Friday, November 30, 2012

Almost December

Now that November’s just about over, I think it’s time to officially put all the pumpkin themed stuff away and start decorating for Christmas!  Hopefully I’ll get some time this weekend to make the swap.  And do some more holiday shopping.  We actually got a decent amount done last Sunday, which was a huge change from last year.  I’ve learned pretty quickly that it takes 10 times longer to accomplish tasks when you have a child.  I almost considered making my own holiday cards again this year.  Yeah, don’t think that’s happening.

Speaking of Christmas, I giggled out loud when I saw this on Pinterest:


On another note - there is a little tooth trying to poke its way through Toby’s bottom gums.  Of course this has to happen as soon as he starts sleeping straight through until 6 every morning.  He hasn’t been too fussy yet, we’ve just noticed he’s wanted to stick teethers, hands, fingers, etc in his mouth 24/7.  He was actually gnawing on my shoulder this morning.  Please send happy thoughts our way that we don’t have too many sleepless nights in the near future…


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New Mommy Questions

1. What do you wish someone told you about pregnancy?

The gross stuff.  Can’t believe that I’m writing this here, but here goes…the hemorrhoids, the discharge, boobs changing, constant runny nose, etc, etc.

2.  What do you wish someone would have told you about Labor & Delivery?

It’s not so much the pain that you feel during contractions, it’s more just intense pressure.  SO MUCH PRESSURE.  I was expecting more of a sharp, shooting pain and that’s not what a contraction is.  And you will know you’re officially in the transition stage when you start screaming “I CAN’T DO THIS, I CAN’T DO THIS”.

3.  What did you feel when you delivered, emotionally and physically?

I felt relieved once I delivered – both emotionally and physically.  I was exhausted but the contractions were over and the pressure to push was finally gone.  I hurt but I knew the worst was done with.  I was definitely pretty out of it by that point – I thought I would have been more upset not to have Toby lay on my chest right away since the NICU doctors had to check his lungs and breathing first, but I needed a couple minutes to digest what just happened and come back to reality.  However once the nurse did bring him to me all nice and clean, I was crying happy tears to finally get the chance to bond with him:)

4.  How long after delivery did it take you to feel normal physically again?

I felt pretty good after 2 months, but back to normal after 4 months when all my jeans fit again, and some were fitting loose.  Some of my tops still don’t fit right in the chest, but that’s to be expected.

5.  What is the best thing about being a new mom?

Seeing him experience new things every day.  Just yesterday he was leaning way over trying to sit up by himself (basically doubling himself in half), and then this morning he was sitting up so much straighter and I could take my hands away from him for a good 15 seconds before he started wobbling.   It blew my mind how fast that happened and I saw a serious change literally overnight.

6.  What is the most unexpected thing about being a new mom?

The guilt…with every decision you make, there’s always something nagging you – “Could I have done this differently?  Could I have done this better?”

7.  Do you miss being pregnant? 

Yes.  A lot.  I loved being pregnant – I really felt the most beautiful I’ve ever felt during my entire life while I was pregnant.  Even when the weight started to creep back on and my face and arms got chubby again, I still felt pretty.  I love my maternity pictures because I think it shows how happy I was during that time.  I compare them to my engagement pictures and I just see how much more confident I am in the maternity photos.

8.  How many kids do you want?  How do you want them spaced out and why?

Two kids, probably 3-4 years apart.  I like the age range between me and my sister.  There was no competition in school and we both got to enjoy things on our own time.  I really don’t think I could handle two kids under 2. 

9.  Is it hard seeing how fast they grow and how do you handle it?

Yes, it’s hard but there’s always so much to look forward to.  It basically works that each month makes something easier but then something else gets more difficult.  So, like for instance, it’s easier now that Toby is more independent and interactive.  But it’s difficult that we have to plan our schedule around nap times as we can’t depend on him to fall asleep in his stroller anymore while we’re out and about.  It’s give and take…I miss the newborn snuggles so much but hearing Toby laugh out loud as I tickle his feet is just as good :)



Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Watching: Cake Boss and Next Great Baker are back on.  Love watching the stuff they create!  And Teen Mom 2 always sucks me in.  Oh man, I just need to watch one episode of that show to feel better about my parenting skills.  I shouldn’t judge but the girls are seriously ridiculous. 

Listening to: I’ve been listening to a lot of Rascal Flatts while working.  Dare I say I may be tempted to listen to more country…? 

Thinking about: My grandma.  It’s been 4 years since she passed away but it still feels like yesterday.  I struggle sometimes with thinking how unfair it is that she and my grandpa never got to meet Toby, but I do fully believe everything happens for a reason.

Loving: Toby’s love for blowing raspberries.  So silly. 

Making me happy: Goodbye pumpkin, hello peppermint!  One good flavor after another in the holiday season.

Wishing: This freaking eczema on my hands would just get better!  Prepping for Turkey Day made them flare up again.  Thankful that Hubby has been washing my pump parts and doing bath duty lately or else my hands would be a disaster. 

Working on: Time to get my eating and working out habits back in check…can’t let the holidays be an excuse.



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Happy!

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Birthday to me!  Not sure how I feel about officially being in my late 20’s now, but it is what it is. 

Source: via Emily on Pinterest



My birthday has fallen on Thanksgiving a few times in my life and usually I despise it, especially when I don’t get birthday cake :(  This year I’m actually glad they fall on the same day…it’s nice to spend time with family and relax after a yummy meal. 

Lots to be thankful for this year!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Turkey Day Menu

I’m still in denial that Thanksgiving is this Thursday!  Ahhh!  At least the house is looking somewhat clean at this point.

We are hosting for 15 this year, so the recipes below I typically double.  I’m cutting back on appetizers and a couple side dishes, and making more of certain things based on what people ate more of last year (like we ran out of mashed potatoes).  Here’s our line-up:

Main Dish:

  • Turkey (got a 21 pounder in the fridge!)…Hubby is in charge of this.  All I know is he uses a lot of celery, carrots, and onion to help season it.

Side Dishes:

  • Sweet Potato Casserole – I love sweet potatoes on their own, but adding some milk to them with brown sugar and pecans on top is heavenly.  I usually make this the day prior and then put the topping on in the morning on Turkey Day.


  • Slow Cooker Stuffing – this is another recipe Hubby is in charge of. He omits the mushrooms from this since we’re both not a fan. Love using the slow cooker since you can just leave this on all morning and not worry about it, and it also takes up less room in the oven.


  • Skinny Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes - I add some shredded cheddar cheese to these to make them even creamier so my version isn’t totally skinny.  This recipe is really easy to make so I do this the day of.


  • Apple-Orange Cranberry Sauce…this is SO good and takes very little time.  I’ve always been a fan of the stuff in a can but this homemade version really is better.


  • Lightened Up Corn Casserole – so I made this last year and completely forgot that I left it in the oven while we were eating.  Thank God we had shut off the oven so it wasn’t too brown but at that point everyone was full so we just dumped it! 


  • Salad (just a house salad with various dressings to choose from)
  • Squash
  • Carrots & Turnips
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Rice Pilaf


  • Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I made a version of these for a cookie swap last year but they were really flat and soggy so I’m trying this new recipe.  I figured it’s something I can make tonight as an extra something in case people don’t want lots of pie. 


  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pecan Pie
  • Pumpkin Trifle (easy easy…alternating layers of butterscotch pudding, pumpkin spice pudding, french vanilla pudding, cool whip, and then some graham cracker crumbles in between and on top.  Love using my trifle bowl!)

Not sure why it doesn’t feel like it’s time for this holiday yet.  Maybe it’s just because this whole year has flown by :)


Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Traditions

Linking up at From Mrs. to Mama:

1. Tell us about your family traditions for Thanksgiving
We don’t have many traditions or things that we make sure to do every single year.  Dinner has been at our house the past two years, so this is our third year hosting.  We usually eat around 2ish.  A tradition that my sister and I have done for the last several years is shopping VERY early on Black Friday, but I think we may be doing some late afternoon/evening Black Friday shopping this year instead.

2. Tell us about your favorite foods
Sweet potato casserole….mmmm mmmm so good!  I will post the recipe I use tomorrow along with the rest of our menu.  I don’t do the marshmallow topping, instead I use lots of brown sugar and pecans.  But I seriously love EVERYTHING about Thanksgiving…cranberry sauce, turkey, mashed taters, green bean casserole and PIES!  You can’t go wrong with anything.  This is the one holiday that I truly pig out on and do not care how many calories I consume, because it’s always worth it!

3. Show us a picture that reminds you of this holiday
I must take personal pictures this year, especially since it’s Toby’s first Thanksgiving!  But here’s a Pinterest pic:


4. Tell us, do you wait to decorate for Christmas before or after Thanksgiving?
I’m a firm believer of celebrating one holiday before starting on another, so we wait until after Thanksgiving to start decorating for Christmas.  I try to put stuff out during the long weekend after Turkey Day.

5. Tell us what you are thankful for this year
My little Toby James.  I would say I was pretty content with my life before him but now that he’s here, I know that my life has a real purpose – to be a good mommy and to enjoy watching him grow.  Some days are tough but the happy days always outweigh the fussy ones.  Motherhood has really changed me in such a positive way.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Toby: 5 Months!

Happy 5 Months to us…Toby slept from 8PM-5:30AM last night, ate, and then went back to sleep until 8:53AM!  Maybe sleeping straight through until 7ish is coming soon…

Anyway, this month has been all about moving, rolling, and wanting to sit.  As soon as you put him on his back, he automatically rolls to his belly and refuses to roll back.  I think he’s practicing for crawling…yikes!  And same goes for his crib which unfortunately made naps and nighttime sleep difficult for a week or so until he was comfortable enough to fall asleep on his belly or side.  It is nerve wracking seeing him sleep on his belly since you’re supposed to put them to sleep on their backs, but there’s really nothing I can do to stop him. 


And the other big thing this month…little, grabby hands.  Oh man, anything I’m holding, he wants, wants, wants!  I can’t hold him and have a drink in my other hand anymore.  Anything fascinates him, including a Boston Red Sox foam coaster.  He’s OBSESSED with it.  Like seriously threw a temper tantrum when I took it away from him one night so we could start bath time.  He loves feeling textures of different objects, figuring out what he can hold comfortably and what’s still too heavy, and then of course he will try to get it to his mouth to see what it tastes like.  Definitely need to start baby-proofing…

His personality has blossomed this past month.  He’s a pretty happy baby 90% of the time.  He gives shy smiles when he sees someone new for the first time and then slowly warms up.  Then he becomes a little flirt.  He prefers to be kept busy, so we usually do different activities every half hour or so when at home.  We really love playing with him now.  His back is getting very strong, so it’s easier to show him things when he’s sitting up.  I feel like he’ll be sitting unassisted by Christmas.  He is either very serious, looking around, and checking out his surroundings or he is laughing and talking up a storm.  I think the funniest thing he does is when we’re out in public and he starts talking.  He gets so loud that people look over to the stroller to check him out.  At least he doesn’t cry when we’re shopping anymore! 


Weight: guessing he’s over 13 pounds now and hopefully getting close to 14?  We brought him to the doctor a week after his 4 month check-up (see Medical Issues below) and he had already gained 8 ounces in 8 days so it was a good sign.  I can tell his arms and belly are chunking up a little.

Height: Definitely has gotten longer again as his feet hit the floor when he’s in his jumper and Go-Pod – doesn’t need a pillow underneath anymore.  Guessing close to 27 inches.


Medical Issues: The week after he turned 4 months, I noticed he was spitting up a lot after almost every feeding, and it didn’t matter whether he nursed or ate from a bottle.  He didn’t seem sick, otherwise – no fever and wasn’t fussy.  He rarely spits up so that’s why I thought it was weird.  I was also concerned because he’s slow to gain weight so I didn’t want this to affect it even more.  The office nurse suggested giving him smaller feedings every 90 minutes instead of one large feeding every 3 hours because he may have had a tummy bug.  We ended up bringing him in on the 3rd day since he was spitting up even after the small feedings.  The doctor said he was fine – soft tummy, no fever, no rash, and he had gained 8 ounces in a week from his 4 month appt so that was excellent.  He stopped spitting up later that night and it’s been off and on since then.  I think it may be a combo of teething, moving around, and just eating more overall.  Other main medical issue is his scalp…the cradle cap flakes are finally gone, but his head is still so dry.  He picks at it during the night so when he wakes up it’s bleeding and oozing.  I’ve tried having him wear a thin hat and infant mittens but he doesn’t move as well with the mittens on so it made me nervous for sleeping.  After using this shampoo, we’ve been lotioning him like crazy and I rub gobs of Vaseline on at night.  I really hope this isn’t eczema. 


Sleep: The newfound love of rolling onto his tummy disrupted sleep for a week or so.  We would have to go in a lot more to replace the pacifier and soothe him.  And then he also went through another week where he was waking up twice a night and would refuse to sleep unless he ate, so I’m assuming it was another growth spurt.  Luckily things are back to normal, so most nights he’s asleep by 8pm in his crib, sleeps straight through until he gets up to eat anywhere between 3-5AM, then back to sleep until 7:30 or 8AM.  As for naps, he’s still taking 3 a day, about 40-45 minutes long (1 morning, 2 afternoon).  On a good day, he will take a 90 minute nap but that is RARE.  His doctor said as long as we’re consistent with putting him down, he should start to take longer naps around 6 months and will probably combine them into two instead of three a day.  We never have to rock him to sleep anymore.  He will usually fuss for a few minutes but it’s very rare when we have to go in to soothe him after 10 minutes has gone by.

Clothes/Diapers: All 3-6 and 6 month clothes.  They fit him perfectly now.  Size 2 for diapers.  We are having issues with him leaking overnight so I have to change him at his early AM feeding or else he’s soaked by 8AM.  We tried putting him in size 3’s but he still leaks through.  Guess we’ll be trying out overnight diapers. 


Diet: Introduced formula officially on his 4th month birthday.  He’s been getting about 4-10oz each day since we’re using it to supplement now.  About 2/3 of what he eats is still breast milk.  I’m only nursing him at night when he wakes up and then for his two morning feedings.  I don’t think he was getting enough from me during the afternoon and evening, so we switched to giving him all bottles after 12pm.  It gives me peace of mind to know exactly how many ounces he’s getting in the later part of the day.  He gets about 7oz in a bottle, usually a mix of pumped milk and formula.  Still eating every 3 hours, though sometimes he can go up to 4 hours.  I think we are going to try doing 8oz in a bottle to get him to stretch to 4 hours and that way we can cut one out a day.  We started giving him pureed solids on 11/3 – started with 1-2 tablespoons each day.  So far he’s had pears, unsweetened applesauce, bananas, and carrots.  Not really a fan of the bananas and he spit back out the carrots after a few spoonfuls.

Baby Gear Love: The Go-Pod, Sophie, links

Milestones/Firsts: Tried first “solid” food on 11/3 – pears.  Starting to sit better with assistance the first week of November.  First Halloween – dressed up as a tiger.  First shower on 11/11…so let’s just say big poops + jumper = BIG MESS.  The shower was the quickest and most efficient way to clean him since Hubby wasn’t home.  It was kinda cute seeing him stand up in the shower, though – love that little tush even when it’s a mess ;)


Likes: Talking, talking, talking!  And sometimes screaming.  I think he likes to just hear himself sometimes.  He prefers to be standing in his jumper or sitting in his high chair rather than laying on the activity mat.  He loves touching stuffed animals, looking at board books, and grabbing my and Auntie’s hair.  Loves listening to new noises and watching people make them. 

Dislikes: Being put down for naps.  Always fusses for a least a couple minutes.  Other than that he’s a pretty happy baby!  And thank God he is okay with the car seat now.


Things I don’t want to forget:  The sour face he made when he tried pears for the first time…too, too funny!  And when he tried applesauce, he couldn’t get enough of it.  He was fussing in between spoonfuls because I apparently wasn’t feeding him fast enough.  When he sees someone and they say “hi” to him, he will smile quickly and then look away fast like he’s being shy.  He goes crazy on his changing table – will move his legs and arms so fast and start shrieking.  It’s funny but makes for interesting diaper changes.  He also sticks his tongue out randomly now and it always cracks me up.


Postpartum: Introducing formula officially was a hard decision, but I know I didn’t have the time and energy to try and amp my milk supply up.  I hardly have enough time in the day with working now, and I’m only working 15 hours a week.  I don’t know how full-time working moms do it – seriously, I give so much credit to them!  I have come to accept the fact that a happy mom equals a happy baby and I have to do what’s best for everyone in this situation.  I think the plan is now for me to slowly start weaning off pumping sessions so that I’m totally done breastfeeding by 6 months.  My original goal was to make it 3 months so to get this far is amazing and I have to remind myself of that :)





Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankful Thursday

This past week I have been thankful for…

  • wipes…kids are so freaking messy
  • our snuggly lap cats who come up to visit me in the loft when I’m working in the afternoons
  • nice weather – after it rained it’s been so mild out.  Not too cold yet!
  • warm blankets and sleepsacks
  • make-up – let’s just say I’ve been looking pretty tired lately so mascara and powder has been a must
  • waking up to this goofball every morning:

photo (23)



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Random Cuteness

I never thought I would describe bread as adorable, but seriously, look at this little pound cake.  So cute!  I wouldn’t want to eat it:

image source


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I’ve seen some Facebook friends post things they are thankful for each day during November, as this time can be considered a month of thanks.  I really liked the idea and while I don’t think I can keep up with doing it every day on the blog, I think I’ll try to at least post on Thursdays and maybe continue it even when November is over.

This past week, I am thankful for…

  • our house being warm and safe and for having power throughout Hurricane Sandy and the other snowstorm yesterday.  I can’t imagine what those people in the states hit worst are going through right now. 
  • dark chocolate almond milk.  I don’t think I’d be able to swallow my vitamins without a big glass of it at night.
  • coffee…lots and lots of coffee
  • yoga pants.  The weather this past week has made me so unmotivated to get dressed in jeans.
  • my camera.  We have taken some really cute photos of Toby lately.
  • my sister being a great and helpful aunt (especially when I’m running late)
  • and, as always, for these two guys in my life:

photo (12)


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mmm Mmm Pears…?

Last night we gave Toby his first taste of “solid” food (I still think it’s funny calling it that when we’re starting him out on pureed stuff…I think of like little cheese blocks when I hear the word “solids”).  We skipped over the baby cereal for now but I may buy some next week as his second food to try out.  No real reason for starting with purees first instead, just felt like it!  I bought packages of pears and prunes at the store last week, though I do want to try making Toby’s food in the future since it doesn’t seem complicated and will probably save money. 

Anyway, here’s a recap of him trying pears for the first time.  Given the sour face, I don’t think he was really a fan:


I put tiny bits of puree on the spoon and tried to get it in his mouth when it was open, but it was not that easy.  I was wondering if he was really ready for it yet, but I think it will just take practice.  He always stares at me when I eat now, so that’s why I felt he was ready to try something new. 

We probably got about one or two little spoonfuls of pear in his mouth and I doubt hardly any was swallowed, especially after he spit a whole bunch back out.  It was still fun seeing him experience something new even if we wasted a good couple tablespoons!



When we were just about done with getting the pear all over the bib and napkins I had on hand, I decided to give him the spoon to see if he would even attempt to get it near his mouth.  He did but was definitely playing with it more than using it to eat, which was fine until he realized it was fun to bang on the table.




Which of course proceeded in getting pear all over his head…



Good thing tonight was a bath night!  Haha he cracks me up so much these days!