Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Saturday 7

1. Well I survived my week off of facebook and Pinterest. I didn't particularly enjoy it. I missed it a lot. Apparently I'm just not one of those people who enjoys "unplugging from the world." And I don't know how much it helped my depression/comparison issues. I just find other ways to compare myself. In church on Sunday, there was a girl on the praise team who is my age, has had 2 kids, and is a size zero, always wears such cute clothes, and can style her hair so amazingly! I had to close my eyes during all the worship songs because otherwise I just stare at her the whole time feeling ugly and inadequate. The issue isn't facebook. It's me. Still trying to figure out how to fix that.

I didn't have a huge surge of productivity, either. I did spend more time reading my Bible, and Lucy and I did some pretty stellar M crafts, but I didn't even crack open a single book or do any more cleaning than usual. Part of that was because of number 2 . . .

2. We spent a ton of time in the pool this week. The weather finally warmed up, and my sister came over almost every day with her day care kids. Last weekend, Lucy wore her life jacket and clung to Justin for dear life, screeching every time he let go of her. But on Monday, when Lucy's friend Addy (who's 2.5) hopped in the pool with nothing but swimmies on, Lucy took one look at her and decided she wanted to try that too! At first, she clung to me, but eventually she realized she could stay afloat and maneuver herself around the pool by kicking her legs. She was so proud of herself, and so adorable!

Ever since then, she's been obsessed with swimming. One night she wanted to go in the pool, but it was too cold for me, so I told her she'd have to do it by herself. She put those swimmies on, climbed into the freezing cold pool without so much as a wince, and swam laps around the pool all by herself. Haha.

3. On Monday, I was out by the pool for 5 straight hours and got a wicked sunburn. I was more careful in the sun after that, and actually put on some sunscreen. On Wednesday, I noticed my arms breaking out in hives! I've never had a reaction to anything in my life. I figured it was the sunscreen or some kind of sun poisoning. I put some hydrocortisone cream on them, and they were gone by the next morning. On Thursday, I wore a different kind of sunscreen and didn't spend nearly as much time in the sun, so I was surprised when the hives came back! I did some Internet research and came across the term photodermatitis. I think I must be having a reaction because of the medication I'm taking. I'm on a few different medicines since this time last year - a bunch of vitamins, but the most likely cause is my birth control.  :-/ Last night the hives were so bad, I took a Benadryl to help me stop itching. Ugh. I might have to call the Dr and see if I can get on a different kind of BC. Otherwise I'm just going to have to stay out of the sun all summer! What fun is that?!

4. Lena got into a very bad habit this week of waking up at 5:00 am every day! She eats at midnight and 4:00 am, but then randomly wakes up at 5 talking and playing and ready to get up for the day! She usually goes back to sleep by 6, but I'm really not a fan of being awake from 5-6 every day! Last night, I even kept her up an hour later than usual, but she only slept 'til 5:30.

5. I made a delicious crock pot meal this week. It's been really hot, and we don't have AC, so I didn't want to use the oven. This is a recipe I pinned a long time ago, and finally got around to making. Easy, pretty cheap, and delicious!

Slow Cooker Chicken Cordon Bleu

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
4 ounces sliced ham
4 ounces sliced Swiss cheese
1 (8 ounce) package herbed dry bread stuffing mix
1/4 cup butter, melted

Mix together the cream of chicken soup and milk in a small bowl. Pour enough of the soup into a slow cooker to cover the bottom.
Layer chicken breasts over the sauce.
Cover with slices of ham and then Swiss cheese.
Pour the remaining soup over the layers, stirring a little to distribute between layers.
Sprinkle the stuffing on top, and drizzle butter over stuffing.
Cover, and cook on Low for 4 to 6 hours, or 2 to 3 hours on High.

6. We finished making our Summer Bucket List! It's not nearly as pretty as some that I've seen on Pinterest, but who's comparing, right? ;-)
We'll be checking "baseball game" off the list tonight!

7. Justin's and my 8th anniversary is one month from today. I'd really like to go do something, but I can not get Lena to take a bottle. My mom tried it one day this week, but Lena just screams bloody murder! I really don't want to buy a bunch of different bottles/nipples. I have very little faith that she'll take anything since she wouldn't even nurse the other day. I had just gotten out of the pool, so I must have been too wet/cold/chlorine-smelling for her. So finicky!

Friday, June 28, 2013

O is for Owl

I got this idea from Her owl was dotted with a Bingo dotter to make little O's. I don't have one of those, so I gave Lucy a pop bottle cap . She had more fun smearing the paint than dotting O's on the page. :-)

M is for Mermaid, Muffins, Marble Painting, and Mess!

I was feeling super inspired this week, so we had lots of fun with M. 

First up, was fingerprint mermaids. Lucy loves The Little Mermaid, so I thought she'd be thrilled with this craft. I got the idea from Pinterest, but the link is no longer active, so I just figured it out based on the picture.  

First we painted Lucy's hand and stamped it on the paper to be the mermaid's hair. Then I drew on a body/tail. (I'm no artist. It looked pretty awful.) Finally, she fingerprinted some scales on.

I'm not actually a big fan of handprint/fingerprint crafts so we almost never do them. Lucy was thrilled that I let her dip her fingers in paint, and got a little carried away.

Mostly, it just ended up being a big mess!

We checked out the book If You Give a Moose a Muffin from the library, then made our own muffins. We used this recipe since I'm obsessed with all things peanut butter/chocolate. 

And finally, we did some marble painting. First we found a disposable container with high walls and cut out a piece of paper to fit in the bottom.
I put one piece of tape under the paper so it'd stay in place.
Then we taped an M on the paper with painter's tape.

We filled a couple bowls with paint, and dropped some marbles in.

Lucy loved using the plastic spoon to drop the marbles in the container.

Twirl it, swirl it.

Starting to look pretty cool!

We let it dry, then peeled the tape off. Voila!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Since I'm staying off facebook and need to share this with the world . . .

I didn't make any rules against blogging. Since I can't vent on facebook, I'm going to write a whole blog about my horrible day!

1. My first problem was that Lena took such a short nap this morning I didn't get to take a much needed shower.

2. My second problem was thinking that I just had a few groceries to get so I could bring both girls with me. Ugh. Lucy started crying before we even got out of the van. She said her flip-flops hurt her feet, but she didn't have any other options, so I had to physically force them on her feet and drag her into the store kicking and screaming. I put her in the cart and took her flip-flops off, but she continued to cry the entire time I shopped. She cried because she wanted to get down, she cried because I wouldn't hold her, she cried because she wanted Daddy, she cried because the sky is blue. I told her if she didn't stop crying, she couldn't have any snacks all day. She didn't stop. I told her if she didn't stop crying, she wouldn't be able to swim in the pool with the kids today (my sister was going to bring her kids over). She didn't stop. I told her if she didn't stop I'd spank her. She didn't stop. I spanked her in the aisle. She smacked me in the face. I spanked her again and told her she was going straight to bed when we got home.

I finally finished my shopping (amid many stares) and headed outside. It was pouring rain. Unbelievable.

3. Later on in the day, I decided to give Lena a bath. We were having a good old time, smiling and splashing and singing. I washed her body, and had just started her hair when a green cloud filled the tub. She pooped. Lucy never did that as a baby. It was so gross. I scooped her out, put her on a towel, cleaned out the tub, refilled it, and started washing her for the second time. I had just finished rinsing her hair when . . . she pooped again!! This time, I quick grabbed her before it got on her, scrubbed down her back, and evaded washing her a third time. The kid poops once a week at most. She seriously had to wait until I was giving her a bath?!

4. While I was getting Lena dressed, Lucy mentioned nonchalantly, "I made a mess on the couch." Sure enough, she had spilled her whole [sippy] cup of juice on the couch. I stripped the cushion, started a load of laundry, threw the girls in the car and drove to McDonald's for a large Dr Pepper.

Whew! Thankful tomorrow is a new day!

P.S. I'm linking this to facebook, but I'm still on my fast, so if you care to comment, do so on my actual blog or I won't see it until I get back on facebook at the end of this week.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Lena: 5 Months

I feel like Lena has changed so much in the past month. She's much more smiley and happy. I can almost always get a smile out of her these days. (The above picture was my first shot!) She still doesn't laugh much, but she just recently started doing this shrieky inhale. Haha. Does that make any sense? It's a version of a laugh. We're getting there.

We're still working on getting her in a good routine. Her schedule generally looks like this. She generally wakes up around 6:45 am. Oy. We snuggle in bed for a while, then she nurses around 7:30. I've really been sticking with feeding her every 3 hours, unless she happens to sleep longer. I'm not that rigid with my scheduling. She's been staying up later between naps - more like an hour and a half to 2 hours. But she's been a catnapper lately. I really want to transition her to sleeping in her crib (instead of the swing), but I don't even know where to begin. She usually has her last feeding at 7:30 at night, and is in bed by 8. The past 2 nights, she has slept straight through to 4/4:30 (as opposed to waking up at midnight to eat like she usually does). I hope that becomes a habit!

She's getting a little personality. She loves to "talk." It's mostly screeching and gurgling and growling. Haha. This is a video of us talking to each other.

She also makes this hilarious cooing sound by gurgling and humming at the same time. It sounds just like a pigeon.

She is a major mama's girl. She will contort her body like crazy to find me when she hears my voice. She prefers me over anyone else and wants me to hold her at all times.

She's an expert roller. She goes both ways and can roll across the room.

We got out the Jumperoo this month. She liked it at first, but now she realizes that I put her in there when I need to go to the bathroom or start a load of laundry, so she associates it with abandonment. Lol.

I've been really making an effort to read to her more often. She loves looking at the pictures as long as I give her her own book to hold onto while we read. Otherwise she tries spastically to get my book in her mouth. She especially loves one specific page of "B is for Bear."

She's much more interested in her toys now, and will even get mad if someone (*ahem* Lucy) takes one away from her. She loves anything with a tag on it. She'll roll off her play mat to get to the tag on the edge. Haha. I really need to buy her a taggie blanket.

She adores Lucy and lights up anytime she walks into the room.

She is a major drooler. I do not remember Lucy drooling so much!

Some of her firsts for this month:
- Stuck her toes in the pool for the first time. She screamed like a banshee. Haha. I don't blame her. It's cold! Also - first bikini! :-)

- Went to a soccer game for the first time.

- First wedding (Jake and Samantha's)

- First ponytail/first matching outfit

She's still a little peanut, wearing size 3 month clothes. I haven't started her on any solid food yet. The new recommendations say to wait until 6 months, and I feel like I should continue to fill her up with breastmilk as long as I can. She's very interested in food, though. I'm looking forward to starting it with her. I think she'll love it!

She is a turbo kicker. Her feet are always moving.

She is my snuggle buddy. She would sleep on me all day every day if I let her. She's so sweet. She loves to rest her hand on my face and stare up at me while I'm rocking her. We love her so much and are so excited to watch her continue to grow and learn new things every day!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

L is for . .

L is for Lucy and Lena:
I let Lucy pick the animals. She wanted a llama for Lena. Haha. She had a lizard, but she put it on the back of her picture.
Loosely inspired by this:
Photo Credit

L is for Lion

We learned the story of Daniel in the Lions' Den, then made a puppet lion (idea credit). We glued his mouth shut to signify God closing the lions' mouths. And I added the popsicle stick Daniel. On one side he's scared, but praying. Then on the other side, he's happy. :-)

I also intended to do this craft since "This Little Light of Mine" is one of Lucy's favorite songs, but we never got around to it.
Photo Credit

The Saturday 7

1. We went all out for Justin on Father's Day this year. Lucy is finally old enough to understand a little bit, so we had fun getting everything ready for him. I got this idea from Pinterest, and put it together for Justin:
Photo Credit
Photo Credit
We filled it with a bunch of his favorite snacks, and a gift card to a local fishing store. Then Lucy filled out this questionnaire:

It was kind of ironic that her favorite number is 28, so she actually got his age right. She said he was 28 inches tall and weighed 38 pounds. One of my favorite parts was when she said, "I know my Daddy is mad when he pouts." Lol. Justin is not a big pouter. I don't know where she got that from. And she said "My Daddy is really good at exercising." Haha. It was so cute. [She also made one for my dad. The best part was that she said he weighs 530 pounds. Lol.]

Then we made breakfast in bed.
And by we, I mean I. Lucy helped him eat it. :-)
2. I made these chicken cream cheese chimichangas for dinner one day this week. (Again, from Pinterest.)
Photo Credit
They were pretty good. A little too cream cheesey for me. And I think they would've been better with the salsa inside instead of as a topping.

3. Ok, here comes a gross picture of my toe. Does anyone else get this problem?

The skin peels back on my big toe, gets caught on the carpet, my socks, everything. It hurts like the dickens! I tried clipping the excess skin with nail clippers, but it just gets snagged again. Any remedy suggestions? Band-aids just fall off.

4. So I was thinking this week about gluttony. What do you think constitutes gluttony? At what point is what I eat sinful? Anything over 2,000 calories? Is there really a verse in the Bible that says gluttony is sinful? I've always thought it was one of the seven deadly sins, but I just looked them up. Gluttony isn't in there. Since I've given up on dieting, I've been eating (and drinking - ahem, Dr Pepper) as much as I want of whatever I want. I've actually lost another pound or two and my jeans are getting loose. Thank you, breastfeeding! But is it wrong of me to be gorging myself so much? Haha.

5. Here's a cute Lucy story. She's been cracking me up lately. One day recently she was helping Luke clean his room. He gave her a computer part and said, "You can have that. It's old." She responded, "I'll go give it to Grandpa. He's very old." Lol.

6. Justin's Grandma took us to Frederick Meijer Gardens this week. We always have so much fun with her. I never had a relationship with my grandparents, but I love Justin's.

7. Well, I hate to end on a depressing note, but here it is. I think I'm going to go on a facebook/pinterest fast.  Not because I want to, but because I think it's really contributing to my depression. I have been having some major problems with comparing lately. I get so insecure every time I see someone write about running 3 miles or making a vegan meal from scratch or their 2 year old memorizing the book of Psalms. I am having some major self-esteem issues and the only thing I can think to do is to remove myself from what is causing it. At least for a week or so, and see if it helps at all. The time saving is just going to be an added bonus. I might actually read my Bible or some books or get to bed at a decent hour! I'm going to post Lena's 5 month update tomorrow, but I'll probably go facebook-free by Monday. Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I'm going to tell you a secret.

Justin was never that interested in my pregnancies. Sure, he came to the ultrasounds and put his hand on my belly when I said, "She's kicking!" But he wasn't the type to talk to my belly or insist I cut out caffeine (thank goodness!). I've heard it said that a mother becomes a mother the second she sees that positive pregnancy test, but a father becomes a father when he has the baby in his arms.

There was almost a visible change when Justin first laid eyes on Lucy. This picture sums it up for me:

It is amazing to see how much he loves his girls. He's said before that the best part of his day is getting home and Lucy running to him, crying, "Daddy!" I love to see him do all the girly activities with Lucy - things he swore he'd never do, like tea parties, dance parties, and pretend weddings.

I love his gentle way with Lena, and the sweet things he whispers to her when he thinks I'm not listening. :-)

I love how he includes Lucy in his activities, and is so excited to teach her to fish and play basketball and soccer.

When I was pregnant with Lena, someone asked him if he wanted a boy or a girl. He answered, "If you would've asked me before Lucy, I would've said 'boy,' but now I know how much I can love a girl."

Happy Father's Day, Justin. We love you so much!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Saturday 6 (I just can't think of 7!)

1. Lena had her 4 month appointment on Monday. I wrote about it on facebook, but want to record it here too. Feel free to skim. She weighed 12 lbs, 12 oz (13%), and measured 24.5" tall (34%). She's still a tiny peanut (especially compared to Lucy at 4 months), but she's growing! We got to see our actual doctor this time (she's been on maternity leave). She dismissed the PA's concerns and said not to worry about formula. She told me that my body knows just what Lena needs and that breast is best. Woohoo! Lena had to get 4 shots. She screamed hard, stopped as soon as they got the band-aids in place, then started up again when we got in the car. It took me a long time to get her settled down. I tried nursing her, but she just got mad and kept tossing her head back and forth. I've come to the conclusion lately that she is not a comfort nurser. The only thing that finally calmed her down was a receiving blanket. She found the tag on it, and settled right down by playing with it. Lucy was not a taggy baby. I think Lena will be!

2. Lucy and I worked on the letter K this week.

Flying a kite - it was the perfect sunny, windy day!

3. I came across this blog series through Pinterest this week: 31 Days to Better Understanding the Bible. I grew up in a Christian home/school/church, but I've really enjoyed the refresher, and learned some new things. I continue to be convicted about my lack of Bible reading, and am finding myself desiring it more, but I have yet to get in a good routine of actually reading it.

4. I've been working on a Summer Bucket List to do with Lucy. Some of our activities include: beach, pool party, nature scavenger hunt, go fishing, children's garden, zoo, summer reading program, baseball game, backyard camping, wash the car, and run through the sprinkler. Got any other good ideas?

5. A couple of my friends bragged  wrote on facebook this week that their newborns are sleeping through the night thanks to scheduling. Psh. My 4 month old is no where close to sleeping through the night. So I decided to start adhering to a more strict schedule this week. She wakes up on her own between 7 and 7:30 every morning. Eats around 8, back to sleep by 8:30 most days. I have finally transitioned her to eating every 3 hours, so she eats again at 11. She has an afternoon nap and an evening catnap. This week I've been working on getting her to bed by 8 - upstairs in her Rock n' Play. Until now, I've been putting her in the swing at night until I'm ready to go to bed, then I bring her upstairs with me. But I decided we have a baby monitor for a reason, so I've been feeding her, then rocking her to sleep and putting her down. So there. Schedule. She should start sleeping through the night now, right? Wrong. She just put a couple night feedings on her schedule! Haha. Almost like clockwork, she eats at midnight and 4 am. We'll give it a couple weeks and see if anything changes. Lucy was always on a schedule, and she didn't sleep through the night 'til 8 months (after a rough 2 weeks of CIO!).

6. One day this week while I was rocking Lena to sleep, I started to think about how much I love motherhood. There's really nothing better than a baby sleeping on your chest . . . except maybe when that baby is 3 years old and whispers across her princess pillow, "I love you, Mommy." One of the best [selfish] things about motherhood is that these babies love me so much regardless of my messy hair, lack of make-up,  love handles, wrinkly belly, cellulite, bad breath, and ugly clothes. They don't care about anything except that I'm their mom. I'm the one they want when they're sick or scared or sleepy. I worked at the dollar store for 2 hours today, and Lena was a wreck without me. I could hear her screaming before I even got into the house. When I took her, she settled right into me with a sigh of something akin to relief. You all know I tend to get a little overwhelmed/depressed/anxious sometimes, but I truly do cherish the moments I have with my girls. I saw this on Pinterest recently. It's a great reminder.

And how could you not cherish every moment with these faces?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Saturday 7

1. I've been taking a slew of vitamins and supplements for a couple months in an effort to curb my anxiety, depression, and exhaustion. My anxiety has actually gotten worse (although I don't blame that on the vitamins), but I really do think it's helping my depression and exhaustion. I ran out of fish oil a couple weeks ago and couldn't bring myself to spend the $15 to buy more. But this week I have been so exhausted. I took a nap almost every day, and today Justin let me sleep until 11:30! (With a few breastfeeding interruptions, of course.) Lucy actually woke me up at 11:30 because I could've kept sleeping! I guess I'll fork over the $15.

2. Lucy and I did a couple fun activities this week. We made Jell-o J's (that were actually major failures - ha!), and did this chalk shape game. I think I pinned it on pinterest a while ago, but Lucy played it recently at Kelly and Presley's house, and wanted to do it again at home:
I just drew a bunch of different colored shapes on the driveway, then instructed Lucy to "Hop to the green heart" or "Walk backwards to the purple circle." She loved it! We might try it with letters or numbers next time.

3. So I decided to quit my diet. Haha. I did it for about a month, lost 10 pounds, and gave up. I really lost those 10 pounds in the first week and haven't lost a thing since then. All the calorie counting was stressing me out, and honestly I just miss eating what I want. I made it to my pre-pregnancy weight, and will hope breastfeeding helps me lose the last 10-15 lbs I want to lose. Haha. We'll see.

4.One day this week, Justin noticed that someone left some hobo pie makers out by the fire pit. We decided to make use of them for dinner on Thursday, and had a little family bonfire.
Lucy mostly ate marshmallows and goldfish. Haha
We did a pizza version. Yummy!
5. Lena suddenly decided she won't take a bottle anymore. I think she's traumatized from the formula debacle. It's actually quite frustrating. Justin and I have gift cards to Olive Garden and Celebration Cinema, but if Lena won't take a bottle, I can't leave her for longer than 3 hours at a time. Talk about feeling tied down!

6-7.  A mini-Lena update: I feel like she has grown and changed so much this week. She suddenly loves Lucy. Up until this week, she's been semi-indifferent toward her, but now anytime Lena sees Lucy she starts smiling and squealing. She figured out how to roll from her belly to her back this week. She actually rolled across the room a few times. But since that first day it's been pretty inconsistent. She still spends a fair amount of time rolling onto her belly, then screaming because she's stuck like that. Haha. Speaking of screaming - she has a new scream. At first I rushed to get her out of the swing, thinking something was seriously wrong. But I've wised up since then. It's just an angrier, screamier version of her regular cry. She uses the angry scream anytime she gets put in her swing (for naptime) or anytime she wants me. She's become quite the mama's girl this week and doesn't want anyone but me. I love that she recognizes my voice and searches for it whenever she hears me. One day this week my mom was holding Lena facing away from me. When I said something to my mom, Lena started craning her neck searching for me. *Love* She's also become majorly distractable while nursing. I have to tell her like 5 times each session, "Quit smiling at me and eat." Haha. And she pulls away anytime she hears anyone talking. She's been eating terribly lately because she just doesn't pay attention!
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