Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Whatcha Wearing Wednesday: Post-Pregnancy Outfit

Today's my 6 week appointment where the doctor checks me out and clears me for work, exercise, etc.  It's one of the only days I actually put on more than just legging and a nursing tank.  I'm hovering around 6 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight and I think those 6 are ones I'm going to have to work for.  I've been lucky to have lost nearly all of the weight with breastfeeding alone but now it's time to get serious.  More on that to come later, in other news, here's what I'm wearing today.


Outfit Details
Plaid shirt - Old Navy
Leggings - Target
Boots - A2 by Aerosole
Arrow Necklace - Groopdealz 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Product Review: Dr. Scholl's Active Series Inserts

I recently had the opportunity to try out the Dr. Scholl's Active Series inserts for your running shoes. We all know that running can be really tough on your body. Your knees, shins, joints, etc. It's tough on all of you so adding the Dr. Scholl's Active Series inserts into your shoes it provides ample cushioning for your run or workout.
You'll notice my Mizuno's in the picture above with and without the inserts.  On the left is no insert and the right is the Dr. Scholl's Active Series insert.  They actually blend really well into my shoes with the pink lining! 
The Dr. Scholl's Active Series insoles are designed with three areas of protection:
- ball of the foot padding
- reinforced arch support
- deep heel cup absorbs impact
These shoes are a lifesaver for any runner or individual doing high intensity workouts!
Note:  I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.
PS. Don't forget to enter the $50 Matilda Jane giveaway here.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mmm, Lasagna

Lasagna.  Seriously it's one of my favorite things to eat.  And this girl is not a fan of Italian food.  There's just something about all that pasta, sauce and cheese.  Oh goodness, the cheese.  Ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan.  The list could go on and on. So, last week I whipped this up for dinner and it was heaven.  Pair it with a tasty garlic bread and a fabulous salad and you're done.  You'll have dinner and leftovers for a couple days.  Unless you're feeding a group of 8, then you'll have just enough for dinner.


1 box oven ready noodles
1 lb ground turkey, chicken, beef
1 - 12oz ricotta
1 - 12oz cottage cheese
pasta sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (reserve 1/2 cup)

Cook up your meat.  Add your pasta sauce.  Let it simmer for a few minutes until warmed.  While that's simmering, mix the ricotta,cottage cheese, Parmesan and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Scoop out just enough meat sauce to barely cover the bottom of a 9x12 baking dish.  Lay out enough pasta to cover the sauce.   Spread 1/3 cheese mixture across the pasta, scoop out more meat sauce to just cover cheese mixture.  Do another two layers of pasta, cheese, meat sauce.  Lastly cover it up with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.  Toss it in the oven covered on 350 for 30 minutes.
PS. Don't forget to enter the $50 Matilda Jane giveaway here.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Graham's 1 Month Stats

The stats are in and this little guy is chugging along.  The doctor was impressed with his weight gain.  If you'll remember he got down to 6lbs 14oz at one point so he's gained nearly 4lbs in about 3 weeks.  Trust me, those nursing sessions prove it.   He didn't take the HepB shot so well.  

The nurse prepped the area with the alcohol swab and he immediately lost it.  I was prepared for that since this kid hates anything cold (diaper changes are a nightmare with cold wipes).  He was in the middle of crying when she came in with the shot.  The look on his face was so sad to see.  He immediately sucked in all his breath and his face turned.  Tears began to roll down his chunky cheeks.  I was prepared but I wasn't.  Of course I immediately began to get weepy too.  We stood in the room and hugged and rocked for a few minutes until we both calmed down.

I don't think I'll ever be fully ready for those shots.


PS.  Don't forget to enter the $50 Matilda Jane giveaway here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Product Review & Giveaway: Matilda Jane

I recently had the opportunity to try out Matilda Jane clothing and fell in love.  I absolutely love Matilda Jane for their unique clothing options for kids.  How cool is it that you never have to worry about matching up an outfit because all of their clothes are designed to be interchangeable and match up with any item.  This is especially awesome in our house because Rick doesn't know which shirts go with which pants in her drawer.  Let's be honest, the guy asks me everyday what color shoes he should wear with his black belt!
When Addie received her package she couldn't wait to try on the clothes.  In fact, she wore the outfit on my discharge date from the hospital for our first family photo!  Super cute!  We got to try out the Skyview Puffer Tee, leggings and Turtledove Knot Top which are all part of the Paint by Numbers collection.  I actually didn't realize Matilda Jane also sold women's clothing and am loving that Addie and I can coordinate outfits without completely matching.

Ignore the shoes, remember Rick is dressing her.
Giveaway  The great people at Matilda Jane are offering one of my readers the chance to win a $50 gift card to Matilda Jane!

How to Enter  Just follow the instructions in the Raffelcopter widget below.  Make sure you complete the first task as it is a mandatory task.  Once you complete the mandatory task, all other tasks are optional but do increase your chances to win!  The giveaway is open to US only and will close at midnight on Monday, August 4, 2013.  Good Luck!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hearty Vegetable Soup

The weather has turned again here in Ohio.  With temperatures in the 40s this week it's time to break out the soup recipes to stay warm.  I wanted soup that screamed fall weather soup and my mind kept coming back to vegetable soup.  I thought, how difficult can it be?  It's in fact, not difficult at all and anyone can do it!

4 cups hot water
4 beef bouillon cubes (vegetable if you want to keep it vegeterian)
1 large can whole tomatoes, pureed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
16 oz frozen mixed vegetables
2 cans diced potatoes
 1 can kidney beans
1 can white beans

Toss everything but the beans in your crock-pot on low for 6-8 hours.   The last hour toss in your beans.  Salt & pepper to taste and serve with your favorite crackers!


Monday, October 21, 2013

Graham Month 1

I can't believe it!  My little guy is one month already.  Technically yesterday was his 1 month birthday and he's already changed a bit.  

Stats:  We don't have official stats yet as the one month appointment is scheduled for tomorrow morning though I imagine little guy is right around 10.5lbs.

Sleep Schedule:  We're getting there.  At this point I should be super grateful we are where we are because just a few weeks ago he was waking up after an hour of sleeping to nurse throughout the night.  It was killing me, I nearly had a breakdown as I was exhausted and getting zero sleep.  Last night you had 2 - 3.5 hour stretches followed by a 2 hour.  During the day you're napping about an hour at a time and are awake about 90 minutes in between.  You're really getting your daytime feeds in which, again, I should be super grateful you're doing that during the day versus at night.  This does make it a bit of a challenge to go anywhere during the day though.  You are so very unpredictable.

Food:  Milk.  Milk.  Milk.  Still nursing 100% of the time though I believe we're going to supplement with formula so I can develop a stash.  All that eating you're doing is leaving no leftovers for my reserve.

Firsts:  We went to the pumpkin patch last weekend!  You spent nearly the entire time nursing so I didn't really get to enjoy it as I would have liked.  I actually nursed you standing in the pumpkin patch next to a group of trees while everyone searched for their pumpkins. You don't give me much of a break.

Favorites:  Eating, really that's the only thing you enjoy at this point.  You cry quite a bit and are a light sleeper so we spend a lot of time trying to put you back to sleep.  You seem to somewhat enjoy your sister though I can't tell if you're just figuring her out.

I can't imagine how much you'll change in the next few weeks and look forward to experiencing every minute with you!

-stephanie (mama)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fall Photo Dump

Graham is nearly 4 weeks old already!  I'll be honest, life with two isn't easy, in fact it's quite difficult.  Especially when you have a 3 year old toddler who is beginning to rebel.  It's frustrating and stressful and there are some days where I honestly wish I was back at work for 8 hours just to get a bit of break from it all.  But then, I see some tender moments between Addie & Graham.

Like when he cries and she goes running into the room to see him and quickly "shush" him.  You see, when Addie was a baby, I rented "The Happiest Baby on the Block" from the library and one of the soothing techniques mentioned in the book was to loudly shush in your babies ear.  We did it when Addie screamed at the top of her lungs and it always quickly quieted her.  Graham has been no different but Addie's picked it up as well.

It also melts my heart when Addie comes into my room each morning, climbs into our bed while I'm nursing Graham and says, "okay, let me hold him now".

People ask me how she's doing with him and for the most part she does well.  Of course she has her moments where she wants nothing to do with him but she's generally very sweet to him and wants to help out.  She does a lot of begging to go outside and my continuous response is, "we have to wait until Graham's done eating" or "Graham's sleeping right now, we need to wait until he's up".  I'm sure in those moments she's cursing his name but we're working on her patience.

I really can't get enough of the two of them.  One day they'll be best buds! I can't wait to show this picture on each of their wedding days.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Product Love: FabKids

I recently found FabKids and am loving it! It's a monthly subscription where you get to choose outfits for your children based on their style profile.  So the first thing you do is complete a style profile quiz, based on the results, FabKids will show you what fits that style as well as all the other style options for the month.  If you like what you see, you purchase your months subscription!  Here's one of Addie's outfits.

It also came with a skirt but it has been a bit chilly to rock the skirt look.

FabKids will cost you $39.95 per month for the outfit you choose.  If you decide you don't like the months options or just want to hold for a month, you simply go into your account and skip the month!  Best part of all, your first order is 50% off!  That means you can get an entire outfit for $19.95.  You should totally sign up at least for the first month since it's such a great deal.  Read more here


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Front Door Re-Do

I've been itching to add some color to the exterior of our house.  My house is full of neutral colors and the exterior is really no different.  Our front door could be replaced.  It's the original which means it's about 20+ years old.  Rick keeps saying he's going to get a new one and he hasn't yet so I figured why not try to do something fun and if it sucks, then Rick gets that new front door.  I've been reading other blogs to see what colors I'd like and how to properly paint a front door and found a color I love.  No surprise I found it on one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love.  Here's a boring shot of the house before the new color.

Dark burgundy.  It was okay but it was boring, nothing fun or fresh about it.  So I decided to go with a pretty blue color.

First you take off all your hardware.  Wipe down the door to remove any surface dirt.  I then used a fine sander block (I don't remember what kind or what it's called but it's squishy and sold in the paint section) to sand down the entire door.  Wipe down the door again to remove any sand particles on the door. 

When you're ready to paint, start in the squares and paint a couple coats until they're completely painted.  Then move to the cross sections and paint those until fully painted.  Finally complete by painted the vertical pieces that haven't been painted.  You'll want to start this project first thing in the morning so the door can air dry all day long.  Once it's fully dry, replace all your hardware.

I'm really digging the pop of blue color it adds to our really neutral house.

This is probably the most accurate color of the door.

 photo 97b1d856-99ec-4cb9-a6f4-598656194d28_zps4f2248e9.jpg 

Pretty nice right?  I love it.  I can't get enough and love pulling down our street to see the bright blue cheerful door staring back at us!


Adalyn Meets Graham

Throughout my pregnancy leading up to the big day, we did our best to keep Addie informed of what was going on.  That she was going to be a big sister and have a baby brother.  For the longest time she didn't get it.  Never acknowledged by growing belly or the  doctor visits I had that she sometimes attended.  When I asked her to kiss my belly or listen to the baby's heartbeat she said no and left the room.  I don't think she wasn't interested, I just don't think she got it.  She was the only child on either side of Rick's family and mine so it was to be expected.

As the months passed on, we continued to talk more frequently about what was to come.  The final week leading up to my delivery date I told Addie that I would be going to the hospital to have the baby and would be gone for a few days.  Daddy would stay with her and would read to her and give her baths and would bring her to visit after the baby was born.  She responded with "No mama, I don't want you to leave.  I miss you."  She followed that up with a hug which made me feel terrible and nervous.  How will she react to me being gone for 3-4 nights?  And even scarier, how will she react to not being the center of everyone's attention?

Saturday morning my parents brought Addie to the hospital and Rick met them outside of my room.  When she came in she wasn't hesitant to come to me and said "Mama, you sick?"  My parents had a conversation with her on the way over that I had a belly ache and she had to be gentle around me.  Addie wasnt nervous at all and immediately wanted to check him out.

Photo: Big sister giving Graham some love.

So far she's been a great help and will often say "oh no, my baby brother is crying" when he wakes up.  She can't pronounce Graham so for now he's "baby Gam".  I'm sure one day, probably sooner than later, she won't like him so much but I guess that's to be expected between a sister and brother.  Until then, I'll enjoy these moments.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Baked Taco Ziti

I have about 5 minutes before Graham starts crying so this is going to be it for today.  This is one of our favorite recipes.  Seriously, Rick & Addie both had 3 servings each so you know it's good!  It's also one of the easiest things to make and doesn't take too much time.

1 lb ground beef, turkey or chicken
1/2 box ziti noodles
1 cup water
1 pkg taco seasoning
4oz cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar

Start by boiling your water for your  noodles and cook until near al dente.  While water is boiling brown your meat.  When meat is fully browned add water and taco seasoning.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add cream cheese and incorporate fully.  Once noodles are cooked, place them in a baking dish, pour on meat mixture and 1/2 cup shredded cheddar.  Top with remaining cheddar and bake in 350 oven for about 15-20 minutes.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Post Pregnancy Body

39 week bump photo.  Hours before delivery.

I can't believe what I'm about to do but I think it's something a lot of people who are expecting babies are thinking.  I mean, I thought it throughout my entire pregnancy.  What is my body going to look like after having this baby?  Will I bounce back?  How long will it take?  This being my second, will things be totally different this go round?  Some of these questions I have answers to now and some I probably won't have for months to come.

When I got home from the hospital, after settling in for a day or so, I decided to hop on the scale out of curiosity.  To my disappointment I had only lost about 10 lbs.  I delivered a nearly 8lb baby, plus all that other good stuff, and I had only lost 10lbs?!  How was that possible?  That was my initial reaction but I only let that thought run through my head for a few minutes because that was the least of my concerns.  What I did next was even crazier...
I took photos of my post pregnancy body just days after delivery.  Oi what a sight but I'm all about seeing progress photos.  If I don't see the proof of the change, I don't believe anything is happening.  One of my most popular posts are my 30 day shred progress photos and I loved taking them and seeing the changes from those so I wanted to do the same here.  

Just a week later and you can see a lot of change already.  I haven't been cleared to work out yet so this is only chasing around a toddler and breastfeeding.  Once I get the all clear to work out I'm hitting the crunches big time.  Along with running and 30 day shred, I'm hoping to get toned up as soon as possible.  To this point I've lost 20 pounds and have another 12 to go before I get to my pre-pregnancy weight.  I don't plan to stop there.  My goal is another 20 after I lose that pregnancy weight.  But one goal at a time.  Hopefully in the next few weeks I can post about how I've lost the rest of the baby weight!

One with clothes on is needed I think.  :)

How did you lose your baby weight?  Was there any tried and true methods that worked for you?  Going into holiday season I'm a little nervous but confident if I keep at it I can reach my goals in time for spring season!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Caramel Popcorn

Growing up, my family went camping nearly every weekend throughout the summer and several weekends in the spring and fall months.  One of the earlier campgrounds we'd visit would make homemade caramel popcorn in a big kettle every Friday night.  It was heaven.  I would look forward to the sun going down and everyone in the campground gathering around that kettle.  It's always been something I crave, not too sweet but not too salty.  I've finally figured out a great recipe for my craving.

1/4 cup corn kernels
2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
2 tsp salt

Start off by popping your kernels over medium high heat as the package suggests.  Pour cooked popcorn in a bowl and set to the side.  Set oven at 300 degrees at this point and spray a cookie sheet lightly with nonstick spray.  In a saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and 1 tsp salt over medium heat.  Mix well and bring to a boil.  Once it boils, don't stir and let boil for approximately 4 minutes.  Give it a good stir and pour over cooked popcorn.  Mix well and spread on cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with remaining tsp salt and bake for 30 minutes, mixing throughout the bake time.  Allow to cool, you may have to break pieces up. This makes about 8 cups cooked.

This is such a good fall treat and would be great for fall parties or tailgating!  Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Product Review: Taggies Baby Sleeper

Just over two weeks in to having Graham at home with us and adjusting to life with a newborn and toddler is a lot to handle at times.  Graham hasn't yet slept in his crib because he's waking a lot throughout the night to nurse so I wanted to keep him close to me.  You know, so I don't have to give up more sleep than I already am.  I had the opportunity to try out the Taggies Baby Sleeper and it's been such a great alternative to the crib.

I love this product as it's small and easy to maneuver throughout the house if I want to move it to the living room during the day or back to our room at night.  The fabric is really soft and the print on the inside of the sleeper is so modern and cute!  I love that's a gender neutral design as I'm always looking for ways to save some cash by using products over for the next baby.

The sleeper also has a built in taggie toy that is situated between the babies legs right over the safety harness so any babies who love rubbing their fingers over tags are in heaven.  The other really cool feature on this sleeper that I haven't seen on others is the vibrating feature on the frame if your baby likes that constant motion.  The Taggies Baby Sleeper is a godsend and Addie loves it because she can peek in on Graham if he's fussing.  She also likes it because it's low enough to the ground that she can climb in and act like a baby too!


NOTE:  I received this product free from however all opinions are completely mine.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Pound cake is something I can't get enough of.  No matter the flavor, I love them all.  No discriminating here.  Combine that with my love for pumpkin and this recipe had me in heaven.  It's super easy and so delicious.  I've been snacking on this all week long.


1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cloves nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
3 egg whites
1 cup canned pumpkin

Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg.  In a separate bowl, combine sugar, yogurt & egg whites and beat until incorporated.  Beat in pumpkin then slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.  Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 70 minutes on 350 degrees.



Thursday, October 3, 2013

Potty Training

 In all of this pregnancy business, I forgot to discuss potty training with Addie.  About 9 months ago we purchased a potty chair and sat it in the bathroom just to let Addie get used to having one.  Let her be curious about it on her own schedule versus forcing her to use it.  For months the potty chair sat in the corner of the bathroom with no usage and no interest. Then one day she asked to sit on the potty.  After 5 minutes of sitting with zero results, and Addie really frustrated, she left the bathroom and then immediately went in her diaper.

She just wasn't ready but was starting to recognize that when you need to go, you should go in the bathroom.  It now became a focus of ours to explain to her, 'if you need to go potty, tell mama or daddy'.  She spent the next few months occasionally doing this though never in time to make it.  Then, while we were on vacation in June she was having a rough night and was a bit backed up.  I massaged her tummy for a while and she continued to whine but about 30 minutes later said, "mama, I need to go potty".  So we ran to the potty and sure enough, she went.  She had now recognized the point at which to tell us.

When we returned home from vacation we focused more on potty training but never pressured her into learning.  We knew she would eventually pick it up and just needed time.  She wasn't yet 2 1/2 and our goal was PT by 3.  We literally decided on Sunday morning to let her run naked all day long.  We reminded her throughout the day that she needed to let us know whenever she had to go potty.  By the end of the day, she just about had it done.  We got really lucky that for the most part, she picked it up really  quickly.  That's not to say she didn't have accidents over the next few weeks, because she did.  She didn't make it through the night without going until about a month later.  To this day, she still has some accidents but she's fully potty trained.  We had her potty trained and out of diapers before Graham arrived which was a huge motivation for us.

Remember when you're attempting to potty train that you give them the chance to figure things out themselves.  Never scold for an accident because they're still figuring it all out.  


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Birth Experience: Round Two

Having gone through birth once before there were several things I was prepared for.  With Addie, my water broke on its own but I never experienced natural contractions.  Just those awful pitocin contractions. After hours of laboring with no progress, a c-section was determined to be the best option for us both. I hadn't read the chapter on c-sections when reading 'What to Expect When You're Expecting'.  Why would I?  I knew I wouldn't end in a c-section.  Funny how you think things will happen and then they don't.

This time, however, I knew what to expect.  We had a c-section scheduled for 3:30pm on Friday afternoon and had to check in with labor & delivery at 1:30.  I changed into that pretty little hospital gown and sat in a delivery room for about an hour answering questions about my medical history, received my IV, and had an anti-nausea shot.  The operating room was a bit behind and I walked in at 3:45.  The anesthesiologist immediately began my spinal and by 4:00 I was fully numb and ready to begin surgery.  My OB and another doctor had a hard time getting Graham out because he was sitting so high but at 4:13pm we heard Graham's cry for the first time!

Rick left my side to hang out with Graham and about another 30 minutes of the surgery was spent on stitching me back up.  I think because I was a repeat c-section they had so extra scarring to deal with.  Last delivery I got a nasty infection around 2 weeks post partum so it was a huge concern of mine that the same didn't happen this time around.  My OB opted for disolvable stitches instead of the usual staples to decrease the risk of infection along with a silver dressing to cover the sutures while in the hospital.

By 4:45 I was wheeled into recovery with Graham and spent the next 2.5 hours letting the spinal wear off.  I immediately began feeling the effects of the morphine that was administered during surgery.  Morphine can often cause a lot of itching on the face and sometimes full body itching.  I was lucky enough to only have the facial itching but it was so bad the first night I didn't sleep because I was so itchy.  It was so bad my nose is just now healing from being rubbed raw.

Last time around I spent the first 2 days in the hospital bed and another 7-8 days in a pretty good amount of pain, not able to stand straight up until nearly the end of week two.  This time around, they pulled me out of bed within 12 hours of delivery and was up walking around on my own (with no attachments) within 24 hours.  By day 4 I was feeling about how I felt last time around day 7 and I think a lot of it had to do with getting up to walk so early. 

I was fully prepared for a terrible recovery and was very worried with how Addie would react to seeing me in a hospital bed with an IV and unable to snuggle with her.  Overall delivery this time around has been much easier and no signs of infection on my incision. I'm so happy with how things went and even left the hospital a day earlier than planned because of it!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...