Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I've recently seen a couple articles that made me laugh and I could truly relate to.  I thought some readers might get a kick out of them too.

This post talks about the difference between your first child and your second with regards to celebrating, documentation, nursing, cleanliness, etc.  I had a good laugh at a few, and they are shockingly quite true.  I'm not afraid to admit I dangle Brody away from my body if he's got a ton of drool dripping from his chin, I figure we clean up anyways.

Most true:
13. Benefits
The first childHad the benefit of all my attention. Good thing because I had no idea what I was doing.
The next oneHas the benefit of my experience. Good thing because I am busy explaining to her sister why she doesn’t get all of the attention anymore.

This article hilariously (and honestly) talks about how there is no such thing as a perfect parent and sometimes you just have to resign yourself to that fact.  Because no matter what you do, someone will tell you that you are doing it wrong or your child is going to turn out a freak because of it.  I'm so against all the judging that happens in between moms.  I do my fair share of doling out advice, but my advice is almost always along the lines of "You know your baby best.  Trust your mom intuition.  And don't let what your friends kids are doing get you down."  Sometimes I need to take my own advice.  Because Brody has been SUPER sick for the past week plus and he was finally turning the sleeping corner, and now we are back to the beginning.  Kayla has also decided she wants to scream again at bedtime and naptime.  I'm tired.  I'm doing the very best I can to focus on the important stuff and role with the punches, but the punches are about to knock me out.  We need to move into our new house and hopefully after a tough transition period things will settle down.

Check out this hilarious chart. :)

Because I can't do a post without pictures, we started Brody on solid foods around 4.5-5 months.  (Don't judge me.)  He was ALL about it.  Then the past 2 weeks, he's been sick and feverish and refuses to eat foods.  Even today, he's only eating about 25% of what he was 2 weeks ago.  Hopefully he'll get back to it now that he's starting to feel better.  I'm also considering baby led weaning with him since I feel that it might work better than it did with Kayla, but we'll see.

Despite the faces, he really enjoyed his first foods.  (Initially I had made my own brown rice cereal, but since the first week or two, we've only given him fruits and veggies.) 

 photo BLHFirstFoods4.jpg

 photo BLHFirstFoods3.jpg

 photo BLHFirstFoods2.jpg

 photo BLHFirstFoods1.jpg

Saturday, March 23, 2013

What I'm Loving

Kayla Kisses for Brody:  This little girl truly loves her little brother, and he sure gets a kick out of her.

 photo image-1.jpeg

Teething babies:  The ones who put anything and everything in their mouths.  And especially the ones who chew on their bottom lip if they can't find anything else to chew on. 

 photo image-5.jpeg

Toddlers who smile for the camera of their own accord:  This doesn't happen every day, but the days it does, I try to take many many pictures of her and the two of them together (because it's EASY peasy to get Brody to smile.) (And yes, I do have that many pictures on my iPhone...a week ago it was about 300-400 more than this.)

 photo image-1-1.png

Smiling Eyes:  The way the biggest (and smallest) baby smiles begin with the eyes.  If only everyone smiled so genuinely you could see it in their eyes first, the world would be a better place.

 photo image-2.jpeg

Babies who do funny things:  Like suck on the arms of rattle toys like they are pacifiers and make adorable baby faces.
Oh and cheeks:  Big, soft, puffy, kissable baby cheeks.  Especially the kind that conceal their lips when looking at their profile.

 photo image-3.jpeg

Dancing:  Especially with my kiddos, while singing songs I love...

While they laugh hysterically.  
Oh and songs:  Songs that make you want to cry with their lyrics truly touching your heart.  The kind that makes you so very happy and thankful to have your husband and your kids.

 photo image-9.jpeg

Girly girl things:  Like dance class and ponytails.  And happy little girls.

 photo image-10.jpeg

Easy ways to calm toddlers:  Like stickers.  And hugs.

 photo image-11.jpeg

Playdates:  Especially the kind with long time friends and friends you've known for a long time but never dreamed you'd be as close of friends as you are.

 photo photo-5.jpg

Brody has two girlfriends. :)

 photo image-7.jpeg

Half birthdays:   Because it means they are strong and healthy.  And even though times speeds by, you build memories each day that passes.

 photo image-4.jpeg

Hard work and weight loss:  Especially when a pair of pants you loved prior to getting pregnant, don't fit anymore.  And you have to buy a new pair (in a better color) in 6 sizes smaller (or 3 sizes since it's by 2s.)

 photo image-6.jpeg

Catching special independent moments:  This has to be my most favorite thing ever.  It makes my heart smile seeing their independence and their bond.

 photo image-8.jpeg

Helpful toddlers:  I have one of the most helpful.  She may not do everything right but she loves to help me with the laundry, folding, loading and unloading the dishwasher, vacuuming and dusting.

 photo image-12.jpeg

This blog:  Because my memory is quickly slipping and I'm so glad I have this documentation to help me build memories of my kiddos when they are little.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Brody Lawrence: 5 Month Update

Well, this is only a month late.  Sorry, we've been SOOOO busy with other exciting life changes which I'll update you on soon.  I also need to update my 101 list.  

Weight: 17 lbs 1 ounce

Length: No idea since we only had a doctor's appointment to check his ears...

Head Circumference: see above. 

Physical Milestones:  So he started rolling last month, this month he's started scooting in a circle on his tummy.  He also gets up on all fours and like to rock back and forth.  He can sit alright with some support.  As a PT I tend to "test" him every once in awhile...he is able to correct himself if he loses his balance a bit while seated.  He's pretty damn strong.  He literally never stops moving around while you hold him.

Justin also wants me to point out that he started eating his toes this month too.  We are excited I guess because Kayla wasn't all that interested in her toes.  Brody on the other hand, will suck/bite/gnaw on anything he can get his grubby little hands on. :)

Eating:  He is still eating about 6 sometimes 7 times in a 24 hour period.  We started to give him some solid foods around 4.5 months.  He actually is extremely interested in that, but it seems to have brought back some digestive/gas issues.  I think his little gut is just getting used to all the new foods.  

Sleeping:  A little convinced this is never going to end.  He will usually take one longer stretch at night but often wakes up around 12-1, then after that it's really terrible.  He is up ever hour or so until 5:30 or 6 am, when he's ready to play.  He will often cry/fuss a few times between 6 pm and 12/1 as well.  I'm thinking I may start to try dream feeding him and putting him to bed earlier (this sounds like a future plan...which at 5 months it was, but this post is 1 month we've already done this.  Stay tuned for an update.)  We have literally tried almost everything I can think of to help him sleep better.  I'm totally convinced my kids just need to eat and are too mobile to sleep.

Not too much more than that going on.  Except we bought a house right around the time Brody turned 5 months old, so stay tuned for that.  Enjoy this monthly pictures one month late of my little heartbreaker! :)
 photo 5Month2Text.jpg

 photo 5Mo6Text.jpg

 photo 5Mo7Text.jpg

 photo 5Mo10Text.jpg

 photo 5Mo12Text.jpg

 photo 5Mo13Text.jpg

And some outtakes/other photos:

 photo 5Mo1.jpg

 photo 5Mo3.jpg

 photo 5Mo4.jpg

 photo 5Mo5.jpg

 photo 5Mo8.jpg

 photo 5Mo9.jpg

 photo 5Mo11.jpg

 photo 5Mo14.jpg

 photo 5Mo15.jpg

 photo 5Mo17.jpg

 photo 5Mo18.jpg

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Irish Blessings

Here's to you all on my very favorite holiday of the year!  If you're lucky enough to be Irish, you're lucky enough!

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.

May the good Lord take a liking to you...but not too soon.

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light.  May good luck pursue you each morning and night.

Here's to a long life and a merry one.  A quick death and an easy one.  A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold beer and another one.

May you always have walls for the winds,
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire.

May you have food and raiment,
A soft pillow for your head,
And may you be in heaven 40 years before the devil knows you're dead!

May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.

May the best day of your past, be the worst day of your future.

There are many good reasons for drinking,
One has just entered my head.
If a man doesn't drink when he's living,
How the hell can he drink when he's dead?

When Irish eyes are smiling,
Tis like a morn in spring.
With a lilt of Irish laughter,
You can hear the angels sing.
When Irish hearts are happy,
All the world is bright and gay.
When Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they steal your heart away.

May you live to be a hundred years,
With one year to repent.

May those who love us, love us.
And those who don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He can't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles
So we will know them by their limping.

May God grant you many years to live,
For sure He must be knowing,
The earth has angels all to few,
And Heaven is overflowing.

These things I warmly wish to you:
Someone to love,
Some work to do,
A bit o' sun
A bit o' cheer
And a guardian angel always near.

May your home always be too small to hold all of your friends.

May there always be work for your hands to do,
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine warm on your windowpane,
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you!

We cannot share this sorrow,
If we haven't grieved a while.
Nor can we feel another's joy,
Until we've learned to smile.

May your troubles be less and your blessings be more,
And nothing but happiness come through your door.

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rain fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Weight Watchers Update

So I've been on weight watchers for 3.5 months now (they automatically charged me for the month after my three month period I had already paid for.)  It's been interesting, but I'm not convinced that the weight watchers is what is helping me lose weight so I'm likely going to quit this month.

Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great program for a lot of people.  It's good to learn a little about the points and how many points a lot of the things you eat are, but I found it frustrating to try to track my points continually.  It was mostly an added hastle and something I really didn't feel like I needed to be spending a lot of time on.  So I mentally tracked my general points.  Since Thanksgiving, I've lost 27 pounds.  I feel really good (minus the stretch marks and extra skin around my midsection.)  I mostly attribute this to meal planning, eating out FAR less, and using my new favorite website, Skinny Taste.

If you are around me at all or are my friend on facebook, I'm sure you've seen my photos or heard me rave about this website.  The recipes are delicious (they've gotten me to start cooking, unheard of really), you can add recipes to a recipe box (powered by ziplist which means there are a BUNCH of recipe website you can add recipes to the same recipe box), you can add recipes to a "list" (i.e. weekly meal planning), and this list generates a grocery list for you!  Honestly, as a mother of two little ones, this is an amazing features and saves me so much time.  The recipes are weight watchers friendly, or "light."  We've also been toying with the idea of utilizing PeaPod more regularly.  We tried it once and honestly, I told Justin I didn't really understand why more people don't use it.  They have two pick ups near us, which means you pay for the groceries (prices are generally close to prices at the grocery store, some higher, some lower, some the same), they shop for you and if you pick up, they load all of the groceries into your car.  SUPER easy!  Delivery is only $7 if you spend over $100 (which let's be honest, is pretty easy to do with grocery shopping.)

I thought I'd do a little blog review of some of our favorite things we've made while using Skinny Taste.

Crock Pot Kalua Pork with mango avocado chutney and cilantro lime rice:  We made this last weekend.  It was so so good.  The pork was super easy (but takes a long time to cook).  My main complaint would be some of the pork was a bit dry mainly because there isn't much in the crock pot with it.  We also would probably get a large pork shoulder next time since it shrunk down a lot in the crock pot.  The chutney and the rice was SO delicious (both recipes from Skinny Taste as well.)

 photo kalua-pig.jpg

 Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Spinach:  I just made this last week and Justin was a big fan.  The pasta recipes are super easy and my go to's if we don't have a meal planned and I need something quick with stuff we already have in the fridge/pantry.  I was able to prep this one entirely while both kids napped and then just stick it in the oven at the right time.  Perfect.

 photo BakedPastawithSausageandSpinach.jpg

 Avocado Egg Salad:  Extremely easy and delicious!!  I love avocados and hard boiled eggs so I was already sold.  Justin doesn't love egg salad and he liked this a lot.  Kayla doesn't like much at all and she ate this up!

 photo AvocaoEggSalad.jpg

 Rosemary Garlic Parmesan Biscuits:  We made these with the chicken dijon and lime below.  They are very easy and every good!

 photo RosemaryGarlicParmBiscuits.jpg

 BLT Macaroni Salad:  I don't even like tomatoes and I ate this up...including the tomatoes!  Really easy and refreshing and delicious.

 photo BLTMacSalad.jpg

 Chicken Rollatini with Spinach A La Parmigiana:  We've made these multiple times.  Kayla eats these, so they are an easy go to when we want something good that we can hope Kayla will eat too.

 photo ChickenSpinachRollalaParm.jpg

 Baked Chicken with Dijon and Lime:  We've made these twice, once with chicken thighs as it calls for and one with breast cut up.  The breast were a little dry, but we think we cooked them too long.  Very easy and delicious.  Pair with veggies or whatever sides you like!

 photo BakedChickenwithDijonandLime.jpg

 Baked Lump Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce:  These were DELICIOUS.  One of Justin's favorites.  Crab is a bit expensive but we will probably make these every once in while for ourselves.  We made this after the kids bedtime one day since it's unlikely Kayla will eat them, but maybe next time we'll try.

 photo CrabCakes.jpg

 Cauliflower Fritters:  Cauliflower is my favorite veggie and these are pretty darn good!  Kayla semi enjoyed them as well. :)

 photo CauliflowerFritters.jpg

 We've made quite a few more things, particularly many of the pasta dishes, which are all delicious.  I recommend this website highly.  And I think I'm going to try to make these for our St. Patty's Day party with friends this weekend...

**All photos are from as well!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Selfish Moms: An Oxymoron

A long while back I was planning to write this post and have been thinking about it ever since.  Today seems like a good day to me since I have a new story.

Within a week in January, two mommy bloggers I read had written about different parenting topics and negative commenters on their blogs calling them selfish, etc.  This got me thinking, is there even such a thing as a selfish mom?  (Obviously yes I know there probably are selfish moms, but people that actually WANT to be moms, it's like nearly impossible to be selfish.)

Topic #1: Cry It Out (or CIO in the mommy world.)
So apparently, moms who let their kids cry it out are selfish because obviously their kids need them if they are crying and they (the parents) just want to not have to deal with the little terrors.  Because it's not entirely possible that kids need to learn how to get to sleep on their own eventually.  I don't know about you, but if you have a toddler that is at all like Kayla, letting her cry is sometimes the only option.  I don't always let her cry, but sometimes she just doesn't want to go to sleep.  Literally there is nothing else wrong.  She just wants to play and not sleep.  Why don't I just let her play you ask?  Is it because I'm selfish and want some alone time with my husband?  No, although I do want some alone time with my husband every once in a while and pretty sure this doesn't make me selfish...or maybe it does and I just don't care.  It's because she needs to sleep.  If she doesn't, she's extremely unhappy and irritable which I rarely have much tolerance for.  Especially because Brody isn't sleeping...still.

And Brody's not even 6 months old, but I let him cry sometimes.  Does that make me selfish too?  I mean, he takes one pretty good stretch of sleep usually, but then after he wakes up once, he's up every hour or two.  Literally.  He doesn't need anything, I'm sure of it.  So my only option is to let him cry some, even if that ends with him on all fours, banging his head on the crib.  Because all he cares about is learning to crawl, and all I care about is both of them sleeping so I don't kill them the following day (joking, I would never dream of such a thing.)

So I let my kids cry a little bit, if that makes me selfish, so be it.

Topic #2 (the real kicker): Breastfeeding versus formula feeding
I'm totally not getting into this debate at all, because I'm sure I've written before about it being hard enough being a mom, we don't need to be judging ourselves or each other on top of it all.  Boob or bottle, I don't care as long as you and your kids are happy. :)

I'm simply writing regarding someone calling a mom who is doing everything she can to breastfeed her kid selfish.  Maybe she believes (like many do and is proven) breastfeeding is excellent for both mother and baby.  Lots of health benefits and benefits for mom, so if this mom wants to cut all processed foods and dairy and gluten and soy and everything out of her diet in order to continue to breastfeed her baby, I don't think that makes her selfish (quite the opposite actually), I think that makes her willing to do a lot for what she believes is best for her baby.  (The commenter's thought was that her child was truly suffering with gas and reflux, etc, so her continuing to breastfeed was a selfish choice.)  I'm pretty determined to continue breastfeeding Brody for at least a year, like I did with Kayla.  And I'm willing to do a lot to make it work for us, even if it means continuing to get no sleep for his entire first year of life.  So I want to breastfeed my son for at least a year, if that makes me selfish, so be it.

And on the other hand, if a mom decides that she is going to formula feed her baby, even if she is fully capable of breastfeeding, whatever the reason, I don't think that makes her selfish either.  Even if the reason is that she doesn't want her boobs to get all big and saggy and filled with stretch marks and scarred from the amount of abuse they take.  You may call that a selfish reason, but at some point, mom has to take care of herself and think about herself first too.

My story:
So this morning, after many, many, many nights of hardly getting any sleep (including last night), I was out the door and on my way to my mom's house so she could watch the kids for a couple hours and I could go to a class for work.  I got all the way down to the garage to load the kids in the car, and I realized I grabbed my "other" set of keys (i.e. keys to nothing important or that I don't need every day). My "car and house" keys were still in the apartment.  Locked inside.  While I was locked out.  With a toddler and an infant.  Without keys to at least get in the car and go to my mom's until Justin got home from work (which is extra late, after bedtime, tonight.)  So Justin had to turn around and come home to let me into the house, then he took my car to work.  So I'm home today, like all Wednesdays, except today my kids won't stop crying, just like last night, and I have to deal with bedtime by myself tonight.

So I do realize I have two happy and healthy kids and a husband who is the most loving, caring, helpful and considerate person I know.  I have family who is ever so willing to help us out when we need it.  I realize every day, a million times a day, that I am blessed.   But today, I've reached my breaking point.  I need a break.  I need a day for me where I don't have to go to work, and I don't have to worry about what my kids and my husband want or need.  I need a day alone to do whatever I want to do.  And if saying that and needing/wanting that makes me selfish, then so be it.

(Although my point of this post is there really there is no such thing as a selfish mom because frankly, we need to take care of ourselves too.)

A photo from our hallway adventures this morning:
 photo afterglow.jpeg

Some photos Daddy was nice enough to take on New Year's Eve (to be fair, I think Kayla took the first one.)
 photo KBMommy4.jpg

 photo KBMommy3.jpg

 photo KBMommy2.jpg

 photo KBMommy1.jpg