Saturday, December 31, 2011

My New Years Eve

Hope everyone has a safe and memorable New Years Eve!! I'll be comfy on the couch with Carson Daly and some champagne and nibbles, then a nice hot shower to wash 2011 away before SNL and bedtime!
I've been working on a year in review type survey that I'll post tomorrow! Now, I vowed to ring in the new year stress free and NOT working, so I'll be signing off now. Good night everyone!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Nana Poo's Xmas gift - Homemade Candy Cane Bath Salts!

Money was pretty tight this year so I had to scale back on my Christmas gifts. My roommate/bestie and Aurora were really the only people I could afford to spend on. So what about everyone else... cookies! (More on that tomorrow) Nana Poo fit into another category though because she was having us over for Christmas dinner and I knew that she got Aura some goodies so I decided to make one extra gift for her to tuck under the tree with all the cookies...
Unfortunately, I am cursed with a stand up shower (I'd kill for a good soak!) but when I had a tub peppermint bath salts were my absolute favorite go-to for achy muscles. To make them festive, I added some color! I'm almost embarrassed to admit how easy and inexpensive these were to make.
I'm sure Nana Poo won't be offended if I share the wealth though, especially now that I've given her a cure for her achy back!
So without further ado...

You will need...
-One see-through cylindrical container with a tight fitting lid 
(mine was about 3 cups -if the opening is small, you'll also need a funnel)
-Epsom Salts 
-Course Ground Sea Salt (I used Baleine)
-Pure Peppermint Oil, preferably food grade
(I found mine at a craft store in the candy making section)
-Red food coloring (liquid, not gel or paste)
-One Ziploc baggie
-Two plastic disposable cups - These are OPTIONAL but they really help.

The easiest way to do this is to fill your container with 3/4 Epsom salt and 1/4 sea salt, tap it down to make sure it's full... now pour half into your plastic baggie and half into one of your cups 
(or any container that you're comfortable pouring from)
Now to the half in the baggie you're going to add about 8-10 drops of peppermint oil (you should be able to smell it THROUGH the baggie. It'll be super strong.) and about 5 drops of food coloring. Seal the baggie and massage the food coloring until it is evenly distributed in the salt. If the salt is red continue, if it's too light or too pink just add a few more drops of food coloring and massage it through again. Don't go too nuts though, you don't want the salt to be wet or it'll bleed. It should look something like this:
Now... pour this red mixture into your other empty cup. I'd say you can use another container but the peppermint oil permeates EVERYTHING so choose wisely. If you have no disposable cups around, your best bet may be to pour directly from the baggie and use a funnel. Just a kind warning. Now the fun part!
Remember those sand bottles you get at carnivals where you use the different colored sand to make art in the bottles? That's the idea here too! You're going to layer the salt, alternating white and red so it's striped, you can tilt the bottle if you'd like or leave it flat. Tap it on a hard surface after every two stripes to make sure the layers are compact. I try to end with red because no matter how good I am I always end up having to top it off with a little extra plain Epsom or sea salt at the end. You want to make sure the jar is super full so the stripes don't mix and mingle before you get to give your gift. Pop the lid on and that's it! 
Easy right?!?!?
When I was all done, I just tied on a little tissue paper and a bow to cover the lid and TA-DA:
Instant AWESOME Christmas gift... or just an awesome gift for yourself! 
1/2 cup in the bath will make muscle aches and fatigue disappear! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our "First" Christmas!!

Now that the excitement has died down, it's time to tell you guys about our "First" Christmas! 
Ok, so technically this wasn't really Aurora's first Christmas, but considering she slept through it last year (at 25 days old) I think it should definitely count as our first Christmas experience together! We stopped by a friend's house for a small gathering on Christmas Eve and I wish I had taken pictures but I forgot my camera! Here's a picture of her cute Xmas Eve outfit from before we left though:
On Christmas morning Aurora slept until noon!!
Merry Christmas to mama!
Trust me, I know it'll probably never happen again so I definitely appreciated it! 
We opened presents before getting ready to head over to Nana Poo's house...  
1st present from Auntie Poo...
Hmm... what could it be?
Mega Blocks!!!
This one is from Mama... the matching bus!

She got good at opening presents fast!
'Say Please' Tea Set!
1st laptop! Maybe she'll leave mama's alone now!
Playing in the chaos...
 After a little bit of cleanup and breakfast it was time to get in a fancy dress (you may recognize it from our Christmas cards) and hat so we could go to Nana Poo's for Christmas part two!
Aurora LOVES climbing. Funny and a little scary.
 Unfortunately, pictures don't come out too great at Nana Poo's. We had the same problem on Thanksgiving. I'm pretty sure it's the lights from all of their fishtanks but you can still get a pretty good idea of what's going on in them...
She loves Nana Poo's TV...
And Poppa Poo's Xbox controllers.
The dress got old quick so we changed into comfy Xmas PJs
Have I mentioned that Aura's been walking up a storm lately?? 
In the dog toy bucket again!
That big doggie is the owner of all the dog toys.
Aura got her very own phone to play with!
That's Nana Poo!!
Those are the highlights, there was also a delicious dinner, a visit to some of Auntie Poo's other family and a bunch of other gifts. I'll post soon about some of the homemade gifts I gave this year. I'm not going to lie... our "first" Christmas was exhausting. But it was so worth it! Hope everyone else had an amazing holiday!
Aurora loves Mega Blocks.

Brother and Me

Brother and me
Posted by Jerold Austin
My brother insisted that if we were going to do Christmas at my house this year I had to get direct tv so he could watch all the games. He’s the biggest basketball fan in the world and he’s so pumped that the strike is over he thought about not coming over to celebrate because of the games. He and my sister in law and their kids live two states over so they’ll be here for the better part of the week and Lord knows no one wants to hear my brother complaining about anything so I just anteed up and got him the TV. My husband could care less about sports but I guess sometimes you do what you have to do to keep the peace, especially in a household with strong personalities like mine. I wish Joe would just learn to be more adaptable but he’s never going to. Mom and dad totally spoiled him so he thinks everything in life has to go his way or else, you know what I mean?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday XXII - (Christmas Morning!!)

From Auntie Poo... what could it be?
More about our Christmas adventure coming soon!
Hope everyone had a great holiday!

Monday, December 26, 2011

First Comes Baby is going PR friendly!!

So as part of a much bigger New Year's resolution, I've decided to step up my blogging game a bit. 
I've built up a good following and I have been getting great feedback from my readers.
I've been approached more than a few times for advertising and giveaways but have been reluctant to commit to hosting them on a regular basis because the blog was so new. 
Well, it's not new any more... so let the games begin!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Domain or no domain... that is the question. HELP!

I got word today that someone has FINALLY stopped parking on my domain name. The problem is, as much as I'd love to scoop it up... the holidays have drained me financially.
Basically I'm looking for help with my pros and cons list.
So, bloggy mamas with your own domains:
~Who do you use for hosting, love them/hate them... why?
~Do you just mask your Blogger/Wordpress URL and publish that way or are you running two separate pages
~Is it really worth it? I'd love to move over to my very own dot com but I don't want to regret it after the investment and the work involved.
I need some opinions please!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm a featured blogger at the Thirsty for Comments Thursdays blog hop!

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Link up your own SPECIFIC POST that you'd like comments on - remember - no giveaways!
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our Christmas Cards!!

Mod Merry Ornaments Christmas
Personalize your holiday card this Christmas with Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Shh... don't tell anyone you saw them before I sent them out!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Our weekend: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Now that all of the birthday madness is over with I finally got a chance to put up the Christmas decorations!
First up was my little silver tree which I've had for the last 6 years. I never felt the need to go all out when it was just me and Scoobie (the dog) and whichever roommate I had at the time... 
Ye Olde Silver Tinsel Tree.
Then came our Christmas stocking and various holiday candles. 
Aurora's new handmade stocking fit in nicely with ours.
The biggest development this year is that we have officially become a two tree household! I was originally going to ditch the silver tree in favor of the new 'real' tree but I just couldn't bear to part with it yet... plus it looked cute near the fireplace! I thought long and hard about this tree purchase. I planned to get a fresh tree but thinking about little exploring Aurora hands, the dog and a cat made me change my mind. I decided to get a small four foot tree that I could put on a table until everyone (mainly Aura) can get used to it and learn it's not a toy. 
I'm estimating I'll get at least three good years out of it haha.
When it comes to actual Christmas trees (as opposed to my tiny novelty one) I get a little obnoxious about decorating them... For our first 'family' Christmas tree I wanted it to be simple and all silver. I also had to do it on the cheap which actually wasn't so hard. 
The obnoxiousness reared it's head in the form of being dead set on old fashioned icicles (tinsel.) Well, apparently no one makes it or sells it anymore, not that I could find anyway. I ended up hunting for a solid week on Ebay to get some...  (Five boxes for $5 shipped! It would've been quicker if I was willing to pay $10 PER box... I wasn't.)
Then I just filled the tree with dollar store ornaments which I'll eventually swap out as we collect more meaningful ones... All in all I spent $52.00 ...including a fancy new ornament for Aurora's second Christmas ($16 - engraved) AND the tree itself! (pre-lit, $25.00 on sale)
I think it came out pretty great! What do you think?
This is Aura's new ornament!
This is her first from Auntie Poo last year!
$12 tree topper? Nope. $1.00 flower and twist tie.
Christmas spirit? Check. 
Christmas shopping? Well... not so much. But I'm working on it!
Happy holiday season everyone!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Aurora's ONE YEAR checkup!

On Thursday we went in for Aura's one year doctors appointment...
 Oddly enough this was what finally drove this gigantic milestone home.  
Aurora's pediatrician is in the same hospital complex as my OB/GYN 
(and our dentist... convenient!) 
We walked down the same corridor that I walked down while I was pregnant about a bazillion times. 
The same hallway that I walked down with her three days after she got home, and then weekly for a month, and then monthly and then every three months. Ten pediatrician appointments over the last year.  


Where on earth did all that time go?
I barely noticed. 
Well, more accurately I was too busy taking in every little thing 
to really stop and think about the breadth of passing time.
I spent our days measuring in increments.
A blink here.
A smile there.
Rolling over.
"Mama"s and "bot-bot"s.
Toys and laughs.
First teeth.
First steps.
365 days passed in a flash.
I was too busy noticing moments to notice the months.
Hi. Remember me?

Anyway... I digress (As usual.)
Our appointment went really well.

Aside from the FOUR shots!
She wasn't too pleased about those but, as usual, she recovered quickly. 
This picture isn't actually from after the shots... 
she needed some serious snuggles for that. 
This is just some teething crankiness, she's got SIX teeth in varying stages coming in all at once, sometimes she gets a little bummed. I will say that I was prepared for it to be much worse. I've heard some teething horror stories but aside from being a little clingy and the occasional crying spurt, she's been a trooper. Just looking at those big teeth in her tiny mouth makes my gums hurt. I'd be a raging bitch if it were me. 

She also had some blood work at this appointment which was far more terrifying for me than it was for her. She couldn't have cared less, too busy playing with the nurses name tag to pay attention. 
I was terrified of needles my whole life ...but not my brave little bean. 

My mommy report card was straight A's! Everything looks great and her growth is perfect.
She's big healthy bean sprout at 29.6 inches and 21.4 pounds!
As usual she was a hit with all of the nurses and got a brand new book to read and tons of stickers. 

Now we get another three month break, and the best news is:
 NO shots at her next appointment! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wordless Wednesday XIX - (Homemade Christmas Stocking!!)

I finished Aurora's Christmas stocking... with a little owl of course! What do you think?

I'm going to be selling personalized Christmas stockings like this in my new Etsy shop... if that goes well I'll be expanding to include some other things, like the animal masks I made for Aura's 1st birthday and some paintings. If you'd like to purchase one, I'm currently offering free shipping!! Just enter the coupon code FIRSTCOMESBABY at checkout! Consider it my Christmas present to you guys for reading!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Children's Museum Part Deux

Here's a couple quick pictures from Aurora's actual birthday.
It was pretty quiet but perfect. Just us and Auntie Poo, a trip to the Children's Museum for Aura to play and then we came home and she had a small cupcake to celebrate one whole year with us!
Playing with a Giant Light Bright! I LOVE this thing as much as she did! 

Little Woods got some new costumes! 
Stealing the volunteer's name tag! 
Raiding the bookshelf as usual. 
Who's this baby in the mirror?! 
In the pirate ship! 
Driving the big steam roller... safety first! 
 When we got home it was cupcake time!!

Want some?  
Ok, so there's one Children's Museum picture I was holding out on... but it's the best one. 
They have a 'chair woman' named Estrella for the kids to sit on and get pictures taken...
She sat on her for a picture last time we were there but she didn't really know what it was.


This time Aurora was not a fan.

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