Launching "The Nurturing Mama"

Check out my new blog! Entitled The Nurturing Mama, I'll be talking about family, faith, food, and more. Of course, there will be plenty of Maddie updates. Please update your links and RSS feeds and head on over there!

This will be the last post on Onward and Upward, although I may go through and add more links from here to there. It's been fun, and thanks for reading!

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A Fresh Start

I've been daydreaming for weeks about where to go and what to do with this blog. It was originally begun by my friend Ashley and I as a way to encourage other working wives who had yet to pass through the gates of motherhood. Eventually, Ashley bowed out because of other commitments, which left me with the reigns. I decided to keep posting here, mainly because of a lack of desire to create a new blog. The focus eventually shifted to being a blog with nothing more than updates.

Now the time has come. I'm so excited about shifting gears and finding another voice. My new blog is now in the works, and I'm hoping to launch it within the coming weeks. Instead of the original, other-focused purpose of Onward and Upward, it will be personal; a reflection on motherhood and my personal journey in that realm. I plan on discussing what I'm passionate about: faith, family, good food, and playing in the dirt. And how they all connect.

Stay tuned and check back for the new site soon!

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New Maddie Video

This has been up for a couple of weeks, but for anyone who doesn't know Stu's Youtube account might be interested in this. It's a compilation video of Maddie's first year. We celebrated our little munchkin's first birthday on the 6th. I can't believe she's a year old!

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There's not even a nip in the air yet, but I'm all ready for the upcoming cold now that we're no longer in Houston. I went to the most amazing consignment sale the other day to pick up a bunch of basics for the baby in preparation of the upcoming chill. Here's Maddie all geared up and ready to go:

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Major (Bum)mer

I'm a huge cloth diaper fanatic. They're adorable, hold leaks better than disposables, and are a much cheaper option in the long term. When Maddie was born, I eagerly checked out all my options, purchased the cute little diapers, and happily went on my merry cloth-diapering way. We did switch to disposables when she was in day care, out of courtesy to the workers there.

Once we moved and I stayed at home with Maddie, I used them full time. We've saved so much on our grocery and toiletries budget by not having to buy diapers.

I originally purchased 18 Baby Kangas, a pocket cloth diaper, which I figured suited me the best. It is a style of diaper with a soft absorbent layer next to baby's skin, and an outer waterproof layer to prevent leaks. In the middle of these two layers goes an insert, which holds all the wetness. As well as the diapers, I purchased 18 inserts, wipes, 1 wetbag for the diaperbag, and 2 big wetbags for holding the diapers while they were waiting for the wash. I must say, that I love them. I had planned on ordering 12 more of the ever so cute Baby Kangas once we had another child. I was going to get some in Robin's Egg and Daisy, 2 colors I have not added to my collection.

I received a coupon this morning from Kelly's Closet, the website in which I purchased my lovely diapers. They were running an end-of-summer clearance, so I thought I'd check it out, just for fun.

They are discontinuing the Baby Kangas at their store.

I know I can probably find them elsewhere, but I never found any comparable price in any other online retailer. Baby Kangas are a bit pricey, and they don't even come with inserts when purchased alone. Once we're expecting the next baby, I'll have to decide whether to try to find a decent price on them, or (banish the thought) switch to something else.

I did see another pocket diaper that closely resembled the Baby Kanga, but it had no zipper. It's called the Smartipants, and it's really pretty cute as well--and they're cheaper than the Baby Kangas are. They even come with an insert! So yeah, major deciding to do someday.

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Maddie News

For those of you who haven't seen our Flickr account, here are some more recent pictures of Maddie. These were snapped at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, a great, free place in which to take pictures. Maddie is definitely small for her ages, but she's developmentally right on target.

She crawls like an old pro now. She pulls up on furniture all the time, but is not yet brave enough to try standing on her own.

She loves to point. She's starting to wave bye-bye more frequently, and she's good at giving high fives. We're working on "Touchdown" for football season. :-)

She has even started saying Da! when Stu gets home from work. It's the most adorable thing ever. Her first tooth came in a few days ago, and I can't wait to see what it looks like once it's done sprouting!

One last shot, just because I love the lighting:

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Lazy Sunday

I love days like today. The baby and skinny cat are asleep in the living room, and the fat cat is curled up on my bedroom pillow. Stu is also napping--he's resting after a 24 hour call.

It's pouring down rain outside, and I've got nothing more pressing than a cup of coffee and an old issue of Southern Living, just waiting to be read. It's a November issue from a few years back--I've been excited about fall for a few weeks now, and I can't wait for the chilly air and seasonal food.

We've been doing well here; I feel like I've got a very established routine going now. It's hard having Stu be gone so much during the day, but I was expecting it. I'm so glad that I'm introverted enough to thrive with alone time, so I don't really feel alone. Plus, we've made some great friends already here in Birmingham, so I get out and see them when I am feeling lonely. Tonight we're going to a tapas party hosted by some of our friends.

I'm hoping that just maybe I'll start blogging more. I have a lot of recipes, gardening stuff, and cute Maddie pictures that I'm hoping to share. During the next few months, we're hoping to do a lot to upgrade our existing landscape, and I'm hoping to catch it all on film. My cooking has significantly improved since moving (so says Stu), and I'm enjoying my time in the kitchen with fresh seasonal produce from the farmers market. I've missed blogging, so I'm hoping to pick it up again.

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