Happy Chinese New Year everyone!
We’ve been celebrating this holiday with my sister-in-law ever since Half-Pint came along. It is so much fun. We dress up and then make and eat good food shared with lots of friends. I really love that Ruth started this tradition!
Of course, Bean has to participate in the dressing up for this festivity too. I pondered many options and even coveted a few Etsy items. In the end I was good on our budget and just wound up embroidering a onesie for her to wear to the big feast next weekend. Mmmm dumplings. I can hardly wait!
The design sketched out:
Completed laterns up close (I still haven’t washed the onesie just yet to get the Crayola marker off, so you can still see it peeking out from behind the stitches here and there):
The ox (I just love this little guy!):
Bean happily modeling my needlework:
And of course she spit up all over the front of it just after these pictures to show her love most ardently. Guess that solves the marker problem.
I wanted to get my shot in for Exposaroonie’s latest challenge and I decided that I would do what I’ve seen a lot of the other participants do: chronicaling the year in pictures while also revealing the favorite.
So here goes…
Knitted elephant made for Paula. Jan. 5, 2008
Trip to Redding for Paula’s graduation. Jan. 11 2008
We’re PREGNANT! Jan. 18, 2008
Rockin’ the Sea Bands. Jan. 22, 2008
Morning sickness is no joke. Jan. 23, 2008
Dehydration during pregnancy due to morning sickness is really no joke. Jan. 28, 2008
There’s really a baby in there. Feb. 7, 2008
PICC line inserted Feb. 28, 2008
Another ultrasound Mar. 6, 2008.
Clothes are falling off me Mar. 13, 2008.
Patchwork blanket completed Mar. 26, 2008.
First belly shot taken Mar. 28, 2008.
I “popped” Apr. 5, 2008.
Feeling better celebration. Paramore in concert Apr. 6, 2008.
We’re both bulging! Me & Mt. Shasta Apr. 26, 2008.
The Enchanted Forest Apr. 27, 2008.
Waterfall in Oregon Apr. 28, 2008.
End of the Oregon Trail museum in front of a real covered wagon Apr. 28, 2008.
Our love affair with Seattle began. Pike Place Market Apr. 30, 2008.
“Space Neenle!” (Kaela speak for Space Needle) May 1, 2008.
Snoqualmie Falls May 1, 2008.
A real lighthouse May 2, 2008.
I heart trains and the California State Railroad Museum May 4, 2008.
It’s a GIRL, May 7, 2008.
Cardigan completed May 18, 2008.
Knitted dress completed May 21, 2008.
We landscaped our backyard and added roses! May 21, 2008
Knitted onesie completed May 28, 2008.
My first Exposaroonie challenge June 14, 2008.
Last Disneyland trip for a long time June 20, 2008.
Vintage Exposaroonie Jul. 3, 2008.
Airy Fairy completed Jul. 11, 2008
Getting bigger Jul. 13, 2008
A bird made a nest in the wreath on our front door which I documented for Exposaroonie by using one of my lens attachments. Jul. 16, 2008
The best diapers ever arrive Jul. 18, 2008.
Could have fooled you that I actually like being pregnant. Aug. 9, 2008.
Baby shower Aug. 9, 2008
Happy birthday to us Aug. 10, 2008.
Made my own diaper bag Aug. 13, 2008.
Knitted bird mobile completed Aug. 18, 2008.
Stephen got a new baby Aug. 20, 2008
I am so huge! Aug. 30, 2008.
Nursery is basically finished Sept. 1, 2008.
Getting impatient Sept. 19, 2008.
Bean is here (born Sept. 24), picture taken Sept. 25, 2008 at 3:30am.
Tiny little feet and skinny legs Sept. 30, 2008.
Nap time Oct. 3, 2008.
I can’t believe how much I love this little girl Oct. 29, 2008. Definitely my favorite shot of the year.
Vampin’ it up on Halloween. Oct. 31, 2008.
Nov. 11, 2008
So funny. Nov. 18, 2008
Exposaroonie’s lines challenge… not my greatest photo ever. I wasn’t feeling very creative for this one. Nov. 20, 2008
Bean makes an appearance in my Exposaroonie texture shot. Dec. 8, 2008.
Snuggling with the doggies Dec. 9, 2008.
My poor baby is teething Dec. 11, 2008.
Pink fluffy robes Dec. 14, 2008.
My little rocker Dec. 16, 2008.
New stocking Dec. 18, 2008.
Keeping the tradition alive. Dec. 20, 2008.
Christmas is almost here! Dec. 22, 2008
Sisters on Christmas Eve. Dec. 24, 2008
A kiss from Auntie Andrea Dec. 30, 2008.
OK so all the festivities are pretty much finished now so I’ll just get this taken care of with one big post. I didn’t take quite as many pictures this year as I have in years past. I usually don’t take many pictures when we are with Stephen’s side of the family because there are just SO many photographers that I don’t want to add to the picture request list and the thousands of clicks/flashes/fake smiles/posing etc. So you’ll notice as the post goes on that pictures taper off.
Christmas Eve my family came over to celebrate and open presents. Paula didn’t come down, but Cherie and Andrea were there as well as my parents. I baked a ham with a yummy molasses and brandy based glaze and we also had mashed potatoes, wild rice stuffing, green beans with soy nuts and bacon bits, and glazed carrots. Then we opened presents and took some pictures.
Bean of course got the most presents because I’m the first one to have kids on my side.
That day was actually a pretty rough day for us. Bean was having a REALLY hard time with the teething and being around extra people. She had two huge meltdowns where I just couldn’t get her to stop crying. I tried everything. Finally, the second time around I had Stephen run to the store and get some Tylenol Infant Drops and we gave her some of those. She was so much happier after that. I’m not one to get into the habit of drugging up my baby, but her teeth were really causing her pain and the other remedies we tried just weren’t cutting it.
After things were wrapped up with my family Stephen and I packed up the car and headed to Ruth & Eric’s for more celebrating. Eric’s family always does this big Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. We weren’t sure if they’d be finished by the time we got there. We got to their house and they still weren’t home. We’d been to Eric’s parents’ a few times before, but we usually followed another driver or rode with someone. So we went on a little adventure to try and find their house. We made a couple wrong turns, but eventually we found it. I was pretty apprehensive after the day we’d experienced bringing Bean into a house packed full of boistrous Italians, but she actually did really great. We didn’t have any melt downs at all. Things finished up there about an hour or so later and we headed back to Ruth & Eric’s house.
All of our girls went down for bed and then we stayed up for a little longer to chat, help Santa eat rum cake and make sure he left a note for the girls to read the next morning. The next morning it was time for presents. Stephen’s family does one-by-one present opening so we FINALLY finished that up around noon. Luckily Santa left us some sustanence in our stockings in the form of fruit roll ups, Odwalla bars, and Teddy Grahams because I think we would have been famished otherwise.
“Lizzie” helping to pass out presents.
Santa brought “Half-pint” her very own princess castle tent, which she very much enjoyed:
I think we all spent the whole day in our pajamas.
Some of Eric’s family came over and we had Christmas Dinner before Stephen’s parents headed back to Bakersfield.
The next day Ruth and I braved the post-Christmas crowds at their mall. I bought a couple cute shirts for Bean at Nordstrom, I found my bridesmaid dress for Paula’s wedding, and I got some cute jeans. We also had lunch at Tacone (I’m so sad ours closed!) where I enjoyed the United Steak of America sandwich (their Rosemary Chipotle mayo is the best) and some sweet potato fries. After the mall we headed over to Borders to spend some gift cards. We found some really great deals in the bargain bins to beef up our growing libraries. I seriously could have spent hours and thousands of dollars there, but I managed to walk away with $12 still on my card.
Saturday Ruth and I took Bean to check out a new yarn shop and a baby store in T.O. before heading to Target to pick out a present for Morgan’s baby shower. Stephen and I headed back to Bakersfield later that afternoon. When we got home we then hit up every Target in town to see if we could find a fake 7 1/2 ft Douglas Blue Fir because all the Christmas stuff was 50% off. We had no luck so we bought clothes and Disney movies instead.
This really doesn’t have anything to do with the holidays, but that Sunday we left Bean in the nursery for the first time ever and she did great. I didn’t get paged the whole time and she fell asleep right before we picked her up. She really is one of the best babies ever.
Monday and Tuesday were spent cleaning up the house and washing all the laundry from our trip. Tuesday night our friends Grant and Megan came over for dinner. I finally got to see her engagement ring and we all hung out for quite awhile. I made yummy split pea soup with some of the left over ham.
Wednesday Andrea came over for most of the day. I’m not sure if I’ve said it here yet, but I absolutely love that I get to see my sister once a week now. She is such a HUGE help with Bean on the days that she is here. It’s like the only time I get a break. Basically on the days she is here all I have to do is feed Bean. Andrea will hold her, calm her down if she’s a little fussy, change diapers, etc. So I took complete advantage of Andrea being here so I could do some errands with an extra set of hands to help. We went to Macy’s to take back something I got for Christmas which was quite bulky and I would have had a hard time getting it and Bean into the store. Then she hung out with Bean while I tried on some clothes and helped me find the perfect jeans in a “short” length. After that we went to Target to get some more wrapping supplies and then to Albertsons to get stuff to make my contribution to that night’s festivities. The line at Albertsons was ridiculous. We were standing there for 30-40 minutes.
I was texting Ruth throughout our day because they were stuck on I5 in traffic and fog. The original plan was for them to get to our house around 1pm, but between leaving late and all the traffic mess they didn’t get to Bakersfield until much later and wound up going straight to my in-law’s house instead. Stephen got home from work and we packed up all of Bean’s stuff, the spinach artichoke dip for the New Year’s Eve party, fed the dogs and then headed over.
My mother-in-law wanted to do a very small and exclusive family party for their dad’s birthday apart from the slight chaos of the extended family. So we had a very quiet 3rd Christmas and birthday with Ruth & Eric’s family, Jim, Della and Jim’s parents.
Bean got to meet her Great Grandma Cay for the first time.
Happy Birthday Jim!
Della accidentally bought those trick candles. “Lizzie” and “Half-pint” tried to help grandpa blow them out, but eventually some water was necessary.
Ruth is sporting a pair of the wristwarmers I made for Christmas presents. One of only three knitted gifts I actually managed to get done this year.
After the birthday festivities were finished, we went to Stephen’s Aunt Nancy’s house for some New Year’s Eve partying. My spinach artichoke dip was a big hit. So here’s the recipe for those of you that missed the conversation:
Spinach Artichoke Dip
-8oz container of sour cream
-16oz cream cheese, softened
-16oz shredded parmesan cheese
-1 small bag/box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
-1 small bag/box frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted or 2 cans of artichoke hearts in water (not the marinated kind)
Preheat oven to 400. Dice artichoke hearts or place them in a food processor. Mix with remaining ingredients and then place in a baking dish. Cover and bake 25 minutes, removing cover for the last 5 minutes of baking. Serve with sliced baguettes, tortilla chips or veggies.
Sorry I don’t have a picture, but I’m sure you’ve all seen this dish enough at restaurants and such that it really isn’t necessary. I’ve tried a few other versions of this dip and then came up with this one which combines a couple of them without including mayonaise which tends to make it really oily.
Anyway, after we rang in the New Year we headed back to our house with Ruth & Eric’s family for the night. Thursday we went back over for chilli and college football.
Friday Ruth and I ran some errands together and then the boys went to the music store for a bit. Then we went back to Aunt Nancy’s for another round of Christmas and birthdays.
Saturday morning I made Stephen do chores with me which he wasn’t too excited about. Things brightened up though when “Lizzie” and “Half-pint” joined in on the laundry folding action. Every time we came across a pair of “undies” during the folding process “Lizzie” got quite the kick out of it. At one point when she dived into our laundry pile she found one of my nursing bras and swung it around her head rodeo style while giggling.
After that we had a shower for Morgan and the babe. I won baby present bingo which means I get Starbucks a couple times this week. Bean was such a good baby and had fun hanging out with all the ladies. We can’t wait till Morgan’s babe gets here. They are going to have so much fun at Mammoth together this year.
After the shower Ruth & I went to Barnes and Noble for more book shopping. I got a really nice version of a compilation of Jane Austen’s works. I pined over more books, but managed to resist most of the temptation.
Then we went home so they could pack up and head back home. Stephen and I hung out at home for a couple hours before one last visit to Aunt Nancy’s for a little more time with the family. Today we still haven’t gotten out of our jammies and I’m planning to keep it that way unless Megan calls to say that she won the dream wedding package at the Bridal Show in which case there will be much celebrating at Rosemary’s later.
My neice is adopted from Taiwan. Ever since my SIL decided to do this we’ve celebrated Chinese New Year together. Which is my favorite because homemade Chinese feast = yum-o!
I even dragged myself, IV in tow, down there for the celebration last time around when I was having pretty awful morning sickness. This next year I’m looking forward to actually enjoying the food, not being knocked out from Zofran, not puking, not having puffy IV rejection arm stuff going on, etc.
Anyway, I really want to make Bean (and maybe me) something cute to wear. I was looking on Esty for inspiration which is always a bad idea due to the temptation. So I thought I’d share:
I also found some cute embroidery designs in my new embroidery book that I got for Christmas. So I’m ruminating on these things and trying to come up with something…
Over the holiday Bean was in disposable diapers because I thought it would be easier for us since we were going to be out of town for four days.
Well, it wasn’t easier.
For one thing I felt like I was changing diapers around the clock. We went through a whole package of Pampers and about 10 Huggies during our trip.
There were two blowouts.
And Bean developed a diaper rash the last day of our trip which was completely gone 24 hours after putting her back in her BumGenius diapers, no creams or other treatments were necessary.
I was willing to overlook the blowout problem for future vacations, but I am not willing to overlook the diaper rash. Bean has never had a case of diaper rash before and it doesn’t seem fair to put her through that discomfort for the sake of a “convenient” vacation.
I know some people would probably say that diaper rash is just a part of having a baby, but it really isn’t. Prior to the introduction of cloth diapers, diaper rash was a very rare occurance. If I remember correctly it occurred in under 10% of the population. Once disposables came along it skyrocketed to 90%.
As such I’ve decided to never buy a disposable diaper again. Future vacation planning that occurs while Bean or other kids are in diapers will just have to include planning for washing whether it is researching laundromats or staying somewhere that has access to washing facilities.