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Friday, October 10, 2014

Bumpdate: 17 Weeks (...and Some Big News!)

How far along: 17 weeks 4 days
Size of baby: Onion--approximately 5.1 inches from head to rump and 5.9 oz.
Total weight gain/loss: I will get weighed at my appointment next week. I'm not sure, for now!
Stretch marks: No new ones.
Maternity clothes: Maybe half and half. The maternity clothes are so much more comfortable, but a lot of my longer shirts and looser pants still work.
Baby-related purchases: Some yarn for a soft knitted blanket (I'm also making a matching one for Z to get when the baby's born)...and I think that's it. I'm trying to take it easy, since I know we have most of what we need already.
Movement: I have definitely felt movement the past few weeks! Austin has even felt and heard this little one kicking around!
Sleep: Not too bad. Zia has had a cold and been teething for eternity, so her sleep is struggling. She woke up at 5 am last night (this morning? still seems like night to me...) and had the hardest time going back to sleep, even though I let her snuggle in our bed. I have still been a little uncomfortable, but the colder nights seem to help me sleep better. Once in a while it's hard to sleep since the little peanut is kicking around a lot harder lately. I think it's cute, though. :)
Belly button in or out: Still half and half, but I feel like it won't be much longer until it's completely out. 
What I miss: Right now, I think I only miss feeling fully rested and being comfortable in my own skin. I'm feeling less moody and stressed (for the most part), and lots of exciting stuff has been happening lately! I'm mostly just excited these days.
Cravings: The only one I can think of right now is maraschino cherry everything! I usually don't really like it, but I can't get enough! I also am still loving my tradition of getting a small sweet pork salad at Costa Vida once or twice a week when I'm at school. So yummy!
Worries: I feel a little less worried now that we know the gender(!!) and I can feel this little bean kicking around off and on all day. I guess I will still feel a little better after the anatomy scan at the end of the month, but I am feeling less worried. 
What I look forward to: My appointment next week, the anatomy scan in a few weeks, and meeting this little person! This pregnancy is just flying by. Also, we found a new apartment! I cannot wait to get all moved in and settled in the home that will be this baby's first!
Celebrations: Finding out that we're having....a GIRL! Zia is getting a sweet little sister. I am so excited for them to be friends. Also finding this new apartment. We will have another bedroom for little sister and some more storage, bathroom, and kitchen space (hooray!). We should be moving in the next two months, so that is pretty awesome!

As far as the new apartment goes, it couldn't be anything but an answer to prayer. I have been so stressed about  the possibility of bringing another baby home to this apartment (and proceeding to live here with a family of four for the next 6 months or more), so hearing about this amazing apartment in our budget is like a dream come true. I know God hears and answers our prayers and is mindful of our needs (and even our wants. :) ). He is so good to us, and I am grateful that this is all working out the way it has. The new place is even closer to Austin's work and is still pretty close to school. So, if you have any packing/moving tips (especially for moving while being pregnant and having a 20-month-old), send them my way! :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bumpdate: 13 Weeks

One thing that I wish I would have done better with Z's pregnancy is keep better records and take more pictures. I was great after she was born, but I want to do better this time! Here's a quick update:

How far along: 13 weeks 1 day
Size of baby: Lemon, about 3 inches long and weighing in around 1 oz.
Total weight gain/loss: I started out this pregnancy around 122, and I hit 112 a few weeks ago. Last week I had gained a little back and was 115, so I guess -7, as of last weighing. (I'm so grateful we don't have a scale. I stressed so much about gaining weight last time, and it has been the same struggle this time. I have been less sick and able to eat a lot more, but I lost about the same amount of weight. It's been frustrating. Hopefully I can keep gaining at a healthy rate now that I'm almost in the second trimester.)
Stretch marks: No new ones.
Maternity clothes: Here and there. Since I lost a lot of weight, a lot of my pants are still working. Maternity pants are more comfortable, though, so I have worn them a few times.
Baby-related purchases: So far, we have only bought one case of newborn diapers. We had a coupon for Huggies Snugglers, and those don't go up to Zia's size. Other than that, I bought a few maternity items online last week. I bought most things in size medium for last pregnancy, so most of them are way too big (or just stretched out!) for this thinner version of me.
Movement: I think I have felt a few flutters, but nothing for sure yet.
Sleep: Not great, but not awful. I am always pretty tired, but when Austin or Zia wakes up in the night, it usually wakes me up for a while. I tend to have a hard time getting back to sleep. Poor Z is getting her canine teeth right now, so she has woken up in pain a few nights in a row.
Belly button in or out: Half and half. Sadly, it never fully went back in after I had Z. That was the only place on my belly that got stretch marks, so I think it was just too stretched out. Anyway, it popped pretty early with Z, so I'm guessing it will do the same thing this time.
What I miss: Being able to eat a lot and smelling the world without being disgusted/gagging. Also not feeling exhausted. Sometimes I feel a little nostalgic over the fact that Zia isn't going to be our only baby soon. These months with her have been the very best of my life, and in some ways I'm sad to have her only child days come to an end, despite how excited I am for her to have a little brother or sister.
Cravings: I have had the most random, STRONG cravings this time around! I don't think I ever craved anything with Z, which I always thought was pretty weird. This time around my body is making up for it! At any moment of the day, I am probably craving something. If I give in to the craving, it tastes like manna from heaven! I'm only half joking! One of my most recent cravings was cookies from Swig. I hadn't even tried them before, but I had heard enough good things about them that my brain finally decided I had to try them. I wasn't disappointed! I ate most of my cookie and some of Austin's! Zia had some too, of course. :) I also have eaten Costa Vida's sweet pork salad a few times, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it each time. Meat has to be pretty cleverly disguised for me to be able to eat it these days, and that fits the bill. It's even kind of healthy! ;)
Worries: Gaining weight, as usual. Now that we're at the end of the first trimester, I am a lot less nervous about the pregnancy itself. I am mostly worried about being able to keep up with my school work and internship and Zia and everything else I have going on during the already exhausting process of being pregnant. I did it once before, though, and I'm sure it will be fine. :)
What I look forward to: Finding out the gender in just a few weeks! Then we will know if we need to find/buy a lot of boy things or just add a few things to the stash of girl stuff we already have. Plus Austin will finally start talking about names once we know if it's a boy or a girl.
Celebrations: My first appointment was three weeks ago, and everything looked good! We were able to have a mini ultrasound to check things out, and the baby was measuring right on time with a strong, little heartbeat. Baby wiggled around like crazy the whole time, which I loved. There is so much life in a baby, even from the very early stages of pregnancy. It's amazing.

That's it for my pregnancy update, but now for a "bumpdate!" I have been a little better about getting pictures taken this time around. They aren't anything fancy, but it's mostly about measuring that belly and baby as they grow!

First picture right after we found out at 4 weeks. Excuse the crazy hair and no makeup. :)


Second picture after a date to go get sushi (cooked chicken and veggies only, don't worry) at 8 weeks. Barely starting to be a little round!


Last week after our adventurous day at Lagoon. I took it pretty easy, because no ride is worth hurting our little peanut! 12 weeks.


The funny thing is, I feel like it always looks bigger from my perspective. :)


 Well, this little cutie is sure growing fast! (Mini ultrasound pic taken at 10 week appointment.)


 We have another appointment next week, so I'll let you know how things are going soon!

Thanks for dropping by!

-Malia



Counting Down...A Life Update

It's funny how some parts of life are all about enjoying the moment, and other parts have you counting down to some future date. This is definitely a count-down phase for me. There is so much to work towards and look forward to right now. Since I haven't announced it yet on the blog, we have big news!


Yep, we're pregnant! In spite of how crazy our lives already are, being in the middle of college, and already having a little munchkin, we knew it was time to grow our family. This little peanut is due March 16, if you didn't read that in the picture. That means our kids will be just shy of two years apart. :) We are so excited!

So that's the first thing we're counting down to. Baby and I hit 13 weeks yesterday (yay!), so hopefully the comfortable, fun part of pregnancy gets started soon. I haven't been as sick as last time, thank goodness. That makes everybody think it could be a boy this time around. I guess we'll see! We're doing an early gender ultrasound to find out in a few weeks, so I'll let you know. :) 3 months down, 6 to go. This pregnancy is just flying by.

The other big thing I am counting down to is graduation! Even though I promised and swore and wrote in my journal, blog, and everywhere else that I would never, EVER try to graduate and take care of a newborn at the same time, it looks as though I will be doing it yet again. That's okay. It really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, and this time I will be taking at least one or two online/home-study courses, so that will help ease the transition. I am due 7 weeks before graduation, so that's a big difference from last time. I only had Z two weeks before finals, so I only had to finish the last little bit. Be that as it may, I feel good about pushing through and finishing. Things have really fallen into place to make that a possibility, and I am ready to be done with school. I am taking 18 course credits and 1 internship credit this semester (so far so good), and that leaves 15 course credits and 2 internship credits for spring semester. Then I will be done. Forever. And I can find a job interpreting and let my wonderful husband have his turn to finish up school. Right now I am leaning toward interpreting in an educational setting to start out, but we'll see what happens. The plan is to have me work until Austin is able to finish up his schooling, then we'll switch and I will be the stay-at-home mommy again. I can't wait. It breaks my heart a little bit to think of working and spending so much time away from my tinies, but I know that we can only do our best, and try to follow God's will in our lives. If we can do that, everything else will fall into place.

Despite all the counting down (3 weeks to ultrasound, 6 months to due date, 8 months to graduation, etc.), this is such a fun stage for our family. Zia is getting so big and smart. She is big for her age, so most people think she is 2, even though she's not quite 1 1/2 yet. She signs like crazy, and she even tries to say some words. Austin bought her a little potty to start the process of potty training last week, and she LOVES to sit on it! It's so funny, because she doesn't fully comprehend the concept of using it yet, but she does think it is a fun toy. It even makes noises when you flush it! It's pretty fun. I have heard lots of people have good success with potty training girls around 18 months-2 years, so we are hoping to start potty training in a month or two. With any luck, we will be all squared away long before the baby comes. I don't know about you, but I don't love the idea of having two in diapers! Though, if that happens, it really wouldn't be the end of the world. It would just be nice to have that taken care of beforehand. :)

We are planning on staying in our little apartment at least until I am able to find steady work, which will be at least a few months after baby comes, I would think. I never planned on bringing another baby home to this apartment, but it has served us well for a long time now. I imagine it will do so for another year. :) Ha! Another thing to count down to...

Anyway, that's our life update for now. I have all the pictures taken and ideas all ready for a million posts, but school, pregnancy, and Zia are keeping me pretty busy, so I imagine I won't be updating super often for the next little while. I will probably do a pregnancy update today or tomorrow. Hopefully I can keep on top of it, but forgive me if I can't! I have reached over 9,000 pageviews, which is pretty incredible considering how little I try to build traffic to my little corner of blogland. So thank you, friends and family, for supporting me and reading about our little life. I love you guys!

Monday, June 30, 2014

DIY Framed New York Art

So, there's this sad thing about blogging when you are also a wife, mom, and full-time student. Sometimes it just doesn't happen. That's totally okay, though, because raising a family and getting my education is worth it! But that is the reason this project that I shared on instagram ages ago is only now making its debut on the pages of the blog. Anyway, here is an easy, cheap, and chic way to decorate your home. The best part is, you probably don't even need to leave home to do it! (Okay, you might need to leave to grab some spray paint. But other than that! ;) ) So without further ado, DIY framed New York art!



What you'll need:
Frames: I used old ones that weren't being used in our decor, but you could just use nice/new ones and skip the spray painting step!
Spray paint: optional
Paper: I just used regular printer paper, but cardstock would probably look extra great. I like the look of using the printer paper, though, because it helps it look like I printed on real, old book pages.
Computer and Printer: to search for old book pages and art, and then for printing.
Nails, Hammer, etc.: for hanging your pictures when you're done.

On to the how-to... Forgive me, I didn't take many pictures of the process. It's super easy and quick, though!

First, you will need to gather as many frames as you want for your (mini) gallery wall. This would also work well with a single photo. I used three frames, since the spot above our toilet was very narrow, tall, and empty. (Ideally, make sure your frames don't go any larger than a photo the same size as a normal sheet of paper--8.5"x11". This just makes it easier to print everything at home.)

Here are the three frames I chose. (I finished my art before I spray painted my frames, but in hindsight, that would have been a good project to do while I fretfully waited for them to dry. Haha I get so antsy for projects to be done sometimes.)



As you can see, they're all really different in color, shape, and style. That's okay! Everything goes for this project!

After you have your frames picked out, you need to take out the glass and backing from the frames and spray paint the frames to match. I went with a semi-gloss black spray paint for quick-and-easy application. (They're not perfect, so don't look too close!) Give your paint at least a few hours to dry completely.

While your paint is drying, go online. Search for images like "old book pages", "dictionary pages", things like that. There are millions of options. I didn't really care what the text said as long as there were not huge gaps and no pictures.

When you have your text images ready to go, print them out.

Next, find three images that match your theme. You can pick anything! Our shower curtain (which you may have occasionally seen in my bathroom-mirror selfies) has the New York skyline on it, so I went with a New York theme for my prints.

I think I found both of my pictures on desktop image databases. I didn't want anything too fancy--just black and white. I also had to carefully resize each image to fit in its frame. It is a good idea to do a test run on a scrap sheet of paper before you waste one of your pretty text pages.

Also, if you want one of the frames to hold words, pick a font, size, and print that out as well.

Once you're all printed, cut out your papers to just a little bigger than the size of the frame opening.

Insert pictures into dry frames, and voila! You're done! Just go hang your lovely work on the wall.

Here are some glare-y pictures of the final product all hung up on the wall!





Haha it's kind of awkward that you can see my reflection in the glass...anyway! This was a super fun, easy project, and I hope you try it! It only takes an afternoon, so it's my kind of craft. :)

Happy crafting!

-Malia


Monday, June 16, 2014

2nd Anniversary

Forgive the lateness of this post... I have been so ridiculously busy with summer semester (15 credits, yes...I'm crazy) that it has been in the works for over a month now! Anyway, I still wanted to give some love to our anniversary, so enjoy!

I can hardly believe that it has been two whole years since I married my love. It's funny how it feels like ages on one hand, like we've known each other forever. On the other hand, it seems like it was just a few days ago. I have had a few people ask for our love story. I think our anniversary is the perfect day to share it. (Sorry if you've already heard it! I never get tired of telling it, though. :) )

We met at Good Earth Natural Foods (a local health food store) in the beginning of fall 2011. I had just graduated high school, and I was focused on school. I did not think I would be getting married anytime soon! Austin had just returned from an LDS mission in Nebraska. We were both starting our first semester of college at UVU. I was taking a swimming class, and all that wonderful exercise meant I was always starving. I hadn't tried protein shakes before, but I thought that might be a good way to give my body the nutrients and energy it seemed to need.

So I walked into work one day, specifically intending to ask one of the wellness counselors over in the supplements section about the different protein powders. Austin happened to be working that day, and I instantly knew his muscly self would know all about protein. (He was kind of a gym rat before we started dating. He still kind of is, but that's another story. ;) ) So I walked up to him and asked for his advice. He knew there were a few Syntha-6 protein samples sitting around, so he found some for me, and that was it. Our very first encounter. I can even remember the exact shirt he was wearing. Is that funny?

Anyway. As time went on, we grew to be flirty acquaintances. I thought he was so cute and funny, but I knew he flirted with pretty much all the girls at work, so I didn't think a whole lot of it. One day, while I was stocking the big fridges at work with some coworker girlfriends, Austin came up. We were talking about how cute and strong he was, and one of the girls said that they were dating. I felt kind of embarrassed and awkward for having a crush on him and essentially stopped thinking about him. I am so not the kind of girl who wants to get in the middle of that situation!

A few months down the road, Austin and I were working the same shift and happened to go on break at the same time. I don't know about the rest of the world, but at Good Earth, two employees going on break together is pretty much always referred to as a "break date." So, we were on a break date. It was the first time that I felt like I really started to get to know Austin, not just banter back and forth and blush, you know? We talked about his mission and things like that. Halfway through our break, he just turned to me and said, "Why don't I have your number?" I answered as dumbly as possible..."Um, because you never asked for it?" I swear I said it as a question. Hahaha what do you even say to that? To make it even more awkward, Austin didn't ask for my number right then! We both just kind of laughed it off and went on eating. I kind of knew by that point that we liked each other a little bit, but we definitely didn't know what to do about it.

Later in the shift, Austin gave me a little folded note. I believe he sent it to me through a messenger, but I'm not one hundred percent sure about that, now that I think about it. Anyway, I had the note. It simply asked for my number in a very cheesy, but cute, way. I filled in the blanks with my digits and sent the note back to Austin.

As our shift came to a close, Austin ended up leaving a little bit before I did. He had already sent me a text by the time I had clocked out and grabbed my stuff to leave. He asked me if I wanted to go see a movie that night, and I said yes.

Normally, when I'm telling this story to strangers or acquaintances, I end the story with, "And we've been together ever since." But you guys are my faithful readers. I will give you more than that. ;)

So, we got to the movie theater. We drove separately, since Austin only had a motorcycle at that point, and heaven knows I didn't want to ride on a motorcycle at 10 o'clock at night near the end of December. We met up in the parking lot and went inside together. Austin had made a quick stop to buy a couple chocolate chip cookies (my favorite), so we snacked on those during the movie. (I don't think I've ever said anything to him about this, but that made me both respect his choice of treats and his frugality for not spending a ton of money on movie theater treats. Haha)

The movie we watched was Real Steel. We really liked it. Afterwards, we stood out by our car/motorcycle and talked for as long as we could without shivering to death (not very long). We did the obligatory post-date hug thing and left.

Austin beat me home, and he had texted me again by the time I was up to my apartment. After talking for a minute, we decided we both weren't tired and should probably hang out some more. We rented a Redbox and ended up talking the whole night away. We held hands at some point, which we jokingly say happened on our second date. It was crazy, though, the way we just clicked. Everything about him was so fascinating and amazing and wonderful to me. I had so much respect for the wonderful brother he was, the way I could tell he really loved his family, and how hard he worked in all areas of his life. He had a passion for things I admired, and his very difficult life made me want to cry and hug him all at the same time. That's a story for him to tell, not me, but it is seriously a miracle that Austin turned out to be the amazing guy that he is. Anyway, I'm getting off subject.

We ended up talking that whole night away, and Austin didn't go home until around 7 am. The next night, I had already been set up on a blind date by a coworker that Austin and I were both good friends with. When she heard that Austin and I had really hit it off right before this blind date she was so excited about, she was jokingly mad at Austin for stealing me and ruining my chances with this other guy (who is now her brother-in-law, her husband's twin brother). Anyway, I went on that date, had a lot of fun, and knew I definitely was not interested in that guy romantically at all. Which I felt bad about. Austin had been texting me before the date, saying that we should hang out afterwards if things didn't pan out with the blind date. I ended up texting him, and we hung out again until 5 am or so that time. We had our first kiss that night, but we were good! Don't worry. Just lots more talking and getting to know each other.

And we have literally been together ever since. It's kind of funny that Austin wasn't my last first date, but I don't think it bothers him. It has been pretty clear to both of us from the very start that this was something special. We were together constantly from the end of December on. We got engaged about a month later and were married on May 16th in the Draper temple. It was a gorgeous day, and I love our pictures so much! Here are a few of my favorites.













Happy (late) anniversary, my love! I look forward to many more wonderful years with you. :)

Thanks for reading!

-Malia

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mommy and Me Matching Skirts (and Headband) Tutorial

Happy Late Easter!

I've been a little too busy with school to blog much lately, but I've been up to lots of fun crafts in my brief moments of free time!

Growing up, my mom always bought skirts for me and my sister. It has been a tradition for a long time, so I was excited to continue that tradition for Zia's first Easter. With that tradition in mind, I bought some fabric a few months ago to make matching Easter skirts for me and my girl. :) We got lots of compliments, so I thought I'd share a little tutorial for anyone else who wants to make matching skirts. They're really easy!

These skirts were inspired by these skirts over at Handmade Mess.


Excuse the floppy socks on Zia... She has been walking for a while now, but she refuses to walk with shoes on. Because of that, she wore socks to church on Easter and tried to pull them off all day. :) Silly girl! On to the tutorial!

What you need:

  • 1 1/2 yards fabric (I used a thicker, denim-like fabric from JoAnn)
  • Elastic (at least 1 inch wide, but you can use any thickness)
  • Thread--1 spool that matches the fabric and 1 spool that matches the elastic
  • Sewing machine, pins, thread, scissors
  • Double needle (optional but helpful :) )
  • For headband: hot glue and extra elastic
First decide what size you want your skirts to be. You'll want to use a piece around 3/4 yard wide and however long you like your skirts. Add 2 1/2 inches to the length for seam allowance. Figure out the size for baby's skirt as well. Cut out your rectangles.


Next, zigzag or serge one of the long edges.


If you're using your sewing machine instead of a serger (like I did), try to serge right next to the edge to avoid fraying problems.


Next you will need to cut your elastic. Measure your waist, then subtract 1 to 2 inches from that number. You want it tight enough to stay on without being uncomfortable.

You can do the next step two ways. You can take the time to gather the fabric to be the same size as your elastic or fold in half, pin on the fold, and repeat until you have 5 or 6 pins evenly spaced. Do the same thing on your elastic, then match up your pins so that the fabric is gathered between the pins. (I hope that makes sense.) I used the second method.

After you've matched up those pins, add more pins, making sure the fabric gathers evenly. The fabric and elastic should overlap by 1/2 inch or so.


At this point you will want to use a stretch or zigzag stitch or a double needle. I switched to a double needle.

Sew along the elastic, stretching as you sew so that the elastic and fabric are both flat. Sew right next to the bottom edge of the elastic. It will look something like this. (Side note--using thread that matches your elastic makes any goofs a lot harder to see. ;) )


Laid flat, it will look like this.


I forgot to take pictures of some of the last steps (sorry!), but they're easy. All you need to do is put the two short sides of the skirt right side together and sew along that edge. Zigzag that edge to avoid fraying.

Before hemming, try the skirt on and make sure the length is right. Trim if necessary. (Zia's was waaaay too long, so we trimmed it down to size.)



Last but not least, fold the hem over 1/2 inch then 1 1/2 inches. Sew 1 1/4 inches from the bottom edge, and you're all done! (For the baby skirt, you might decide to do a smaller hem for a smaller skirt. I ended up doing that, but it's totally your preference!)

Now, to make a matching headband for baby....

Cut two rectangles of fabric 4x6 and another that's 2x6.


Sew the two larger pieces with right sides together, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance and leaving a little gap for turning. Trim corners, turn right-side-out, and press flat.


With the smaller rectangle, turn left side toward the middle, press. Repeat with the right side.


Topstitch 1/8 inch from the edge of both pieces.



Scrunch the center of the larger piece until you have the bow shaped just right. Use your glue gun to glue the folds shut in the very center.


Hot glue the center piece on top of the fold.


Flip over.


Cut your elastic to the right size (12-13 inches for a one-year-old). Hot glue in place on the fold.


Now trim down the center piece. You only need enough on each side to cover the elastic. Glue one side in place.


Fold the other side to cover the raw edge, then glue in place.


Ta-da! Easy, peasy! And adorable, too! :)


I know not all moms are thrilled with the idea of being matchy-matchy with their kiddos, but I think it's so much fun! 


Happy sewing! :)

-Malia

Saturday, April 26, 2014

One More Year...

This post is a little more personal than my usual stuff, but these thoughts have been on my mind a lot lately, so I thought I'd share.

Finishing up this semester hasn't given me that relieved feeling I'm so used to feeling when the end of the school year rolls around. Instead, I just keep thinking, "One more year."

After general conference, Austin and I both had a really strong feeling that the way I had planned out school--finishing December 2015 then working while Austin went back to school--wasn't quite what Heavenly Father had in mind for us. We felt like it was putting our family on hold a little too long. Ever since then, I have felt so strongly that I need to get into gear and just push through these last few semesters, finishing a semester earlier than planned. That means taking heavy credit loads for three semesters (Summer, Fall, Spring) instead of having four of the easiest semesters of my college career. But it also means that I'll graduate in one year, be a certified American Sign Language interpreter that much sooner, and be able to move on with our family and life plans.

Even though that stresses me out, it also feels good. Good to know that Heavenly Father is watching out for us and has a plan for me, even if it wasn't quite what my little brain had in mind.

I have been more than a little jealous of all the people graduating this month. All the graduations mean we are losing some of our favorite neighbors, which we are pretty bummed about. I just have to keep thinking, "One more year," and pray that Heavenly Father will help me through this crazy time. It's hard to wrap my brain around all the changes that will be happening in our family next year. We will likely move. I will take my interpreting certification tests, complete an internship, graduate, and hopefully get a great job interpreting. If it's God's will, we might even add another person to our family (NOT a pregnancy announcement, don't worry. Just speculation). Austin has always wanted kids closer together (I think we are a little backwards in the kids department--he has always been the one to know it's time, while I tend to be a little slower to realize God's plan in that part of our life), and it is exciting to think that we might have another one before next year is done.

Thinking about all that can be pretty overwhelming. I will be up to my eyeballs in school for the next year, taking care of Zia, possibly having another baby soonish (if you follow me on Pinterest, that thought has been inspiring some of my pins lately...haha), taking up a 15-hour-a-week internship for a semester, all while trying to stay on top of my duties at home and church. Austin, sweetheart that he is, will be picking up a lot of the slack. He is going back to working part-time to accommodate my increasingly busy schedule, which also means we are taking out some student loans to help us survive. See what I mean by overwhelming?

But at the same time, I have never been so excited in my life. I am at such a happy, wonderful point in my life right now, but there is so much more waiting just around the corner. I have felt a lot of peace and comfort in the midst of my inner turmoil just by remembering that Heavenly Father has wonderful things planned for me. Life has never gone quite the way I planned, but it somehow always seems to go better. Meeting Austin when I least expected it, having Zia within our first year of marriage, and realizing that we might have two kids before Austin even goes back to work--all of that is something I never planned for myself. Yet those things bring me more joy than my old, boring plans ever could have brought.

Anyway, I hope that wasn't too personal. I know that most of the people who read my little old blog are just friends and family, so I felt okay about sharing it.

Did general conference bring any life-changing realizations your way?

Tissue Box Toy

Babies are funny. They can be entertained by the most random things. If you have ever let a little one near a tissue box, you have probably seen the glee that can come from such a simple thing, not to mention the mess! I accidentally left a box of tissues in Zia's reach a while ago, back when we all went through that awful cold, and she was absolutely thrilled! I left the room for a few seconds, and I returned to find the living room covered in white! After doing a little palm-forehead action, I quickly cleaned up the mess and moved the box out of her reach. The amount of joy she got from the tissues got me thinking, though. I wanted to make a toy like it that she could use again and again (without shredding expensive lotion tissues while we all have colds...haha). Now you can make your own! Introducing....

The Tissue Box Toy!


All you need are a few scraps of fabric around the same size as tissues and an empty tissue box. I serged around the edges of all the scraps that could fray, just to avoid any messes later on. Fold the fabric pieces in the box, and you're all set!


Now just let your favorite little one play with her new favorite toy! :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Happy First Birthday, Z!

Can you believe it? It actually happened. My baby girl turned one a few days ago.

I am still a little bit in shock! When I was pregnant, time seemed to drag on (probably because I was so tired of waiting for Zia to finally come!), but the days have flown by since her birth last year. I love every moment that I get to spend with my sweet, silly girl!

We went to the zoo for her big day, since she loves animal pictures and noises so much. Unfortunately, she was scared of every animal we saw--even the little rooster running around the grounds.


The rooster was kind enough to give us a good rooster call, but Zia was so scared! She loves the noise at home, but apparently it's a bit much with the real deal right in front of her! My cute mom came with us and was trying to comfort Z.
Poor little thing. We'll try it again next year. :)

I made her a cute outfit, which I never really got a good picture of, but here are some pictures from the day. :)



Crying after seeing the gorillas. All the animals seemed to be trying extra hard to impress the guests that day. Too bad Zia just wanted to get out of there! Also, she hates wearing headbands. That's why she isn't wearing the one I made in some of these pictures.

Me and my elephant-loving girl.
 Zia finally cheered up once we made our way over to the gift shop. She kissed every single thing that we let her hold. So cute!


 She was getting kind of stir crazy, so we let her run around for a minute (much to my germ-phobe-mom chagrin). She loved it. :)


Happy to be one!

After our long drive back home, we decided to go get Cafe Rio and Menchies to bring to Austin at work.



Isn't she precious? I sure feel lucky to have her in my life. The rest of the day had her practicing her walking skills a lot, and she has been doing so more and more every day! It is so fun to watch her toddle around. She is so proud of herself every time she gets from one point to another. :)

We also went to her one-year-old checkup yesterday. She is doing great! She is growing so fast and has gone from 17 inches tall at birth to 30 inches tall! It's crazy when you think about how fast babies sprout up. She currently weighs 22 lbs 2 oz.

She was finally old enough to play with the toys in the waiting room this time. She loved them!

22 lbs 2 oz means one big girl! She's gained about a pound a month since her last checkup.

Pre-checkup. Happy to be naked!

Post-checkup and shots...She had serious stranger danger with the doctor and did not like her shots one bit. She was tough, though! 
At age one Zia loves to read, sing, dance, crawl, sign, make people laugh, play the piano, walk, sew with me, "help" with the laundry, empty drawers, make funny faces, eat, look at pictures of family, play with shoes, take baths and showers, visit grandmas and grandpas, play peek-a-boo, cuddle, make animal noises...and much more.

Happy birthday, Zia girl! I love you!