Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Big Girl

It's such a cliche but they really do "grow up so fast" 'sniff, sniff'!!!! I'm actually really torn because I look back and want her to be small again, but I look forward and want to see the fun, yet challenging, times to come. I guess we could always do it again later, not yet though. We heard this quote and it works perfectly:

Yesterday is History
Tomorrow is a Mystery
Today is a Gift
That is why they call it the Present

The following is a progression of mom remembering a gift from Libby/Jamie hiding up high in Sam's closet.

Our big girl really wants to sit up:)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday Meal Plan


Check out other meal planning peeps at Organizing Junkie. Getting back to normal but looking for different ideas for meals. I love looking through the list and getting ideas. I still feel like I'm lacking for excitement in the lunch department but we're working on it.

Monday * - Artichoke; leftovers

Tuesday - Chicken Enchiladas; broccoli

Wednesday *- Spaghetti Squash Casserole (dad can take with him and reheat on plane)

Thursday - Sloppy Joes; lentils; artichokes

Friday - Lemon Pepper Chicken; risotto; Edamame

Saturday *- Potato casserole with leftovers

Sunday *- ???? We'll see

Sunday, December 28, 2008

First laughs

We spent the last 4 days in Albuquerque with the family. It was a great time with a few wonderful highlights.We got to spend some time and take pictures with Great Grandma Galluccio!!! She is doing ok considering she just turned 93 on the 25th of December. She is moving to a new home in the new year and we look forward to visiting her at a smaller more intimate place.

Sam began belly laughing in great numbers this week...it all began on December 24th. As she sat on Grams lap AJ was playing with her and she starting laughing at his funny faces. Then I was able to call the Cribley family later that night and have her laugh to them over the phone as we got ready for bed. The best point though was the next day when she was hangin with Poppop and began laughing hestarically at the fan turning over head.....what is it about the fan that is so funny to a 3 month old?? It really is precious to see the changes as they occur.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Not many meals this week

So here is the little bit of planning that I must do this week. I actually stuck to it last week and loved it. Saturday I made frozen food with my mother and sister all afternoon. We each got 10 meals and that should last us for a while.

Monday - Roast in the crock pot; Roasted Rosemary potatoes (using my sisters infused rosemary oil)

Tuesday - Friday - at the in-laws in Albuquerque...Good eats on them!!!!

Saturday - AJ is back to work so I'll probably pull something out of the freezer

Sunday - Baked breaded Fish; rice; Lima beans

Sammie note: Sam took my finger yesterday and put it in her mouth herself. I think that she is beginning to figure out those hands. Plus we are really working on the going to sleep thing. AJ (me if he isn't home) will keep his hand on her chest or head for a little while as she sobs. Hopefully this will lessen with time and she will not fight the going to sleep thing. We did decide that we are blessed because she is a great sleeper. We actually get a good night sleep from 10-8 every night (knock on wood) with one feeding at 4 when we bring her into bed. She is also taking a 2 hour nap most late mornings, apparently this is rare so i feel extremely blessed.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Busy weekend

So, I think that Sam might be fighting off a little sickness. Yesterday and a little bit the day before she would scream out at random, this is very unlike her. She wouldn't sleep very well during the day and had rosy cheeks. We gave her one dose of Tylenol last night just to be on the front of anything, she seemed to be comfortable after that and had a normal, great night sleep. I'll watch her today and see....hopefully it's nothing.
Other things on the new list include mom starting to pump a little milk to try Sam with a bottle. I must say that feeling like a milking cow is weird. There is nothing like looking down and seeing a suction cup pull your nipple away from your body....as AJ put it, I didn't know that human skin would stretch like that. Anyway, it went well and now we just need to see if the bottle will work. The biggest suggestion I received was that I should be nowhere in the house because she knows the boob, including my smell(hopefully not stinky). We'll see how it goes....wish us luck.
As for the weekend, dad is leaving today and comes home just in time for us to go to Albuquerque. I have lots of laundry and other chores to do to get us ready to be gone for the week. I'm looking forward to being spoiled at Grams and Poppops!!! The other part that makes this weekend busy is Mom, Amie, and I are making a ton of meals to freeze. It looks like we are each going to get a lot of food frozen for $45 each!!!! We are making spaghetti sauce, lasagna, beef pasties, sloppy joes, broccoli soup and chicken enchiladas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Eating well

Second week of trying this, I really think I'm going to like it!!! Right now I'm trying to use up what I have around my house that maybe would get overlooked if I wasn't planning. The best part is not having to ask the question, so what's for dinner and struggling to come up with something. Plus I love looking through others blogs and having fresh ideas for dinner.

Monday - Leftover Thai, Dad's flight gets in late

Tuesday - Huevos Rancheros

Wednesday - awards banquet for RMRHA (whole family going to deliver the awards)

Thursday - Dad's new turkey burger challenge; veggies from around the house; Quinoa

Friday - Turkey chili for family Chanukkah dinner

Saturday - Fettuccine with chicken and asparagus

Sunday - Leftovers; Dad out flying

I really need ideas for lunch and snacks. I find that there isn't anything around the house that sounds good. Please help!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Freezing Cold Day

Well, it's maybe made it to the double digits outside and Sam and I are staying inside all day. It really is amazing how much the child changes. I'm trying not to miss any minor change as I see her every day. I've noticed that her head has changed shape again (of course she is as beautiful as ever). She is beginning to find laughter and is playing with us more and more, she is such a flirt!!! She is not eating as much these last few days and is growing into her height again. I'm really trying to schedule 2 nap times during the day when she sleeps for longer periods. Some other babies from our birthing class are having similar struggles with getting a routine down so that mom and dad can have some time as well. That really has been a difficult part of babyhood to manage....mom and dad are still husband and wife. It emphasizes how much work and communication it takes to keep a loving relationship going. I feel extremely blessed that AJ and I think in the same direction and really support one another. We don't always have the most efficient or effective communication but we manage to get it done. We are striving to have a loving family and it is made easier by the loving families and friends that surround us.

Well, I'm off to continue practicing being a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom).
Laundry, going. Meal planning, thinking. Costco list, writing.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Amie's beautiful photos of Sam

It is a very snowy cold day today....a great day to sit by the fire, read a book, and eat soup with the family. Right now Sam is sleeping for her morning nap, dad is shoveling, and I'm in comfy pants. I'm really in the mood to get organized.
Last weekend my sister took some beautiful pictures of Samantha and the Family. It is such a blessing to have a professional photographer in the family. It was really neat how we just found great spots of light in our own house, and did it all on the fly. THANK YOU AMIE!!! Here are a few....
Plus a cold snowy picture of the sweet girl!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Menu plan Monday

This is my first attempt to write a meal plan for the week. My mother use to do this and I remember how much easier it was for her to know what to take out of the freezer and how less stressful the grocery shopping was when you have a list. So here goes....i really am working to learn some better ways to be a wife and a mother and I think this is a great addition.

Monday: plans to eat after seeing a friends children in a school play

Tuesday: Honey Chicken Bake, Artichokes

Wednesday: Baked fish (frozen); Parmesan risotto, Asparagus

Thursday: Mom's B'day Fondue

Friday: Chicken and Potato bake; Spaghetti Squash

Saturday: Night out at Indochine (Thia, Vietnamese)

Sunday: Leftovers

Hope to use this carnival a lot and hold myself accountable. My mother, sister, and I are also going to start cooking a month at a time and freezing. Thanks for all the great sites with wonderful women!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Missing Dad

There is no better way to see the support AJ provides then through the long days he's gone to work. The minutes drag on until his arrival back home. It probably is never said enough the appreciation that we (Sam and I) feel when he brings me coffee in bed so I can catch up on my reading in the morning.....especially since this has become his quality time playing and talking with Sam. They often cook breakfast together while telling jokes and laughing....yes Sam is only 2.5 months but her laugh is very BIG!!! There is also nothing sexier then a husband who really shares in the joy and frustration of raising our daughter....when we communicate (we try to all the time, he he) the support that his words give me is inspiring. The other night we had Sam in her cradle next to our bed. To date she has mainly been sleeping in bed with us but we are trying to have her initially fall asleep in the cradle. She was so exhausted that she was cranky. It breaks my heart when she lies alone and wimpers (not crying, just talking). AJ calmly told me to rock the cradle and let her fall to sleep....it worked wonderfully and it felt impowering for her and me (well I assume her feeling here, but don't we always do that). Needless to say I haven't been able to do that any of the nights that he has been gone....we fall asleep cuddling, not such a bad way to go either!!!

AJ has come such a long way in his comfort with holding a baby.....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

This is my first attempt at participating in a "blog carnival" here goes....

My mother discovered the best all body, including scalp, natural moisturizer. This especially works for the dry cold winter days here in Colorado. Jojoba Oil. It makes your skin feel and look wonderful. I rotate the days that I use it with my moisturizers. It works better than moisturizer because it does not have any water in it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blogging can be an Obsesssion

So, I've been playing on the computer lately and discovered the amazing world of blogs. It is awesome the links that can connect people from around the world.....I followed some sites with great advice and ended up on a woman's blog from Saudi. It reminds me of the need that we should all have to strengthen our relationships and especially our network of women. We all can learn from each other and lean on one another with great reward.

I've always had a need to connect with more mothers/wives/women I just never thought that I would find the computer as a resource. It is so odd to think how information was shared before these technological times. Don't get me wrong I still believe we learn the most from our mother/sisters/friends, but it's soooo cool to learn from other women in different cultures and environments.

I hope to get more proficient at this blogging thing so check back for some great places to learn wonderful ideas. Also, feel free to contribute any ideas or places you go for advice.

A picture of my baby because I can't resist. This is from Thanksgiving, she has on a pair of Italian racing shoes my mother bought in Italy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In awe.....

I was getting Sam ready for bed tonight and noticed her following her hand with her eyes. She would look at her hand, bring it to her mouth, and then follow it back out with her eyes. She did the over and over until something else distracted. She even watched as she grabbed her dads finger. It is a miracle to watch the wheels turn as she develops the smallest of skill. We really do make our lives so busy and complicated that we forget how cool it is that our hand belongs to us and does what we ask, such as move to our mouth for sucking pleasure.

Good Night all, stop to notice the little movements of life!!!


Sammie first smiled a big smile at Dad on Oct, 30, 2008


Sammie took her first flight to go visit the GREAT grandparents and other O'Brien family in Florida.

The O'Brien clan had an early Thanksgiving dinner so that we could participate. We really loved visiting with everyone and letting them all love on Sam. It was particularly wonderful for me to get to know all of that side of the family, it was awesome and we look forward to the next visit.

We also visited with Francie and John while down there to show off the new addition. Plus we made it to the ocean one day.....Sam loved the sand:)

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I really enjoy the Happy Hour Fridays on the radio. It reiterates the work that it takes on our part to find the happiness in the daily routine we call life and continue to MAKE happiness apart of everything we do. Everyone always talks about the "blues" that occur when you are exhausted from a newborn child but they really can't completely express the "work" that it takes to always look at such a vulnerable being with loving eyes. As Sam begins to smile AT us (not fart as everyone thinks) and wants to play and interact, these are the small moments of reminder that the world is a beautiful place, God is an amazing thing to replicate, and life can never REALLY be that bad. I don’t ever want to forget these moments and yet don’t think there is any way to truly capture them all. How do we not move forward so quickly (my daughter has gained more than 3 lbs since birth) and yet not stand still either?
My baby.....

Lazy Sunday(6 weeks old).....

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Our version of bottle feeding...

Sake is Yummy!!!

We went to Hibachi for AJ and Amie's birthday with the entire family. AJ, grandpa Cribley, Nanny Cribley, and Albert all did a couple sake bombs after the meal. We had way too much fun.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Little Old Man

We are growing big and strong. So big that our hair makes us look like a little old man. Our farts match the image as well, SO PROUD!!!

Our Little Old Man!!

Dad's Birthday

We went for a beautiful walk in the Botanical Gardens and had Thai food for dinner!!! It was a great family day, HAPPY 30 something DAD!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

We strive hard to be the best parents!!!

Tim practicing to protect.....boys watch out:)
Ha, Ha Brittney, we didn't get caught!!

Our little Eskimo!! This outfit came from a Captain at Frontier from Alaska.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

First trip out of state

We went to Albuquerque this weekend to visit Grams and Pop pop as well as Uncle Tim and Aunt Amanda. We drove the 6-8 hours, depending on feeding/diaper schedule, and stayed for 4 days. It was a blast. AJ and I were glad for a change of scenery and Sam loved meeting everyone. She handled it better then either of us could have hoped.

Friends of the family oohing over the beauty!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Out walking!!!

We were able to make it out and about for a lot of walks before the cold rainy weather came in this weekend. Here are some of the adventures.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sleep Alot!!!!

Or we at least try to sleep....

Bath Time

Nanny and Grandpa took pictures of bath time. Sam really likes the warm water and relaxes as long as she is immersed in the water.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


We did a blessing for Samantha with the immediate family here in Colorado. Present were Grams and Pop pop O'Brien, Nanny and Grandpa Cribley, and Aunt/Uncle McCracken. We placed the hoopa outside on a beautiful fall day with our wedding cloth draped over the top. Both AJ and I had blessings to say and AJ touched her with oils. Then the grandparents gave blessings both traditional and from their hearts. Our loving families desire the best for this new gracious little girl!

AJ's Blessing
Psalm 127: 3-5
, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they shall not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.

From his heart:
May your sky be clear and blue and may the stars, moon and the sun chase away the dark clouds of doubt.
May all your travels be safe and free of turbulence and the arrivals be as smooth as glass.
Know that your parents will be there every step of the way guiding you throughout each and every day.
May your heart be full of love o plenty, and that on race day you will always drive a chevy!!!!
Sammie, thanks for being the gift we have always wanted, and the twinkle in our eyes that we have always needed.


Parent's Blessing

Devotion to Samantha
A little part of AJ
A little part of Kelli
And oh so much Heaven

But strong enough to hold
Our world in Samantha's hands.
Bone of our bone,
Flesh of our flesh
But even more...
heartbeat of our heart.

Grandparent's Blessing
Blessed is Samantha who comes in God's name.
You are blessed from this house of God.

Everyone's Blessing
May God make you like Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah.
May God bless you and safeguard you.
May God show kindness and be gracious to you.
May God turn His countenance to you and establish shalom for you.

O'Brien's Blessings
Samantha -
A blessing for the listener
Pop pop wrote:
May you always hear the words of your God in the voices of the ones who love you. May you grow in the love of the Lord with every smile bestowed upon you. Let joh and happiness follow you all the days of your life.

Grams said irish blessings:
May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back the sun shine warm upon your gace the rain fall short upon your fields and until we meet again may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

A new born babe rings light to the cottage warmth to the heart and joy to the soul for wealth is family - family is wealth.