Sunday, January 6, 2013

Looking back is exhausting—2012 in Review

With the new year I've been looking back on 2012 through my three blogs, Facebook, Instagram, and journals. In my present state of mind... 2012 kind of sucked. It was stressful. It was tiring. It was scary. We had to depend on so many people. We let people down. It was a hard, hard year. However, looking back I have also seen that it was one of the most eventful years I've had. There were a lot of great highlights. A ton of new friends. Some big opportunities and crazy risks. It feels like 2012 was the work before the reward... you know?

On my party blog, A Well Crafted Party, I reviewed my 12 favorite party posts of the year. On the Portland Bloggers blog I reviewed the meet-ups over the year. Such growth! So many new and awesome people have entered my life this year. Quite a few reasons for celebration this year as well!

I thought I'd share an infographic here to review the 2012 year on this blog. It has been a BIG year!

Oh! And, some of the super cute icons from above and the tips I used in creating this infographic are from Nicole's Classes. The background image is from Mels Stampz.

I hope you all got a chance to look over your past year and are looking forward to the next!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Our Second Christmas: X and a flute

X on Christmas evening listening to his Grandad play his flute. Photo taken by my lovely SIL.

I hope you all had a very, merry Christmas. We sure did! (I'm sure I'll come back over the next couple of days to tell you about all the frustrating things that happened over the holidays. A toddler with a home full of visitors—while trying to adjust to a toddler bed and teething— is a story all on its own.) We had lots of fun with gifts this year because he enjoyed opening the presents and playing with them. The little man actually only got a pair of pjs (that he wore on Christmas eve) from me and his daddy. But, he opened nearly 30 gifts from his aunts, uncles, odd parents, and grandparents... they went a little crazy over him. But, we sure did appreciate it and he loved every second of it.

My absolute favorite memory of the year was the evening of our Christmas celebration when X's grandad played Christmas music on his flute. X was SO good! He did his best not to touch the flute, only gave in to temptation once or twice. He stood right in front of his Grandad with a look of pure awe on his face. He'd clap at times. He sang. He'd sign "more" when the music stopped. And, then, he looked around and did the above expression and looked at us all like we should join in on the fun! If I had just been able to use the above image for this year's Christmas card! It would have been PERFECT! The flute experience was amazing, and hilarious. X's uncle shot a video of the fun as well... enjoy!

Linked up to these parties:

 then, she {snapped} thankfulthursdays}

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Cooking Tip: Power up your Pepper

For the past two years my friend Joan and her husband Brandon have used Alton Brown's Power Pepper trick to pepper our potatoes. They are always in charge of the turkey and the mashed potatoes each year... and, while they loved the taste of fresh ground pepper, they hated how much effort it took to grind enough pepper to properly pepper the potatoes.

Then... they saw Alton's trick of attaching a drill to a pepper grinder and never looked back! They took the lid of the pepper grinder off and attached their drill to the rod that spins the grinder. Then, holding the grinder firmly in one hand, they pushed power. Not only did everything get properly peppered... but, they got to play with power tools in the kitchen. WIN WIN.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Toddler Style: Blazer and Skinny Jeans

I love dressing my little man... I'll be sad when he won't let me choose his clothes anymore. Although, the way he likes ties/jackets/hats (he puts them on himself when running around the house in his diaper) I think he'll probably continue to be pretty stylish.

This little outfit was what he wore to Thanksgiving dinner. He even kept his tie and jacket on for a majority of the evening.

Oh, and... I think his dad dresses pretty snazzy too.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Transition to Toddler Bed Day 1

Over the weekend I woke up at 5 AM to the whine of the little guy. I groggily got out of bed and walked out into the hallway on the way to his room. Standing in the middle of the hallway with a grin on his face was my son.

"Did you forget to put the kiddo in his crib?" I asked Brian. "No, why?" he responded.

Yep, the kid learned how to escape his crib. We later caught him on video swinging his leg over the top railing and dropping to the ground smack on his butt. He had thoughtfully thrown his pillow beneath the crib so that he had a soft landing.

Today, in fear of him hurting himself escaping the crib, I decided it was time to convert the crib into the toddler bed. Kiddo thought it was the coolest thing ever to be able to run and get into bed. He sat on his bed all proud. Later he brought books over and I sat on his bed with him to read. It was great!

But, the fun of the bed wore off by nap time. X did not like the freedom the new bed gave him. He usually fights his naps a little, but falls to sleep fairly quickly. Today was not like that. He kept leaving his room. And, if I shut the door to his room he fell to pieces.

So, today Brian and I made efforts to spiff up his room a little more and added in a new night light that shines a pretty picture on the ceiling. We prolonged his nighttime routine a little longer to include a cuddle in his new bed.

As soon as the door shut though the screaming started. LOUD screaming. Like, I'm worried he is going to lose his voice screaming.

I went back in the room and laid down next to him in his bed. He smiled and nearly fell asleep. But, a moment after I snuck out of his room... the screaming started again. This happened three times... Right now, as I'm writing this, I am listening to his little screams and tears and my heart is in a knot. He is now no longer screaming by the door at least, he seems to have made it to his bed for his screaming. **Update** Two hours AFTER bedtime.... B went in there and cuddled him in bed for a bit and he finally fell asleep. That is 5 times of us going in and cuddling. I could do it all night long, except I want him to be able to become independent enough to fall asleep without us.

I really hope that this is just a short transition period and that I made the right choice to move to the toddler bed. I like the idea that he can now get around and play with his toys if he wakes up. But, will the freedom make him less likely to go to sleep? If I had chosen to leave him in the crib I fear that he would have hurt himself... but, maybe not?

Have you had to do the toddler bed transition? How did you decide when was the right time? Any tips or tricks for making the transition easier?

I'm hoping I sleep tonight!