Sunday, January 26, 2014

12 Weeks!

My little Olive is 12 weeks!! (tomorrow) I knew when I started back to work that things would start moving at warp speed but holy moly. I can't believe she's about to be 3 months. She is developing quite the personality. I feel that we are going to have a curious humorous little girl on our hands. She is not shy toward strangers, she still loves new stimulation, and she has recently found her hands. She is still exclusively breast fed and enjoys going on walks with mom and dad. Her best friend is her sweet cousin Cassie who loves to be her little momma and give her pacis (any that she can find lol) bottles and kisses. I have been told these two smile at each other all the time but I sooo want to see it :) For those of you who are wondering why I havent yet- it's because this happens while im at work. Olivia spends her days at my brothers place with her cousins! such a blessing. Anyway here's some of our favorites from the past few weeks:

  • Emergency bath. We had a poop explosion on the changing table that not even the new diaper underneath could contain. Olivia just smiled and smiled about it lol.
  • Our walks through the neighborhood. She loves them! and so does Gus Gus.
  • She loves the funny noises mom and dad make.
  • We have a baby genius who already said her first word "mama" HA! ok, it probably wasnt intentional.
  • Speaking of first words- she loves to talk. Every night when we get home I prop her on my lap and ask about her day. She always smiles and talks back. It's seriously my favorite. 
  • She has found her hands. Im waiting for her to find her toes and start doing the "happy baby" yoga pose :)
  • She is also grasping things. She loves her "fifi" short for feona. Her giraffe paci that she now clings to even if she isnt using the paci part. We also introduced her fist lovey which is a puppy and she likes to cuddle with that when she falls asleep in her rocker. 
  • She started using her pouty lip. Right before she starts to cry she'll stick it way out and Micah and I just laugh.. which I think frustrates her more lol. 

This is from one of our nightly conversations. Now can you see why I love it soo much? 

A brief update on me: We saw the LC and she was super helpful. I think the tips she provided will fix the majority of my issues so we can move forward with exclusively breast feeding at least for a few more months. I'm feeling better in terms of sickness. I think this weather coupled with germs really knocked me on my butt. I really appreciate all the support from my last post. Every comment/message helped my to keep going. Yall rock! thank you :)

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Olivia's snapshot

A few days ago I read a blog where a mom decided for the new year that she wanted to do a snapshot every week for the whole year entailing her daughter's little life moments. I thought that was a fantatstic idea and wanted to give it try. I know Micah and I will remember the big moments in Olivia's life like her first giggle (soooo waiting on that) first time she walks, eats food ect. But I dont want to forget the little things that make us smile or cry too. Ill be realistic and say I probably won't think to do it every week but I am going to try so bear with me. I want to document every little detail of her life because I soo desperately look for new stuff in all of my mom's old things. If only social media was around in the 80s-90s for her to facebook/blog. That thought makes me smile. I honestly can't envision my mom ever using facebook but who knows. Anyway, more about Olive..

  • She's starting to show a really awesome personality
  • Nothing phases her. Dogs barking, fire alarms going off, diaper changes. She's so laid back. 
  • She's nosy. If there are people around or things to see she wants to be facing out if she's being held. But if it's quiet and she's ready to sleep she loves to be held close and tight. 
  • She loves to talk. Micah insists she tells him "stories" all the time.
  • She was a champ during her 2 month shots. Only cried for a little bit. But poor dad thought it was a lifetime
  • She has started sleeping through the night. {praise Him}. Or at least for 6-8 hour stretches. 
  • Her favorite places are still the bath and the changing table. 
  • She weighs close to 12 pounds and is still exclusively breast fed.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Life with Liv

My little girl turns 2 months today. It's still surreal to me that I have a beautiful healthy child. I keep thinking about all the moms that say how amazing it is to watch your child grow and develop. While I believed it when they said it I didn't quite comprehend that feeling until Olivia was born. From day one she thrived. It's incredible to see her discover new things and see her little personality coming to life. I would be lying if I said its been an easy happy journey so far. Motherhood is tough. I think anyone who says otherwise is trying to put on a face. You don't know the true meaning of selflessness until you're a parent. I can say without a doubt though, that it has been absolutely rewarding. I dont even think that's a good enough word to describe it. Even when I am utterly exhausted and frustrated I take a look at my girl and all that melts away. She's amazing. We've been so blessed to watch her go from a newborn to a curious little peanut. My husband and I have shared so many fun moments in these two months and I want to write them down so I dont ever forget. I did buy her a baby book.. but this allows me more detail and easier access to photos. I cant wait to go back and show her just what a cool little baby she was:

I think my absolute favorite is seeing just how much my husband loves our baby. I read a quote on pinterest (of course) a while back that read "I didnt know how much I loved you until I saw how much you loved our baby". Truer words people. He LOVES his baby. It might help that she looks exactly like him ;) I couldnt be more blessed to have such a hands on dad raising our daughter. He doesnt hesitate with diaper changes, middle of the night feedings, making silly faces to get her to laugh, and many many more. Even in a sleep deprived state ,where he thinks the pillow is his girl and tries to comfort it, he is always trying to care for her. As im writing this- theyre out for a run. Its incredible.

I love watching her sleep. She is a fun sleeper. A noisy sleeper. She always seems to be with people in her dreams. Her smiles on her face are priceless as shes dreaming. She also sleep screams. Which is actually kind of funny except when it's 2am. She will literally scream really loud just once and when we look at her shes totally out. Like it wasnt her at all and we are both delusional haha. She is a cuddler. Her favorite place to sleep is on someone. Usually me while were rocking in her room. Which I'm going to desperately miss when shes older. She looks so incredibly beautiful when she sleeps.
and chunky..
I love her smile. Even when it's nap time and she's like "you fool I'm not sleeping today". I swear she has angels in her room. There will be times I'm rocking her to sleep and her eyes dart open over my shoulder and she smiles soo wide and follows something behind me. There isnt anything in her room behind me but a blue wall. I think her grandmas come to visit her :) We can get a guaranteed smile on the changing table. every. single. time. Never fails. Even when she's crying- itll be like shes conflicted and cry-smile haha. She also loves smiling while I sing to her, when her dad makes goofy faces, or when she's hanging out on her bed staring at what we call "her best friend the ceiling fan". Seriously, any ceiling fan. She loves them.
I love how curious she is. Our pediatirican told us that she'll most likely always cry with new stimulation. Like going new places or meeting new people. It couldn't be more opposite for her. She loves exploring. She gets a very concerned look on her face like she's always trying to figure things out. I love her curiosity. I can't wait to help that grow as she gets older.

I love her face, her smooth skin, her belly, her baby butt and her chunky arms and legs. I'm always in awe of how much she's grown and how she continues to grow right before my eyes. It's amazing to think that she was doing that in my belly. That her first little flutters have now grown into wild strong movements. I feel so proud of my body for creating, growing, sustaining and continuing to sustain her ever growing body. It's truly a miracle from God. I consider myself very blessed to be able to say that I've done these things.
I would be lying if I said Micah and I dont make fun of her a bit ;) in a sweet way I promise! She's just so funny sometimes we cant help it. We love to joke about her faces, her poop grunts, and her fussiness. She does this one move where she's sleeping, restlessly, and whips her head back and forth grunting because she has to poop but is too tired to wake up and actually do it. It's hilarious. One of us will check on her when she does it and come back with "Just her poop grunts" and mimic her. Micah especially loves to do her faces. Why not theyre really his faces anyway haha.
These two months spent with her are irreplaceable. I can't wait to make more memories with her. She has changed us completely in the best way possible. She is my heart.

I love you olive bear

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Olivia's Birth Story

                                                                Olivia’s Birth Story

I wish I had an epic birth story to write. Like my water broke in the middle of the night and we rushed to the hospital to have our baby. Just kidding no I dont. Im a planner and this baby accommodated perfectly. We were all set on Sunday November 3rd to meet our baby the following day. My doctor agreed to induce a week before her due date and Im soo glad she did because I couldnt wait to meet my little one and I was totally over being pregnant :0) Micah and I felt like Sunday took FOREVER to end. We went to church, lunch, fed some ducks outside on our balcony and had a huge dinner at twisted root. Finally 830pm came and we left to check in at the hospital.
    Once we got there they started me on a drug to get things going for the pictocin the next morning. It all went pretty smoothly until the morning when they administered the pictocin and then broke my water.. yikes. The contractions were about 45-60 seconds long and about a minute apart. Micah showed me a “new” pain scale that has the smiley faces with different pain descriptions  and decided mine was on the level of “I see Jesus coming for me” and “being actively mauled by a bear”. They gave me pain medication designed for labor and it was the worst decision I made during that entire process. The medication did nothing for pain but made me feel very dizzy and panicky. So the staff came back in to start the iv for the epidural instead. Once the epidural was in and the pain medication wore off it was smooth sailing from there.
    At about 2pm the dr came in and informed me we were fully effaced but only at a 4cm dilated. But an hour later she came back and I jumped to a 9 and at 4pm we started pushing. I had thought about asking Traci , Micah’s mom, to join in on the birth for some time but waited to ask until the day of to see how I would feel. Im really glad I did because her and Micah were wonderful coaches and I couldnt have done it without them. Pushing really isn’t so bad (I did have an epi so I might be disillusioned) it’s just tiring. After about an hour or so of pushing the dr came in to finish the delivery.
    There isn’t one word to describe that moment when your baby comes out and you lock eyes for the first time. It’s exhilarating, heavenly, relief, happiness ect. She came out perfectly pink and gooey. But at the moment I couldn’t care less about the goo. They immediately laid her on my chest and I cried like.. well.. a baby.
    Micah cut her cord and they whisked her away to take her measurements and clean her up. After that I was left by myself with the dr while everyone fawned over my precious baby. But I was totally ok with it. I needed a moment to gather myself back together. I will absolutely never forget the feeling that day. Every pain, ache, scar I got from pregnancy and labor were absolutely worth it. I still feel a bit of that magical feeling I felt that day every time I look at Olivia. I cant wait for her to get big and ask about her birth so she can see just how much her mommy loves her when I think back on that day.

I asked my friend Lauren to come take pictures of her birth and I was soo happy with the way they turned out. Being able to see her birth brings back all those wonderful emotions too. Here are a few of the ones she took:

Friday, July 26, 2013

Rag Quilt Tutorial

I have completely fallen in love with sewing- with a machine. Its quick and once you get the hang of it, it's easy.  I would gladly recommend the place I took my beginner's sewing class:

If you dont know how to sew and dont have anyone to teach you take a class! it was really fun :) anyway, after my class I felt like I was a champion sewer (read sew-er not sewer) and took on a rag quilt. Rag quilts are a great first project. Theyre super easy and it doesnt really matter if you dont get it perfect the first time because it just adds character. This was the youtube video I followed:

Its a little lengthy so ive put my own directions below if you want to check that out instead:

Step 1: Picking out a fabric. I went with the advice of the video and used flannel. Its super soft, easy to use/cut, and you dont need any batting/filler. Hobby lobby has a great selection. I would pick out at least 3 different patterns at about a half a yard or a yard a piece depending on how many squares you want and what size. I did 8x8 squares at five across and five down with three different patterns so a yard of fabric of each pattern was perfect. A yard gave me about 20 sqaures- I used 50 squares total so I have extra left for the next one.

Step 2: Cut your squares.

I used a rotary blade- lifesaver. And an 8x8 cardboard piece- not so life saving. The cardboard piece worked great until I started accidentally trimming it and the fabric lol. That's why my blanket is slightly uneven. Next time I'm buying a cheap 8x8 tile from lowes/home depot and using that instead. 

Step 3: Pin your squares together- wrong sides together.

So that your "right" sides are on the outside. 

Step 5: Sew all sides of your squares together. Corner to corner about a half inch from the border-and don't forget to back stitch :) 

Step 6: Sew your sewn squares to each other. I should of gotten a photo of this but I was pretty tired by this point. Anyway, it's simple- just line your two seams together (like a sandwich) and sew them together. Youll create a row of squares- five squares total (or however many you choose)

Step 7: Sew your rows youve created from step 6 together. Youll line up and pin your seems together. A helpful hint was to have your bottom seem facing toward you and the top seem facing away from you (toward the needle) that way you know for sure the seem on the bottom isnt going to get caught up. Step 6-7 took the least amount of time but were the most nerve racking. Remember it's ok if its a little off. Your edges are going to be frayed so it's hard to tell anyway. 

Step 8: This is the longest step. I think it took the same amount of time to get from step 1-7 as it did to complete 8. You will need spring loaded scissors. Or youll be getting carpal tunnel. I used these: 

They arent my favorite but they definitely did a better job than regular scissors would. If you have some extra cash invest in a good pair. You will snip every single seam on this blanket. You have a lot of leeway with it. I did about a quarter inchish ( after a while I stopped caring about being precise) between each snip. The only thing ill say to pay attention to is where your cutting. Just dont cut the seam itself and you're good to go.

Step 10: Youre done!! but wait you need wash it :) I threw mine in the washer on the delicate/handwash cycle with cold water. Then stuck it in the dryer at 20 minute delicate cycle intervals- your blanket will hold up. I only did it in intervals because you dont want to overload your dryer with lint. Youll seriously get a whole new blanket from the lint trap itself. 

Hope you guys enjoyed the tutorial :) If you have any questions feel free to ask!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Baby Food Recipes

I wont lie to y'all. The recipes listed below, save the link from pinterest, are from an organic baby book that I didn't not want to purchase so I took pictures of the recipes and ran. Ok, I didn't run because that would be hilarious in my pregnant state but I walked briskly out of the aisle. Anyway, here are the recipes below. All of these should be served 6 months or after. All of the ingredients recommend using organic this or that but feel free to use whatever you prefer. Enjoy!

Tiny Meatballs: (Recommended 8 months and older)

What you'll need:

  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1/4 pound organic (optional) chicken-apple sausage, casing removed and diced
  • dash of ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and spray with olive oil.
  2. Mix the egg, bread crumbs, spinach and sausage together in a bowl.
  3. Using a small scoop, make 1 inch balls and place them on baking sheet. Cook for 15-20 min or until firm.
  4. Place the meatballs on a plate and dust them with cinnamon. Make sure you cut them for babies that don't have teeth yet
Variation: use plain sausage and add your own fruit or veggies. 

Chicken and Avocado "Salad":

What you'll need:
  • 1/2 cup cooked chicken
  • 1 cooked carrot, diced
  • 1 teaspoon butter, room temp
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
  1. Mash the chicken, carrot, and butter together in a bowl
  2. Add avocado, mash, and serve

Bitty Sandwiches:

What you'll need:
  • 2 teaspoons finely diced cooked organic chicken or beef
  • 1 teaspoon butter at room temp
  • 1 slice of whole-grain bread
  1. Mash the meat and butter together in a bowl with a fork
  2. Spread the mixture over the bread
  3. Fold the bread over and cut into sticks or other fun (small) shapes, serve
Soft Carrot Sticks:

What you'll need:
  • Baby Carrots
  • Oat or rice cereal, crushed
  1. Steam or boil carrots until very soft. Allow to cool. The carrots should be soft enough for a baby to handle without teeth.
  2. Roll the carrots in crushed cereal for easier gripping. Serve
Green Goodness:

What you'll need:
  • 2 cups of frozen organic peas, thawed
  • 3-4 large fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup of purified water
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender
  2. Blend until smooth, adding more water if needed. Serve
Variation: add chopped pear or chopped cooked chicken

Here is a link to a great site I found on pinterest that has recipes for baby food as well: 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Baby Foodie:

    Rule 1: Don’t get discouraged.
§  Many babies won’t like to food you first give them. Don’t give up on it! Try it again or cook it with a little seasoning to get them to like it.
§  Working mommas- You will get overwhelmed but just remember you’re amazing! And you can do this!

Rule 2: Start with veggies
§  Use the rainbow rule ROY G BIV but put the R on the end OY G BIVR. This means start baby on yellows and oranges such as sweet potatoes and squashes. Yellows and orange veggies are the easiest on the digestive tract. Then progress to greens (broccoli, peas, spinach etc) then blues, indigos, purples (egg plant) and then reds for last.  Reds have the most common food allergies that is why it is better to wait.
¨     When starting greens it’s a good idea to invest in gas drops.
§  You will want to start with Veggies-Fruits-Proteins-Grains-Dairy. You can start with rice cereal to test out baby’s stomach. However, it has no nutritional content and squashes work just as well.
¨     When introducing grains- if you want to use yogurt (dairy) with some grains added in- go for it.
§  When introducing your new food: start with one ounce once per day. Then progress to one ounce twice per day and one ounce three times per day- until you know your baby will not have a bad reaction to it.
¨         As your baby gets older- feel free give baby foods that you know he/she handles well as well as your new food. You don’t have to give baby just the one food per day.
§  Make your food thick- not chunky and not soupy. It should look like more of a paste. It’s easier for baby to swallow. Don’t be afraid to use seasoning. Only limit your use of salt. A good alternative to salt are things like grated parmesan cheese.
§  If you plan on giving your baby food before six months of age- peel off any skin before you cook.
§  Your food should be the same color cooked and pureed as it is raw. If you use carrots- the food should be the same orange color.
§  Cook in as little water as possible. The best methods are by steam or roast however, if you choose to boil limit your water. Water sucks out the nutrients.
§  Don’t give baby hard cheeses before 9 months, peanuts before a year, and soft cheeses before two years. Hard cheeses are tougher to digest. A little mixed in food before 9 months is fine. Peanuts should be avoided before one year because of allergies. Soft cheeses are often not pasteurized which can lead to diseases that can affect baby bodies.
¨     A good rule to live by is don’t give baby anything you wouldn’t eat while pregnant- ex. Fish is an excellent source of protein. It’s great for baby but don’t use it every day.

Preparing and Storing Food:
§  Pick out your food: chicken (protein)
§  Cook your chicken thoroughly
§  Put it in a baby bullet (anything that purees will work just fine) and make sure its thick and creamy with no chunks
§  Give what you want ( if it’s the first time- one ounce, if its been a few weeks use 2) to baby
§  The rest- place in ice cube trays and stick in the freezer.
§  When you want to use- place in breast milk bags (or any bpa free bags) and place in the fridge to thaw or if you need it immediately: take your bag and place it in warm/hot water ( just like you would if you unfreeze breast milk) until edible. DO NOT leave food out all day to thaw it could cause food poisoning.

Transitioning from Baby to Toddler:
§  Use your best judgment. If your baby is interested in your food but doesn’t have teeth yet it might be best to wait.
§  Once you feel your baby is ready for something other than mush use small portions and only give them a few bites at a time to pick up and eat ( 2-3 small pieces of green beans for example) because babies have a tendency to pick it all up and stuff their face- you don’t want them to choke.

§  Remember you’re their mother! You know best!