Almost a week after arriving in Texas, Belle and I headed South on a little road trip to Austin. My plan was to leave when she was ready for a nap and have her sleep until Belton (about 2 hours) then meet a friend who lives at Fort Hood for lunch there. Belle apparently had other plans when she woke up absolutely hysterical just south of Waco. Now, if you've ever driven the I-35 corridor from DFW to Austin you know that once you leave Waco there is a whole lot of nothing for about 45 minutes until Belton and Temple. I had hoped that she might just cry herself back to sleep for the remainder of the drive, but no such luck. I ended up stopping at a random exit with a whole lot of nothing except a trailer park and pulled off on the side of a dirt road. Got her out of the car and tried to calm her down for a little bit. It worked, kind of, until I had to buckle her back in. In the end, a bowl of puffs bought me relative happiness for the remaining 30 or so minutes to Belton.
We had a great lunch in Belton and I let her run around for a little bit to expend some energy. I forgot how cute downton Belton was and was thankful for a beautiful Texas day. We loaded back up then continued south. Luckily, she slept the remainder of the drive to our first Austin destination. What was our first stop in Austin you ask? Welllll it was to see Caitlin (from The Pearl and The Pilot) and Matthew for an epic 3 day, 2 night blate!!!! Caitlin happened to be visiting Texas for a few weeks as well so we coordinated our schedules to spend some time mommy time together and let the "babies" play. I so enjoyed those days with Caitlin and her family and they deserve their own blog post...so you can read about that in a few days! ;)
After spending Wednesday and Thursday nights with Caitlin I went a little further south (but still in Austin) to my Grandmother's house. It had been quite a while since I had seen her and I hadn't been to the house since my Grandfather passed away not long after Belle was born. I spent a lot of time at their house growing up and even lived with them for a summer during college when my mom moved to Houston. That house has so many memories in it was nice to be back in it for a few nights.
My first night at my Grandmother's my father-in-law drove up from Rockport to have dinner with us and see Belle. Unfortunately, he hit some traffic and Belle ended up needing to go to bed early that night so he didn't get to see her then. He came back the next morning before driving home and spent a few hours playing with her. That afternoon my step-father also drove in from Houston to spend the remaining time we were in Austin with us. My step-father is such a fun person to be around and every time I see him I'm reminded of how much I miss being close enough to see him more frequently. Belle was cautious with both my FIL and step-dad as she is with most new men. As a result, getting decent non-blurry pictures of her with them proved to be a herculean task. By the end of our visit she would go up and "talk" to my step-dad and show him toys but still wasn't quite comfortable with him holding her.
The day before we left Austin my aunt, who lives in Austin as well, came by the house for a visit. It had been quite a while since I had seen her and of course, she too wanted to meet Belle. My Grandmother, step-father, aunt, and I just sat around the kitchen watching and talking about the Olympics while Belle played and chattered on as usual. That last evening we had dinner at Chuy's for one last taste of Tex Mex and genuine Austin ambiance.
The Monday morning we left I wanted to let Belle play and wear herself out as much as possible before getting in the car. Fortunately, even though it was a little over cast (by Texas standards anyway) the weather was perfect to let her play out in the backyard. All the large trees in the yard had shed their leaves and Belle had a blast playing with/in them. My Grandma brought out some sand buckets and she had great fun putting leaves in and taking them out. As a result, I got some great pictures of Belle and my Grandma together.
The drive back north to my MIL's went much smoother than the drive south. Belle slept almost two and a half of the three hour drive. We stopped in Waxahachie long enough to get a little lunch and stretch our legs to make it to the house without an upset baby.
Stay tuned for the rest of our Austin trip and the best blate ever!
Unfortunately after returning from Texas I got sick and then Belle got it. As a result I haven't done as much sewing as I had hoped by this point. Hopefully next week will be more productive but despite sickness I did manage to get a custom order finished and shipped off to the customer!
After receiving one of the Texas A&M canopies I made as a gift, this customer wondered if I could make a reversible Ole Miss and Texas A&M canopy for her to give as a gift. After spending a little bit of time playing with ideas, I figured out how to make a canopy reversible in a way I thought would look just as good regardless of which side was facing out. Basically there is a giant button hole just behind where the ribbon is sewn. If you want to switch sides you just thread the ribbon through the hole, flip it over, and tie it back on! All the canopies I had previously made had minky on the inside. Since the recipient of this canopy is having her baby in late spring/early summer in Texas cotton on both sides makes it more breathable in the Texas heat while still keeping baby shaded and cozy inside.
So there you have it...the perfect canopy for expecting parents who have divided allegiances whether they be college or professional teams. Know anyone who would like a custom canopy like this? Well, as long as I can get my hands on the fabric anything is possible!
Since I had to order the fabrics for the canopy online which means buying in whole yards I knew I would have extra fabric to make something else. The customer chose to have a blanket made with minky on the back. For only my second quilt style blanket it turned out pretty cute. If i ever made another one I would do some things differently but I find that I'm constantly learning and re-adjusting things with my sewing.
So, to the soon to be parents receiving this order I hope you enjoy your items as much as I enjoyed making them! Your child may be as confused as mine with their college allegiances but that's a problem to be solved in a few years.
Don't forget to like House 6 Creations on Facebook and share it with everyone you know! If you are looking for a custom item you can either message me on Facebook or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since I can't wait any longer to share these photos I figured I'd give you all a break in reading about Belle and I's trip to Texas to take a gander at some amazing photos that still blow my mind!
Not long before The LT left for the field we had some family portraits done. I had originally wanted to do them a little closer to Belle's first birthday but since he left about 3 weeks before her birthday that wasn't going to be possible. So, her "1 year photos" were done at about 11 months...but such is military life. We had them taken by Ashley at Ashley Nicole Photography. I could not have asked for a better photography experience. She is a fellow Army wife and was such a pleasure to work with so make sure you check out her webpage and/or facebook. Belle loved her and as a result she got some amazing shots of her. I was blown away with how they all turned out which makes picking a few of my favorites to share here VERY difficult.
If you are in the Fort Lewis area and are looking for a great photographer who also happens to be an Army Wife I urge you to consider Ashely Nicole Photography!! We will definitely be going back to her as long as we are in Washington.
Well, Belle and I's Texas trip can kind of be divided into 3 parts. The first 5 nights we spent in the Dallas area, the next 5 nights in Austin, followed by an additional 7 nights back in Dallas.
We arrived on a Thursday evening and those first few days were kind of a marathon of seeing as many family and friends as possible. Texas was also having a freak winter storm when we arrived and it had snowed before we landed. It was also about 20 degrees colder in Texas than it was in Washington when we left. In true Texas fashion though, the weather warmed up considerably within a few days. A few days after leaving Washington I also missed a crazy snow storm in the Fort Lewis area. Kind of glad I didn't have to deal with bad roads but sad I wasn't able to let Belle play in several inches of snow in the back yard. Friday was spent unpacking and allowing Belle to get acclimated to new surroundings. She had no problem warming up to her Gigi (my MIL) since it had only been about 6 weeks since she last saw her at Christmas time. My sister had given us a small bag of toys for Belle to play with while here which has been great. Colleen has a unicorn exactly like the one we have at home and Belle was elated to see (what she thought was) her unicorn at Gigi's house.
Saturday we had a family gathering at my sister's in-laws house whose Grandparent names are Miece and Papa. Belle had met her Miece when she was about a week old but she hadn't met Papa, "Coach" (my BIL), my new baby nephew Asher, or Coach's brothers. Papa made the most delicious ribs which also happened to be Belle's first taste of BBQ. I got to meet and snuggle with Asher, who is a tiny tank. Skype and FaceTime really hadn't done justice to how much Lloyd has grown and changed. Lloyd and Belle played SO well together and she was constantly giggling at something he did that she thought was funny.
Sunday I arranged a big come and go type gathering at a Rudy's BBQ, which for the "worst BBQ in Texas" is pretty delicious...if you know what I mean. ;) Since you order at the counter at Rudy's people could leave early, come late, eat, not eat...whatever. It was a great way to ensure I would see some people at least once during our trip. While I enjoyed eating way too much amazing BBQ (Rudy's is probably my favorite BBQ place) it was even better to be able to catch up with so many people. Belle, as usual, charmed everyone throughout the afternoon.
Monday I picked up our rental car for the week. In the afternoon Belle and I went over to my sister's house to hang out and let the kiddos play. We had dinner there and some cousin bath time...que embarrassing photo. Belle had an allergic reaction so something she ate which is why her cheeks were beet red and she looks totally wiped.
Monday night was...how should I say...less than ideal. Belle woke up in the middle of the night screaming and after 2 hours of trying to soothe her, feeding her, bringing her in bed with me, her resting but not sleeping, crawling around, putting her back in the pack-n-play, more screaming I went to go get her again and she promptly puked all down her front and my front/side. She even managed to get her bunny she sleeps with. Fortunately for me/her I had purchased a spare to keep in the car, have in case the original got lost, or instances just like this. After a bath for Belle and new PJs for both of us she finally went back to sleep for the rest of the night...well, morning really by that point. I threw all puked on items in the washer and put myself back to bed as well.
Tuesday she woke up her normal self and never threw up again. I have no idea what caused it in the end but glad it was only a one time thing. Tuesday was spent recovering from the previous night and packing to get ready for our road trip to Austin the next day.
Stay tuned for the next leg of our Texas adventure....
So, flying with an almost one year old by myself was not high on my list of things to do this year but sometimes you just have to suck it up. I debated for days on what toys to bring with us on the plane and which snacks to have for her...and how much of different things. Whether to pre-mix the bottles she would likely need before we got on the plane or mix them as needed. The decisions were endless.
In our main carry on were:
-Diapers...disposables because I didn't have room for all the cloth she would need
-2 empty bottles bottles
-Enough formula for about a day's worth of bottles just in case our luggage got lost
-Belle's PJs...again, in case our luggage got lost
-Some medicine for her since she was sick at the time
-Several pacifiers...just in case
...and then all the other little things that end up in everyone's carry on like gum or kleenex.
I also had a tote bag that went in the overhead compartment with my lap top, kindle, Nerium magazines, phone charge, and so on. Belle and I's coats also went in the compartment with my tote bag along with the little blanket I use in the car as a car seat and stroller blanket. The stroller got checked at the gate...to help transport my mobile circus through security and the airport in general.
Anyway, on to the flying itself. I had been super anxious about going through security because I had SO much stuff to take apart an put through the scanner in addition to dealing with Belle. Luckily, everyone around me was patient and the TSA people were helpful and kind. I kept Belle in the ergo as I broke everything down and walked through the metal detector. Thank God for baby wearing! Once I got all our stuff back together I wanted to get to our gate just to see how the departure time and all was looking. I also grabbed a sandwich for a quick lunch before we were to board. I had wanted to be able to let Belle walk around and eat some lunch before we boarded but by the time I got all our stuff re-arranged for the flight, changed her diaper, and ate half my sandwich (and gave her a little to eat) it was time for family pre-boarding. I really could have used another 20 minutes but such is life.
After security my next concern was what kind of people we would be sitting next to. More than anything I just didn't want to end up next to that one person who loathes kids. In the end, I worried for nothing. We had an aisle seat and the middle and window seats were occupied by a mother and daughter who were very sweet to Belle. Across the aisle was a man who smiled and waved at her as often as she did to him. Behind us was a couple who played peek-a-boo with her over the back of the seat and between the seats. They also played with her when she poked her arm in between the seats.
All in all she pretty much charmed everyone sitting around us. I was able to let her walk the aisle and people in the rows ahead and behind us would kind of heard her back towards me so she ended up with a several row radius she could walk in safely.
Belle snacked and played through most of the four hour flight. She did have about 20 minutes of crying when she got SO overtired but wouldn't just nap on me. I had a feeling this would happen since she hasn't slept on me (or anyone else for that fact) since she was about 4 months old. She's so good about falling asleep on her own in her crib which is great 99.9% of the time. Unfortunately, this was the 0.01% where I wish she would sleep on my chest. After 20-30 minutes she got a second wind, had a bottle and did great the rest of the flight.
We arrived in DFW right on time and since Alaskan Airlines now has their 20 minutes or less baggage guarantee we didn't have to wait around very long. Ironically it has snowed in DFW the day we arrived and was about 15 degrees cooler than when we left Washington. Once I got Belle's carseat in my MIL's car with freezing fingers we loaded up and Belle fell asleep in the car before we even made it to the highway.
Oh Texas...how I missed thee!
Overall I would say Belle's first flight went smoothly and probably about as well as it could have gone. I wanted to get a picture of her in the airport before we boarded the plane but ended up in such a rush I forgot.
*Belle turned 1 year old on Sunday February 23, 2014*
Dear Sweet Baby Girl,
You turn ONE today! My goodness how time has flown! Since daddy is away we are spending your first birthday in Texas with your Gigi, Aunt Colleen and Uncle Jon, Miece and Papa, Auntie Jenna, Auntie Nyla, your cousins Asher and Lloyd, and lots of other people who love you. We have spent much of the past month in Texas where you have gotten to meet so many people who have waited a long time to meet you. You had your first plane ride along with your first Texas road trip. Neither of which will be your last I'm sure.
You are enjoying food more and more these days. There have been a few times you have had an allergic reaction to something new so we have to be a little cautious with new foods but you are such a trooper. It seems to upset mommy more than you most times. While in Texas you had your first taste of BBQ and Tex Mex. You loved both which proves that even though you were born in Washington you are a Texas girl. You loved brisket and Papa's ribs but I think one of your new favorites is refried beans...especially when I put them on a warm tortilla.
You are such a confident walker now and want to walk everywhere we go. Sometimes you get so excited to go for a walk you forget to stay close to someone you know and get worried when you find yourself among strangers. You babble and "talk" to most everyone. You have so much to say both with your babble and your gestures. You wave "hi" and "bye" to people, like to give high fives (but can get a little shy when someone wants to give you one), and we are working on blowing kisses. Just recently you've started to give hugs, especially when someone is sitting on the floor playing with you. You still only give kisses to people you know well, but I'm ok with that.
You are learning so much every day from how to use a spoon to putting an object back where it belongs. You also understand so much of what people tell you, probably even more than we think you do. Lately you like to carry things around like a purse. If a pair of shoes are lying around you will often grab them by the laces, swing them over your shoulder, and walk around with them babbling away. You say "hi" and I'm starting to believe you really understand what you are saying. Whenever you hear a phone ring you put whatever is in your hand up to your ear and almost always say "Hi!" in you sweet voice. You love to pretend you are talking on the phone just like mommy and will hold your toys up to your ear all day long. You also say "mama" but not consistently and I'm still trying to figure out whether you really understand the meaning. Hopefully by the time your daddy comes home next month you will have "dada" down.
I posed this question on the House 6 Creations Facebook page a little over a week ago and because my sense of time and logic is so off kilter being away from home I totally spaced posting something here. I've had a few responses from people who follow the page both through comments and messages directly from friends/family but I want to know what you want to see from H6C.
So, what DO you want to see from H6C? A larger variety of stuffed animals? Felt food? A specific type of blanket? A nifty item you've seen someone else using? Activity rolls? Whatever it is leave me a comment and maybe your suggestion will be a new product once I get back to Bernie (my sewing machine)!