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A New Blog Home

For those of you who followed my updates on this site, feel free to make the move over to our new site at http://www.handtaylored.com

As with all my other blogs, this one went stagnant and I decided to build something completely new.

Hand Taylored

 

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Where on Earth have I Been?

I made a post about 3 months ago and about 6 million things have happened since then. Kitchen renovations, 18 month check-up (at almost 21 months..), 4th of July, camping, rafting, family visits… So much.

I’ll start with the kitchen renovation since I think that’s where we left off. I took pictures after every day to catalog the progress. I still haven’t taken any good professional pictures and it’s been finished for like 2 months now. Ahhh time. Where do you go. But basically here’s the before and afters:

Ain't she grand?

Before

AND NOW:

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I’m so happy. Cory things the food I make tastes better now too. I can’t even begin to describe how much more functional the space is.

Anywho.. onwards.

Colette had her 18 month check up a couple of weeks ago. We were only a couple of months late on that one. No shots and everything was as good as it could be. We also took Colette to her first dental appointment this week. I can’t even begin to tell you how well she did. She even let us lay her back and get her teeth cleaned. Amazing. I probably wouldn’t have started taking her to the dentist this early, but we have well water, and she did seem to have a little bit of build up on her teeth, despite having them brushed.

A few of the other things we’ve done these past few months include camping, rafting down the Hiwassee River in an inflatable 2 person kayak with a 20 month old and going to see the US Women’s Soccer team play Costa Rica. It’s been a very exciting summer and we haven’t even made it to the beach yet!

August officially begins the busiest time of the year for me. We’ve got my niece’s birthday this weekend, beach trip begins next weekend, a weekend off (potty training weekend!), a great friend is coming in for a visit the next week, a weekend off, nephew’s birthday, traveling for work the next 2 weeks to CT, PA, and NC,  cousin’s wedding, then to the Dominican Republic for a wedding, then Halloween, a weekend off, then Disney for my BFFs 30th, a weekend off, then Colette’s second birthday and Thanksgiving.

I think my brain just exploded.

Definitely.

I make no promises to update between now and New Year’s. I’ll probably be recovering from all the travel until Spring.

Here’s some pictures from the last little while:

Basic Baby. Don't worry there's no coffee in there.

Basic Baby. Don’t worry there’s no coffee in there.

Father's Day

Father’s Day

A day at the park and the splash pad

A day at the park and the splash pad

4th of July

4th of July

Aquarium and Big River

Aquarium and Big River

James Taylor in Knoxville

James Taylor in Knoxville

Sassy Britches

Sassy Britches

Ready to Raft!

Ready to Raft!

S'mores are always needed while camping.

S’mores are always needed while camping.

A nice short hike.

A nice short hike.

Waving. First trip to the dentist.

Waving. First trip to the dentist.

US Women's Soccer Game

US Women’s Soccer Game

US Women's Soccer Game

US Women’s Soccer Game

US Women's Soccer Game

US Women’s Soccer Game

US Women's Soccer Game

US Women’s Soccer Game

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18 Months

What a crazy few months it has been! October and May seem to be the busiest around here.

Before I get into all the things that we’ve done the last 3 months, here’s an update on our little sweet pea:

  • She’s about 8ft tall, and weighs a ton. 🙂 Okay, seriously, she’s about 24-25lbs. And maybe in the realm of 33in tall.
  • She eats very well and sleeps like a dream.. Even through house construction.
  • She looooooves reading and has a great deal of empathy for those with fallen/melted ice cream (Should I Share My Ice Cream, by Mo Willems… gets her every time). BabyLit books, especially Pride and Prejudice, are her favorite and we read it at least 2-3 times a day.
  • She has a great vocabulary even though we’re still learning to speak toddlerese.
  • She loves water and wants to play in EVERY puddle she sees.
  • We tried potty training for one whole day (this past Saturday). There were a few factors that stopped me from continuing, but it boils down to me not being ready… not Colette. I think if we stuck with it she would really get into it, but it’ll have to be a time when I have a little more patience and Cory isn’t working all weekend. It was a true mommy fail. Sure, she had a lot of accidents, but she did go in the potty once too which made the accidents worth it. We made it through the whole day but around 6pm I snapped at her when she had an accident. And that’s when I knew I wasn’t ready. I still feel terrible about it.
  • On another note. Colette is completely weaned. She had her last nursing session a little over a month ago.
  • She loves to go to the park and play in the sand. Every time we go I get excited about going to the beach. It’ll be a huge change from last year when she wasn’t walking yet. I know she’s going to love it just as much as her daddy and me.
  • Actually she really likes to go just about anywhere. “Bye bye!”

March and April
In March, Colette spend her first night away from both Cory and me. She stayed with her Grama while Cory and I had a date night (Dinner and Cinderella!). It was definitely bittersweet knowing when we left the theater we wouldn’t see her until the following morning. We had a good time though and it was nice to sleep in (of course now that we’re trained to get up so early, we didn’t actually sleep that late).

My mom and my sister and her crew came in for a weekend as well. My sister gave me some much needed help around the yard while mom spent some quality time with the little sweetling. There was so much privet that needed to be pulled up. So. Much. Privet.

Things picked up in April. We spent Easter weekend in Knoxville. Cory’s birthday was Easter weekend as well so for his birthday dinner we went out to Louis (our favorite) to celebrate. Yum. We had a lovely Easter dinner at my moms Saturday night and Easter lunch at Cory’s mamaw’s on Sunday. Colette had her first official Easter egg hunt which was pretty exciting. (We’d been practicing at home for a week or so beforehand 🙂 )

Checking out her Easter Basket

Checking out her Easter Basket

Sweet

Sweet

Sweet Daddy

Sweet Daddy

Granny Poore

Granny Poore

Playing with Nana's jewlery

Playing with Nana’s jewlery

Egg Hunt!

Egg Hunt!

More eggs!

More eggs!

The next weekend we had a portrait session for Colette with Dalton Lane Portrait Co. in Townsend. I’d love to share those with you but we haven’t seen them yet. Jessica does really great things and has a huge volume of work, so the turn around time is 8-12 weeks. We opted for the Boutique session vs the Storybook session because we wanted something simple and classic. Man, I can’t wait to see them. (Only 4 weeks to go!) Our session was at 11am and only took about 5 minutes (Crazy, right?) So we spent the rest of the day at an incredibly packed out Dollywood. Even with all the people, it was still a really nice day.

Off to the Races
April 18 was the day of the Chickamauga Chase 15k. This was what I was working towards when I hurt my knee at the end of January. Unfortunately I couldn’t get back to where I was before the injury, so I planned to do the 5k…. Then we realized we wouldn’t have a sitter.. So Colette and I did the Scenic Walk (~2miles) while Cory and our friend Jodie battled it out in the 15k. Cory didn’t train at all. The last time he really ran as the 15k 2 years prior. Yet, somehow, he managed to not die. He didn’t, however, beat Jodie. Jodie will reign victorious until next year when we will all battle again. But I’m very proud of Cory for finishing the race and not even at a terrible pace.

Chickamauga Chase

Since I couldn’t compete in the Chickamauga Chase, I signed up for a couple of races in May. My very first race (ever) was King of the Mountain 4-miler on Lookout Mountain. Elevation gain was 269ft and my pace was 11:41/mi. I couldn’t be happier with my results. Cory decided to run the race with me at the last minute so he definitely helped keep me going. My trial run at home a few days before the race was 5 miles and had a 387ft elevation gain. I finished that with a 12:41/mi pace. So I was very happy with 11:41 in the race.

King of the Mountain, My first race ever!

King of the Mountain, My first race ever!

My second race in May was the Chattanooga Chase 8k. I was on my own for this one. Cory and Jodie ran it a few years ago and the only thing they could really talk about was the incredible hill. They weren’t kidding. It didn’t help that Cory and I had both been sick with congestion and coughing the entire previous week. My trial run at home was a grueling 5.1 miles, 423ft elevation gain, 13:31/mi pace. It was terrible. I felt terrible. I was definitely feeling better by the time the race rolled around and was able to finish with a 12:03/mi pace. Hooray!

I don’t have any other races planned at the moment, but I certainly plan to continue. I’m also going to add a new activity to my repertoire with my fancy new birthday present….!!

Yay, Birthday!

Yay, Birthday!

The Rest of May
The rest of May was pretty busy as well. My birthday, Mother’s Day, wedding anniversary…. whew. My dad and I also photographed a beautiful wedding. Oh and we went to Dollywood again. That’s a lot for one month when you factor in full time jobs.

Mom took this one after our Mother's Day brunch. Sibling Love.

Mom took this one after our Mother’s Day brunch. Sibling Love.

"First Look" from the wedding my Dad and I photographed.

“First Look” from the wedding my Dad and I photographed.

Also from the wedding.

Also from the wedding. You can see more here: Schultz Studios

Mmm fruit.

Mmm fruit.

When you don't have a kitchen you roast hot dogs on the fire pit.

When you don’t have a kitchen you roast hot dogs on the fire pit.

Must. Cram. S'more. Into. Mouth.

Must. Cram. S’more. Into. Mouth.

AND to top it all off (And this is my favorite part…) Our kitchen remodel officially started on April 23. We have been without a kitchen for a very very long time and it’s been very rough (I mean, we have a toddler and I work from home.. so a not having a kitchen or a place to wash sippy cups is just so terrible), but we’re alllllmooooossstttt done. Our countertops are supposed to be installed later this week and then just a few little things here and there. I’m going to make a separate post on this because it certainly deserves it. I took pictures at the end of everyday and it’s just amazing to look through.

Here’s a peek at the old kitchen:

Ain't she grand?

Ain’t she grand?

I'm so happy it's gone!

I’m so happy it’s gone!

OH OH OH! ANNNNND, How could I forget?! My best friend, Jill, is turning 30 this fall. Originally we planned on going to Vegas… but now we’ve officially booked…. A DISNEY WORLD VACATION! I’m so excited. I think Vegas is too adult for us anyway. I’ve already started putting together my Disney Binder with loads of information and schedules and reservations and just everything. I love Disney. I LOVE DISNEY! Jill and I went a few years ago and had a blast. It’s going to be even better this time.

We're pretty big fans of tutus.

We’re pretty big fans of tutus.

And here’s some more random phone pictures:

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs

Elephants at Dollywood

Elephants at Dollywood

Riding the bus to the Chickamauga Chase

Riding the bus to the Chickamauga Chase

Sassy Pants

Sassy Pants

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day

Trying out Grama's glasses

Trying out Grama’s glasses

Sliiiiiiiide!

Sliiiiiiiide!

Loves the water.

Loves the water.

Mommy/daughter day at the fresh market!

Mommy/daughter day at the fresh market!

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15 months

Okay, so there’s no monthly photo or anything, but I do feel like I have some shareable content. Probably not interesting to the mass majority of people out there! Maybe just family and other moms.

Colette had her 15 month checkup two weeks ago. Everything was pretty normal except for her weight. Her cart showed that she had lost about a quarter of a pound since her last visit. Our pediatrician wasn’t too thrilled about that and had us up meal time to 5 full meals. Her words were, “don’t just give her the ice cream.. put sprinkles in it! It’s more about quantity than quality at this point.” So she sent us on our way and had us schedule another appointment for one week later.

My first thought was, “If she didn’t gain a pound in 3 months.. how in the world are we going to get her to gain a pound in a week!?” So I sat down and created a meal plan and headed off to the grocery store. A typical day was something like this:

Breakfast

  • 2 eggs (cooked in coconut oil) with cheese
  • Blueberries (a lot of them..) with cream cheese fruit dip
  • Milk

Snack

  • 1/2 banana with peanut butter
  • Graham cracker sheet
  • Strawberries with fruit dip

Lunch

  • Spaghetti
  • Toast with cheese

Snack

  • 1/2 banana with peanut butter
  • Earth’s Best veggie pouch
  • Real strawberry milk

Dinner

  • Chicken and Dumplings
  • Buttered Corn
  • Blueberries and applesauce

As you can see, there’s no ice cream listed. I did give her a bite of mine at the park the other day though. She was thrilled.

As far as breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this really isn’t a whole lot different from what we were doing before our doctor visit. Snack time on the other hand, was usually just a graham cracker or some ritz crackers and she would just eat those throughout the day instead of a specified sit-down meal time.

When we went back for our check up on Friday, I’m pleased to announce, she did gain about a pound and a half and we’re back on our weight curve where we should be. Now I just feel like we were starving her to death for the last few months, which I definitely know isn’t the case.

Of course, today I looked at the chart printout they gave me when I left her 15 month checkup and noticed that at her 12 month checkup she weighed 20.75lbs… Then in December we went in again because she fell and hit her head, and they didn’t make us strip her down before we weighed her, and she weighed exactly 21lbs. So at her 15 month appointment (she weighed 20.75) she hadn’t actually lost any weight. Sure, she didn’t gain any either, but she definitely didn’t lose any. Oh well! At least now we know she actually does need to eat a little more than we realized.


Daylight Savings time began on Sunday! We decided instead of gradually putting Colette down earlier and earlier to get her back to a 7pm-7am schedule, we’d just let her go 8pm-8am. That gives us more time with her at night, which I know will be beneficial in the quickly (but not quickly enough) approaching summer months.

Of course she hasn’t been sleeping too well the last few days. She has no interest in going to sleep in her crib. It results in lots of crying, but she eventually lays down. I feel like we go through this every few weeks and then she gets over it.

We’ve been thinking about the eventual transition of her crib into a toddler bed. I went to Babies R Us to order the toddler guardrail that goes with her bedroom suite, only to be told it was on back order. I contacted Baby Cache when I got home to see when it would be available again and they told me I wouldn’t even be able to order it until June. THEN it takes 10-12 weeks to get to me. WHAT?! So I think when we do it we’ll just take the front rail off and buy one of the mesh guardrails or something of that nature. I should probably go ahead and buy the full-size bed conversion kit in the event they backorder that when I need it too.


I’m so excited for Spring and Summer. I want a garden. I want to re-landscape the yard. I want to mow the yard. I want chickens (Cory will never let this happen). I want warm sunny days. It’ll be glorious.

We’re also having our kitchen remodeled in a couple of weeks. Initially we were going to get a pool, but decided to wait a few years because we just couldn’t talk the contractor down enough. A kitchen is pretty exciting though. I’ll post before and after pictures once it’s all finished. I have no idea what we’re going to do without a kitchen for 2-3 weeks though. I suppose we’ll have to move the fridge into another room along with the toaster oven and microwave. Can’t just go two weeks with a toddler and no fridge! Especially when she’s here all day, five out of seven days a week.

In other personal news. I think I’ve officially given up on my goal of running the 15k in April. I was doing really well, then I went out for an 8 mile run in late January and when I got to 7.5 my knee went kaput. I had to limp all the way home and had to hobble around for days afterward. Since then I’ve tried a number of things to try and mend the issue; Staying off of it for a couple of weeks, getting new fitted shoes, knee and hip specific exercises, laying off the big hills… Just about everything short of going to a doctor. Nothing works. I get to a mile and then I feel the pain come back and know it’s time to stop. I was so proud of myself for committing to it and making progress, and now I’m so disappointed. I’ve gained back nearly all the weight I lost. Blah! (I also ate 3 boxes of Tagalongs, so maybe that didn’t help..Those Girl Scouts get me EVERY TIME!) Now I have to find something else that doesn’t have all the impact, but I can still do it around the neighborhood in my “free-time.” Biking maybe? I don’t know about that. Maybe I’ll get a paddle board and walk it down to the lake. Suggestions welcome.


This post makes me realize how many photos I DON’T take. I’ve gotta make my camera an extension of my body. I do have some iPhone photos to share from the past month though.

A nice warm day at the park.

A nice warm day at the park.

And then it snowed.

And then it snowed.

It snowed a lot.

It snowed a lot.

She wasn't sure how to react when she couldn't walk in it.

She wasn’t sure how to react when she couldn’t walk in it.

Since she was still getting over some sickness I built her a snowman on the side porch so she could see him.

Since she was still getting over some sickness I built her a snowman on the side porch so she could see him.

Just hanging out with a roller in her hair

Just hanging out with a roller in her hair

Working on her baby yoga

Working on her baby yoga

Playing with Papa and Mr. Potato Head

Playing with Papa and Mr. Potato Head

And back to another nice warm day

And back to another nice warm day

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Our Little Valentine

It’s been a while! Now that the monthly posts are over I’ve neglected the ole blog. Lots of exciting things have happened (i.e. finding her belly button, showing us how strong she is, getting really good at throwing a tantrum complete with feet stomping..).

Any other day I would probably remember a million things to write about , but today I’m drawing a blank. I do have some cute photos to share though!

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One Whole Year!

Of course I’m a little late getting around to this. We’ve been going nonstop since October.

An entire year has completely whizzed by. I feel like I just brought that sweet little tiny thing home from the hospital with not really any idea what to do with her, yet here we are. Prepare for picture overload.

*le sigh*

monthly_comparison

Weight: 20lbs

Height: 30.25in

Teeth: 8 fully in, with 2 molars and her top 2 canines peaking out as well.

Sleep: Still very well! We had a couple of nights in the last few weeks where she hasn’t’ been feeling well and will wake up and want to snuggle. But no big deal there. I don’t mind getting extra sleepy snuggles.

Clothes/Diapers (Sizes): 12 month clothes and 3/4 in diapers

Diet: Whatever we eat. She still loves those pouches though. They’re like an extra special treat to her or something. She ooo’s and ahhh’s when we get one out.

Milestones/Firsts: We’ve hit all the major milestones aside from talking, but she’s pretty good at that right now. Lots of words in her vocabulary.. No, Hi, Bye, Night Night, Elmo, Nana, Teeth..etc… She knows where her head, belly, feet, nose and eyes are.

Likes: Being on the move, pulling things out of her sock drawer, snuggling up, her favorite stuffed animal Chewy, kicking her ball, Mickey Mouse.

Dislikes: Anytime mommy walks away for any reason. I think that’s our biggest issue these days. Love her little heart. She has gotten quite the attitude in the last month.

As for me: Just treading water. We’ve been so incredibly busy. Once the holidays are over it will be back to the status quo. With that said I still love this time of year. Getting to visit with family and food and such. I got back into running and “officially” started training to run in a 15k in April. I haven’t been doing too bad either. I ran a whole 5 miles last week without stopping or dying. For a non-runner that was pretty special. I’m also down to a weight and size that I haven’t seen since my early high school days. (I would like to thank a beautiful stomach virus this past week for a little help on that… so terrible).

The Birthday

For Colette’s actual birthday, we woke up and made birthday pancakes.

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She spent the day at her Grama’s because it was a work day then we went out to eat at Longhorn and took her to Toys-R-Us and let her pick out her own toy. It was a very good night.

Her birthday party was the following weekend (the weekend after Thanksgiving). We decided to have it in Knoxville since we would be in town already and most of our family lives there, not to mention pretty much no one in my family (outside of my siblings and Granny) had met her yet. It was good to have it there this year, but future birthdays will be at home. Of course, I don’t plan on doing them big like this every year. We chose the Fountain City Loft as a venue. It was a super awesome little place, the only thing I will say is that it’s in no way shape or form ADA assessable. So that was a bummer for the grandparents who had to miss out. I was quite sad about that.

She had a great time at the party and made excellent faces opening gifts. I’d have to say her favorite gift was probably Chewbacca. She loooooves him. I think everyone else had a pretty good time as well. I know I did. I would also like it to be know that I pretty much made all the decorations. I had help putting together the cake (THANKS SISTER!) and a few last minute items and setup (THANKS EVERYONE!) when we got there, but I’m pretty proud of all I got accomplished!

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I feel like there are a million things I’m forgetting to write about. Maybe I’ll remember later. Below are lots and lots of photos from birthday, Thanksgiving, etc..

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Okay let’s pause for a second. My friend Katrina MADE this. WITH HER OWN TWO HANDS. HOW AMAZING IS THAT!? Now Colette has a personalized Slytherin sweater and we couldn’t be more proud.

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I can’t believe she’s so grown up. *CRIES*

Love this lady.

Love this lady.

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We do Thanksgiving very well. Very Very Well.

We do Thanksgiving very well. Very Very Well.

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Santa came by at Thanksgiving to drop off some Elves for our Shelves.

Santa came by at Thanksgiving to drop off some Elves for our Shelves.

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Fantasy of Trees

Fantasy of Trees

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