A Few Things!

So I wrote a post last week and for some reason are internet went down... I haven't wanted to rewrite the post all week. So here I am playing catch up! A Few Things- 1. Christmas was awesome. We had a fun time with family and spent Christmas with both sides of the family. Alivia had a wonderful time opening presents! 2. Ben surprised the family with a little puppy, a yorkie-poo! She is a cutie. We are currently working on crate-training and potty training and it is going okay. She hates the crate with a passion and barks constantly. We here her complain the entire time she is in there, but we are hoping she gets over this dislike and starts to view her crate as her little home. 3. My dad is coming out for Alivia's Birthday today! 4. We have Alivia's birthday bash planned for tomorrow. Can't wait! We are expecting 25ish people and are excited to celebrate her little life. 5. The New Year is approaching and we are excited to embrace 2011 and the new adventures that are to come. 6. Pictures of the holidays, puppy, and Alivia's birthday are to come soon! Happy early Birthday Alivia and Happy New Year!

2010 Online Christmas Card!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!
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My Little Bronco Fan!

Despite the terrible journey the Broncos have had the past few seasons, I am still a fan! I forced Alivia into liking or at least supporting the Broncos too! :) I found this little dress at the Just Between Friends sale for only a couple of bucks. P.S. Please pay no attention to our messy room, we were getting ready for our trip. :)

Thanksgiving Trip photos!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from our Thanksgiving Trip! :)
Posted by Picasa My Organic Chicka! :)

My dad and Ben!

My Grandma and Me!

My family on our way to visit the christmas lights in Pitsburg, PA!

My Livie and Me with Santa!

Livie Loo is 11 Months- Woo Hoo!

Alivia is now 11 months... less than a month away til her big 1st birthday! :) I really think Alivia is a smart baby, but maybe that is just the mom in me saying/thinking that. Never the less, she is starting to do a lot more new things and is really having fun with learning. Alivia's Loves: - Back to Nature Graham Sticks- if she is having a tough moment, I can always count on those little snacks to bring her back to a calming state. - Walking by herself anywhere and everywhere, especially in stores now. (She wants to get into all the stuff) - Being pushed on a little toy car for babies... Makes her happy, makes momma/dada happy! - Talking, she just talks up a storm these days. - Playing and getting into non-baby things... Do you think it is time to baby proof now? :) Alivia's New Things: - Alivia has a new tooth on the bottom, that makes 5, 2 on the top and 3 on the bottom. - She shakes her head to say "yes" now when we ask her a question... So cute! I don't if she quite gets the concept as to what we are asking her but she does understand that we are asking her a question. Sometimes we will ask her silly questions, just to get a laugh! - She quite frequently says "No" and she will usually say it as "No, No" because when I tell her or Layla "No" I will say "No, no Layla" or "No, no Alivia." Ha ha, I love that she picked up on the double No. - She can sign "more" and "all done!" Sometimes she gets the two signs confused but for the most part she understands the two signs. I think we are going to introduce a few more signs to her as she seems to like them and can communicate quite well using signs. - She can hum now. Sometimes she will walk around and do a short hum. Or, if I am humming and stop, she will hum to get me to do it again. - Alivia is eating a lot more now and we plan to start her on goat's milk by the end of the month. She has tried rice milk and liked it quite well. - She really tries to copy some of the words we say and does a pretty good job of it. (book, cat, dog, tiger, momma, dada) - She has started to laugh more without us tickling her! Cute. - Livie Loo started this funny thing where she smiles crooked and makes a silly noise with it. It is funny! I will have to try to capture it on film, because it cracks us up! - Alivia does a great job with listening and is starting to follow little cues. (Come here, put that here/down, No, Do you want to eat, can you give that to me, so on and so forth) We love how she is growing and advancing! She is such a darling little one, and we continue to thank God for her presence in our life! :)

When you have a baby...

You can no longer sleep on a plane! :) When I used to travel pre-baby, I would almost always sleep on the plane and that is how I got through a flight. My hope for any sleep on future airplane trips can now be forgotten since Alivia does not sleep on planes. Or if she does sleep, it is in the last 15 minutes. All in all, Alivia does really well on airplanes- she only has a few moments of unhappiness but then does well for the remainder of the trip. Speaking of trips, our trip to PA was fabulous. It was so great to see family! We spent 11 days hanging out, relaxing, and enjoying each other's company. We were only supposed to spend 10 days but we got stuck in Cranberry, PA because of a flight weather delay. We had to choose between spending 12 hours in an airport with a 11 month old or going back to my aunts house and sleeping in a bed. A no-brainer. We chose the later choice and got another night in PA. Alivia had a tough time adjusting to things in PA, so we did not get a lot of sleep but we did get more sleep sleeping at my aunts then being stuck in an airport. We really enjoyed our Thanksgiving vacation and appreciated all that our family did for us while we were there. :) It was the first time my aunt's family and grandma have seen Alivia. They loved her!!! They really enjoyed playing with her, holding her, and loving her. Alivia got spoiled too. She came home with a lot of clothes. We had to pack another suitcase- such cute clothes. :) What a fun trip! (Pictures to come soon)

Black Beans, Peaches, Apple Muffins, Carrots, & Yogurt...

What do all of these foods have in common? They are Alivia's favorites! Yep, if you place these in front of her, she will eat them super fast. And, if I forget and put any Black Beans, Peaches, Apple Muffins, Carrots, or Yogurt down before I want her to eat something Else, I can pretty much forget about her eating that something else. haha! She is funny! Easy Yummy Apple Muffin Recipe (Source: Marissa Pinon~ Cream together: 2 cups sugar (I reduced this amount to about 1 1/2 cups or so, still tasted great) 2 eggs 1 cup oil (I used apple sauce instead, went well with the recipe and way healthier) 1 Tablespoon vanilla Stir together: 3 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon cinnamon 3 cups peeled, cored, diced apples (around 3 apples) Brown sugar for topping (around 1/2 cup) Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. The batter will be very thick. Add the diced apples. Butter & flour muffin tins or use paper liners. Fill muffin tins almost to the top about 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Makes 18-24 muffins.

Alivia's 10 Month Photos!

 
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Alivia's Not Feeling Well!

This past Sunday was the first time we have seen Alivia sick... It is so sad to see you little baby be so uncomfortable. She had a temperature of 102.3/5! She was miserable. Poor girl. I know fevers are a good thing for the most part and are a part of the body's way of fighting whatever they have, but it sure did scare us to see it that high. We did get a lot of cuddle time in though. She fell asleep on me numerous times and we co-slept again, which we have not done in ages. She actually slept so much that it reminded me of when she was a newborn and that's all she did. Today, she is doing a little better. Her fever went down and she actually let us put her down to play. She didn't let us put her down on Sunday because she just wanted to be held and loved. I don't blame her, and I loved snuggling with her while watching Sunday football (Go Broncos!)Her poor nose is running like CRAZY.. All day snot just slides down her nose and she doesn't care or doesn't seem to mind or doesn't know what to do with it. It is kind of gross, but as a mom it doesn't bother me. We hope and continue to pray that God will heal her of whatever bug she has and that her fever and runny nose will disappear. I am hoping that she gets rid of this little illness before we leave for vacation on Sunday. We are heading to Pennsylvania to see family. Can't wait! But, things will get interesting if we have to travel with Alivia and she doesn't feel well. As first time parents dealing with Alivia being sick for the first time, it has been kind of scary. Thankfully we have got great advise from our awesome parents and other moms who have experienced dealing with sick kids before!

Halloween 2010

For halloweeen, we simply continued our tradition of visiting Chipotle. Although, not free this year, we only paid $2.00 by dressing up as a horrible processed food (whereas the past free years it as has been free if you dress as a burrito or taco. AKA- put tinfoil somewhere on your body). We were quarter pounders with cheese by carrying a hammer with a quarter and a piece of cheese taped to it. We bought Chipotle for Ben's mom, aunt, and grandma and ate it at our house. Yum, yum! Alivia dressed up as a cow and went trick-or-treating to a neighbor's house, but really we just wanted to show her off and we didn't get any candy. I am not sure if we are going to allow Alivia to trick-or-treat or not in the future, but it was fun to dress her up for her first halloween. I got the cow costume at the Just Between Friends sale for $3.00. Can't beat that... And, hopefully in the future it can double as a cow costume for Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A to score us a free sandwich. :)
 
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10 Month Cutie!

Alivia is now a darling 10 month old and is just getting cuter and cuter by the day, if I do say so myself! :) She is getting to be a walking pro. Alivia's Loves: - Walking, walking, walking! She can't get enough of it. Even if she falls 10 times in a row, she keeps on keeping on! She now prefers to walk over crawling, but if she has somewhere to go fast, she will crawl. - playing outside in the grass\ - Swinging - Playing peak-a-boo or "Where is baby" - Playing with Sniffs and the dogs in our community, loves animals. She gets this huge smile on her face when shes sees one, but she does not like getting licked in the face or on the hands. - Playing with her friends - Being held - Pointing at things that she wants Alivia's New Things: - Going to bed without putting up much of a fight, that bed time routine really works. Yeah, Alivia. (With our next kiddo, God Willing, I will implement a bedtime routine much sooner) - Waking up multiple times a night like a newborn to eat and be comforted by her mama. I think this is one of my least favorite new things of Alivia. I don't mind waking up to feed her once a night, but getting up 3+ times is getting overwhelming and tiring. I am hoping this is a short phase and she goes back to waking up only once or sleeping through the night. She gives us glimpses of hope every once and a while and will sleep til 5:00ish a.m. and we think, "yes, this is it." But, the next day doesn't repeat her awesome all night sleep. - Taking out blocks from a bucket and putting them back into the bucket - Eating bigger pieces all by herself - Transitioned from puffs to cherrios or cherrio type snacks - Perfected going upstairs and is diligently working on going downstairs safely - She changed her mind on baths, used to love them but now does not so much anymore - Alivia can successfully say when prompted or just because: dada, daddy, and mama - She is really trying to say the words cat, doggie, and book

Vote for Alivia at Gap Casting Call!

Where to vote! Web address ~ http://www.gapcastingcall.com/GapCastingCall/Home.html Her Contestant ID ~ 578728 OR to get directly to Alivia, go to http://www.gapcastingcall.com/GapCastingCall/EntryDetail.html?id=578728 We just thought this was a fun idea! :)

My 25th Birthday!

For not wanting this birthday day to really come, it turned out great and being 25 is not that bad! I was a little apprehensive about turning 25, don't ask me why. :) But, what an awesome quarter of the century birthday I had! :) Alivia actually slept in til 8:30 a.m. That was a pleasant birthday gift to her momma, as I was able to enjoy a very long shower and actually get ready for the day in the morning and not during one of her naps. I did a quiet time before Layla came because she usually comes at 7:30 a.m. but her grandpa dropped her off closer to 8:00 a.m. I watched Layla til 1:00 p.m. and Ben got off work early and arrived home at 1:00 p.m. so we could go to the Denver Zoo. The zoo just so happen to have a free day on my birthday! We have never been, so we thought it was a perfect opportunity to go. We enjoyed the zoo and compared to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, it was a pleasant scenery change. It was more like a large park with animals to roam around then how the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is set up. After the zoo, we went to a Mexican restaurant that my friend Laura recommended called "Bennys." :)It was terribly hard to find a parking spot. We almost went searching for another place, but we finally found one and it allowed Alivia to get in a little snooze in before dinner. It was just OK to me, which was kind of a bummer since we don't eat out too often (limited budget for eating out) but Ben enjoyed it so that was a positive. We then proceeded to Laura's house hung out with the newly married couple for a little while in Denver before going home. It was a very awesome day with friends and family. Cute sleeping polar bear! One of the ugliest animals I've seen in person! haha Mama tiger with her cubs (There were actually 4 cubs but the other one was playing elsewhere, while these little guys were eating meat out of a pumpkin for Halloween) One big elephant! We had to get a picture of a camel for Ben! Alivia clapping, happy to watch the animals! Alivia pointing at a monkey! I think she wanted to go play with him/her (just her size :) Aliva and mommy! Alivia and daddy! I also celebrated my birthday with 2 different family parties and thoroughly enjoyed both days with family! :) Luke in front of all the gifts (We had a fall birthday party, celebrating Luke, Ben, and me) Jo and Grandma at the birthday party! Alivia and Joel playing together! Alivia loves this play horse! Alivia on a play horse with her cousin Janelle. So cute to watch them interact!

First Steps!!

Oh my, we have an early walker on our hands!!! Yes, Alivia just started taking steps on her own as of yesterday (and now loves to do it). She gets really proud of herself when she does it too- it's super cute. She is only walking 3 to 4 steps at a time right now before she lunges into my arms, but those steps that she takes are pretty solid steps. I can't believe she is starting this process so early. She amazes me. She also started to stand up from the sitting position today. That is a pretty hard task to accomplish. Good job Alivia, you are doing such a good job learning! We love you so much! P.s. It amazes me how fast babies can pick up on stuff. Alivia wasn't even trying to walk two days ago, but then out of nowhere she takes her first steps towards me!

9 months, 9 months!

Okay, so again I am a few days late on her 9 month update. My life is a little insane right now. I just started watching Layla again (more like 30ish hours a week this time around), and I am getting used to working that many hours. I have not been online that much lately and if I have been on, it's been for a short time period. Alivia is getting bigger, although she is only in the 4th percentile for weight in her age group. This does not worry me because she loves to eat! Something that we started doing since I am watching Layla is scheduling when we eat. It goes like this: 7:30 a.m.- breakfast 10:00 a.m.- snack 12:00 p.m.- lunch 2:00 p.m. or when she wakes up from her nap- snack 5:00 p.m.- Dinner I still breastfeed on demand in between feedings, so I know that Alivia is getting enough food! She just has a fast metabolism like Ben and she plays hard during wake time! Alivia's Loves: This month, she does not have too many new loves as she still enjoys doing the same as last month... But with saying that here are few things that keeps her interest for quite some time - Turning off lights - Climbing up the stairs - Tearing down books from book shelves - Knocking over high block towers - Reading books - Playing with Layla and other little kiddos - Baby Time/Toddler Time at the local Library (I was very excited that they added a Baby Time to a closer library this month!!) - Playing with clothes, particularly socks and shoes (She loves Velcro) - Playing ball with her daddy - Going for walks - Being outside on the grass and touching trees - Being held! Alivia's New Things: - She has mastered crawling up the stairs, now just working on the crawling downstairs (We still have not purchased baby gates and don't know if we will) - Alivia's first top tooth is coming in! - Alivia loves her bedtime routine! Yes, we just established one, for the longest time we just went with the flow and followed her cues. We still somewhat follow her cues, but we put her down around the same time every night (between 7:00 p.m. and 7:30ish p.m., before it was 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and she was overtired so we moved it up) as she has become accustom to the same bedtime. Bedroom routine as follows- *We turn on both lights in her bedroom and bathroom (keep the bedroom door open and the hallway light on for light when the bedroom and bathroom lights are turned off) *Change her diaper and put her into a nighty *Wash her face off and brush her 2 1/2 teeth :) *Let her turn off the bathroom light *Turn on the fan *Let her turn off the bedroom light *Breastfeed til she is full *Sing her a song that we made up *Turn on her night music (just goes for a minute or so) *Put her in her crib to drift off to sleep - Alivia is able to eat more table food because of her teeth and she loves it. I think she is starting to like it over pureed baby food. - She can now walk when pushing something (like her toy with wheels) or when we hold her hands - She thinks she wants to move to 1 nap a day... I feel like I have other plans for her on that one! :) I am all about baby directed days, but Alivia needs more that 1 nap a day still. I think she likes to play with Layla that she forgets about her morning nap and then gets really tired (overtired) and only takes an 1 hour afternoon nap. Gear an overtired baby that is teething together and you get one crabby little girl. Overall, she is still a very easy baby to tend to and we are so blessed to have her as our daughter. I know it sounds crazy, but I already started planning Alivia's birthday... Keeping it a secret as far as details go, but I needed to start thinking about it because I have a few crafty things I want to do for her special day that will require me to spend some quality time. I am making the invitations, cake, and party favors by hand. So I might be a little a head of schedule, but I have never made what I plan on making so I need the extra time. I am enjoying my time with our little Alivia and although I am happy that she is going to be 1 soon (God Willing), I am a little sad to know that I won't have her as my little baby for much longer. Just a reminder that I need to really cherish these moments with her now!!!

Beautiful Fall Day!

Yesterday was finally a fallish day here in beautiful Colorado Springs. It is October and the weather is still in the high 70's/ mid 80's!! Crazy. I was super excited to dress Alivia in fall clothes. I captured her outfit and these cute shoes I found for $2.00 at a consignment store. They are 0-3 months so she won't be wearing them much longer, but it's crazy that she can still wear them at 9 months. I love October, I love fall, I love family!!!

 
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Alivia at 8 Months!

Alivia at 8 months with her bright eyes and beautiful two teeth smile!
 
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This Frugal Family!

As a one income household (semi 2, I now have a nannying job but we still have to budget), we have had to cut corners. Here are a few ways that we have saved a little money here and there as new parents: * Part-time Cloth Diapering Our goal was full time cloth diapering, but we are out and about too much for it to be a realistic goal, so we have settled for part time cloth diapering. It really is not as bad as people think it is, but it is different. Cloth diapers are not as convenient as disposable and you do have to change cloth more than disposable, but they are a more economical and green option! We use coupons for any disposable diapers and wipes that we do buy, match it with a store sale for an awesome bargain! :) * Making our own Baby Food We cook fruits and vegetable by steaming, baking, or boiling and then pureeing them in the awesome Magic Bullet. The Magic Bullet is magic and turns anything into puree in minutes. I love it. By the way, have you ever seen pureed meat, it's disgusting. No wonder Alivia is not too fond of meat yet! We are able to make big batches at one time and freeze portions in ice cube trays so that we save time in the kitchen. When we need baby food we can just pop out a few cubes and defrost them in hot water or in the fridge over night! It's much cheaper and healthier than buying jarred baby food. Although, we have given Alivia jarred baby food before for the convenience factor (traveling/out of the house) and because we got some for free. We now find that making baby food is pretty easy and if you are organized, it can be pretty convenient too! * Accepting Hand-Me-Downs We have accepted a lot of hand-me-downs from family and friends. Without there lending hands and hearts, we would have spent a lot (lot) of money! * Buy baby items only on sale, clearance, or used We only buy baby clothes that are on sale, clearance, or used. My favorite consignment sale is the Just Between Friends sale where I can get Alivia a ton of items for very, very cheap! I wait until the last day of the sale, where most items that are already priced great are 50% off the sale price. * Attending Free Programs or Discounted Programs We go to Baby Time at the library which is a free weekly program that has singing, reading, and play time for babies up to 1 year. After that they have toddler time and story time for older kiddos. I find other free or cheap things to do around Colorado Springs on www.peakradar.com and/or www.springsbargains.com. I also have play groups with other moms and meet at the park or a house, so it is a free and fun activity for both Alivia and me! :) I find it fun to figure out ways to save money! We are still brainstorming about other areas of our life! As for now, saving in the kiddo department works for us! :) Parenting doesn't have to be as expensive as people think it has to be.

Alivia's 8 Months Old!! (continued)

Well, Alivia sure does know how to keep us busy these days. She is all over the place, getting into things and exploring her surroundings. She has given us a few scares too. She has put two sharp objects and a penny in her mouth. We are so glad we saw her put the objects in her mouth so we could get them out before she swallowed/choked/hurt herself. I vacuum regularly, but I think I am going to have to double the amount with this little sly girl we have! The penny was on a shelf and she grabbed it as I was holding her- sneaky, sneaky... So to say the least, I am very thankful for God's provision in keeping Alivia safe and healthy. Alivia's New Loves: - Crawling, crawling, crawling (like a pro now) - Crawling up the stairs - Standing up on her own - Eating finger foods - Clapping her hands. She does this adorable little thing that when she falls down she claps her hands. I started clapping and saying "Good Job," when she would fall down after standing all by herself that now she thinks that when she falls she should clap. I love how little ones learn! - Saying mama and dada - Playing with blocks - Playing with other kids and animals- puts a huge smile on her face. She especially likes my friend Chelsea's dog Lucy! :) Alivia's New Things: - Walking while holding on to something - Crawling up the stairs (She made it up our entire staircase tonight) - Eating more finger foods - Sitting up in the bathtub without having her little bath bed - Reading (flipping) through books by herself - Drinking from a sippy cup, not too successful, but she has the right idea Update on Sleeping: - She still wakes up once (or more than once on occasion) a night, but she will sleep through the night every once in a while. We are getting there!! She can successfully sleep in her own crib though, without crying that much. We usually put her down somewhere between 8:00 and 8:30 and she cries for 5 to 10 minutes and then she is good to go until her middle of the night feeding. She is learning so much each day, and she is a wonderful girl. We love you Livie Loo! (Pictures to come soon!)

Alivia's 8 Months Old!

and she is a cutie... I have been quite busy so I am due a post of her new things. :) I have to get some things done during her nap time, so it will have to wait a little longer, but I will be writing about her later today or tomorrow! :) For now, here is a picture of her!

Alivia Waving!

Alivia doing a little wave, she still only does this on occasion and very rarely when propted. I got super excited that she did it when prompted and while being taped! :)

Alivia, Can you Clap?

Yes, she can! :) She is a clapping machine...

Alivia Crawling!

We were very, very excited to get Alivia on camera on her first day of crawling. I added the way she has been crawling these days so that you can see the improvement in just a few weeks. She is going to be speedy, speedy soon. We have not got baby gates yet, so as I usually have a very good eye on her, I now have an extra good eye on her so that she doesn't attempt any stairs, which by the way she does know how to crawl up... :)

Alivia at the Zoo!

We went to the zoo awhile back with some friends. It was Alivia's first time with both me and Ben there enjoying the animals and scenery with her. She loved gazing at the amimals and wildlife from afar. I think we have an amimal lover on our hands. She gets so excited when she gets close to the animals. Super cute! I have a feeling we will be purchasing a zoo pass when she gets older!
 
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1111 Days Married!

Doesn't that sound awesome!!! Ben and I have been married for 1111 days. Here's to many more great married days together.
 
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(Picture taken at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo)

3 Years and Counting!

On August 5, 2010, Ben and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary! WOW... what a great 3years it has been. I am so happy and blessed to have such a wonderful husband. He is the perfect man and husband for me. God matched us together to be a fabulous fit for each other! I could not be happier, and I love our anniversary days to remind us of the day we united in love on August 5 of 2007. I love remembering our wedding day and all that has happened since then. I am truly thankful to have Ben as my husband. He has such a wonderful personality and sense of humor. I love you Ben Spiers. :) On Thursday the 5th we had chipotle at home and our tradition of fondue, homemade style. On Friday the 6th, we went on a family outing to Manitou and played games at the arcade. And, on Saturday the 7th, we ended our festivities with a day at the zoo with friends (Pictures from the zoo coming soon). It was a great weekend of celebrating and enjoying time as a family. Thank you God for the wonderful blessing of a family! :)
 
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