; World of Dennifer: March 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The only thing I want this Wednesday?!

Is for everyone out there to participate in this awesome community service project Osh Kosh B'Gosh {who's clothes I may or may not be addicted to for Baby AJ ::wink::} is holding for the children of Japan affected by the horrible earthquake & subsequent tsunami:

They are willing to donate up to 50,000 articles of clothing! The hubbs & I are going to be making several to send in this weekend hopefully. What an amazing gift to those children who's lives have been turned upside down. And that's all I want this Wednesday - even if you just make one, please try to help! 'Till next time.

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Baby AJ: 4-5 months!

My little munchkin is already 5.5 months! And clearly I'm extremely late with my monthly updates. I take the photos on time, but then I never get around to writing anything out. I'm going to try harder with the next few month posts.

Our little girl is growing up so quickly! My older sister babysits for us & the original agreement is that she'd watch her at our house until Amaya turns 1 & then we'd put her in daycare, but as that time gets closer & closer, I am getting more & more anxious about her going into daycare. Despite my anxiety, the hubbs & I have been on a search over the last month or so for a center to put her in in a very short 6.5 months. We found one that I absolutely L-O-V-E & would put her in right now, no question - if only it didn't cost $2,000 a month! Yep, you read that right - TWO FREAKIN' THOUSAND! I mean I know you can't put a price on the worth of someone caring for your most treasured little munchkin thang & I also realize that we live in a pretty high cost of living area, but that's outrageous - even for our area. The center offers a lot of cool programs for the kids - programs that I doubt my daughter will get much out of until she's a little older than 1, so the hubbs & I decided to continue our search & reconsider putting her in that center when she's a little older. We have at least two other centers that we've seen that we really like, but we have a decent amount of time until we have to make a decision, so we are still looking. Sigh.

Anyways, here's what you've been actually reading this post for - pictures!!! Here is my baby girl at 4 & 5 months:

~*and her 0-3 months for comparison*~

{4 month outtakes}
{And 5 month outtakes}

{my personal favorite & my current desktop background}

Ack, so freakin' cute & look how BIG she's getting. :( I cannot believe my little baby - my 4 lb. 13 oz BAY-BE is almost 6 months old! At her 4 month appointment, she was 11 lbs. 14 oz. (15th %tile) & we don't get another "official" weigh in until her 6 month appointment next month, but I'm guessing she's about 12.5 lbs. now! Finally starting to fit her 3-6 month clothes, but still fits some of her 0-3 month clothes.
We are still doing pretty good with crib sleeping - she takes all naps & sleeps at night in her crib. However, her naps have been majorly crappy - I'm talking 30-50 minutes tops on average. It sucks because she is SO tired - you can see it in her face, but she just will.not.nap. Ugh! It drives us {& my sister} crazy! I *think* that it may have to do with the fact that her room is so bright during the day, despite our {ultra classy} bedsheets hung over the windows. We put the sheets up temporarily until we decide if we'll go with blackout shades or curtains. I think we are leaning towards shades...they are expensive, but if they help her nap better, then I don't care how much they cost! I think she will sleep better during the day if, when she stirs/kinda half wakes up, the room is dark. I hypothesize that she'll put herself back to sleep - like she does at night, but I guess we'll see. Ideally, she'd take two naps - one from around 9am-11am & then another from 2pm-4pm or 3pm-5pm. Wish us luck!

At night, our very strict bedtime routine is still in effect & has definitely paid off. She caught on pretty quickly & knows after her last bottle, it's bedtime. She's usually out like a light by the time she takes her last sip. I still hold/rock her upright after the bottle for 15 minutes because of her reflux, but as soon as she gets past that, then I plan to just put her down after her bottle. Again, if it's dark & she has her paci, then I think she'll put herself to sleep. Speaking of our bedtime routine, I'm not sure if I ever posted it here, but we basically try & start it anywhere from 6pm-7pm (I try to make it as close to 6:30pm/6:45pm as possible) & it goes a little something like this:
  • I take her up to her room, pick out her jammies, get a fresh bib, burp cloth, blanket, pamper, towel, wash cloth & grab her bath supplies.
  • Daddy brings up her Zantac & we give it to her in her rocker chair.
  • We take her into the bathroom & I lay her on a fluffy towel in the middle of our two sinks - of course she is always supervised & either I or the hubbs is always standing there with a hand on her - & I take off her clothes/pamper. 
  • I stand "naked baby" {as she's been dubbed} up to look @ her reflection in the mirror & I sing her the naked baby song {yes, yes...I'm a dorky mama} & she dances & gigles at herself for a couple minutes while daddy prepares her bath.
  • We give her a bath - about 15 minutes.
  • Dry her off on the fluffy towel in between our bathroom sinks & lotin her up, then put Aquaphor & powder in her diaper area, then put her pamper on.
  • I make sure her hair is all dry & then take her into our bedroom, which is connected to the bathroom, to put on her jammies. 
  • IF she's not too tired, we take her to her rocker in her room & read her a story. Otherwise, we just give her a final bottle & then I rock/hold her upright for 15 minutes due to her reflux.
  • After the 15 min. has elapsed, I put her down on her back in her crib. 
She is so good with this routine! I highly, HIGHLY suggest that all parents adopt a good bedtime routine that you can stick to. It has done wonders on our daughter!

Developmentally, she seems to be on track. She "talks" more & more everyday - we have deep conversation, lol. She can lift her head without help & can sit up assisted. In fact, she hates laying back inclined, so she's always trying to pull herself up to a sitting position in her car seat or in her bathtub! Which reminds me - I need to look into a convertible seat at some point soon...I want a Britax, so I'm going to keep an eye out for a good sale. She started rolling from tummy to back when she was 3 months, but has not quite mastered back to tummy rolling yet, although she tries & gets REALLY close, but can't quite get her head over! She has also become much more independent - she sometimes just wants to lay on her back with toys & does not want to be held. She also doesn't like to cuddle or be rocked to sleep for naps like she used to. Sometimes, you can just put her down in her crib (for a nap) & she'll suck her paci or stare at her Seahorse & fall asleep on her own! I'm also pretty sure she'll be cutting her first tooth here soon because she chews on things soooo much & slobbers like it's going out of style. We literally go through about 7-10 bibs a day, sometimes more!

And I think that's it for her 4-5 month update. I can't believe how big my little baby is getting. I need to get on planning her first birthday party because that will be here before I know it I'm sure. :( Don't get me wrong - I am SO happy she's happy & healthy & growing strong, but where has my little squishy, cuddly baby gone?! They grow up WAY too fast, sigh. 'Till next time!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What I wanna buy Wednesday - 03.23.2011

Hey everyone! Good news, I figured out how to get the photos off my camera! I'll re-start my 12 weeks to better photography beginning this weekend. I also got my craft supplies this past weekend for my spring DIY projects. I plan to get started on them tonight/this weekend & hope to post at least 1 project early next week, but {fingers crossed} I'll post both if I can! Tomorrow, I'm going to be finally getting up Amaya's 4-5 month photos & updates.I've been thinking A LOT about the house projects I need to & want to get done this year & I hope to do a whole post on the things I'd like to do.

Anywho, time for WIWBW - I love scoping out stuff I wanna score & looking for good deals & share it with all of you! So, without further adieu, I bring you today's installment of WIWBW:

1. A maid/cleaning service:

I've wanted a cleaning service for a while now, but I never felt I could justify it because I have such a small townhouse. But, now that my little AJ is here, it's getting much harder to keep my house looking presentable. I am still very apprehensive to spend money on this, but we are definitely considering it & it would be niiiiiiice!

2. IKEA Billy Bookcase:

I had this on my baby to do list & never got it since AJ decided to make her appearance a little early! I need it to keep my books & craft supplies all in one place in my little office corner of the basement. I want to buy some decorative paper & line the backs shelves & make it pretty - I'm sure the hubbs will love that since the basement is his mancave.

3. A cute camera bag for my new {Digital SLR} camera: 

I have seen lots of really great, stylish camera bags for Digital SLRs lately & I really really want one! I found a bunch of cute & affordable ones on Etsy from Janine King Designs & a great tutorial on how to DIY one! I would love to do the DIY one, but I'm not a sewer...arrgh, add that to my list of reasons why I need to learn how to sew!

4. A nice quality blender:

My little munchkin is gonna be starting solids in the next few weeks here & I am committing to making her baby food. It's gonna save us a TON of $$...not to mention, I'll know exactly what's going in her body, which I love. One item I need in my arsenal to facilitate this goal is a blender. Yes, I already have a blender - as the hubbs pointed out - but I don't have a nice blender. He says I have to give it a try with her food before he considers letting me get a new one. Hmph. Look at him being all practical & logical, boooo. Okay, so even if our crappy current blender is good enough to completely puree her food, I still want a new one! {in my best Snooki voice} Waaaaaah!

5. PB Sofa Slipcovers:

How is it that Pottery Barn always makes everything look so sophisticated & beautiful?! Too bad my little beh beh will soon be a toddler & if I were to purchase these, they would sadly be ruined I'm sure. So, I likely won't be buying these, but doesn't stop me from wanting to! If you'd like them, they are on sale for 20% off right now..check 'em out, they are all beautiful! 

And that's all I got for this week! Hope you enjoyed today's installment of WIWBW. 'Till next time!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Two years ago today...

I married my best friend, my one & only, the best man, husband & father to my child that I could have ever prayed for. Love you babe! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Go Mason Go!!

The hubbs & my alma mater is in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, playing Villanova now!! Ugh, such a nail biter. But in honor of our school, I bring you Mason's good luck charm:

 {::wink:: Couldn't resist!}

'Till next time!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I wanna buy Wednesday - 03.16.11

Hey everyone! Sorry for my lack of non-WIWBW posts, I hate the winter it makes me so unmotivated (is that even a word?! lol), but the official end of winter is right around the corner - THIS Sunday, squeeeeeeee! And to celebrate, I plan on getting crafty this weekend - first up, a new spring/summer wreath for our front door. What I have in mind is soooo cute, hopefully mine will turn out good. Either way, I will definitely be sharing it with all of you next week sometime. I also need to get back on my 12 weeks to Better Photography project. Ugh. I have been such a slacker {again, blaming it on winter}...I still haven't sat down to try & figure out why I couldn't get the pics off my camera. Last but not least, I need to get Amaya's 4 & 5 month posts up - I was going to do the 4 month post this week, but she actually turned 5 months on Monday, so I figured I might as well wait, right? I told you I am totally being a slacker. :o(

But spring is in the air {it's going to be 75 degrees here on Friday, wooo} & my springtime resolution ::wink:: is to get back to crafting, organizing, D&R'ing & DIY'ing - and blogging about all of it. Thanks for sticking in there with me thru my slooow time. :)

Time for WIWBW - I love scoping out stuff I wanna score & looking for good deals & share it with all of you! So, without further adieu, I bring you today's installment of WIWBW:

1. Movie tickets for The Lincoln Lawyer:

I just got a NOOK Color for Christmas courtesy of the hubbs & this was the first book I downloaded & read. The book is by Michael Connelly & is AWESOME - I loooved it, so when I saw trailers for the movie, I was pumped! The hubbs & I haven't been out to a movie in ages - since before Baby AJ was born! And, as I mentioned, she just turned 5 months - pitiful, right? We used to love going to the movies, so since our 2nd wedding anniversary is right around the corner (Monday), we decided now is the time for a date night! So on Friday, my girlfriend from work is coming over to hang out with the babe {who will hopefully be asleep the whole time we are gone} & the hubbs & I are stepping out for dinner, followed by this movie! We are SO excited - anytime we can get some QT without the munchkin is a welcomed thing & definitely good for our relationship. And she'll be in good hands, so we are gonna have fun! 

**DEAL ALERT: If you'd like to see this for much less than the box office charges, head over to Groupon for $6 movie tickets {full disclosure: the link posted is a referral link, so if you aren't a Groupon member & sign up using that link, I get $10 in Groupon Bucks...and when I signed up as a new member, I got $5 in Groupon Bucks, so I am guessing all new members get that?!}!!! I bought two & used my $5 new member Groupon Bucks & ended up paying only $7 for TWO movie tickets for a brand new movie, wooo! You know I lurve a deal! {PS - set your location to Santa Cruz, CA or Washington DC - Northern VA to find the Groupon.}

::dies:: These things are so.freakin'.cute! I have been eying them ever since finding out we were having a little girl, but never got around to buying a pair because I never really had a need for them. But since Baby AJ is about to turn 6 months, I decided that I'd get some more professional photos done & these will most definitely be making a debut! I am sooo excited to see her in these - ahh the fun of having a girl!

I had planned to purchase one of these for Baby AJ for her 1st birthday, but then I got an email from PBK this week that said they are $20 off + free personalization! They look sooo comfy & she's starting to try & sit up on her own, so I think she'll actually be able to use this very soon. The special ends on March 21st, so I have 5 days to make up my mind. Part of me says to do it now because all of us PB/PBK-aholics know that you have to jump on sales & another part of me says, we have waaaaaaaay too much baby stuff sitting around the house, so it's a better idea to just wait until some of this stuff (exersaucer, swing, bouncer, etc.) are in storage before buying the chair. Sigh. We shall see.

4. A new {sex-ay} swim suit:

I wish my body was swim suit ready! I still have my last 10'ish few pounds of baby weight to lose before I'm ready for this summer. And I need to get it movin' because my child LOVES the water, so I have a feeling that I'll be at the pool a lot this summer!

5. A nice, looong massage:

Oh how I need this in my life. Badly. I love getting massages - it just feels like all my stress & worries melt away during that hour. I also have fibromyalgia & massage therapy is very beneficial to people afflicted with this painful condition. I used to get massages regularly, then I stopped when I got pregnant because I was paranoid early on, then I ran out of time to do it once I felt comfortable getting one! Side note - oddly enough, when I was pregnant, I felt a lot of relief from FM...I think pregnancy is the cure, perhaps I should be pregnant all the time?! LOL. Anywho, I plan on going back to my once monthly massage very very soon -
I need it in my life. :)

And that's all I got this week for WIWBW! Now tell me, what do you wanna buy this week?! 'Till next time!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What I wanna buy Wednesday - 03.09.11

Hey everyone! For some reason, I can't transfer the images from my camera to my computer, so I have been meaning to do a couple of posts, but I can't get the pics to transfer - more like I forgot?! IDK. In any event, I'll be back to my regularly scheduled blogging as soon as I get that figured out.

Welcome to my 2nd installment of What I Wanna Buy Wednesday (WIWBW), woo! I had so much fun scouring the internet this week for stuff I want {some of it I bought}, but most likely don't need, ha!

1. Cute spring & summer Gymboree clothes for Baby AJ:

Is it me or does Gymboree have the absolute cutest clothes for little ones?! Well normally I stay away from Gymboree's stuff because it's waaay to expensive for clothes that Amaya will just grow out of in a couple of months. But last week I got a coupon in the mail for 20% off my entire purchase & then today one of my online friends said something about their entire site having a 30% off sale, so you know me...I had to check it out. Can't pass up a good sale, lol & OMG! The cutest stuff & everything really is 30% off - you have to check it out! So I loaded up my shopping bag {online stores are so dangerous} & used my 20% off coupon & came out with everything you see above (minus the shoes with the swim outfit) plus two super cute tops AND I got $25 in Gymbucks, woot! Gotta love major deals like that!

2. PBK Easter Baskets:

I have been in love with these since I first laid eyes on them! Ack, just so freakin' adorable & {as most of you know} I'm a PB/PBK-aholic, so when I was in the mall last weekend & walked by PBK, I decided to head it. And, well...I couldn't resist! I broke down & bought a small white basket with the purple mini dot & tulle liner. It's adorable all on it's own, but then I took it down to a hat store in the mall to get AJ's name on it & picked it up today - it's perfect! I took a picture of it on my cell phone this evening {please excuse the wrinkles, I haven't had a chance to iron it yet}:

3. A cute camera strap for my new Nikon D3100 Digital SLR:

I love my camera & have started learning how to take better photos (still planning on posting the photos from the lessons I've completed, just need to figure out what's up with downloading the pics on to my computer), but my camera needs some swagger, lol. So I have been eying these cute camera straps all over Etsy & am hoping to get one soon!

4. Some nice outdoor/patio furniture:

Ever since we bought this house, I have been saying next year we'll buy nice outdoor furniture & now, 4 years later - I'm still saying it. Seems like something more important always comes up, but this is my wish list so I'm including it here. In all honesty, our deck is sorta small for the type of furniture I want, so this may have to wait until we get a bigger house, but hey - a girl can dream, can't she?!

I have been waiting for {what feels like} forever for Verizon to get the iPhone & I'm so happy they finally worked it out with Apple, woo! My contract expires in May & I fully plan on gifting this to myself for my birthday, which also happens to be in May.

And that's all I got this week for WIWBW! Now tell me, what do you wanna buy this week?! Hopefully I'll figure out what's going on with my camera/computer & get my pictures downloaded & post everything I have been thinking up.  'Till next time!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What I wanna buy Wednesday - 03.02.11!

So since I'm always scouring the internet & clicking ads that conveniently get delivered to my email inbox daily, I decided to start a weekly feature on some of my favorite items that I'm drooling over each week!

1. The Vera tote by Vera Bradley:

I lurve this tote bag & have been lusting after it for a while now. Vera Bradley has always been a wee bit steep for my blood though, so I waited patiently & waited & waited. Then, last week (after I got paid), I decided, what the hey? Might as well check out the website & see if they have any on sale, right? No harm in that. Well, they did & I'm happy to report that I am the proud owner of my very own Vera Bradley Vera tote! And I heart heart heart it. It's perfect for my commute to work & spacious enough to hold everything I lug back & forth from work, including my laptop, wallet, iPod, contract files, etc. etc.

2. A Shady Baby Stroller Parasol for Baby AJ:

Well, to be honest, I'd never heard of Shady Baby until I checked out one of my favorite bargain websites - Baby Steals - the other day & saw the lil beauty you see above. I had been looking for something to block out the sun & wind on our walks {my little munchkin HATES both} & the visor on her Graco SnugRide car seat 'aint cutting it, so when I saw this on Baby Steals the other day, I was thrilled! So I scooped it up for 50% off, woot! Gotta love deals!

3. The {most.adorable.hat.I've.ever.seen} Little Blue Bird Crochet Beanie with Pink Bow from Mimi's Babies on Etsy:

::swoon:: I had had Mimi's Babies bookmarked for a while on my laptop. I bookmarked LOTS of cute baby-related Etsy shops when I was pregnant, but never bought anything from them. So when I checked out the Mimi's Babies link & saw this cutie, I made sure to save this link for future buying. ;op I am actually thinking about buying this hat for Baby AJ to wear in her 6 month photos that I plan to get, but then again it'll be close to the end of spring by then, so I may just buy it earlier & take some pics of my own of her in it! Either way, I MUST have it.

4. Eclipse Sueded Thermaback Window Panel in Chocolate:

{sorry, can't C&P pics from Target or Walmart websites - boooooooooo}

I need these for my baby's room. You see, I quickly learned, after my little AJ started sleeping exclusively in her crib, that our current setup wasn't working. It's WAY too light in there during the day & she can only sleep in a darkened room. See exhibit A:

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, pretty, huh? Well it is, but pretty is not cutting it in this case - my child needs naps - seriously. So right now, we have some very lovely {heavy sarcasm} dark bed sheets covering her windows until we get new drapes. I would prefer something pretty & pink - like these or these, but they are too expensive & I'm scared that they wouldn't completely block out the light & then I'd be p!ssed I spent so much money, only to have to continue covering the windows with our {very classy} sheets. :)

So, I picked out some chocolate drapes that I like & while, they wouldn't be my first choice style-wise, they are my first choice for my baby's sake. And all you mamas out there know - baby's sleep trumps most other things, lol.

5. Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Vacuum Cleaner:

Not very exciting right? But the Dennifers desperately need a new vacuum cleaner 'round here. I kinda knocked over our current one while trying to walk past it with my a huge basket full of clothes I needed to fold. I bumped it & saw it falling, so I tried to stop it & heard a loud "Crack". Not good. I totally broke OFF the bottom part that rolls on the floor. Hahaha. I am so annoyed with myself, but I guess accidents happen - what can you do?! So I started looking for new vacuums the next day & we need it stat because we have a bad mischievous fat dog named Dizzle with lots of hair that likes to get all.over the house - in each & every place you could think of. It's gross - so yeah, this will likely be a purchase that will be made sooner rather than later. I wanted something with a Hepa filter, with no bags & with attachment tools to get in all the cracks & crevices.

And there you have it - my top 5 things I wanna buy this Wednesday! That was oodles of fun! I think I may even make this a linky party eventually if some of y'all are interested?! I've been trying to come up with a really fun weekly linky party & I think this may be it. Who can't think of 5 things they want to buy each week!? Clearly some of the things on my list this week have already been bought, but hey, I got good deals! 'Till next time!