Mom Tales

Little Miss’ First Time Having Cereal.

One of the hardest thing as a new parent, I think, is knowing how much to feed your baby and when to feed your baby. Everyone tells you that your baby will let you know when they’re hungry and when they’re done eating. But that of course didn’t really give me the answers I was looking for. At Little Miss’ two month check up with her doctor, I had mentioned when we should start giving her cereal. Her response was 6 months because at that point she would be able to sit up on her own and have good head control. Fair enough. Little Miss learned how to sit up last week and has had fantastic head control for quite some time now.

With how big she was at birth, she already required more formula than most babies did at her age, which also lead to why I wasn’t able to fully keep up with her nursing. By 3 months she was already getting 6 oz bottles every 4 hours. Within the last week she was getting hungry at the 3 hour mark. Between that and her learning to sit up, A and I decided it was time to introduce her to cereal. After all, every baby is different.

We went with the Gerber Baby Rice Cereal from Target to start her off with. Since she is our first we also purchased a set of Munchkin brand bowls and spoons from Target at well.

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Another thing that I found myself asking alot, especially my mom and a few friends, was how much do I give her? Do I give her a bottle after? How many times a day does she get the cereal? Pretty much everything a first time mom has no idea about.

Munchkin bowls, set of 6. $3.25 at Target
Munchkin bowls, set of 6. $3.25 at Target

A and I have always been a firm believer in “Whatever works for us is what we do.” So this morning when Little Miss woke up for her morning bottle, I mixed about 1 tablespoon of her cereal with 4 tablespoons of her formula. I had made a 4 oz bottle to use for her cereal and decided if she was still hungry after the cereal she could have what was left of the bottle. By doing it this was, I can figure out what works for Little Miss by how hungry or not hungry she is in the time after she finishes.

Munchkin soft spoons, set of 6. $3.50 at Target
Munchkin soft spoons, set of 6. $3.50 at Target

It was quite the messy breakfast, but she enjoyed her new breakfast today and got the hang of the spoon pretty quickly. Our plan is to give her cereal for breakfast and dinner, with just formula in between, and once she really gets a hang of her cereal we plan on starting her on baby fruits and veggies.

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Little Miss and her first taste of baby cereal.
Little Miss and her first taste of baby cereal.

Mom Tales

TV Time With Little Miss.

Letting your children have too much TV time has been something I’ve seen many people argue about. While it was great to have to have a spring baby, it’s not so great for it to be 90 degrees outside and have to keep Little Miss inside. A and I both agreed that her watching cartoons really isn’t a bad thing, in our opinion. It helps her see colors and familiar shadows and faces. We are both very much for her staying active when she gets older and we can keep her out longer. Plus it gives us a chance to be able to keep up with housework. It’s not easy to do a load of laundry while holding a baby, or even cleaning your living room with a crying baby.

As Little Miss has been growing she’s starting to learn cartoon faces and songs. I’ve decided to make a list of her favorites that she has such great and fun reactions to when she sees them on.

1. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse- Her absolute FAVORITE. Every single time this comes on Little Miss is a ball of smiles and laughs. Her favorite part is the Hot Dog Dance, especially when she watches it with her Papa.

Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog.
Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog.

2. A Goofy Movie- Little Miss loved Goofy before she knew Mickey Mouse existed. The great thing about letting her watch this is being able to relive my childhood as this was one of my favorite movies growing up. I even remember all the songs, which she tries to sing herself.

Childhood Classic.
Childhood Classic.

3. Frozen- Of course. Before I found out I was pregnant, I watched Frozen all the time, literally probably everyday. At one point I couldn’t find an Olaf stuffed animal in any store and slowly but surely I some how ended up with over 10 different sized Olaf’s, which are now in Little Miss’ nursery. This was actually one of the first movies Little Miss started to see because of all the blues and shadows, plus the music helped. ( Here’s a fun fact- We considered naming Little Miss- Elsa- before we decided on her name)

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Now even though sometimes I just can’t listen to the Hot Dog Dance anymore, it still brings a smile and laughter to Little Miss and as she grows both A and I are ok with her watching these cartoons because they will in fact help her to learn her colors, shapes and numbers.

I really don’t think it’s the end of the world to allow your child to watch TV once in a while. But again, it’s my opinion as a new mom and what works for all of us.

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Family Tales · Mom Tales · Wife Tales

July, 28 2014. The Day My Life Changed.

A year ago today I found out I was pregnant. For as much as we were “trying” it was a complete surprise for both myself and my husband. A few weeks before I found out I had just switched jobs. I had left a decent paying job that I was  miserable at to go back to a previous company I worked for. I took a pay cut and lost my insurance. But I loved the company and all the people working there so in my eyes it was totally worth it.

I remember everything about that weekend as if it happened yesterday. A was working his long hours so I was having a girls day/night with one of my best friends that lasted 3 days. So without even knowing it, Little Miss was swimming in wine that weekend.

That Monday, A was off of work and I wanted to do a Target run while he stayed home and got his morning started. Just a typical Monday for us. After I came back with the “few” things I said I had to get, which we all know turns into a cart full of stuff that you must have, we decided to run to a few more stores and get lunch while we were out. During the car ride I had mentioned I was a few days late, but didn’t think anything of it since I had switched jobs and my working hours switched as well. A suggested I take a test just in case and I honestly didn’t think anything else of it.

We had gotten back home before we got lunch to get the groceries inside. I had remembered I had one pregnancy test left in the bathroom so I decided to take it for the hell of it. Lucky I used it when I did because the box said it actually expired in August. While waiting and expecting the “not pregnant” result I took the time to clean off the bathroom counter top. Yes, my OCD comes out at the most random times. 3 minutes later I looked over and saw “Pregnant” on the test. My first thought was ” Well that’s new.” I immediately took a photo of the test and sent it to my best friend that I had just spent the weekend with.

I finally came out of the bathroom to see A standing in the living room asking me what I was doing. I told him to come here and his reaction, ” I swear I put the toilet paper on the roll today.” I showed him the test and his reaction of course, ” oh my God, is that real? What do I do?” To which I told him to go get lunch and then buy a bunch of different tests because I honestly thought the one I had taken was already bad because of how close it was to the expiration date.

An hour later, 6 pregnancy tests later, all positive of course I made a phone call the my doctor to set up my first appointment with him.

The past week has been really rough and I know it’ll get better, things always do. But being able to remember that just a year ago my life was going to be different from then on is something I really needed today. I’m always telling Little Miss the story of her birth and it was nice to be able to tell her this story today when we woke up. Even though she has no idea what I’m even saying, she’ll hear this story for the rest of her life and eventually I’ll get the ” I know mom, you’ve told me a thousand times.” from her.

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Mom Tales · Wife Tales

Getting Rid of the Baby Weight

Before I was pregnant I was a fairly small girl, weighing about 120 pounds when I found out I was pregnant last year. The week I was induced I weighed 210 pounds. I’m sure you can imagine how horrible I felt during my pregnancy, not because I was unhealthy or Little Miss was unhealthy, but because of my weight gain. I had never weighed more than 130 my entire life so when my pounds starting adding up during my 9 months I was pretty hard on myself.

Before pregnancy.
Before pregnancy.

After ending up with a c-section, doing any kind of activity or work out was out of the question. I spent the first 2 weeks after Little Miss was here on the couch, only able to nurse. I couldn’t even bend forward to change her diaper. So naturally I cried a lot, feeling like a failure as a mother.

5 Months pregnant
5 Months pregnant

Once I started feeling back to normal, meaning I finally had an appetite and I was able to get up and down and walk around I decided to stay away from all the sugars and fatty foods I was so used to eating during my pregnancy. I’m sure the giant bags of peanut butter M&Ms had something to do with my excessive weight gain. Instead, I’ve gone back to my pre-pregnancy eating habits. I grab a bowl of fruit or an apple. I eat a veggie with every meal. I refuse to snack on dough-nuts or cookies. I will say the one thing that was great during my pregnancy was how much water I was drinking. I won’t lie, I don’t drink as much water as I should, but I’ve gotten better about it. I still prefer juice and the occasional Dr. Pepper with dinner.

Two weeks before Little Miss was born.
Two weeks before Little Miss was born.

I was never one for the gym. I actually don’t understand it at all. Any free time I had before I was pregnant was spent with my husband or doing stuff around the house and just keeping busy. After Little Miss I clearly wouldn’t have the time to go to the gym anyway. I was never a running person either. I don’t have the patience for it actually. So instead of forcing myself to work out during times I could be napping with Little Miss or hanging out on the floor with her, I’ll take Little Miss for a walk. I’ve also come to enjoy “baby wearing” as it gives us a bonding moment but it works as a home workout as well.

I usually get a lot of people asking how I lost so much weight in such a short period of time and I never know what to say because I didn’t actually try to lose it. The biggest thing though, was not being so hard on myself. The first month I was so hard on myself for how big I still was and was questioning why I wasn’t losing weight yet. I learned to enjoy my time with Little Miss and not even worry about the weight. I’m not trying to impress anyone. I just carried a healthy baby girl and I work hard as a stay at home mom making sure she’s taken care of and has everything she needs. Losing my baby weight was just a bonus for me.

Today.
Today.

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Family Tales · Mom Tales

Documenting My Pregnancy.

During my pregnancy I was very determined to document everything that happened. Every doctor’s appointment, every ultrasound, every symptom and even everything going on in life around me. After my first doctors appointment around 8 weeks pregnant I went to our local bookstore and bought two pregnancy journals to start with. The Belly book and From Pea to Pumpkin. Both fantastic pregnancy journals that helped you document each week of pregnancy and also that asked different questions from how you’re feeling that week to something you want your child to remember. Because I had so many ultrasound photos I didn’t just want them sitting in a box on the shelf, so I decided to start a pregnancy scrapbook. As an avid Pinterest user I’m always looking for new ideas for layouts and even just creative ideas for scrapbooking. My pregnancy scrapbook wasn’t my first book. I have made our wedding scrapbook, our Disney Honeymoon scrapbook and even one of all of our fur babies.

My pregnancy journals.
My pregnancy journals.

Even with using Pinterest as my creative inspiration for layouts, I never use the actual layouts I see. I feel like a scrapbook layout is each persons own way of capturing their memories. For my pregnancy scrapbook I stayed towards more blues,purples,teals and a little pink with lots of sparkles. Also, I used a lot of my Christmas stickers as my fillers because before I found out we were having a Little Miss she was known as Snowflake, thanks to my obsession with Frozen.

Pregnancy scrapbook
Pregnancy scrapbook

Every Thursday was my “day” that I switched on how many weeks pregnant I was. Every Thursday when I got home from work was my time to sit down and fill out both The Belly Book and From Pea to Pumpkin books. I usually made a new page in my pregnancy scrapbook every week, maybe every two weeks, depending on what was happening or if it was a holiday. Towards the end of my pregnancy it was harder for me to keep up with my scrapbook because of how much harder it was to get up and move and get comfortable. I thought scrapbooking was time consuming before; it’s even more difficult being 9 months pregnant.

The Belly Book and From Pea to Pumpkin
The Belly Book and From Pea to Pumpkin

My book still isn’t complete but that just means I have a project to work on while Little Miss naps and a way for me to look back and remember how much I loved being pregnant.

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Family Tales

Being A Mother While Being A Daughter.

My dad has been my number 1 since day one. He’s been my angel and I often remind him that he saved me. He’s the true definition of what a dad really is. Always made sure I had everything I need and everything I wanted. He’s always been a hard worker which meant there were times I didn’t even see him unless it was him saying goodnight. Like most teenage girls there were my moments of rebelling and not listening or thinking him and my mom had no idea what they were talking about. But no matter how much trouble I got in, argued about not wanting to go to school or even them getting a phone call from the cops saying I was drunk at a party; they never gave up on me.

Me and My Daddy-o
Me and My Daddy-o

After I got married my dad insisted that he wasn’t going to be Papa until he was 50 and his first grandchild was going to be a girl. Two weeks before his 50th birthday I told him he was going to be a Papa. Earlier this year, something happened that no one expected. My dad broke his back in three different spots causing him to be in the hospital for almost a month plus two weeks in a rehabilitation center. While this was going on I was 6 months pregnant and it was winter. Being a daddy’s girl, I was at the hospital every single day to make sure he was getting his medications, hope that his pain was going down, even watching him get up and take his first steps without a walker. Throw in my hormones, I was an emotional wreck. My dad was always strong for me growing up so this was my time to be strong for him and make sure he was happy when I did get to see him. At one point during his hospital stay I had an ultrasound done and we had gotten a 3D picture of Little Miss with a little smile. That picture stayed with him the rest of his stay.

Since then, my dad has been recovering at a decent pace. He has his off days, but who doesn’t? Up until Little Miss made her appearance we would do “Daddy/Daughter Friday Lunch”. Even at a week past my due date I would waddle myself to my car to pick up lunch and go hang out with my dad. He was even lucky enough to see Little Miss kick and move around sometimes.

The day I was induced him and my mom, along with A and my two very best friends were at the hospital all day with me. My dad of course, wearing his “ Papa, the man, the myth, the legend” t-shirt. Little Miss didn’t arrive until the next morning but they were still there waiting for their granddaughter. The first time my dad and mom held Little Miss will always be something I remember because of how incredibly happy they were. With how unexpected the year was going, this was the first time everyone forgot about the pain my dad was in just 3 months prior.

I’ve learned to accept that Little Miss is now the center of attention and pretty much my dad’s world now. I won’t hold it against her though. I still try to do our Friday lunches, maybe missing one or two here and there but with how crazy this weather is and Little Miss still being young it’s harder to get out. But every time my dad gets to see Little Miss his face lights up like a kid on Christmas.

Even though 99% of my time is focused around Little Miss, one of the most important things I do is make sure Little Miss gets to bond with her Papa and Nan

Wife Tales

Date Night with Andy Grammer

With having an infant now date between A and I are very rare. Especially with his work schedule, there’s really no “us” time, ever. We have been fortunate to have been able to go and see a few movies since Little Miss has been born though. A few weeks ago I had seen that a local radio station was doing a contest to win two tickets to what they called Floating with Andy Grammer. I had seen Andy Grammer a couple of months ago when he performed on Dancing with the Stars, and I just fell in love with him and his hit song “Honey, I’m Good.” So naturally I started texting and emailing to win tickets to this event. Two days later I received a phone call telling me I had won! You can only imagine my excitement when I received that phone call at 8 in the morning and everyone was sleeping.

So last night was the night of Floating with Andy, which included a boat ride on the Spirit of Chicago at Navy Pier, a buffet, open bar and an acoustic performance by Andy Grammer. Little Miss was just 5 blocks away at her aunt’s house so we got to have a little extra time with her before we walked over to Navy Pier. The great thing about this date was that it was completely different than anything we had done before.

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We departed at 6:30 and Andy performed around 7:15 and played 4 acoustic songs. Now even though I only knew two songs he put on such a fantastic performance and really knew how to play for the audience. Afterwards he was nice enough to stay and talk to people, take pictures and even sign autographs. I of course had to mention that the first time I saw him I was super pregnant and my hormones made me cry when I saw him on DWTS. By the time we docked back at Navy Pier I was ready to get Little Miss and get home so I could cuddle her.

Andy Grammer acoustic performance.
Andy Grammer acoustic performance.

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A is leaving for work today for an entire week. It’s the longest I’ve been away from him and the first time he’s been away from Little Miss. Being able to have last night was just a perfect way to spend our last night together until he comes back next week.

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Family Tales · Wife Tales

Summer Time Pasta Salad.

Before Little Miss came, I loved being in the kitchen. I can thank my dad for that, my spaghetti sauce will never be as good as his, but I try. Cooking dinners and baking cupcakes was my favorite way to relax, I can also thank Pinterest for all the new recipes I tried. Like most moms with infants it’s hard to find the time and energy to cook a full dinner plus clean up all the dirty dishes. As much as I miss being able to cook a good meal once in a while I keep reminding myself that it’s only temporary and once Little Miss can start eating solid foods the fun will start all over again with letting her try new things.

One of my favorite summer time snacks is pasta salad. I started making my own pasta salad after my dad taught me how to make my own dressing. My go to was always bow tie noodles, peppers, broccoli and onions. But again, it was time consuming from chopping up all the veggies and then making the dressing. Instead, I found a pre-made pasta salad from Betty Crocker and it’s actually delicious for a box mix, and it’s super quick and easy to make! I actually just made a box while Little Miss was napping.

Suddenly Pasta Salad by Betty Crocker.
Suddenly Pasta Salad by Betty Crocker.

All you need is ½ cup of Mayonnaise! You can also add in your favorites like chicken, tomatoes, peppers, anything you like in your pasta salad!

While the noodles are cooking, mix the mayonnaise and seasoning packet into a medium bowl.
While the noodles are cooking, mix the mayonnaise and seasoning packet into a medium bowl.
Rinse pasta with cold water and stir into mixture.
Rinse pasta with cold water and stir into mixture.

Enjoy!

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Mom Tales

My Favorite Teething Toys for Little Miss

Teething is no fun, especially when infants start teething early. Little Miss is a little over 3 months and already has at least 4 teeth trying to cut through. I noticed when she started gnawing on her binky on her right side. After finally letting me feel her gums I noticed the little white spots all on her lower gum. Of course the first thing I did was go and buy her every kind of teething ring from Target. She enjoyed the rings for about 2 minutes. I think she just enjoyed the coldness from it as she licked them instead of chewed on them.

With how little she is, I’m too nervous to give her a frozen waffle or frozen fruit. So I decided to try a frozen washcloth which she enjoyed a lot. I always keep at least two frozen cloths in the freezer when she starts to feel her teething pain. The frozen washcloths are great for when we’re home, but we seem to be out and about a lot lately. Her normal binky wasn’t doing the trick for her so I tried a new size and style to see if that helped, which it did. Normally Little Miss would use the hospital soother binkys, but now she prefers the Avent brand binkys, which are even better because they come with a cap for when she’s not using it. With our fur babies it’s incredibly hard to not get fur all over the place.

Avent
Avent Binky with cap
Avent Binky
Avent Binky

Another great teething toy we have is her Sofie the Giraffe. I was actually against it when my husband got it while we were picking out the last of our registry items. I was more against the price actually. $30 for a teething giraffe and a plush giraffe seemed a little outrageous but after reading wonderful reviews from different parents and how great both toys are for teaching babies to feel and see I decided to give it a try. Again, since Little Miss is still so young it is harder for her to use it as a teething toy but she makes it work and it’s big enough for her to hold on to and not drop or loose it like a binky.

Sofie the Giraffe teething toy.
Sofie the Giraffe teething toy.

The newest teething toy I use is called Chewbeads. It’s a necklace for mom to wear but for babies to chew on. Such a smart idea! There are multiple colors to choose from too! This works perfect for us while we’re out at family events or even out to eat. Little Miss tends to be a mommy’s girl most of the time so when she does fuss while we’re out it’s usually easier for me to get her to calm down, and now throw in a few teeth, this is a perfect way to keep her busy not focus on her pain. Plus it’s a new necklace for mama!

Chewbeads
Chewbeads
Mom Tales

Reading with Baby

Reading has always been one of my favorite hobbies. I became a huge reader when my mom started buying me The Baby-Sitters Club Little Sister book series. Even as an adult one of my favorite ways to relax is to curl up on the couch with a good book, especially if it’s a rainy fall day. After I found out I was pregnant I started buying different books for Little Miss. Goodwill was a fantastic place to find children’s books. I even found a bunch of books I remember reading when I was a kid. By the time Little Miss was born she had a decent amount of books for us to read to her.

BooksChick Chick Boom Boom

Since Little Miss is too young to take to the library right now, each day I pull out between 3 and 4 books to read to her. I noticed that when I let her lay on her back on a blanket on the floor and I lay next to her she really pays attention to the pictures, and even smiles. Aside from her recognizing Disney characters, she really enjoys Dr. Suess and all the funny sounds we can make while reading.

Disney Books

Since she is still an infant I still purchase learning books that she’ll be able to learn from when she really begins to understand us when we talk and when she starts knowing what shapes and colors are. A recent purchase from Target included 3 Disney learning books that were about shapes, ABC’s and counting. Even better that I found them in the dollar spot too!

Target Books

Recently I started looking on Ebay and Half.com for the books I had as a child in hopes to helping her love to read as much as I did.

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