Wednesday, April 24, 2013

::Baby G:: One Year Ago...

Today is a very special day to me and my husband. A year ago today I woke up nervous and excited. A year ago today was the first day we could know if “this month was it”. We would find out if all of our planning, thoughts, prayers, excitement, and trying worked or if it would be another “maybe next month”. We tried for a little over six months to get pregnant. During that time, there were months that I thought that it definitely wasn't going to be THE month but then there were months were I was certain we were pregnant, I just felt different. Every month when the time would come around I would pray---I prayed for this month to be it, I prayed for our unborn baby, and I prayed that if it wasn't the case that I be okay with it.

The worse month was January of last year. It was one of those months that I just knew. I was sure! I woke up on the day and took another test, sure that the test I took the day before was a false negative taken too soon. I had had a horrible day at work the day before, I was stressed and irritable and I needed this. Looking back I put way too much importance on that test, maybe I wasn't ready. I took the test and not only was it negative, my period started before I left the house---definitely a negative for the month! I was upset. Realistically I knew it wasn't the end of the world but in that moment, I was extremely bummed out. I got in my car to head to work, pulled out of our parking garage (crying of course) and I hit a car that was pulling into our building. I was looking but I didn't even see her. I couldn't hold any more in, I just started crying. This woman was what I needed at that moment. She looked at her car, then looked up at me and said “It’s ok, there are worse things in the world” and she gave me the biggest hug. It was exactly what I needed. Before she walked away she said “Whatever it is, things will get better. They always do”. While I was still upset after this, she made me feel so much better. Whoever she was I am grateful to have run into her at the perfect time in my life.


After that moment, I tried not putting so much pressure on myself as I knew it would happen when it was meant to happen, I had little control over it. A year ago today my life was forever changed. I’ll never forget being on the floor of my bathroom looking at that test, I’ll never forget the huge hug from my husband, and I’ll never forget the big smile on his face when we realized we are starting a family! What a year!

Mere :-)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

::Henley:: We Have Rolled!

It's finally happened--after weeks and weeks of tipping up on her sides and trying to roll she finally did it although not quite like we were thinking. I've been putting her on her belly thinking she'd roll to her back since that is what most infants do first but turns out Henley was more interested in back to belly. She first did it on Friday night under her play gym, now she's doing it all of the time. Here is the video we took from today.


Happy Sunday all. We are heading to my mom's for dinner and to go to the pool for a little bit, well that's the plan as soon as little miss takes a nap that she's fighting. Hope your day is relaxing!

Mere :-)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

::Henley:: Month 4

It's that time again---another month has passed. I love every day that passes as we can see her changing and growing right before our eyes. Having a child is really the best thing ever, it's truly awesome!


Weight

I'm guessing she is about 15 lbs now but I have no idea anymore. She is definitely growing but she doesn't seem like she is significantly bigger. She goes to the doctor on Monday so I'll keep you posted. I am so curious to see.

Health

She has been congested quite a bit on and off since starting day care but that hasn't changed her mood one bit. She's still as happy and smiley as ever. 

She seems to be getting a little bit of cradle cap in the last day or so. I've read that using olive oil and a baby brush can get rid of it. We were out of olive oil so I tried it with coconut oil. It definitely got some of it off but I felt like my "scrubbing" was getting rid of the last few strands of hair that she has left on top (she's been losing a little of it).

Other than those two things, healthy as can be!

Sleep

Sleep has been ever evolving lately. She has been really great with the night time routine overall and is usually asleep at 8 and up for her first feeding somewhere between 2 and 3, then awake again around 5 or 6 when I get up for the day. We of course have off days but they really aren't bad at all. Last night she broke free of the swaddle and woke up at 1, we just put her in bed with us and she slept until 6:30 (thank God she woke up squawking because I slept through the alarm).

We put her in the Pack n Play about three weeks ago and she did great. She slept similar hours as she did in the Rock n Play. There were a few times she was a little rumbly but I just reached over and placed my hand on her belly and she quieted down. Then she got another wave of being congested and needed the incline of the Rock n Play. Since then she has been in the RnP but I'm planning to try the PnP again soon.

I've toyed with the idea of the crib in her room but honestly, it seems so far from us and I'm just not ready for that step. Tonight I tried to swaddling her with one arm out since she's really been sucking on her fingers so we will see how that goes.

Clothing

She is in 3-6 month clothing very comfortably! This is actually exciting to me because I have been stocking up on the cutest clothing and outfits in this size, preparing for summer. She's only been in these for about a week so we are still enjoying the new-ness of all of the outfits. I told Ted I wish I got a whole new wardrobe every 3 months, he didn't agree that it would be awesome lol. 

We have also bumped up a size in the cloth diapers. We are in Medium gDiapers and Swaddlebees. These are her main diapers in her stash now and since they are so much bigger there was no way the 0-3 clothing would fit over them. She can still wear the extra small Charlie Bananas but she has outgrown the absorbency of these. I usually put these on her if I know I'll be home and can change her in an hour or so.

Diet

Mama’s milk. I feel really blessed that I have had success producing enough milk for her. Now that I've been back to work for over a month, I have established a pretty good pumping routine. She is drinking about 16 oz a day at day care and I am pumping between 14-18 oz while at work. If I pump a little less, I add a pump before bed to make up the last few oz. I typically give her the milk I pumped the day before. On Friday I freeze the milk and on Monday I thaw the oldest frozen milk in my stash. This system seems to be working pretty well so far although some days I feel like I am on the pump more than I'm not.

Baby Gear Love

With all of the congestion she's had I was pretty frustrated with the bulb syringes that we have. I've heard many great things about the NoseFrida Snot Sucker but I was so gross out by the idea that I totally dismissed it. She was so congested and I felt so helpless that I went on Amazon and started reading reviews---after seeing 1,300 positive, raving reviews I took the plunge and ordered it. Now that I have been using it I have one word---AMAZING! It is so great and it clears her up perfectly! I highly recommend it to anyone with a congested little one.

She's been really into chewing on things lately and has been really liking this little teether we got from Target and also Sophie the Giraffe. She's been chewing her hands and fingers every chance she gets so these toys have been great. She also really loves her little Taggies Blanket. She chews on this too and it's so cute to see her pull it over her face, adorable!

We still aren't really using the Baby Einstein Activity Center but hopefully soon, it looks so fun!

Crying

She isn't a cryer at all. She gets a little pout lip here and there but she really doesn't cry much. She has started learning when she wants something and has been using her newly found voice to express these feelings. This week she has started fussing and arching her back when I put her is her car seat but usually gets distracted once I make funny faces at her---hopefully this doesn't get worse.

Social

We have been SO social lately! Let's see:

Aunt Allie came and shared her favorite book with Henley, The Lorax

Hung out with Grandma and cousin Alaina---she loves her cousin "Henny" (so cute!)

Aunt Tara came to visit

Hated visiting the Easter Bunny but...

loved the bunny he brought her!

Took walks with Mom, Dad, and Fitzy to enjoy the beautiful weather

We went to her first birthday party for her friend Ronan followed by a party for Ella the next week.

First visit to the beach and...

...the pool! She loved both!

She was cracking up last night when my Dad and Toni came over to cook for us and visit.

She's a lucky lady to have so many people that love her!

Postpartum

Mama has been feeling great. I have been working out using Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred, currently on Day 20 (Hoping to squeeze it in after this blog post so I can move on to Level 3). Other than that just feeling great overall. Still get a little bummed about my body here and there but I feel better working out.

Milestones

Overall she is more responsive and loves to giggle and talk to us. My mom got this great video of her chatting while playing on the floor. It is probably my most favorite video to date.
video

She seems like she is more than capable of rolling over, just not interested. She holds her head up really well.

And she is definitely my child, she loves watching TV. This was too hilarious not to photograph.

Overall she is so smiley and giggly and just loves hanging out with us. Every day we find little things she is doing that she's never done before--this week she has started grabbing her toes. It's so adorable!




One thing I know for sure is how lucky I am. I thank God for her every single day. Hope you all are doing well----almost Friday!!!

Mere :-)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

::Henley:: Diaper Talk

More diaper talk here today. As you know, Henley has been in cloth since day one---well at least she was. When we were looking for a day care provider, there were none in our area that allowed cloth diapering. At first I was really bummed because I was so adamant about using the cloth exclusively. After looking around and realizing that this day care was everything I was looking for (excluding the CD issue) I decided to suck it up and go with it. Having a child has taught me that we can't have it our way all of the time.

The next decision was which diaper to choose. I did not want her in a chemical-filled diaper so I set to the internet to research our options. When she was two weeks old, I had her in 7th Generation diaper for a bit due to severe diaper rash since mega strength rash creams cannot be used with the cloth. I hated them! She had a major blow out every time she wore them and they just felt cheap. After some research I came across The Honest Company. I had heard about them when I was pregnant but since I was planning on using cloth exclusively, I never really looked into it.

All of their products are 100%, non-toxic, chlorine-free, sustainable, & made with plant-based materials and they have a program where you can order the diapers as bundles and they are automatically sent to your house! (LOVE!) The company offers a trial of a few diapers and travel size of their wipes for free, then you have 7 days to cancel if you aren't planning to sign up for the monthly bundles. I ordered the trial and the diapers seemed to work great so we decided to stick with them.

The bundle cost starts at $79.99--for this price you get 6 packages of diapers and 4 packages of wipes. (The diapers have really cute designs too--bonus!!) Other items can be added on for 25% off. Since the bundle comes with 4 packs of wipes, I add on 2 pack at 25% off since she seems to use them at the same rate as the diapers. The default bundle is set to ship every month but since we don't use these at home, we altered our plan to ship every 6 weeks, you pick what works for you. We are still on our first shipment so I am watching to make sure we don't get our next shipment too soon. You are only billed when diapers are shipped.

See told you the diapers are cute!

After doing a quick price analysis, the costs were very comparable. The quality and look of the Honest diapers combined with the convenience of them being delivered to our front door definitely make it the best option for our family. Here is our cost benefit analysis we did. We used the prices of Huggies Pure and Natural at Babies r' Us. Of course there are diaper coupons out there so this doesn't consider that option. Many people buy diapers cheaper than this but for us, the convenience and the chemical-free aspect of these make this totally worth it for our family.


If any of you are planning to try out The Honest Company, please use My Honest Referral link here so I can get referral credits. Also please share if you try them, I'd love to know your thoughts. I don't know anyone in my circle that uses them so I'm curious on others thoughts.

Ok time for me to go to bed! Just so you know, Day 18 of 30 Day Shred complete today!

Have a great Hump Day!

Mere :-)

Monday, April 15, 2013

::Family:: First Day in the SUN!

If you have been a reader for any length of time you know I LOVE the sun, like major L.O.V.E!! My husband and I typically spend every weekend in the sun whether it be at the beach, on the boat, or at the pool. This year is obviously a little different from years past as we have a new member of the family with very sensitive skin therefore our 8 hour days in the sun may be changed a little this year---all for the better though.

Yesterday we took our first trip to the beach with Henley. Florida is already having record heat so we wanted to get out there early.

This was on the way home from work today at 4pm.

We were all set and ready to go by 9:30 or so. We stopped for some breakfast and then were on our way. We typically have our hands full when venturing to the beach but what we used to bring doesn't come close to what you bring with an infant.

Here is a quick run-down:

  • Henley (obvs :-) )
  • Diaper back complete with diapers, wipes, outfits, burp cloth, and toys
  • Beach bag with towels, sunscreen, Henley's bathing suit and cover-up, Henley's hat
  • Baby snug seat
  • Pop up beach tent
  • Both of our beach chairs
This was our set up, I think next time we will bring an umbrella also. If I wanted to hold her I had to be in the tent so she wasn't exposed to too much sun.



That may not seem like a lot but when I'm holding a baby, I'm a little limited as to what I can help carry. A baby wrap or carrier is out of the question in this heat, I'd feel like she is getting suffocated.

Despite all of the extra effort and paraphernalia, we had a great time! Henley was so funny. She loved looking around and feeling the water and sand. She was confused most of the time and just looked all over, taking it all in. We only stayed about two hours but she was great! She stayed awake the whole time and was so happy!



This is awesome!

 

She fell asleep the instant we were in the car. 

It was such a good day and now that I see what it entails (and that it's not so intimidating), we will be heading back out there soon!

Hope your Mondays were great. Mine got off to a rocky start but ended with my sweet baby in my arms. Ted and Henley were in a fender bender this morning and while everyone was/is perfectly fine, I was a panicked wreck until I got there and saw for myself. She was smiling and laughing and the cars are pretty much ok, one little crack in the bumper. Did make me see how quickly things happen though. Between that and the Boston Marathon bombings, I didn't want to lay her down tonight. Love her so much and can't even fathom something happening to her.

Hug your babies tight tonight!

Mere :-)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

::Get Fit:: Still Going!...and a Little Henley

I have to say that I am pretty dang proud of myself! I am still going on with the 30 Day Shred. I just completed Day 14 and am on Level 2. I have to say that Level 2 is way more difficult than Level 1----so much so that I am finding it a little more difficult to get motivated. The good thing about these workouts is that from start to finish, it's less than 30 minutes so once I start, which is the hardest part, there is really no point in stopping.

Level 1 went by rather quickly, Level 2 is dragging a little more. I took pictures at Day 10 and I am praying for even better results at Level 2---6 days away!

Tomorrow is FRIDAY! This week has been my "busy week" of the month and the first time I haven't been off in time to get Henley. I have really missed that little thing, every moment with her is special. Luckily I've been home in time for bedtime each night but I will be glad to be back to normal next week.

And because I have had way too many picture-free posts lately, here are some of the latest and greatest!






 This is one of my all-time favorite pictures!

Happy Friday! 

Mere :-)

Monday, April 8, 2013

::Get Fit:: 30 Day Shred---Level 1

Well I have completed Level One of 30 Day Shred. I'm glad that I'm onto the next round, it was started to get a little boring. When I can quote the "motivation" that Jillian is about to spout off, it's time to move on to the next one.

There was a noticeable difference in my endurance from Day 1 of this Level. What I have learned from this set is (1) I hate, hate, pushups and (2) Anterior Shoulder Raises are my arch nemisis! Even so, I was still getting better as those also.

Last night I took pictures for comparison and took my measurements again. My measurements were pretty much the same but with the pictures I could see a little difference. It wasn't significant by any means but just enough to show me that it's doing something! I can't wait to get to the end and see the results.

Monday, Not-So-Fun Day again. This is my busy week at work, first since being back, which means Dad is on Henley duty. I'm hoping not to work past 6:30/7:00 but we will see. Hoping for the best.

I hope your Monday is awesome!


Mere :-)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

::Henley:: A Day In Our Life

I've been back to work for three weeks now and I feel we are into a routine now and are getting pretty good at the day to day activities of being new, working parents. When I was thinking about this post I couldn't decide where to start it, like where does my day start. Once I started thinking about it more and more, it occurred to me that being a mom is literally a 24/7 job---so much so I couldn't even figure out where to "start" my day for this post. That being said, I'll start from my alarm. :-)

5:30 am - Alarm goes off & up and at em I go (I actually get out of bed about 50% of the time, the other 50% I hit snooze and throw off my whole morning) into the shower, get dressed, hair, makeup, shoes, and accessories.

6:15 am - Head into the kitchen. I pack my breakfast and lunch, grab a glass of milk or juice in my Tervis cup. Pack all of my bottles for pumping, all of my pump parts, and the pump. Make sure I have my wallet, keys, and cell phone in my purse. (I put these in the diaper bag when we go out as a family and have forgotten them before----now I check!)

6:30 am - Grab Henley and nurse her before walking out of the house. She wakes up sometimes but most of the time falls back asleep. I secretly hope she wakes up so I get snuggles before walking out the door. Ted wakes up at this point and heads to the kitchen to start the coffee and his breakfast. Once the coffee has starts, he grabs Fitz and heads out the door for their morning walk.

6:45 am - Henley is finished nursing and after some quickly snuggles and kisses, I head out of the door on the way to work. If she's awake, I put her in the swing so she can watch Dad eat breakfast, if not I lay her back down.

7:00 am - Me: I arrive at work, turn on my computer, and heat up some oatmeal for breakfast. Dad: Starts getting dressed and ready for work.

7:15 am - Dad: Grabs Henley and after much changing table cooing and laughing, gets Henley dressed and ready for school. Takes a picture of Henley and texts it to Mom. :-)



 7:25 am - Dad: Grabs the bottles from the fridge and packs them in the diaper bag, grab the baby and is out the door.

7:30 am - Call Mom and gives her a report on the morning, I love hearing when her and Dad have a happy, smiley morning.

7:45 am - Dad drops off Henley at daycare and calls Mom to let her know. (I've read too many stories of people forgetting to drop the kids off at daycare. We live in Florida where the internal temp in cars can reach well over 120* and we aren't chancing it. We've agreed to call before and after drop off duty just to be safe).

8:00 am - Dad gets to work and everyone is set for the day.

9:00 am - I have my first pumping session at work, usually get 6-7 oz.

11:30 am - Second pumping session (usually get 4 oz), heat up lunch and eat at my desk while checking my favorite websites.

2:00 pm - Third pumping session (usually get another 4 oz for a total of 14 oz for the following day's bottles).

3:45 pm - Start wrapping up any last minute emails, grab all of my pump parts and accessories and head out of work by 4:00 pm (I have forgotten my pump and milk twice and had to turn around. I now keep my car keys in my pump bag so I can't leave without it).

At this point, I am so excited to get Henley that I usually drive like a crazy person, cursing at every slow driver and red light I encounter.

4:10 pm - Arrive at day care and pick up Henley, finally head home for the day.

4:30 pm - Home with Henley. Hug and kiss her as much as I can, chat about our day and get lots of smiles and snuggles.

5:15 pm - Dad gets home and we all go for a walk with Fitzy.

Between 5:30 - 7:00 pm - Wash all of her bottles from the day (I send 5- 4 oz bottles but always get one back). Dad starts dinner while Mom and Henley have some tummy time. Henley usually nurses anywhere from 5:45 - 6:30. After we nurse, dinner is ready. We get to eat together about half of the time, the other half we eat in shifts.

7:15 pm - Start the wind down process. Dad starts the bath while I strip her down nudie. Bath time is a joint effort, she loves it so much that both Mom and Dad love playing with her.

7:30 pm - Out of the bath. New diaper on with the Snuza clipped and turned on, lotion massage on the legs, arms, and belly, clean the ears with baby Q-tips, and onesie on.

7:45 pm - All of the lights are turned down, Pandora on the TV is turned on and the Lullaby station is playing. I nurse her while rocking in the chair. She starts dozing off during this feeding so I try to wake her to keep her eating so she gets enough for the night.

8:00-8:15 pm - She finishes nursing, I swaddle her, give her a paci, and rock her to sleep. Once she's asleep I put her to bed. She is going back and forth between the Rock and Play sleeper and the Pack and Play. She's congested at the moment so we have been using the Rocker since it has a nice incline.

8:30 pm - Get ready for the next day: I make up all of her bottles for the next day. Lately I have been 2 oz short so I make all of the bottle except the 2 oz I'll pump later. I wash all of my pump bottles and parts. I pack her diaper bag, lay out her outfit for the next day for Dad.

9:00 pm - Start my 30 Day Shred workout while Dad watches TV or surfs on the computer.

9:30 pm - Workout complete and into the shower I go. Pump last two oz when I get out and add it to the bottles in the fridge. Clean all of the pump parts again.

10:00 pm - Bed!! Totally exhausted at this point! Lay in bed, catch up on Facebook, Instagram, and all of my blogs on BlogLovin'

10:30 pm - Out like a light!

2:00 am - Henley wakes up for her first feed. I usually get out of bed and head to the rocker in the living room for this one. Read Facebook, my message boards, Huffington Post, anything to stay awake.

Anywhere from 4:00 - 4:30 am - Hens wakes up for her next feeding. At this point I'm usually too exhausted to get up so I put her in bed with us and nurse her lying down. We both fall asleep until my alarm goes off and we start this crazy day all over again!

As you can see there isn't much time for "me" time but the one thing motherhood has taught me is that I don't need it. I don't need time to surf the internet for hours at a time, if my fingernails or toenails aren't perfectly painted that's ok. Spending time with my smiley little baby is the best gift I could ever get.

Being a working mom isn't easy but it's going well. Henley likes day care so far and I like seeing how great all of the employees at the day care are with her. Look at her first "artwork"!


How similar is my day to you other new mom's out there? Any tips or pointers you've learned??

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Mere :-)


Thursday, April 4, 2013

::Get Fit:: 30 Day Shred Days 4, 5, 6, & 7

Guess what---I'm still sticking with the 30 Day Shred workouts! It feels so good to spend 30 minutes at the end of the day working on me. I can feel my endurance getting better with each day. I've completed the first week and it feels great.

Day 4: This has been the best day so far! I was able to do more push up than I ever have before. I didn't fail out while doing the first set of arm raises with weights either (I did fail out on the second set but this is progress!) I felt great after this workout and felt very motivated to keep going!

Day 5: Today was the first day where I wasn't 100% gung-ho to get this started. Henley went to bed a little later so I didn't get started until 9pm .The great thing about this workout is that once you get started and get through the first circuit, you are more than a third of the way there, might as well keep going!

Day 6: Thought of the day---I hate push ups. I did 15 which is the most I've been able to do so I know I'm getting stronger but it still stinks! I don't enjoy them and I'm afraid if I go down too far I'm going to face plant into the carpet!

Day 7: The Level 1 DVD is getting a little repetitive but I do like that I know what's coming----only three days left and then onto Level 2! Good news is I was able to do both sets of arm raises without failing!! Score!

As you can see I'm sticking with it. I can't wait to show you the (hopefully great) results. I plan on taking pictures and measurements after each Level as a benchmark. I'll keep you posted!

In other news----tomorrow is Friday! Yippee!!

Have a great Friday---hope it FLIES by!

Mere :-)

Monday, April 1, 2013

::Henley:: My First Easter!

We had a great Easter holiday with Henley, an exhausting weekend but a good one. I have always loved the Easter baskets that can be personalized at Pottery Barn. Even though I know Henley doesn't know what's going on, I still wanted to get her a little Easter basket with some goodies in it. Here are some pictures from Easter morning.

Sunglasses and Hair Accessories from Target








Every day gets more and more fun with her. I can't believe it's already April! Time is flying by! Happy Spring everyone!

Mere :-)