Sunday, March 31, 2013

::Family:: Easter Portraits

Last week when I was picking up Henley from day care they asked us to bring in a family photo for their wall. They have all of the family pictures on one wall for the little ones to look at in one of their play sections. It was then that I realized that we hadn't taken any pictures of the three of us. Since my hubs has a nice camera, we took to the park and downtown area after Easter service yesterday.

My sister was with us so hubs adjusted the settings on the camera and my sister went to town!

Thanks to my sister for helping out. We finally have some good family pictures to frame and to send to day care!

Hope you all had a great Easter!!

Quick update on 30 Day Shred---Day 3 complete! I was able to get a few more push-ups out and I completed the whole first section of arm raises and all but two in the second section (arm raises with weights are the hardest for me!) I'm getting excited about finishing and completing this!

Have a great week!

Mere :-)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

::Get Fit:: 30 Day Shred Day 2

I did it again! Yay---I feel great. I did day two tonight after the baby went to sleep. I felt like I had a little more endurance tonight than I had last night. I was able to do a few more push-ups than I did last night and I got through a few more of the shoulder raises.

I feel hopeful that I am able to do this workout after Henley is sleeping. I started it at 9:15 and it only took 30 minutes. This looks promising!! Praying for commitment, motivation, and endurance through this.

Today was such a busy day---breakfast at First Watch Cafe with hubs and Henley, visited my mom at her church for an Easter Egg Hunt, First Birthday party for a friend's little one, church for Easter service, and then family pictures in the park. Henley was so well behaved---I feel so lucky to have such a good, patient baby.

Family Easter pictures to be posted soon.

Gotta go get ready, I think the Easter bunny is coming tonight!

Happy Easter!

Mere :-)

Friday, March 29, 2013

::Get Fit:: 30 Day Shred

Back of track...hopefully. After taking a little hiatus on working out since going back to work, I am ready to get back to it. I was a little hesitant to start a program too intense or hardcore since I have heard it can affect breast feeding. I researched a ton and have come to the conclusion that as long as I stay hydrated I should be ok.

I'm two weeks into work and starting to see that there isn't a lot of time for working out with my schedule. I could always work out after work but the whole point of getting out of work at 4 is so I can spend maximum time with Henley. After looking into some options, I have decided to try Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred.

30 Day Shred is a month-long program with three levels. I'm planning to switch levels every 10 days. I went to Sports Authority and purchased 5 lb weights and got to it. (I also bought some for my sister with the hope we can motivate each other!)

Today I got home around 1:30 and decided to start right away. Since my sister was around, it was a perfect opportunity to start this journey together.

I took before pictures today and got all of my measurements. While I'm comfortable sharing my before stats, not so much on the before pics. Here's hoping in 30 days I'll have an awesome comparison to share.

Weight: 158
Bicep: 10.5"
Bust: 37" (I took this at the largest part)
Waist: 31" (smallest part)
Waist: 36.5" (at the belly button)
Hips: 39.5"
Thigh: 21"
Calf: 7"

If you have tried this program, please share your results. If you don't hear me updating about my journey, ask! I want you to hold me accountable!

I hope you all have a Happy Easter, we are planning to go to church and have lunch with my mom. We are also hoping to get some good pictures of the three of us since we don't have any since Christmas.

Have a great weekend!!

Mere :-)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

::Life:: Back to It

Well it's official--my maternity leave is over! (insert a mega sad face here!) Excluding the week Henley was born, this has been one of the most emotional times I've ever had in my life. I've been back to work for one week now and am just now starting to feel like this is my new routine.

I started thinking about returning to work and getting started with our new normal around the time Henley was 7 weeks old. I was lying in bed one night with Henley snuggled tight up against me. I was thinking how awesome the last 7 weeks have been and then I started doing the math---7 weeks old, 12 weeks of maternity leave equals 5 weeks left!! I lost it right there--tears, crying, the works.

I started thinking how I would only be getting a few hours with her at night during the week. I was thinking that there is so much to do at night as it is that I can't imagine adding a baby into the mix and still getting quality time. It was around this time that Henley first started smiling and her smiles and happiest times were much more frequent in the mornings.  I just knew I'd be missing all of those sweet little moments. On top of all of this was the fact that I would be leaving my precious, beautiful little baby with people I had met for 10 minutes tops!

The dread surrounding the day I'd be returning to work was constant, my thoughts ended up there frequently and always ended with tears. At about 10 weeks postpartum, I started coming to grips with the situation. Work was 2 weeks away, I needed to be mentally challenged again, Henley needed to develop socially, all working moms have experienced this, and all of these emotions were normal. I met with my boss and discussed an alternate schedule that would allow me an extra hour or two at night with Henley without sacrificing the amount of hours I was working. Mentally I felt a little more prepared but emotionally I was still a mess.

I returned to work Wednesday but I had received advice to take her to daycare a day or two before I go back for a few hours to get myself acclimated without the added pressure of work. I was scheduled to go back to work on Wednesday so I planned on taking her to daycare Monday and Tuesday.

Last Sunday night I was doing my nightly bed time routine with Henley and was rocking her to sleep. I just started to cry again thinking of all of my worries. On top of all of the normal concerns I had was the fact that this signified the end of the first stage of her life. She is no longer a newborn, I am no longer the sole person offering her care--that chapter was over.

I sat with my husband that night rocking her for at least an hour after she fell asleep just talking it through. Logically I knew this was what we wanted but emotionally it was so hard to think about. My husband is a saint and it always there for me to talk through things. I left that conversation feeling emotionally prepared for the following day. I could do this! Henley would be ok and I would have time to catch up on some things I had to do before work.

Monday morning rolled around, I got up and started getting ready to drop her off. I was feeling so confident that this was going to be much better than expected. I was actually looking forward to this in a weird way. I was feeling pretty proud of myself. We arrived at daycare around 9:30. I walked in, got the tour, got all of her stuff set up (still feeling like a rockstar I might add), then one of the worker's held Henley and said "we got this mom, see you in a little bit" and I lost it! Right there in the middle of the room, crying my eyes out. I wasn't really even thinking about anything that would cause me to cry. I was overcome with this emotion that I couldn't control! It felt so unnatural for her to not be with me---for someone else to be taking care of her for the day. I drove home and just cried.

I lasted about 4 hours before I had to go get her, crying for about 3 of those hours. I walked into daycare and she was just hanging out---totally content. I picked her up and squeezed her and gave her tons of kisses---she was back where she belongs! We survived the first day of "school". Tuesday was much better and not one tear was shed. Once I started work, my husband would be doing drop off duty (huge benefit to me emotionally). Since I have started work, saying goodbye in the mornings is hard, I get choked up and I miss her so much during the day but every day is a little better. On Wednesday I cried the whole way to work. On Thursday and Friday I cried when I said goodbye and now I get choked up but I have something so great to look forward to. (and I might add that tonight she smiled and cooed at me for at least 10 minutes so I still get awesome moments!)

This post really doesn't have much of a purpose other than to tell you about my day and to say that people are right---it gets easier every day. I don't miss her any less. Every day I am just at eager to get her---packed up and ready to go the minute I am able to. I speed over to daycare as soon as possible, cursing every light I have to stop at but seeing her there at day care warms my heart. Picking her up and kissing her makes me melt. Parenthood is the most incredible privilege I have ever been blessed with. I feel so honored to have the opportunity to be Henley's mom. I love that I get to love her and that I get to experience the mother bond. Being a mom is incredible, truly!

At least once a day I am just overwhelmed with emotion and love for her it's incredible. It's crazy that I love this little person so much---I had no idea I had this much love to give.

If you are returning to work soon or if you are worried about it, just know that you are not alone! Every new mom feels this way, it's not natural to be away from our babies but it's going to be ok. They will be learning new skills and meeting new friends (and you will be able to stay challenged and keep your sanity). It gets easier every day. Stay strong!

Ok---after all of that gushing I just want to go pick her up and snuggle her right now (I won't of course--never wake a sleeping baby)!

If you hung on for this whole post, mad props! ;-)


::Henley:: My Shamrock!

This post is a little late but I wrote it and forgot to schedule it to post! Oops!!

We have a friend that makes all of these great embroidery items (clothes, wipe cases, bags, hats, and more!) She made this for me and we did a little St. Patrick's Day photo shoot!

I hope you had a great holiday filled with green treats and yummy corned beef and cabbage---we did!

Stay tuned for our next holiday pictures---Easter!

Mere :-)

Monday, March 18, 2013

::Henley:: Month Three Yippee!

It's here again and oh so soon--Henley is three months old! This month has been another great month full of smiles and laughs which I love SO much. My favorite is in the mornings when she wakes up. She starts opening her eyes and grunting and stretching, she then finds me and I said "Good Morning Sunshine" and she gets the biggest grin and smile ever. Ted says she's probably thinking "yay you didn't disappear overnight!" It's seriously the cutest thing ever!


She’s been gaining about 2 lbs a month so based on that, I think she’s about 13 lbs. She weighed 11 lbs 12 oz at her 2-month check up, she was 22.5” long (not the 14 lbs I blogged last month, apparently my method of weighing myself and then her doesn't work). She goes back to the doctor at month 4 so we will get an official weight then.


I think this section will start having more and more activity being she started day care! I know it’s normal and all kids go through getting sick at day care but I hate seeing her like that. She’s been in day care one week and already is congested with a stuffy nose. Boo!! I hate seeing her uncomfortable.

Speaking of day care, she got her first “boo boo”. She’s in an infant room with babies one year old and younger. Some of them are at the age where they are starting to walk around and I think Henley got pelted in the head with a toy by one of the “bigger” kids. It left a little red mark but was healed by the next day. I took it surprisingly well, I’m just glad I was not the one that caused her first injury!

She is still sleeping pretty well in my opinion. She isn't sleeping through the night just yet but I feel like she gets up to eat and goes right back down without any issue for the most part. Last week was her first week at day care and she was only getting up once a night, around midnight and then again around 5. That was pretty awesome but didn't last through the weekend. She got up every 3 hours this weekend which may be due to a growth spurt. She’s 3 months and that’s usually a time for growth spurts. Honestly I am just thrilled she goes back down after eating in the middle of the night, it doesn't really bother me to get up and nurse for 15-20 minutes.

I think it’s time to start the crib at night but I am so reluctant since her room is so far from ours and it will take so much effort to get up to calm her down or nurse her (also because the longest she’s ever slept in the crib is an hour). There is a guest bed in that room so I've toyed with the idea of sleeping in there for a little while until she gets used to sleeping in the crib and is sleeping longer stretches.


She’s still comfortably in 0-3, everything is fitting really well and she doesn't really seem to be growing out of them yet. Her Easter dress is 0-3 so let’s hope she stays in 0-3 for a few more weeks.


Mama’s milk. I feel really blessed that I have had success producing enough milk for her plus some. I started pumping more often since I went back to work (boo!) and I have been pumping about 6-8 ounces more a day than she is eating. I pray I can keep up with her through these growth spurts, I really want to be able to breastfeed her the whole first year.

Baby Gear Love

We bought her a new activity play toy for the floor after I read great reviews about it. Grandma Patricia bought her the Fisher Price Kick and Play and she LOVES it! She loves the mirror and looking at herself and it has toys that catch her eye and she can reach.

She’s getting better at sitting in the Baby Snug seat but I haven’t really used this a lot since most of the time she is playing on the floor and sitting in the seat is kind of boring. I think this seat will be nice to have once she is eating finger foods and can use the tray for that. She is sitting in it for her monthly pictures above.
Baby Snug Seat

We also bought her a high chair, the Graco Slim Spaces! It seems like every time it’s our dinner time, she wants attention so I found a high chair that reclines so she is able to sit in it and watch us. It’s nice to have somewhere to put her so she can sit at the table with us. I've also rolled it into the kitchen while we've been cooking and she likes to look around and watch us.

This weekend we put together her Baby Einstein Activity Center but she’s still too little to enjoy it. It’s ready and waiting for her though.

We also still LOVE the Puj Tub---bath time is so fun and sometimes we let her just hang out in there. She has such a blast!
Having a little fun at bath time


She’s really good with crying still, only crying when she’s not feeling well. Last night was terrible---she was VERY gassy plus being congested, she was not a happy baby! It’s so sad to see her upset!


We’re into a pretty solid routine now which is nice and she’s really good when we are out and about (we've had a few times where she’s been fussy in restaurants but it’s not the norm). 

Since I started back to work last week, she’s in day care every day. Dad drops her off around 7:45 and I pick up at 4. She’s meeting all kind of new friends there.
Henley's first day of school

This month Henley got to meet her Aunt Tara for the first time. Grandma and Aunt Tara came to visit a couple weeks ago. She loved hanging out with them and it was great to see them.
Henley with Grandma Patricia

Henley also got to meet Baby Kennedy, Baby Kyle, and she got to see Baby Braxton again. There are so many babies and I can't wait until they are all old enough for play time!
Henley and Braxton


I’m feeling great health-wise but a little lost otherwise. I don’t know how to work out with this postpartum body and I’m scared to do too much and effect my breast milk supply. I’m still not comfortable with my body, which is totally normal and I get that but it’s just weird to not feel like myself. I’m hoping to be able to get into a lunch workout routine now that I am back to work and we have a gym on campus. I really want to run but I don’t know when there will be a good time to do that. We have a running stroller but it’s not suggested to be used with the baby until six months or so. Hopefully soon I can get into a routine with my time that allows me to spend as much time with Henley as possible while still having some mommy time to get healthy.

Speaking of working out, you’ll notice that I have stopped the “Get Fit” posts, mainly because I haven’t done much. Hopefully I’ll be able to start those back up soon.


She’s really starting to focus and grab onto things which is so cool to watch. I love that she follows me walking across the room. She will also turn her head and look for us when she hears our voice. It’s pretty awesome!

She’s also started putting her pacifier in her mouth when it falls out too, she did that last week for the first time. She was swinging and putting it in and taking it out. It's so neat to watch her develop like that.

I feel like she is right on the verge of rolling over. She isn't a fan of “tummy time” so that is hindering her developing her rolling over but I know she’ll get it sooner or later.

I already miss the little 7lbs baby we brought home but every time she grabs onto a toy or smiles at us I get so excited for what else is to come. It's such a weird feeling wanting her to stay little at the same time as I can't wait to see what is next. She is so awesome and I thank God every day for blessing us with such a great baby. It's amazing how much I love her!

I hope you all have a great week!

Mere :-)

Friday, March 15, 2013

::Random:: BlogLovin'

Follow on Bloglovin

As many of you know, Google Reader is going to cease to exist on July 1 so all of you that read blogs using that reader will have to find an alternate means of following. You can follow my blog using bloglovin' by clicking the link above!

You can click here to import your Google Reader right into bloglovin'

Hope you stick around :-)


Thursday, March 7, 2013

::Get Fit:: Week 2

Week 2 of my "Get Fit" plan went rather well. I got a few runs in but I am starting to see that this getting in shape while having an infant is going to be harder than I originally expected. We will get into that into a minute----first let's discuss last week.

My sister and I went for two runs. I love running this time of year, the temps are perfect and there is virtually no humidity. Having my sister to motivate me to run is really nice to have. I'm excited for the time when Henley can run with my hubs and I in the stroller.

It's already Wednesday this week and I haven't had the chance to run or workout yet, hopefully I can get some in at the latter part of the week.

Henley starts day care on Monday and I start work on Wednesday. I cannot believe it's already time to go back. I am taking Henley to daycare on Monday and Tuesday for a few hours to get me used to that part before I go back to work. I had a girlfriend that did something similar and she said it really helped with the transition.

I spoke with my employer about my hours and am planning to work 7-4 to give me an extra hour in the evening. I could work 6-3 but I think that would be hard to get up and feed her in the am with waking up a few times at night. If I work 7-4, I have 9 hours at work to obviously get my work done, pump three time, and go to the gym over lunch. I can see how quickly my day is filling up. I'm curious to see how it will work. Any moms out there have tips?!

This post is short and sweet but I hope you all are having success in your plan to "Get Fit"!

Later peeps!

Mere :-)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

::Our Nest:: Signed, Sealed, & Not Yet Delivered

Ted and I always knew we wanted a house eventually but graduating in 2006 in the worst real estate market in the country really limited our options. We have rented for the last seven years in a place that we really have loved (for the most part---not considering the ridiculous condo association rules or trekking 22 flights of stairs due to a fire alarm) but it's time to move on. Our current lease expires in September and we have been recently looking at existing home sales locally trying to decide the location we liked the best and the size and age of homes that we could comfortably afford.

About a week ago, Ted discovered some newer communities that are being built out with new homes----long story short---we signed the contract on a new home today and we couldn't be more excited! Details--on Tuesday, Henley and I met Ted for lunch and took a drive through one of the communities. There are a bunch of vacant lots with quite a few new homes being built. We stopped by the model home to speak to a salesman and saw that this area is perfect for what we are looking for. The houses have all kinds of great amenities included (granite countertops, paver driveways, stone facade, blinds, and crown molding) and are at prices that are far better than existing home we have seen. 

On Thursday we sent in for pre-approval and after much discussing and debating we decided to take the plunge and we signed the papers for construction today! The home should be finished in late August which is perfect for our lease timing.

Here is the home we decided on:

I have already been a pinning fool with home decorating and furnishing ideas. I can't wait to have a place of our own---somewhere Henley can run around outside, a place where cute little trick-or-treaters come and visit, a place for Fitz to run and exercise, and a place to call our own.

I'm excited to share with you all our journey of becoming homeowners---let's all hope and pray these next five months flies by!!

Mere :-)