Entries in baby girl (15)


a little christmas cheer in lydia's room

We are in full-on Christmas mode over here, baking cookies, listening to holiday tunes, burning our Christmas lights 24/7 and counting the days until Santa's arrival!  The most wonderful time of the year is even more magical when you're experiencing it through the eyes of your almost three year old and I'm loving every single minute as much as she is! We've had the house decorated since, literally, five minutes after Thanksgiving dinner, and this year we added some Christmas cheer to Lydia's room, as well.   Last week, she asked me for a Christmas tree for her room and, after gallivanting all over town and coming up empty-handed, I stuck some fresh cut branches in a glass vase and wrapped some twinkle lights around them.  Improvisation at its best!  I added some more twinkle lights to her gallery wall, and a stack of our favorite Christmas books and a miniature nutcracker to her chest.  My aunt sent her a sweet surprise over the weekend - a porcelain Christmas tree with the most beautiful lights and it's our new favorite heirloom as she won't go to sleep without it! Her room is so cozy to begin with but now even I have a hard time turning the lights out after reading our books at bedtime!  Since the weather's been too crappy to take pics of the Christmas decorations throughout the rest of the house (and to be honest, it's not much different from last year), I snapped a few shots of her room this morning:

Hope you're all enjoying these last few magical days before Santa comes!


39 weeks + a few pics from my mother/daughter maternity session

Happy Monday!  Taking a tiny break from all things interior decor and design this morning to gush over a couple of the maternity photos I got a little sneak peek of over the weekend!  I didn't do a session when I was pregnant with Lydia, which is crazy now that I think back on it, because we'd had such an incredibly difficult time getting pregnant with her, so this time around, I really wanted to capture a few images of these last few days of it just being me and my girl.  Of course, I waited until the eleventh hour and ended up having them taken the day before I hit 38 weeks, so they are even more special because we are so close now!

There were only a few images I had in mind that I really, really wanted; at the top of my list was a black and white silhouette from the side, something soft and ethereal.  Not only was my photographer amazing, but she blew me away with the few photos I've gotten to see so far; they are above and beyond what I ever could have expected!  If any of you have ever tried to have professional photos taken with a toddler, you know it can be a harrowing experience, so we opted to have an in-home session and let Lydia change into her favorite princess dress (once we got the goods in her real outfit). It totally worked out in our favor because she was so focused on being a "ballerina" that the shots my photographer ended up getting of her dancing are just as amazing as the maternity ones!

Choosing what to wear was easy, as I knew I'd need something snug/form fitting in order to get the silhouette shot, but I also wanted to be super comfy, too.  I wore my favorite Michael Stars maxi skirt and a white maternity tank top from Old Navy, both of which have been staples in my pregnancy wardrobe this summer.  I've been told a million times by photographers never to wear white, but I've always chosen it for photo sessions - white is gorgeous, and with the help of a little self tanner, I've never had any issue with looking washed out.  And Lydia just looks too heavenly in white eyelet to not dress her in it every chance I can get!

We didn't want to leave Daddy out, so we got some shots of baby girl and her main squeeze, can see my little princess ballerina takes it very seriously! This is exactly what it looks like around here after dinner these days....Lydia changing into one of her many princess dresses and getting Daddy to twirl and bow her all over the living room:

Of all the photo sessions we've done, these are some of my favorite pictures yet because they not only capture my complete adoration for my little miss, but also the love Lydia has for her daddy, and it also is a great reminder of a fabulous summer and the last few weeks of us being a family of three. My heart is so full already, that it's hard to believe how much more it will inevitably expand here shortly when baby bear makes his debut!  I hit 39 weeks on Saturday; we are in the final stretch! 

Happy Monday, everyone!


transitioning from a crib to a big girl bed

When I was pregnant with Lydia, long before I even knew I was actually having a little girl, all I could think about was a nursery centered around a gold Jenny Lind-style crib.  The day we had our ultrasound which, indeed, confirmed our little bundle was a baby girl, I ordered this crib and immediately had it painted Champagne Toast by Ralph Lauren Regent Metallics.  It was - and still is - my favorite part of Lydia's nursery. 

Well, here we are two and a half years later (I still can't wrap my head around how fast the time went) and she's not only starting to run out of room in her crib, but we are also getting closer to needing it for baby bear's nursery. The thing is, even though she is 2.5 she isn't exactly ready for a big girl bed. My child has always been super curious about everything and wants to be around us 24/7 so, even though we go through our whole routine every night before bed, it still takes her at least 30 minutes most nights (and sometimes more) to settle herself once we leave the room (and that entails playing with her lovies in her crib, talking to herself and looking straight at the monitor and yelling for momma to come get her). 

I know the only way she could sleep in her big girl bed would be if I were to lay in there with her until she falls asleep, otherwise, she would be all over the room, pulling books and toys out and having herself a grand old time, but I feel like doing that would defeat all my efforts over the years to get her sleeping through the night and not having to run in there every time she kicks the covers off or semi wakes up for a minute before drifting back off to sleep.  I know she is about to undergo some serious adjustments once the baby gets here and I feel like sticking to routine as much as possible would help her tremendously, but I also know I need to start transitioning her slowly, as well. 

Luckily, she LOVES her big girl bed that Daddy made for her room before she was born!  (You can find the plans we used to make it here; it's aptly named the "Lydia" bed)  We read books there and lay together after reading stories and saying our prayers at night, talking about all the fun things we did that day, but she very rarely ever asks to stay and sleep in it....

With baby boy making his debut in the next six weeks or so, it just doesn't make sense to buy another crib, so I figure I will start out by getting her to take naps in her daybed.  Any suggestions of how to make that transition easily?  And, more importantly, how to get her to stay in it? Or, am I crazy and I should just leave her sleep in her crib for as long as she wants?

Hope you're all off to a great start this week!


adventures in potty training

Taking a little break from all things interior design and decor to talk about some pretty exciting news in our little miss is officially POTTY TRAINED! I'm one proud momma! I really got lucky, I had no idea what to expect or how quickly she would take to the whole idea but she's just been doing so well!  We've been wearing undies all day, even for nap, and a pull-up to bed at night for the last four weeks and she's been waking up with it dry every morning!  I think I've been in disbelief that it all happened so quickly!  We did have a handful of accidents but they were all at the beginning and I really believe we had so much success so quickly because she wants to be a big girl so badly and also because I didn't force it on her before she was ready.  If there's anything I've learned since becoming a momma, though, it's that every child (and parent!) is different and what may work for one won't necessarily work for mine and that is totally okay! 

A few things that I found super helpful for us were one, I let her run naked or just in panties whenever we were home - it made it so much easier to get them off when it was time to go!  I also tried to never put her in diapers whenever we left the house once I introduced the panties; I don't know if that was the right thing to do or not but I didn't want to confuse her, so instead, I'd wait and make sure she went to the bathroom before we left and then I'd double up on toddler panties just in case (see the ones I love below).  Here were a couple of items we LOVED, too:

I started out with a portable potty like this one by Summer Infant, which moved around the house with us wherever we went.  After about a week, things seemed golden; she would tell me whenever she had to go (I didn't have to ask anymore) or she would just start taking off all her clothes, haha!  I really wanted her to get used to actually going in the bathroom instead of the living room, kitchen or her bedroom, so I bought the Mommy's Helper Contoured Cushie Step Up Seat after seeing it in a friend's bathroom.  I absolutely love it!  It folds up easily and cleanup is a breeze. 

Story books about using the potty came in SUPER handy.  A few of our favorites were Once Upon a Potty; The Potty Book for Girls and Princess Potty.

I really wanted to instill good hygiene habits from the start, so from the very first time I put her on the training potty, we washed our hands afterward.  Every single time.  Even if she didn't go.  In order to make it fun, I ordered this giraffe soap dispenser by mybaby - not only is it adorable, but is has a sensor so all she needs to do is stick her hands under it AND it plays music!  Lydia LOVES it and sometimes is even more excited to wash her hands than she is about going to the potty!  I also ordered a set of faucet extenders to make it easier for little hands to reach.  Mine is clear, but I love these

A step stool is also super handy - I found a pale coral one at TJMaxx that looks a lot like the personalized ones from Pottery Barn Kids!  (These animal step stools are ADORABLE, too!)

I think part of the success we've had with potty training came from the fact that Lydia likes to do exactly what Momma is doing (or wearing or eating or saying), so she was super excited about wearing big girl undies like Momma wears, from the start.  How cute are the stripes and ruffles on these?  I stocked up on the toddler training pants by Gerber because they are super absorbant (I sometimes doubled up when we were out to run errands, just in case) and they come in cute colors, stripes and patterns.  Plus, they cost less than eight bucks for a pack of three at Walmart!

Okay, back to all things design and decor tomorrow! Happy Hump Day!


lydia's 2nd birthday bash

A down side to being a Christmas baby is that sometimes, you have to have your birthday party in January (especially if you are a military child because all of your friends are away for the second half of December!)  We celebrated Lydia's second birthday with my family on the actual day, and then two weekends ago we had a few of her little friends over for cupcakes and play time.  A house full of littles under the age of 3 was actually less crazy than I thought it'd be; all the girls played baby dolls, built magna tiles and played kitchen the whole time, giving the mommas a chance to sip some bellinis and catch up! 

I decided to reuse almost all of the party decor from last year -  the balloons, striped straws and tissue paper fans all came from Shop Sweet Lulu, my favorite party shop! A few gigantic coral balloons (mine were 36 inches!) and tissue paper fans in a bunch of different colors are two of my favorite ways to make a big impact without spending a lot of money (and I have used the fans over and over!)  The pictures aren't as great as I'd hoped; the party was at 330 and by then the light was on its way out, but I managed to get a few in there for the memory book! 

The garland on the fireplace was a super easy DIY; I used a three-inch hole punch to cut circles out of gold glitter card stock from Hobby Lobby andadhered each one to simple jute rope with blue painter's tape.  An inexpensive paper mache number 2 got the midas touch with some gold spray paint and a few bunches of pink campanula from Fresh Market added some height and color to the table.


I hope you're all off to a great start this week!  Happy Monday!