Sew Comfy!

One of the pieces of furniture that I've kept since my move to Virginia includes this very simple yet useful ottoman from Ikea. It has since turned into Indy's ottoman:

Pretty much the sole purpose of the ottoman.

the brown, although neutral,
was very unforgiving of Indy's
shedded fur

The cover has gotten pretty used up, having been in the sun for so long and having had a 25lb beagle lay on it for most of the day. But seeing as the dog has inherited this piece of furniture, we (read: Eric) couldn't justify spending the money to get a new cover. So we (read: Eric) decided I should put my sewing machine to work and sew a new cover. To be honest, I wasn't really excited about this project. I think it was because I wasn't working with a pattern, so I didn't know how hard it would be and how many errors I would have to fix. And with taking care of Riley around the clock, the thought of having an unfinished project laying around just gave me a headache. But, I sucked it up, and surprisingly, it came together in 24 hours and I am pleased with the end result. 

The finished product!

Didn't iron it yet-- was too excited
that it actually fit!

I think she approves!
I actually do enjoy sewing, and it isn't until I tackle a project that I am reminded as to how much I truly do like it. I really hope I will be able to buckle down and make things for Riley-- I really want to be that mom! Sew, stay tuned for more sewing projects to come!


Doing the Running Van

This post is about the changes my body went through during pregnancy and the efforts I'm making to change it back to its pre-pregnancy state.

I always went to running as a form of exercise. In 2010, I ran my first event (the army 10 miler). This year, I made a New Year's resolution to run a half-marathon, and with Chi Hai's help, I have been on a pretty strict running schedule. Here's where I'm at, about 2 months into the training (info from my RunKeeper profile):

Running post partum was a very strange feeling. The best I could describe it was like I was running in jello. I knew what my body had previously been capable of, but my body then was no where near ready to resume where I left off. After a few runs, it started to feel natural again and I'm currently running a 10:30 minute mile (my 10 miler time was a 11:30 min mile average).

And here is a progression of my bodily changes within the last year. The first photo is from when I was 8 weeks pregnant (my phone lost my earlier snapshots). The middle photo is my belly shot at 35 weeks pregnant, which was the last photo I could bare to take. And the photo on the right is a photo I took just today, after so proudly zipping up my pre-pregnancy jeans:

It has been quite the journey getting back into shape, and it sure doesn't end here! Keep checking in on my runkeeper profile, and please make sure I am staying on track. I can use all the encouragement I can get!


Sappy Mom

Today I washed all of Riley's 0-3 mo size onesies to fold them up and donate them. Yes, folks, my little girl has moved up in clothing size yet again. I found myself getting all sappy, wondering where the time went and amazed by how fast she's growing up.

3 months old

startle reflex starting to go away

getting better at tummy time and head control
I am so happy with and thankful for her good health and development. It is just incredible seeing her pick up something new everyday. She is definitely not the baby she was three months ago, and I am definitely not the mom I was three months ago. I remember her first few weeks at home, wondering if I would ever feel "normal" again? But here I am, with a new "normal", one that is way better than anything I could've ever imagined. And yet I find myself missing the itty bitty little newborn that used to fit in one arm, even if it meant sleepless nights and extreme fatigue.

Parenthood is amazing and I absolutely love it. (But don't you dare start the "time for another baby" comments...)



This just happened today, and I cannot seem to get enough of it! Riley is now giving us whole-hearted laughs. This has got to be one of the best sounds I have ever heard in my entire life! Her laughter fills my heart with so much happiness! One of my favorite milestones to date!


New year, new me

I really love new years. I think its an automatic free chance to set a goal, refocus and just give yourself a kick in the pants to get motivated and do something.

2011 was, for obvious reasons, one of the best years of my life. I spent the majority of it experiencing what might be the easiest pregnancy known to womankind and was blessed with a healthy, beautiful baby girl. If that doesn't give me enough reason to want to improve myself, I don't know what will.

A few weeks ago, I read this article that my sister posted about 12 things happy people do differently, and a few of the points really struck a note with me. I'd say I'm pretty happy to start with, but hey, who doesn't want to be happier if they can be, right? So, for my new years resolutions, I want to focus on those very points:

(3) Avoid over-thinking and social comparisons- I can't seem to help this one and I'm always very conscious of this after it happens, and the article is right-- no matter what I think as a result of a comparison, I usually don't feel good about it. So why do it in the first place? I also think this coincides with the first point of expressing gratitude and being thankful for what you got. In 2012, I want to really focus on appreciating the people/things I've been blessed with and not worry about how it compares to those of others around me

(5) Nurture social relationships- I think this is actually something I made my 2011 resolution, and somehow it just tapered off and I wasn't as committed to it as much as I hoped to be. My family and most of my closest friends are across the country and I really want to make a greater effort to keep in touch with all of them and let them know how much I love and appreciate them. I am very much aware that I am the person I am today because of these people, and I want them to know that too. In 2012, I will really let those I love know how much they truly mean to me.

(8) Increase flow experiences- This is one I want to concentrate on specifically for Riley. I look back at our past three months together, and am already thinking "where did the time go?" I really want to make every minute I spend with her all about her. I want to have as many "flow experiences" with her as possible, so that I can know where the time actually did go. In 2012, I will focus on being the best mother I can possibly be to Riley.

(11) Practice spirituality- This was also a 2011 resolution, but something I would like to continue to focus on. I pray to and thank God every single night for all He has blessed me with, and am committing to do the same and more in 2012. In 2012, I want to continue to grow with God.

(12) Take care of your body- I made a 2011 resolution to run my first half-marathon, but with the pregnancy I was unable to do that. It will take a lot more discipline to make this possible with the addition of raising a baby in the schedule, but its that discipline and drive that I really desire. In 2012, I will cross the finish line of a half-marathon.

I look back at 2011 and I get this overwhelming feeling of joy. I know 2012 will be full of challenges, but will be equally joyful, and I am so excited about it I can hardly stand it! I have a great feeling about 2012.