Friday, May 25, 2012

Eloise update.

Things you say:
* Too Too (choo choo - while motioning the train whistle pull
* Seeng (swing)
* Biih (bike)
* Hiiiii
* Heey
* Uh-Oh
* Oh, baby
* Oh, no
* Oh, man
* Shu (Shoes)
* Eiiies (eyes)
* Siide (slide)
* NO, no, no
* Nana (banana)
* Blues (blueberries)
* Baby
* Buuuh (book)
* Mooo (cow sounds, as well as the name for both our dogs?)
* Baah (sheep)
* Raaarh (lion)
* Elmo
* Mama
* Dada
* Da
* Ro (Rosie)
* Mwwwah (while giving kisses)
* Eeeeeeee - a very high-pitched shriek (get me out of here/I'm mad at you/I'm really excited)

Songs you sing:
* The Itsy Bitsy Spider - you randomly break into this at least a few times a day
* Five Little Monkeys - lots of finger shaking for "No more monkies jumping..."
* Baby Beluga
* Twinkle, twinkle little star

Things you do:
* Walk, walk, walk (No running yet).  Cutest part - you always walk with your hands on your chest for security.
* Laugh and try to make others laugh - like those one-liner laughs with lots of gusto.
* Exclaim and throw your hands up in the air - everything is so exciting these days.
* Talk, talk, talk.   Talk to people, talk on fake phones (all. the. time.), talk to the dogs.
* Give the best hugs on this planet.
* Play at the park and on your swing set.
* Splash water any chance you get.
* Read loads and loads of books.


What have we here, a new [first] Kemp family sport??

 On vacation, the house my parents rented had a badminton set (part of which we promptly broke about an hour upon arrival).  Zach discovered that unlike almost every other sport (exceptions: running and climbing), I actually showed some kind of interest in playing.  I believe I've discovered the reason: it requires little coordination and arm strength.  Two things which seem to be necessary in most sports.  I really think it's quite fun.  I can actually hit the birdie!  This is greatly different from my one-year tennis career when I volleyed for 26th place on the team (that's not a joke) and rarely made contact with the ball.  If you couldn't tell, they didn't have tryouts.

Anyways, we picked up a cheap set today and had fun playing this afternoon.  I can't wait to play more!  Not gonna lie, Eloise cramped my style a little bit by sitting in the middle of my side of the net, but that's alright.  :)  She had fun sitting with a racquet and talking about it.

Also, below -  just a picture of the view from the house where we stayed.  We all went to Holiday World (I'm not much into theme parks, but this was really fun) and took a mini-vacay together for a few days.  It was so nice to be together, all the kids had a blast, and it was a great way to get out of my school funk (I didn't end up telling you guys that after finals we had this awful week that I never thought would be awful.  So glad it's over.).  So here they are, the pretty cows.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Oh, wow.

Just saw these on the RPS blog...little outfits for BlaBla dolls.  Eloise has little Mirabelle on the left, and her costume is so cute that it almost makes me giggle.


{LA Print by Sugar Paper - holy moly, pretty paper}

Important reading.

20 minutes spent "reading" in her chair this morning. Love.


Of late, a Mother's Day brunch.  So fun.

Heart my Cookie.


Bonjour, Morocco.  I miss you most days, but some more than others.  Today has been one of those others.  

{Image found here}

Tea Collection.

A little look at one of my newer sponsors...Tea Collection...seriously heart these casual-cool baby clothes (they sell kid's sizes, too!).  Here are my favorites...a sweet little Euro-style shirt and leggings, some mini Bensimons in an awesome color (sadly not small enough for Eloise), an adorable dress I spotted on Urban Grace earlier today, and some Saltwaters and super-cute jambes.  And I do believe they're having a little sale right now... (for instance, a certain dress and sandals below)...

Friday, May 11, 2012


I did it!  I made it!  I survived my first year of PA school.  I honestly never thought I'd be able to say that.  I didn't think I'd be able to stick it out.  Today I found out I passed my exams, and other than a few random classes next week, I'm done with Phase I (we're broken down into 3 phases total in 27 months).  I already feel so much lighter.  Like I can take a deep breath.  It feels like I blacked out for a year and just woke up.  This whole year I've doubted my ability to do this, to learn the material, to have the emotional wherewithal to finish.  And now it's done.  I'm so proud of myself and I can see God's hand in it all.  He's been showing me more and more that He never asked me to trust in my own abilities, but in His, and I think that's kind of the whole point.  So, this year there have been many, many tears, and I know there are still more to come - next year is no piece of cake - but, I've made it through the worst part and the end will be here before I know it.  Come early June, I will start my first rotation, in ER, no less. Holy cow.  Throwing me right in.  For an elective I chose Endocrinology, which I've really enjoyed this year.  And as for what I want to do in the future, I'd still love to work in a free clinic and for us to serve on missions trips along the way.  My thoughts on specialty so far would be family practice, I think, but I'm open.  So there you go.  

p.s.  In case you didn't guess, that cast was just for practice.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A few of our favorite things...

The little one's current favorites:

The Zo-li Bot Straw Sippy - awesome cup with a weighted straw, so she can get every last drop of milk.  :)

This Fisher-Price Doll Carriage - oh, wow.  She loooves this thing.  Although it always holds her baby, it isn't as much a stroller to her as it is her cart for stealing things around the house.  A carrier for cell phones and lost remotes.

The Best of Elmo...Eloise loves anything "Melmo" right now, so we listen to this a lot. And I happen to think he's adorable, so I don't mind.

My parents just got her this Little Tikes Water Table.  She is IN love and could play for hours and hours.  

The BOB Revolution.  I got this stroller for my birthday and could not be happier with it.  Honestly, I think I've used it every single day since then.  As you know, I've loved our stroller (it's been great), but I've been wanting to start running again without taking away time from El.  I'm able to jog/walk with her today, but it works so well as an everyday stroller, too.  Eloise seems super comfy and is always happy to go along for the ride.

Cute Stride Rite Sandals.  Okay, maybe she doesn't claim this as one of her favorite things, but these shoes have been awesome.  Half shoe, half sandal, 100% perfect for a new walker.


I'm more than a little obsessed with these sweet prints from Little Auggie, especially after seeing this cross-stitch bedding on Little Green notebook.  Modern and lovely at the same time.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cloth Diaper Update.

It's been a long time since I last wrote about cloth diapering.  Just got finished bleaching ours (for the first time...1/4 cup in the hot wash - worked very well), so I thought I'd give a little update.

Since PA school started, we've gone off and on using cloth.  At first because it was a bit hard to keep up at times with school and washing, and sometimes just because we only used them during the day on certain days.  Even so, even a few times a week add up.  But, flash forward to this semester.  As I said earlier, Eloise started in daycare.  We spoke to the office about using cloth diapers and they told us it would be fine.  But I felt so bad about actually bringing them.  The teachers were already working so hard, would I be inconveniencing them too much?  Well, after another family started using cloth, we brought ours in.  And you know what?  It hasn't been a problem.  At all.  Like, zilch-o problemos.  We bring clean diapers in each morning and take them home each evening.  We paid a few dollars for a mini trash can and some bags.  Easy.  And they don't mind in the least bit.  So, it's been a relief to be back to it.  Save some money.  Waste less.  Back in the habit of washing every other day and stuffing.  I forgot how much I loved using them. 

And, in terms of which diapers we still like, the BumGenius 4.0's are probably still my favorites, even if the stuffing requires a little extra work.  The diaper Eloise is wearing in the photo is the new BumGenius Freetime  (I'm in love with the color).  I love that it's an all-in-one but it's still the same fabric as the 4.0 inserts, which is super absorbent and plush.  It's also a little cheaper than some other all-in-ones (not organic cotton, for those who want that).  The only disadvantage is that it needs to line-dried and takes a bit to do that inside.  But I would buy more.  As for the changes that come with toddler-ness, we've had no trouble adjusting the size, no more trouble getting them on her than disposables, and simply use liners in each diaper for solids.  These Bummis ones are my favorite.  We're still working on successful nighttime diapering and hoping that the Freetime might work (I'm open to suggestions if you have any!).

So, there you go.  Still just as big a fan a year later!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

These days.

I've got to take a study break.  Seriously.  I haven't even gotten that far and I'm going psycho.
But, on a happy note, I canNOT believe my first year of PA school is almost done.  If I pass all my exams (I sure hope I can after all this work) and make it through the next two weeks, I'm on to 14 months of clinicals starting in June (we only go to clinic four hours a week at this point).  The amount of material we've been given this year is mind-boggling.  Literally.  My head is spinning every day and I have dreams about diabetes and failing exams.  But in retrospect, the year has gone fast (okay, the days are really slow).  And soon, I will forget that school was ever this hard.  So, moving on to trusting God for making it through the next year.  

Did I ever tell you all about Eloise going to daycare?  Since January, she's been going to daycare each day and it was so hard at first (not because of the place, but leaving her somewhere new), but it's gotten to the point where she rarely cries when we leave her and sometimes cries when we pick her up (they've got good toys and lots of slides).  It's still hard some days (there's not a day that I don't miss her like crazy), but despite that, she's made fun little friends (she even gives high-five to another little girl :), has learned a lot (songs, sign language, skills), has become quite social, and has a very consistent schedule that she seems to thrive on.  We can still pick her up early if we're done early or keep her out if we're off, but I love that she has a place to go where she feels loved and comfortable.  If any of you ever have trouble leaving your little ones, I'd be glad to comfort you.  

And I do not think that by any means I've gotten a grasp on the great balance of motherhood and school.  Blubbering mess would better describe me this year.  But, I have learned the joys of making the most of my time with my little one.  Taking her to the park every chance I get, even if it's just for a minute.  Making trips to the grocery store a fun event together.  Playing peek-a-boo while I dry my hair.  Taking a walk outside together or putting her to bed each night.  Because those times are such sweet gifts, and often sweeter when I've had a bad day.  I've learned that balance sometimes mean sacrificing a few points on an exam for an hour of cuddling, and that sleep is not always as necessary as I thought.  And that's okay.  I was talking to a mom of three the other day and she asked how I was balancing things.  I said, "Okay.  Barely."  And she said something to the effect that sometimes okay and barely were just fine.  I think that's so freeing.  And so sweet.  Because it's really true.  Sometimes I feel weighed down by the pressures of everything.  I want to be a good student.  A good mom.  A good wife, friend, and daughter.  I want to be a good witness.  To be secure and teachable at the same time.  And, I want my hair to be done and my clothes to be ironed.  I want my house clean and my dishes washed.  But there's just no way.  I flat out can't.  And I know God doesn't expect this of me.  Because then I don't need His help.  And that response is so graciously what I believe He would give - "It's alright, Colleen.  Sometimes barely and okay are just fine."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Big day.

Today, this tiny little squishy sweet baby began to walk.  I just can't believe it.
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