insta-jam #7… finishing off 2012

Well, I guess I’m just a little late on this… but I wanted to put these photos up here anyway (plus, Kaya is super squishy and little in all these… so I don’t see why I shouldn’t share the cuteness)! Between getting a new phone and then just having a ton more phone pictures than ever (which might have something to do with having a super-photogenic baby!), I just didn’t get around to it.  So here you go… late October through the end of 2012!


1 & 2: Sleeping (obviously). I love those smooshy cheeks!
3: She loves this little snail that hangs above her seat. Nowadays she’s strong enough to rip him right down.
4: Blowing bubbles while smiling! (Now THAT’S talent!)

1: First snow of 2012… just a small dusting.
2: More sleeping.
3: First bottle ever! This kid has always taken a bottle like a pro- she isn’t even picky about the temperature and has even had one ice cold!
4: Homemade cookies. Mmmmm.
photogrid2012_3 1: Nap buddies. This is back when she would only nap if I snuggled her. I’m both happy and sad that those days are already gone.
2: Sleeping again… she did a lot of that!
3: Bundled up in her little bunny-ear suit!
4: Talking to daddy first thing in the morning.

1: Asleep in the carseat.
2: Asleep in her Halloween shirt (are you noticing a theme here?)

1, 2, 3, & 4: Sleeping, crazy, tired, and fun!IMG_20121106_0748331, 2, & 3: Morning snuggles and tiny little toes.photogrid2012_6

1: I went to a baby shower one Saturday morning, and when I came home, there was a Halo party going on.
2: My practice run of the fondant dog I was making for my aunt’s birthday cake.
3: Kroger actually has really good ice cream, and I was super excited to try this “cupcake party” flavor!
4: Giant Christmas tree at the mall!

photogrid2012_71: Funny face.
2: Tired of shopping with mommy.
3: Asleep on the way to church.
4: The Thanksgiving onesie I made for her! (Remember how those plastic eyes are NOT a good idea…)

IMG_20121118_190847 1 & 2: Thanksgiving lunch at Michael’s work!photogrid2012_81: She really started to like reading books!
2: Cuddling with her little doll on the way to church for the last Sunday in 2012!

One more insta-jam and I’ll be all caught up… stay tuned 🙂


friday favorites

This is a pretty random post… but it’s my excuse to share a bunch of baby photos, make you drool over all the food I already ate, and brag about my husband. So…

– I wasn’t feeling too well for a few days this week (I hesitate to admit I was “sick”, because that’s just not hardcore. And we all know how hardcore I am. Anyway…). Michael worked from home one morning this week so that he could help with Kaya while I rested to get unsick feel better. He even washed all my dirty dishes before work started so I didn’t have to. I am one lucky gal.

– I got to see one of my favorite ponies ever (and by “pony”, I really mean horse. Lelia and I call pretty much everything a pony). I haven’t seen Rae in about a year, but I got to go out and just groom and love on him on Tuesday night. He hasn’t changed a bit!IMG_20130219_195239

– I made the most perfect muffins EVER. I’ve been experimenting with substitutions- these ended up with oat flour and whole wheat flour subbed in for the regular old white stuff. They are so moist, crumbly, and DELICIOUS.

_MG_2716– We also tried making vegetarian tacos (along with whole wheat tortillas made from scratch). In the words of Michael: “You can’t even tell the difference [between real meat tacos and these]!” I have to admit, they were pretty delicious and healthy and cheap.


– Lelia and I finished making a quilt for our friends’ (Mike and Amanda’s) baby boy! It’s the first time we did a quilt on our own (aka no help from people with more sewing experience than ourselves). I think we did alright!_MG_2618

– Of course, this little princess is always the highlight of my week. I love how much she suddenly loves her stuffed animals.IMG_20130219_125831

Naptime snuggles are the best, especially when she holds my hand.IMG_20130221_092033


Happy weekend!

kaya- 5 months

_MG_2647 copyHeight: 26 inches (no percentiles this month since these are our own crude measurements)
Weight: 14 lbs 12.8 ounces
Clothing size: Still wearing some 0-3 month onesies, but 0-3 pants are pretty much out of style. She’s mostly in 3-6 month outfits. Carter’s and The Children’s Place seem to be the most true-to-size, though- I’m sad to say that she has some Gerber and Fisher Price clothes that she can’t even wear because they are too small, and they’re supposedly size 6-9 months!
Eyecolor: She seems to have gray eyes most days now, but sometimes they are still blue, depending on what she’s wearing. If you look closely, you’ll see tiny brown spots, too!
Teeth: Her two bottom front teeth are here! She keeps shoving her fingers (or anyone else’s really) back where her right molar is, and I thought I caught a glimpse of a tiny part of it poking out, but I’m really not sure.
Favorite things: Her favorite toys right now are her two rattles, her singing purple dinosaur, and mostly any stuffed animal, which would include her red mouse, orange kitty, valentine bear and blue octopus. She also loves being tickled and trying to sit up on her own. The exersaucer is one of her favorite places to hang out- she has even figured out how to rock back and forth in it and jump just a tiny bit. She loves reading books and listening to me sing. Kaya finally saw my guinea pigs, and she smiles so big and just can’t stop watching them.
She is also obsessed with her toes. She grabs them, stares at them, eats them… they’re a multipurpose plaything._MG_2657 Dislikes: The carseat, baths, and anything on her face (which includes putting shirts over her head or rinsing her hair in the bathtub). Also, Michael was reading her a book once, and made an “elephant” sound… she bawled. He tried it again another day when she could actually see him do it, and she still hated it! There’s just something scary about your daddy acting like an elephant, I guess.
Sleep: She goes down between 6:30-7 pm and generally stays asleep until about 5:45 am when she eats. After that, she’ll hang out in her crib or doze back to sleep until around 7:30 am. We did have a week or so where she was waking up for an extra feeding at night, but I’m glad to say that it was short-lived! She takes a morning nap usually around 10 am, and then an afternoon one around 1 pm. She fusses about it but will usually fall asleep for at least an hour at a time._MG_2683Milestones, etc.:
– She learned to roll over!
– Her sense of humor is really starting to come out. She loves all the funny voices and sounds we make to get her to laugh.
– She’s been babbling for a while now, but in the past few days, the way she does it is different. It almost has some inflection to it, and she really moves her lips around a lot more. There was a day that she said “hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!”, and we were both flabbergasted by how human it sounded. Does that count as her first word?
– She’s become a thumb-sucker…

_MG_2690– We had to move the snap setting on her cloth diapers to make them taller! She was getting too big, and I don’t think low-rise diapers are quite in style.
– She is SO close to sitting up on her own! We still use the boppy pillow for support, and she does topple over when she tries to reach for a toy, but we’re getting there.

_MG_2665 _MG_2678She also tries to wiggle to get where she wants to go. She makes crawling-like motions, but doesn’t really get anywhere yet._MG_2709Dear Kaya,
Suddenly you seem like such a big girl! You get stronger each and every day! I’m so proud of how hard you try when you do something new. We’re really starting to see your personality- we love how happy and excited you are about everything! You really are such a chipper baby._MG_2694 Your smile and snuggles are my favorite things about you. Your new teeth make your grin even cuter!_MG_2702 Thanks for coming to be in our family, Little Sweetie. We love you so much and feel so blessed to have you!_MG_2700

weekend highlights

Our weekend started out pretty great! I love using coupons for my groceries, but there haven’t been too many great deals out there as of late. Well, finally, on Friday, I did pretty well and “saved” about $70! $20 was from coupons alone and the rest was for using my Kroger card, and we don’t have to worry about getting toilet paper or cereal anytime soon.


Then, I had my cake-decorating class on Friday night (my mom-in-law surprised me with these classes for Christmas)! We did piping gel transfer. I know I’m no pro yet, but I think Snoopy turned out pretty cute.

Most of the rest of the weekend was spent hanging around in our jammies._MG_2586

Of course, we went to church on Sunday. I really wanted a new family photo, but winter is back with a vengeance (darn groundhog is never right), and we decided that 18 degrees is too cold to take a photo outside. We tried inside, but realized that the plate for my tripod is too small for my 5D Mark II! I opted for Michael to take one of just Kaya and I, but she wasn’t really interested. Oh well._MG_2592

Lelia and Jeff came over on Sunday night, and we made these M&M cookie bars. Heaven in your mouth, I tell ya._MG_2599

We will definitely be making those again._MG_2601Hope your weekend was as lazy and delicious as ours!

heart day

Hopefully everyone had a happy Valentine’s Day! We never really make a big deal out of it, but it was still so much more fun to share it with Kaya.

I took a couple of “Valentine’s” photos of Kaya, but tried something new and went for the whole blown-out-white-studio background. I know they’re not perfect, but I’ve never done it before, so I’m actually pretty impressed with how they turned out.


Don’t you love the glittery pink bird on our Baby Bird’s shirt? Thanks Auntie Lelia and Uncle Jeff!IMG_2462

My mom sends us candy every year without fail, but since Kaya is too young for sweets, she got a little Hallmark bear instead!_MG_2561

Apparently, she is also too young to realize that bears are not for eating._MG_2567“Look mom, no hands!” Poor little Bear.


Kaya even made a card for her daddy as a surprise! I’m so glad that Lelia just happened to be here so she could help with this, because otherwise there surely would have been a lot more paint all over Kaya, myself, and the kitchen floor! Kaya was surprisingly patient while we lathered paint all over her toes and made the footprints.vday2013Of course, Michael loved it. (And yeah, that’s still my birthday stuff hanging on the walls. It’s a week-long celebration for me!)

IMG_2480Eating your bear and painting footprints can really wear you out by the end of the day.

IMG_2486I’m so grateful for all my valentines.

my *actual* birthday

My real birthday started out like most other days- feeding Kaya in the dark hours of the morning and going for a 4-mile run afterward. Today was a little different, though- I was happily surprised with the best gift a baby can give her mama… a nap! I got about two extra hours to sleep and it felt marvelous.

IMG_2417My visiting teacher left some delicious gingersnap cookies on my doorstep, but other than that we had a pretty normal day of cleaning, playing, and storytime…

IMG_2437 IMG_2442

… until Lelia and Jeff came over with some homemade Nutella cupcakes! YUM! (I know you’re wishing Lelia was YOUR sister now. Too bad. She’s taken!)


They sang my favorite Primary birthday song…IMG_2446…and a blurry version of myself blew out the candles.IMG_2447Happy quarter-century to me!


birthday party weekend!

I haven’t even had my REAL birthday yet, but we already celebrated it with both sides of our immediate family this past weekend! We had a little party on Saturday, but the whole weekend felt like a celebration to me- I got to run while grandparents watched Kaya, we ate a million of my favorite foods, and we had ice cream or cake (or both!) every night. Yeah… I’m spoiled.

Chinese-food buddies! (We are also mac ‘n cheese buddies…)


Just before the party, everyone banned me to Kaya’s room so that they could decorate. I was pretty excited to see all the hot pink streamers and so many of my photos covering the walls.

IMG_2407 IMG_2381

I was even MORE excited to see THIS sitting in the middle of all my gifts!!!


No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you… really! Michael surprised me with a Canon 5D Mark II, and I still can’t believe it! I’ve joked about wanting this camera for over two years, and it’s finally in my hands. I’m really looking forward to using it for both future photoshoots and just my own personal photos. My buddy is the best.

_MG_8721 _MG_8775

I also had a fudge brownie ice cream cake (and I didn’t even make it myself this year)! Mmmm. (Not sure what happened to the “h”… I never saw it. Oh well! Guess it’s my “birtday!”)

_MG_8725I love all these crazy people and feel so blessed that they could be with me for my birthday. They make me feel so loved. I’m also so thankful that I now have a sister and a daughter to celebrate with!_MG_8760

Aaaand you know we can’t pose without doing something crazy.

_MG_8766A few other photos from the weekend:

Grandparents can’t get enough baby cuddles!

_MG_8688 _MG_8696


And apparently Karl can’t get enough Juni cuddles.

_MG_8771Then Mom and Karl were cuddling each other (are you seeing a theme here?)


And I have been cuddling with using my 5D Mark II. I can’t believe how sharp it is!

week in review

Although I haven’t blogged much in the past week, we’ve still been up to a lot! I figured I’d just lump it all together in one post, so prepare yourself for a gazillion photos. Here are our highlights!

Michael traveled for work for the second time this year so far. He was only really gone for a night, but he made sure to get extra baby cuddles before he left! (Check out his bedhead… I mean, handsome smile!)


Most wives would revel in the luxury of having the whole bed to themselves. I’m not really “most wives”, so here’s what Michael’s side looks like when he’s not here. I have to fill the space up or I don’t think I could sleep. (I know you’re jealous of my giant stuffed dogs. Admit it.)

We’ve also had some great brother and sister time!

And a whole lot of exersaucer fun.


And more…_MG_8593

…and more…
_MG_8603…and even more that’s not pictured, because really, how many pictures of a baby in an exersaucer do you need to see?

Michael and I had our first-ever XL pizza! I don’t think I’ve ever even seen one, let alone eaten it. We had a coupon to get it for free, and that just made it taste even better.


Uncle Karl came over and we had a Mario Kart party… which really meant him and I were playing against other random people in the world. And by “playing against”, I really mean losing pathetically. Yep._MG_8612

Baby Bird is serious about her playtime. (This rattle is actually her favorite toy right now!)


We’ve been working on sitting up, too._MG_8586

But mostly, she just falls over._MG_8563There’s been a lot of toe-grabbing going on, and apparently it’s only cool to wear socks that are soaked in drool nowadays.


Kaya also had her first-ever playdate! Little Mia came over and we had a lot of fun. Kaya just couldn’t stop looking at her and smiling._MG_8625

She also wanted to grab Mia’s face and clothes…_MG_8632Some other things that I don’t have photos for:
– This weekend, I did my first 6-mile run since Kaya was born. It went really well and I felt so good at the end of it! I just might incorporate longer runs into my weekly regimen again.
– We went to Dairy Queen. Yeah… how can that not make the list? I have a problem.
– We also went to The Children’s Place, and they had a pretty big rack of clearance items for $3. Kaya really needed some jammies in bigger sizes, so I was super excited to see that there were a bunch left! We also found a dress and a couple of shirts. Our receipt told us that we “saved” about $101 off of the original prices- whoa! I love deals on things we actually need.