Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bentley is 2 Months!

Actually he was two months ten days ago, but- second child.

Last month we used Pooh Bear as Bentley's size comparison stuffie, but then we got this awesome dragon from my aunt and he will from now on grace the monthly picture because I love him.

This month Bentley is:

  • Grasping things with both hands; mostly hair, but sometimes toys
  • Smiling. A lot! He is a happy, happy baby and will smile anytime you talk him, smile at him, or when he sees Fynn

  • A chatterbox with lots of vowel sounds and cooing. The best is when you talk to him and he "talks" back.
  • Rolling on his side and moving around a lot more.
  • Sleeping pretty well. We're usually up to nurse twice a night, but we had one night where he only got up once!!!!
  • Staying awake for longer stretches during the day which is fun as he's looking around more, interacting and figuring out the world

  • Spitting up a lot. Yuck. I feel like I'm constantly changing his (and my!) clothes throughout the day. I had forgotten how much laundry a newborn creates.
  • Gaining weight like a champ. At his 2 month check up he weighed in at 10 pounds 1 ounce and is now 22 inches long. Since he is exclusively breastfed, I take that as a huge personal victory.
  • Currently wearing size 1 diapers and still mostly newborn clothes although he now fits into some of the smaller 0-3 month outfits.

  • Mellow. He's a go with the flow, check out the world kind of baby. He doesn't get upset often, and when he does it's usually because I haven't fed him lately or he's annoyed that no one has held him for too long.
  • Loving being worn. His favorites are the ring sling and mei tai, but he is starting to love our Ergo 360 (now that I finally figured out how to get him in the infant insert comfortably).

Monday, April 27, 2015

Fynnie at 2 1/2

Pic from Erin
Technically Fynn is more 2 3/4 these days, but either way I haven't done an update lately about what she's up to and I want to make sure I remember all the things she's into and about.

It's crazy how at 2 1/2 they became real kids. No longer babies or toddlers. Fynn talks like a little kid- sometimes with the cutest mistakes. She calls pepperoni "macaroni" lately and gets annoyed when I pull out a box of pasta.

Fynn is the best big sister. I knew she would love having a baby around, but I figured she'd get bored with him after a couple of days/weeks. 8 weeks now and she's still as infatuated and interested in him as she was on day 1. The first thing she'll say when she sees me is "where's the baby?" or "where's Bentley?". If he cries, she'll ask what's wrong or tell me that she thinks he needs more milk.

She doesn't eat anything except fruit and snacks. Her favorite meal is a "snack lunch" which I invented out of sheer desperation one day in an attempt to get her to eat something. Usually it consists of fruit, cheese, and maybe a veggie or crackers... basically I try to hit several food groups though a "snack" and pray that see eats some of it. She's still growing strong, so I guess she's getting what she needs.

Fynn wears dresses. Everyday. It started this winter and for about 4 months she has worn a dress Usually with leggings, but occasionally without. She got several of the other little girls at daycare to do the same, so now they have a dress club. It's the toddler equivalent of Mean Girls.

She can count... sometimes even correctly. Usually we get a "one, two, three, five, seven". The numbers may not all be there, but at least they're in the right order. She loves to count things though.

We haven't really worked on letters, but she knows F and H... F because of her name, and H because of fire hydrants... now she has to hop on all the hydrant "H's" when we go for walks and can name quite a few words that start with H. Whenever we're reading she likes to point out the letter H.

The singing! Everything becomes a song, and it's stinking adorable. She sang a whole song about her stuffed bunny being on her head when she was avoiding nap time the other day and she sings Twinkle Twinkle to Bentley when he cries.

In typical toddler fashion; she alternates between being the most hilarious, adorable sweetheart and being a whiney, screaming, demanding pain in the butt. I love her to death, but she knows how to push my buttons and clearly enjoys doing so.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Randoms

I got Drew into Friends. Which means once Fynn goes to bed we're streaming it on Netflix. I've been telling him for years how great it is, and he FINALLY gets it
  • Last Saturday I got a little "me time" and got a mani-pedi. It was fantastic and relaxing, but the guy doing it had an interesting massage technique that included punching my arms and legs with the side of his fist. It didn't hurt, but it was a little odd.

  • Fynn likes to put things on Bentley now; stickers, window clings, stuffies... I've got to keep an eye on that kid

  • Dunkin's Iced Tea is only 99 cents for any size right now- this is my favorite time of the year. Totally worth loading both kids into the car just to get one.

  • I totally let this happen to my living room the other day because Fynn didn't nap and I was just too tired to make it stop... and then I watched Drew and Fynn pick it all up later that night while I was feeing Bentley.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

My IUD is freaking me out.

Don't worry, beyond informing you that I got an IUD inserted two weeks ago, this won't be all TMI. Mostly it will just let you into my inner neurosis and solidify that I am, in fact, crazy.

So yes, two weeks ago, I closed the baby-making factory for the foreseeable future because oh.em.gee. this is not happening again until these two are like 20 (and then it would just be weird). Usually with such important decisions I research the hell out of things and go in with all the right questions and concerns... not so in this case. I just jumped about because it sounded like a good idea and I just wanted to make sure I don't pull a Duggar and start popping them out like a jack in the box. (Can you tell how tired I am?)

However, after the fact it seemed like a brilliant idea to start my research. And then I read about those rare cases where the IUD goes AWOL and digs into a uterus and my overactive imagination of course assumed that mine had already sliced through that baby-growing organ and was careening straight for my lungs, or heart, or other essential organs.

Of course, I then waved my freak flag over to my sister because I needed SOMEONE to talk to about my impending death by plastic impalement since Drew seemed to think that my worries were unfounded.

To add to my totally justified concern, apparently breastfeeding increases those chance by a significant amount.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April 2015 Ipsy Glam Bag

This month's Ipsy bag was a bit of a disappointment for me. I peeked at the items in my bag on my account early and wasn't excited, so when it came on Monday I was in no rush to open it... not awful, there just weren't many things in the bag that I was looking forward to trying out.

This month's theme was Beautifully Bohemian and the bag is adorable. As soon as it came I put my powder, brush and lip balm in it that I keep in the diaper bag because it's just too cute.
Later Ultra Light Face Lotion ($10.50)

Love this. It's super light and non-greasy, smells great and is the perfect size to throw in the diaper bag or my work bag later on. This is the one thing from this month's bag that I know I will use all of. That said, I would never spend the $21 that they charge for 2 ounces of this stuff. and Sparrow Mini lip and Cheek Stain ($10)
I will never use this. One, I don't need cheek stain, my checks are naturally too pink and I wear powder to cover it up. Two, this is a ridiculous shade even if I did need some. Way too dark and intense of a pigment. Again, if I were into the product, I would never spend $10 on .25 ounces of something.

MICA Beauty Eye Primer (~22)
I might end up using this some on the rare occasion that I use eye shadow as it may help keep the color lasting longer, but I feel like this is one of those products that no one really needs, yet women will spend a ton of money on... that might just me be though. Oh and they rob you by charging you $44.95 for less than 1/3 of an ounce.

the Balm Cosmetics Nude Dude Eye Shadow Single in Flirty  (~$3)

Alas, Ipsy felt I needed more eye shadow. Honestly I might give up on Ipsy for that reason alone. Even if I wore it daily, I would never use the ridiculous amount of shadow they've given me from month to month. I did, however, like the packaging for this one; it's funny and cute; but so tiny I would lose it in a heart beat.

Hikari Cosmetics Blush in Tango ($15)

Do you see this color? Who on earth wears this color? And why would I need both blush and cheek stain in the same bag? Fail Ipsy, Fail.

Like I said, mostly a meh month for me this time around. The value is there; I paid $10 and received approximately $60 worth of products... but since I'll probably only use the bag and the lotion this month, it wasn't really worth it. Hopefully next month will be better!

Friday, April 17, 2015

My first post-preggo run

I ran for the first time after having B on Monday night and it was... not as horrible as I had anticipated it would be.

Drew got home from work and took both kids and the dog for a walk while I dug out my sneaks and headphone for my first post-baby run. I think I ran about a mile... maybe a little more, and it was tough (mostly because our new 'hood is hills. Just hills) but it wasn't the wheezing, panting, death-fest I thought it was going to be. I was red faced, and a little out of breath. But I made it through, and that's all that matters.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

We don't have a parenting style, we just do what works for our kids

Side note: It always hits me a bit when I say or write "kids". I have kids. As in plural. As in multiple tiny humans rely on me... it's intense. Anyway, on to my topic today:

I feel like the internet is all abuzz lately about parenting "styles" and judging people for not following one particular philosophy or approach to parenting. Which of course makes me think of my parenting style. Which made me realize; we don't have one. We do things because they work for us and/or our kids without thinking about what these choices say about us.

We breastfeed: because there's no way in hell I'm going to pay for something that my body makes for free. Also, I'm lazy and the thought of washing that many bottles everyday makes me cringe (though I guess washing the pump and bottles when I go back to work kinda makes this one a baseless reason)

We co-sleep: because I am way too tired and lazy to get this baby into his own bed each time he gets up during the night. Eventually, just like his sister, he'll make his way to his own bed and own room... and then sometimes regress back. Our sleep philosophy? Get as much as possible, through any means possible.

We use disposable diapers: Because I have enough laundry to do.

We babywear: because how the hell else would we get anything done with an 8 week old that wants to nurse/be held all the time and a very active 2 1/2 year old?

We hold naptime sacred: If you see us between the hours of 1 and 3, you're either super important to us, or Fynn is in the care of someone else. Ever since we got into a half-way decent sleep schedule with her, nap time has trumped pretty much any other social engagement, activity, or desire. SorryI'mNotSorry. See our sleep philosophy above.

We allow screentime: Because sometimes Mommy and Daddy just need a break. Or it's -10 degrees out for the 10th day in a row. Or ______(fill in the blank). And I refuse to feel guilty despite what new study says it will scar my child for life.

We change our minds; and often. Because things change, moods change, or what we decided before doesn't work anymore. Flexibility people.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

10 Productive Ways to Spend Time in Front of the TV

This post was brought to you by Abby Evans
Author Abby Evans is a mother and freelance journalist currently reviewing health options for her family.

10 Productive Ways to Spend Time in Front of the TV
Watching TV has often been deemed as one of the most unproductive activities that a person can do. Most people use TV as a way to wind down at the end of each day and relax. However, most people also feel guilty about the amount of time they waste in front of their TV.
Because watching TV is a mindless task that involved no physical activity, there are a lot of things people can do while they watch to increase their overall productivity for the day. Here are ten productive ways to spend time in front of the TV.
Check email
Checking email is a small task that many people put off day after day. It is easy to use Directv internet offers to check email and scan the internet while watching TV.
Make some plans for the weekend
No longer do people have to struggle to find something fun to do on Friday night. Anyone can look at local events and coordinate with friends during their favorite weekly show.
Get in a little exercise
Too many people claim that they do not have enough time each day to exercise. Spending a little time doing lunges in front of the TV is better than nothing at all.
Have an at-home spa treatment
Instead of paying a lot of money to go to the salon, anyone can give themselves a little spa retreat at home while they enjoy a movie. Paint nails, do a facial or braid hair all in front of the TV.
Organize receipts
Many people need to keep receipts to track their spending and file their taxes. During the nightly TV show is the perfect time to get those things organized and filed.
Brainstorm new business or career ideas
It is common for people to feel stuck in their jobs or careers. Instead of sitting in a career they hate, anyone can think of new ideas and draw inspiration from a classic movie.
Make new file labels
Staying organized is a job most families struggle with every day. Having an organized file system is one of the best ways to keep everyone’s lives in order. Making new labels and organizing those files are perfect couch activities.
Make a grocery list
Meal planning is a great way to not only make preparing meals each week easier, but it is also a great way to eat healthier and save money. Anyone can plan out a few meals during commercial breaks for a stress-free week.
Look for online coupons
There are so many online coupon sites that anyone can use to save money on everything from clothes to hotel rooms. Time spent watching TV is the perfect opportunity to find some great new deals.
Finish the photo albums
Photo albums are the thing that everyone wants to have for their family, but few people want to put the time and effort into finishing them. TV time is ideal for putting those pictures together to have for a lifetime.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Thank goodness for the honest people of the world.

On Monday Drew took the day off and we headed to L.L. Bean for some shopping and so Fynn could see the fish and the giant boot. We spent a ton of time at the store and then headed to some of the shops down the road, when I suddenly realized I didn't have my wallet. I knew I had put it in my pocket when we got out of the car at Beans, but didn't remember noticing it after then. Ensue panic.

I checked the car, diaper bag, around the car. Nothing. We headed back to Beans and checked around where we were parked. Nada. My heart was sinking as I started to mentally list everything that was in my wallet. Drew stayed in the car with the kids while I headed back into the store to retrace our steps. I must have looked like a fool, scurrying around, asking some poor girl to check the chair she was sitting in and peeking under the bathroom stalls in search of my wallet.

I was almost in tears a I approached customer service and asked the woman if anyone had turned in a black, Coach wallet. She asked when it had been lost and then said "let's check". We went to another woman at the information desk who gave me a little smirk and said "what's your name?" When I told her, she assured me that they had it. Some other customer had found it in the parking lot and turned it into the info desk.

How lucky am I???

Not going to lie. I might have teared up a little with joy... and I may have hugged the woman. I had to wait a few minutes while they got it from the office safe, but then it was back. In my hands. Everything still in it!

Paranoid that I am, we'll still keep a close eye on our credit card statements, but I am so happy that it was someone honest who found it and turned it in. I know it would have been easy to just keep it, so I am so appreciative to whomever the good Samaritan was on Monday,

Monday, April 6, 2015

How do I stop the mindless eating?

For the past 6 1/2 weeks I've paid no attention to what I'm eating. In between cluster feeds, chasing after a 2 1/2 year old and attempting to get some sleep, food just hasn't been important.

But it needs to be.

I realized that other day, that I'm eating all day long. Let me clarify- I'm eating crap all day long. I snag some goldfish as I make Fynn a snack. Scarf down a couple of Cadbury mini-eggs while cooking dinner, down half a bag of tortilla chips with salsa instead of actually eating lunch.

No Bueno.

So, while I'm not dieting, I am trying to be more mindful about food. Enter my good friend MyFitnessPal. I had this app a couple of years ago when I was trying to lose weight, and it helped me to pay attention to what I was eating, so I figured I'd give it another go.

Already it's helping me. I know I'm not eating as much as I was just last week because I know I'll have to track it- knowing that makes me hesitate before eating and hesitation actually prevents me from eating a lot of things I don't need. Like that third piece of pizza or half a bag of candy. It's not perfect, but it's a start. After my 6 week check up this Thursday, I'm looking forward to adding some exercising in there and working towards getting rid of the 18 pounds of baby weight that remain. My goal this time around is to lose the baby weight within 9 months. It's a reasonable time frame and way quicker than the year and a half it took to lose it last time.

I'll let you know how that goes.

Friday, April 3, 2015

What do you call a 2 1/2 year old?

Toddler doesn't fit. She's much more than a toddler. A toddler is what you call a 1 year old just learning to walk and say individual words. This 2 1/2 year old speaks in complex sentences, remembers details from weeks before, and can climb ladders like a little spider monkey. She knows her colors, counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 (we're working on it), and can identify some of her letters. She recognizes emotions and can explain how she feels- that's vastly different than a toddler who cries as her primary method of communication.

But I can't bring myself to call her a kid. I can't have a kid. I have a baby and a... what?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

March Reads

Just as I had hoped, maternity leave has been great for my reading goal. 5 books in March is much more my style. Hey, when you're nursing a newborn every 3 hours during the day, you have a lot of time just sitting around and there's only so much Netflix I can watch without feeling like a zombie.

18. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

The 6th book in the Outlander series and I'm getting more invested in it than I was for the last couple of books. The storyline is getting closer to the American Revolution, and I'm starting to connect more to Brianna and Roger, who I didn't love as much before. Like all the books in the series, the book was close to 1,000 pages, so there was a LOT that happened. So much that it's hard to write a summary as there are so many significant pieces. The biggest part for me were the changes with Roger and Brianna and their family- I'm really curious as to how the next  book will go based on what happened towards the end of this book.

19. The House Girl by Tara Conkin

I'm not sure what I expected when I picked up this book, but this wasn't really it. It's told from two perspectives; Josephine- a house girl in antebellum Virginia who is looking to escape her slavery and Lina- a first-year lawyer in modern day New York City. The two are connected by Josephine's missus: Lu Anne Belle. Lu Anne is famous for her paintings, which some are saying where actually created by Josephine. As we follow Josephine's struggle for freedom, we also see Lina discovering Josephine's past as she works on a case that seeks reparations for slavery. The dual story lines were an interesting way for the pieces to fall together, but at the end I felt like it was incomplete. I wanted more. I wanted to discover what happened to Lina next and more about Josephine's legacy. I guess that's a sign that it was a good book; I was so invested in the characters and the story line that I just needed to read more.

20. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Trapper

Hilarious, depressing, and moving. Judd walks in on his wife having an affair with his boss. Then his dad dies. Then he finds out that his wife is pregnant, and the baby is his. He finds out that his father's dying wish was for the family to sit shiva for a week. The entire story unravels the seven days of shiva along with the complicated history of Judd and his semi-dysfunctional family along with Judd's own issues regarding his cheating wife. Not going to lie, parts of this book are crude, but that made me love it more. Judd is the type of character that you feel bad for, but at the same time he makes you laugh so much that you forget that you feel bad for him.

21. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Several of my students have raved about this book; and I completely get by. I read this book in about half a day, because I just couldn't put it down. August is a 5th grade boy who is going to school for the first time. He had previously been homeschooled due to multiple medical issues stemming from facial deformities. As he tries to navigate middle schools, friends, and family you get to see his quiet strength that just blows you away. I loved Auggie and his matter of fact approach to the way people view him. Another thing I loved about this book was that it took multiple perspectives of the same events. It wasn't repetitive, but it allowed you to see why people were acting the way they were and also the affect of those actions on the people around them. Even though several of my students have read this book; I really want to do it as a read aloud when I go back to work because I think this book could spark some amazing conversations and thought about bullying and people who are a little bit different.

22. Sold by Patricia McCormick
Another amazing read for this month. This is the story of a young Nepalese girl whose family sent her to "the city" to get a job when finance got too tough. What they didn't know, was that by sending her away, they were actually selling her into the sex slave industry in India. At 13, Lakshmi is too young to really understand a lot of what is happening until it is too late. She's naïve and inexperienced and honestly thinks she's going to be a maid to a wealthy city woman until the moment when a man is brought to her. Ugh, this book was sad but so captivating, I couldn't put it down.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My Top 5 Reasons for Being Anti-April Fools

Because it's April Fools day, I had to republish this gem from two years ago where I explained why I hate this day. Luckily, I don't have to be at work dealing with all the awesome pranks that occur at school this year which makes it so much easier to handle.

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