Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year I have so many things to be thankful for. The list is truly endless. I am so thankful for the wonderful little family that Michael and I have created. I have never been happier or more in love and thankful for anything before, as I am for having my daughter. I feel truly blessed that she is here and that she is so incredibly perfect. I am thankful for my husband, my best friend and my rock. I would be so alone and lost without him. I am thankful for all of our family and friends, for those near and far. We love all of you and are so thankful to have each of you in our lives. I am thankful that we live in a country where I can spend the first two years of my daughter's life at home with her, and that we as a family will not only survive me not working, but are prospering. I am thankful for technology and the internet, for keeping me in touch with my family and friends who are so very far away. I am especially thankful for Facetime, which allows my parents and brothers to see my daughter growing up right before their eyes and allows them to get to know her at least a little bit. I am thankful for all of these things and more.

We celebrated an early Thanksgiving this year. It was an excellent meal with wonderful family and friends. Alexa tried and loved everything! I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving this year!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

9 Months Old

My beautiful little girl turned 9 months old on Saturday. Another month grown and more skills learned. She's growing and learning so fast these days.

Since last month, she has pulled herself up to a stand, claps and pats her legs, walks all over while holding onto someone's hands and cruises ALL of the furniture (including her crib). She's gotten four new teeth and a fifth one has just broken through the gums for a total of seven teeth. She's bitten me several times...we're working on stopping that.

She can feed herself a couple of bites off of a spoon, but currently prefers to eat only finger foods. Yogurt is the only exception! Even her vocabulary is increasing. She can say "mama", "papa", "ja", "nein" and "hi". I'm pretty sure she said "all done" once, but I'm not positive. I've also started teaching her a little bit of sign language. She signs "more", "milk" and "all done". We're also working on "please" and "thank you". She also likes to climb now.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mommy Makeover - Week 19

I've finally finished Level 2 of the Shred! I am so insanely happy with my progress and proud of myself for busting my butt and getting this far. I'll be starting Level 3 today (EEEEEK!). I even managed to lose over a kilo after having Thanksgiving this weekend! Woot woot!

Getting Shredded from Day 1-Day 20:
Weight loss  2.6kg
Waist 10cm
Arms 5cm
Thighs 10cm

Total weight loss from 19 weeks of Mommy Makeover: 20.8kg (45.76 pounds)
Weight left to lose to achieve pre-preggo weight status...7.2kg

I already know that Level 3 is going to be the devil. I am so ready for this. BRING IT ON JILLIAN!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Last Beautiful Fall Day in Linz

A little over a week ago, we experienced the most beautiful Fall day. A blue, cloudless sky and a wonderfully warming sun. We had to take advantage of this day, so we headed to the park! We went for a little walk and then headed directly to the playground. Up until this point Alexa hasn't really done the playground scene very much. The last time we went to a little playground near us she did play in the sand and sit in the play house. Slides, swings and other playground toys she has just been too little for...until now!

She had so much fun on the baby slide! I didn't even realize that such a little slide existed, but was really happy to see Alexa having fun on it.

Then she went big time and went down the big slide with her Papa! Smiles all over the place! And also, my favorite new picture of my favorite two people in the world.

She swung on the swing with me and was so curious about the chains. I was even able to sit her on the swing alone (I was holding her up in the back!) to snap a couple of quick pictures.

 We had such a great day. I even got a couple of new family photos!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mommy Makeover - Week 19

 As a super Monday gift to myself, the scale decided to weigh in in my favor! I've lost 1.5kg (3.3 lb) since last week. FINALLY!! What an awesome way to start the week! I'm wrapping up Level 2 of the Shred this week. I completed Day 18 today. We had quite a busy weekend and I totally slacked off. I'm pretty disappointed in myself, but I plan on making it up this week! Let's get shredded!!

In other news, I've decided to start really training for a 5k. So far, I've run a total of 3.2 km straight. I'm more than halfway there. I know I can do it.

Doing a physical makeover is rough. I learned this weekend that sometimes you just don't feel like doing the work, but other times life gets in the way and it is just impossible to even fit in a 20 minute workout. I'm hoping that things calm down this week and that I am able to get back on track and stay on track.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bear-y Cute!

Ok, so I know I am a super knitting dork over here, but I just can't help myself! I get these crazy ideas in my head and then I just have to see if I can make them a reality. This one, this crazy mama idea is AWESOME! I decided my little bean needed a bear hat. After all, she was a polar bean on the way home from the hospital and her fall coat is brown beary bean perfection! Of course, she needed to have a bear hat to complete the look!

It took me about four days (we're talking mom time) to finish the hat and then another night and day to do the ears and the face.

Without ears

 How beary cute is this!!

 The finished product! So cute!!!

Bear Hat
Brown yarn
Cast on 70 stitches on size 4 round needles. 
Knit the first row
Purl the next inch of material
Knit the rest of the hat. 
Once the material is 6 inches long, start decreasing every 6th stitch until you have 8-10 stitches remaining and then bind off.

Tapestry needle
Black Yarn
Buttons - 2
Using a tapestry needle, create the nose with three stitches using black yarn.
From the middle of the nose sew down and across to create the mouth.
Sew two black buttons on for the eyes.

Brown yarn
size 6 straight needles
tapestry needle
measuring tape
Cast on 10 stitches
knit across rows 1-4
Row 5 knit one, increase one, knit across to second to last stitch and then increase, knit one (now you have 12 stitches)
Row 6 knit across
For rows 7-10 repeat 5 and 6 until you have 16 stitches.
Rows 11-14 knit across
Row 15 (start the decrease) knit one, knit two together, knit across to last 3 stitches, knit two together, knit one
Rows 16-19 repeat row 15 until you have 6 stitches remaining
Bind off all stitches and leave a long end for sewing.
Using a measuring tape, measure down two inches from the center of the top of the hat. This is where you will start sewing the ears onto the hat.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Stress and Drama

We've been going through quite a lot of stuff over here lately. Within just a short amount of time we have lost a loved one and we've had to temporarily relocate. It seems that every time the weather turns cold, life gets a little bit chaotic for us...

On Sunday, Michael's grandfather passed away. It was somewhat unexpected and made a little more difficult because he lived in Poland and we are unable to make the funeral. I am so glad that we made the trip to Poland this summer and Alexa was able to meet her great grandfather before he passed. I'm also glad my husband was able to spend some quality time with his grandpa this summer. 

At the end of last week, we found a water leak in our pantry room that is so bad that black and orange mold has formed. It's not our fault, (I'm not that gross!) a valve connected to the main water pipe that runs through the entire apartment building broke and the apartment above us, and I think the two below us as well, have been affected. The wet walls are pushing into our bathroom shower stall and have started pushing the tiles out of the shower...basically our apartment is mold spore central. We've moved to my in-law's for the time being because it is a serious health risk for anyone to be exposed to so many mold spores, let alone an infant. To push us out of the apartment just a little faster, my husband is also allergic to mold. Just great. I'm so thankful that Michael's parents have room for us at the house. I'm not sure what we would do otherwise.

With all that is going on, I am just so thankful that we have some family close by. We are able to spend time together, even when we get on each others nerves, and Alexa has lots of people to love on her.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mommy Makeover - Week 18

Hi friends! I've finally gotten a chance to get to the computer and update you on my mommy makeover for week 18. Well, this past week was seriously intense. I moved from Level 1 to Level 2 on the shred and ummm holy crap was that a leap of insanity and intensity! Today is Day 17 of the Shred. I'm over halfway done and I cannot believe I have made it this far!

I have lost a total of 4 cm in my arms, 7 cm in my thighs and NINE (9) centimeters in my waist!!!! I seriously could not be happier! (Well, technically I could...the scale would go down. <--That would make me OUTRAGEOUSLY happy!) The scale is not my friend. I'm actually starting to think it's broken because it has stayed at the EXACT same number for far too many weeks now. MOVE DOWN DUDE!

I'm completely terrified to start Level 3 in a few days, but I know I'll be able to sweat it out and push through it. If anything, this entire Mommy Makeover journey has taught me that I am stubborn enough to stick to a work out even if I sweat through my clothes and want to die the entire time!

If you have started a work out routine or a new diet, I strongly encourage you to stick with it. You can do it! The changes in your body happen slowly over time. I want to quit just about every other day, but I feel better and I look better, so for me it's worth it.

And now, onto the Shred! Until next week :)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Turkey Hat Update

I finally finished the turkey hat. I'm not completely pleased with the way that it came out, but after working on it for WEEKS and redoing stitches over and over again...well, I give up! This will just have to do. I was especially disappointed because when I had the hat on Alexa's stuffed animal it didn't look quite so crooked. Oh well, I guess I learned a can't use an oval head to make a hat for a round one!

I give you, my little gobbler...

(even she's upset that it's crooked!)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mommy Makeover - Week 17 Shredderific!

I officially completed the first ten days of Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred. Let me tell you, the last ten days have been anything but easy. I've found myself cursing at the little person in my television, but carrying on with the exercises anyway. I've sweat like I've never sweat before. I'm not going to lie, sweating with a purpose is pretty, "I totally earned this sweat, so back off bitches." - that kind of exhilarating. I can do push ups now. Yes, they're still the girlie kind, but I can do like twenty in a row without stopping. When I started ten days ago I could do five and then I needed a break. Booyah push ups, I am not afraid of you!

It has been quite an interesting journey thus far. I have lost 6 cm in my stomach, 3 cm in my arms and 3 cm in my TEN DAYS. AMAZING. I have gained .5kg, but we're calling that muscle and calling it a day. Today is rest day and then tomorrow I am kicking off Level 2 of the Shred. Let's just say I'm a little nervous.

This entire Mommy Makeover has been an interesting road. I've become more aware of the food that I'm eating and what is IN the food that I eat and make for my family than I had ever been before. Stuff that they put in our food is SCA-A-ARY! I have become so much more fit, just in general. I'm pushing myself every week, every day to achieve new bests for myself. Michael and I did a cat and mouse running workout over the weekend. It was really cool. We were both able to get a bit of running in for the day, we spent time together as a family (did I mention Alexa was with us?) and we were outdoors. Sweet! In general, my entire perception of health and wellness has been altered.

Cat & Mouse Relay
Person A, Person B, baby (in a stroller)

Goal: get a run in, better individual time, short distance training

We ran on a 1.2km track. At the start, Person A starts running, meanwhile Person B pushes baby in the stroller in the OPPOSITE direction. When Person A and Person B cross paths, they trade positions. Person B is now running and Person A is pushing baby. Person A and B change directions, baby is always pushed in the same direction. Continue for as long as you can!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Gobble Gobble

I saw this RIDICULOUSLY adorable turkey hat on Pinterest and decided that I was going to try and make one for Alexa. Well, it has been an experience and a half making this hat. It's the Goldilocks of turkey hats...

Try #1

Ummm way too big!

Try #2

Is it seriously that small?? How did that happen?

Try #3 - the final try


Now just to figure out how the heck to make those cute turkey legs?!

I'll update again as soon as I make some progress!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Jack Be Little Pumpkin

To close out Halloween week, I wanted to share with you a little project I was working on. It's nothing much, just a little "Pumpkin decor", but for me it's a huge project because it is the first knitting project in which I actually followed a pattern...and did so successfully!

I wanted to be fancy and make these little pumpkins for all of Alexa's friends in our Mommy & Me class, but I came up with the idea far too late and one little pumpkin took me an entire day to make because Alexa doesn't like me to ignore her for very long. An experienced knitter, or even some one with older children or no children would probably be able to complete this in just a few hours.

I give you Jack Be Little Pumpkin from The Sitting Tree.

It was a free pattern that I was able to download. I was a little (read: very) nervous about trying to read a pattern. Any other patterns I've even glanced at have looked like they were written in secret code. However, these instructions were very clear (to me) and so I decided to give it a try. Thank you Sitting Tree for writing such clear instructions and making such an easy to follow pattern!

The one pictured was the first one I made. I have a second one that just needs a stem, but before I close it off I am considering adding something to make noise. I think I'll use a mini plastic egg filled with rice or beans. I'll be sure to super glue the egg closed before inserting it into the pumpkin. 

Thanksgiving is right around the corner...I'm feeling a little turkey might be in order!