Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Healthier (and Super Easy) Calzones

I tried a new recipe/creation this evening, and my husband really liked it.  It was super easy, quick, and would be a fun meal for kids so I thought I would share.  I found a basic recipe on the WW site but changed it to be more flavorful and filling.  You could change/add whatever you like to make it suitable for your family.

4 Servings

Ingredients:
10oz frozen pizza dough (I just used an 11oz thin crust refrigerated dough.)
     -room temperature
4Tbsp Fat-free canned tomato sauce
1/4 cup (or more) Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese (Shredded)
Pepperoni?
Ground Turkey?
1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
Onion (finely chopped, just enough for a sprinkle on each piece of dough)
Pinch of salt and pepper
Whatever else you want to add!

Instructions:
Roll out dough on baking sheet.  Form it into a square and cut into 4 smaller squares.  Add a Tbsp of sauce to each piece of dough.  Spread.  Sprinkle with garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and cheese.  Add additional toppings.  Fold dough in half diagonally or pull up each corner.  pinch the corners or edges together.  Bake at 375 for 11-15 minutes.

I only used one slice of pepperoni on mine but 5 on the others for my husband.  I needed to keep my Points low.  Next time, I'll plan for more points and add a little ground turkey.  I think I'll also add some chopped green pepper.  :)  Again, this is a really easy recipe and quick to throw together.  It would also be a fun meal for the kids to help prepare.  :)

If you try it and have any suggestions, please comment below!

1st Shopping Trip With Coupons

A while ago, I posted a response about TLC's Extreme Couponing show.  Well... yesterday was my first shopping trip with a tiny bundle of organized coupons.  Hah. I was so proud of myself.  I only saved $11.00, but I look it as I SAVED $11.00!!!

I was really excited.  My husband saw the packed cart and didn't think we were going to stay within our budget.  It felt really good to see the final total on the screen at the register.  He was surprised, and I was happy.

This is only the beginning....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

OMG. Kloe is NOT fat!

OK, so I try not to write about reality TV and the ridiculous obsession with "perfect" people in media today.  HOWEVER, I have a confession to make.  I absolutely LOVE the Kardashians, and Kloe is my favorite.  She is gorgeous, intelligent, and has a great deal of substance to her personality.


Tonight, I watched the new episode of Kloe and Lamar.  Kloe was feeling a lot of pressure because of her supposed weight issues.  I know people criticize Kloe constantly because she doesn't look exactly like her petite sisters, but I don't get it.  I do not understand how anyone can say she is "ugly" or "fat".  People are petty and jealous.  She is beautiful; she has money, and she is in love with her husband.

If you don't like her, get over it.  Why are you even concerned about it in the first place?  Don't you have your own life on which to focus?  Seriously.

Why on earth do people intentionally say terrible things about others (and waste precious time)?  WHAT IS THE POINT?  Does it make their lives any better?  I'm highly doubting it.

As for Kloe, I completely understand how she would be affected by the comments being made.  That would be enough to pull anyone into a slump.  Even her own mother made her feel insecure.  WTF?  How could a mother say something so insanely superficial and selfish to her daughter?  It's absurd.

Now, if Kloe wants to lose weight because she is uncomfortable in her body, I'm not here to judge.  We all have an ideal place where we like our bodies to be, and it differs among individuals.  When I look at people bigger than me, I do not necessarily think they're fat.  Yet, I am unhappy with where I am because it isn't comfortable for me.  I don't judge my skinny friends for wanting to lose a pound or two because they know what is best for them (physically and mentally).  WHATEVER.  I just wish we could rise above the unattainable image of perfection that is constantly forced down our throats.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Canyon De Chelly: 10 Months Later

The story behind the birth of my daughter is a long one.  I won't go into details, but I was in labor for over 2 days and didn't realize it.  My mother and grandmother were visiting us at the time, and since the baby hadn't come yet, we decided to take Grandma to see Canyon De Chelly.  If you've never been, it's in Chinle, AZ and is absolutely amazing.

Well, it was probably a silly thing do, but it made for an interesting story.  I was in labor while we were there and fighting contractions the entire time.  This is a picture of my husband and me (17 hours before our daughter was born)...


... and THIS is a picture of me during a contraction.  


We only have about 2 months left on the "rez" and I've been wanting to take our daughter back to Canyon De Chelly.  I wanted to get some pictures of her to keep as she gets older.  Today provided the perfect opportunity as we were meeting an old friend in Chinle.

10 Months and 2 Weeks Later: 


Pretty cool.  :-)  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'll Take the Messy House

My husband is finally back from his trip.  My house has returned to normal, and our little girl is happy again.  For 4 days, I had a CLEAN house.  Within 11 hours upon his arrival, the floor was covered with clothes, socks, bags, ties, belts, shoes....  There were 7 empty glasses leaving trails from the kitchen, to his chair, to the bedroom, and back to the kitchen.  Trash had piled up on the bar, and a heaping stack of unorganized papers rested next to my husband's computer.  

I'm happy.

This sounds so lame, but I would rather have the messy house than an empty, boring, lonely, clean one.  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Daddy's Trips Aren't Easy On Us

My husband left yesterday to attend an educators' fair.  He is recruiting teachers to come out to the rez.  :-) It needs to be done, and I'm happy he is able to get away from the insane amount of stress he's under at work.  It's just kind of hard on us.  I'm used to him being gone for work or coaching sports, but the little one is just now able to realize he's missing.  She says "da da da da" periodically throughout the day, and I tell her he had to go "bye bye" but will be back soon.  She usually starts waving at the air.  When Daddy leaves, we always watch at the door.  During one of our little photo shoots this morning, I think she was looking for him.


She was waving with her right hand....

Friday, April 15, 2011

Saturday Blog Hops

I'm going to be doing LOTS of hopping this weekend.  The husband will be away on a business trip; this is how I will be filling the void.  :-)  Feel free to join in!

Spotlightanimated2

FATspiration Tip #4

Another week is coming to a close for me, and I must face the scale tomorrow morning.  This has been a rough week... which brings me to this post.

FATspiration Tip #4:  There will be rough patches.

If you've read any of my earlier FAT related posts, you know this is my 3rd week on Weight Watchers.  I really do love the program and think it's a great fit for me.  If you're not familiar with the program, you have a daily Points allowance based on your height and weight.  However, you also have a weekly allowance for days you inevitably splurge.  AND... in addition to the weekly Points, you can even swap your activity Points if you still need that extra wiggle room.

Thank God.

For whatever reason, this week got off to a rough start.  I have a lot going on right now, and I'm assuming I reverted back to my terrible habit of compulsive overeating.  I literally wanted to eat everything in my house.  I definitely needed those extra points this week.  I didn't totally ruin my diet, but I did use about half of my extra (weekly) Points.  The fact that I didn't completely throw the diet out the window because of a few bad days is a big deal for me.  In the past, I would have given up.  Now, I have to just face the fact that there are going to be days or even weeks when I'm going to struggle.  The important thing is to keep pushing myself.  In an effort to combat the extra eating this week, I did exercise more.  I increased my elliptical workout to twice a day and continued with the vigorous walks when the weather was decent.  Hopefully, the exercise has been enough to keep me from gaining any weight back.  We'll see tomorrow morning.

Click the links below to read the first FATspiration Tips.
FATspiration Tips 1, 2, & 3

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Allergic to Diapers

My daughter seems to be allergic to pretty much everything.  I found out within her first week home from the hospital that the Dreft laundry detergent we had bought would have to be given away.  All of the clothes I had washed in preparation for her arrival had to be rewashed with detergent that was free of all perfumes and dyes.  Heaven forbid an old dryer sheet get mixed in with her baby clothes.  She'll break out in a rash from head to toe.  We can only use sensitive skin wipes, and her cheeks must be coated with a petroleum jelly based ointment before going outside or the puffy, redness will ensue.  

Because of all of this, I should have known better the first time I put that Huggies diaper on her little butt.  Since she was born, we've used Pampers diapers.  We received Pampers Swaddlers at baby showers and loved them, so we just stayed with that particular brand.  Now, she's in the Cruisers.  I usually buy the diapers when I go to town, but we ran out the other day.  I sent my husband to the grocery store to buy more, and he came home with a package of Huggies.  They're a few dollars cheaper, so I was hoping they would work.  

Upon changing the first of the Huggies diapers, I noticed a deep red rash.  It was different than a typical diaper rash.  It covered the entire area, was dry, and wasn't broken up into separate bumps.  I simply can't stand my daughter having diaper rashes.  I don't want her to be uncomfortable or irritated, so I constantly change her diapers and keep the area clean and dry.  When I saw the new rash, I cleaned it, let it dry, then covered her in Desitin.  That usually does the trick, but it didn't work this time.  I repeated this process each time I changed her diaper, and it was only getting worse.  Her diet hadn't changed; she hadn't been exposed to anything unusual.  After about two days of this, I decided it had to be the diapers.  I found a few Pampers in a diaper bag and used those until we could get back to the store.  After 3 of the Pampers diapers (and the cleaning, drying, and Desitin), the rash started to get better.  It's been about 24 hours now, and the rash has improved significantly.  It had to be the Huggies.  

I don't know if it is something in the Huggies diapers or the fact that my daughter is just used to the Pampers and reacted poorly to the switch, but I won't be using Huggies again.  I'm not saying Huggies diapers are bad or that you shouldn't use them.  I'm sure there are babies out there who are allergic to Pampers as well.  Just consider the diaper allergy as an option if your baby suddenly develops terrible diaper rash and you've explored all other causes and treatments.  

To read more about diaper rash symptoms, causes, and treatment, click here.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Life is Hard for a Baby

Starting with a little sun...


Taking a break to play the piano...


Eating shoe strings with Daddy...


*Sigh* ...  Rough Day

Pier 1 Outdoor Furniture is Here!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pier 1 for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Pier 1!!!  It is my absolute favorite home furnishing store, and I'm so excited that spring is finally here.  Spring weather means we can be outside enjoying time with friends and family, and Pier 1 has the best outdoor furniture and decor to make this possible.  Whether you're entertaining or simply relaxing in the sun, you can find whatever you need to make your outdoor space comfortable and gorgeous at Pier 1 Imports.
Must Haves for this Summer:
These Outdoor Wicker Stacking Armchairs are my favorite "go to" item.  They're practical, durable, and super cute.  If you feel like jazzing up your space a bit, check out the more vibrant colors.  Grab as many as you need to seat all of your guests and then stack them for easy clean-up!  The best part about these chairs?  They're affordable at only $79.95/chair!

This Taza Round Outdoor Table would be a great addition to these chairs as well.  The beautiful colors in the table would coordinate with any of the outdoor furniture available at Pier 1, but it would be perfect with the colors of the chairs above.  
I'm also in love with this Outdoor Crazy Chair!  It's amazing.  The design is totally unexpected, unique, and looks so cozy.  I can totally see myself curled up in this chair for a nap in the shade.  This one is definitely on my wish list.  At $99.95, it's a great deal!
Simply Looking to Update Your Space??
If you are just looking for a way to update your outdoor space at an affordable price, check out Pier 1's Reversible Outdoor Cushions.  The Scatter Daisy pattern is my favorite.  You have a pop of color on either side of the cushion, but if you're not in the mood for a floral print, flip it over for colorful stripes instead.   
    
You could also add an umbrella to your patio space as a focal point.  There are many different umbrellas to choose from, but I like this Hot Stripe Umbrella.  It's cute and only $99.95!
    
Indoor/Outdoor
Pull your entire seating area together with a beautiful rug!  Many of these rugs are indoor AND outdoor.  When summer is coming to a close, bring the rug inside for use year-round!  This Brown Scroll Indoor/Outdoor Rug is gorgeous and could easily transition from a patio space to an indoor living area. 
Papasans
Don't forget about the iconic Pier 1 Papasans!  The newest addition and most comfortable looking outdoor seat around is the Outdoor Swingasan Chair.  It is fun and would provide worlds of entertainment for all of the kids in the family.  
If you're looking for a papasan chair to nap and/or cuddle with that special person, check out the Double Papasan!  
Sales and Clearance!
Visit Pier 1 today to take advantage of great bargains and clearance items!  You can always find great prices at Pier 1, and their sales are fantastic.  
Check out Pier 1 for your complete outdoor entertaining area today! 
Visit Sponsor's Site

Monday, April 11, 2011

I Hate Coupons?

After reading all of the blog posts about TLC's Extreme Couponing, I was interested in seeing what all the fuss was about.  People seem to either love or hate this show.  I couldn't believe the uproar I had been seeing in the blogging community.

Anyway, I watched it last night.  I must confess... I hate coupons.  I can't stand them.  I don't have the patience or organizational skills to deal with those little pieces of paper.  Even when I intend to use them, I either or forget or lose them in the bottomless pit that is my purse.  I have only used 1 coupon in my entire life. However... I think I may start using them on a regular basis.

I could not believe how much money those ladies saved on that show!  Don't get me wrong; I think those particular ladies are raising new generations of hoarders by forcing their children to live that lifestyle.  There is a clear difference in using coupons to save money and using coupons to stock up on products you will NEVER open.  Sixty-two bottles of mustard???  Did anyone else hear that woman's husband say he didn't even eat mustard?  What's the point?  Clearly, some of these people have voids that are being filled by hoarding.

I did learn something about shopping though.  I could be a little more proactive with my shopping.  I could plan and utilize coupons when applicable.  I could pay more attention and shop smarter.  I'm going to start using coupons.  :-)  BUT... if I ever store toilet paper under my baby's bed or fill my shower with paper towels, please hold an intervention!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

At A Crossroads

I'm struggling with what to do and where to go from here.  I absolutely love staying home with my daughter, and I know all of the benefits of being able to give that to her.  The bottom line is... I have to go back to work in August.  We're moving across the country, and our bills are ridiculous.  Student loans are eating us alive.  I have to go back to work in order for us to keep our heads above water.  I just wish more than anything that I could continue to stay home even after we move.

Don't get me wrong, I love teaching.  I honestly enjoy working with students and making an impact on their lives.  I'm good at it, and until I gave birth, I thought it was what I was supposed to be doing.  Instantly after my daughter was born, I knew I was supposed to be a mom.  For the first time in my life, I absolutely LOVE every aspect of my current job.  Caring for my daughter.  I feel it in every fiber of my being.  This is what I'm supposed to do.  This is my purpose.  It makes sense.  I love teaching, but the part I love the most is being a mom to the kids who need me.

In the area where I have been teaching, many of my kids don't have both or either parents in their lives.  Many kids endure inexplicably horrific situations at home.  Many feel abandoned and don't receive the nurturing they need.  This is the reason I love this place so much.  I've always felt needed by my kids.  I truly see my students as my own children.  I would adopt them in a heartbeat if I could convince my husband.  :-)  Believe me, I've tried.

Now, however, I have this beautiful little girl who needs her mother.  When I teach, I immerse myself into it.  I can't do that and give my daughter all of me at the same time.  I can't give 200% of myself to both positions, and she has to come first.

None of this really matters because it can't change anything.  I have to go back to work.  It's inevitable.  I have submitted applications and am praying for interviews.  I need a job.  I shouldn't think about these things because there isn't anyway to get around the fact that I'm going to have to spend more time working during the day than with my daughter.  It just breaks my heart.

This morning, I saw something that made me question what I'm doing.  I never watch Oprah or her OWN channel, but for whatever reason, I caught it today.  As I exercised on my elliptical, I watched Oprah's Master Class.  She said things I have always told other people and have tried to live by, but it hit me differently today.  I believe every single thing in life happens for a reason.  I believe we are the only people in the world with any control over what we do in our lives.  I believe we are thrown hurdles but have the ability and knowledge to make the best of situations and use the hurdles to persevere.  I know all of this, but I keep hoping some magical creature will pop up, wave a wand, and fix all of the issues we're facing.  Oprah, however, reminded me that "luck" like that doesn't exist.  In the Master Class episode, she says something that really hits home for me.  "Luck is when preparation meets the moment of opportunity."  If I want something, I'm the only one who can reach out and grab it.

The whole Oprah thing got me wondering what else I can do to prepare myself for the moment of opportunity I will have if I create it for myself.  I know I want to write a series of children's books; I know I want to write books about life, teaching, and being a new mom.  I know I want to turn this blog into something bigger.  I know I have the knowledge base to accomplish all of these things.  I just don't know where to go from here, but I have to figure it out.

Oprah also talks about how we must discover our purpose in life.  If we don't know our purpose, we're "just wandering around."  My purpose used to be teaching, but now, it's being a stay-at-home mom.  That may seem silly to everyone else, and people will tell me it's a "waste of [my] education", but it's what makes me happy and what leaves me feeling accomplished.  As long as it is what I feel is my purpose, I know it's what I should be doing.  I just have to figure out how to make it a possibility.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sunday Blog Hop - BBL

Stop by the Baby Bottom Line and link up with the Sunday blog hop!  If you're already "hopping" around, take a peak at some of my posts.  :-)  If you like what you see, feel free to follow.  Leave a comment and I will follow you back. Thanks for visiting!

The Baby Bottom Line

Friday, April 8, 2011

FATspiration Tip #3

Make ground turkey your friend.  :-)

Since beginning this weight loss challenge, I've used ground turkey 3 times.  I've made turkey burgers twice and added ground turkey to a lasagna as well.  I was a little hesitant at first because I don't like to eat food that tastes healthy.  You know... that cardboard taste.

However, I actually enjoy the ground turkey.  I can't remember what ground beef tastes like now which means the turkey must be doing the trick.  Plus, it's WAY healthier.  I buy the 99% fat free.  The best part is that my husband likes it as well.  I asked him last night if he preferred regular hamburgers over the turkey we were eating, and he actually said he likes the turkey better.  He feels much better after he eats it.  The grease isn't just sitting in his stomach making him miserable.  :-) That's a very good thing.

As I've said before, I'm still learning how to cook.  I'm not good yet by any means, but if you want my advice on the turkey burgers, my "recipe" is below.


Turkey Burgers

Ingredients:
Ground Turkey
Garlic (powder or fresh minced)
Onion (powder, minced, or freshly chopped)
Salt
Pepper
Cheddar Cheese (or whatever cheese you want)

I just use the desired amount of each and mix the seasonings together, form into patties, and cook.  Don't forget to top with cheese!  :)  If you've never used ground turkey for burgers before, know that the patties do not shrink.  You don't have to form them into larger patties as you would with ground beef.  Just make them the size and thickness you want.

Good luck!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

FATspiration Tip #2

Keep pushing yourself!

This is my second week of eating healthier and exercising regularly.  I must be perfectly honest.  It's different this time.  I've started thousands of diets, and I usually don't make it through the first week.  I don't know why I've suddenly developed will power, but I have.

There are tough days, but I think that's what makes WW a good program for me.  If I need to indulge in a sweet treat, I can.  I'm training myself to think about it first though.  Sure, I would rather eat chocolate all day than fruit and veggies, but are the points worth it?  For me?  Right now?  No.

This brings me (again) to my second FATspiration tip.

KEEP PUSHING YOURSELF!  Don't give up.  Make yourself get up off your rear end and exercise.  Make yourself experiment with food until you find healthier options you can actually enjoy.  Yes, it's hard, but it gets easier.  If you get past the 3rd day, you can keep going.  You may not want to, but you can.  :-)

FATspiration Tip #1

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Teething Monster (Symptoms and Remedies)

Dear Teething Monster,
I appreciate you coming in waves.  I know you mean well.  You're trying to give us a break here and there.  I get it... but for the love of God, please just get it over with already.
Thanks,
Me

I haven't been posting regularly this week as my daughter has been teething.  It is brutal, and I'm exhausted.  My little angel has transformed into this screaming demon child.  Of course, I don't mean that, and yes, I feel terribly sorry for her, but my goodness.  I had to sit her in her playpen for less than 1 minute to stir dinner this evening.  My husband heard her screaming down the road as he walked home from work.  All doors and windows to the house were closed.  We've been dealing with this whole teething thing since she was 4 months old, but it would come in waves and has never been so intense.  Why has this week been so bad?  I found the culprit.  There is a tiny little hint of white on her bottom gums.  :-)

This brings me to the topic of today's post.  If you think your baby might be teething and are looking for signs and ways to help, you're in the right place.  Most babies begin teething between 4 and 7 months, but ALL babies are different.  My daughter will be 10 months tomorrow and still has no teeth surfacing.  Again, please note that I am not a pediatrician; if your child is experiencing a high fever or seems to be suffering from some sort of ailment, please consult your doctor.

Signs Your Baby May Be Teething

  • Excessive drooling
  • Fussiness
  • Irritability 
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Decrease in appetite

Possible Ways to Help Ease Baby's Discomfort

  • Chilled teething rings
  • Chilled pacifiers (This is a trick I learned from my sister.  I use the Soothies pacifiers because the entire thing chills and my daughter likes to chew on the base.  She hasn't used pacifiers in months but likes to chew on these.  Soothies also makes teething pacifiers, but I've never tried them.)
  • Baby Orajel (Naturals or the original formula)
  • Clove Oil
  • Infant Acetaminophen and/or Motrin
  • Teething Tablets 
  • Chilled baby food
  • Water (to rehydrate) 
  • Use a clean finger to rub gums 
  • Snacks that Baby can chew (arrowroot cookies, Gerber Graduates snacks)
  • If your baby develops a rash from the drooling, pat the skin dry, then coat with petroleum jelly or Aquaphor.
  • Comfort and Love  :)

The most important advice I can give is this:

Be patient.  Take deep breaths through the crying and remember your baby is experiencing major discomfort.  It isn't his fault that his gums hurt and your schedule isn't working out as planned.  :-)  

For further reading, visit the sites listed below.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Precious Pictures

I'm exhausted today.  I spent ALL day yesterday experimenting in the kitchen.  The apple cake I tried was a dud.  However, the lasagna I made was amazing!  I actually made the tomato sauce from scratch, and it was delicious.  I used a Weight Watchers recipe but added ground turkey to half of the lasagna so my husband would have some meat.  He liked it as well and still doesn't believe it was a WW recipe. 

I'm too tired to think of a clever post for today, so I'm just going to upload some very cute pictures of my very cute daughter.  :-)  Enjoy!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011!!!

If you haven't joined the Ultimate Blog Party at 5MinutesforMom, you should check it out.  There are thousands of other blogs to explore and new blogging friends to meet.   This is my first year as a participant, and I'm excited.  :-)


If you're just now discovering my blog, let me tell you a little bit about me and the topics I discuss here at Stories and Advice for Moms.  I originally started this blog a few months after my daughter was born.  I had been teaching high school English, Speech, and Drama for 3 years, gave birth to a GORGEOUS baby girl on June 7, 2010, and decided to take a year off to stay home and care for her.

My husband and I have been living and working on the Navajo reservation in AZ since graduating college and getting married in 2007.  We are in an isolated, rural area and far away from family and friends.  We've been given this amazing gift and are on our own to try to figure out how to take care of her.  :-)  As a new stay-at-home mom with no family around to help, I spent hours researching lots of mom information on the internet.  I became overwhelmed with all of the information out there and decided to start a blog where I could summarize the key information many new moms are seeking.  That was my intention.  :-)

Little did I know, this blog would help me overcome my postpartum anger and insomnia.  Many of my earlier posts cover all of those postpartum issues that aren't so glamorous.  I write about the ugly stuff we deal with but don't really hear too much about.  :-)

In addition to writing about PPD, I also share stories about my little girl, baby development, DIY ideas, recipes, and my most recent challenge... losing the baby weight!  :-)  Well, maybe it's not "baby weight" that I'm losing, but it's a good cover.

My most popular posts are listed to the right.  Check them out if you're interested!  You can also search my blog for other topics.  Please feel free to join the "followers" along the way!  If you leave a comment, I'll follow you back.  :-)  Thanks for stopping by!

Suddenly My Baby is a Little Girl

I am entering yet another new chapter in my crazy life and I am doing so with incredibly mixed emotions.   It seems as though my baby has turned into a little girl overnight....

Our little Emma has developed a distinct personality and is starting to turn into a toddler.  Don't be deceived by the lack of hair.  :-) She's making calculated decisions, discovering her surroundings, and expressing emotions.  She claps when she's happy and proud and cries when trying to manipulate situations.  She's amazing. 



I'm excited for her.  She is so happy exploring things on her own and developing new skills.  The selfish part in me is a little sad that I'm already losing the little baby we brought home from the hospital.  I'm sad that she won't be depending on me every second of every day.  Sad that this is only the beginning of a whirlwind of change.  However, it's awesome to be a part of it.  :-)  I'm blessed to be able to share each of these new steps with this beautiful little girl.