Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye, 2011 - Moving into 2012

2011 has been a great year, but with just hours left, it's time to look toward to 2012.

I admit that I get sucked into the excitement behind New Year's Resolutions. There's just something about the idea that tomorrow is a fresh start, a new year, a new you.

I have a few New Year's Resolutions, however there's one in particular that I want to document on my blog mainly because I think it will hold me more accountable, otherwise I would probably be lazy and give up. So are you just dying to know what it is?

Drum roll, please.........

PROJECT 52: Cluttered House to Simplified Home

So what does it mean? It's fairly simple. Each week of the year 2012 (hence "Project 52") I'm making myself complete one project around the house. Some projects will be small others fairly big. Since there will be some that take more time than I can devote to it in a week, it's okay in my book if I at least make some progress, since it's more than I'm doing now.

Before we were married, I was such a "neat freak". Everything had its place. Granted, it's much easier to manage your space when it's just you, but I was really good at it! Throw in marriage, a toddler, working full-time, and everything else that life gives you and things get chaotic. I have felt myself giving into the chaos this last year and getting lazy when it comes to keeping up on more than just the basics of housekeeping. And although I don't think we live in a "dirty" house, it's no secret that if you do some searching around, there's work that needs be done.

When I say projects, in general I mean organizing, de-cluttering, cleaning, and weeding out the things that we don't need or use anymore. I don't mean cleaning the toilets and dusting the house - things that are automatically done each week. I'm getting fed up with piles that keep getting shifted around from one spot to another only temporarily solving a problem.

I think that by weeding out all that extra "stuff" we accumulate, it will in turn make me feel so much better about coming home after a long day of work and not being overwhelmed with things that need to be done around the house. Not only will it simplify our home, but our lives too.

My New Year's Resolution will certainly open up a vulnerable side as you'll get to see places in our house like our closet (yikes! That's a project that's going to take more than a week). You may or may not find this weekly series overly interesting but I say too bad, it's my blog, not yours! Okay, I won't be that harsh. But in all honesty it's the motivation I need to make big changes in our house and it'll be fun to do something a little different along with the usual posts of glimpses in our life.

We've lived in our house for a little over 3 years now and although we love it and call it our home, I think that simplifying our home will make it more comfortable, welcoming, and simply homier. I like the sound of that.

My resolution won't be an easy one, but I'm ready for it. Bring it, 2012!

Wishing you the most wonderful New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Christmas to Remember?

It's been a whirlwind week. An exhausting week. Surprisingly, Christmas isn't completely the reason I'm wiped out.

Leading up to Christmas Kathryn and I ran errands,
I did a ton of baking (here are 1 of the 8 tins of cinnamon rolls I made to go with people's gifts),
wrapped gifts, and got the house in pretty good shape, if I do say so myself.

Things were good! Kathryn was happy, I was happy enjoying my time off with my little one, and we were ready for Christmas.
And then Christmas Eve hit. Suddenly, Kathryn wasn't in a good mood and was getting fever to really top things off. We were lucky to get a few decent pictures in before heading out.
The day before she got a small pimple type thing on her tush - nothing to really be concerned about, especially being in a diaper all the time she, like other kids, are prone to them.

The pimple got bigger and turned into an infection, hence the fever. I'm not sure if there's such thing as a "cute cold/virus", but K's "sick" is far from cute. Gross, really.
Temporarily putting on a happy face while we were celebrating Christmas Eve
Reading The Night Before Christmas
Resting before Santa arrives
Christmas morning wasn't the magical picture I had painted in my head. I already knew that she wouldn't understand too much about what was going on, but the addition of a fever left K down in the dumps.

She wasn't into unwrapping gifts, but she sure was very lucky this year.
After unwrapping gifts at home, we went to my MIL's house so she could see her big gifts waiting for her there. (They'll stay at her house since she spends so much time down there while we're at work).

Lucky girl. My play kitchen certainly wasn't this advanced when I was growing up! It makes "sizzling" and "bubbling" boiling water noises when you put something pots and pans on the stove. So fancy.
Of course, every little girl needs her very own F150. It even has a working radio in it, making it just about as advanced as my 2001 Honda Civic.
Playing at home with one of her new favorite toys - an Elmo guitar
Checking out her new cowgirl boots
Christmas aftermath
The day after Christmas, we headed to the urgent care clinic since our doctor's office was closed for the holiday. After the doctor looked at her infection, they determined that the best thing to do would be to lance the infection.

Kathryn is a smart cookie and knew exactly what was coming and she wasn't happy about it. To say the least, it was so sad having to pin her down while they cut the infection open.

As soon as they finished cutting her, Kathryn firmly said in her whimpering little voice, "ALL DONE!!!". She continues to say this every time I have to even touch her bottom :(.

The only good thing this infection has done is turned my non-cuddler little girl turned into a needy, cuddly toddler. You can bet I'm taking full advantage of that.
Since then, she's been on antibiotics (which by the way, she willingly takes. Crazy! I ask her "are you ready to take your medicine to make you feel better" and she says "yup" and opens her mouth!).

I give her a few warm baths a day to soak with some antibacterial soak and then some cream. They have been doing the trick because I've been the lucky one to be around all day to get that gross junk out. And no, it's no easy task when you have a strong little girl fighting me.

I don't blame her in the least because it surely looks painful, but she's been a trooper. And really, if this had to happen, it's best that it happened now while I'm off work and can be there all day for her.

Over the past few days, I've been thrown up on twice, cleaned up lots of blood and puss (gross, but just keepin' it real, folks), and last night Kathryn took her diaper off in her crib and left us a disgusting surprise...all. over.

I've lost track of how many loads of laundry I've done to sanitize the many messes that have been made by the aforementioned disasters.

K still isn't completely back to her normal self, although we're making progress. She's still super sensitive (as seen below - she'll barely even put any pressure on her right side to avoid pain). Breaks my heart.
My solid sleeper has woken up once each night crying. I can't tell if she's in pain or it's a bad dream, but she's been enjoying some extra time in our bed, morning and night.
Cuddled with a Christmas present - her new stuffed animal and her usual entourage of 2 kitties, an owl, and her blanket.
As I was folding laundry one night, she found a pair of my cozy socks and made them her own.
Oh yeah, and you see the bottle as a reoccurring theme in a lot of these pictures. During my two weeks off, I was going to do an intervention to ween her off the bottle, but with her feeling so miserable, there was no sense in trying to make her feel even worse.

It truly hasn't been the worst week. I've so enjoyed staying at home, I just wish Kathryn was feeling more like her playful-self. Christmas 2011 was certainly a memorable one. I think next year will be a different story, especially if K isn't sick.

We're lucky that this infection was the worst problem we had on Christmas. I hope you and your family enjoyed a wonderful holiday together! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Off Schedule

This week things have been completely off schedule - and I mean that in the best way possible.
Going to bed each night knowing that I'm off work for two weeks has to be one of the best feelings. Although, if Kathryn chose to sleep later than 7:30 a.m. I wouldn't complain, I'm just sayin'. But, it could be anytime of day or night and I would get out of bed in a flash as soon as I hear that sweet little voice asking for "mom" through the monitor.
On top of being off from work, when you throw in the spirit of Christmas, that just brings me over the top! Although I may be adding to my last-minute-Christmas-to-do's by the hour, it's nice having a different pace and enjoying my time at home.
Prepping for the holiday and reading The Night Before Christmas
In fact, until I have to go back to work after the New Year, I only plan on leaving the house two more times to run some errands. Yes, two times in the next 12 days. To some, that sounds crazy. To this homebody, that sounds like perfection. Of course, I have high hopes of completing some projects around the house, but so I don't let myself down, I'm not setting my expectations too high. Who knows, maybe I'll end up surprising myself with great productivity. Probably not.

I still have Christmas presents to wrap and a few small ones to buy. Whoops! But I'm not all that concerned - it'll all get done, somehow.
So if you're trying to get in touch with me, it's a safe bet that I'm either baking, wrapping gifts, or trying to get the house in shape all while soaking up every moment with my little helper.
I'll take off schedule any day.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Visit with Santa

A couple nights ago we visited a popular Christmas attraction in the area which features millions of lights on over a dozen acres. There's a Santa's village with music and games for the kiddos, hay rides, hot chocolate - you name it, they have it.

Being in Texas, it also boasts an understated? Texas theme.
Understated is probably the wrong word. Hey, it's Texas, you have to go big and be proud.
Snacking on the hay ride
Although K was interested in lights, she was more interested in the hay on the hay ride as she was trying to feed the display animals as we passed by.
Dancing to the music
They even had a snow machine, which she was crazy about. I think she could have played in that the entire time.
Checking out the reindeer
And of course, it's not a visit to a place like this without meeting with your local country Santa.

This year was a lot traumatic compared to last year's easy visit (here).

Kathryn was gripping to E. J. as he tried to put her down on Santa's lap. Most of the shots that were taken were of K in complete terror. This one below was from a moment where she had a break and was just in half-terror, so we picked this one out as the official 2011 Santa picture.
Santa gave Kathryn some stickers when it was all over and as we were walking away she was saying and waving "bye" and blowing him kisses. Figures.

Despite tears after meeting Santa, it was a great night out checking out the lights and spending time together. The short countdown to Christmas is on!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ranch Hand

I've said it many time before - Kathryn is our eager little helper. I realize that in just a few short years "helping" is definitely not going to be so cool, so we'll take what we can get for now while it's still "fun".

This weekend K was seen doing a variety of activities on the ranch.
Helping dad fill up tires on the green machine
Watching dad dig a trench for an electrical line
And just as luck would have it while we were outside, my in-laws were out riding and stopped by our house, so Kathryn hopped on one of the horses and went for a ride herself.
A roper in the making?
And, quite the lady in the making
For me, the countdown is in full-force. T minus 3 work days until I'm free for two entire weeks! It's an understatement to say that I've been looking forward to these two weeks off for a while to spend lots of time with my little lady.