April 30, 2013

this and that

::  I've sat down and started a 'this and that' post three or four times over the last couple of weeks.  But by the next time I get to it the stuff doesn't seem relevant anymore, so finally I just deleted everything and I'm going to try and crank out a semi pointless post before one of the girls wakes up.  (Totally just jinxed myself.  Fist pump for dual naps!)

::  We've nearly reach the end of five weeks of hell in regards to Chris's schedule.  Their new rotation starts next month, and after a 24 hour shift this weekend we should be seeing lots more daddy.  I can't wait.  I literally have not slept in the same bed as him except maybe, um, 3 nights this month?  I wish I was joking.  The good news?  Ryann has been having the time of her life this month.  She loves being at Grammy & Papa's, and in Georgia, and having a million awesome things to do.  Mom & Dad?  Thank you so freaking much.  I would never have survived this month without you.  At least not without losing my cool a little more often.  You are the best.  Seriously.


::  Random, but I wanted to post the pictures.  Elsie has outgrown one of my favorite sleep gowns, so I had to take a few shots of her in it.  I ordered it off etsy from this seller.  She looked so cute in it, and I thought it was really well made.


::  Thanks so much for all the birthday love yesterday.  Between the blog, facebook, instagram, texts and just my family, the outpouring of warm fuzzies was overwhelming :o).  You all really know how to make a girl feel special.  And again, a huge thanks to my mom for putting up with my crap, and spending all afternoon in the kitchen making me yummy things.

My day started with a 4+ mile run, some yummy breakfast, a shower (always awesome) and a trip to the mall.  Then after I had nursed Elsie in the afternoon my mom whipped up some raspberry margaritas, guacamole, fajitas and a dairy free chocolate cake (yes I will share a recipe!).  I definitely enjoyed my cheat day, and had an awesome birthday.


::  The weather in Kansas (and much of the midwest) is so bipolar right now.  It kind of pisses me off.  A lot.  We get a couple of good days which gets me all excited to spend afternoons outdoors (minus the part where Elsie HATES being outside) and then stupid Mother Nature goes and dumps some more snow on us.  No, nothing has been really sticking, but seriously?


::  Lastly, like I mentioned I am about to the end of my schedule for the 'day in the life' series.  If you would like to participate in the series, please leave your blog name, blog web address and e-mail in the comments section of this post and I will set up a new schedule!

::  And a couple more cute pictures of Elsie.  Because she's cute.  Duh.

hello cheekers :o)

April 29, 2013

it's my birthday...

... and I'll run if I want to.

No seriously.  Today is my birthday, and I told my mom I didn't really want anything, other than to be able to run AND take a shower and get ready.  Well, then I requested guacamole, margaritas and a dairy free chocolate cake, but seriously, nothing too crazy right?

I just got Elsie back to sleep, so now I'm trying to pump, type a blog post and go for a run all before she wakes back up.  We will see if that happens.  Good news is she did me a solid and slept from 9:15pm - 5:15am.  Not a bad birthday present at all.

This week was lacking in the number of workouts, I only managed three.  A two mile run on Monday, and tabata/strength workouts on Tuesday and Sunday.  I wish I would have gotten at least one more run, but I will say those tabata workouts left me feeling sore!  I loosely followed this one and this one I found on pinterest.  I followed them up with a few more strength moves.  It felt good to be sore for a change an I liked how quickly I could do the workouts.

I'm proud to say I have gone two full weeks without any sweets or chocolate.  I am quite impressed with myself.  I can't say I haven't been tempted, or that I don't want them, but I've done it.  I haven't be 100% about not eating processed foods, but I've done pretty good with that as well.  But you better believe I am cheating today.  What more would a birthday be for right?  Oh I did manage to meet my other goal this week by trying a new vegetable.  For dinner Friday night one of our side dishes was mashed calliflower and turnips.  It tasted pretty good, but the texture was a little too creamy.


Well, that is all I'm leaving time for today.  Fill me in on how your health and fitness adventures have been going!  Link up below :o).

April 24, 2013

a day in the life - allie

There must be something about Tuesdays.  Wasn't it just last Tuesday that Elsie was a mess, and then slept great for me?  Yesterday she barely napped at all, I was all stressed about it, and then she slept from 9pm to 4am.  And went back to sleep.  Oh life.

Here is another installment of a day in the life for you.  I've only got two more posts lined up after this one, so if you're interested in participating in the series, be on the look out for a call for volunteers in the next couple of days.  For today though, meet Allie!


Hi! My name is Allie, and I blog over at Mom, Dad & Brad. My blog is also known as the Former Fat Bride, but I am having a bit of a blogging identity crisis as I've recently become a new mom to a 4 month old baby boy named Bradley! I blog about my postpartum weight loss journey, supporting my husband as he applies to medical school, and living as a happy & healthy family of 3. Our 'day in the life' is busy, fun, and full of love.

I am a full-time working mom, working Tuesday-Friday. My husband, Jordan, works in an Emergency Room, third shift. Some days I wonder how we manage our conflicting schedules, but we seem to always make it work :)

Here is our Saturday, April 20, 2012:
8:00am: I hear Bradley stirring next to me (co-sleeping). He is not quite awake yet, but I know he will be up soon..and hungry! I am pretty engorged so I pump 12oz of breast milk with an electric pump. Bradley is exclusively breast fed, but through a bottle. It's been working for us.

8:30am: I feed Bradley a 4oz bottle and hear Jordan just getting home from an overnight shift. I remember that I have a 10am 2 mile run scheduled with my dad. When Jordan gets inside I pass the baby off to him so I can hop in the shower.

9:00am: Bradley and Daddy are playing while I finish up getting ready for the day. I put on my "mom makeup" (ie. mascara) and make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I blow dry my hair halfway and throw it into a pony-tail.

9:30am: Jordan is getting Bradley changed and dressed for the day while I pack our bags and get dressed in my "running attire." I throw a protein bar in my purse and we are ready to head out the door by about 9:50am. Jordan will be sleeping during the time we are gone, it will be his "night time."

10:15am: We arrive at my parent's house..a little late, but no big deal. My mom (Mimi) is going to watch Bradley while my dad and I head out for our run.

11:00am: My dad and I complete our 2 mile run in training for our 5k and return back to their house. I notice my mom and Bradley are gone and realize that they went on a walk of their own. I take this time to put together a meal plan for the week. We need to go grocery shopping today as well.

11:30am: My mom and Bradley get back from their walk and I see that my mother has put a KSU bib on my baby! Shame, shame. She'll put purple on him any chance she can :)

Noon: I take advantage of the time that Bradley is napping to pump him another bottle, 6oz.

12:30pm: Bradley is awake and ready to eat! I give him his bottle and he is happy once again. My parents play with him and he shows off his newest skill..rolling from back to front!

2:00pm: We pack up and leave my parent's house, a little later than I intended, but that's okay! It is always nice to catch up with them. We head to Target to return 2 shirts that didn't fit me and pick up the grocery items needed for this week's meal plan.

2:30pm: We arrive at Target and I realize I have not eaten lunch! Bradley has fallen asleep on our drive (always) so I decide to head to the nearby Subway for lunch. Bradley sleeps the whole time I eat my sandwich, but it awake during our Target trip!

3:00-3:30pm: I try to make it quick in Target just in case he starts to get fussy, but he was perfectly fine the entire trip. He was super smiley during check out, and just overall very happy during our trip! I'm impressed.

4:15pm: We arrive home. Bradley had fallen asleep on our drive home (again) so he naps in his car seat while I put away the groceries and tidy up the kitchen and living room. Nothing too exciting.

4:45pm: Jordan is waking up for the day. Third shift is tricky, I never quite know when he's going to wake up. During this time I pump another bottle, 4oz, and feed that to him when he wakes up.

5:00pm-5:45pm: We sit in Bradley's nursery with him on the floor, playing. Bradley is really getting this whole rolling over thing down pat. Jordan and I talk about the day and just random things. We decide we are both too tired from the week to cook anything for dinner so we are going out to eat for the night! We try to only eat out once a week, so this is a treat :)

6:30pm-7:00pm: We chose to go to dinner at Chipotle. Bradley sits on Jordan's lap the entire time and is a very attentive to our eating. I also feed him a bottle while we're there.

7:20pm: We return home. Jordan entertains Bradley while I check my online class. Nothing new there so I join them. We sit around the living room and play some more. I also fold a basket of laundry that has been waiting for me.

8:00pm: I pump Bradley's night time bottle, 6oz and get him changed and in his pajamas. Jordan starts getting ready for work and I get Bradley down to sleep for the night.

8:30-9:15pm: Bradley is asleep so I decide to check facebook, instagram and my email! It feels nice to change into pajamas and unwind before I head off to bed myself.

9:30pm: I brush my teeth and crawl into bed, next to Bradley. Jordan has left for his 10pm shift at the hospital so that it my cue to fall asleep too!

-What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom?
I am surprised at how natural my motherly instinct has kicked in! It was like I was always made to be his mom! It's been a great feeling.
-What advice would you give to new or soon-to-be mamas?
I would advise to not have too many expectations. Every baby is different, and plenty of people will give you advice..just do what works for you and your family!
-What are your top three baby products?
Medela electric breast pump, Playtex drop-in bottles, Aprica travel system

Thanks for checking out my 'day in the life' and thanks again to Ashley for hosting!


Thanks for sharing with us Allie!

April 23, 2013

that's what she said

Grammy:  "Please don't touch that.  Don't push the buttons." talking about her house phone
Ryann:  "Why?"
Grammy:  "Because it is for making phone calls.  You don't need to call anyone."
Ryann:  "Yes I do!"
Me:  "Who do you need to call?"
Ryann:  "Brennan."
Me:  "Brennan?  Why?"
Ryann:  "Cause he's my boyfriend.  And when I'm older and he's older were going to get married in the kazoo."
Me:  "Kazoo?  What the heck are you talking about?"
Ryann:  "The KAZOO!  IN GEORGIA!"
Me:  "What?"
Grammy:  "Oh you mean the gazebo?"
Ryann:  "Yeah, the gazebo.  We're gonna get married in the gazebo."

Ryann:  at the breakfast table  "You win!"
Me:  "What?  Why do I win?"
Ryann:  "you ate all your breakfast!  Hooray!  Oh man!  The timer already went off.  You win.  Now I can't eat my breakfast anymore."
Me:  "What timer?  You can keep eating.  You don't have to be done just because I'm finished."
Ryann:  "No the timer went off.  I can't eat anymore.  When it's 10:20 we have to be all done."
Me:  "What are you talking about?  There isn't any timer, it's 8:00.  You really can keep eating your breakfast honey."
Ryann:  "NO!  I can't!  The timer went off!  Well maybe just a little bit.  But when it's one hundred fifty-two one one one one one I have to be done."
Me:  "Uh, ok."

Ryann:  "Papa tell me a story about a piece of cheese and a piece of bread and they were walking to a party with a skunk and a giraffe and a hippo and other animals."
Papa:  "Really?  How about a rhinoceros too?"
Ryann:  "Yeah, yeah.  Let's do that.


April 22, 2013

it isn't all or nothing

Want to hear something crazy?  I have gone an entire week without chocolate.  And not just chocolate.  But an entire week without any sort of sweets.  Nothing.  Also I've been limiting all processed foods and anything with added sugar to minimal amounts.  I honestly can't believe I've made it a whole week.

I think what helped me finally just suck it up and try to go sugar free, is the fact that I finally accepted a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to be an all or nothing kind of thing.  Just because I'm not hitting the gym everyday doesn't mean I'm not working out.  Just because I haven't cleaned up every inch of my food intake, doesn't mean making good choices as often as I can won't make a difference.  No, I'm not giving in to chocolate cravings, but I'm trying not to be too hard on my mom's food :o).  The girls and I have been staying with my parents, and while my mom has been trying to be more than accommodating to my new eating habits, there are some things she just isn't up for changing, or isn't interested in doing right now, and, um, I'm going to eat the food she makes me.

For the most part, I've been trying to stick to foods that fit into the Paleo and Whole 30 rules, but I'm not opposed to things that still fall into the 'real food' category such as whole wheat pasta, breads and tortillas, things of that nature.  That is another place where I really had to make peace with my decision.  I was feeling like if I didn't go all out and eat strictly whole foods what was the point of changing my diet.  But eating that way 70% of the time is surely better than eating that way 20% of the time, or something like that.


When I have a spare five minutes here or there, I've been scouring pinterest and the internet for new recipes and ideas to help with this new food regimen.  Slowly but surely I'm collecting a list of things I'd like to try.  Last night for dinner my mom humored me and made a quinoa salad, and it turned out really good.  Even she liked it!  I think it is a great thing to whip up that can be used as a side dish one night, and as a lunch option throughout the rest of the week.  I prefer it warmed up, but it was intended to be a cold salad.  You can find the recipe here.

I won't lie, I still crave chocolate after lunch and dinner.  I'm guessing that is because I haven't been absolutely strict about making sure there is zero added sugar in everything I eat, and because I'm definitely compensating by eating a lot of fruit.  I'm also over eating nuts such as almonds and cashews.  I'm just not a vegetable lover, so snacking on vegetables and incorporating more of them into my meals is the tough, but I'm working on it.  My goal this week is to try one new vegetable.  Any suggestions?

As for workouts this week, I managed four.  A 2.3 mile run, a 3.6 mile run, a 3.25 mile walk and one 30 Day Shred workout.  I finally got back on dailymile (find me here) to start logging my workouts again.  It is incredibly motivating for me to see the numbers add up, and I like seeing what others are doing and cheering them on as well.  My goal in the exercise department this week is to do two strength sessions.  I really want to tone up a bit before a wedding I'm in Memorial Day weekend, so I better get cracking!


Link up your health and fitness related posts below!

April 19, 2013

my girls.

So I haven't yet really gotten in pictures with both of my girls.  It's sad.  There are a couple, but I'm a picture lover and the lack of pictures around these parts is getting lame.  Part of the reason is the fact that we are in no sleep hell so rarely do I ever put on make-up, do my hair or wear real clothes.  Since I have no idea when we're going to come out of this fog and I was actually wearing real clothes yesterday (no make-up though, whatevs) I decided we would embrace the camera.

The only way to convince Ryann to play my little game was to give her control of the remote.  And this is what followed...


Haha.  She was having a blast, but wouldn't give me two seconds to get situated!  So I tried to steal the remote for couple.  They still weren't great, but I love all of these pictures.  No make-up, awkwardness, chubby cheeks and all.


Hopefully the girls will appreciate having some pictures of the three of us someday as well.  Take Emily's advice.  Get in pictures with your kids.  Whether or not you're looking your best.

April 17, 2013

a day in the life - jess

Morning all.  First, I have to say thank you so much for all of your input in my last two posts.  I seriously love the blogging community.  It is amazing how more or less strangers (even though I feel like I know half of you) can come together and lift a person up, help them however they can.  Your words are encouraging and helpful and I greatly appreciate all of the comments that have been left.

It is somewhat ironic that a solo parenting night that spiraled downhill left Miss E awake for roughly three hours before bedtime last night, thus resulting in a 4.5 hour sleep stretch.  Not the way I want to get it, but by the second feeding of the night (2.5 hours later) I was already feeling much more rested.

Also?  I've gone two days without sweets or chocolate.  I'm totally hitting the fruit hard to compensate, but small steps, right?

Ok enough about that.  Today you get a look at a day in the life of Jess.  I hope you enjoy a peek at her day!


Hello, hello!  My name is Jess and I blog over at Life With Crazycurls!  I've been following Ashley's blog for over a year now and am so excited to participate in her Day in the Life series!  The subtitle to my blog is 'Continuing to Find Myself While Living Life', this part is always a work in progress but I'm learning that making time for myself will only help me be a better partner to my husband and mother to our two beautiful kids Molly (almost 4) and Tommy (16 months).

Here's a peak into what turned out to be somewhat of a crazy day:

8:00AM: I wake up to the normal sounds of Tommy shouting from his crib and Molly running into his room to 'entertain' him for a while.  This is VERY late for us.  Tommy normally wakes up between 6:45 and 7 with Molly running in then but lately T has been waking in the middle of the night and last night was no exception. I am thankful he let us all get a little extra sleep.

Molly and Tommy hanging out in the morning
8:50AM: We are dressed; teeth and hair brushed and ready to head out the door to drop Molly off at preschool.  We were running so far behind schedule that while Tommy has his bottle and toast I make Molly's and my toast to eat in the car.

8:55AM: Have to pause outside to take a picture of this crazy weather we are having in MN.  We had a winter storm warning this day.

Really Minnesota?  Really?
9:30AM: While in the car, my hubby called to remind me that all our cable boxes need to be returned (you can read why here) and of course today is the last day so Tommy and I stop back at the house, pick up all the stuff and head over to the cable company.  It is surprisingly easy and we're back in the car within 20 minutes.

10:15AM: I take Tommy to the local rec center (St. Paul has AWESOME Parks & Recs) where they have open gym.  I made the mistake last time we were there of showing him how to make a basket in the hoop and now it's all he wants to do.  It's very hard to hold a squirmy toddler and 'help' him shoot a basket at the same time!

Trying to make a basket
11:45AM: After we pick Molly up we head into the house and I open a letter saying Molly got into the public school Pre-Kindergarten program!!!  Since it's not a required grade, not all schools offer it so it's a lottery system to get in.  I'm so happy I could almost cry! She didn't get in right away and I had little hope of her getting off of the waiting list.  However, apparently someone didn't want their spot so Molly got it!  This is such great news because it's the school we wanted which means she'll have a place there for K-5th and it means that Tommy will have a better chance of going there because of sibling preference.  Never knew how something like Pre-K would have such an impact on our lives!

12:30PM: Lunch is done and I put a very tired Tommy down for a nap.  Molly says she doesn't need a nap.  I suggest we try out her new window markers she received from the Easter Bunny.  We have a go but she's more interested in playing with the markers than she is with drawing on the window.  After a little bit she asks for 'Wreck It Ralph' and I oblige since she hasn't watched any tv yet.  I'm a little disappointed the window markers weren't a bigger hit because try as I might we don't do a craft or art everyday so I had hoped she would have been excited to do this.  One of my favorite/most hated websites is Play At Home Mom LLC. It's a group of mom's who do these simple yet amazing 'invitations' for their kids.  I have to remind myself that it's a GROUP of moms, it's not one mom who does all of these cool, creative, educational projects everyday (this is why it's also one of my most hated websites, as much as I love it, it can make me feel like I'm failing at motherhood).  I highly recommend perusing their website though; I've gotten great ideas from them.

I use this time to wash the dishes.  Our dishwasher broke down last week and this would have been the second pricey repair within a year for an 18 yr old machine, no thank you.  We're expecting our new one today!  I'm feeling pretty proud of myself because I did a major pick up last night and we haven't been home much today for the kids to mess it up so I do little pidly stuff like sort recycling, go through junk mail, empty Molly's overnight bag from a sleepover at Grandma's and put away laundry.

3:30PM: Molly and I end up doing some window coloring when Tommy starts fussing.  After getting him, I get a snack of Goldfish and milk and we sit in the 'boat' Molly made out of the couch to read some library books we're taking back tomorrow.

I swear he was happier just a second ago!

4:00PM: Dishwasher arrives!!!  Whoo-hoo! Both kids are fascinated by how the guys get the old one out and the new one in the house.

4:30PM: This is a little bit of my witching hour.  I'm trying to get dinner started, Tommy wants to help, Molly wants me to play with her.  This is usually when I break down and let her watch cartoons.  Today it's Caillou.

5:00PM: Keith gets home and we have dinner, pasta with meat sauce and broccoli.

5:30PM: Tommy is COVERED in sauce so I decide to let both kids have a shower playing with shaving cream I bought at the dollar store (this has been one of Molly's most favorite things lately, she will stay in there for an hour if I let her).  Tommy ends up peeing at least 4 times in the shower.  I am dying trying not to laugh when Molly points it out and then says 'it's ok because I peed too' Oh. My. God. They are too much. I wish I got that on video.  While this is going on, the satellite tv guy comes over to fix a remote that wasn't synced up with one of the tvs. I told you this turned into a crazy day!

6:30PM: Keith starts attempting to connect the dishwasher, making three trips to the hardware store for the right parts.  PJ's on, this is our 'quite time' which means they can watch a cartoon if they are playing. Molly kicks Tommy after he takes apart her castle which sends her on timeout but Tommy of course has to join her on timeout.  I don't think he gets the concept yet :-)

7:15PM: I take Tommy upstairs for bed. Molly wants to help so she sings with me.  Tommy slaps her away because he doesn't like sharing my lap.  I lay Tommy down and Molly tells me to go away so she can tell him a story. I mean, really now.  How sweet is that??!?!?!

8:00PM: Molly's turn.  I read a book, tell her a story and sing a song.   Usually I lay down with her for a minute but I want to get downstairs to help K; however when I leave Molly is bawling so after 15 mins I go back up.  I have to count to 10 before going into her room so I don't go in angry.  My motto lately is 'how would I act if I were babysitting'.  It's really helped me take a step back and try to let go of the little things that could so easily make my blood boil.

9:30PM: K gave it a real go but in the end I think we're going to have to call the professionals to hook up the dishwasher.  Crap.  That means I have to deal with all the dinner dishes in the morning.

10:00PM: K goes to bed, I'm a night owl so I stay up watching an episode of Dance Moms I recorded and surf the internet.  Also, I'm putting together a month's worth of menu planning and trying to prep to do one big grocery shop on the 15th.  I've been spending time tweaking it trying to make it economical as well as practical.

12:00AM: After doing a sweep of the house putting toys, shoes, books and dishes away I slide into bed and pray that Tommy sleeps through the night. Here's hoping!

Ashley's questions:

Q: What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom?
A: How HARD it is! Seriously! I can't believe how naive I was. I have babysat/nannied since I was 12, I worked at after school programs during college, I couldn't even begin to estimate the hours I clocked watching other people's kids. And I LOVED it! I was GREAT at it. And of course I LOVE my kids but it gets emotional when they're your own. I lose my cool way more than I would like and it's something I'm working on every single day.

Q: What advice would you give to new or soon-to-be mamas?
A: Borrow baby equipment before buying your own. Especially the big stuff. I have a highchair that I absolutely hate but had to have because it was matchy matchy with the travel stroller set. I wish I had borrowed or even bought a cheap version before we invested in our pricey one. I would have found that it wasn't a good fit for our needs.

Q: What are your top three baby products?
A: This is hard because it is different for each kid. For Molly, 1) pack n' play 2) plastic rain cover for the stroller 3) Bumbo. For Tommy, 1) baby swing 2) Halo fleece sleep sacs 3) multi sectioned formula dispenser (for on-the-go).

I had a great time documenting our day, I hope you stop over at Life With Crazycurls and check out what we're up to.  Thanks for hosting us Ashley!


Thank you for sharing with us Jess!

April 16, 2013

sleeping like a baby

You know when someone gets a really good night sleep.  A really really good night sleep.  And they tell you they slept like a baby?  Well, they have certainly never had to sleep with a baby.  Because in my experience?  Babies don't freaking sleep.


It's hard not to feel like I'm doing something wrong.  For some reason Elsie just will not give me a good night's sleep.  First we started with the whole newborn thing, having to wake her every few hours to eat because she wasn't at birth weight (yet had I known how fast she was gaining I would have totally stopped waking her much earlier).  Then she would wake on her own every 3 to 3.5 hours.  No surprise.  She was gaining weight and inches like crazy (nearly 5 pounds and 4 inches in two months!).  Probably still is.  Of course she would want to eat.

Then we moved onto getting a good stretch from about 8 or 9pm to 1:30am.  Not too shabby.  Except I don't go to bed at 8pm.  And then?  She'd be awake for 1.5 to 2 hours after that first night feeding.  I fought her back to sleep several nights.  I was grateful that she had a good stretch going at the beginning of the night.  But I still wasn't getting much sleep.

Next we move to her not being awake in the middle of the night.  But exchange that for being difficult to get down after her last feeding.  I would feed her between 8 and 8:30pm, and then Christopher would try to put her to bed for me.  She would fight it until 10:30 or 11:00, so sometimes I would end up feeding her, and whether she ate or not she'd be up again at 1:30 to eat.


For a very brief week or so (I know she isn't quite ten weeks yet, a week is a significant portion of her life actually!), she was going to bed by 9:30, waking around 1:45, 5 and up for the day around 8 or so.  That I could handle.  I was starting to feel slightly human again.  Of course I still complained, wishing we could make that first feeding closer to 3 or 4, and then she could just get up a little earlier.  But now I would give anything to have that 'schedule' back.  If I wanted I could get up before everyone after that 5am feeding.  Take a shower, be on my computer, etc.  I liked that.

Now?  Now we don't have a schedule at all.  She doesn't seem to settle for more than two hours at a time.  She will be in and out of sleep from 9:45 until 3 or so, feeding here and there during that time (not knowing if she is truly hungry, just not sure what else to do at 2am), and then sleep until maybe 6:45.  Neither of us are getting any solid rest.  I've tried side lying nursing and bed sharing, but we still don't really sleep.  I still think she fights the swaddle sometimes.  So maybe while she is sleeping like crap we should just go without it.  I don't know.  Or maybe moving her to her crib would help.  Or trying to just rock and soothe her during the night instead of feeding her.  I'm sure having a better night time routine would help, but I don't even know how to go about that.  It seems like her 'last' feeding for the night winds up being anytime between 6:30 and 8:30pm.  So I don't know when to start a bedtime routine, especially taking Ryann's routine into account.  In theory I would try a dream feed before I went to sleep, but so far it hasn't worked out.  I have no idea.  She is pretty much fighting going to sleep for night and naps all around.

Oh and naps are throwing me for a loop too.  We are trying to follow an eat, wake, sleep pattern.  And for a while it was going really well.  She'd eat, we'd play, and then she'd sleep until pretty close to her next feeding, going 2.5-3.5 hours between nursing sessions.  Now she'll sometimes nap for maybe 30-45 minutes and wake up.  I never know if I should try to get her to go back to sleep, assume she's hungry, or what to do.  I've had my moms help for a while, so usually I go in and rock the rock 'n play and she'll go back to sleep for a bit, but I don't know if that is the best thing to be doing.


I know rocking her to sleep might not be the best choice, but she also seems to have no ability to self soothe.  At least in the swaddle anyway.  As soon as I wrap her up she is pissed.  But with her arms out she is a little frantic too.

Gah.  I'm just lost.  I didn't want sleep to be such an issue this time around.  But it is.  I know nobody can really give me any answers.  Just venting I guess.  This too shall pass.

April 15, 2013

trying to stay on track

Yes.  I've said it a million times.  I apologize.  But I'm tired.  I'm not getting enough sleep.  So I'm grumpy.  When I'm grumpy going for a run usually makes me feel better.  Except my body is too tired to have a good run.  So that makes me more grumpy.  And when I'm really grumpy I want to eat.  In particular I want to eat crap.  It isn't working out so well for me.

Damn vicious cycle.

I managed to sneak in 3 workouts this past week.  A 2.5 mile run, a 3.75 mile run and a level one workout on the 30 Day Shred.  So decent I guess.  My eating was great for a couple of days, and then it wasn't.  Stupid freaking chocolate sucks me in every time.  My other issue is that I haven't come up with a lot of options that fit in to what I deem my new acceptable food items, so I hadn't been eating enough.  And then I was just getting hungry.

Failure to plan is planning to fail.  (The interwebs seem to disagree on who actually said that.  But it wasn't me.  My weights teacher in college always said it, but you know.)

So yeah.  I've still got a lot of work to do.  Mostly in the food department.  I really think once we can iron out the sleeping situation a little, and when we start going back to the gym, the workouts will start to fall back into place.  Obviously I can't guarantee that, but before Elsie was born going to the gym was one of the highlights of my day.  It was an hour I could focus on me while doing something incredibly positive for myself.  It felt great.  So I'm hoping we can get back into that routine, at least four days out of the week.

But back to the food.  I've been doing lots and lots of thinking about what approach I want to take with food, how much I want to limit, what will work for our family.  As I've mentioned I don't think a lifestyle that completely cuts any food groups will pan out in the long run.  Unfortunately a lot of my success rests on how much I can get the rest of my family to go along, and telling them not to eat certain things at all ever again just isn't going to work.  They simply won't get on board.  Plus I feel like I'd be cheating all the time here and there because I LOVE food.  I really really do.  And the thought of never having some of my favorites again doesn't work for me.

So I'm trying to find a minute or two to tear through websites and blogs, looking for recipes and ideas on clean eating, as well as dairy free items since I'm trying to cut back on that more and more since it seems to have helped Elsie.  Please please please if you have any favorite recipes, snack ideas, or website suggestions that fit the bill of real food and clean eating (and bonus if it is dairy free!) pass them my way.  Especially if they are simple.  I'll take all the help I can get right now.

Hopefully that wasn't too much of a mess to read.  And hopefully I can stop saying I want to do all this, and really start doing it.


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April 14, 2013

elsie - two months old

written April 12th

And just like that Miss Elsie is two months old.  Somehow this month didn't go by near as fast as the first, but it wasn't slow either.  Elsie is growing and changing at lightening speeds.


The little miss didn't slow down on her growth at all this month.  She's got chubby cheeks and thighs to prove it!  At her two month well visit she weighed 10 pounds 9 ounces and was 23 inches long.  She gained half an inch on Ryann, but they still weighed the same.  How weird is that?  I'm curious to see if that trend will continue throughout the first year or so.  Overall the doc said Elsie looks great, very healthy, and to just keep doing what we're doing.  Of course the two month appointment meant shots, and they SUCKED.  Poor Elsie was doing the silent cry she was so upset, and even nursing didn't really calm her down.  She has been fussier the last few days, but I don't know if it is because of the shots, or just her age or what.  Poor girl.

For the most part Elsie is wearing all 0-3 month clothing.  There are some newborn dresses that I've used as tops, and I think a couple of other random newborn things that still fit, but that is it.  Even a few of the 0-3 sleepers look like Elsie could outgrow them before she hits three months.  And at the same time some of the onesies look ridiculous on her.  Baby clothes are so funny.  She is still wearing size one diapers.  E nurses 6-7 times in a 24 hour period, and takes roughly four naps during the day.


Just a few days after Elsie's one month appointment I made a trip back to the pedi.  We were pretty certain she had reflux and needed meds.  But we didn't yet have Elsie's insurance card and the prescription was pretty pricey out of pocket, so we opted not to fill it until her card came.  In the meantime I cut a lot of dairy and chocolate from my diet.  Over the course of the month her spitting up has slowed down and she doesn't seem to be quite as bothered by it.  I have no idea if it is the change in my diet, or just her digestive system maturing, but I think I'll keep trying to stay as dairy free as possible for another couple of months, and then see what happens when I add it back in.


Sleep still sucks.  I mean it could be worse for sure, but I haven't gotten a good nights sleep in I don't know how long, and it doesn't appear to be coming anytime soon.  For a while E was great about falling back to sleep after nursing in the night, and then it started to be tougher and tougher.  Part of the problem was that I would unswaddle her to change her diaper, and then not swaddle her until we were finished.  And the swaddle would piss her off royally.  Now I swaddle her between sides.  It makes her mad, but once I pop a boob in her mouth she gets over it.  We usually get at least one four hour stretch between feedings at night, sometimes a tiny bit more, but for the most part she is still an every three hours kind of girl.

goodbye knee wrinkles, now we're working on thigh rolls

If I wait too long to put her down for a nap she is a BEAR about going to sleep.  The last few days have been unreal with how difficult it is, resulting in a fussy baby, a lonely toddler and a tired me.  At this point I feel like I'm just waiting to sleep train her.  I know she is too little now, and lots can change in the next couple of months, but this resembles how Ry was SO much.  Hopefully after this month when Chris's schedule is a little more predictable and we aren't all over the place we can settle into a better routine and start trying to put her down awake.  But I doubt it will go over well.  Who knows.  I suppose I should think about transitioning Elsie out of the rock 'n play too, but I'm dreading it.


Let's see, more random stuff about Miss E... both her tear ducts are still clogged.  She has some blonde hairs growing in on the top of her head.  Woot woot for no more baldness.  Even though she still looks a little bald.  Her eyes look like they're starting to turn blue.  She seems to be turning into a real mama's girl.  Flattering and annoying all at the same time.  Seriously, when she cries sometimes it sounds like she is saying 'want mama'.  I'm not lying, ask my mom!  And she has one of the best pouty lips I have ever seen.  She doesn't really like her paci, even though when she finally gives into it, it seems to calm her down.  We still need to add more tummy time into our day.  Elsie's head and neck control kind of sucks.  It is definitely getting better, but I remember Ry being much stronger by this age.


Over the past month she has had her first St. Patricks Day, her first Easter, visited Grammy and Papa's house in Kansas for the first time, been on an airplane, visited Grammy and Papa's Georgia house and the beach for the first time and probably some more firsts that I can't remember.  But the absolute best thing from this month?  Smiles.  Ohmygawd the smiles.  Elsie's smile is just plain adorable.  Especially when it gets all big and her tongue sticks out.  Those smiles can fix almost anything.  If only they could magically clean the house too...  And the cooing.  That is adorable too.

Oh I almost forgot!  To celebrate her two month birthday Miss Elsie rolled from belly to back for the first time.  I thought it was a fluke, but I put her back on her stomach and she did it again.  It hasn't happened since, but I was impressed that she did it twice in a row.  I was surprised that she rolled over so early.  I think Ry was 11 weeks before she rolled over.  Thanks to the iphone I managed to catch Elsie's first roll on video:

Elsie girl I love you so much.  Can't wait to see what the next month brings!

And because I get asked about it a lot, my mom made Elsie's quilt using this tutorial.  Most of the fabric came from Joann's.  Her little flower headband is from here.

April 12, 2013

ryann's glitter dinosaur party

This post probably isn't going to be as elaborate as I intended it to be, but the party didn't end up being as elaborate as I wanted it to either, so it's fitting.  Whatever, I'm mostly over it.

A while back Ryann concocted the idea for her third birthday party.  Dinosaurs + glitter.  Now at the time she really wasn't all that obsessed with dinosaurs, but now dinosaurs are pretty much her favorite thing so it worked out really well.  Ultimately there wasn't all that much glitter, or really, dinosaurs, but enough that it made Ry happy.  Which I guess is the goal, right?


We opted to do a brunch-ish party this year for two reasons.  One, I thought Ry would like that kind of food a little bit more.  Two, I wanted an excuse to make the colored deviled eggs.  Cause they're dinosaur eggs.  Duh.  I don't even like deviled eggs...  Other food items included muffins and cinnamon rolls from a local bakery, sausage crescent roll bites, frozen fruit cups, sesame asparagus and glittered lemon cake pops.  For drinks we had water, coffee and orange juice available.

The polka dot table cloths were from Ryann's first birthday party.  The fringe tissue paper garlands were pretty simple for my mom to make.  We she cut 10x15 rectangles of tissue paper, laid three sheets on top of each other and folded them in half.  Then we got all the colors lined up how we wanted and hot glued them to some cording.  Lastly my mom fringed them with her rotary cutter.  You can look for tutorials on pinterest, but we just kind of winged it based on what we found and what we wanted.

To get the dinosaurs in the mix I picked up some plastic dinos from the Target dollar section.  Then I grabbed some pink and purple spray paint and made Chris paint them.  We had some glitter purple spray that was AWESOME, but it stopped working after the first coat (we may have left it in the cold garage, whoops).  Oh and Rustoleum paint covers way better than Krylon, just an fyi.  My only other decor consisted of balloons, but we were running late (as usual) and I didn't take all that many pictures.  Oh the pink glitter frame was from Hobby Lobby. 


Ryann's skirt came from a local botique (it's the same one we had for her Halloween costume), and her dinosaur shirt was made by my mother of course.  Elsie had a matching onesie, but I failed at life and didn't get a picture of her (or the girls together) on my big camera.  To glitter the candle (did you notice there was a purple glitter candle?) I used modpodge and edible glitter on one of those regular wax number candles.  It was easier said than done, but it worked.  I found the idea on One Charming Party.

To entertain the kiddos (well, the only other child at the party who is Ryann's age) we put together a little fossil dig.  At first I wanted to use sand, but it was freezing so we had to be inside, and Chris pretty much said hell no.  So he bought me bird seed.  We stuck some plastic dino skeletons in there, along with some plastic eggs with mini dinosaurs in them, in the bird seed and gave the kids some shovels.  They had a blast.  I had wanted to do a 'dinosaur egg hunt' outside, but again, freezing.  Oh well.

Other things I had wanted to do but didn't get a chance... make food signs with dinosaur themed food names, make party hats for the giant dinos that Christopher picked up for Ry, um, probably more stuff that I just can't think of right now.  Honestly though?  I'm impressed with what we pulled off, considering we didn't start putting anything together until the Thursday before the party.  Yep, we had two days to prep.  I mean I had an idea of things I wanted to do, and had ordered some dinosaur favor crap on Amazon, but we didn't put together any decorations or outfits or anything until two days before the party.

I really wish I had started earlier / had more time, because it ended up being such a fun theme and I would have liked to run with it a little more, but Ryann still had a blast and everything looked cute.  Can't believe beginning of next year I'll be trying to put together two parties!  I keep saying eventually we'll just keep it super simple, but I love planning these parties.