Thursday, February 25, 2010

Decision time.

Most of you know I have really been struggling with the decision of whether or not to be a stay at home mom. I needed to share this today because I feel like there are other women out there that may be struggling with the same decision. Or just maybe one of you are struggling with something even bigger or something small. What ever it is, you NEED to read this. It made the BIG picture clearer for me and I feel peaceful about the decision I believe I have finally made.

It amazes me everyday how God works in my life; when and where he reveals Himself and what exactly He is telling me! Amazing. I am so thankful that I am finally in a place that I have full faith in His plan for my life.

With all that being said, here is what I wanted to share... I have blogged a couple of other times about Proverbs 31 Ministries. I get a daily email with a devotion and almost everyday, it's EXACTLY what I needed to read and be reminded of. Today's email stunned me. Seriously... with teary eyes I read it and whole-heatedly prayed the prayer at the end! If you are struggling with a decision, I pray you find peace and guidance in this mini-devotion.

"It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes." Psalm 118:9 (NIV)
I had looked forward to this moment for days. I sat across the table from my friend and poured out my heart about a big decision I had to make. As I looked into her eyes, I just knew she would have the wisdom I needed. I waited expectantly for her advice.

Instead of an answer to my problems I got a mini sermon. One I needed to hear. My friend pointed out that I was looking to the answer and not the Source of all answers. I thought if I just made the right choice, I would solve all my own problems. "You need to take your focus off making the right decision and trust God," she said. "No matter what you decide to do, He will still take care of you and He will accomplish His purpose for you." (from Psalm 138:8)

I nodded soberly. My friend was right. I had gotten caught up in the outcome. I was placing my trust in princes—looking to people and circumstances for the answers—instead of accepting the truth that, no matter what decision I made, God was going to take care of me. I had made the decision so uber-important that it had eclipsed God's place in my life.

I had prayed to make the right decision. I had journaled pages to Him about it. But ultimately, I reasoned, since He hadn't written the solution in the skies for me, I had to make my own choice based on what I felt was right. I had forgotten that He would still be there working all things together for my good after I made the decision, just as He had before.

If you are facing a big or little decision in your life, seek Him above all. Don't let the outcome or the opinions of others become more important that the One who "opens His hands and satisfies the desires of every living thing" (Psalm 145:16).

No matter whether you make the right decision or the wrong one, He will still be there walking with you, loving you, and helping you. Pray about your decision. Read His word. Seek out godly counsel. And then make the best decision you can. Sometimes the biggest decision is to simply make one. Place your trust in Him and rest in the fact that He will meet you on the other side of whatever decision you make.

Dear Lord, thank You that because of Your grace I know You will always be there. Thank You for the promise in Romans 8:28 that You will work all things out for good. I pray that my life brings You glory and I trust You to work in all circumstances to make that happen. Help me to place my trust in You and not in princes. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Boogie Wipes & such...

Over the past 4.5 months, several products (and lots of prayer) have saved me in my journey of motherhood and some were a waste of time. I thought I would share my opinion of those products and give you a brief review. I know that my posts seem so “baby related” but I can’t help it, I have little time (and $) to shop or do anything else fun or “adult-like.” But I promise that “baby posts” won’t always consume my blog. It’s just what consumes my life right now, so I am sharing and thankful that some of you are actually interested in reading.

Boogie Wipes
I seriously couldn’t live without these. ALM has had a runny nose more often than not, so we have run through these things. They are wet saline wipes. We have been able to find them in “Fresh” and “Grape” scents. May I just say how AWESOME the grape ones are? They will leave your baby (or toddler or even child or heck, even you) smelling edible! They are $3.99 a pack. SO WORTH IT!

Little Remedies, Little Noses
Little Remedies products are ALL NATURAL. This saline spray is wonderful and doesn’t burn. Well I haven’t actually used it myself, but ALM doesn’t seem to mind it at all. And it keeps her little nose moisturized and helps clear out any boogs.
Dr. Brown’s bottles
We registered for these and the Playtex ones. We tried the Playtex ones and had some issues with leaking so we turned to Dr. Brown’s and have had NO ISSUES! I heard great things before I had ALM and turns out they were all true. The only downside to these bottles is they have lots of parts so it takes longer to clean, but totally worth it!

I had heard such good things about “Swaddle Me” blankets. So I registered for 4. And got all 4. And used 1, for a week or 2. They are great if your child likes to be swaddled. But I urge you to register for maybe 2 and use one for a while to see if your child likes being swaddled. Now I have 3 swaddles that are just hanging in a drawer. Waste of $$. Instead we started sleep sack (more on this below) when Addison was 1 month old and she loves it and it’s easy for us to change her in. I would definitely suggest getting at least one Sleep Sack and one swaddle. If you want to use both, Halo (the brand we use) makes a sleep sack swaddle. Perfect.

Sleep Sack
ALM wasn’t a big fan of being swaddled. She wanted her hands out and free. At first that concerned me because I didn’t want her waking herself up but I gave up and switched from swaddle to sleep sack and can I just say, this thing is AMAZING. It’s kind of like a snuggie for babies, except it zips. They come in a variety of sizes and there are all different kinds of designs/patterns/brands. The one we use is actually made by Halo.

Pampers Sensitive Wipes vs. Parent’s Choice
We used Pampers Sensitive Wipes for about 3 months, then, I will admit, decided to try the cheaper brand sold at Wal-Mart. We have no Target in the small town we live in so all things “baby” come from Wal-Mart. And by all things I mean, diapers, formula and wipes. This is one of those situations where “you get what you pay for.” I bought a small pack of Parent’s Choice first to see how they were and they actually were fine. We liked them, so we bought the HUGE pack that has like 900-something wipes. MISTAKE! They are thick and tough and hard to clean with. We learned our lesson here, back to Pampers VERY SOON!

Because my sweet ALM has big ol’ chunky cheeks, they get chapped and dry in this cold weather and we have found that Vaseline works the best. We use it at night while she sleeps and when she wakes up her cheeks are so much better. She also has begun sucking on her fingers and eating her hands and they are getting cracked and chapped too and Vaseline works miracles on her hands! No expensive creams, just handy dandy Vaseline.

Butt Paste
Enough said!! It’s paste for your baby’s butt (i.e. diaper rash)and it works! THE BEST WE TRIED!

Since ALM was 3 months, we started sitting her in her Bumbo. We now feed her in her Bumbo. She loves it. But she will let us know if she has had enough “Bumbo time.” It’s great practice for them to learn to sit up.

I will have more reviews the older she gets I know and I will be sure to fill you in on what works, what doesn’t and what wasn’t worth the $$.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

All Addison, all the time.

Lack of posting usually = new mom syndrome. But lately it = crazy busy work schedule. I am still busy but it’s slowing down a bit. Whew! So I have a few things to update on. Mostly baby related but some are just random. My mind is working on “get it out fast before you lose it” time! So if this post seems scattered, which I believe most have since October 5th, I am sorry.

Addison’s 4 month appointment was yesterday. It’s always exciting to find out how she has grown in weight and length! I was shocked though to find out she weighs 16 lbs 15 oz. and is 26.5 inches long. She is in the 95th percentile in both areas. What that says is, we have a very big beautiful baby. We commonly refer to her as our sweet “chunky monkey.” I knew a couple of weeks ago when we were around a baby that was 2 months older than her and not quite her size, that Addison was bigger than most 4 month olds but I didn’t think she weighed 17 pounds. My sweet baby is growing like crazy and it makes me sad but excited at the same time. It’s all happening so fast. I can’t believe she’s already 4 (really 4.5) months old! I am so thankful that she is such a good eater and good sleeper. We are just so blessed to have a healthy child and I am reminded of that daily.

We had her 4 month pictures made last Tuesday so be looking for a post with those. You will DIE when you see these pictures! You can really see how much she has grown and how precious she is! The photographer we use is amazing at capturing details! Here's a teaser...

She rolled over from tummy to back twice on Valentine’s Day but hasn’t done it since. After the 2nd time I went to grab the video camera and she was over it by then! I am soooo glad that Adam and I were both there to see it. I often worry about missing her “firsts” but so far we haven’t missed one.

She is eating 2 tablespoons of rice cereal before bed and we will be adding it at breakfast also soon. Our doctor told us that that would be good and that at 5 months we can introduce “1st foods” like vegetables and fruits. I am so excited to introduce her to all of these new things. I desperately want her to be like her father in the eating area. I am the pickiest of the pickiest and I want her daddy’s influence on food to be strong! And I can only hope that she continues to be a good eater.

For Valentine’s Day, Adam and I gave her a Sofie la Girafe. She stinkin’ loves that thing. I thought it would be like several of her other toys and she would just be over it so fast but she ADORES it. It’s so precious. I had toyed with getting her one since my friend Erin, at Blue-Eyed Bride, guaranteed me that it was just amazing. After looking online for one, I was skeptical about paying $23 for a teething toy. And when I caved and got her one, it was worth every bit of the $15 I paid for it on Amazon. I am now convinced that this is the BEST TEETHING TOY EVER.

She has officially grown out of her sleeper gowns (tear) and is sleeping in the “Sleep n” Play” onesies with feet. I like the ones that zip, because it’s easier to change her in. I was so bummed to find out that they didn’t make those gowns for bigger than 0-3 months. She has 1 or 2 that are 0-6 but they are too small too.
She is wearing 6-9 month clothes for the most part. She has some leggings that are 3-6 that she can still wear but they are getting snugger by the day!

She is eating 5.5 ounces of formula 6 times a day. So she’s getting 33 ounces a day. Her pediatrician said that she likes to see her 6 month olds eating 30 ounces a day and cereal or “1st foods” 3 times a day. I asked her if I was overfeeding her and she didn’t seem concerned so we will stay where we are with formula for now.

She is sleeping from 9:30 or 10 pm until 7 am when I wake her to eat before her daddy takes her to her daycare. She has been doing this probably since she was around 2 months or so but for about 6 weeks she woke us up around 2 or 3 am wanting her diaper changed but she would never even open her eyes and sleep through the change. She has now learned to sleep through the wet diapers. I can’t express how blessed I know I am. She is one amazing sleeper and I am beyond thankful.

She is “talking” more and more and it’s the sweetest sound in the world. She just goes on and on and I often wonder “What is she trying to say to me?” ha. We just laugh and laugh at her. She had her first REAL (defined) giggle last week. It was ADORABLE!

I still haven’t made a decision about work. I am continually praying about the decision and have others praying for me as well. I desperately want to make sure I am following God’s will for my life and not just doing what I WANT TO DO. I want to do what is best for my family and I want God to reveal that to me. When a decision is made, don’t worry, I will blog about it ASAP.

I haven’t done a WWW post in, what, like 2 weeks? It’s hard to commit to doing one EVERY WEEK. But I promised to keep you updated so here is my update:
Before baby: 145
Before delivery: 210 (still scare to type that)
Currently: 155
I lost 7 lbs in the two weeks. I was THRILLED with that. I am now trying to weigh every two weeks so that if the loss seems like “more.” I won’t weigh this Friday so I won’t have an update next week. But I am happy to report I am still truckin’ along. Not exercising like I would like, but doing the best I can. My priority is my baby so if I can only go 2 or 3 days a week for 30 minutes, then so be it! I want as much time with my sweet girl and husband as I can get!

Being a working mom proves more challenges every day. Some are funny, some not so funny, some make me cry, some make me laugh, some cause me to almost have an anxiety attack, some keep me grounded but all of them are learning experiences. I have been at this working mom thing for 6 weeks now and it isn’t any easier than it was the day I came back, Jan. 4th. I miss her constantly. I think “wonder what she is doing?” at least 947 times a day. I tear up several times a day. But I am here. I am making it work the best I know how and letting God guide me in this journey of “working mom & wife.”

Well, that does it for today. I am sure I left something off, but, alas, I shall blog again :)
Here's a picture we took Sunday, Valentine's Day, after church! Ignore the poor quality... taken via BB.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mmmm...Rice Cereal

Because I am SUPER DUPER, beyond explanation, CRAZED & just plain BUSY at work I don't have time to blog today and probably won't have much time this week! So I wanted to share something special with you all.
Last week we started feeding Addison rice cereal. She has been eating it for exactly one week. She loves it and can't get it fast enough! She is doing so much better now than she was a week ago!
I am sharing this precious video of her eating last night! It's all I can do not to laugh hysterically while she eats. She makes the funniest noises :)
Pardon the bad quality, I was recording with my Blackberry while feeding her! I call this MOMMY MULTITASKING!
To really enjoy the video you need to turn it up a little. Her smacking is just plain PRECIOUS (or is it just me that thinks that??) ha! Please excuse my loud/coooountry voice!


Friday, February 5, 2010

Currently dreaming of...

... and drooling over:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

B-A-D Blogger

I know I have been a bad blogger! I also know my WWW posts don't always show up on WEDNESDAY! I can't say exactly when I started being a bad blogger, oh wait, when I became a mother, THAT'S WHEN! I miss blogging. I am constantly thinking of topics then when I actually have time to blog about them, I forget what I thought of. I refer to this as "mommy brain!" I truly have so many things I want to tell you all and blog about. From, baby products to fashion trends, to MY wants, house renovations, Addison, products I have tried and loved (or hated)! I am SWAMPED at work right now so I don't have much time to blog and blogging from home IS. NOT. AN. OPTION.

Most of you know I work for a small private college. I am the Associate Director of Admissions/Event Planner/Travel Manager! Right now the whole "Event Planner" role has me CRAZED!!!!!!!! Our biggest/most prestigious event is coming up Feb. 13th (yeah Valentines weekend). I will be working that day from about 10 am til 7 pm! SUCKTASTIC! Along with my everyday responsibilities of being a wife, mother, exercise enthusiast, cook, cleaner, clothes washer/folder/put awayer, organizer, bottle washer, dish doer... I am seriously almost completely nuts right about now! I barely have brain cells at this point to even type (so if the spelling/content of this post sucks, I blame it on that)!

For example, here is how my day went yesterday...

6:15 am - GET UP (half awake and somber)

6:30 am - Shower/Get ready

7:00 am - Wake ALM and get her dressed and fed

7:30 am - Finish getting ready and put on clothes

7:55 am - Rush out the door (running late as usual) for work

8:05 am - Get to work LATE

8:15 am - 5:00 pm - WORK LIKE A MAD WOMAN (with a couple of breaks and convos with coworkers/friends)

5:00 pm - Go to my friend Laura Lynn's house to see her baby's nursery and chat for a while (we were trying to make her baby jealous by her holding Addison so he would hurry and come out-poor girl is about pop!)

6:10 pm - Rush home and get Adam and we are off to our "Praying Parent" class at church (again, running late)

6:30 - 8:00 pm - Class (loved it-post to come about it sometime, no promises as to when) :)

8:15 pm - Arrive home, cook supper, cook meal for friend whose stepson passed away, make ALMs bottles for today, wash bottles, clean kitchen, fold clothes, put away clothes, tidy house (mom is coming in town today), feed ALM cereal/bottle, give ALM a bath, a little playtime with ALM, etc.

11:45 pm - BED!

What is missing from this outline????? WORKOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yep, didn't get to. Mad about this, YES! Could I help it? No! Will I weigh myself this week? NO! Will I have a WWW post? NO!

Now, every day isn't like this, but days like this seriously stress me out! And MAJORLY make me want to be a SAHM! I am not always nice to people on these days. SHAME ON ME I know!
But on a more positive note... things are always fine, I am beyond blessed and every day is a NEW day!!
More up beat post tomorrow... that I do PROMISE :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

WWW: A Picky Perspective

Note: I wrote this post Wednesday (1/27/2010) but then got MAJOR sick and didn't finish the very end. So I am posting it now! Sorry for the delay girls!

48 lbs down... 17 to go! That's right, I lost 4 lbs this week! Super excited about that! I was shocked to see that number, but totally PUMPED!

I am a little bummed about my workouts this week. I had a KILLER workout Monday. But Tuesday, Addison was sick and I was getting sick and today well, I am all out SICK! Ugh! So I won't be able to go to the gym today. Might go tomorrow if I feel better but won't be able to go Friday either! So pretty much best case scenario, I will get two workouts in before my weigh in on Friday!

Oh, and I meant to mention, I weigh on Friday because that gives me Sunday - Thursday to get back on track. I have one cheat meal on Friday and one on Saturday so I always like to weigh after I have had 5 days to detox and workout like a mad woman (well, most weeks anyway).

So this week I promised to give some "picky" recipes that i eat pretty much every week. I don't stray from these things because I don't like many things and hey, they help me lose weight and keep me full!

Let's start with my "Flatbread Pizza" (6 points)

- Take a Light FlatOut Wrap (1 point)
- 1/2 cup of Paul Newman Marinara (1 point)
- 17 Turkey pepperonis (2 points)
- 1/4 cup of 2% mozz. cheese (2 points)
- sliced banana peppers (0 points)
- 1 small roma tomato
- you could always ad any other veggies but that's all I put on mine

Put the wrap in the oven on 350 degrees for 7 minutes. Let it get crispy. Then take it out and add the marinara, cheese, peps ( i precook these in the microwave), banana peppers and tomatoes. Put back in the oven approx 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

This is SOOOO good and very filling!
Another fave of mine is Veggie Chili and by veggie chili I mean beans and tomatoes.

Veggie Chili (2 points)

1 can of chili beans (4 points)
1 can of diced tomatoes (i always put them in my mini mixer and crush them up) (0 points)
1/2 pack of French's Chili-O mix (0 points)

Mix all ingredients together, add a half cup of water, cook on medium for about 10-12 minutes... TADA! You have two meals that are 2 points each! I always eat 10 Fat Free crackers with it to make it a 4 point meal. It sounds plain but really is good. Sometimes I will add 1/4 cup of 2% cheddar cheese and make it a 6 point meal, depends on how many points i have left for the day :)


Simple, easy, pasta!

Ronzoni Smart Taste Penne (1 cup cooked) (3 points)
1/2 cup Paul Newman's Marinara (1 point)
2 tbsp of parmeasean cheese

Cook pasta and mix :) You could add any veggie's you wanted but I am not crazy about veggies!

There you go. I will be back next week with WWW! Here's to good eatin' this week ladies!