Friday, September 30, 2011

Family Friday ~ It's the Little Moments

It's moments like this that I remember back when we were struggling to give T a sibling, when we almost gave up...  It was all worth it watching how much they already love each other.  I literally teared up when I turned back around to commence feeding B, after checking on dinner, and saw this... ::sigh::

And to top it all off, he did a great job too!  He was so sweet and gentle, saying things like "good job baby girl" and "isn't that yummy sweety".  It was priceless!  Mommy can hang up her spoon, cause T has taken over the job of feeding B :).  I'm so glad we were blessed with a sibling for T. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ A Look Back

Lately, baby B gets a lot of blog glory, because everything she does is brand new.  In honor of my first baby, my little man (now 4!)'s a baby food picture of T. ::swoons over the little guy that captured my heart four years ago::

Monday, September 26, 2011

Homemade Baby Food Adventures ~ Starring B, as Herself

I thought this would be a fun post for myself, to keep track of B's likes/dislikes when it comes to baby food, dates of introductions and my adventures in making homemade. 

Here's the cookbook I've been using for my "first foods", along with the website (which I love!)
 My first try, banana puree
 This is all you need...
and who says you can't freeze banana puree?!  All you need is a little pure lemon to control the browning...and tada :) I used a ripe banana, lemon juice, ice cube tray, BM, a bowl and a fork to mash (no food processor needed).
#1 B's first taste of bananas 09.18.11
 Frozen banana puree, it was a success...and a big hit on try 2-4.
#2 Sweet Potatoes 09.22.11. 

I also made pumpkin, apple and peaches to try using my awesome food processor, some of the water I boiled the fruit in, and some breastmilk.  It was a cinch, and so much fun! 

 #3 Avocados 09.26.11 (also a myth you can't freeze in was a success, with the added drops of lemon juice, and not a bit brown!). 
 She's not too sure how she feels about this pick, but she didn't spit it out
My baby love!
 Holding my own spoon already! :)
Stay tuned for more...:)  I hope to try avocado + banana this week too!  I have pumpkin, peaches and apple waiting in the wings, and plan to make carrots and another veggie (haven't decided yet) this weekend. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hopeful Friday

I love Fridays!!  My students are happy, I'm usually chipper, and the weekend is within striking distance!  I'm especially shiny today because I have lots of hope.  Here's what I'm hopeful for...

1.  B slept through the night for the first time in a million years (or at least it feels like that).  I have hope she can do it, one day!  I know last night could quite possibly be a fluke, but just 1 night of sleep and a glimmer of what's to come, will help me get through the tough days ahead.  Ya Bryn!  :) 

2.  I am starting to "get through" to some of my more difficult students.  Grades are improving, behavior is improving, and the relationship is growing.  I have hope!
3.  Tomorrow hubs and I will join our neighbors in support of breast cancer awareness at the Susan G. Komen Run for the Cure.  I'm so very hopeful for a cure!  This disease has hit close to home too many times throughout my life, so I'm running in support of all of those strong ladies!  I'm also running for my own strength, my first race "back" after baby!  I'm pumped! 

4. T money has been a much better behaved little guy the past few days.  I haven't written a post about this yet, but T has been "difficult" lately.  He breaks my heart with some of his behavior, and hubs and I have been working very hard to correct it.  We believe in him, and this turn-around has given us both hope!  Nice work, T!

5. The past 3 days, my supply has greatly improved.  If you remember in a previous post, my supply had taken a sudden nosedive.  I am now hopeful I can get it back on track (hilariously, I'm attached to this God-awful machine as I!).  I think, for me anyway, double-pumping and feeding B from both sides (I was only doing 1) is really helping.  I've also increased my calorie intake and added 1 extra pumping session per day (I was doing 3, now I do 4).  So good!  ::Fingers crossed::

What a great way to start a weekend!  Hope :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ Impromptu Professional Pix

Blog on Fire!

::blushes:: Thank you to the "Memoirs of a Mama" blog for awarding me the Blog on Fire award!  I'm so tickled I have so many lovely blog readers that enjoy reading about the adventures of our family of four. I'm elated to have 50 followers, and have a new goal of 100 ::fingers crossed::  I love these blog awards that are handed out from mama blog to mama blog.  It allows us to connect to and read about more mommy adventures across the blog-o-sphere, and I just love much fun!  So thanks, Kim, for reading and recognizing me.  I love your adorable blog too!

Now the rules for redeeming this award are:

•Write 7 things about yourself
•Pass this award on to 10 other bloggers

About me:
1.  I'm an avid long-distance runner, but never ran competitively in HS or college.  I love the half-marathon distance, but have also completely 7 marathons in my life, so far.
2. I'm a shoe addict.  Most of my shoes come from Dillards or DSW.
3.  I'm OCD, and proud of it.  I'm a 1st child, so the perfectionism is ingrained.  It's annoying to some (namely my hubby) but I embrace it, and roll with it.
4. I'm from Chi-town.  It will always be home, no matter how long I live in OH.  I will always be a Chicago sports fan, for life!
5.  I'm deathly afraid of small spaces, and have severe claustrophobia! 
6.  I literally "laughed out" my second child during childbirth, never pushed once. 
7.  I love rap!  I don't know if it's the urban in me, growing up so close to a large city, or what...but I just love rap.  I like the back-beats, the words...not so much.

Blogs you HAVE TO check out:
1.  Baby W is on the Way ~ my labor buddy and someone who I connect with through this motherhood thing.
2. Up to the Moon and Back ~ my TFASer who has been through incredible loss with baby #2, but is now struggling through the worries of girl #3. 
3.  Our Pregnancy Roadtrip & Beyond ~ Nicole and the going-ons of her and her adorable baby girl, Blake.
4.  Growing up Geeky ~ the blog-famous Mama G and her adorable baby Carina!
5. Ash Rants ~ Ashley and her journey & success with an egg donor
6. Love & Lattes ~ Katie is so creative in her blog posts, and I can't get enough of baby Colin!
7.  Growing a Foosa ~ fellow April '11 mama & fellow runner, with her picture-perfect family, and gorgeous photos!  I very-much respect her frankness on topics, and her humor
8.  Learning to Laugh ~ my girl Heather, and her two kiddos.  She is hilarious!
9.  My Organized Chaos ~ my bumpie turned IRL friend and her baby girl, Payton!
10.  The How-to Mommy ~  I can't get enough of her tips, crafts, recipes, and funny stories.

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Depressing Supply

In the past week, my milk supply has taken a nose-dive, and I'm devastated!  Things were going along so well, and all of a sudden I'm only pumping about half of what I was the week before (I was pumping 13  to 15oz now I'm only pumping 8ish).  I am also concerned B isn't getting enough, as her sleeping hasn't been good...we're not making I through the night.  But...I'm not giving up hope.  I plan to do the following before I throw in the towel and dig deeply into my freezer stock:
1. Stop working out as much and increase my calories.  I'm dropping weight too quickly because I'm training for a I need to increase calories quickly!
2.  Make sure B is eating from BOTH SIDES every feeding and start double-pumping.
3. Add an extra pump session or two to my day (::sigh::)
4. Eat more protein and drink more water!
5. Pick up some supplements from a local Whole Foods (probably Fengreek and Alfalfa) and get to poppin some pills!
6. Try to destress and sleep more (yeah right!)
7. Read Mama G's "Pep Talk to Lefty" to both my boobies frequently!
8.  I detest mothers milk tea...but if worse comes to worse...ick...
9. Do some praying and positive thinking!

Any ideas that aren't on the list for how I can boost my supply???  HELP!

Milestone Monday ~ Baby Food Adventures

We had a HUGE week/weekend of firsts for miss B.  She's growing and changing with leaps and bounds.  This week we started giving her Mum Mums, rice flavor (from Target).  They have been fun for her, and a great addition to our mealtime. 
T helped me make some homemade baby food for B on Saturday morning (excuse my lovely look...I had just gotten back from an hour-long spin class...lookin good).  We had a great time making the baby food.  So far we have bananas (which can be frozen with a little lemon)...but that's info for another post, sweet potatoes and pumpkin.  Next weekend I plan to do carrots, apples, peaches and I haven't decided on a veggie yet.  I will also make some avocado fresh.  It's been really fun so far.  I love the idea of freezing the babyfood in ice cube trays and then placing them in ziploc baggies.  We shall see how successful it is. 
B's first baby food was bananas.  It just so happened that we had 2 very ripe and soft bananas in our house on Saturday, so I decided to just mash it with a fork, add breastmilk, and see what happened. Here's her first taste (with big brother looking on)
Clearly, it was a huge hit...she wanted more
B did a great job with bites, and actually swallowed quite a bit of it.  She was definitely ready.  Our next try will be our pumpkin or sweet potatoes.  We have a few more days of banana though, as I do the 4 day rule, to check for allergies.  So good!
One other first we'll have to document in a photo later in the week, was the addition of the exersaucer to our already crowded family room.  She liked it instantly, although her time in it and happy is not so long as of now.  We have high hopes for future use.  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blog Business may have noticed that my blog is under a bit of construction.  I've been playing with new fonts, pictures, formats and adding new features.  Right now it's a bit of a mess.  But...bear with me.  I'm working on it in my very limited free time, and those moments when I'm attached to my pump and locked in my classroom alone at work:)  (imagine lots of 1-handed typing). 

Also, I am looking to rename my blog.  I would love some help from you, if you have creative minds!  Here are some important facts about me, to help you come up with some ideas:  I'm a teacher (working mommy) of 2 little blondies.  My DS, Tyler, is 4, and my new baby, Brynleigh is 5 months.  I am a long-distance runner, workout-aholic, and I love football, reality tv, cooking and SHOES!  Any ideas for creative and catchy blog titles???  TIA!

Finally, I am very excited to have 47 followers now!  Thanks for reading all about my crazy life.  I'm really excited to reach my temporary goal of 50, so if you know anyone that might be interested in my blog; working moms, fellow teachers, running addicts, etc...please pass along my blog info.  If you haven't clicked "follow", please consider becoming a regular follower.  I have big ideas for my blog, bigger and better, that I hope you'll enjoy!  Thanks again for following!  :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

OMG, She's 5 months!

Baby B is 5 months!  I can't even believe it's been that long since my water broke in my classroom and I quickly became a mommy of 2.  I could not be more in love with my little girl.  I still can't believe that I even have a girl.  It still blows my mind!!  I was convinced right up until she made her debut that it might be a little Nolan or Bryce Thomas.  But Brynleigh is a dream baby!  She is SOOOO GOOD, unless she's hungry, then we get our ear-piercing screamer!  We are so blessed.  Here's what's up with our growing and changing 5 month old princess:

Age: 5 months today!  :)
Stats: I plan to have MIL help me out with her weight (I don't own a scale). 
Size (diapers, onesies, etc.): B's 0-3 month clothes have been since packed away ::snif:: some without ever being worn.  She is in 3-6 or 6 month clothes (which are 3-6, essentially).  They are a perfect fit right now.  The changing weather has forced me to buy a couple extra warmer 3-6 outfits, but we've gotten good use out of her summer 3-6 so far.  She is comfortably in size 2 diapers, with no plans of moving up as of now.  B still has skinny legs and is still our "peanut".
Sleeping: We have been struggling with the classic 4 month wakeful period the last 3 weeks. That's been very tough since I'm back to work full-time.  I have been waking up with her 2-3 times per night.  However, just 2 short nights ago, she went back to sleeping 9/9:30 - 5/5:30.  I'm hoping we've kicked the 4 month wakeful to the curb!  Mommy is tired!!! 
Eating: Still FOD when I'm with her (usually 1 time before work & 2-3 times afterwards).  I pump 2 times at work (which I hate, but I'm being successful).  We did introduce rice cereal to her this past weekend.  I think I'm gonna get some mum-mums from Target for her to suck on (rice flavor), and quite possibly start baby food soon.  She's definitely ready, as she grabs for our food and is very interested. 
Milestones: Rolling both ways (front to back first, then a couple days later back to front), rice cereal, using her binky (Godsent!!!!), and her giggle scream
Memorable outings: We went to St. Louis to see friends & tonight will be her first baseball game...go Cubs!
Favorite toys/activities: she's actually PLAYING with toys now, which is fun.  She loves rings, her playmats (our and the one at my MILs), lovie, rattles, anything that makes crunchy noises (like wipes or a chip bag), mirrors, her binky, and her feet.  It's fun introducing all of T's old toys to her a little at a time to see what she likes.  We have her in her jumperoo now too.  Baby Einstein gym is next on the list.
Funny moments: B has this squeal when she's happy.  It's hilarious.  She's also grabbing hair and parts of our face, and she thinks it's hilarious.  B is finally reacting to getting tickled or giving a zerbert (sp), which is fun! 
Looking forward to: Starting baby food will be fun.  I really enjoyed introducing new foods to T, so I am sure I will have a great time with B.  We also got some professional pix done when she was almost 4 months, so can't wait to get those back and share them with you.  I am also pumped fall is almost here!  I love fall activities, football, chili, pumpkin spice lattes, outdoor runs, etc.  Woo Hoo Fall!  I think I might try B in the baby jogger (with me actually running) soon.  Stay tuned!

We spent B's 5 month birthday at the Reds v. Cubs game.  B even made it on the prompter during "kid kam" time. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Could it be?

Could the pull-out-your-hair 4 month wakeful period be over?????  B slept from 9pm - 5:30am last night!!!  The ladies in my April '11 group said the change happens overnight, and B will be 5 months TOMORROW!  Could I finally start getting sleep again?  ::says a prayer ::  I hope by speaking about it, I'm not jinxing it ::gulp::...because lately, I've been feeling a little something like this...

Oh please little lady, please STTN, or at least let Mommy get more than 2-4 hours of sleep in a row!  Pretty please!

Oh and on a totally unrelated note...F you post pregnancy symptoms!!!  Today, I broke a tooth! WTF!  The dentist said it was "completely normal to lose teeth while nursing".  ummm...really?  Gross!  I feel like I'm straight out the trailer (thanks Kid Rock) today...::insert guitar strumming::

Monday, September 12, 2011

Milestone Monday

T started taekwondo this week.  Lets just say I pondered ADD medication after watching him "participate" in class.  I have questioned my idea to put him into martial arts.  I'm hoping he learns some restraint and discipline ::says a little prayer:: or at least doesn't embarrass his mommy week after week by running circles around the group, doing fake karate moves or being unable to "stick like glue" when the teacher asks him to stop wiggling.  ::sigh::

**yes, that's my little man in the red.  Mommy and Daddy agree, spending $58 big ones on an outfit for an activity we aren't sure he will stick don't think so!

T also showed B the ropes in his old high chair.  He was helping her take it for a test drive.

B started rice cereal this weekend.  We decided to start cereal when my MIL (who watches B) said she was wailing after her 5oz bottle in the afternoon, and had drank as much as 8-10oz in one feeding all of a sudden.  She really enjoyed the cereal.  We decided on Earths Best whole grain rice cereal.  It's a hit so far, and seems to be appeasing her mid-afternoon freak-outs. 
This one cracks me up...she's lapping it up like a dog! 
T helping Daddy feed B.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Travelers

Beware:  Lots of photos inside this post!

If you've ever watched the show My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, imagine I'm saying the title in their fabulous Irish accent ::giggles::.  (If you haven't seen it...get to your tivo immediately!!!)  We spent the better part of August and the beginning of September as nomads.  It was both fun and completely exhausting.  I got so incredibly sick of packing up the family, living out of a suitcase and having very little down time.  Since this was our first weekend home in over a month, I finally got around to uploading some photos of our travels.  We spent the first week of August in Myrtle Beach, SC at a condo hubs' work owns.  We took along my parents to put a dent into a long road to paying them back for all the countless vacations they have taken us on in the past.  We had an amazing time!  The weather was perfection, hubs and I got to run together since we had two built-in babysitters, and we just spent some quality time soaking up the rays and relaxing.  Here are a million and one pix (although a small sliver of what I took). 

B's first flight.  She and I flew with my parents, while hubs and T drove down so we could save on airfare and not have to rent a car.  As always, my travels were far from smooth.  I almost missed my connecting flight in Chi-town (and let me mention there was no other flight down to Myrtle Beach from Chicago for days!)  and had to literally SPRINT with B in the ergo from one end of O'Hare to the next (and if you haven't been in O'Hare but have been to Atlanta...they are equally as moronically huge!).  I looked like an insane I'm serious...I looked like a nutcase.  I was crying, screaming at people who got in my way and breathing so heavily I probably sounded like I was near death.  It's a fricking long-ass way from one terminal to another!!!  But...we made it...after lots of tears and begging by myself and my mom!
 We spent most mornings at the pool and most afternoons at the beach.  T was obsessed with body boarding, despite the burning eyes he experienced.  Thankfully, he has the best daddy in the world.  Mike spent hours in the water with him!
 My dad had a birthday while we were there.  It was nice to share that with him.
 T and me on the balcony of the 18th floor condo with the view of the beach
 Granddad and T, oh so cool at the Italian restaurant.
 Daddy and his kiddos!
 My mom (Grams) and lil B
 T body boarding yet again
 B camped out under the umbrella.  We tried a pop-up tent I bought, but it was just too freaking hot in there for her.  This seemed to work the best.  She only came out to the beach a couple of days.  Most days, B spent her time at the pool, then went in with my mom for a nap while we hit the beach with T.
 A little mini-golf was in order, since there is literally one every couple of blocks in Myrtle...and yes, I did golf with B in the ergo (the best mini-golf of my life actually)
 T and I building a sand castle.  Hubs likes the water, I prefer the sand:)  It works out well.
 B and me in the condo
 The fam in the condo pool, aka our home away from home everyday
 I got to spend some quality time with T in the pool every once in a while.  But most of the time, I was on baby duty.
 T and his board.  Surfs up dude!
 Grams & Granddad helping me entertain little miss after we were delayed IN THE AIR (and for a claustrophobic like me who is afraid to was no bueno!) for 1.5 extra hours!!!!    Did I mention I have horrible flying luck?! 
 Flying over my hometown...sweet home Chicago, on my way back to the 'nasti!
Trip #2 was to St. Louis to visit my BFF and her family of four.  Her oldest, Addison, aka T's girlfriend, was turning 6.  We got to attend her party and spend some quality time with Lisa, Bob, Addison & Lucas.  T had an incredible time playing for hours, and I was so happy to spend time with Lisa.  We even got to go on a 9 mile run together and catch up...okay...I talked...she nodded :) 

Here's Addison's gymnastics party

Lisa's Mom (aka Mommy #2) meeting Bryn
T getting his medal
All the party guests!
Sweet birthday girl!
The kids (I got virtually no pix because they were so on-the-go all weekend) enjoying a beautiful night on their cul-de-sac
T, Addison & Lucas (T and Addison were making hearts for their love, lol!)
Lisa reading to the kids before they had their sleepover in Lucas' room
Beautiful birthday girl with B
Trip #3 was to the Lake, aka the "Hamptons of the Midwest" (or so says Giuliana Rancic! lol).  I have to mention, if you watch the show Giuliana and Bill, our lake house was on their show last week.  She and Bill go to visit Bill's sister Karen, who is our neighbor in Michigan.  We have known Bill's family for a long time.  She acts like she and Bill had never been there.  That's a crock!  They come 1-2 times per summer.  Karen and her hubby Mike, he is also on the show sometimes, and their 3 boys have grown up at the lake, like our family has.  But I digress...
We spent a chilly labor day in Sister Lakes.  I was sick as a there are very few pictures.  I was in sweats with a fever for half the trip, then it got chilly.  We spent a lot of time hanging out with my fam inside.  It was, however, really wonderful to see them! Here are the few (and I do mean 3) pix I took...I'm so lame!

We had an amazing time on our travels.  But, I have to admit, we were in heaven just being HOME this weekend.  It was nice to get a few things done, relax and just have some family time.