunch time for Grayson
I am working on getting Grayson to sit at his big boy table for all meals and eat.  He is doing great.  I thought that he would get up and down a lot, but he doesn't.  He makes a big mess, but I am also trying to teach him to keep it on his plate and when we are down we throw our food away in the trash!  Only problem NOW he thinks EVERYTHING needs to go into the trash after breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Spoons, plates, and cups...

Today for lunch his blanket and his paci's joined him...

Nap time for Grayson
he loves this book, I loved that I was able to capture a moment of him saying Shhh just like in the book...

a sweet smile to mommy before I left his room

During nap time today, I took a nice relaxing shower, got ready for the day, and worked.  I have a GREAT napping boy that takes between 2-4 hour naps each day so a lot can get completed in that time.

Grayson is UP!
We have a snack together and play play play!!!

On this particular day I decide to give Grayson dinner early because we are having dinner with friends later in the evening and Grayson seems to eat better when we are at home..
again here we are trying to eat at the BIG boy table
some day he will get the hang of getting the food to his mouth instead of his chair... it is all in learning and growing

Right after dinner we ALWAYS have BATH TIME!

Our final moment together just G and I driving to the resturant to meet friends for dinner!

I love my special days with Grayson!

Always on the lookout for a Target coupon for more Grayson supplies!
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