It's time to rise up!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Top Baby Blogs has reset their numbers again! This could be my chance to rise up in the numbers and get more exposure for the blog. 

If you read FromBean2Baby, and enjoy my writing, my not-so-exciting life, or the cuteness of my kid, please vote! 

You can only vote once per twenty-four hours, so make sure you come back tomorrow and vote again! 

I appreciate it! Thanks in advance!

Click To Vote For Us @ the Top Baby Blogs Directory! The most popular baby blogs

Down with the sickness...

Sick baby :-(
I've been MIA, I know. Clara has continued to be sick since the post last week. She has been having diarrhea and vomiting at least once every day for a week. At first, there was worry from her doctor that she could have a blocked bile duct since her stool was white. (Bilirubin is excreted by your bile duct and makes your poop brown). She's continued to have white/pale stools. She has been on a diet of banana, applesauce, and rice cereal, and clear liquids.

Today, for seemingly no reason, she started screaming. I checked her all over and couldn't find anything. I changed her diaper and found a small amount of diarrhea and blood. I took her to the ER. After 2 hours of waiting, we finally saw a doctor. He was concerned that her bowel was overlapping since the blood was dark and mucous-y. He did a rectal exam, blood work, and x-rays. (That's her 4th set of x-rays in the last 3 months.) The x-rays showed that her bowel was not overlapping. I wasn't given a reason for the blood in her stool. Her blood work came back fine, and nothing is elevated. The consulting doctor told me that she needs to be on a diet of clear liquids and banana/applesauce/rice cereal. I explained to him that she has been, since she's had diarrhea for over a week. He wasn't aware that she's had diarrhea since the original doctor hadn't told him. He never addressed her continued diarrhea (or the pale color) or vomiting, and I was told to keep her on the same diet.
It could be a virus, but I'm concerned about the blood in her stool and her continued diarrhea and vomiting. She's not dehydrated in the least, and she has not had a fever.

After 5 hours in the hospital, she was not diagnosed. I have no answers.

I think that I'm going to give it 48 hours, and if she doesn't start having regular bowel movements, I'm going to take her to the children's hospital an hour away.

Your thoughts? Any advice? I could really use some.

Registy Essentials, the Complete List

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I know a few people who recently found out that they were pregnant, and they asked me what to put on their registry. So, I thought I'd do a post about it.

You don't need frivolous products to have a baby, I promise. Baby products are among some of the most overpriced items in today's market. Get the essentials, and get them as cheap as you can! Otherwise, you'll be where I am, 10 months down the road, and wonder how you only got a year (or less) out of most of your products.

-Remember that everything white can be bleached.
- Don't get all caught up in your baby's gender. If you buy things gender neutral, or even a little on the "boy" side of the color scheme, it will last you through all of your kids. Think, you would use blue stuff with a little girl, but you probably wouldn't use pink with a boy... I would... but that's just because its me.
- Buy second hand, or get hand-me-downs when you can. I borrowed a lot from my sister, and it's so nice to give things back to her when Clara is done with them without having to store unused items in my house or spend money on them.

1. High chair: Hook-on High Chair. You can use it at home and when you travel.

2. Breast pump: I had this one and hated it. Go with this one, or get one from WIC or rent one from the hospital or birthing center. I don't have to tell you the benefits of breastfeeding, but just fyi, breast pumps are now tax deductible.

3. Bottles: I loved these, as mentioned in this post.

Safety: many companies prey on the fear of parents with a newborn. Don't be sucked in. Just get what you need.

1. Outlet covers

2. Gate. You can almost always find these at Goodwill.

3. Carbon monoxide detector

1. Exersaucer: This one is cool because you can use it at home and when you travel. It's VERY NICE to have one that doesn't take up a lot of space. Mine was hand-me-down. Check Goodwill!

2. Travel system: I had a Graco travel system, because I got it on sale for $90, but if you're going to get a jogging stroller I would recommend this one because the wheel can be locked in place or swivel. VERY IMPORTANT when buying a jogging stroller. Plus, jogging strollers are way easier to shop with than 4-wheeled strollers.

3. Playard: I had one with all the fixins' when Clara was born, but only because it was on sale for $70. I admit, it was nice to have the bassinet feature, especially when she was very little. But you just need a basic playpen. Simple, yet awesome. 

4. Swing/bouncer: I mentioned in a previous post how much I love this product. It's so nice to have 2 products in one. It saves you storage space, and money.

5. Carrier: I had a sling carrier at first, but I've found that we didn't use it past 6 months. I'm looking at buying this carrier now. 

1. Cloth diapers: Go with cloth if you can! You save sooo much money, especially with these. I mentioned them in this post. Plus, they're so much better for the environment.

2. Diaper pail: I wouldn't recommend a diaper pail. I think they're unnecessary. But if you're going to get one, get the Diaper Champ. You can use regular trash bags, instead of buying the super expensive brand name products, and you can use it with disposable diapers or cloth diapers.

3. Wipes: I only use baby wipes when I'm out of the house. If you buy them in bulk, and use a plastic wipe case instead of buying diaper bag packs, you'll save lots of money. At home, I use baby washcloths and keep a squeeze water bottle with them. Since I've started using washcloths, Clara hasn't had a diaper rash.

1. Crib: I love Ikea's cribs. I bought the Carter's Just One You crib from Target because it was on clearance for $130, and it transforms into a toddler bed, day bed, and full size bed.

2. Rocking chair: Mine is a family pass-down, but I really like this glider.

Other stuff I loved:
1. Boppy. Obviously. Get an extra cover, too.

2. Bumbo: I used it as Clara's first high chair as I mentioned in this post. Get the play tray, too.

3. Blankets: Get a heavy/soft blanket that's durable, because it will probably go everywhere with your baby. (You might want to get a couple. It's worth it if one gets lost or worn and your baby is attached to it.) Also, get a few receiving blankets for swaddling.

Nice to have:
1. Humidifier-  They're nice, but I just have a bucket of water in Clara's room (on her dresser) that I change every other day, and it does the trick.

2. Johnny jumper

3. Baby Einstein. I call it baby crack.

4. Journal. Instead of a baby book. I cannot recommend this one enough! I'm still writing in it every week.

5. Car seat cover: JJ Cole car seat cover

Things I find unnecessary:
1. Pacifier wipes
2. Video baby monitor
3. Baby bath- use the sink, or give a sponge-type bath.
4. Changing table- use a low dresser with a changing pad. Don't forget a cover.
5. Bedding sets- Too expensive. You need a mattress pad, sheets, and some sleep sacks. (I layer mattress pad (waterproof, of course) sheet, mattress pad, sheet. That way, if baby gets sick or has a blowout, you can just strip off a layer.)
6. Special expensive laundry detergent- Use any free & clear detergent. As long as it has no dyes or perfumes, it's fine.
7. Buying expensive, run-of-the-mill nursery decorations- check Pinterest for ideas of DIY projects or Etsy for handmade items. You can always email me for pictures of what I did for Clara's room that are for sale. (I just had to slip in some product placement...)
8. Formula mixer- Really? You can't just shake the bottle? This is what I'm talking about with ridiculous baby products.
9. Diaper rash cream- If you use cloth diapers, your baby won't get rashes.

I left out the obvious things like nail clippers, pacifiers, clothes, mattress, breast pads, bibs, etc. I hope you don't mind.

Wordless(ish) Wednesday

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I made this tent for Clara today. She loved it! I feel like a pretty
awesome mommy right about now. :)

I hope you have a strong stomach.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Not that it wasn't real before, but tonight, things were very real.

This is very much a TMI post, so those with a weak stomach, you should stop reading now.

Clara took and extra long nap after shopping with my mom and I. When she woke up, I put her in her highchair for dinner, pulled out her pacifier, and she puked all over her tray. I'm not talking about spitting up. Oh, no. I handled spit up for months. What I'm talking about is everything she ate all day today, was on her high chair tray, partially digested. I know you wanted a visual. You're welcome.

I took her straight to the bath tub, in fear that she'd do it again. She took a bath and was her normal, cheerful self. After bath time and jammies, I gave her some water/juice (which I rarely allow her to have) to try and settle her tummy and get fluids in her. I (slowly) let her drink the whole bottle. I knew it was a bad idea at the time, for shortly after, it all came right back up. All over me this time.

About an hour later, I let her have an ounce of juice and some toast. She kept it down. For now. She went to sleep at 11, but we'll see if she's sleeping in vomit when I wake up in the morning. (gross... I just pictured it.)

The thing you don't know, is that puke makes me puke. It's gross. I can't handle the smell/sight. But when I get into care mode, it overrides the grossed-out feelings. It happened while taking care of my drunk friends in college, and now it has carried over into mommyhood. (Who would have thought that I would have learned something about parenting in college... haha). I kept telling Clara that "It's ok" and reassuring her. She was shaking, as many do when they puke. But otherwise, you never would have guessed that anything was wrong. She was a bit fussy, but otherwise, happy as a clam.

I feel like I'm in the club now. The mommy club. I know I haven't experienced anything close to the worst, such as four kids with norovirus or something. But it was a good initiation. I can't wait to share more gross stories and visuals with you as Clara grows. :)

Mommy Confessions

Sunday, January 22, 2012

1. I enjoy grocery shopping on my own way too much. It's so nice to just wander without a baby to be concerned about and having to hurry before she gets bored. I could grocery shop for hours. It's like going to the spa.

2. I wore my maternity jeans for far too long after giving birth. They're just so comfy. I don't feel bad about it. It was like wearing sweatpants. It almost made me buy pajama jeans.

3. I'm getting really bored with a lot of Clara's books. She has a bajillion paper books, but only like 10-15 board books. She rips the paper out of the paper books, so we have to stick to the board books. We read through them all a few times a day. I'm getting so bored of them. I can't wait until we can move on to more books.

4. I dread the day that my big sis reminds me is coming eventually... the day I can't use the bathroom in peace without a toddler coming in to "help" me.

5. I feed Clara organic and all-natural food. It kills me when she eats something and I don't know the ingredients. I know, I know, someday I probably won't care so much. I'm pretty sure I'm so controlling about it because I feel guilty for having to quit breastfeeding after only 5 months. It was depressing. I felt like a failure. I just want her to get the best nutrition since I couldn't give it to her via breast milk.

6. I really enjoy Clara's naps... almost too much. I look forward to them every day. I can get so much done while she's sleeping. I feel like I can't leave her side when she's awake, and it takes me 5 times as long to get it done.

7. Clara loves my mom more than me and it makes me really jealous. The second my mom walks in, Clara pushes away from me to get to her. She lights up, and gets super excited when she sees her. When I pick her up from daycare, she smiles, but that's about it. With my mom, she tracks her around the room. She won't take her eyes off her. It breaks my heart.

8. When Clara's Dad and I were together, I would sometimes turn the baby monitor up and sit it next to him when I heard Clara start to stir just so I could sleep in. It worked like 5% of the time. He's a heavy sleeper.

9. When Clara is sick, it's terrible and sad. But it's kind of awesome. I get the BEST cuddles all day. It's a guilty pleasure.

10. I'm terrified that Clara will hate me someday. I'm also scared that she'll look back someday when she has kids and think  I was a terrible mother.

Friday: Things I've found this week.

Friday, January 20, 2012

1. Baby Finger Food Recipes: Don't worry... it's not food made from baby fingers... I was running out of stuff to feed Clara. She has 0% interest in pureed baby food. She wants stuff with texture and lots of taste that she can pick up. She's over the bland stuff... and I have to say, I don't blame her. I've already done the sweet potato fries for her, and we're doing cubed tofu today.

2. Free Video Surveillance: I always see those ADT, or whatever company, commercials about being able to see who's in your home from your work computer or something. (Perfect for the future, so I know if Clara tries to sneak someone in...). This system uses a webcam, either detached or the one built into your laptop. It records as soon as it detects movement, and emails you. Perty cool, I'd say!

3. Get Your Kids to Give More and Take Less: The last thing I want as a mom is for Clara to grow up spoiled and think that everything in life is going to be handed to her. The second Clara says, "I have nothing to play with", she's boxing up 10 of her toys to take to Goodwill. I completely agree with the "Look in the Mirror" tip. I already coupon (not the extreme kind, but I'd like to), I'm paying over on my student loans each month (very difficult when money is tight, but I want them to be paid off before Clara is 5), I shop at Goodwill for a good amount of our things, and I VERY rarely buy something that's not on clearance. We'll be volunteering at least once a month, hopefully more.
I want her to learn things about money that I had to learn the hard way... she's going to have to earn the things she asks for. Her Dad and I have been talking about signing her up for MET (Michigan Education Trust) so she can get college tuition at the same price it is today, instead of 2 or 3 times as much. Mostly, I want her to be thankful for what she has, and have to work for it, but not struggle like I did.

4. Stupid Things People Say to Single Moms: Don't even get me started. Sometimes, people say things that make me wanna punch them in the face. The one I get the most is, "Is her father in the picture?". How rude. The author said it perfectly. Why would you ask that question like he isn’t? And even more importantly, why would you feel comfortable enough to pose that, like you’re inquiring about where I got my sweater or who did my hair?
I've also had people assume I have a husband because I have Clara, I've had people ask where my wedding ring is, I've had people assume that she's my little sister, I've also had people try to give me money once I tell them I'm a single mom. I'm not begging on the street here people.
You know what else sucks? When your friends go out and leave their kids with their husbands. I don't have one of those. It really grinds my gears.
Also, don't tell me I look tired. I'm gonna look like this for the next 17 years.

5. Porn for Pregnant Ladies: Awesome. Just awesome.

What have you found this week? I'd love to hear it!

My Favorite Baby Products

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

When I was pregnant, I had no idea what to get to prepare. They have the lists at Buy Buy Baby and Babies R' Us and such, but I think most of the items are unnecessary. I will soon do a post about what I find to be frivolous, as far as baby needs go. In this post, I thought I'd let you know what I found was the best use of money for my journey into parenting.

1. Tommee Tippee Bottles

I LOVE these bottles. When I was pregnant, my cousin was using them for her little boy, and she talked about how they were a great transition from breast to bottle. 
I bought 3-5oz. bottles, and 6-9oz. bottles, and that's all I've ever needed. Clara
had no problem using them from the start, even though we had to start bottle feeding when she was
only two weeks old! They're super light, so when Clara wanted to start holding her own bottle, she could do it with ease. I would recommend them to anyone and everyone. 

2. Earth's Best Products

This brand is so wonderful. When Clara eats at home, she eats baby food that I make (with a normal food processor... don't buy the baby brezza or other similar products, they cost three times as much) but when we're away, she eats earth's best organic baby food. She likes every single 
kind she's tried so far. We also use the organic brown rice/oatmeal cereal and mix
it in with pretty much every kind of baby food she eats to thicken it up, and add iron. 

3. Bumbo seat and play tray

Clara lived in this thing from months 3-9. Mostly, we used it as a high chair. Luckily, I have such
a skinny, tiny baby and she fit in it for much longer than most babies can. It was so convenient
 to have her sit on top of the table so I could feed her. 
I've also heard of some people using this in the bath. I've heard mixed reviews about doing so, that 
they actually aren't waterproof, or that they're fantastic in the bath. We never used it that way,
but I'm sure you could. 
The only negative thing I have to say is that it worked so well to support Clara while she was sitting, that it took her a bit longer than most babies to be able to sit up on her own without support.

4. Graco Duo 2-in-1 Swing and Bouncer

I don't know how I had the brilliance to register for such a wonderful machine. Not only is this a swing, but the seat detaches and it's just a bouncer! Fabulous! I've also been hearing from my sister 
that she's going through a ton of batteries with her swing, and I'm so thankful
that my swing can run off of batteries or plugged in. 
Clara would only sleep in this swing or on me until she was a month and a half, so let's just say that I thank this product for any and all sleep I got while Clara was an infant. 
Plus, it plays classical music, and I like that. :)

5. SunBaby Cloth Diapers

I haven't received these yet. They're in the mail from China. But I'm super excited to get them and start putting them to use. I'm so sick of wasting money on disposable diapers. 
I received a diaper in the mail to review (stay tuned for pictures and a post about that coming soon) and I think they're fabulous. They're comparable to BumGenius or FuzziBunz, but my personal opinion is that they're different... in a better way. 
Twenty-four diapers with forty-eight inserts is only $144!!! Isn't that crazy!?
They have the cutest prints and come out with new ones often.
All the diapers are One Size, but come in two different sizes... kinda.
Size 1 is better for skinny babies like Clara, and size 2 is better for chunkier babies. I think it's great that they grow with the baby, though. Very cost-effective. I like it.

What are your favorite baby products? What worked for your family?


Monday, January 16, 2012

This may possibly be a weekly post, borrowed from Shutter{Mama}, one of my favorite blogs. Let me know what you think of the idea.

1. I'm not going to work tomorrow. Instead, I'm going to MOPS (mothers of pre-schoolers) and having a play date. Why? Because MOPS and play dates are awesome. Sometimes, I just need to spend some time with other moms. The friends I do play dates with are great. We vent about the hard stuff in life, eat comfort food, trade stories and tips, and most importantly, we relax.

2. I eat ketchup on everything potato-based. Not usually in front of people, though.

3. I'm really ambitious about DIY things, and crafts. But sometimes, I get a little ahead of myself. I think I can do things, but I can't. And I know better. But, I would like to THINK I will do them. It's entertaining.

4. I haven't brushed my teeth since Saturday. Gross.

5. Sometimes, I think I'm a lot skinnier than I am. I think I look really awesome in what I'm wearing. Then I see myself in a mirror. Dream? Crushed.

6. I literally drink at least two cans of diet coke a day. Do you know what that does to your teeth? Maybe I should brush them more.

7. I'm pretty sure Clara thinks I'm the meanest mom. Her Dad lets her pull out all the dvds from the bottom shelf, and play with the (unplugged) nintendo controllers. The only thing she can get her hands on in my living room are the phone line, the cable cord, and newspapers. I don't let her play with the cords because, well, they're electrical cables. And newspapers she tears and eats. Gosh. I'm so mean.

8. I'm obsessed with shows that aren't on tv anymore. I find them online, and I watch them until the show is concluded, then I get mad that the show concluded... 3 years ago...

9. I tell myself the thinspiration saying that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. But goat cheese tastes pretty f'ing delicious.

10. Things that are very difficult for me to do: water ski, ski (on snow), fold a fitted sheet, talk on the phone (I get super awkward and don't know what to say), not belch in an inappropriate situation.

Let me know what you think of this as a possible weekly post. Do you have any confessions you'd like to share?

Friday: Things I've found this week.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

This is probably my most favorite post. I look forward to it every week! I feel like I bore the family and people in my life with my information. Things I've read, things I've heard... I enjoy current events and articles. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm so thankful for this weekly post because I can dump my information overload on all my readers. :) So, thanks for that! And here we go!

1. Dating Tips From 1938: One side of me finds this completely inappropriate. It pisses off the feminist in me. Men. Ugh. But, it was 1938... and things were different then. The other side of me finds this hilarious and completely entertaining.

2. How to Pack a Kick-Ass Preschool Lunchbox: Rookie Moms is one of my all-time favorite parenting websites. I get information, and yet I'm still so entertained.

3. DIY Play Kitchen: I'm so totally doing this for a present for Clara's first birthday! How awesome! It looks like so much fun to make, as well. I can't wait! Plus, I can make play food out of felt. Bring on the tutorials!

4. Dads Are Parents, Too: I really enjoyed this. I'm completely guilty of thinking "Oh, that's sooo nice/cute/awesome" etc when I see a father out with his children. Playing, grocery shopping, walking, biking. Whatever. My Dad did stuff with us all the time. He never missed an opportunity to pull out the video camera and force us to say things in unison, or teach us a life lesson. Even if it was just why the leaves change color. I think I'm just so used to being a single mom at this point in my life, that I just assume all other Dads are "babysitting". That's wrong of me, especially when there are single Dads out there, too.

5. 15 of the Worst Mistakes Women Make Trying to Look "Pretty": BAHAHAHA! Some of these I'm guilty of, and some I don't know why any woman would do...

What are your thoughts? What do you find on the interwebs that you'd like to share?

New website!

As you can tell, most of my links and info are missing. I have a new website! Click on the link to your left that says "Back to From Bean 2 Baby Designs" and you can view it! The sponsor buttons will remain on my blog, but all of the contact info, about me, my blog buttons, etc will be over at the website. I'm also opening the store on this website! There will soon be a product gallery and paypal options, but for now, you can head over and complete a custom order form. Let me know what you think!

Adorable Baby

Adorable, no?

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Car seat Re-cover

I decided it was time to buy a car seat. I found this one on clearance, but I didn't like the print. I'm rather picky as far as baby items go.. (well, most things in general). I don't like specific "girl" or "boy" prints, and nothing with circus, safari, etc. After all, I'm the one who has to be seen with them. Baby things could be neon, for all Clara cares. So, after finding such a steal, I decided I would make it my own.
This was my first big sewing project, other than a baby sling for my friend, Kathy. So, it was a bit of an undertaking. I took before and after pictures, but non of the actual process, so sorry. If this project is something you're interested in, but you're not very crafty, let me know! I'd be happy to help if you live near me. Or, if you'd like one done for you, I'm taking custom orders.
I followed this diy tutorial I found on Pinterest. Happy sewing!

The before:

Not really a fan of the print. Or pink.

All of my fabric was purchased at jo-ann fabrics. I used a flannel for the print and a fleece for the solid. I started by taking pictures of every little detail just in case I had issues telling how the pieces fit back together. 
Using a seam ripper, I detached the main (printed) material from the outer material. I then detached the separate printed pieces from each other. 
The tutorial I followed has you separate the fabric from the padding and making your own pattern. My guess is that you would get a better fit that way. Because of the way the padding was attached to the fabric, I just covered the existing fabric with the stuff I chose. 
When the printed stuff was done, I moved on to the outer piece, which I did all as one. The tricky part was sewing to leave room for the elastic. I didn't want to take the elastic off, and then have it not gather in the appropriate places. 
When I was done with the outer covering, I sewed everything back together. 

Here is the finished product:

Please let me know what you think!


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Friday: Things I've found this week.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

1. Cry It Out: The Method That Kills Baby Brain Cells: This is so scary. I've always heard that babies crying (screaming) for more than 10 minutes kills brain cells. I don't know how anyone can stand to listen to their baby scream for that long.

2. Is 40 Weeks the Ideal Maternity Leave?: How cool would that be? Ten months of maternity leave? Yes please. I was so lucky to be able to stay home with Clara for as long as I did. I definitely wouldn't have been ready to leave her after only three months. I was still recovering from my c-section at the time.

3. Three Sets of Twins Born in Different Years: So rare. I wonder how it will affect their years in school.

4. 25 Best Mom Confessions of 2011: I don't know if I would say that they're the "best" confessions, but they are definitely funny. I have some better ones. Hmm... that gives me an idea for a weekly post.

5. If Bill Passes, Nursing Mothers in Michigan Will be Excused from Jury Duty: I've never had to do jury duty, but the possibility of this bill being passed is fantastic. I just don't understand why this isn't already in place. You can't expect a mother to leave her infant like that. "If a nursing woman is picked as a juror or alternate, she must take a pump and possibly a cooler, said moms who talked to the Free Press. Every few hours, she would have to stop court proceedings to express milk." Completely agree.

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Favorite Pins of the Week!

The CUTEST envelopes for wedding invites. :)
I've got wedding on the mind. 

Such a wonderful idea! Take the top from a salt container
and add it to a jar for an easy pour! Love it!

A girl's emergency clutch! Such a great idea.
Cute tutorial and super easy. I need one in my bag.

Love the idea of mason jars as lighting 
for an outdoor wedding. 

Detailed step-by-step tutorial for re-covering a car seat.
I just finished this tutorial for Clara's new convertible
car seat.  It's super cute now! Look for a post about that next week!

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January is here!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Well, January brought a crap-ton of snow, and it finally looks like a Michigan winter.

This new year and new start is so exciting. I truly believe that Clara and I have good things coming our way. I know that life isn't supposed to be easy, but it surely shouldn't be this difficult all of the time. We need a break.
2011 was absolutely terrible, with the exception of Clara's birth. It was not an easy year for me. Some wonderful things have started to happen, and I can't wait to see where they take us this year. :)

Clara is turning ONE this year, in March. I feel like I should start planning. I know people say the first  year goes by fast, but holy crap! I can't even picture Clara as a newborn. I'll be the ripe old age of 24 in April. Get excited. We have 3 weddings in my extended family this year, with lots of wonderful people joining the clan. :)

There are so many things I plan to accomplish in 2012. I would love if you would follow the blog and join us for the adventure that's about to unfold.

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