Monday, January 27, 2014

Just Not Feeling It

You've noticed my posting has decreased here and there over the past few weeks and possibly even months.  With two kids, I can barely get myself to work on time every morning so making sure I have content written for the blog the night before is next to impossible.  Especially with Addie being sick last week, her birthday and then her birthday party this weekend, it's just not be a relaxing week.

I posted at the first of the year about getting better at blogging and I will, I promise, I still have 40 something weeks left to improve.  Plus, it'll be really easy to improve from this state.  :)

I'm also telling myself, daily, that I'll be starting 30 day shred on February 1st, which is this Saturday for those of you who don't know.  You should start up at this point too so we can commiserate with one another.  It'll be tough, I'll be exhausted and in pain but I need to start getting back into fitness.  We'll be headed on vacation early June so I have a target date in mind to drop a few pounds and tone up by then.

Speaking of toning up, have you watched the new show on Bravo called Toned Up?  I'm obsessed.  I love those girls and have a girl crush on Kat.  Within 5 minutes of watching the first episode I checked out their website and follow them on Instagram.  Watching each episode reminds me how badly I need to get back into the swing of things.

Once I start working out again I think I'll feel more energized and motivated because right now I'm dragging every day and going through the motions.  I'm in a funk and I have to get out soon.

Friday, January 24, 2014

You Made Me a Mom

Someone in my mommy group posted this video and it's so relate-able.  So for your Friday viewing pleasure, enjoy.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lazy Thursday Photo Dump

Because I'm too lazy to post actual content, you get photos.  I'm sure you'd rather look at pictures of my cute kids than read right?

Chunky thighs on my little fireman.

Watching TV in our bed together.

Addie's birthday donut!

And birthday ice cream of course!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday Adalyn Grace!

Today marks 3 years since my little Addie was born.  She came into the world earlier than we expected and very dramatically.  My water broke at work.  I don't know if I ever mentioned but at the time of her entrance, I was working for a Fortune 20 company at corporate headquarters.  That means that I had to exit the building, waddling to my car as water ran down my legs.  She was born the morning of a huge snowstorm and every year another snowstorm blows through.  This year is no different with what seems to be another polar vortex headed our way.  (Read the full birth story here)

I can't believe those pretty blue eyes are in my life.  I often think about life without my kids and how sometimes it would be easier and I could do more of what I want to do.  But that life wouldn't have these gorgeous eyes staring back at me, telling me she loves me every day.  Each tantrum is worth it to hear her say those words to me.  

Happy Birthday my sweet Adalyn Grace!


Monday, January 20, 2014

Graham Month Four

Oh my sweet Graham!  I can't believe the last update was before Christmas, it doesn't feel like that long ago. So much has changed in the last month that I suppose my post about you not sleeping might make some type of sense.

Stats:  No official stats to provide at this time as his 4 month well check is scheduled for next Wednesday.  Last time we checked on our scale at home he weighed about 15 lbs.  He's still rocking size 3 month clothes but I'm sure as he continues to pack on the pounds he'll be out of those in no time.

Sleep Schedule:  Still erratic.  He drives me insane with his sleep, or lack of.  He takes his first nap (on the weekends) at 9 and we push him to sleep until 11.  By push, I mean if he fusses we go into his room and attempt to rock him back to sleep in his rock n play.  He usually makes it with a little assistance.  He'll then be on a schedule of wake, eat, play, and approximately 2 hours of that until he sleeps for about 45 minutes.  That schedule stays in play until about 8pm when we get ready for bed.  He'll go to sleep by 9 at the absolute latest and is down until about 11:30, 4, 6.  We've got to eliminate that 11:30 wake up.

Foods:  Still nursing, as much as he can get away with.  We did introduce rice cereal to him over the weekend and while he some what gets it, I don't think he's quite ready so we'll like re-introduce in a couple weeks.  He's eating about 4.5oz of BM and if he drinks formula he's closer to 6oz.

Firsts:  He experienced his first Christmas, first New Years, first time eating cereal and the big one this weekend was he rolled over for the first time.  I couldn't believe it so I called Rick in to watch and he immediately did it another 3-4 times.  I may have a baby genius on my hands.  ;)

Favorites:  Still loves milk, his favorite thing.  But his big sister Addie is the apple of his eye.  He cannot get enough of her.  He's so enamored with her and it's so fun to watch him watch her.  He'll laugh and try to talk to her while she pays him no attention.

This month was a huge developmental month for Graham and I can't imagine what I'll be posting about at next months update!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tasty Thursday: Balsamic Chicken Sandwich

It's pretty awesome!  Yesterday I got home from work and had to quickly throw together dinner for the family.  I had fresh mozzarella that desperately needed eaten along with a couple roma tomatoes and fresh bread. It was so easy to make.

Chicken breast
Balsamic Vinagrette Dressing
Fresh Mozzarella
Roma tomatoes
Fresh bread

I pan grilled the chicken along with the dressing.  Once cooked, I assembled the sandwich on the bread with the fresh mozzarella and tossed into the oven long enough to melt the cheese.  Top with tomatoes, basil, more dressing or mayo for a light but filling sandwich!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Pumping & Airports

Breastfeeding is going very well for us so I continue to pump while at work and if I'm out of town so Graham can remain on breastmilk for as long as possible.  Less than a week after I returned to work from maternity leave in November, I had to travel to Wisconsin for work.  This meant my trusty pump was coming along for a getaway.  I was nervous, I'd never had to travel when Addie was nursing so I never had to experience it.  This was a first.

My flight from Columbus to Wisconsin wasn't a direct flight.  No, it was a flight that would connect through Chicago O'Hare.  One of the busiest and largest airports in the US and somehow I had to not only navigate the airport with enough time to catch a connecting flight but to also somehow pump.  I was overwhelmed.  I don't really enjoy nursing in public so pumping in public is basically not an option (of course I'd do it if I absolutely had to).  So here are some tips:

1 - Bring your nursing cover.  In the event you have no option but to pump in the middle of the busiest airport in the US, be prepared with a cover.

2 - Ask employees, the ones who look like they have answers, if they know where a mother's room or family restroom are.  If they don't have a mother's room, the family restrooms have outlets.  The one in Chicago even had a bottle warmer!

3 - Pack a large ziploc bag.  I used this on my way back to put all my milk in it then inside my pump bag so that in the event one of the bags leaked, I didn't have milk on everything.

4 - Ice.  You're going to need ice or an ice pack.  I've heard some people say TSA doesn't allow ice packs but I've read they're okay with it.  In the event you don't want to risk it, just ask a restaurant for a cup of ice after you've passed through security.  You may have to empty at your connection as it'll melt fast but you can get another cup at your next destination.

5 - TSA.  When we traveled with Addie a couple years ago, we had milk with us for her to drink on the flights. TSA has no issue with that but will test the milk to make sure it's not any crazy substance.  Be prepared for TSA to do the same to your breast milk.  Surprisingly, when I passed through security in Milkwaukee, no one tested it.  They just asked if it was breast milk and I assume because I also had the pump, they were fine with that.

Pumping in the airport wasn't as bad as I'd thought it would be.  Like I mentioned before, the most difficult thing for me was if I would have enough time to pump during my connection.  For me, even if that was a 5 min pump it was something so do what you can and don't stress over it.

Anyone have any great pumping stories while traveling?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Graham & Sleep

Yea, those two words? They don't go together, like oil and vinegar.  I don't know what this kid has against sleep but he's certainly not a fan.  Since he was a baby he's been an inconsistent sleeper, day and night.  When I was on leave I wanted to get out of the house so badly and do fun stuff that Addie would enjoy but we were a bit limited because I didn't know what his schedule was going to be.  He'd wake after 20 minutes of sleeping.  A newborn.  Only 20 minutes?!

His sleep at night has been just as inconsistent.  One night he sleeps a 5 hour stretch and then a 3 hour stretch and the next he's up every 2 hours.  I can't figure him out at all. I've been asking other moms for their thoughts and they're all telling me it's the 4 month wakeful.  I'll be honest, I don't remember this with Addie but that could be because it happened and I was so sleep deprived that it's all a blur during that time.

I've read at 4 months, babies start developing sleep patterns which scares me because Graham is showing no patterns.  So is that his pattern?  Just randomly sleeping whenever he feels like it?  Over the weekends, I've started pushing for a longer morning nap since those are also not consistent and I feel like he's getting that down a bit.  By pushing I mean when he stirs and starts to fuss, I go back in his room and rock his rock n play until he settles back down.  I often have to do this 3 or 4 times but it seems to work.  In the afternoons though, you can forget it.

Some people suggest putting the babies down earlier at night, around 6 or 7, but to be honest, I never felt like this worked for us.  Partially because if I'm putting him down at 6, I get about an hour with him after work.  Plus if I put him down to bed at 7, he'd wake up at 10 and then again every 2 hours.

Someone please tell me it gets better.  Did any of you experience this 4 month wakeful?  How long does it last?  I'm in such a haze with this lack of sleep.


Monday, January 13, 2014

2014 Resolutions

Last year I was on it.  Three days into the new year and I had a post about my resolutions & goals for the year.  This year, it's day 13 and I'm just getting to it.  With two kids who consume every moment of my time, there hasn't been a lot of focus on the blog.  I apologize for that but I imagine most of you understand the need to put things on the back burner that aren't as important in life.  I shared my 2012 & 2013 goals with you so feel free to check those out if interested, otherwise, let's get to it.

Continuing the trend, one of my biggest goals/resolutions for 2014 will be surrounding weight loss & fitness.  It's funny, last year when I wrote that post my goal was start dieting, exercising, sharing my stories with you and only 3 weeks later I found out I was pregnant with Graham.  So this year, that will be a huge focus for me especially since his deliver is so recent.  I've got a weight loss goal in mind but mini goals along the way.  Part of the weight loss goal is also a goal to get more active and tone up my body more.  You can guarantee I'll be doing 30 day shred again.

Rick and I talked yesterday about selling our house and we think this year might be the year to make that happen.  I'm really excited about that because we've been in the house for 8 years now and we're all cramped so the  goal is start focusing on that search towards the end of the year and hopefully be moved by about this time next year.

Becoming more involved with Addie and Graham.  I know this sounds bizarre since I spend nearly every other hour with Graham throughout the night, but I need to be more focused in my interaction with them.  I think we all fall victim to technology being so readily available and I sometimes find myself checking out Facebook when I'm nursing Graham.  What I should be doing is enjoying those quiet moments just the two of us when he's happiest. Last year, this was sort of a goal of mine with Addie.  To get her more involved in activities with children her age.  In a couple weeks she starts dance and I cannot wait.

It's funny as I read back on 2012's summary for 2013 regarding my career.  I spoke about how I had become stagnant in my career and made a leap to leave a company I had been with for quite sometime.  I also mentioned I thought 2013 would be a huge year for my career.  Funny how that prediction worked out.  Midway through 2013 I had an opportunity to take a promotion with the new company and spent a lot of time focusing on doing my best at the job.  Towards the end of 2013 I was approached by my former employer to make a return to my previous company which I did.  I actually started last Monday so 2013 was huge for me.  This year, I'm really looking to focus in my job and make myself a prominent member of the team.

And finally, and probably a pretty important goal I seem to set every year, is to take more pictures.  This has become more and more important to me since having Graham because I feel like I don't have a lot of time to focus on this.  I feel like I'm short changing both Graham and Addie and even Rick and me.  We'll need those photo memories at some point in our lives to remember these days that seem to roll together in one big blur.  Those two kids are the reason we work so hard at our jobs and to become better people.

What's your biggest goal or resolution for the new year?


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tasty Thursday: Sausage Quiche

I love quiche.  It's one of the easiest breakfast items to make but can really look much fancier than it is.  Plus you can make it ahead of time for parties, pop it in the oven and focus on entertaining instead of cooking.  To make things even faster, use the pre-made pie crust from the store.

1 9inch pie crust
1/2 pound sausage, browned & drained
1/2 cup finely diced onion
3 eggs
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese  

Start by preheating your oven to 375.  Lay your pie crush in a 9inch pie dish.  Pop into oven as the oven preheats and you mix up the rest of the ingredients.   Combine browned and drained sausage with onion, cheese, and flour.  Pour into pie shell.  In a separate bowl, beat milk and eggs together and then pour over sausage mixture.  Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until eggs have set.

- stephanie

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

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Product Review & Giveaway: Matilda Jane Clothing

I enjoyed the Matilda Jane clothing giveaway so much last time that I decided to do another one for you!  I know how much each of you appreciated the opportunity so here it is again!  Addie received so many compliments on her outfit from the last giveaway and when she got the next outfit, we enjoyed it all over again.  

As mentioned in the last post, each item in the collection is meant to be worn interchangeably with the other pieces so you never have to worry about matching items.  

Addie's wearing the Stippling Tee, Gallery Leggings, and the Turtle Dove Knot Top.  I just can't get enough of their clothes!

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 Tuesday, January 14, 2014.  Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 5, 2014

I'm Back

Every time I hear someone say "We're Back" or something along those lines I immediately start singing in my head, "Backstreets back, alright!" or "Oh my God, we're back again".  How can I not?  I did grow up in the age of boy bands.  I heart you JC!  So it's been a nice 2 week break but I didn't intend for it to be that long.  I figured I'd probably pop on and blog a bit throughout the holidays but to be honest, the moment Christmas Eve hit, I was feeling all sorts of just relax and enjoy the family.  So I did.  But, I'm back now.  So to ease into things, today's post is a boat load of pictures for you.  Enjoy!

Christmas Eve is when it all began.  Such a long evening.

She left cookies & milk for Santa.

Addie came out Christmas morning and ran straight to see if Santa ate his cookies she left for him.  He did and she said, "he left crumbs".

She got a balance bike from Santa.

Graham was super content through the morning.

He got a lovey and he loves it.

Check out all those bells at the bottom of the tree.  Addie did that.

At my parents she wore her new tutu.

Her big gift with some assistance from the dogs.

Her pretty jewelry.  She was getting weird by this point in the morning.

Christmas this year was so much fun.  She finally got it.  She talked about Santa, and Frosty the elf when she noticed he returned to the North Pole.  She got it all this year and it was so much fun as a parent to enjoy the magic of Christmas with her.

How cute is this little booty?  Graham got jeans for Christmas.  I die.

His NYE garb.

Saying goodnight to 2013.

As a last hurrah before it all got back to normal, I took Addie to see Frozen.  She did awesome!

It was such a nice break and I'm happy to be back into a rhythm but I can't wait until Christmas next year with two littles to enjoy it with.  How was your holiday?



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