2011 Year In Review: Violet

What a year we've had baby! We've been through a lot and learned a lot and grown and lot and guess what? We made it! And 2012 is sure to be the best yet. Here are a few highlights from 2011:

January: After eight months of nursing we discovered that you were allergic to your mama's breast milk. We tried an elimination diet, which helped but unfortunately not enough. So we weaned. It was emotional (for me more than for you) and painful (Again for me - thankfully not for you.) but in the end you were such a happier healthier baby on your prescription formula.

February: We celebrated your first Valentine's Day! Complete with some funny outtakes, you were Mommy & Daddy's favorite Valentine.

March: You finally started to crawl! Walking was your real goal but you finally settled to get from point A to point B.

April: Crawling didn't satisfy you for long! You were up and about before we knew what hit us.

We took a photo of you one year later in the same spot. On the left is your mama eight months pregnant and on the right you are 11 months old:

We had a heat wave and went for a spring romp in the yard:

And you went on your first Easter egg hunt. The prettiest little egg hunter I ever did see:

May: May was a big month. You turned one! We celebrated with a pink and red birthday party and your mama worried about if your birthday would be the same without cake. But it turned out fine in the end.

June: We had your one year photos taken by Megyn Barroner. It turned out to be a blazing hot day but you were a trooper and the pictures were beautiful.

You also fell in love with the great outdoors. Every leaf, rock, and twig was the greatest joy in your life.

And the flora wasn't the only thing you loved. The local animals got their share of attention as well:

July: We found ways to keep cool and you were daddy's favorite gardening assistant.

You also started to take to solid foods after we visited the feeding therapist. We shared some of the tips that we learned in the hopes that someone would find them helpful.

And last but not least, you attended your first baseball game on the fourth of July! The stairs and carousel were your favorite parts.

August: Mommy had a tough time with going back to work. It took a few months, but we finally all settled into a new 'normal'. (I think it was harder on me than on you.)

You also went on your first trip to the zoo! You were absolutely thrilled and we had a perfect day.

We finished out the month by switching from a bottle to a sippy cup. It took a few tries but we finally found the right fit and have been going strong ever since!

September: Your mama still struggled with being back at work. I wanted nothing more than to be home with my little girl. Luckily you were in good hands and having a ton of fun with your friends.

You had your first trip to the fair. It was a short one due to the weather, but you loved the lights, people, and animals. You even said, 'cow' and 'moo!'

I wrote a post to all of the mothers out there - Mothers Know Best. You were so so sick and I felt compelled to share what I'd learned from months of caring for a sick child.

October: Corn mazes, farm animals, and hay rides - October was a month for fall fun.

Your Aunt Kari and Uncle Alex tied the knot and you attended your first wedding in style:

Your favorite face to make was your 'stink face' - dubbed so by your father. And a cuter face I never did see!

And, of course, there was your very first trick-or-treat. Last year you dressed up and went to trunk-or-treat, but this year you went door to door for the first time and loved putting 'candies' in your bag!

Not as expected was a freak snow! You had your first sled ride and were fascinated by the fluffy white stuff.

November: We romped through the leaves, read a lot of Shel Silverstein, got a new iMac, and just spent time together as a family.

Your mama and papa worked on your dollhouse, and you enjoyed helping out around the house. Life was good.

December: In December we unexpectedly said so long to your pacifier. You took the news like a champ and went to bed with hardly a peep!

You settled into some amazing sleeping routines and attended your second annual cookie exchange. And of course, there was Christmas! You had a thrilling holiday week filled with family from near and far, birthday parties, and presents galore.

You've come so far! From a baby to a toddler, you've grown into such a beautiful, smart, and sweet little girl. Mommy and Daddy love you to the moon and back. We can't wait to spend 2012 with you!


Mommy & Daddy

A happy new year to you and yours! We hope that your year was as wonderful as ours and that your 2012 is filled with love and laughter.

Happy 50th Mom!

Last night we celebrated my mom's 50th birthday! Her one request was a small party, so it was just our little family, but we had a ball!

Happy 50th mom! You are beautiful and we love you!!!


A Little DIY New Year's Eve Sparkle

We're planning on a low-key New Year's Eve this year with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law, but I still wanted it to be festive! I came across a few fun projects on Pinterest that I'm going to work on in the next couple of days and thought I'd share them with you. First up, Martha Stewart's tinsel drink stirrers! Here's the inspiration photo:

And here's how my version turned out:

Easy peasy! I made ten of them in about ten minutes and that was with the babe "helping" out. Today I'm going to try my hand at...Geronimo's Balloon Troopers!


Supermom: Bron Bates of Baby Space

    Bron Bates - Baby Space

This week's Supermom is Bron Bates of Baby Space! Bron is mom to two, soon to be three children - she's due in January! She formerly worked in the magazine industry and recently got into blogging so that she could stay home and spend more time with her children. Baby Space is full of inspiring nursery photos and products for babies and kids. Bron also blogs about her most recent pregnancy (she is the most beautiful and well-dressed pregnant woman - in fact she is my style icon for my next pregnancy). Read on to learn more about Bron and her advice on motherhood:

My creative compulsions got the better of me! Plus my partner is a total geek and was really encouraging of blogging ;) Before I had the preschooler I worked full time in magazine editorial and after he was born I found that I wanted to be a stay-at-home-mum and create and publish. Blogging was the answer. Without my partner's encouragement I probably would have just stuck to what I knew -- like freelance writing. Publishing solo without any team input was nerve-wracking at first but now I'm so glad I persevered.

Right now motherhood for me means that there are lots of people (okay, three people. Soon to be four :) counting on me in a positive way. It reminds me that the best of me is needed and appreciated. I also get super-excited when my kids do anything creative.

The isolation when the kiddos were babies; my friends are just now starting to have babies so I’ve spent many years being the only mum in my group. I like feeling connected (hello lovely blogosphere!). Sleep deprivation is also quite un-fun.

1) Maclaren Stroller. I loved my Maclaren Ryder as we could use it from birth and it was so light, sturdy and easy to fold up and down and cart around. I don’t think Maclaren are making the Ryder anymore but they have lots of other great models.

2) Baby wipes. Because baby spit happens. Usually on you, when you least expect it.

3) ‘That’s Not My’ books. We love reading! You can start off with these colourful, tactile board books from the get-go. We started with ‘That’s not my Pirate’. The Meg and Mog books are great too.

1) The Original Ergobaby Carrier. This should probably go in the ‘baby’ category but I used one for the first time with the preschooler when we were travelling in Asia earlier this year and it was brilliant. So comfortable to use as it puts the weight on your hips instead of your back. I plan to use one again with the new baby.
2) Colouring books or toy cars. Because wee ones need activities when they’re out and about.

3) TV. Specifically ABC for kids, the free to air educational kids’ channel in Australia. Educational programs from dawn till dusk. Because sometimes a mama needs some time to herself!

1) Camera. For capturing all those sweet moments. We splashed out on a Canon 7D when it was on sale and I love it.
2) iPhone. For checking all my fave blogs :)
  3) Sunglasses. For hiding the inevitable bags that come with sleepless wee ones.
I don’t! There was a period of time when I was working in the office, studying for my Masters, blogging, freelance writing, taking care of the kids and the mister and the house all at the same time. The house became a mess, I was on the computer all the time and it was kind of stressful. When we decided to have baby number three I deferred Uni and I just finished up office work a few weeks ago (I have ten weeks till the baby space baby is due!). I'm still doing a bit of freelancing but it’s for Cosmopolitan Pregnancy magazine so right on topic for where I’m at :)
Trust yourself, forgive your mistakes and remember that all your kids really want is to feel loved by you.
Is anyone really a supermom? In the blogosphere it can look like someone is living the perfect life but blogs, like magazines, are all about editing. Everyone has bad days, weeks (or years!) but most people don’t blog about that ;) Having said that, Miss James from Bleubird Vintage, Rubyellen from Cakies and Jenna from Sweet Fine Day all inspire me to continue investing in my home and my children. Their blogs present worlds that revolve around the love they have for their children while maintaining their own identity as creative individuals. Being a mum at home can feel very isolating and not at all pretty. They make it look pretty and make ‘pretty’ look achievable -- I think that’s a gift.
Thank you so much to Bron for taking the time to answer these questions so close to your due date! I especially love your 'advice to mom's' - Remember that all your kids really want is to feel loved by you. I'm going to keep that in mind when I'm feeling down on myself. To see more of Bron be sure to visit her over on Baby Space. XO,

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