Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy 4 Months, Hadley!




Weight/Height/Head:  At her 4 month appointment, her weight was 17lb, 4oz (99th percentile) and she was 26 inches long (65th percentile).  Can't remember her head, but she's in the 25th percentile for that!  (Takes after her Daddy, ha)

Hair:  Dark brown in the back and growing in light brown/dark blonde on top.  It's finally starting to be noticeable on top of her head!

Eyes: Blue and beautiful

Diapers: Size 2

Clothes: It's a range right now.  In Carters she's getting snug in the 0-3 months but 6 months is still a little big.  She's very comfortably wearing a pair of 6-12 month jeans from Baby Gap right now, so I think we'll be in toddler sizes in no time

Eating: We're all done nursing :(  She's taking bottles like a champ, though.  Most feedings we're giving her 7oz every 3-4 hours, with an occasional 4oz bottle thrown in there.  The girl has quite an appetite.  We've also started cereal!  We're using Earth's Best Organic Baby Oatmeal and up until today it's been nothing but a huge mess with literally nothing going in her mouth.  I realized that I was making it too runny so after I thickened it up a little bit, she started eating it like she'd been eating it all her life!  Here's a little video of it, sorry it's dark!  




I know doctors say to wait until 6 months to start them on solids, but I might just start her around 5 months.  She's starting to watch us when we eat and if you watch the video, she totally gets the concept of opening her mouth for the spoon and wanting what I'm offering her.
Sleeping: Well, she sleeps through the night, which is a great thing.  However, she's still sleeping in our room.  To be perfectly honest, I'm okay with it.  She sleeps so well, and it definitely doesn't bother us.  The biggest reason why is that I have extreme - extreme - paranoia about SIDS.  I purchased an Angelcare Monitor (haven't set it up yet, though), and also a mattress wrap (if you're a parent and you haven't ever read about the links between SIDS and toxic fumes in mattresses, it's worth at least checking into, here's a good article http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/bedding.asp).  The risk decreases after 6 months, so I know after that point I will ease up a little in feeling like I need her right next to me.  


Milestones:  We've had lots this month!


  • Ate cereal for the first time
  • Started laughing when tickled or we make silly faces/noises
  • Grabs her feet
  • Picks up toys on her own, reaches for toys
  • Puts anything and everything in her mouth
  • Loves to "talk" to you when you talk to her
  • Rolling over from back to front a few times
  • Holding her bottle (not by herself but will put her hands on it like she is)
  • Can sometimes hold her weight sitting up for a minute
  • Moved up to baths in the regular bathtub 




She continues to be my greatest blessing.  Being her mom will forever be my most important role, and I sometimes think, "I should thank God for her more often" but then I think to myself, God knows my heart, and He knew how long I waited for her and how much I love her.  That said, I am so thankful for her and can't wait to see what the rest of this month has in store for her!  

Okay, I'm really terrible at these...hope to improve on them one of these days!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mommy Confessions

One of the things that I am trying to overcome in my life is struggle with comparing myself to others.  I know that this is something many women struggle with, so I know I'm not alone.  I never assumed that this struggle would end once I had a baby, but I feel like it became magnified once I had something more in common with so many other women.

I saw this quote recently and I think I want to print it out and put it on a bulletin board in front of me.


Seeing this quote led me to the idea that I want to be more real.  I want people - other women - to know completely who I am, and like I said, my biggest struggle right now is in comparing myself and the things I have/do to other moms.  With that being said....here are my confessions, without any justification because frankly...I don't need any!
  • Hadley still sleeps in our room.  And occasionally sleeps with me 
  • We use Target formula, and while I loved breastfeeding, I am truly scared for what my decision will be with our next baby.  I want to breastfeed but keeping it real...it was a lot of work to keep her fed since she eats so much and she's such a healthy, happy baby that I don't hate formula as much as I feel like I should
  • I sometimes stay in my pajamas all day now
  • We don't hardly have any schedule for Hadley.  We wake up and feed her and that sometimes happens at 6am and sometimes at 8am.  There's no set bedtime, except a general time that I try to get her to sleep
  • I rarely just lay her down in her crib and let her fall asleep on her own.  Most of the time I hold her or rock her until she's asleep
  • Even though I don't think there's anything wrong with letting her "cry it out" I hate to hear her do it so I usually don't last long before I go in there
  • Some days Hadley will wear the same outfit two days in a row if it's not overly spit up on or pooped on (if we're staying in the house)
  • We use Walmart and Target diapers.  Haven't used any Pampers or Huggies since she was a newborn
So there's just a few things, maybe it will make some other mom feel better about herself.  I am not big on resolutions because for me, they're rarely kept, but one thing I do want to make a point to do in 2013 is to accept the things I do and to own them and not be ashamed or hide them from people because of what they might think.  I know that some of these things might be creating issues but we'll cross those bridges when we get there.

Here's to 2013, and being real.

Friday, December 28, 2012

My Weight Watchers Tips

I'm hardly qualified to give any advice on Weight Watchers considering I've only done the program for a total of less than 3 months.  But I do have some tips for beginners that could help save some folks the unintentional loss of precious points!

First of all, though, I have to just share my love for Weight Watchers.  The program definitely takes a little bit of effort and planning, which is difficult for me at times, considering I have a 4 month old and work full time from home.  But I really believe that it's one of the easiest ways to lose weight if you will just follow the allotted points given to you.

One thing I regret is that I didn't start Weight Watchers right after Hadley was born.  I was nursing and so I figured I shouldn't be in a "weight loss" mentality.  Which you shouldn't, obviously.  But the great thing is that Weight Watchers will give you an additional 14 points (sorry, not sure how many calories that equates out to) if you're exclusively nursing, or an additional 7 points if you're nursing with supplements.  The reason this is great is that for the first couple months I never knew how much I was eating, or if I was consuming enough calories for nursing.  I didn't want to just eat whatever I came across but I also wanted to make sure I was getting enough.

Alright, here's some of my general Weight Watchers tips -

  • Create your menu for the week in advance.  If it's time to eat and you have to throw something together that you have sitting around in your kitchen, chances are it's either A) not going to be what you want to eat or B) it's going to exceed your points for that meal or for the day.
  • When it comes to snacks, figure out the points for one serving of that snack and put a few separate servings into snack-size Ziploc baggies.  That way, you won't have to waste time counting out 13 pretzels or whatever, and you won't just snack out of the bag.  
  • Put Skinnytaste - www.skinnytaste.com - in your bookmarks and visit it daily!  This is my go-to place for recipes, even when I'm not on Weight Watchers.  It gives the WW Points Plus value for all of her healthy-but-good recipes so it makes eating well so much more enjoyable.  
  • Make sure to find the values of everything you're eating, save for fruits and veggies cause those are 0 points.  You would be incredibly surprised to find out that some things that don't seem like they would be high in points, like olive oil (I never cook w/ more than a teaspoon now, which is hard for me!) are really pretty high, especially if you use them somewhat liberally.
  • Allow yourself a splurge, whether it's daily or weekly.  In the mornings when I drink my coffee, it is a must for me to have two tablespoons of French Vanilla coffee creamer in my coffee.  Can't drink it without it, and I ain't giving up my coffee.  I give up 2 points for that, but it's a non-negotiable for me and it helps me feel like I'm not locked into some diet that doesn't allow any flexibility.  
And here's a few of my favorite snacks/meals - 
  • For breakfast, I usually eat 1 egg with 1 egg white and will add in a Laughing Cow Light cheese wedge and veggies.  This is 3-4 points
  • My favorite snack/meal ( eat it anytime, really) is shredded brussel sprouts cooked in a garlic paste.  I finely cut/shred my brussel sprouts and spray them down with an olive oil spray (0 points!) and sautee them in the garlic and add a little tiny bit of white cooking wine (not real wine, just the cheap stuff from the grocery store.  Also 0 pts) to deglaze the pan.  SO good and flavorful and best of all, it's a free meal!  
  • Potato Soup made with Cauliflower.  I steam a head of cauliflower and add in 1-2 small potatoes just to give it a little starchiness, plus a tablespoon of light sour cream (or fat free greek yogurt), a little bit of chicken broth and if I want it extra creamy, a little bit of fat free half and half.  This is a low point meal that allows you to eat a big serving and it's so filling!
  • Baked Sweet Potato topped with 1/2C black beans, Rotel tomatoes and corn, 1T of cheddar cheese and a Tbsp of FF Greek Yogurt - this is 7 points and also very filling
  • Any cooked veggies, I love roasting cauliflower, brussel sprouts or even cooked cabbage
These are just a few, I often will Google "Weight Watchers snacks" to get some ideas.  I think it's important to find different things that you like and can easily figure out the points.  Here's a few foods that I avoid due to having high points - 
  • Olive oil - 1T is 4 pts
  • Pasta - 2oz of my favorite kind - Barilla Bowties - is 6pts.  2oz is something like, 8 bowties.  Not worth it!
  • Cheese in "hard form" - meaning not shredded or crumbled.  1oz of cheese is 3pts, whereas 2T of shredded cheese is 2pts, and it feels like you get more when it's shredded
  • And the worst...eating out is typically off-limits.  It's amazing how you think you can take something fairly healthy - like a turkey wrap with no cheese - and it turns out to be like, 15 points or something ridiculous.  It's very hard to calculate points for a meal, especially when you live in a small town where you can't pull it up in the Points Tracker.  So I end up eating at home a lot 
  • Alcohol - I will sometimes save my points so I can have a 5oz glass of red wine, which is 4 points
  • Juice - I used to pour a healthy glass of Apple Juice in the morning until I found out that between my coffee and the juice I was using up about 10 points!  I now drink water and Diet Coke
Overall, I'm about 6lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight and fitting back in all of my pants now.  I quit nursing a couple weeks ago so maybe that helped some, but I really wasn't nursing much at the end there.  I think the biggest thing has been to control my portion sizes and cutting out the empty calories in the juice and regular Coke I was drinking.  I think this is a diet that anybody can do and be successful at, but you have to really want things to change!  Or just have a baby, I found that to be great motivation!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

After Christmas Recuperation

Christmas around these parts is a total event.  Not just a one day ordeal that you meet to open gifts and then eat dinner type of day, but rather, the holiday usually spans a couple of days.  There's the "everyone's in town for Christmas" dinner that occurs two days before Christmas.  Then there's Christmas Eve, which starts late afternoon at church and ends late that night.  And then of course there's Christmas Day, which starts off with a big brunch and lasts until well into the night.

SO, with all that being said, this Momma is tuckered out!  Hadley and I spent all day today in our pajamas, just hanging around the house and trying to get ourselves back into some resemblance of a routine.  Tough with a 4 month old.

Our Christmas was wonderful, though!  It was so sweet because we told all of Brad's family last year on Christmas Eve that we were pregnant, and this year we had our sweet baby girl, which was easily my best Christmas gift ever.  We had a great year, gift-wise - I got Brad a few shirts and some fly fishing stuff and his brother's bought him the fly rod he's been dying for, so he was happy.  And here's what Brad bought me...


A Verismo, the Starbucks One-Cup Coffee Maker.  I couldn't tell you if it's any better than the Keurigs but I love these because you can actually make lattes with them.  It was getting a little ridiculous when I would make my coffee because I would brew a small pot of coffee just for one cup in the morning.

And one thing that I bought for myself with some Christmas money --


The Sensationail Gel Polish kit that you can purchase at WalMart.  It's an at-home gel polish kit that comes with everything you need to do your own nails.  I was a little unsure about it but I had read a great review on it that sold me, so I decided to purchase it and I'm SO happy I did.  It didn't take very long at all to do my nails, and even now they look as fresh and shiny as they did four days ago when I put it on.  However, taking it off might be a different story, I'll check back on that when the time comes :)

And finally, here's a very random picture of Hadley on Christmas Eve in her Christmas dress - she looked SO sweet in it, but I'll be darned if the girl didn't spit up all over it and then have a big blowout up her back while at church in it!  We took this picture right when we got home before we stripped her down, we were in a hurry and I realized when Brad was getting her undressed that we hadn't gotten a picture of her in it.  Hence why it's blurry and she's not looking :)



Friday, December 21, 2012

Photo Bomb

4 days until Christmas, everyone!  Hard to believe it's almost here.  Can I just say that the saddest part of Christmas for me is taking down all the decorations?  I hate it.  It's just sad to put away the tree and all the cozy, pretty garland and shiny silver and candlesticks.  It's especially sad when you live in a climate that the weather tends to get worse after Christmas - cold, cold, cold.  And doesn't warm up - and when I say 'warm' I mean 50's warm - until the end of April.  Sigh.  

Buuut - the good news is that we have 4 more days of parties, spending time with family, time off work (yay!), Christmas movies, good food...it really is the best time of year.  

I'm planning to do a 4 month post this weekend (where is the time going??) but in the meantime I figured I would just put some sweet pictures up.  I swear, there are no words to describe how much I love this girl.  I was telling Brad the other day that I have a lot of respect for people - especially women - that say they don't want to have kids because they know it's just not right for their lives.  I think that's a conscious decision to make and should be respected because every baby born in this world deserves to be born to people that love it selflessly.  However....I was saying that even though I respect these people, I sometimes think that if they only knew the kind of incredible, unexplained joy that comes from having a baby,  they would maybe change their minds.  There really is something in you that wants to put them first and just do nothing but love them.

Anyway...onto pictures!


During the day when I'm working I'll put Hadley in the Bumbo on my desk and give her a diaper rag and sometimes a toy.  We're at that stage where anything and everything tries to get in her mouth.  In this case...both Sophie and the diaper rag.

One of those evenings where I couldn't do anything to appease her unless I was holding her, so this was the solution.  It worked for about 10 minutes, ha

I just can't even handle her.  Look at those cheeks!

She's such a happy baby.  Literally wakes up smiling in the morning.

I promise that Brad is a very involved Dad and does more than sleep with her :)  But when he does sleep with her, it's just too sweet for me.  Look at how little and curled up she is.  Love it

Auntie Leah reading Hadley her very first book.  I hadn't read to her yet because I just unpacked her boxes this last week.  She was super engrossed in it

Hadley and Eli, the son of some good friends of ours.  Eli was born July 3rd, about  6 weeks before Hadley.  We always joke that Hadley's going to have a great selection of little boys around her since literally all of my girlfriends here have boys!

I know this is a "no-no" to put her on the table in the Bumbo but I was sitting right here the entire time and I know my child, and know that she's not moving enough yet to fall out or over or whatever.  Anyway, during the day I have to have a circulation of entertaining things for her to do, and one of the new things we've added in is watching a Praise Baby DVD.  I guess it's like the Baby Einstein videos where they show big shapes and pictures or whatever to music and it's supposed to stimulate their brain.  This DVD plays worship songs and shows pictures.  It only holds her attention for about 10 minutes, which I will take!  But anyway, she was also very engrossed in this so I had to get a picture of it :)

I loved this little outfit, a denim shirt and black leggings.  Brad told me I had to put a headband on her so she didn't look like a boy.  I figured that the ruffled pants gave that away, but I did it anyway :)  

So lately this is what I've been seeing after I lay her down in her crib for a nap.  She's started rolling from back to front but for a day or two it was all she wanted to do when she laid down - practice rolling over. She definitely did not do any sleeping and we had a couple rough days

My sweet girl sleeping in her carseat at Walmart, clutching her toys.  



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Catch up

Christmas is always such a busy time, isn't it?  We actually haven't been that busy, but no kidding, I still feel like I'm behind on everything since we moved.  I have so many things to do in here - hang up decorations, hang up curtains, still have boxes to unpack...and I'll tell you what, when it gets dark around 4:45pm you just lose your motivation, especially after working all day long.

Anyway, here's a recent picture of the baby girl...


I've started putting her in the Johnny Jumper and she loves it.  She doesn't have the longest attention span for it, I think it's still a little bit uncomfortable for her, but when you first put her in she smiles and tiptoes around in circles.  Very sweet.

We got our Christmas card ordered and printed, now I just have to address them and send them out.  Brad keeps laughing at me and telling me that people are going to get their cards after Christmas but then I tell him, we still have two weeks until Christmas!  The last few times I've needed cards for anything - showers, invites, announcements, etc - I've gone to Etsy and searched for printable cards.  You find a design you like, usually pay $15-$20 for the design, send them your picture, get the card back and upload it to Walmart.com and you're done!  By the way, WalMart has great quality for cards and whenever they can detect that you're printing a card of some sort they give you envelopes, which is really nice.

Weight Watchers is going really well!  I've been on it for two weeks now and I've lost 5lbs.  Doesn't seem like a lot but I'm now back in my pre-pregnancy weight range and have 10lbs to go to get back to pre-pregnancy weight.  It's hard at times, especially when you like to drink your calories (coffee creamer and juice get me everytime) and having a glass of wine has become a special treat (and that's only a 5oz glass of wine, which is like a quarter of the glass!)  I've found that part of the reason why I think WW works so well is that weight loss really comes down to your diet.  I think pretty much the only people who can eat whatever they want and not gain weight b/c they're exercising so much are marathoners.  The rest of us, weight loss - in my opinion - is 80% diet and 20% exercise.  Exercise is so necessary for your health and it helps the weight come off faster, but let's face it...it's hard to get to the gym these days.

I've gotta get crackin' on work...here's to a good Tuesday!