Monday, November 10, 2014

21 Day Fix Round 1 Results

I'm a week late in posting this, but I'm happy that I'm done with the first round and 1/3 of the way done with the second round!

In 21 days I lost 5 pounds and I am down 10.75" overall with 4 of those inches down in my waist!


I'd love to say that I have more energy, but I'm just not there yet, but I really do love this program. It's an easy to follow program that gives flexibility with the diet, but great structure and clear guidelines. I am able to eat food I actually like (hello turkey burgers and chili) and still lose weight. I did have to give up my beloved condiments and sauces, except mustard, but I'm really loving the results and I really don't miss them too much.

I am already in my second round and the only change is that I'm using the 21 day fix eating plan with the focusT25 workouts. I like HIIT workouts and it's less pressure on my wrist so that's what I'm trying out this round!

Monday, October 27, 2014

21 Day Fix Week 2

The second week of the 21 Day Fix is done and I have already seen some awesome results! Not only am I already stronger this week than last week, but I fit into pants that wouldn't even button before I started this challenge!

I am pretty strict with my diet and making sure that I exercise every day like the program states, but that doesn't mean that I eat grilled chicken and steamed broccoli all day every day. In fact, I love to eat chili, quesadillas, and turkey burgers on my diet! Of course, I add those in to my daily allowance and I'm seeing great results!

I have shakeology every day after I exercise and honestly thought how crazy it was that people were seriously spending so much money each month on this shake when you can just eat right and use protein powder, but I have to admit how wrong I was. The other drinks used to make me sick after a while and I didn't feel any better after drinking them. With shakeology I actually have a good spurt of energy for a while and my sensitive stomach isn't bothered by it at all. Plus, the chocolate flavor isn't gross like so many other protein drinks!

I can't wait to officially weigh in and measure in a week and see what my results are! I've been working hard and it's paying off. I even signed up for the next challenge group that starts the day after this one ends so no break for me!

I really love how I'm eating and the focus I have on this diet/exercise plan. It's really been such a positive change for me!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Weekends

This was a really rough week, but in spite of it all, I'm really thankful that it's Friday and we can look forward to the weekend! I love what weekends have in store for us as a family and getting to spend that extra time with my husband always makes my heart happy.

Weekends for us usually means...
-Meal Planning for the week, especially now that we're doing the 21 day fix!
-Grocery shopping. We like to do this as a family so that we can spend more time together and my husband can pick his snacks for work in case he forgot something.
-Chores. Mowing the lawn, laundry, and general clean up.
-Church. Sunday mornings we always go to church and if I'm really lucky, I get to see one of my best friends there.
-Family time. This is by far my favorite thing about the weekend. Knowing that I get to spend as much time as possible with my two favorite guys is just what I need at the end of a long week.

What do you usually do on the weekends?

Monday, October 20, 2014

21 Day Fix Week 1

Let's start this off by saying I am SO glad to have started this program. Seriously, it has already done  so much in a week and is definitely doable!

Here's how the program works...Basically, you workout every day to a 30 minute video. There are 7 different videos and you do one each day of the week. As for the diet, you are allotted so many "containers" to eat each day and your goal is to eat all of the food that corresponds with the containers each day and drink half of your body weight in water! Of course, you want to try to eat 5-6 "meals" per day.

For example, I get 5 Green, 5 Red, 4 Yellow, 3 Purple, 1 Blue, 1 Orange, and 5 teaspoons.

Green: Non-starchy veggies
Red: Lean proteins
Yellow: Carbs and starchy veggies
Purple: Fruit
Blue: Healthy Fats
Orange: Seeds/Healthy dressings
Teaspoons: Nut butters/oils

As you can see, I don't starve and eat a balanced diet. The focus is on less-processed foods and portion control along with exercise which is a proven method of weight loss. I am using Shakeology as part of the program once per day and it took a while to get used to, but I have to say I really enjoy having it after my workout as my "snack."

Got my Pilates fix on! #21dayfix #workout
 
This was one day after my Pilates Fix workout.
 
 
The workouts have modifications that are really helpful and are still pretty challenging. I was pretty sore the first few days and my hamstrings are pretty sore today after Yoga Fix yesterday.
 
In Week 1...
 
I am already down a pant size! Last week I wore a size 18 jeans with the "hairband trick" to church and this week, I wore size 16 jeans with no hairband!
 
I can also feel more muscles in my arms and legs which is really exciting.
 
I'm still pretty tired, but I don't feel like I need a nap every day anymore! I'm really hoping my energy kicks in soon.
 
I can't wait to see what the next 2 weeks have in store for me on this program! 


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

21 Day Fix



I've kept it kind of quiet about this lately, but yesterday I started the 21 Day Fix! I've been counting my carbs for about a month or so and the scale wasn't budging. After being frustrated over and over again, my mom saw this program on tv and asked if I was interested in trying it. After reading a lot about it and asking some questions, I decided to give it a go!

The premise is to eat well (lots of veggies and less processed foods) and exercise. It's nutritionally sound and doesn't have a lot of gimmicks to it. Just what I was looking for. I joined a challenge group hosted by one of the sweetest girls I knew in high school and we're already on day 2 of the challenge!

It is a lot of prep work with planning and portioning out meals, but it's worth it to not have to wonder what I'm eating next and just shoving my face with whatever is around the house. Plus, I get to workout at home during naptime which is super helpful since my little guy won't let me leave him with people he doesn't know well.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the results and can't wait to see how it affects my blood sugar and A1c. I am drinking a shake once per day since it's part of the challenge group, but honestly, I was drinking a protein shake many days before so this isn't much different.

Right now I'm sore and tired, but I know it will get better soon enough. I'm pushing myself through one day at a time.
 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wake Up Call

When I was pregnant with Matthew, I had Gestational Diabetes. To be honest, it sucked. I hated counting carbs, always eating a protein with everything, and checking my blood sugar four times per day along with my dreaded night time insulin shot. After Matthew was born, my blood sugars returned to normal and I had a normal A1c reading at my follow-up appointment in October. Everything looked good and I promised to start exercising and eating better.

Then life happened.

My baby was fussy and had a lot going on for the first year. Every time he would seem to get better, he would start crying again and it was enough to drive you batty. I was constantly asked what was wrong with him and it was rough. We had plenty of good moments and he grew out of it and finally started sleeping through the night consistently after his first birthday, but it was a rough time.

During that time, I decided that I was too tired and overwhelmed to watch what I ate and really exercise. It's sad and such a bad decision looking back, but as they say, hindsight is 20/20.

I went in for a physical a few weeks ago because I needed to get my A1c checked and everything checked out well! Then, I got the dreaded phone call that my number had gone up and they needed me to make some changes.
Metformin ::check::
Eat Less Carbs ::check::
Cut Back on Sugar ::check::
Exercise ::check::

I have to admit that it was a rough call to get. How on earth could my number be that high? It's not in the diabetic range, but it's close enough for comfort and the good old internet would tell me that it's considered "prediabetic" {shudder}.

So, I've been counting my carbs, eating balanced meals and snacks (carbs:protein) and just doing my best. I haven't started working out yet and I plan to get on that when my foot is back to normal, but let's just say this sucks, but I made my choice and this is what happens.

It took a few days for me to not feel sorry for myself and I've been doing better with this transition. It's been a few weeks and I've already lost a little bit of weight so that's definitely positive, but it's still hard. I'm working on the right decisions one day at a time and know that this has to be taken care of now so it doesn't develop into diabetes. It's reversible at this point and that's the plan...to reverse the effects and get my A1c down.

If anyone has any suggestions, encouragement, advice, or anything, please feel free to share!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lately

I haven't really sat down in a while to write out what's been going on in our lives lately, so this will have to count as a catch-up.

Here's what's been going on...
  • My husband has been in a walking boot for the past few weeks from breaking his foot. At first, they thought it was a couple of toes and a possible foot fracture, but it is actually just the top of his foot. It's healing well and we're praying he'll be boot-free this next week.
  • I have joined him on getting to wear a walking boot. Apparently wearing flip-flops 99% of the time with no arch support coupled with over pronation caused an inflamed tendon in my foot and I woke up in pain and with lots of swelling last week. Good news, it's manageable and I'll just need good arch support from here on out, but I'm still booted for at least a couple of weeks.
  • Matthew is getting so close to walking! He's been crawling for a while now and can easily pull to stand, cruise, and has started trying to climb certain things. He's also now letting go and balancing for a few seconds and can almost stand without holding on, but not quite yet. We're hoping he's walking by Halloween so that his raccoon tail won't be squished!
  • I've signed up for a craft show with a friend for the end of November and I'm thrilled! I'm going to bring a lot of embroidered and sewn Christmas items so we're looking forward to that. I've been considering getting back into the swing of things since sewing seems to be good for my soul.
  • Matthew has been recovering from hand, foot, and mouth and I am looking forward to getting out of the house more! He's had a really mild case and we're thankful for that.
  • I've been container gardening on my deck. We have tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, broccoli, and I just planted sugar snap peas. I can't wait to harvest all of the yummy veggies!
What have you been up to lately?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Finding Myself

In the midst of moving in with my in-laws, getting pregnant, and being a mom to an active little boy the past year I really felt like I had lost myself. There wasn't a lot of time to do things for myself or just because. Someone always needed something and when I did have some time to myself all I wanted to do was lie around and relax. I didn't like feeling like I didn't know who I was becoming so I decided to change that.

This past week I've taken up one of my hobbies again...sewing. Before Matthew was in the picture, I sewed and sometimes I sewed a lot. I went to craft shows and was a vendor, I did custom orders, and was always thinking of the next project that could be done. I loved it, but once we were living with my in-laws and our space was limited, all of that changed. I had a couple of orders to complete, but for the most part, I haven't done much sewing in over a year.

I have a whole large bookshelf filled with fabric in the sewing room and it's just there. I decided that I need to start working on projects again and I've already finished a few projects this weekend! I'm currently working on Matthew's Halloween costume that will be done this week and finished some "unpaper towels" to make kitchen clean up faster and more cost-effective.

Since sewing, I've noticed my mood has increased and I've been much more productive in general. Matthew usually plays while I sew and will come over for a hug and I can keep an eye on him from the dining room where I set up the machine. He loves playing independently and this way we both get what we want and are happier.

I'm really happy that I took this step and decided to do something for me. Having something for myself has been such a good thing and the whole family is benefitting from it.

What do you when you want to feel more like yourself?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up

This holiday weekend was amazing for our little family. We had the best Saturday we have had in months and it felt good to just hang out and not have too many stressors.

Friday night Phil and I had a date night! We hired a sitter to come over for a couple of hours while Matthew was in bed for the night and we went out for a casual dinner and to Joann's to get some fabric for a project I wanted to work on. It was nice to get out just the two of us and we didn't have to worry about our little guy not liking the sitter!

Saturday we hung out around the house. Matthew played and did his own little thing, Phil got some chores done, and I mowed the lawn and made some unpaper towels. Did I mention that we got a tractor?! That made mowing the lawn so much easier and saved a lot of time.

Sunday morning Matthew decided he would not nap at all so we stayed home until it was time to visit Phil's parents at the campground they went to for the weekend. We had lunch, tried to take a cranky baby swimming, did a Target run, and came home for the night where Matthew slept through the night!

Since it's a holiday weekend, Monday we were able to get some things done and just spend some time around the house mostly.

I love that we are becoming homebodies and not feeling the need to leave the house and be out just because. I want to start incorporating fun things as a family once a month or so where we go out and do something new, but for now, I'm loving where we're at. I've got bread rising and waiting to be put in the oven, the baby is sleeping, and my husband is cleaning up the kitchen. Life is good.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Weekly To-Do/Goal List

Now that things have settled down around here a bit, I think it's time to set up a weekly to-do/goal list. My friend Kerri does the same sort of thing each week and it's nice to see what other people's goals are and what they were actually able to get accomplished.

 
This Week's Goals
- Be more active. Go for a walk, workout, just do something that gets me moving more.
- Keep the living room picked up.
-Sweep and mop the living room/kitchen/dining room daily.
- Cut back on sweets. The past two weeks have been crazy and I've had more than I should.
- Read my Bible three times this week. This is always super hard for me and I have no idea why.
 
 
Some of these goals are easier than others, but these are some of the things I want to start working on right now and expand on them. I'm starting with a few and working my way up.
 
Are there any specific goals you have in mind for the week?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Helicopter Parent?

I always thought I would be one of those parents who hovered over their children. You know the ones that are right there next to their child making sure that they are constantly happy and safe. Sure, they want their children to succeed, but they want to be part of that process and it can be a little overwhelming for everyone.

I'm not sure why I thought this because as a former nanny and teacher, I didn't hover. I was there when I was needed, but I also took a step back to let them try and figure it out for themselves while still being available. Maybe it's because my parents hovered to a certain extent that I thought I would helicopter over my children?

The reality, however, is totally different and I love it. My little boy is an independent player. He likes to crawl away from me, explore, figure out new things, and come back for the occasional snuggle or "good job!" He's a ball of energy most days and still needs me for a lot  (see: still doesn't like to feed himself, but he's getting better). He's a pretty good listener with sayings like "no touch!" and "let's go!" and that makes me super happy.

I love that I am his safe person when he's not feeling well or when we're out and he's overwhelmed with new people. Stranger danger is real, people and my little man is in full swing with not liking to be around crowds or people he doesn't know. I'm thinking his party this weekend will be super fun!

Either way, when I look at how we are parenting and the little boy we are molding and shaping with our decisions, I think we're doing ok. He's learning and thriving and that's what matters most of all.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Time Flies

Tonight as I sat with my little boy in the rocking chair of his room, I realized how fast this past year has gone by. Many people say that they want their babies to stay little forever and I'm just not one of those people, but today was different. Today I looked at my little boy who was snuggling with me and realized that he won't always want to cuddle up with his mom. One day he'll grow up, get married, and have a life of his own and he will want to snuggle up with a different woman and that's ok. That's how God designed it, but tonight, he's my little boy and I don't have to give him up for a long time. I'm going to cherish the rare snuggles and extra hugs I get from him and know that for a while at least, I'm the #1 woman in his life. I love my little boy even on the hard days and I'm so thankful that he's mine. It's been a great almost year and I'm soaking up every last minute before he turns 1 year old this Saturday.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fit Fridays {Week 1}

It's that time again! Time to really work on being fit and healthy. I can't believe it's been almost two years since I was really dedicated to working out and eating right. Gosh, that sounds horrible, but here I am ready and willing to work hard.

I'm not going to lie. I've been lazy and super lax on my diet. I've eaten what I want, when I've wanted and have had to talk myself off of the ledge from eating ice cream all day long on more than one occasion, but that's all going to stop. I can still have ice cream, just in moderation and proper portion sizes. I would like to try to not count calories this time around, but we'll see how that goes.

My motivation is simple: I need to lose weight and get healthy so that my blood sugar doesn't end up too high. Yes, I've been checking my fasting numbers lately and they've been higher than I like which puts me in the *gulp* pre-diabetic category. That's about all the motivation I need since having gestational diabetes so here I am ready and willing to work hard and see where this gets me.

I've ordered a few crucial things (namely, a scale that works) and I've been working out for about a week already so it's mainly continuing that and changing my diet hard-core. I'm big into moderation and not giving up on any given food unless I have to. I guess we'll just jump on the bandwagon and see how this goes!

Here are my starting stats:
Weight: 214.6
Waist: TBD*
Hips: TBD*

*I'll be measuring tomorrow morning.
 
I would honestly love any and all encouragement along the way that I can get. Realizing that I'm at this starting place with my weight and fasting blood sugar is very sobering. I need to get healthy for myself and to set a good example for my family. Any tips?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Parenting: The Overall Goal

Parenting is hard work. I know that this isn't a shock to many people, but honestly when I was a nanny, I thought that it would be so much better when I had my own kids. Of course, I knew all the answers with my many years of experience and the fact that I would get to choose how we parented was just icing on the cake! Of course, now that I am a mom, I know better.

Making the right decisions for you and your family is so hard. Do we let him cry it out or do we attend to his every need? Cloth diapers or disposables? Homemade baby food or store bought? When and how much technology should we introduce? What do we do if he's not hitting milestones? These are just a few questions that we've had to face and some answers are easier than others.

Our little guy is bright and very observant, but he's not super motivated to hold his bottle, crawl around the room, or put his paci in his mouth. We've talked to the doctor and she's not concerned and neither is the physical therapist or occupational therapist, but honestly, his temperament is something I'm not used to. It's almost like he's an exact mix between me and his father. Shocking, I know.

When it comes to him being observant and really taking things in, that's where he he's like me. He needs a lot going on and isn't happy with just staying in and having the same things to do. He likes to get out and see new places and do new things.

Then there are times where he just needs his routine and is content to not really push boundaries too much. He has his times where he is laid back and just wants to do what he wants in his own time and way. This definitely comes from my husband.

I'm finding it hard to parent this sensitive, sweet little boy who is also determined and stubborn in the way he needs. I'm often at a loss for what to do and on the phone with my mom asking her a million questions.

We are constantly learning through trial and error, but our goal is to raise a sweet, kind, strong, independent man who loves the Lord and really cares for others and that's what we're aiming for.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Blessed

Matthew has another virus and we're on week 3 of less sleep (day and night) and this momma is exhausted. When the little guy woke up this morning and was happy as a clam I thought it was awesome! Early, but awesome. Then he started freaking out and crying 2 feet away from me and refused to crawl over to me. I sat there trying to coax him over so that he learns that I'm there for him, but he can come get me when he needs and he still sits there crying. He doesn't give up either, he just wants his momma and he wants me to come get him. Every.single.time.

I love being this kid's mom, but I'm spent. The sitter we hired took on another position and doesn't seem to have any availability for us anymore. I'm bummed, but my mother-in-law has been taking Matthew one day per week at her house so that's been helpful except that now we have a friend staying with us and she's here all the time. As in, she doesn't have a job yet and I almost never have the house to myself. At least she's in the guest room downstairs now, but still. I need some space.

The humidity is unbearable lately and causes my asthma to flare which means I'm no longer running and that makes me sad. I did order some workout videos that should be here this week so maybe it's a blessing in disguise. But still, I'd love to be able to breathe better when we go run an errand.

I guess I just always thought I would love being a stay-at-home mom and I do, but it's one tough gig. You never know fully what you've signed up for until after the fact and, even though, it's been rough these past few weeks, I wouldn't have it any other way.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's ok to have a rough day and we all have them. It's not always going to be easy or super fun, but the fact that I have the most important job in the world right now is more than enough.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

11 Months

How is it possible that I have an 11 month old?! Party planning has definitely begun and I am absolutely thrilled that our little man is growing up and able to do so much more now.


At 11 months, our little man is...
  • Crawling, pulling up to stand, and very active. He loves standing with mom and figuring out how to get into cords and our dvd players.
  • Still wearing 12 month clothes and size 3 diapers. We still cloth diaper at home, but use disposables too.
  • Really into "swimming" and kicks and splashes every time we go to a pool. We signed him up for fall swim lessons because he just loves them so much and is doing really well...even if he tries to lick and drink the water.
  • Eating mostly what we eat, but still has some pureed foods to help get some of the chunkier things down. His favorites seem to be bananas, waffles, grilled cheese, mum mums, yogurt, and cheerios.
  • Super expressive! I love seeing all of his facial expressions and reactions to things.
  • Finally sleeping through the night, even if he's waking up between 6-630am.
  • Taking 2 naps per day usually around 9am and 130pm.
  • Very independent. He likes to play on his own, but will let you know when he wants his momma or some attention.
  • So smart and observant. He is such a great little guy and I am definitely happy to be his mom.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Running

In high school I was part of the cross country team so I ran a lot. Being the slowest on the team didn't matter, all that mattered was that I ran and did my best. I never won a race or got any points for my team, but I worked so hard and loved it. It was challenging and really helped to release stress and clear my head.

Two years ago I really started working out and getting back into shape. Even when I lost 30 pounds I still couldn't run and I was so disappointed. No matter what I tried, it would hurt so bad and I couldn't continue. Running even 1 minute was torture, but I craved it. Then I got pregnant and stopped all exercise until recently.

My family in California is really into running. My step-dad has run most of his life and trained my sister to do so as well. My mom just started running a few years ago and has completed two half-marathons to date and she never ran before that. My other sister just started running a few months back with a run/walk program and is now up to 1.5 miles! Being around all of these people I was definitely inspired to try again so I did.

The first night I went out and ran 1/2 mile without stopping! It was hard, but I did it and made sure to continue and keep it up while I was out there. My step-dad bought me a couple of pairs of running shoes and my mom gave me some compression socks so that I would be able to run and hopefully have less pain.

The past two or so weeks that we've been back have been hard to get into running. I'm still making sure that I do, but the heat and humidity are making it difficult paired with the fact that I'm slow as molasses and my calves tighten up and hurt. I'm determined to do this and I'm trying to not get frustrated that I'm only able to do a little bit and that my time/distance aren't improving much. I'm still getting out there.

I love how much running can help to clear your mind and help me de-stress after a particularly rough day. Have I mentioned that my baby is on day 3 of super fussiness?

Either way, I'm working on doing my best and that's all that counts.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Life Lately

What a whirlwind it has been coming home from vacation. So many things are different and so many things are new. We've been pretty busy lately and it seems like it will be that way for a while.

Here's what's new around here:
  • Matthew is crawling! Most days he chooses to do a half-crawl/half-scoot, but he can crawl and is definitely more mobile.
  • We have a friend staying with us. This has been one of the biggest changes so far.
  • I started running on vacation and have been keeping it up! I really need to get out there more often during the week and I'm thinking of trying a run/walk program to get me moving more since I seem to be stuck at 10 minutes.
  • Matthew has transitioned from the zippy to a sleep sack! Seriously, this is HUGE because he wouldn't sleep in anything other than his zippy for months and with it being so hot, I really wanted him to have something that would breathe a little more.
  • Last, but not least is that our little guy is finally sleeping through the night! No more night time bottles! He still needs a paci about once per night, but last night he slept straight through and I couldn't be happier!
So, what's new with you?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Back to Reality

This last month has been such a whirlwind! It was so nice to be with both sides of my family during that time. Now, it's time to get everything back in order and as usual, things have changed again as we are having a friend stay with us for a while.

This last month was huge for Matthew and his development! He's starting to eat real food and is much more mobile! He loves waffles, bananas, kix cereal, and will tolerate eggs. He tries to eat just about anything I give him, but he'll definitely let me know if he's not interested in something.

Matthew is now crawling short distances, rolling around, pushing up to sit on his own, and pulling up to stand when holding our hands. It's great to see him so mobile and he's definitely happier now that he can make his way around the room a little more and get what he wants. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before he's crawling after the cat!

The house is a mess and I'm working on a lot of laundry, picking up, and cleaning today, but I'm sure it will take a little while for it to be back to normal. Before we left to see my mom, we had five more people staying here which always makes things interesting, but they did a great job of picking up before they left which was super helpful.

Getting back to the daily grind is bittersweet, but Matthew is doing great! He's napping like a pro and sleeping well overnight (even if he does still wake up to eat 1-2 times per night...help!). He's been sleeping later than usual which is awesome and I feel a little more well rested because of it. We have a busy week ahead of us and the weather here has been hot and humid so that's always fun with my husband trying to be super frugal and not turning the air on unless I'm dying. But, overall I'm glad to be home and with my two favorite guys.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

What We've Been Up To Lately...



This past month has been a whirlwind! We traveled to Texas to visit my dad an his family, then they came and stayed at our house for a week, then we left the same day they did and went to California to visit my mom and her family. It's been a lot of traveling, but a lot of fun.

Matthew is doing great! He's had a couple of low-grade fevers, but nothing crazy and is still in pretty good spirits this time around. He's working on pulling up to stand and is so close to crawling that we're waiting for it to happen any day now. He loves going on walks in the evening and had his first trip to the aquarium.

Photo: My mom and Matthew at the Aquarium of the Pacific. He seriously loved it!

Phil is back at home keeping everything running there while Matthew and I are still visiting my mom for another week. He just loves seeing everyone and having so much to do out here so it's been a blast. I love being able to spend so much time with my family and seeing friends that I don't get to see very often, so this trip has been a huge blessing.

We have a lot on the schedule for the next week so I'm enjoying a rare day at the house to just hang out with my little man. It's always bittersweet being away from my husband, but I know we will be reunited soon enough.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Sitter #1

I posted a while back on why we hired a sitter and how important that was for us. After interviewing a few people and our #1 choice not being available until mid-May, we decided to try out someone on a trial basis. We discussed it and decided that giving her a shot as a back up sitter might be a good idea, so we set up a day and time for her to come over and hang out with Matthew while I was home.

Apparently, my child has his own agenda and did not take to her at all. Sure, he's going through some separation anxiety/stranger danger, but there are quite a few people he's totally comfortable with that he's never met. It was quite an interesting day to say the least and we have decided we won't be using her anymore.

Here's what NOT to do when it's your first day on the job babysitting.
  1. Arrive for the job late. Yes, I'm a stickler for time when it comes to you being paid to watch my child. You were late to the interview and I showed grace and gave you a second chance, but being late to the actual job? Umm, no.
  2. Not paying attention to the details. It's important not only to listen, but to ask questions and remember the important details such as where his food and formula is and how to change his cloth diaper.
  3. Bombarding him when he first wakes up. I'm pretty sure that when I mention he might need a little bit to get used to you, that is a hint to take your time when approaching him. Him screaming when you get in his face .2 seconds after he wakes up is not making him comfortable.
  4. Oversharing. Learning about your sitter and their issues will come over time, but knowing all about you within the first hour of having you over? That's a little much. Please make sure that you also leave out things that might make a parent feel uncomfortable before they really know you. Plus, it makes it seem like drama follows you everywhere.
  5. Admitting to calling the authorities on more than one family. Are you going to call the police or CPS on me? Yes, there are definitely warranted cases, but you are way too comfortable calling the authorities. See previous statement.
  6. Telling me you're fine with my child screaming and that it doesn't bother you, then telling me how patient I am with him. Yes, my child cries, a lot, but if it doesn't bother you, then you shouldn't really comment on how I'm patient and good with him when it's been 45 minutes of almost constant crying. It makes me think that you wouldn't be patient in this situation.
  7. Letting me know you need the money. I understand everyone has their own financial burdens, but this is inappropriate on your first day.

As you can see, we won't be asking this particular sitter back. I'm holding out hope that our first choice will be much better with him and that she will be a great summer sitter for us and will continue on her breaks from college. Being a previous caregiver myself, I try to really make it a priority to treat our sitters well and hope that they feel the same way.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Answers

Friday I took Matthew to the pediatrician once again to try and figure out why he's so gosh darn fussy. He hasn't been sleeping well or eating well on top of everything else and I knew something wasn't right. His ear had a little fluid in it two weeks ago and we were told to be on watch for an ear infection. Either way, I was hoping to find something out seeing how it has been almost 9 months of mostly fussy days.

You would never guess he was fussy!
 
What we found out was that Matthew's reflux is acting up again (I knew this), but that it was playing a large role in how he was feeling and acting. Because of how he was reacting to more acidic foods, it was making his reflux worse and his intestines are inflamed. Basically, his stomach feels full, sick, and bloated all the time and he's dealing with reflux on top of all of that! She explained that he's learned to cope with the reflux so it doesn't seem like it bothers him as much, but it's really uncomfortable for him still which makes him super fussy.
 
 
We were told to change his diet and only give him low acid foods and that we should see an improvement in the next 10-15 days. If we see a great improvement, then we can experiment with adding in some of the more acidic foods in small quantities, one at a time, for a few days each to see how he reacts. She also said that between 12-15 months old, he should be feeling much better on his own!

I'm so glad there's a light at the end of the tunnel and we're really praying that changing his diet will drastically help him. It was so nice to see how happy he was for 2 weeks, then the reflux started acting up again. He's been having such a hard time sleeping because of it and eating has been difficult too. There's been a lot of crying going on over here that will hopefully be over with soon!

Friday, May 2, 2014

When You Have a Fussy Baby

When you have a fussy baby you...
  • Are thrilled with happy days. Seriously, sometimes they are few and far between and you need those days to remind you that there's light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Feel like you're on pins and needles with each awake time not knowing if it will be a happy one or a fussy one.
  • Tend to feel alone while everyone is talking about their happy babies and how life is just the best ever!
  • Try 10 things over the course of 30 minutes to get them to be happy. Which usually ends up only working for a few seconds or minutes at that point.
  • Are exhausted by 7pm and seriously consider going to bed.
  • Feel thrilled, but guilty asking your mother in law to take the baby for a few hours just so you can get some things done.
  • Cry a lot. You cry because they cry, out of frustration, and because you're exhausted.
  • Are still thankful for the baby that you prayed for and have, but still pray for better days.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter 2014

Yesterday we celebrated our little man's first Easter. It was fun and exciting to read him the Easter story from his baby Bible the couple of days leading up to it and to explain to him what Easter is. I know he doesn't understand it yet, but I think it's important that we are consistent with sharing these things with him over the years.

We started the day off by taking Easter pictures. I had tried to get some earlier in the month, but we didn't have the right lighting. This one is my favorite.

 
He did a great job posing for the camera and giving us lots of awesome faces along the way. After his Easter pictures, we gave him his Easter basket and took some more.


He loved his Easter basket and all of the goodies that were inside of it. We had fun just sitting there watching him play with the eggs and all of his new stuff.

After our morning of fun, we went to church and he did such a good job in the nursery! Lately, it's been very touch and go and I would get called back every week, but not yesterday! This is the second time at this church he's done this so I think we might be trying it out again to see how he does a third time.

This year we decided to host Easter dinner at our house. In my husband's family, they don't do anything for Easter except for go to church and carry on with the rest of their day as usual. I find that odd so we had them over. It was stressful preparing for it, but was great once everyone was here and I had a little bit of wine!

We tried to finish off our evening with a walk around the neighborhood, but Matthew was not having it. He was super tired, but didn't want to nap so we decided that since bedtime would be approaching soon, we should go back home, give him a bath, and start his bedtime routine.

How did everyone else spend their Easter Sunday?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Up-Swing?!

Can I just brag on my kid for a few minutes? I mean, seriously, he has been such an amazing little boy for THREE days straight! Sure, he has moments of fussiness, but he has been able to play by himself and with us happily for long periods of time. It really feels like we might be having a breakthrough here!

Yesterday I even took him to the doctor to get his ears and teeth checked out. He was crying and fussing while eating a bottle and barely drank any formula yesterday. It was sad and all I could do was just try to give him more solids to help make his belly full. He was such a trooper though and was so good at the doctor's office.

We had to wait twenty minutes to be called back and he either sat on my lap or the chair next to me and smiled at other people and played. No fussing, no crying. It was monumental!

 
Then we had to wait another twenty minutes in the exam room for the doctor and he sat, played with the paper on the table, and entertained himself! I couldn't believe how awesome he was being. The best part was that he seriously had only napped 20 minutes a couple of hours before that so I knew he was tired. He just behaved so well.
 
It's been a rollercoaster with our little guy for his entire life so I'm really praying we're on the up-swing. He really is such a great kid and sweet boy and I want him to be happy and feel well. It's been a rough eight months, but our little man is having some really good days lately and I love it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why We Hired a Sitter

We've been looking for an occasional sitter for a few weeks now. Our teen sitter decided that she is more comfortable with 2-3 year olds and I completely understand. Babies are hard work. There's always something that needs to be done and they demand a lot of attention.

Growing up, I thought that stay-at-home moms had it easy. It seemed like they got to stay at home and play with their kids all day. After all, they love their kids so it seemed like a dream job. Then I nannied and realized how hard it is to not only watch after kids all day, but then to have other responsibilities on top of that: laundry, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping...you name it! Still I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.

I haven't kept it a secret that my little guy can be a little fussy. He's doing better, but with moving in our house 6 weeks ago and trying to take care of a little guy who demands a lot of attention, there hasn't been much extra time or energy to get all of the boxes in the basement unpacked. It's a bit overwhelming and on top of that, we have family coming to stay with us next month right after we're gone for a week! So, there's a lot to get done.

My in-laws have been super helpful with a number of things, but my mother-in-law would rather unpack us then watch the baby and that's where I really need the help. I'd love to be able to go through our things and make decisions about it without having another set of eyes.

The solution? Hiring someone.

We have hired an organizer to help with some things and she's wonderful. In addition, we just interviewed for an occasional sitter to help with our little guy. No guarantee of hours and the pay is very modest, but we found two people who we feel comfortable watching our little guy while I'm here unpacking. Plus, I'm looking to get back to sewing more and if I can get that up and running, then we may be able to have someone come more often as well.

I am also thrilled that I was able to talk to my mother-in-law and she agreed to take him once a week in the summer over to her house so I can get some sewing and things done uninterrupted! Hallelujah! Of course, the days and times will change weekly, but at least it's something and will help to cut the cost of needing a sitter more often.

We're so happy that we finally decided to go this route and can't wait to get Matthew acclimated with people other than Grandma, Mom, and Dad. Separation anxiety is real and any new person (including babies looking at him the "wrong way") makes him really upset.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Zippadee-Zip Review and Giveaway!

I've mentioned it quite a few times, but Matthew is a baby who loved to be swaddled. In fact, for the past 7 months, he needed to be swaddled in order to sleep. With him turning 7 months old there was one major problem...the swaddles were getting too small and he was busting out of them. I searched and searched on the internet for something that would help him to sleep unswaddled and there it was, the Zipadee-Zip (aka Zippy). I promptly ordered two and waited for it to come in the mail.

The Zipadee-Zip comes in three different materials (stretch cotton, stretch flannel, or fleece) and comes in so many cute prints. The Zippy is a safe swaddle transitioning product because it's safe for babies who roll from their back to their belly! It allows for babies to be able to move their arms, but their hands are encased in the Zippy which helps them feel secure and safe. It's also perfect for travelling and can be used safely in a car seat, stroller, or for baby wearing!

The makers of the Zipadee-Zip encourage their customers to try it when their baby is showing signs of readiness and to not give up if it doesn't work right away. For some people, it works great the first time, but for others (like us) it takes a while to get there.

We tried Matthew in the Zippy for naptimes first and realized he still wasn't ready for the freedom, but we kept trying and over the course of three weeks, he was getting upset being swaddled and wanted his arms free and we knew it was time to try again. Lo and behold, he slept unswaddled! Our baby who needed to be swaddled to even fall asleep was able to self-soothe by sucking on the ends of his Zippy and was out in a matter of minutes!

Over the course of two days with Matthew napping exclusively in the Zippy, he was able to sleep in it overnight! Instead of naptime and bedtime being filled with him screaming because we were trying to get him in his swaddle, he would calmly let us put him in his Zippy and would fall asleep with no crying. Another thing I love? It's super fast to put on and I don't have to wrangle him in!

We've using the Zippy now for 3 weeks and just ordered 2 more to have. He loves his Zippy and doesn't sleep well without it and I love that he now wakes up a lot happier!

 
Since I loved the product so much, I contacted Stephanie and she has graciously made it so that one of you will get to win a Zippy of your choice! You can also purchase one and use the coupon code SLEEP and get $2 off!
 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

So What Wednesday

SO WHAT if everything seems to be changing for our family. It's life and that's what happens, things constantly change!

If you know me, you know that I am constantly evaluating, learning, and trying to change things up so that they are more efficient, cost-effective, easier, or makes more sense. This week's big change was put into effect this morning. We're back to using cloth diapers!

I feel so spoiled using disposables for the past 6 months, but to be honest, we got a ton from Phil's dad and it was so much easier while we were living there to use disposables. My in-laws weren't too keen on changing a cloth diaper, although my mother-in-law will, it's just so much easier since they don't have to relearn anything...yet! I'm sure that will change today when we see her!

Admittedly, using cloth diapers was something I once loved, but now makes me nervous. We have a front-loading HE washing machine and I know that can present challenges with washing diapers, but that it can be done! My husband really wanted the front-loaders and so did I for all of the money saving (plus they look pretty cool!). I'm also a little nervous about this changing our schedule and being out. Disposables are easier while out and I'm sure I'll keep them in the bag for the church workers at least.

One thing is for sure that I love how colorful and fun cloth diapers look! They may make his bum a little bigger in pants (ok, a lot bigger), but they are more cost-effective and so cute!

Friday, March 28, 2014

What's Most Important

"The housework can wait. You're doing much more important work right now watching and taking care of your baby."
 
These are the words my mom spoke to me a week ago when we were having one of our daily talks. She may not be near by and able to come over to help, but she definitely knew what I needed to hear. Right now I'm backed up on laundry and unpacking. My kitchen island is full of papers and I have so many things to organize and put away it's not even funny. But, my little boy is healthy and learning new things all of the time.
 
He's eating solids three times per day and having a bottle every 3-4 hours. We've been working on giving him more tummy time and practicing sitting up more. They want me to work on putting toys to the side so he'll reach over and turn to play so we've been doing that too.
 
I still freak out sometimes because in my head I want things picked up, but I can only do so much. I'm not failing because the bigger picture is there and we're all doing well. My little man is growing so fast and I don't want to miss these times when he's little and still wants his momma. The day will come all too soon when he'll want to do everything on his own and not need me anymore. Until then, I will soak up these moments even on the rough days.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Evalutations

I've kept it a little quiet here on the blog, but Matthew was evaluated recently to help him hit his milestones. Everyone agrees that he's right on par with some things (i.e. sitting up), but he's still not doing some other things that are important. The specialists that we've seen are all in agreement that it's because of all of the trouble he had with his reflux and stomach early on and his intolerance of tummy time for months. Now that he's able to tolerate it more, he's doing much better!

Every two weeks the physical therapist will come out and play with Matthew and teach me new ways to practice his skills. We're currently working on getting him to play with toys and move around more. He can roll, but usually chooses not to. We'd like to see him explore his surroundings more and to get him rolling around and scooting around.

We have a great team on our side who isn't concerned and that makes me happier than ever. Early on there were so many things that came up and I was constantly stressed about one thing or another. It's nice to not be worried about any of those things anymore and to know that we're doing the right things to help him reach his milestones.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Staying at Home

I always knew that being a stay at home mom was a tough job. I nannied for five years and it was one of the best and hardest jobs I've had until now. Back then I could go home at the end of the night and I had someone else making all of the big decisions for the family. Now, that's my job and it's I have to admit it's a lot to handle.

I love my job though. Sure, we have incredibly long days and nights, but at the end of the day I'm shaping this little boy into someone special. He looks up to me and his dad to love and teach him what he needs to learn. He may be a little spoiled being the first and only child we have, but he's a sweet little man.

Last night was rough and more often than not, he ends up in our bed in the early mornings with me while his daddy is at work. For some reason he wakes up so much more when I get up with him in the middle of the night and it's frustrating, but I get baby snuggles in the morning and I love that.

We're working on a new normal here and that's still tough with unpacking and constantly running to the store to get things, but we're making it work and he's been pretty good throughout this whole process.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Moving In

I've been a little busy lately. Unpacking with a 7 month old is a little difficult, but I love our new house and how it is starting to feel like our home. Living with my in-laws for a little over a year was definitely not idea, but it put us in the position to own our home and for that, I'm grateful.

We're still trying to get into a routine with our little guy, so for now we're rolling with the punches and loving that he's ours. Every day is different and that's ok.

There have been some positive changes with living here! My husband is home an average of 30 minutes earlier and is coming home early on Fridays starting tomorrow! He's also signed up to be able to work from home and we're hoping that he'll be able to start that once every two weeks as of next week. This means he would be off work that day at 2:30pm and be here to spend more time with me and Matthew.

I love that this new house (and the location) has given us new opportunities to be together more. With his commute being so long, it's nice to have more time together and Matthew lights up when his daddy walks through the door. It's seriously so cute!

We're all adjusting here nicely and constantly running to the store, unpacking, or cleaning up around the house. We're very blessed.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Operation Ditch the Swaddle Update

We tried going swaddle-free for the first day (naps only) and he slept for 20 minutes each time. Now, 20 minutes is better than not falling asleep, but he would wake up happy and exhausted all at the same time, which meant tons of crankiness. By the third nap that day, he was back in the swaddle.

The next day we tried the first nap swaddle-free again and the same thing occurred. Not awesome. The rest of the day he was swaddled for naps so that was super fun, but he's getting so big that he can barely fit into them. I might seriously have to rig a sleep sack and sew swaddle wings for him to still have one!

At this point, we need to continue to unpack and our little guy needs to be well-rested. I guess we're going to keep swaddling and try again in another week or two.

Here's hoping that we can make these darn things fit until he's ready to nap swaddle-free!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Operation Ditch the Swaddle Part 1

Matthew is just a few days shy of 7 months old and has started breaking out of the swaddle...again. He loves the feeling of being secure, but he's getting too big for the darn thing and is almost rolling over at night while he's wearing it.

I've tried to transition him before with no success (he would cry indefinitely until he was swaddled) so I'm really hoping that he's ready this time. They don't make swaddles bigger than this and it would be so nice to not have to swaddle him for every nap and at bed time.

We've decided to start with naps and see how that goes, then transition him at night. We're trying something called the Zipadee-Zip and it's so much easier to put on! He seems to like it more than the Baby Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit (which worked, but he was too big for the small and too small for the large) and it's safe for him to roll onto his belly if he chooses to do so.

I can't wait to ditch the swaddle and have him sleep well again. We figured with the move and transition to a new house, it's the perfect time to get him transitioned and ready to go.

Any one have any tips on how to transition from the swaddle?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Our New House

I've been a little more M.I.A over here lately (not that I end up posting too much as of late) and it's because I've been super busy with our new house!


We closed the day after our anniversary (what a great gift!) and we went straight to painting for two days and my mother-in-law did a lot of cleaning. Our house was pretty much move-in-ready (for the most part), but as with all houses we have already had some unexpected costs.

Our storage locker that held most of our belongings for the past 15 months was an outside unit, so with the weather out here, a ton of our belongings were so molded we had to throw them away. We still have plenty of things and have been blessed with Phil's family that has offered us some extra furnishings to get by until we choose to upgrade them. We've had to be a little creative with seating since we currently have no couch or dining room table so we've been working with two bar stools, the recliner in Matthew's room, and an Ikea Poang chair without the cover (since that was molded).

We've also chosen to replace the appliances and the toilet in the hallway bathroom. The dishwasher was unsalvageable due to the lack of upkeep and was so disgusting. The washer was able to be cleaned, but left the clothes really wet after the extra spin cycle, and the dryer was a fire-hazard with the lint caked in under the trap, the bearings going out, and the smell of something burning when running. We also got an upright freezer for the basement for extra food storage and that makes me one happy girl!

Even though we've had unexpected costs (thank you, Lord for our tax return!), we're still very happy with our new place. We have a lot of furnishing to do over time, but I'm so glad to be able to raise my son here and have a place for our little family to call our own.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

6 Months!

Matthew turned 6 months old on the 9th, but we didn't have our doctor's appointment until last week. Since turning 6 months old, he definitely has started to slowly become happier!

 
 
Weight: 16 lbs 1oz (19th%)
 
Height: 26.81" long (53rd %)
 
Sleeps: 3 naps per day and 11ish hours at night with an average of one wake up to eat.
 
Likes:
-Playing in his exersaucer
-His swing
-Jumping in his jumperoo
-Sitting up (for brief moments unassisted, otherwise supported)
-Squash
-Being tickled
-Being upside down
-Lifted up like an airlane
-Kisses on his cheeks
-"Boo!"
-Saying "a-mom" when he's upset and wants his Momma
-His paci
-Being out and about and looking at new things
 
Dislikes:
-Tummy time
-Peas
-Grandma when he's really upset (must.have.momma!)
-Napping well (at the moment)
-Doing the same thing for too long
 
Matthew is awake for about 2 hours or so and tends to need a nap. He's a very active little guy who has started sitting on his own for a few seconds! He is reaching and grabbing for toys and is exploding with new skills weekly! We started solids this month and he's tried squash, bananas, pears, peas, and carrots. He is eating anywhere from 3-5 oz of formula every 3-4 hours. He is getting to be much more vocal and must have his hands in his mouth! In fact, he's really started sucking his thumb lately and we think it's the cutest!
 
Our little man definitely has a personality and will let you know if he likes or dislikes something. He surprises us all the time with what he can do now. He's still a skinny little guy and is keeping up with his height so we're thrilled that (so far) he's taking after his daddy in that regard.
 
He's going to the sitter today for the first time and I'm hoping to make it a regular (monthly?) thing for him to hang out with her and that it will be a good long-term thing for him.
 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

So What Wednesday

SO WHAT if I parent so much differently than I thought I would. We do what works for us. Matthew defies all of my expertise so things are constantly changing around here to make things work.

  • Tummy time is a rare occasion that I'm trying to make more frequent. Seriously, my kid screams bloody murder after a few minutes and will not calm down at all. So, we do it infrequently and are working on it. Yes, he can roll from belly to back, he just chooses not to.
  • We're not on a schedule. He changes it up daily and I'm really hoping with the new house it will fall into place a little more.
  • We rarely let him cry-it-out. This is mainly because he's swaddled and overheats if he screams too long and once he gets to a certain point, he does not calm down and it makes it so much harder to get him to go to sleep.
  • We feed him solids sporadically. I wanted to do baby led weaning, but he doesn't bring things (other than his hands) to his mouth so that's not working. We're hoping to try that later, but for now, purees once per day-ish is fine.
  • We're not cloth diapering...yet. We had a brief stint and I loved it, but my father-in-law keeps buying us disposables so that's fine. We buy some too and I figure when we're in the house, we can figure it out from there.
  • Sometimes I co-sleep for naps. If he's on his second nap of the day and is fighting it, we snuggle up and we both love it. Yesterday he slept for another two hours snuggled up with me and it was wonderful.
As a parent, my job is to do what works best for my family and right now that's changing a lot, but we work with what we've got. Our little man is opinionated and just like his momma...a little sensitive sometimes and that's ok. He needs a little more attention and enough going on to keep him busy and he's good to go.

I love learning new things about him and his developing personality and I'm being stretched in a good way by being his mom. Some days are challenging, but we're moving forward and every awake time is a new opportunity.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Holding Him Close

Today I am holding my baby a little tighter. I'm not mad that he woke up to eat twice last night or that he screams at me when I change his diaper because of his diaper rash. I'm just happy he's with me.

Hearing the news about Harper Young yesterday gave me a lot to think about. I've been following Lora since before her pregnancy and was praying so hard for her, Harper, and their family. I really get attached to fellow bloggers in a way that makes you hurt for them and feels like you have friends all over the world that you've never met.

So many things have happened in the past year or two that is really changing my way of thinking and reacting. When Matthew got up last night, I changed him, fed him, and just held him and prayed. I was tired, but he's my baby and he's here and that's all that matters.

Today has been filled with emotions and my husband even wanted to read their story. We believe in the power of prayer and believe in miracles. Our baby is our miracle given to us and we are not taking that for granted for one second.

If you would like to donate to the Young Family, there is a fundraiser going on. Click the link and you will be taken to the page to donate. https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/7hWRe/tw/12rVH6

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day around here is usually pretty low-key. I don't ask for anything and since our little guy is just a baby, we didn't get him anything this year either. I was hoping for my husband to have another snow day today, but the government was open on a 2 hour delay so off to work he went!

So far, our special day has consisted of a visit to the doctor and a trip to Target. My husband has my wallet so my mother-in-law had to accompany me. Matthew did get something...a diaper rash that turned into a yeast infection/rash and some prescription cream that will hopefully do the trick!

I don't have a super cute picture of Matthew wearing red or hearts or anything, mainly because he's been a fuss-bucket the past two days due to a stomach bug he has. Yes, it would be super cute to have one day, but I'm not so sure he's in the mood for a photo shoot.

I'm pushing to go out to eat either today or tomorrow, but either way, we'll be celebrating it more low-key this year. Hopefully next year will be a little less eventful!

 
Here he was this morning when he woke up happy and ready to play! Hopefully this afternoon and evening will be just as happy :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Processed

With only being a couple of weeks away from the settlement on our house, I've really been thinking about what things we should be changing. It's no secret that my in-laws and I do things a tad bit differently and that's been a source of contention at times.

One of the things I was really moving towards when we lived in our apartment was to eat less processed foods. Now, don't get me wrong, I love me some boxed muffins and stuff, but there are so many things out there that are full of unnecessary chemicals and preservatives and it really bothers me. As with anything, it's all about finding and creating a balance.

I love food, but I've noticed that I'm sensitive to a lot of things which makes it very difficult. I'm even allergic to sweet-n-low and try to avoid sweeteners in most things. Some days I have a dairy sensitivity and I can get a stomach ache with so many foods. It's annoying really and it makes me want to change the way I'm eating.

I'm excited to say that I've looked into getting low-pasteurized, hormone and antibiotic free milk! It seriously makes me SO excited to try. Of course, it's more expensive, but I figure that I can work it into the budget if it really makes a difference in the way I feel.

I'm tired of always feeling bad and I've been eating clean for a couple of weeks now so that's helped. I'm not sensitive to grains, but know that whole grains are healthier in general and I want to try to make my own bread again...just so I know exactly what's going in to our food.

I've chosen to make Matthew's baby food so that he has the same benefits as well. I'm slowly working towards getting some organic veggies into his diet and for some foods we have chosen to purchase organic purees or jarred food because they are grown in a controlled environment and is supposed to be safer (root vegetables?).

Either way, adopting a healthier lifestyle will benefit us all and I can't wait to teach Matthew how to have a healthy relationship with food!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Days Are Long...

"The days are long, but the years are short."
 
 
That's the quote that keeps running through my mind lately as my now six month old little boy is challenging me to my core. He is such a joy, but let's be honest, some days he's a hot mess!
 
With Matthew getting older, he's learning that he can play and not sleep which is...awesome. I'm sure you can sense my sarcasm, but really though, he will be exhausted and will fight his naps with everything he's got. It's becoming a battle in the late afternoons around here as he cries while he's awake and screams when you try to put him down for a nap.
 
I'm trying to remember that he's only little once and this is just a phase. I'm getting better at that. When he fights his naps or bedtime, I find myself going to him, rocking him, holding him, and telling him how much he's loved. I know he doesn't understand my words now, but he can understand that I'm choosing to be with him and comfort him in those moments.
 
Just when I get frustrated or annoyed with him not sleeping, he looks at me with his sweet, blue eyes and smiles and I melt...just for a moment, and realize that it's all worth it.
 


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

House Update

We have some great news! Since my last post explaining about our current reality with my husband working long days and our offer not being accepted, things have definitely turned around! Yes, my husband still works long days (and that will probably always be the case, but his job is definitely worth it) and we're still with the in-laws, but the house that we wanted and didn't get...the buyer fell through and we were able to re-submit our offer and they accepted it!

We currently have a contract on the house and should be settling at the end of the month! Yes, in less than 30 days (if we're on time with closing), we will be homeowners! Things around here have been a bit crazy with getting everything done, but we are SO thankful this is working out in our favor.

We've been busy with inspections, the lender, insurance agent, getting out of the short sale contract (which we still haven't heard anything from the bank and they have four days to make a decision), and looking at paint swatches and furniture. We're currently waiting to hear back from the sellers to see if they will repair what we requested and should hear back today.


I've been happily putting paint swatches up and running around to Ikea and really beginning to think about what we need and what we want in the new house to really make it ours. We're both looking forward to getting our furniture out of storage and not having enough to furnish the house! I will have a sewing room and that makes me beyond happy.

So far things are looking good to close on time, but that's all out of our hands. The sellers have moved out already so we're just waiting to have everything settled with the loan and repairs, then we're set to go!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sleep

We are falling into our new routine over here and trying to figure out our new normal...just in time to move and have to get into a new routine again. I used to have Matthew on a schedule and loved it. It was pretty flexible and it was nice to know when he would be eating each day and napping, but then his naps and overnight sleeping became irregular with the 4 month sleep regression. Here we are, a month and a half later, and we're still trying to figure this whole thing out again!

He's up most times about two hours and needs a nap. He takes one long nap (2-3 hours), one short 45 minute nap, and if we're lucky one more short nap. He needs and should be at 3 naps per day, but fights the last nap with a vengeance, but is super tired and cranky if he doesn't sleep.

We still have him swaddled because he still startles in his sleep and wakes up crying. It would be so much easier to not swaddle him, but that's what he needs for now and that's ok. The only problem is that he's getting too long for his swaddles and they don't make the next size up!

After a lot of research and recommendation from a friend, I looked further into the Baby Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit and that's what we're going to try. I'm excited to have another alternative and really hoping this works out well for all of us since he was sleeping 8 hour stretches, but has been on a 5 hour stretch followed by a 6 our stretch and that leaves me exhausted.

Here's hoping for a better night's sleep soon!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Reality

My husband works long days. Typically, he's waking up at 3:30am, leaving for work by 4:10am, starting work around 6:30am, and not getting home until 5:45pm...if traffic is decent. Of course, this means long days at home for me with the baby and my mother-in-law. Once he gets home, we have dinner and we take turns entertaining Matthew until his bedtime routine starts between 7-7:30pm. After that, my husband gets ready for bed and I feel like I don't really see him until we go to bed.

Lately I feel like I miss my husband and our family...just us. I love snow days because he's home, but we live with my in-laws and that means that it's not just us. I relish the times where we get a few minutes together that's uninterrupted. No chores, no phones, the baby sleeping. I need more of those times.

We put in an offer on another house and our offer wasn't chosen. They asked if we wanted to be the back up offer in case the other people's contract falls through and we said yes, but that means we're still on the hunt for the right house. The bank is still "reviewing" the contract on the short sale and hasn't even done an appraisal to decide if they can accept our offer so we feel stuck at the current moment. The market here is super competitive in our price range and if a standard sale is priced well and in good condition, it is under contract within 5 days and there are multiple offers on the table.

For now, we wait and keep searching and praying for the right house to come along and take some time together as little as that may be.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Word of the Year

So many people have done their "word of the year" posts recently and I really thought that I didn't have a word for this year, but then it hit me...

grace
 
I have always wanted to have more grace in many situations and this year I feel like I need more than ever. I have been practicing grace almost daily and with house hunting, it has been no different.
 
Usually, I am a hot mess of emotions and cry at the drop of the hat and instead, I have found myself praying and taking a step back (without tears) and finding peace. I have been given the opportunity to practice grace lately and I'm doing ok with it. Of course, disappointment is never easy, but I'm learning that I don't have to be super anxious or upset about every.single.thing anymore. I'm learning to let go and let God in some of the smaller situations and bigger ones too.
 
It's a learning process and I'm definitely not perfect every time I'm faced with something that's difficult or less than ideal, but I'm getting better each time and that's what matters most.

Monday, January 20, 2014

"The Talk"

Things over here have been awesome the past few days and that's because my husband had "the talk" with my in-laws. It's been a long time coming, but something that desperately needed to be done. It was awkward and feelings were unintentionally hurt, but now we're at a much better place.

It's nice to feel like we can breathe again and really focus on the new adventure of buying a house without feeling like we need to be out yesterday. My mother-in-law is open to me telling her when something is bothering me and we are able to go out with them and really enjoy the time together.

It's been a much needed change around here and I'm glad we are establishing boundaries. It's always hard to live in someone else's house and be grateful, but try not to step on anyone's toes in the meantime.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What We Want (In a House)

House hunting can be fun, but daunting at the same time. You save a lot of money to have a down payment and/or closing costs and spend a good chunk of it quickly. We've been looking on and off for about a year now and still don't have a house. Since last year we've expanded our budget and added a new location that should make it easier to find a house, yet we're still having a little bit of trouble.

Here's our MUST have list...
  1. 3 Bedrooms and 1.5+ baths. This way we would be able to have a second child and not have to move if we had a girl or the second bedroom was too small.
  2. Parking. We need to be able to park our cars in a designated area whether that's assigned parking, a garage, or driveway.
  3. It must be decent. We can get over some cosmetic things and work with it, but if it's a major issue, then we're really not interested.
  4. A yard. Doesn't have to be huge, but enough that our little guy can play safely when he's a little bigger.
  5. A good location for my husband's commute. It also must be safe. Since he takes the train in, this is important.
  6. Adequate storage. Just enough so that we wouldn't have to throw everything away or rent a storage locker.
Things that would be nice to have, but not a must have...
  1. A garage.
  2. Basement.
  3. Attic.
  4. A neighborhood with sidewalks (which is rare around here).
Overall, we're just looking for something that is comfortable and would work for our family. We're looking at more houses tonight and this weekend so I guess we'll see!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday Randoms

~It's Tuesday and I have to shockingly admit that my child slept through the night! He went to sleep after his bedtime bottle and routine at 8pm and didn't wake up until 6:30am! On top of that, he went back to sleep and is still sleeping so I'm really hoping that today is going to be a good day.

~Yesterday we put in an offer on the house we saw this weekend that we liked, but now the websites are saying that they are having an open house this Saturday. I'm not sure if it was previously scheduled or not, but it makes me a little nervous. Hopefully we'll hear back soon and can negotiate the price and get a contract on the house before Saturday. Of course, the house has been on the market since July and is overpriced compared to the comps so we're really hoping they'll come down and accept our offer.

~I went to the gym yesterday and only hated it a little bit. The treadmill is not my friend since my calves get super tight when I'm on it so I did the elliptical as well and that was much better. I'm trying to go three times per week to start so we'll see how that works out. Of course I'm itching to go today, but don't know if I want to get out of the house. Laziness, I tell you!

~I signed up for Emeals again and I'm very glad that I did. I used it back when we lived in our apartment for a while (before it was popular and had a ton of options) and I really liked the recipes. I love that it has changed so much and even allows you to change your plan as often as needed unlike before where it was limited.

~Since being spoiled with disposables thanks to my father-in-law, we used cloth diapers for a day to see if it would help Matthew's horrible diaper rash, and I have to admit that it's much harder this time around. Maybe it's because his waist is so skinny and his legs are getting some chunk on the thighs, but I think they will fit a little better when he's a little bigger. I still plan on using them when we move out since diapers cost a lot, so we'll see how that all ends up working out.

~I've been spending more time in our bedroom when Matthew is sleeping again. I just need the quiet sometimes. I'm hoping that we can get into a house quickly so that I can feel more like myself again.

Monday, January 13, 2014

House Update

This weekend we had a choice to make. With the "pending" contract on a house (that is a short sale) that we have heard nothing about since the bank has to review our offer, we decided that we need to look at more options. The bank still has 30 days to make a decision before we have to forfeit the contract and start over with looking for houses or file an extension to keep our offer on the table. Seeing as things have been a little more difficult lately, we decided to be proactive in our approach and went to look at more houses!

Saturday, we saw four different houses. The first two I couldn't even make work if I tried, the third house was ok, but not what I would be comfortable with, but the last house was by far the best of what we've seen so far. When you walked in, it felt like home.

Now we are in a position where the house is a little more than what we would like to spend, but should be do-able if they won't negotiate, but we still have a contract on a house. Our realtor is going to see how negotiable the sellers of the new house are and pull up some comparables to see what we should offer as well as see if we can pull the contract on the other house. Of course, this means that we could lose our "good faith deposit", but honestly, we're ok with that. We went in with good intentions and it's not the seller's fault at all. We just want what's best for our family.

We should hear back from our realtor soon and hopefully she is able to give us some guidelines with what we should offer if that's what we choose to do. If this house doesn't work out, then that's ok too. Our main goal is to find a house that works for us and we can afford. We believe that there is no one house that is the end all be all to what we would be happy with so we just need to find the right one God has for us (and hopefully soon!).

Sunday, January 12, 2014

So Much Better

This morning was just what I needed. My husband took overnight duty with the baby and let me sleep in! When I woke up, my in-laws were already out of the house for church and my husband was getting ready to leave to go to church as well. Last night we made the decision that I would stay home with Matthew today. He has a horrible diaper rash and has been out of his normal routine a lot lately, so I wanted to work on both of those things.

We decided that while his diaper rash is bad, we would bust out our cloth diaper stash we have and try it on him. Since cloth diapers can help keep diaper rash away, we figured that it might help for him to have less chemicals on his bum with it being so irritated. I have to admit that I miss him in his colorful cloth diapers so I'm not too sad about the switch. I'm sure that once his diaper rash is gone, we'll be using more disposables again since his grandpa buys them for us since he doesn't want to change a cloth diaper!

This morning has been so great. I fed Matthew and was able to give him a little bit of diaper-free time while I changed his diaper this morning. He even played in his activity saucer for at least 20 minutes happily while I made cookies and talked to his Aunt Boo! Once he let me know he was done in that, I put him in his swing and he stayed there happily for a while too. By the time he started fussing, it was nap time. I swaddled him (which he hates the process, but loves the end result) and put him down for his nap.

I have the dishwasher and washing machine going and have stuffed diapers in the mean time. It's mornings like this that remind me that it's going to be ok and it's all worth it in the end. We are going to have a house and I will feel like I can breathe.

At the moment, I'm waiting for my husband to get home so we can eat lunch together and hang out around the house. My in-laws are only around for a little while on Sunday afternoons and come back a little before dinner so it's a nice break.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

High Maintenance

Hi, my name is Kate, and I have a high maintenance (high needs) baby.

So many times I'm reading other mom's blog, twitter, and IG posts and see that they are writing that they have a happy, content baby. And you know what, that makes me happy. Everyone wants to have that baby who is easily entertained and you can go throughout your day with minimal fussiness. But, you know what? That's not the case over here.

Don't get me wrong, I love my little guy and he is super cute and sleeps a lot, but he's honestly a fuss bucket most days. Here's how a day around here goes:

7:30-8am- Wake up. He's happy (Praise Jesus!). Change diaper, unswaddle, and get bottle ready.

8am-ish- Feed baby. Pray that he doesn't fuss or cry while feeding. Oh wait, he usually does. Fight  him trying to get him to eat 4 ounces and keep going back to feeding him until there's 1 ounce or less left in his bottle.

8:30-9ish- Play time. Talk to him, put him in the activity saucer, make funny faces and sounds to get him to smile and stop fussing, take him out and help him sit and stand up, carry him around and show him things around the house, baby wear if necessary, attempt tummy time, pick up the paci 500 times as he spits it out on the floor, get a new paci, put fussy baby in the swing and turn on the mobile, turn on tv if desperate.



9/9:30am- 10:30/11am- Nap time.

1130/12ish- Wake up, unswaddle, make bottle, and feed baby. Rinse and repeat previous awake time and nap time schedule in 4 hour blocks until bedtime.

7/7:30pm- Bath time. His favorite time of the day. Followed by a night time bottle, book, prayer, and bedtime.



I do have to admit that his afternoon feedings get better throughout the day most days, but it seems like so many times we have good eating days and bad eating days where he screams at most feedings one day and for a few days he's fine with eating.

Our little man is definitely opinionated and must be entertained most of the time. When people hold him and he gets fussy, I'm constantly asked what to do to get him to stop and I tell them that I just try five different holds and pray that one works. He's super active and loves to be moving and wiggling around.

I have been told by a couple of people now that their babies were the same way and that around 5-6 months, they really had a turn around and ended up being happy babies. The pediatrician also noticed that he needs a lot of stimulation and movement to be happy and she said that although that's exhausting, that it's a good thing that he's so interested and alert. My mom said I was the same way so I guess it's genetic?!

I may not have the easiest baby on the block, but he's mine and I love him all the same.