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I know it’s been a couple months since my last post but just in case not everyone knows, Emma and I have made a move back to Arizona at the end of January and things have been a little crazy trying to find a house, working and being a “single” parent.  It will be nice to get Tom and our other girls out here with me. We are anticipating that he will be out and we will have closed on a house sometime in April so hopefully things can get somewhat normal again. Although that’s not a word I typically use in my vocabulary. It is bittersweet to leave Mississippi behind. I have some beautiful and wonderful friends I had to say goodbye to (for now). Vegas trips are in the works!!  But the saying is true that Home is where the Heart is and mine is pretty spread out over Arizona, Texas and Mississippi.

Anyway – I’m excited to share my post with you today to bring you a new and exciting digital/paper (hybrid) kit!  One of my scrappy friends, Shanna Vineyard, has combined her love of hand-drawing and painting mixed with her fondness of bright, happy colors to bring us a kit that is different than anything you’ve ever seen!   In celebration of her relocating back home to Arizona next week, she was inspired to create this kit, “Home Is Where the Heart Is” that includes over 50 different hand-drawn and painted images.  They can be used in your digital projects or can be easily resized and printed to cut out and use with your traditional scrapbooking and card making creations.  The possibilities are endless and you will have them to use over and over again as much as you like for as many projects as you wish!  So FUN!!!

Here’s what I made using her kit….. I went all digital due to ALL my paper scrappy supplies are boxed up waiting to be moved from Mississippi with Tom.  But the great thing is – now that I own this kit, it’s going to be a great addition to my arsenal of regular scrapping supplies! :)

Visit Shanna’s blog to purchase this kit and see LOTS of other awesome samples that were created specifically to share with you today!    In celebration of this fun, new release she is also doing a huge giveaway valued at over $100.00 with lots of fabulous new scrappy goodies and several ways you can win!  So head on over and check it out!

Thanks for stopping by!

Twenty – Twelve

Happy New Year! (a week later). How strange is it to type or write 2012? Or is it just me. I swear I was just getting used to writing 2011. 2011 was such a crazy year for me with the pregnancy and birth of Emma that it literally passed me by. And I swear time sped up as soon as she got here. She will be 5 months old in just a couple of weeks. *blink blink*  

I was looking at her today as I went to pick her up from daycare and barely recognized my baby. She’s gotten so big. She weighs 15 lbs 12 oz. and is 26 inches long already. She “talks” and laughs and jumps and plays. She loves to stand and I’m amazed at how strong she is.  She is teething and starting solids (well sorta on that last one). We are ATTEMPTING solids. So far unsuccessfully. Try, try again right?

But I’m excited for the New Year. My goal for 2012 is of course to lose all this baby weight. It’s going to be a task but I’m focused and motivated and ready.  I think after I do lose this weight, I’m going to take these maternity clothes and burn them. 

I haven’t been scrapbooking much lately but I have been staying busy with my photography and digital scrapbooking and other forms of crafting. I made some t-shirts for friends over the holidays and painted canvases with the girls and have even tried to branch out and sew other things besides straight lines and paper. It’s been fun dabbling in other forms of crafting and I’m finding out that I am a HORRIBLE seamstress (we won’t even get into the taggie blanket I tried to replicate for Emma). What a disaster. But I do love to sew (the t-shirts I made were all thanks to liquid stitch and iron on letters) so I’m going to make it another goal of mine to hone in on my Home Ec sewing skills.

What goals have you set for yourself in 2012? I figure if this is going to be my last year on the Earth (blah blah blah) I’m going to go out the best version of myself that I can be. And then if by 2013, we are still here, then I will have new skills and maybe can actually enjoy looking better in a swimsuit! weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Ok – Since I am so far behind on actually blogging I will just stop talking and leave you with a mound of photos. I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday season and are enjoying your new year! It’s going to be a great year! I can FEEL it!

 

I swear I forget I have a blog sometimes. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything and not that things are ever that interesting but it’s nice to have a central place to jot things down for future reference. Here’s are the cliff notes:

- Been back to work for a month now which is going good. It’s nice to have a routine back. The only drawback to being full time is I have had to stop breastfeeding all together. I was trying to hang on as long as I could and we made it to 2.5 months, but it was becoming too stressful and I was only pumping about 4 oz for the entire day. That doesn’t really even cover a feeding for Emma right now.  So now we are bottle fed. That has been a HUGE emotional decision for me that I still am riddled with guilt over but I’m slowly getting past that now thanks to the support from my family and husband. I was formula fed and turned out ok. Right? RIIIIGHT? LOL

- Emma is growing like a weed. I swear she grows overnight. She is just a joy right now. Laughing and keeping us all entertained. Still can’t believe she is almost 3 months old. *sigh* – they don’t stay babies long.

- Girls are doing great. Been busy with sports and traveling soccer. We had a blast couple weekends ago decorating for Halloween and carving pumpkins. We also had a very nice visit with Grandma and Grandpa Lamb that same weekend. They got to watch all three girls play soccer and carve pumpkins with us and they got to love on Emma.  – Wish we all lived closer to have more weekends like that. But I guess the distance also makes the visits even more fun and special.

-Had a low key Halloween night. The girls were with their mom and I didn’t feel like getting Emma out in the cold. Not that she would have much use for candy right now, and Lord knows I don’t need it.  But we passed out the candy and everyone loved how the girls decorated the yard and were even taking pictures of the decorations. One thing I don’t understand though is how the porch light rule is no longer applicable? We ran out of candy about 7:30 and I literally sat in the dark but kids still were insistently ringing the doorbell. When I was a kid, no porch light meant no candy…….

Funny story speaking of Halloween – so I had to run to Walmart after work to get the candy and of course I’m in a hurry because I still had to go get Emma from daycare. And who isn’t in a hurry to get out of Walmart anyway? The place was a madhouse. Anyhoo - I grab some candy and I’m walking towards the registers when my boot slips on the floor and I go SPLAT. The candy goes skidding across the floor and my right elbow and knee took quite a blow. I don’t think I’ve moved so fast in getting up although I did have a slight gimp to my step. How stinking embarrasing and to have it happen in front of the store. Why not in a more private aisle or something. I’m sure it was quite the scene. Now I have a bruised knee and elbow and ego. Lesson learned…..don’t rush when in heels or boots on slick floors.

Now moving on to more scrapbooking stuff -

- For the Luv of Art will be hosting a Pinterest crop starting November 11. I’m loving this crop because now I can actually create something I’ve pinned! LOL I will post more details on the crop as they come available because trust me, you won’t want to miss the fun!

We have the weekly challenge up for November too that you can play along with here. But here’s the sketch I created for the Challenge. Be sure to go over and play along!

Here are a couple things I’ve created with some of the awesome MME – Mischevious line that you can pick up from FTLOA store here.

I will leave you with some digital projects I’ve done recently too. Still loving this Heritage Makers and I just got my order from all the layouts I’ve done and I have to just say what great quality and I am amazed how dimensional it looks even though it’s flat. love love love. And I’m super excited to be able to stay up on Emma’s scrapbook.

Halfway through

I’m halfway through my first week back to work and taking Emma to daycare. I am glad to be back to work but I am suffering a little from separation anxiety.  I do not do well dropping her off each morning. I feel like I’m leaving part of me behind and it doesn’t help that I’ve not been overly happy with this daycare center. But I don’t want to be “that” mom that complains after two days so I have been making notes and plan to talk to the director if things continue. And then if they still continue, I may have to yank her and find another place to take her. Which is an act of congress all on it’s own. Daycare around here is hard to come by. Everyplace has years of a waiting list. Don’t you wish we can all be independently wealthy?

And speaking about being “that” Mom – Can I share a Mommy story? (too bad if you said no) But, this morning when I was getting ready for work, I had her in her bouncy seat and she was just happy and content and I started playing peek-a-boo with her. Usually she seems unimpressed and doesn’t respond but this morning I finally got a reaction out of her! She would coo and smile REAL big and her eyes would get so wide. *sigh* melted my heart and I could’ve done that all day! I can’t explain what fun it is to watch her learn and grow daily. She is the best source of entertainment.

ok - moving on because I can literally talk about her ALL day.

But before I do I just want to share a picture-

one of her favorite things to do is sleep on mine or her daddy’s chest. I swear she gets her best sleep here and I just love that snuggle time with her. I snapped this of her and her daddy last night. I came home from the gym and found her just zonked out. Mouth wide open both arms just hanging – too cute! When she sleeps like this, we joke that she’s pulling a Joe  (her Grandpa) he looks just like that when he naps. hahahaha – at least she gets it honest. I look at this picture and am amazed at how much she has grown. She was 8 lb 11 oz last week and 21 inches long and I swear she’s grown even more since.

Believe it or not, I have been back to creating a little too. I know you got my whole schpeel about Heritage Makers on my last post, but seriously. I am in LOVE. I am just so excited about the endless possibilities of this program and am so looking forward to Christmas time this year! I just love that I can do memory books in a flash BUT still make it my personal scrapbooking style. I’m a junkie now. And for anyone who says they can never pack away their paper and scissors…well. You can. I said the same thing and although I still paper scrap, I am doing more digitally just because of my lack of time. And it’s nice to actually be getting some of these pictures stored on my computer organized and in a scrapbook album for everyone to actually ENJOY! So one more time – if you think you may want to check it out – go here to contact Shanna Vineyard. She will hook. you. up.

Before I share my digital projects I want to share a couple paper scrapbook stuff I made. This past weekend we had a “We are Family Crop” at For the Luv of Art and there was a ton of fun to be had! So many great challenges from the DT and loved seeing all the participant’s creations. Gotta love crops!

But here is my challenge layout – it was to create a layout about a new addition to your family. And of course I had to scrap Emma. I just love these papers by Teresa Collins which can be found in the FTLOA store here.

And I did a make n’ take – For these all I did was group 3 tootsie roll pops and cover with about an 8×8 piece of white sheet. Glue some googly eyes on there and created a Halloween tag to tie the tootsie pops together to create the ghost. Super fun and easy and the kids LOVE it!

I will leave you with the digital projects I have created lately. The word art stuff I am so excited to get printed out and framed! And think about what great gifts they could make too and the beauty of it all is I can print as many as I want/need!

And just  because I love this kid, I can’t leave you without sharing a few more pictures of her! Ok – now I’m done! I hope you all have a fantastic rest of the week and weekend! We’ve got lots going on and it’s nice to be back in the groove!

Love ~Renee

My little Lamb…

I know…she’s cute and her mom is a dork. I mean, I am THAT mom now that has actual conversations around my baby’s bowel movements (or lack thereof) and actually celebrates when she has one. (heck, i’ve even gone as far as to photograph her latest blowout). But honestly…Did you really have any doubt what I would have her be for Halloween?

Which is just insane to me that it is right around the corner. It’s October ALREADY. I swear my maternity leave has flown by.  Wasn’t it just last week I had her? How has 6 weeks already passed? But this is it for me. My last week. I go back to work Monday the 3rd. I am cherishing every moment I get with her right now and I love the time I’ve gotten with her. It was also great to spend time with family and friends during my time off. They grow up so fast as I am truly finding out. Every day she learns and grows and it makes my heart heavy that it’s off to work and daycare. I’m looking forward to getting back to a routine, but to lose this time with my baby, well, that just plains sucks. big time.

This weekend she has really been holding her head up on her own and is awake during the day more and very alert.  She loves looking around and it’s fun to see her be so curious. She is having more good nights than bad and I think she finally figured out her nights and days. She still wakes every 3-4 hours during the night but the difference is there is little to no fussing in between and she is in the bassinet and officially off my chest!

I have been taking every opportunity I can to take pictures of her and I won’t bore you with them all but if you’re friends with me on Facebook, then you’ve seen them. But I’m excited because having a newborn in the house, my scrapping has fallen to the bottom of the priority list. I just don’t get enough time to sit down and scrap. Buuuuutttt…thanks to Shanna Vineyard, she got me set up with Heritage Makers. It’s a digital scrapbooking site and OMG….it’s awesome. I have dabbled in digital before using Photoshop and loved it but it just isn’t as user friendly as Heritage Makers. Plus, you have to buy your own kits/artwork but at Heritage Makers you get like 60,000 pieces of art FREE!  It’s insanely awesome and I haven’t been this excited in a while because now I can finally start putting all my photos of all the kids into albums instead of just storing them on my computer!Here’s a link to Shanna’s site if you are interested and have more questions. I’m sure she would be happy to answer them for you and get you as hooked as I am! But don’t worry, I haven’t hung up my scissors and glue. I still love getting dirty with paper. I will leave you with my creations so far and even a few paper creations that I made pre-baby that I have forgotten to share.

Also, this weekend over at For the Luv of Art we are having a crop that will be filled with fun challenges and prizes. Be sure to swing by and play along!

Here’s the link to all the details. Have a great week and I will update soon! :)

I first want to share my favorite project so far. This is a flipbook I created. I’m so excited to get this one printed out! It’s 20 pages and if you want to see it more detail go here to this link.

And here is the rest. Thanks and hugs! ~renee ♥

 

Here is a the thank you cards I made for me to send out and another card I made for For the Luv of Art.

 

 

 

One month ago…

<——-I gave birth to this precious bundle of joy. It’s crazy how fast the time has flown. I honestly didn’t know if I would be able to survive the first few weeks and here we are, a month later. I hate to admit that I did flirt with the postpartum blues.  I was feeling so exhausted and isolated. I would literally sit out on the couch and cry from pure exhaustion. It was a hard transition for me to learn  to nap when she did during the day and not feel guilty that housework got behind. I missed being able to just go and be a part of the outside world. Thank goodness for good friends who stopped by to visit me! After those first couple weeks, the breastfeeding got easier and I started getting used to the less sleep and I learned I don’t have to do it all and I pulled through and survived!  Even through the frustration and exhaustion, I wouldn’t trade being a mother to this little girl for anything in the world. Not even for 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep.  I’ve started getting a supply of breastmilk going  and have even ventured out on short trips so I’m getting back to the land of the living again. Even went to see the movie “The Help” with my mom when she was here!  There are still those days that I feel like I’m on lock down but as my maternity leave dwindles down to just two more weeks, I don’t mind it so much. I treasure each day because in two weeks, I will no longer get this much time with her. Oh, that is going to be a rough rough ROUGH day. I am going to have buy stock in Kleenex. Six weeks of maternity leave seems like a long time until it starts and then it’s just not long enough.
I’m still fighting to get to into a routine and slowly getting there but between the feedings and sleepless nights, I just don’t know where the day ends and night begins. Much like her, my days and nights are confused so I’m trying to reverse that a bit. We are slowly getting there. Last night marked 2 nights in a row that she slept in her bassinet in full 3 hour increments, whereas before, I was bad and got into a habit of letting her sleep on my chest at night since she refused to go down in the bassinet.  That  was just a much easier alternative to soothe her and get her to sleep than to fight it. I was in survival mode.  It’s been a hard habit to break. Not only for her but for me. I still let her sleep on my chest during nap times because I just love that snuggle time with my baby but I have a good feeling we are starting to figure out our days and nights!  I started the routine of play, bath, eat, play and then bed (in the bassinet!) and so far…it’s working! so yay!

She is growing like a weed. Every day is a new discovery. She has become so alert and more active. She can recognize sounds more and can focus on them. She loves her floor gym and the mobile on her changing table. She also has a huge fascination with ceiling fans. She can move her head left to right when doing tummy time and does well keeping her head up.  Even two days after birth she was able to lift her head up when you have her on over your shoulder.  I think she’s going to be a strong little girl.

We are still struggling with her tummy issues. Since around week one she’s had issues going poo on her own. She will go days without a movement so we have to help it along with some glycerin suppositories. She has gone on her own a couple times but not nearly as often as she should be. Poor thing. It’s hard to watch her in so much pain. All I can do is rub her belly, give her gas drops and do the bicycle with her legs. I’m hoping her system works itself out soon.

All I know is that this little lady has completely captured her mama’s heart. I am a lucky gal to have 4 wonderful step-daughters and now a daughter of my own. That’s a feeling I cannot even describe.

I will leave you with a few more photos! A couple random photos and photos of the tree Grandma and Grandpa Lamb planted for Emma,  pictures of Grandma Lissa and me and Emma.

Oh and I’m excited because tonight Shanna is coming over to scrap! It’s been MONTHS since I’ve scrapped!!

 

Meet Emma Jo

I had a pretty decent labor considering this was my first child. We got to the hospital at 5:30 am and they broke my water at 7:15 am.   By 5:00 I was pushing and then it was no time before Miss Emma made her way to this world!  Emma Jo Lamb was officially born on Tuesday August 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm. She weighed in at 6 lb 15 oz and 19.5 inches long.  I have a hunch she may be a wee bit tall ;) and she is just absolutely gorgeous and perfect and sweet and everything and anything I could have ever dreamed of!

I am adjusting to motherhood and the demands of breastfeeding but so far everything is good! She is now officially one week and 3 days old. We are all a little sleep deprived in this household due to Emma still having her nights and days confused. She likes to cluster feed between the hours of 11pm and 3 am so during this time, she is monster child with the wails and screams. But it won’t last long. My mature milk is already coming in so hopefully now that she will start getting my hind milk, she will stay fuller longer. She is jaundice but during her doctor visit today she is doing much better with it! Just from Monday to today she dropped from a 16.1 level to 13.8 and her weight went from 6 lb 10 oz to 6 lb 14 oz. So we are only 1 oz away from her birth weight!

But we are all doing great and getting along! I am trying to rest when she naps but I have a hard time doing that when I have a list of things I should be doing, but I am getting better at letting those good intentions fall to the wayside and laying down when she does. Speaking of which, I hear stirring so I am going to run before the cries of hunger come on full force. I will leave you with some photos of my sweet angel! Love to you all! xoxoxoxoxo.

these are the most recent ones I took of her on her one week old birthday:

And here are some pictures from her actual birthday and hospital! Can’t believe how fast time flies!

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