August 30, 2013

road trip

Last weekend we traveled to Omaha for our annual family golf tournament.  I have zero interest in golf, but I'm down with the family part.  It was Elsie's first longish car trip, and I was terrified.  That girl does NOT sleep well in her carseat.  The way out she made it about 90 minutes, the way back?  30.  30 freaking minutes of our three hour drive.  Thankfully she didn't scream the entire time or anything, but she was definitely getting pissed by the time we got home.

While we were there we visited the Omaha Zoo.  They currently have a dinosaur exhibit with 15 giant animated dinosaurs.  Ryann was in HEAVEN.  Seriously.  The dinos were really cool, they looked like they were breathing and everything.  We also really enjoyed the aquarium, as usual (how cute was Ryann the last time we visited the Omaha Zoo?).  I was very proud of Elsie, we were there for close to four hours, and she was a champ on minimal sleep and a lot of heat.

Unfortunately we didn't get to spend too much time in the evenings hanging out with my family because Elsie has gotten to the point where if she's up past 7:30 she is just done.  Really 7:00-7:15, but we milked another 15 minutes out of her.  Nonetheless we still had fun.  There isn't much else to say, so I'll let the pictures do the talking.  Please note the awkward hug between Ryann and her cousin (second cousin?  I don't know, my cousin's kid).  Ryann was pretty smitten with her, I'm not sure the feeling was completely mutual :o).


August 29, 2013

the real deal.

Ryann has been attending a mother's day out program for the last two years.  So when I signed her up for the preschool program at the same church, I didn't think much of it.  Yeah, she'd be going twice a week in the 'school' wing and yadda yadda, but I just didn't put much thought into it.  Then all of the sudden there was parent orientation and a calendar of events with class parties and a Christmas program and parent teacher conferences and all of the sudden I'm like 'crap.  this is the real deal.'  Despite my best efforts, when I posed Ry on the driveway for her first day of school picture, my eyes welled up a bit.

first day of preschool, 08.20.13

When the heck did she get so grown up?!?

Ryann can be absolutely infuriating at times.  She knows how to push every last button and grate on every single nerve.  But she is also one of the most amazing little girls that I have ever met.  She is learning to read, sounds out letters and words like a champ, can write almost any letter relatively legibly, talks like a mini adult.  Her love for her sister is beautiful (minus the part where she won't share toys and thinks EVERYTHING is hers, but for reals, she loves her).  Even at the end of the day when I'm exhausted and can't deal with any more dramatic meltdowns over the littlest things, I crawl in bed and smile, thinking of her.


Ry Ry, I love you so much.  I can't believe you're big enough to go to preschool.  I swear you were just my baby.  Keep on walking to the beat of your own drum girlfriend.

August 28, 2013

a day in the life - ashley

I wish I could say I've been busy (well sort of have) or doing something really awesome but... Chris convinced me to watch the new Star Trek (it was good) plus there was So You Think You Can Dance, so the last two nights I haven't been all that productive.  Whoops.  Better change that up!  All that to say, sorry this is a little late going up, but I hope you enjoy a day in the life of Ashley!


Hi! I'm Ashley from AshleyEveryday and I live in Seattle with my husband Shea and 2 year old son, Arlo. I'm a stay-at-home-mom and Shea is an iOS programmer making video games and apps. I just opened a photography business and it's been taking up all my spare time, but I love it. Here's a glimpse into my day!

6:00am I wake up, on my own. I'm naturally a morning person but I still like to check up on my phone and looking around Facebook and Instagram before getting out of bed.

6:20 I'm up and have water boiling for coffee. We use a French Press to make our morning joe, and while that's getting warm I set out the grounds and press to get ready. I start the oven and get bacon in it because Arlo went to bed asking for some last night.

7:15 I've eaten and had a cup of coffee now and am watching the Today show when Arlo comes running out of his room calling, "Maaaaaamaaaaaa!" He wraps his arms around my legs and gives me a squeezer. We change his diaper and get him his bacon and eggs.

8:00 We're dressed and almost out the door to the gym. Arlo keeps chatting about wanting to see the choo choos, but what he really means is the freight trains and shipping containers at the port (which is near out house). I tell him later, and the first thing he says to the gal at the gym daycare is, "Choo choo laaaaater!" Kids. I catch up on the Newsroom and do an hour of HIIT and weights.

9:30 Arlo and I get to Target. We need some cleaning supplies, bananas and laundry soap. I walk out with $110 of stuff. Oh well.

10:40 We're home and I get a second cup of coffee going warming in the microwave while I hop in the shower to rinse off. Arlo is playing with some blocks and repeatedly ramming his cars into them. Boys man.

11:00 I sit on the floor with Arlo and help him count while we put the cars back in his bins. His lunch (leftover burger and sweet potato fries from the night before) is warming up in the oven. He starts freaking out over ketchup and I reassure him, yes, you can have ketchup. This reduces to a full on meltdown and a time out. Over ketchup.

11:15 We're calm now, and Arlo is happily eating his ketchup and fries while ignoring his burger. I eventually get him to eat the burger by offering his gummy vitamin after.

12:00 Arlo is down for a nap. I clean up the living room and hop on the computer to do some more work on my photography site. My to-do list is getting rather big. I head back to my office/craftsroom/bonus room to do some work. I love this space. It just makes me feel creative.

1:00 I remember I need to start bulk cooking for the week. On Monday I usually make a couple lunches for me and Shea to take to work and for me to have something to snack on. This week it's a mac & cheese for Shea, stuffed portabellos for me and an egg bake for our breakfasts. I have been focused on eating more for my weight lifting so having food I can eat right away is helpful! I end up eating a portabello as soon as it comes out of the oven with a big glass of water.

3:20 Arlo is a big napper (THANK HEAVENS). He woke up about 20 minutes ago but was playing happily and I was right on the edge of a breakthrough so I leave him where he is for a while. Finally I shut down, grab some laundry and get him up. He helps me throw laundry in the wash and move things to the dryer. He's big on hitting buttons.  We spend a little time talking about cars and watching some Superwhy while I fold laundry and stuff cloth diapers.

4:15 time to get dinner going! I take out a copperhead salmon that was on sale and add it to a ziplock bag with olive oil, lemon juice, herbs from our garden and some seasoning. I chop potatoes and clean some kale for some sautéed greens.

4:45 we head outside for a few minutes to run some energy off. Arlo plays catch with Rufus and talks to the bees in our lavender bushes. He says he wants to hug them. Really cute!

5:20 We head back inside and I preheat the grill and get the salmon into some foil packets. Arlo plays on the iPad while I watch the news while I sauté some new potatoes my mom grew in some olive oil and spices and get the salmon over the heat. During a down moment I set a timer and go sit with Arlo and snuggle while I look at my phone. He likes to ask who everyone is on Facebook! It can be tiring, but he actually recognizes some kids now which is just awesome.

6:05 Shea is home! He wrangles Arlo while I finish dinner, set the table and throw some dishes in the dishwasher. We try to eat as soon as Shea comes home so we can do something together in the evening.

6:30 Dinner is over and we're headed to the park for the evening. Arlo asks for the park with the slide which is the most terrifying park for my mom self, but we go anyways after making Shea promise to spot him on the slide. I'm not a hover parent at all but this slide is about 12 feet off the ground and has a looped ladder to climb up and I'm terrified he's going to get his leg caught in it, fall back, and dislocate his knee or hip. Falling doesn't scare me, it's the joints! Hahaha

7:30 We're home and again incentivizing  with his second gummy vitamin to go get his PJs on. He picks out his car set, brushes his teeth and hops into bed.

8:00 after settling in a few times, some back rubs, some twinkle twinkle it sounds like the man is finally down for the count. I wash my face and brush my teeth, and get into bed with the hubs to watch some Good Eats. Usually I work a little after he goes down but I'm tired and we're behind on our Alton Brown. 

9:30 A final doorlock check and one last peek at the kiddo and it's lights out for me too! Like I said, I'm a morning person. :)

What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom?
The flexibility it forces. I rely on routine and scheduling, I'm a list maker by nature. Becoming a mom made me change a lot about how I handle spontaneity and the unknown.

What advice would you give to new or soon-to-be mamas?
Cherish the first days. Take a million photos, and if you do, take a million more. Always accept a hug from your baby, even if you can't handle it right that moment. Always say, "I love you," and say it often.

What are your top three baby products?
The top three baby produces we used were our Ergo (every day for nearly a year), our AC-powered swing (a Graco Snuggabunny) and A&A swaddle blankets. Arlo loved being swaddled and we used it for naps and nighttime sleeping for almost 6 months. I credit it to his sleeping through the night early and often!

Thanks to Ashley for letting me come on here and give you all a look into a day in my life!


Thank you Ashley, for sharing your day with us!

August 26, 2013

where is my motivation?

Last week I was all "I'm going to focus on running and I'm going to rock it."  Except this weekend?  First time I think I've ever missed a long run during a training plan.  Not only did I not get in a long run, but I didn't run at all Friday-Sunday.  We were out of town, staying in a hotel in an area I didn't know, so I have an 'excuse', but still.  I had planned to get up and run one of the mornings, but there was absolutely no way for me to get out of the room without waking someone, and I had zero interest in tackling six miles on the treadmill when I could be hanging out with my family.

I planned to get up a little early this morning to try and fit in at least five miles, if not six, to make up for my weekend, but wouldn't you know when my alarm went off at 5:45am, Elsie was already awake.  Despite the fact that I had just fed her at 3:30am.  I didn't want to risk her completely losing her mind before I got back, so I opted to feed her again, unfortunately cutting in to my running time (Chris leaves for work just after 7am).  Not that it would have mattered much, my run this morning was AWFUL.  I felt tired and sluggish, it was warm and humid, my body just couldn't hang.  I did make it four miles, but there was a good chunk of walking in that last mile, and overall it just wasn't pretty.

The good news is that I still have just under eight weeks before the half, so I have plenty of time.  I just have to decide if I'm going to attempt eight miles like I have on my calendar for Saturday, or if I'm going to do six-seven like I had planned for this past weekend.  It will probably be a game time decision, based on the amount of sleep I get and whether or not Elsie decides to be a peach and sleep when I need her to.

There is no doubt in my mind that a large portion of my sluggish feeling this morning can be attributed to my crappy eating habits as of late.  I've been emotional eating like whoa, and Elsie doesn't seem to be reacting to dairy as much anymore, so ice cream.  Gah.  As much as it pains me to do it, I'm committed to going at least five days straight without chocolate or sweets.  One of these days I'll find a coping mechanism that doesn't involve sneaking handfuls of chocolate chips from the pantry.


Link up your health and fitness related posts below!

August 22, 2013

that's what she said

Ryann:  "Oh, uh, I pottied in my pull up."
Me:  "How come?"
Ryann:  "Because I was curious."
Me:  "Curious?  About what?"
Ryann:  "Pottying in my pull-up."

Me:  "My straightner is on in the bathroom.  Don't touch it, it's hot."
Ryann:  "Why?"
Me:  "Because it would burn you."
Ryann:  "I'd be a cooked kid!"

Ryann:  "Brennan!  Your mom told Avery no because she was trying to pull Elsie's hair bow
and that's bad news!"
Brennan:  "Well, what's the good news then?"
that exchange killed me :o)

Ryann:  "Why is there money in there [a fountain]?"
Me:  "Well, sometimes people throw pennies in a fountain and make a wish."
Ryann:  "Can I do it?!?"
Me:  "Well, sure I suppose."  Grammy gives Ryann a penny, she tosses it in
Grammy:  "Good job!  What'd you wish for?"
Ryann:  "A PONY!"

Me:  "The last time Chris worked until 10 was the night that Ry ended up in our b-e-d."
Grammy:  "Oh."
Ryann:  "What's a b-e-d?  A bed?" sucks when your kid learns to spell

Ryann:  "Whoa.  I almost pooped on the carpet."
Me:  "What?!?  Do you need to go to the bathroom."
Ryann:  "Nah, I'll be ok until we finish our game."
I should not have phrased that as a question.  If you think you almost pooped on the floor you will most certainly be making a trip to the bathroom!


August 21, 2013

a day in the life - lisa

Currently running around like a crazy person.  Thankful for guest posters.  Enjoy a day in the life of Lisa!


Hi there!  My name is Lisa & I blog (here & there) over at Tales of a Young Housewife.  I married my high school sweetheart, Steve, five years ago & since then we have welcomed our two daughters, Aubrey Jane (2.5) & Kate Brielle. (7 months)  Steve works full time managing a sports facility & I stay at home with the girls.  I recently opened a baby portrait photography business, which I'm slowly getting started.  I enjoy traveling, shopping, & taking bazillions of pictures of my cute girls.  Here is a rundown of what our days usually look like around here.  

7:00 - Our day usually begins around seven.  Kate is always the first to get up. I feed her in bed & we try to get a good snuggle sesh in before we have to get up for the day.  Within half an hour, Aubrey usually joins us & wants to get the show on the road.  Daddy starts getting ready for work, & eventually we all end up downstairs eating breakfast together.  I am a lazy breakfast maker - we don't have anything too exciting usually.  It's typically a bowl of cereal, eggs & toast, or a waffle with peanut butter, always with some sort of fruit.  Kate has some pureed fruit for breakfast, sometimes with a little oatmeal.

8:30 - Once I clean up breakfast, I put on a show for Aubrey so I can pick up the house quickly.  I feel once my house is clean, I can relax and spend the rest of the day playing with my girls.  I love getting it out of the way first thing in the morning.  I hurry and do the dishes, wipe down the table/counters, vacuum/bona the floors if needs be, make the beds, & I'm typically done by the time "Sofia the First" or "Doc McStuffins" is over.  Kate usually chills in her exersaucer or crawls around while I clean.

9:00 - We head upstairs to play for a bit until it's time for Kate to nap.  Play time is filled with puzzles, coloring, blocks, books, & more puzzles.  Aubrey loves those puzzles!  Kate is starting to be able to play more with toys which Aubrey just loves.

9:30 - I nurse Kate to sleep in the rocking chair (I know, bad habit, but I don't care because I love those quiet "slow down" moments in my sometimes hectic days) & lay her down.  Aubrey hops in the tub while I shower in the attached shower.  She loves bath time and it's nice that we can see & talk to each other while I get ready for the day!  I don't feel productive until I'm showered & dressed, so it's a must-do, even if I just get into workout clothes after the shower.

(I couldn't find a bath picture of just Aubrey in the tub, but here's one of the both of them in there!  Sometimes I throw both of 'em in there to "kill two birds with one stone!")

10:30 -Once we are both dressed, teeth brushed, & hair combed, we head downstairs & play so we don't wake little sister up. This is mine & Aubrey's one on one time for the day so I love to really give her my full attention & do lots of hands on stuff with her.  Downstairs we do activities like play with play-doh, blow bubbles, paint, make bead necklaces, or sometimes a fun (very simple) craft.  Once baby sister is up, I will change her & this is when we do any errands we have for the day.  If we don't have any errands, play dates, or lunch dates with dad (my fave!), we will go on a walk around the lake, or play at the park at the end of our street.  If we don't leave the house at least once per day, we will all go crazy.  (I speak from experience. Winter is hard!)

12:00 - Lunch time! A typical lunch for us is cheese quesadillas, carrot sticks, & grapes.  Kate has some sort of pureed fruit or veggie. After lunch is cleaned up, we head in the backyard to play some more - Aubrey loves her trampoline & slide & would play out there all day if I let her.  On hot days, I'll fill up her little pool to splash around in.

1:00 - Nap time for Aubrey!  I use the word "nap" loosely, because 80% of the time Aubrey just plays in her room the whole time.  I guess I should really call it "quiet time."  Some days I'll get lucky and she will nap, but I'm starting to accept that our napping days are over.  While Aubrey "naps", Kate and I spend a little one on one time before it's time for her nap.  It doesn't take much to amuse that girl - a couple games of peek a boo & a few "3 Little Monkeys" songs & she thinks you are hilarious.  Around 2:00 I put her down for her nap & I get a little time to myself with NO. KIDS.  It took a while to get some "kid-free" time into our routine but it's been working the past couple months and I'm enjoying it while I can!  It gives me time to do deep cleaning, blogging, editing pictures if needed, etc.  Sometimes I just go lay down in bed and close my eyes and enjoy a few minutes of peace.

2:30 - Usually Aubrey starts calling for me around this time (unless she naps, then it's a little later).  Right after her quiet time is when we have "learning time."  Right now we are working on sight words, letter sounds, & tracing.  She loves learning time and is great at memorizing so I try to challenge her by adding a few new things each day.  Kate typically wakes up around 3.  This next hour or so we try to keep ourselves busy playing some more (this is the part of the day where I get a little antsy and am ready for Steve to get home.  Believe it or not Minnie Mouse puzzles get old after about 5 times!) Sometimes we go back outside if it isn't too hot, or we just play inside.

4:30 - Daddy is home!  After reuniting with us, we typically leave the house and do SOMETHING - go to the gym, (the girls love the daycare there), run an errand, go play at a park, etc.  A lot of times we'll do a short gym session and then take Aubrey to the pool there.  As much I love the health benefits of the gym, I mostly love having some one on one time with Steve, even if we are short of breath on the treadmill next to each other!  It's also fun to have my own little "personal trainer" since all those machines totally confuse me.

5:30 - Dinner time!  We are not chefs by any means, so our dinners are usually quick, simple, but healthy. Tonight was salmon, steamed veggies, rice, & beans. (Kate had pureed peas - sounds mouth watering, no?)  One of us keeps the girls entertained while the other makes dinner.

6:30 - Steve plays with the girls while I clean up dinner.  (I cannot relax until there are no dishes in the sink.)  After that, we hang out as a family, doing whatever.  Tonight we had a little water gun fight in the backyard. :)

7:30 - We start putting the girls to bed.  Jammies, teeth brushing, story reading, prayer saying, song singing & snuggling in the rocking chair, & then it's lights out.  I love kissing those sweet girls goodnight.

8:00 - US time!  One thing we have always made a priority is to get those kiddos to bed by 8!  Sometimes we'll have a straggler (cough KATE cough), but once the girls are asleep it's our time to relax together, & enjoy some kid-free time.  We enjoy catching up on DVR'd shows.  Lately we've been loving "Whose Line is it Anyway".  Steve makes fun of how hard I laugh at those guys.

10:30 - Around 10:30 we typically head upstairs for the night.  After checking on the girls together and swooning over their perfect little angel faces sleeping, it's prayers, kisses, & lights out!

Our day definitely doesn't always go this organized and smoothly - there are plenty of days where the schedule flies out the window and I just have to do my best. (Kate will randomly miss a nap, toddler tantrums here or there, a dr appt, etc. etc.)   However, this is typically what our day looks like & I love spending my days taking care of the people I love the most.

Ashley's Questions:

What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom?

To be honest, how much I thoroughly enjoy it!  I was never a baby person growing up, I was the youngest sibling, youngest cousin, etc. so I was used to being the baby.  I didn't enjoy babysitting or anything!  However, I did know I wanted a family & I'm sure glad I made the decision to become a mom because it is the most amazing, fun, challenging, & satisfying "job" I've ever had (or will ever do!)

What advice would you give to new or soon-to-be mamas?
Relax.  Whatever tough stage you are in with your baby - whether it be sleep issues, nursing problems, temper tantrums, etc etc, the stage will be over before you know it (and then you will be on to a different puzzling stage!)  I would also say to take lots of pictures and videos with YOU IN THEM.  I barely have any pictures with my mom when I was little and it always made me sad, so I make sure to have my husband take pictures with me in them sometimes.

What are your top three baby products?

1) So cliche, but a great baby carrier!  We loved the Moby wrap during the newborn stage, & now we use the Ergo almost everyday.  I don't know how I would ever leave the house with both kids without having Kate strapped to me!

2) Aden + Anais bamboo swaddling blankets.  Neither of my babies were swaddled for very long, but I use these for everything.  They are perfect for warmer weather, which we get a lot of here in California.  I always have one in my bag - it makes a great nursing cover too.

3) Sophie the Giraffe teether.  I don't even know why I buy any other baby toys, this squeaky teether keeps Kate busy & helps her little gummies feel better - win win!  Even Aubrey likes to play with it for some reason.


Thank you for sharing your day with us Lisa! 

August 19, 2013

yay running.

Last week I swore to myself that I would complete all of my goals AND I'd write my post Sunday night so it could be up Monday morning.

HAHAHAHA.  I'm such a liar.

My weekly goals are becoming a joke because I never follow through.  I did get in four runs totaling 17.85 miles.  That I am definitely proud of, it really makes me happy to see my weekly total increase.  Saturday I conqured a seven mile run with Jenny.  The weather was absolutely PERFECT.  There were a few hills that I would have preferred not to do, but overall the run went great and I am getting less and less nervous about my long runs.

I'm glad running is going well, because all other aspects of the healthy lifestyle I wish I was living, are pretty much not happening.  It isn't like I'm eating crap all the time.  I definitely take in my fair share of vegetables, especially if I have salad toppers hanging out in the fridge.  But I am also eating my fair share of cookies.  And I can't convince myself to workout or meal plan in some of my free time, because it is rather limited, and sometimes I would just rather blog, or veg.  If I could get in to a routine of prepping meals and veggies and snacks and such on Sundays or something, I think I'd be in a better place.  But I haven't been home a single weekend since July.  There is absolutely zero routine in my life.

Also, I'm a morning person.  Not a jump out of bed peppy cheery morning person.  But a I like to get up before everyone else and quietly accomplish things before the rest of the world is awake person.  Except Elsie gets up in the middle of the night here and there, and Ryann has been waking up before 6am.  Not exactly condusive to getting up before everyone.

Thus, I have decided to focus on one thing.  The running.  I want to be better about strength training, I want to be better about meal planning and healthy eating, and if I can fit that stuff in, hooray, great.  But right now, my main goal is going to be making sure I get all of my training in for the half in October.  I've already committed to it and paid my money, and my runs make me happy, so instead of kicking myself for the things I'm not doing, I'm going to focus on and try to enjoy the things I am.

So there's that.  Running, yay!  Haha.  Oh, and yay for new shoes this morning.  My knees are definitely thanking me for those.  And yay for this salad.  My mom put it together on Friday and I have eaten it for lunch every day since.

Any successes from this week you'd like to share?


Link up your health and fitness related posts below!    

August 15, 2013

this and that

::  Alright, on nights when I'm on my own, I bathe both girls, get them dressed for bed, then I set Ry up watching and movie and go about putting Elsie to bed.  Last night I was feeding her in her room, when the camera from the monitor starts moving.  Slightly creepy to begin with, but I had just read this story the day before, so to say that I was terrified at first was an understatement.  The camera continued to move, and I didn't know what to do.  Then it started making noises like someone was trying to talk over it.  At that point I hoped (and assumed) that Ryann had gotten her hands on the parent unit.  Thankfully that was the case, but my heart was definitely beating quicker for a while.

::  I know I'm biased, but I think Elsie is arguably one of the cutest babies ever.  Evidence...


::  The amount of guacamole and avocados in general I've been consuming lately is slightly embarrassing.  If I can find a way to incorporate avocado into a meal I'm going to.  Can you eat too many avocados?  What is your favorite recipe that uses them?

::  Tell me I'm not the only mom who is like this... I can be on my own with the kiddos from 7am until 5pm with limited issue.  We function pretty well, get out of the house, in general have a pretty good time.  But tell me I have to take care of them on my own from 5pm-8pm and I'm all #$!%^$#(*& we'll never survive!  What will we do?  How will I feed/bathe/get them to bed?  Why is that?  Chris has been working in a pediatric ER this month, and though his number of hours really aren't all that bad, it was leaving me home with the kids on my own most evenings.  So the girls and I packed up and headed to my parents house for nine days.  I truly am not sure what I'd do without my parents.  They take such good care of us.


We had just a little bit of fun.  Lots of swimming.  A little dance camp.  A whole lot of playing.

::  Speaking of being in Topeka, life is insane right now.  We are back and forth in Topeka, traveling for family stuff, traveling for a wedding and going to Georgia.  My weekends are booked with something through October 19th (and I'm sure there will be stuff after that, it just isn't on the calendar).  Chris will be entering interview season very soon, so he will be gone here and there I'm sure.  Preschool is starting, we're signed up for another session of gymnastics, and I am still planning to enroll Ryann in a dance class.  Is this just how life is once your kids start getting older?  And there is more of them?  My fingers are crossed that once match day has come and gone (January 8th) that at least Christopher's schedule will slow down, but then it will be birthdays and we could be moving and I'm just exhausted thinking about it all.  One day at a time I guess.

::  Oh, and if you don't know what match day is, read this post from Shawna.  She gives a good explanation of the journey to becoming a doctor.  Chris is in family medicine, hoping to specialize in sports medicine, so our journey isn't near as long.  But still.

::  Another cute picture of Elsie because I can.


::  And after the millionth time of telling Ryann to stop coming out of her room during quiet time, I give up.  I'm in the process of making quiet time bins, so hopefully we can stop having this fight.  Yes I've heard to gate her in her room, but that wouldn't stop her from yelling at me or being loud.  And loud Ryann = no napping Elsie and that is just no good.

August 14, 2013

a day in the life - mindy

I could apologize for the minimal posts lately, but that is just life.

For this week's installment of 'a day in the life', I am happy to introduce you to Mindy!  We went to high school together, and I actually designed her wedding invitations long distance (I did the design, she put them together, you can see them here, on my very very VERY neglected business blog).  She is pretty much a brand spankin' new mama, so I was impressed that she offered to get a post ready for me this week.  Hope you all enjoy a peek at her day!


Hey everyone!  I am so excited to finally be posting on Ashley's Day in the Life series.  I have been reading forever, but I only just became a mommy!  Our Lilly Anne was born on the 4th of July, and it has been the best month-ish of our lives so far.  My husband and I (ok, mostly I) blog over at Meet the Gs--it started as DIY/home improvement (which was highly amusing since we lived in an apartment and were extremely limited...think woodcutting on a 4x6 patio!), went through a daily outfit and pictures of our cats phase, and now is pretty much dedicated to the baby.  I am a former high school math teacher and cheerleading coach turned stay-at-home mom, and my husband Tommy is an attorney.  This is similar to our regular days, but a little unique since Tommy was home on a Monday, and I had a lot of work to get done around the house so we didn't end up going anywhere.

1:00 am
I mean, if you really want the start of my day, this was technically it.  Lilly Anne is still waking up about 3 times a night to eat, anywhere from 1.5 to 4 hours apart--usually more like 2.5-3, but we are in a weird sleep week (I've heard a lot of other moms complaining that their kids are freaking out--is it a full moon or something?).  Last night for bedtime we put her in the crib for the first time other than a few short daytime naps, and she did really well, sleeping from about 10:30 to 1:00.  I was hopeful that she would go back down in the crib after this feeding, since she has been doing much better about falling back asleep quickly, but no such luck.  After an hour or so (who knows, it was the middle of the night!), she had eaten and had a clean diaper, but was not interested in sleeping by herself, so I just gave up and brought her into our bed.  She was finally getting out of this habit, but this week has just been so weird, so I went with it.

4:30 am
This was a nice, long stretch between feedings, so even though she slept on me, I was pretty excited to get a decent stretch of sleep, even with the hour or so of nonsense getting there.  This time, after she ate, she seemed pretty happy, if not sleepy, so I just set her in the bouncy chair by our bed and turned the sound machine on (more to drown out her chatty noises than to soothe her to sleep).  Eventually, she must have fallen asleep, because I passed out and wasn't woken up by any fussing.

6:45 am
Even though we have had some luck with longer stretches at night, she likes to cluster feed in the mornings, which is awesome.  Tommy got up at 6:30 to run (he's training for the Disneyland Half-Marathon over Labor Day), so I just nursed her side-by-side in bed and we both fell asleep halfway through.  This is one of my favorite feeding times of the day, even though I'm usually exhausted by this point, because I love not having to get up and just cuddling in the bed.  I love my bed.

This is what I woke up to after some time with Daddy...

7:30ish am
Sometime around when Tommy got back from his run, little miss decided she was ready to get up for the day, even though I sure was not, so he took her out to the swing in the living room and they hung out for a while so I could go back to sleep.  Have I mentioned how much I love days when he doesn't have to go to work??

Staring at her favorite spot on the wall next to the changing table

9:45 am
I finally dragged myself out of bed, feeling like a total lush, but also totally awesome.  We had a busy week and weekend, hosting one of my best friends from San Diego, wine tasting, dinner with friends, and Lilly Anne's dedication at our church Sunday morning, so I was definitely exhausted.  Not that I'm not always tired with a newborn, but I definitely needed those extra couple of hours of sleep today.  I ate breakfast and watched Gossip Girl while I nursed Lilly and then tried to help her fall asleep.  We have seriously gotten our $7 worth out of our Netflix subscription over the past month--I spend a lot more time on the couch feeding or soothing than I ever expected!

Looks like success...right?!

10:30 am
Lilly Anne seemed to be sleeping pretty solidly, so I set her in the crib and jumped in the shower.  JUST KIDDING.  She started crying about 2 minutes in, so I loofahed and rinsed the shampoo out of my hair as quickly as possible to go pick her up.  She literally fell back asleep as soon as I picked her up and walked two steps, so I tried setting her down again to do quick hair and makeup.  This time bought a little more time, but by the time I finished and threw some sheets in the laundry she needed to be held again--we have a very cuddly baby!  She seemed a little happier, so I gave her a quick sponge bath.  We do a bath every day because girlfriend spits up like a fountain, and she turns into a hot sweaty mess when I wear her.

Gratuitous naked baby're welcome

12:00 pm
Tommy got home from running some errands and we traded off baby duty and making lunch, while I got dressed quickly (nothing exciting, just some Nike shorts and a tank top--I'm not planning on leaving the house today!).  Little one was finally able to stay asleep in her swing long enough for us to eat, and I headed into the kitchen to do some baking, while Tommy went out to the garage to work on the bar he is building.  We make our own whole wheat bread each week, and I had some ripe bananas to make into banana bread.  I got about halfway through before the babe was ready to eat again.

Totally unsure about this whole swing situation

1:15 pm
We finished eating and Lilly was content to hang out in the swing for a while, so I went in to finish baking.  She started to get fussy as I was finishing, and I knew she would be tired, so I threw her in the Moby to get some chores done.  We had company last week and have more coming this week, so I tried to fit all of the weekly cleaning into today.  I spent most of the time ironing before she got hungry again. (Am I the only one who hates ironing? Especially in the summer.  With a hot little baby strapped to you.  Blegh.)

Please ignore the fact that I left the flash on.  Remember, baby brain is real.

3:30 pm
Hungry again!  Time for another episode of Gossip Girl and some blogs :)

4:00 pm
Lilly Anne will be 6 weeks this week, and even though I haven't gone in to see my doctor and get officially cleared to exercise, I have been dying to start running again, especially since I signed up for the Disneyland 5k over Labor Day weekend while Tommy runs the half marathon.  I was bummed when I slept in so late this morning that I had missed my chance to run, since it was supposed to be back up in the 90s again today, but I was itching to go, so I figured screw the heat!  It was hot and slow, but it felt so good to go back out!  It made me a lot more confident that if I can get out in the mornings a few days a week for the next three weeks, I should be fine for the race!

4:30 pm
After I got back from my run, Tommy wanted to show me the progress on his bar in the garage.  I am super impressed with how it is turning out--it looks totally professional!  One of our good friends is amazing at brewing, and I am stoked for the first party we can host with a pony keg of his beer at our new bar (I'm thinking beer pong with the baby in the Ergo...#momoftheyear)!  After sufficient oohs and ahhs like a good wife, I headed back inside to bake some cookies (I swear I don't bake this much every day, I was just trying to get prepped for the week!) and start dinner.  We had some leftover ground turkey, so we threw together a quick taco salad.  We are trying to get better about meal planning and using up leftovers to avoid wasting as much food.  While everything was heating up, I started writing up the morning before I forgot everything.  Baby brain is real, people.

6:00 pm
We ate dinner, and, not to be left out, Lilly insisted on eating too!  We are still figuring out whatever this new routine might be, so I am hoping that she'll have a shorter stretch after this before she wants to eat again, and I won't be stuck waiting up until 10:00 to feed her.  Bedtime starts with a 9 around here.  After dinner, I finished cleaning up, dusting, and vacuuming to get everything ready for our guests while Tommy cuddled the baby and watched Criminal Minds.

8:30 pm
Lilly woke up and started to get fussy, so we took turns getting ready for bed so we could get in after she ate.  I crawled into bed to read and she fell asleep on my chest.  I figured she would be up again soon since it had been almost three hours since she ate, but I was having trouble keeping my eyes open, so I just gave in.  Aaaand that was the end of my day--somehow she didn't wake up again until after midnight to eat (6 hours, what?!)!  Life is exciting with newborn!

What is the most surprising thing to you about being a mom?
I think I am most surprised by how much longer I take to do everything.  I used to pride myself on being a very productive and efficient person, but that sure goes out the window with a baby!  I am constantly surprised by how much time has gone by some days when all I have done is sit on the couch and feed and soothe the baby.  I definitely don't mind it; in fact, it is a much-needed change of pace after the frantic business that teaching and coaching required.  I have been reading a lot about how much we glorify 'busy' and use it as a measure of value in our lives, so I am embracing the not busy for this season.

What advice would you give to new or soon-to-be mamas?
Haha, I'm pretty sure I still fall into this category, and I have no idea what I'm doing.  But, that said, I've definitely learned to give up my own agenda--this baby is going to eat, sleep, and poop on her own schedule, not mine.  Every time we start to get into a routine, something changes, and that doesn't mean that something is wrong with her--she's just an infant!  Follow their cues and adjust accordingly.  The worst night by far was the first night we were home from the hospital, and we had this idea that she would sleep in the crib.  And then we couldn't figure out why she was screaming and crying.  First of all, I'm pretty sure cribs freak the heck out of newborns, and second of all, she was hungry.  On my agenda, she couldn't possibly be hungry before 3 hours, but the second I gave in and fed her, there was peace.  Every single time.  And then she slept in our bed for three weeks, which I swore we would never do.  Whatever, just go with it.

What are your top three baby products?
I just put up our first month favorites here, but of those, I would definitely say any kind of baby carrier to wear her.  My arms would have fallen off and my house would be a train wreck without the Moby and the Ergo, but to be honest, I don't think it matters what kind you get.  Just put that baby on.  I am 100% on the baby-wearing bandwagon.  Second, something small to put the baby in.  I swore we didn't need a bassinet, but we use the swing and bouncy seat extensively, and I bet you we would use a bassinet if we had one.  I would say the last one would be a Wubbanub or some kind of pacifier--it's hit or miss with her, but it can be a great way to soothe her and help her fall asleep more independently now that she is a little older.


Thanks so much for sharing your day with us Mindy!