Thursday, June 27, 2013

Back in the Game (Losing the Baby Weight)


So, I can firmly say now that I am back at my pre-pregnancy weight.  10 months later. Ha.  And here are my thoughts on it:

9 months on, 9 months off.

Now, I know there are women out there who manage to lose all their baby weight in the first couple months, and to them I say, congratulations.  You are the envy of us all.  But here's the thing:  all the women I know that lost the weight very quickly were younger than me and/or were very, very disciplined with their diet and exercise.  I, however, was 31 years old trying to lose 60-some pounds (yes, S-I-X-T-Y.  A lot of it was water weight...but a lot of it was not!) and have never been incredibly good about being very strict with my diet.  And I'm sorry, but having a newborn, or a baby in general, does not lend itself to lots of time working out.

My weight loss went like this:

The day I delivered I weighed 205.  (I can't believe I am admitting that, but hello, did you see my belly.  Or my rear end, for that matter).

At my 6 week checkup I weighed 166 lbs.  This was towards the end of September.

At Christmas, I still weighed 166.

Womp womp....

So!  Obviously I needed to do something about this little problem, so I decided to join Weight Watchers.  I was committed to it for about two months, during that time I lost 10-12lbs (roughly).  This put me back in just a little bit over familiar territory to me.  I did NOT work out at all, I just counted my points.  Eventually that got old to me and I "fell off the wagon".  Thankfully I didn't gain anything, but I also didn't lose anything.  Spring rolled around and come April I was still teetering between 154-156 and I was getting sick of it, so I decided to count calories. I did this on-and-off for about a month and probably lost around 5lbs, which put me around 150.

And somewhere between May and June I dropped the last 5 pounds, I'm thinking cause I walk a lot with Hadley.  I have really not been making the best diet choices (like last night for dinner we had mac & cheese and sweet corn.  How awful is that??) and I do want that to change, but as far as the weight loss goes, I really feel that being somewhat active and hitting that "9 month post-partum" mark is what knocked off the last bit of weight.

Now my goal is to get back into running.  I would never ever call myself a runner but before getting pregnant it was my workout of choice, mainly because nothing gets results like running does, but also because I loved the way I felt afterwards.  Running was always a mental game for me and when I would get done with a good run I felt so proud of myself.  Every single time :)

We bought a Bob jogging stroller and we have well gotten our money out of it already!  I went for a run today and though it was tough and I had to walk some, I still felt that same great feeling when I was done.  I wouldn't mind losing another 5lbs but I don't feel like I need to.  In fact, I remember when I was very pregnant and looking at pictures of me pre-pregnancy and knowing that, even before getting pregnant I was always trying to lose weight - but I looked great back then!  Being pregnant gave me some perspective and has helped me to try to accept myself for where I am right now and be happy with it, extra 5 lbs or not.

Overall, my biggest piece of advice to new moms trying to lose the weight is that, if you're just generally mindful of how you eat, I believe the weight will come off.  It may take some a couple months, others like me it took a full 10 months.  Also, try to have grace with yourself because it is a huge feat to drop weight when suddenly your life is completely, totally different and not about you at all.

Now someone remind me of all this when I get pregnant with #2 :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hadley's 8 & 9 Month Update

I hate that I skipped her monthly updates so this is more for my sake to look back on one day!  Also...these things may have happened during month 8 or month 9.  Ha.


  • Weight at her 9 month appointment was 22.2 lbs, height was 27.5 inches.  She still in the 90th percentile for weight but dropped to the 60th percentile for height
  • During month 8 we were doing more pureed food than actual solids.  I had attempted Baby Led Weaning and though I am coming back to it somewhat now, I went through a phase where I just didn't feel like she could eat anything and everything.  I fed her pureed sweet potatoes, peas, kale, spinach, carrots, mixtures of quinoa and black beans, etc.  
  • During month 9 we started moving more towards solid foods and she began eating more tiny, bite-sized pieces of veggies, beans, fruits and fish/chicken.  Both of these months she was still receiving anywhere from 24-32oz of formula a day.
  • Her mobility greatly increased during these months!  She began pulling up on furniture and cruising everywhere. 
  • Still no discernible words!
  • Sleep has been an up-and-down battle.  During 8 months and most of 9 months she was still taking 3 naps a day, but towards the end of 9 months dropped one and settled at two per day.  Bedtime ranged anywhere from 7:30-8:30, with a routine of a bath, bottle and snuggles.  It is a rare, rare occurrence that she sleeps all night. She typically wakes up around once or twice per night.  
  • I quit my job right after she turned 9 months old and our days have been so fun!  We spent the mornings playing followed by nap time, then we would usually eat breakfast and go for a walk.  We would come home for an afternoon nap and followed by lunch and maybe another walk with a friend or playing outside.  3-4pm is always the time that we're both wishing Daddy were coming home sooner than 6pm :)
This is a pretty piddly list but I needed to remember a few things!  I will definitely have her 10 month update...hopefully while she's 10 months old :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happiness.


There is nothing sweeter than this little girl.  Even with dirt all over her mouth.

When I first got pregnant with Hadley, Brad and I would often talk about how we wanted to "plan" our little family.  I had heard from a few people that having your kids closely together was the way to go, for multiple reasons, so I always assumed that I would want to get pregnant fairly quickly (within the first year) after having Hadley.

Through the first few months of her life, I would look at her and think, there is no way I can even think about having another baby.  My heart was so tied up in love with her that I didn't want anything to do with another child yet.  I knew that this was a normal part of having my first baby and figured that within the next few months I would be ready to maybe start "trying" for #2.

But then the months kept rolling past and though I would sometimes have thoughts of getting pregnant again, there was always something within me that kept me from really embracing the idea.  And here we are, less than two months until her 1st birthday - the time that I figured I would be pregnant by - and I have firmly, conclusively decided that I am not ready for baby number 2.

The reason?  I am just so dang happy with my life right now.  I'm sure it sounds cliche, but it literally brings tears to my eyes to think of how incredibly content I am.  I have absolutely every single thing I ever wanted - I'm a wife to the very best man I've ever met and a mommy to the sweetest baby girl I've ever known.  We live in a tiny house on a quiet little street in a small town, we don't have all the money in the world and are not even close to it, but I can say with my whole heart that if nothing ever changed about my life -if we never had another baby, if my husband never made more money, if we always lived in a small house - I feel as though I would be 100% okay with that.  I am finally a stay-at-home-mom and love my days with Hadley more than anything.  I can't imagine adding morning sickness, tiredness, physical discomfort and finally a newborn, to my life right now.

So even though supposedly my ovaries are declining in quality as I speak (though that's being debated, check out this article!  How Long Can You Wait to Have A Baby?) and I'm just getting older and probably more tired with less energy, I've decided that I'm going to listen to my heart and more importantly, trust God that when the time is most right, that He will give me the desire for another baby.

In the meantime, though, I plan to enjoy my life...just the way it is.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

There Goes My Life

If you thought this post was going to be a sappy one about Hadley or something because the title is the same as the Kenny Chesney song...well, you are wrong.  This post is literally about my "life" disappearing.  I can thank these two little babies right here:


We brought home our sweet puppy this past Saturday, his name is Cash!


He's a 7 week old Boston Terrier.  We love him, but I think Brad probably loves him the most right now.  Maybe that has to do with him not on the constant potty breaks and cleanup duty (due to not being home all day), and the fact that he could sleep through a 747 flying through our bedroom, so he doesn't hear the incessant nighttime whining and crying.  I am happy to have him...I'm just looking forward to getting out of the potty training stage!

But seriously, having a 10 month old (oh hi, my almost 1 year old child....sniff sniff) baby and a 7 week old puppy feels like having two small children, and so I've decided that we're only having one child.  Ha :)

We had a great Father's Day!  We spent the day out on a lake nearby us and it was the most perfect, perfect day.  The weather was gorgeous and we were outside all.day.long.  I will save you all the mushy stuff about how great of a Dad Brad is, how thankful I am for him, etc etc, and will just say that, being a girl that grew up without the presence of a father in my life, I am beyond grateful for Hadley to have a Daddy that loves her so incredibly much.



This was also from the lake - seriously, how is she 10 months old?  I'm sad that I've neglected her monthly updates :(  One of my most treasured journals is my pregnancy blog, so I'm kicking myself already for not recording more of her milestones and personality.


Here's one of the ways we've been spending our days: at the park, on the swing.  Hadley loves, loves to swing and cries when I take her out!  We've found a great routine where, in between her morning and afternoon nap we walk to the coffee shop and then the park.  It's a nice way to pass the morning and spend  some time outside.


Tonight we're having a classic summer meal, burgers and sweet corn!  I made a Wedge Salad for lunch (iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, hard boiled egg, bacon and blue cheese) and I was about to die over how excited I was for it.  I think that's one of my favorite things about not working anymore, I can be a little more creative with my lunches!

In other news, I'm bidding on cloth diapers on eBay.  Um....someone go find my brain, not sure what I'm thinking for taking on that adventure!  I'll let you know if I win ;)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

I Believe...

...that Monday mornings deserve something good and sweet for breakfast

...that babies should be barefoot in the summer {yes, even at the grocery store}

...that anytime after 4pm is fair game to pour a glass of wine

...that a girl should never feel bad for making herself look pretty, even if you're just going to the post office

...that the best welcome home to your husband isn't always dinner and a clean house but a kiss at the door

...that taking at least one vacation a year to the beach is a must, no matter how far you have to travel to get there

...that coffee tastes best on a cool, sunny morning

...that smiling at a stranger is an automatic pick-me-up

...that the best place to be in the summer is on a boat with your best friends, cold beer and country music

...or alternatively on summer nights, the best place to be is at a bonfire with your best friends, cold beer and country music


Monday, June 10, 2013

Why You Shouldn't Take Pictures After 5pm

Last night my SIL texted me to remind me that Brad's mom's birthday was coming up and that I needed to get her an 8x10 family photo of us for the birthday gift she was putting together.  You'd think this would be easy because we would already have a multitude of family photos....well, nope.  At least not any that were taken with a camera that doesn't primarily function as an iPhone.

So let me just clarify everything that I did wrong in getting these pictures:

1 - Didn't start taking them until 7pm.  This is when Hadley is usually getting her bath and then her bottle before bed.  (In my defense we were babysitting our niece and nephew so we were busy with them a lot of the night)

2 - Didn't plan to have an adult there to take them.  I figured I could set it on the self-timer and jump in and VOILA, have a good family photo.  Instead I resorted to using my 7 year old niece when I couldn't get the angles right

3 - Didn't start taking them until 7pm.  Ha.

For your entertainment purposes, here is the range of expressions on my child's face in the, oh, 75 photos that my niece took:

Number 2 is definitely my favorite.  And no, none of these are from the same photo.

And here's the picture we're using for the birthday gift (still have no clue what this gift is??).  It's not my favorite but it was probably the best one we had, haha.



Here's the one outtake I did like!



Gotta laugh at these things, right?

Friday, June 7, 2013

5 On Friday


I'm linking up again with these ladies for "5 On Friday" - A. Liz AdventuresCarolina CharmHello! Happiness and [the good life blog].  Check them out!

1 - Found another great garage sale this morning!  I was able to get some great play clothes for Hadley, plus a sound machine for $5 (all part of the "Operation: Hadley Needs to Sleep" deal, which is going AMAZINGLY WELL, btw) and some Melissa & Doug puzzles for $3 a piece.  Maybe I've mentioned this before, but seriously, nobody should ever, ever buy toys full price.  Just find a good garage sale and you'll find good, clean toys, most of which have the working batteries still in them.

2 - I made this stir fry recently, and it is so dang good.  The light sauce doesn't make it feel heavy, and because I like a little crunch I undercook my veggies and top it with toasted almonds.  YUM.  Skinnytaste Spring Stir Fried Chicken with Sugar Snap Peas and Carrots.

3 - We get our puppy next weekend!  I'm mostly excited, but there's a part of me that is dreading the middle-of-the-night potty breaks and house breaking accidents.  Our last dog, Bo, was born on a farm so I really didn't feel like we even had to potty train him, going to the bathroom outside came very naturally for him.  This puppy is a different story.  One thing about getting a small dog that I'm excited for?


Dog sweaters!

4 - Even though I really don't have a lot of respect for her personal choices after her affair made the headlines a couple years ago....this girl can sing, and her new CD is good.  A couple favorite tracks are "Spitfire" and "You've Ruined Me"


5 - We've finally got a sunny day!  The last two weeks have been pretty crappy, weather-wise.  Cold and rainy, which is not what you want come June in the Northern Midwest!  Each day of terrible weather just adds fuel to my fire to move to Tennessee all the sooner (which is my dream that will probably never be realized, ha).

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Moms On Call FTW

It's only been two days so I realize this could change...but holy cow, Moms on Call has it figured out.  The funny thing is that it's seriously so common sense that you feel stupid doing it, but at this point I don't care!  I just wanted my child to sleep without crying for 30 minutes before passing out.

I'm not going to give any tips or anything because who knows, it could be a fluke, but I've applied their sleeping principles and it's been like putting a different child to bed.  Here's what worked:

1 - Darkening the room.  I had to nail up sheets over the windows cause the white curtains and blinds that are pretty to look at just aren't doing the trick.  Someday here I'll see about putting room darkening shades in but for now, we are lookin' white trash and I couldn't care less

2 - Playing a sound machine on white noise, fairly loudly (loud enough to hear it outside of the door of her room)

3 - Not waiting too late to put her down for the afternoon nap.  I've only been giving her about a 2.5hr window between the morning and afternoon nap.  It creates a stretch between the 2nd nap and bedtime that's a little tough, but by the time 7:30 rolls around she is more than ready for bed

I really think the biggest things that helped was darkening the room and playing the white noise. I'm still in shock that it's been so much easier all of a sudden but I can only attribute it to these two things.  I also got rid of all the pacifiers so thankfully we are DONE with that stage.

Next up, weaning from the bottle, which we're starting tomorrow.  Help me Jesus.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Weekend and a Non-Sleeping Baby

My peanut is down for a nap right now and I'm curious, do any other Mommas feel like they're on borrowed time while their baby naps?  I swear, I'm just waiting to hear the crying start...and I just put her down 30 minutes ago.  We had a terrible weekend, sleep-wise, and I'm at my wits end....but I'm feeling a little hopeful thanks to Moms on Call!  (More on that at the end).

So we had a great weekend.  Friday night we were all in bed before 9pm and it was so wonderful.  Saturday Brad blessed my heart and let me sleep til 9am while he got up early with Hadley - I seriously felt like a new woman after all that sleep (though she did wake up about 4 times that night, ha.  No rest for the weary).  Brad went fishing on Saturday for most of the day so Hadley and I hung out at home, then when he got home we went to dinner at Famous Daves, which was super good.  I have to add, we went there after we tried to go to the new Mexican restaurant in town and were told that they didn't have high chairs.  DIDN'T HAVE HIGH CHAIRS.  Now what in the name of the sweet Lord is a restaurant thinking by not having high chairs?  I'm sure they're planning to get them, but in the meantime, that's just bad business.

Sunday we had a great day again, went to church in the morning and then.....went to visit our new puppy!

Drumroll....


This little guy, a Boston Terrier, will be coming home with us in two weeks!  We're so excited, needless to say.  We sadly had to put down our sweet Lab, Bo, back in November and we've been thinking about getting a puppy for the last couple months.  However, we have a pretty small house so I had two requirements for our next dog: it had to a small breed, and it had to low-shedding.  As much as I loved Bo, he shed like no tomorrow and it seriously scarred me.  I know Bostons shed, but terriers have more of a wiry hair than that long hair that Labs have.  The best part of all is that Hadley loves puppies. Specifically small puppies, so I'm excited to see how she interacts with him.

I was joking with Brad last night, the funniest thing about these dogs is you wonder, which way are you looking??  Haha

Sunday night I parked Hadley out on the deck and manned about a million different things, trying to get dinner ready while Brad washed his truck and mowed the lawn.  I had the grill going outside with chicken on it, green beans on the stovetop and mac and cheese in the oven.  It was a great evening with some great food.

Trying to get a picture of us with my big 'ol camera...kinda tough



I snapped this picture of Hadley last week while we were visiting my sister-in-law.  She had put her on her son's little tricycle, and I kid you not, Hadley was so proud of herself for sitting on there!  Plus she has such an adventurous spirit, she's recently taken to standing on her walker (like on the edge of it) and trying to climb on top of the dishwasher door when it's down.  She's going to give me gray hair by the time she's 5, ha!


Okay, so our sleeping dilemma.  This could turn really long so I'll paraphrase my struggle up by saying, I don't have a dang clue what we're doing when it comes to sleep.  To those of you that have it all figured out, my hat is off to you and please email me all your best tips and tricks.  The bottom line is that I've struggled with when to put her down for naps, and putting her to bed without having a crying match every single night.  No joke, I've been putting her to bed awake for the last MONTH and to this day, she cries every single night, for at least 15 minutes.  The sleep books say that this shouldn't be happening at this point, but what do I do?!?

I have zero answers, but I'm feeling somewhat hopeful after reading the short little Moms on Call book for 6-15 month olds.

I'm a little confused why this tiny book cost $11 to download, but whatever.  I will paraphrase their sleep suggestions - 

1 - Set nap times and stick to them.  Within 4-5 days it will be a routine for your baby

2 - Put baby to bed between 7-8pm, have a consistent routine that includes bath time and feeding.  Put them to bed awake, and if they cry just let them be

3 - If they wake at night crying, leave them be

4 - Get a good sound machine with a white noise setting, make the room very dark

Now, though I think the book is a little pricey, it is helpful.  So this morning I decided that I would put Hadley down at 9:30, and when that time came she went down pretty easy.  Unfortunately it's her afternoon nap that we struggle with, as well as when to put her down for bedtime.  My plan today is to put her down again at 12:30 and hope that I can get her to nap for at least an hour and a half.  Then for bedtime we'll try the recommended Moms on Call routine and put her down around 8.  As for the letting them scream in the middle of the night...I like the idea but in reality, that's just tough to do.  I might have to tweak that to fit us a little better.  

Speaking of which, my little lady is up.  Wish me luck!  Happy Monday :)