Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Okay, after this I think I'll be "caught up" with life. Turkey Day! Thanksgiving was a crazy affair, even more so than usual because duh, a baby. It is very convenient to have your whole family live in one town, but it is also not because that's a lot of family to see in a couple days! I mean, it's wonderful, but it's also exhausting. But it was special to have include Indiana in what has been our tradition for the past, I dunno, decade. 

Let's begin with Indiana and animals, because what else could be better? (Also some of these photos have already been posted to instagram, but whatever!)

Indiana loves chickens! Actually she loves all animals. But she's really into chickens! Doggies are cool too though.

Indiana and I go on walks daily, but walks with daddy are always a treat, and scenic walks are even better! I took a few rapid fire photos of Indiana's first shoulder ride, and in the photo before there's a truck pulling a hay bale driving by in the background. Typical.

Turkey Day morning we ran the Turkey Trot! This has also become tradition for Brendon and I, I think this is our fourth year to run one? We did two in Austin, last year in Temple, and this year we ran down in New Braunfels. Well, Gruene actually. And my dad and sister ran it with us! I really enjoyed this Turkey trot. The race starts and finishes right in front of Gruene Hall, and it's a pretty run! Also the refreshments were insane. They had the usual post-run fare; water, crackers, bananas, but they also had chocolate milk (!!!), juice, BEER, and freshly made sausage! Oh New Braunfels, you love your sausage.

OKAY, so we're going to go off on a long tangent here and talk about running, scroll down to get back to Thanksgiving goodies. This was my first race after having Indiana (my last one happened to be the Temple Turkey Trot which I ran pregnant), and I wasn't really sure how it was going to go. SO LETS TALK ABOUT POST BABY RUNNING. I was fully prepared to sacrifice a lot of my pre-kiddo life for Indiana's baby years, but running was not something I was willing to give up. I started running again after my six week postpartum check up in March. As soon as I got the okay to run from my doctor, I went after it. Slowwwwly. It was so so hard. Because not only was I out of shape, but my body was wrecked. Having a kid destroys your body. No joke. My abs were stretched out into nonexistence, my endurance was shot, and we're not even gonna talk about all the weirdness that happens to your body after pushing a baby out. But anyway, as soon as I got the green light I started running three days a week. It was hellish at first and my runs only were a mile or two long, but I kept it up and got sorta back into the swing of things just as soon as the heat hit. And if you've ever run in the southern heat you know, it's a whole new thing entirely. For whatever reason, in July I decided to up it to running five days a week. Which was more than I ran when I was training for the half. I mostly did it because I wasn't seeing much progress (summer stalemate) and running is seriously my only real alone time away from baby world. It's my therapy, and it contributes a whole lot to my sanity. Once the cooler weather hit I got "faster" and I started running some longer runs on the weekends but I've been dealing with some health crap so I honestly wasn't sure how this race was going to go.

BUT, y'all! I ran my fastest 5k! 25:36! I've never ever been fast, even when I was "in shape", but I got 5th in my age group out of 101 and I mean, I kinda felt fast! Brendon ran back with me which helped I'm sure, and you always run faster at a race, but I'm pretty proud of myself. Kudos to Brendon for running with me, he would have slayed had he not. He's actually legitimately fast. My dad also killed it and beat us all, with a bum leg. Of course. My sister also did badass for basically not running for weeks. It was a good race for all of us. And a reminder that I love races and need to run more. They're such positive happy experiences. Everyone is in such a good mood. My dad and Brendon were cheering on people who were running with us and slowed to walk, and they kept going with us! I didn't do much cheering because 1.) I am shy and terrified of strangers, and 2.) I was flooring it and trying not to die, ha. But the guys encouraging those people and those people not giving up did wonders for me.

Yay for running, and now I'm done with my schpeal. Back to the baby photos:

Indiana's first Thanksgiving! Feast number one was at my momma's house. We had definitely worked up an appetite after running (even though we ate like a hundred deviled eggs), and I was ready for those sides! As we do not partake in turkey, the sides are our main course. But I mean, isn't that everyone's Thanksgiving? The sides are where the party is! We gave Indiana a little taste of some stuff, but she was kind of whatever about it. I think she was mostly just overwhelmed by the excitement of lots of people in a new place. It was a big day for her.

Awkward candids don't happen so much any more now that I am in charge of a baby instead of a camera. But here's some for ya. My mom was ready!

I haven't cut my hair in a year and I'm definitely reaching religious zealot/hippie lengths.

More doggie love for Indy! That tongue! After the feast at my mama's we headed over to my dad's for feast number two. Brendon's mom came over too!

Side story: Brendon is really into ping-pong these days. He's already scheming to get a table whenever (if ever??) we get a house. He bugged everyone to play him and I caved, twice. And the second time, I BEAT HIM.

Who's shiny ride is that??? ;)

My dad is the king of crazy-man in photos.

This picture cracks me up because it accurately captures Indiana's feelings about Thanksgiving. It was a lot for that poor girl. But contrary to how grumpy she looks, she did really well and I'm forever proud of my tough baby. Traveling and staying away from home is super stressful, but I definitely think it's worse for us than it is for her. I mean, don't get me wrong, it throws her schedule out of whack and sometimes takes me up to a week to fix it, but she's mostly a happy camper and loves seeing her extended family. I on the other hand stress about every little detail and worry about her lack of sleep and her loss of routine and her dislike of long car rides and generally just work myself into a ball of anxiety and worry. The hardest part of parenthood for me is the worrying. And I know it will never stop, please don't remind me. ;)

But anyway, it was worth it. Thanksgiving at home is always good and I'm glad we went. Brendon took off Wednesday and Thursday so we had a nice five day weekend. We need more of those!

Christmas will be here before we know it and we'll be doing the holiday game again! Wooo the most magical, but the wildest, time of the year.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wurstfest 2016

Continuing on with the backblogging. Wurstfest! We went down to NB for the first weekend of Wurstfest so Indiana could get her first German-Texan experience with all the grandparents. She was kinda whatever about it, but we had a good time. Although YEESH that place gets packed. I think the only way to go on the weekend (with a kid, or if you're an old fart like us) is to show up right when they open. It just gets insane otherwise; there was no where to sit and eat and pushing the stroller through the crowd was a challenge.

And duh, I made Indiana a dirndl. Baby clothes are an excellent way to get rid of scrap fabrics. Of which I have an obscene amount.

Now here's a whole bunch of photos of our German faces. (Well, I am not German. Brendon is so I guess Indiana is? But growing up in New Braunfels makes you German by proxy so gimme all the pretzels and potato pancakes and spaetzle!)

I think this sums up Indiana's feelings about Wurstfest.

And bonus; Indiana riding mini-donkeys.

Clearly, a cowgirl in the making.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Halloween 2016

Now that I have a working computer again, I've got some back blogging to do. Starting with Halloween, where I blab about sewing for far to long.

We went to Main Street Fright Fest in downtown Temple. We went last year but felt super awkward without a kid, it is definitely an event for children. So we were happy to tote Indiana around and pretend like we feel like real parents. HA! Parenthood is still so surreal.

We take costumed events pretty seriously, as you well know, so our baby's first Halloween was a big deal. We had about a hundred costume ideas, but for whatever reason I picked Frozen? And not even the regular Frozen but Frozen Fever, which is, if you're not a Disney nut like me, an animated short about Anna's birthday. I swear it was really just an opportunity for Disney to sell even more Frozen merch because this film had two new dresses in it. I could go on forever about the insanity of the money making machine that is Frozen. But all that being said, I picked these costumes for us. I thought Indiana would make a crazy cute Olaf (I was right) and I am an insane person so I thought making Anna's dress would be a fun challenge. Right again.

I made my dress and Brendon's costume. He's Kristoff, which is confusing because Kristoff is blonde and beardless, but whatever. I did NOT make that Olaf costume. Amazon provided that. I know everyone thought I'd be making her costume (and a ton of outfits for her), but sewing tiny clothes turns out to not be my thing. I am a selfish sewer and mostly just like sewing for myself. Plus sewing tiny things is hard. And I mean, look at that Olaf costume! It's hilarious, I could not have done better.

Brendon's costume was pretty simple. I used fleece for his pants and vest, and altered an existing shirt to make the shirt. The most time consuming part was all that trim, which was sewn on by hand. Lots of layers of ribbon. But there's something meditative about sewing by hand and I really didn't mind at all.

My costume on the other hand was an undertaking. Also I am so proud of my my hair! I did it all by myself and I made that little sunflower thing.

I used Simplicity 1094 for the costume and altered it pretty heavily. The good thing about Frozen being so popular is that there are mass produced costume patterns out there, and they're licensed so they're fairly accurate. That being said I still made quite a few changes to make it a bit more accurate. I shortened the skirt from the top which made a sort of wider fuller skirt and then I pleated it to match Anna's in the film. The pattern had you make your own bands of binding between the shirt, bodice, and dress, but I used bias tape instead and sewed it on to make it look like the dark blue part of the bodice was more like a bustier/corset (which I believe is more accurate) instead of all one piece of the dress. It's still all one thing, I just tried to create a more layered instead of flat look.

The vest is where I took the most creative liberty, and it's my favorite part of the costume. Anna's vest in the film is full of appliques/embroidery front and back, but the pattern just had a few flowers on the front. So I added all kinds of stuff and made up a design for the back using the same sort of patterns from the skirt/front of vest. I added a yellow braided cord that swirls around the whole vest, and sewed that bad boy on by hand. Also the vest is made from the prettiest grass green flannel backed satin, which was a serious pleasure to sew.

All those flowers, leaves, and butterflies on the bodice are appliques that I individually cut out and ironed on. There are probably over a hundred pieces. It seemed daunting at first, but it really wasn't bad and I love that sort of crazy challenge. I'm pleased with how it turned out. My only issue with the dress is that I chose cheap fabric for the yellow undershirt and bodice lining and it was constantly falling apart as I sewed. It just shreds. Indiana grabbed the front of the shirt while I was holding her and it just ripped right apart. Fixable, but it's a huge bummer because I'm very happy with this dress otherwise. You get what you pay for I suppose.

Sometimes when I have an idea for a project it turns out nothing like I imagined, but this thing came out better than I hoped. Also, the blue bodice of the dress is drapery fabric. Forever channeling my inner Fraulein Maria and forever grateful for my years sewing drapes in Austin and for allll the marvelous fabrics Susi sent me home with!

Anyway, I want to give a shout out to Simplicity for this pattern. It's not perfect, but it is pretty dang close. One of the first things I do when before I start a new pattern is a google it to see other folks who have made it, to get an idea of what it looks like when it's sewn up. But no one has made this (and posted it on the internet) which I sorta get but I sorta don't. Cosplaying is a huge thing these days and people love Frozen and this is a great pattern! But it is definitely time consuming and not easy so I guess I get that too. But maybe someone will Google it like I did and find this post and say, "Hey, I can do that!" Because you can and you should!

ANYWAY enough about sewing. Let's talk about how we entered Indiana in a costume contest!

This picture cracks me up, that little cowgirl was obsessed with Indiana and she just came right up and yanked her hat down over her face by Olaf's nose. Kids are so weird. Indiana didn't win (possibly because the lady announcing thought she was a penguin??? WHAT?) but the little baby who won was dressed as Carl from Up with a little walker with balloons and it was amazing. His dad was Russell and his mom was Kevin; mad respect from fellow Disney nerds. This pirate who was serving serious face got runner up:

Indiana's little face under that big ass Olaf head kills me. She is the sweeeeetest baby.

It was pretty fun! We had some grilled cheeses from a Star Wars themed grilled cheese food truck and then headed home. A decent first Halloween if I might say. I hope Indiana had a good time anyway! Next year she might have some opinions on what she's dressed as, but I'm hoping I'll be able to squeeze at least another year of family themed costumes out. And maybe we can go trick-or-treating!!! Eee!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

10 Months

Okay, yeah yeah, I am late on this post. Indiana's 10 month birthday was the day before Thanksgiving and we were heading out of town and then my laptop refused to cooperate so, whatever. We did take photos on the day though, and I've got a fancy new laptop that WORKS, so here we go!

Ten months is dangerously close to a year, is it not? And these last months of the year always fly by. I am honestly in shock that it is almost December.

THIS BABY THOUGH. She is a mess. The craziest, happiest, silliest, most fierce mess. This past month has been a wild ride; she is everywhere. She has fully conquered crawling and will pull up on anything she can grab onto. Baby proofing has commenced; outlet covers, bookshelves bolted to walls, I got rid of a table purely because it had sharp corners (it was also ugly), and we have a baby gate??? Parenthood, man. I never would have thought this would be me, but GAH I LOVE IT.

Indiana is a silly silly baby. She is always down to laugh and play and cause general mayhem. Playing is her favorite. Daddy does all kinds of fun tricks where he tosses her into the air and dangles her upside down and she laughs and shrieks and is in heaven while I'm seeing every possible scenario of how badly these hi-jinks could end because I am a paranoid protective mama bear. My brave baby stresses me out! But she is brave. She is very very into exploring. Now that she can crawl whenever we are out she's like, "put me down, put me down!" which is frustrating, but understandable. Indiana has a sixth sense for things she shouldn't get into and moves at lightening speed to get to them. If it didn't stress me out so much it would probably be pretty impressive, but like, I understand why people get leashes for their kids. Ha ha, kidding. But really.

Indy is a pretty independent chick. She likes to play on her own and keeps herself pretty occupied. With her mama sitting nearby of course; me leaving is obviously not okay and causes panic when it occurs. She is still the biggest flirt and smiling at strangers is her favorite. Being held by them is a different story, but we are getting better! Still loves to eat, although she's figured out how to spit out what she doesn't want to eat. She's becoming a bit pickier, which I knew was inevitable but buhhhhh. Still going strong with breastfeeding! That baby hasn't had a drop of formula and I'm so proud of us. Still rocking the two bottom teeth, and although she's been "teething" her entire life, no sign of any other toofs. Still thinks daddy hung the moon. She watches him leave in the morning and when she hears his car pull up in the afternoon she looks towards the door. So sweeet! And of course, Indiana is still heartbreakingly adorable.

I think my favorite thing is that when she needs mama, she turns into a different baby. Indiana is not a cuddler. But when she's sleepy or grumpy or scared or not her usual perky independent self, she looooves her mama. She wants to be held and will put her head on my chest and suck her thumb and sometimes I can even sing to her and rock her like when she was teeny-tiny and I LOVE IT. She's beginning to show real signs of affection and it is the best. I love that she reaches for me and crawls to me and hugs me and smiles at me from across the room. It makes me very very happy to know that I can make her happy. That was a big struggle for me with newborn Indiana, I just had no idea if what I was doing was alright because she had no way to show me. But these days thankfully I've got a better idea. Although the flip side of that coin is she's finding more (and more) ways to tell me when she is NOT happy. But I'll take the good with the bad, because the good is just so so so good.

I am seeing less and less baby and more toddler (waaahh) everyday. I mean she's definitely still a roly poly baby, but sometimes she'll pull her self up on something and give me the most triumphant grin and I get a big fat glimpse of the little GIRL that's growing up like a weed before my eyes. It is the weirdest, most amazing experience watching your child morph into a bigger child. Also very humbling.

Taking these photos is like pulling teeth. She wants to eat the letters and play and NOT stay still, and I'm just like ASKLJFIOVBSDK. But we struggled through and did the damn thing, with lots of bribery and help from daddy. And I know it will be more than worth it later on.

She is NOT about those photos on her back. But for continuity's sake, here they are, blurry as can be.

TWO MORE MONTHS. One year is looming ahead. I am equal parts excited and sad. Actually, I think I'm more excited. Indiana gets better and better, and as much as I adored those days of having a tiny soft newborn snooze on my chest (CRY FACE), these days of laughing and playing are pretty unbeatable.

Here's the rest of Indiana's first year!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pumpkin carving 2016

WADDUP I LOVE PUMPKINS. I love holidays. Any excuse to do anything festive. But I loooove Halloween. It's just so fun. That's what Halloween is, pure fun. I mean, yeah it can be scary too, but I ain't about that life. For me it's just fun. And PUMPKINS! Ah! They're fun too! The most wonderful time of the year begins when those pumpkins start sneaking out.

Brendon and I have carved pumpkins together every year for the past I dunno, decade? But last year we invited people over to carve them with us and it was a blast. So this year we did the same! (I can't wait until we've got a bigger place and can finally throw a real Halloween party!!! You're all invited.)

Here are some very candid slightly low quality photos. It's hard to take good photos while also keeping a baby out of too much pumpkin trouble! Also Indiana is topless because she puked on her dress right as we started carving. Babies, man.

Indiana was helping Amy, by eating her pumpkin.

Indiana really likes pumpkins. Maybe because they're big and orange? Who knows, but she loves 'em.

The final products! Ben's, Amy's, Ben's (we had two Bens!), and the Hogans' pumpkins!

Brendon and I carved a joint pumpkin this year since we knew one of us would have to watch Indy. So we found the biggest pumpkin we could. Brendon cleaned it out, I carved it, and when we were done... we put our baby in it.

Contrary to this face she's making, she loved it. She was dancing and smiling and was pretty dang content to just hang out in a pumpkin. Best (and weirdest?) baby award.

And of course, we had to light them up! Everyone left their pumpkins with us for the night so our place looks like the coolest porch in the hood!

Halloween is the best! I'll be sad when it's over. But that means Turkey Day is coming and that means Christmas is coming and it's just the best time of the year!