Everly Laura 6 Month Update

Boy! Did that half of year sure fly by! I remember when Everly was born, just as the seasons changed from Fall to Winter and I thought to myself, “She’ll be half a year in May.” These warm Spring days seemed so far away but here we are!

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At her 6 month appointment Everly weighed in at 18lbs 1oz. and was 27 inches long. Hunter wasn’t this size until he was 9 months old! Yet Everly dropped from the high 90 percentiles into the mid 80 percentiles. She just feel so solid to me! It’s hard for me to even remember what she was like as a itty bitty newborn.

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                                                    3 days old vs. 6 month olds

Shortly after she turned 6 months I started introducing solid foods. She seems very excited when the spoon comes towards her mouth but then she makes a face once the food gets into her mouth.

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With Hunter I was super excited to make my own baby food. I am sad to say that this time around I just don’t think I can do it! It takes so much time! Poor second child! Oh well, I will try not to beat myself up about it. I will still try and do some of the same “fresh foods” that I did with Hunter such as banana, avocado, sweet potato fries (when she is older) and broccoli bites (also when she is older).

Sleep has been all over the place lately! I felt like for awhile she was actually falling asleep on her own for bedtime and then would wake up (usually when I entered the room to go to bed) I would nurse her and she would go back to sleep for 6-8 hours. It was glorious! Now, not so much! We are back to the screaming and crying at bedtime and couple of nights she has been up every 2 hours! I know that since she is breastfed that she still probably needs to eat at night but I am just afraid of creating a sleep association. I try to let her fuss a bit but it is hard to listen to since I am in the room. If I nurse her she usually falls back to sleep pretty quickly and I can get her in the crib no problem. Part of the challenge is we are trying to get her out of her swaddle since she breaks free of it but she can’t seem to calm herself at night without it. Naps are also hit or miss. At daycare she naps for hours upon end and doesn’t need a swaddle. At home she sometimes cries sometimes just talks, is able to put herself to sleep and sleeps anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.

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Definitely frustrating at the moment but I know it can only get better… right?

She is still working on sitting unassisted (so close!) and can easily roll from back to tummy but not tummy to back (also contributes to the sleep issue!).

Some of her favorite things:

  • Her brother (of course!)

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  • Bath time
  • Blowing raspberries
  • Grabbing her feet
  • Putting anything and everything in to her mouth (still no teeth!)

Things she doesn’t like:

Not much! She is such a happy smiley little girl. Even if she hasn’t gotten a lot of sleep she is pretty easy going and can usually be calmed with a kiss and a tickle!

Having a second child is so much fun! I think it’s because you kind of know what to expect and you know that despite the sleepless nights things will get better. It has been so much fun watching Hunter become the little boy he is today and I enjoy watching Everly’s personality shine through more and more each day.

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Whatever Happened to The Girl With The Pink Sneakers?

When I started my blog over four (FOUR!) years ago I was at a very different point in my life. In fact, one of the main reasons I started it was my husband and I were dealing with infertility. Doctors pretty much told us that we would not be able to have children on our own. I don’t remember why but for some reason, at that time, we decided not to pursue any medical intervention to help us have a child. I guess we decided to just put the whole thing on hold and see if nature would take its course. I had been following several healthy living bloggers and was inspired by their stories of clean eating, mindful eating, race recaps, and more. I wanted to write about my own healthy living journey. I wanted to stop focusing on the fact that we couldn’t start our family. I started grad school, was teaching several fitness classes, and decided to train for an Olympic distance triathlon and two half marathons. I enjoyed writing about my daily efforts to live better and be healthy. That’s how “The Girl With The Pink Sneakers” was born. It was a good distraction, something fun and creative to do. It kept me motivated to live a healthy lifestyle and achieve my fitness goals. Other people told me they enjoyed reading about my joys and struggles. They even told me I was an inspiration.

I remember at some point after the Disney Half Marathon I had dreams in my head about running a full marathon but in the back of my mind was still that undeniable desire and yearning to be a mom. We decided to go back to the doctors and see what needed to be done to achieve this goal and if we couldn’t have children of our own then we needed to decide where to go from there. I didn’t write about any of these struggles because they felt very personal at the time. I still continued to live and write about my own personal health and fitness. By God’s grace and blessings we finally got pregnant (naturally!) and I continued to write about how I was having a healthy pregnancy and still being fit and active.

Well, after my precious Hunter was born our lives took a dramatic shift and so did my own personal health and fitness. I gained 40 lbs. when I was pregnant. 20 of those pounds fell off instantly but the remaining 20 seemed to hang on for good even though I was exclusively nursing. I started to get back into a fitness routine and even ran a 5K but it was SO HARD to fit exercise in. On many of the blogs that I started reading way back when the women have had children and seem to get right back into their fit and active lifestyles completing triathlons, marathons pursuing goals of becoming fitness instructors and more. They also seemed to get right back into their pre-pregnancy jeans! Weight loss has never been easy for me and this was no exception. Once Hunter turned a year old I started getting back into the swing of things as far as healthy eating and exercise goes. But then, much to my joy and surprise I found out I was pregnant again!

Here I am today, almost six months after my sweet Everly was born, still clinging on to 20 of the 40 lbs. I gained with her. I haven’t formally exercised since the yoga class I went to the day before she was born.

To be honest I am really struggling to find some semblance of “The Girl With the Pink Sneakers.” Of course I don’t expect to be working out 5-6 times a week including teaching fitness classes and training for some race. But it would be nice to do SOMETHING!  I honestly don’t miss that lifestyle. It was a good distraction from the maddening fact that I wasn’t a mom. I feel lucky that I am able to only work part time so when I am not working I want to spend time with my kids. I don’t want to drop them off in some child care room so I can work out. I want to be with THEM. The little free time I do have is usually spent trying to catch up on housework (my house is a mess!) or other chores. Or sometimes I am just plain exhausted and all I want to do is sit on my couch and veg out.

All that being said I know how important being healthy is and now I have the ultimate reason to be healthy, my children! I don’t want to be the mom that sits on the park bench and watches her kids play on the playground because I am too out of shape to play with them. I want to be around for when my children have children. I want to be a good example of what healthy is to my kids. I want to feel good about myself and have the reflect outward so my children know what it means to have a positive self image.

The big questions that looms over my head right now is, “how the heck am I going to do this?” Exercise is the biggest challenge right now. I know all it takes is 30 minutes a day BUT if you work up a good sweat then you have to figure in showering time too. Since I am pumping at work I take a lot of time out of my work day to do that and I don’t feel it is ethical to take more time (like a long lunch break) for exercise. Everly is still not on a consistent sleeping schedule so early mornings are tough and I am usually exhausted once both kids are in bed for the night (and Everly doesn’t always stay asleep!). Nap time is a possibility (if they both nap at the same time) but I am finding it hard to find space in our little house to actually do any type of work out. I have been doing a squat, push up, plank challenge during the month of May and that has been a good start but I need to devise a plan to keep it going. Everly still naps a lot but I think I will try my hardest to get in activity with both kids while they are awake and also utilize nap time once I can clear a space to actually do exercise in!

I have started to “clean up” my eating over the past three weeks and am amazed at how a few simple changes have made a difference (I’ve lost almost 6lbs!). I started tracking my calorie intake with myfitnesspal.com and that has been a good way for me to stay within healthy calorie range and not affect my milk supply. In fact I think that because I am eating more whole, less processed food my supply has actually increased. In addition to my fitness challenge for May I’m doing a “no” cookie, candy, doughnut, cake, ice cream challenge except for one serving once a week. I was going to throw alcohol in there as well but don’t really imbibe that much any way.

I know that Rome wasn’t built in a day and I didn’t become “The Girl With The Pink Sneakers” overnight. I just need to keep working at it until I can find “The Mama With The Pink Sneakers!” I am doing this for so much more than my skinny jeans. I’m doing it for the two precious loves of my life!

Everly Laura 5 Month Update

It feels like it has been such a long time since I last updated this blog! Little miss Everly has been 5 months for awhile now (almost a week!) and I’ve been meaning to write this update but simultaneous toddler/infant naps have NOT been happening lately!

I don’t know how much there really is to update about my beautiful girl, just some fun things that we’ve been up to. Of course she is still growing and growing! No doctor’s appointment this month so I don’t know how much she weighs or how long she is but we are guessing she is quickly approaching 20lbs! A LOT bigger than Hunter was at this age!

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Look at those chunky legs! Big Brother just had to get in on the photo shoot!

About a month ago a young woman approached me at church and asked how old Everly was. She was a Physical Therapy Grad student at the University and she was looking for babies 3-7 months old to use for a research project. She asked if I would mind bringing Everly in to be part of her research. I said, “sure!”

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For the research Everly had to wear a tight fitting onesie and a hat. They placed 3D sensors  around her head, neck, and shoulders just like the type of sensors they use to make 3D movies! Then they held Everly and moved her body left and right to observe her head control. They took pictures with a regular 2D still camera and a 2D video camera AND then using the 3D sensors took pictures using 3D cameras that were placed around the room. They were comparing the 2D and 3D results to see which was better at diagnosing head and neck problem like torticollis.

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She did great and the students and professor just loved her!

Everly also got to meet the two boys who will one day fight over who gets to have her heart! Smile

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Remember my best friend who was pregnant with twins? Well these are her two adorable boys! They were born just a month after Everly. I am pretty sure Nolan is on her right and Atticus is on her left. It was so great to finally meet them over Easter.

She has rolled over a couple of times but doesn’t do it regularly and she is working on sitting up. Check out her adorable Easter dress!

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We took our first walk to Ranison’s Ice Cream Shop!

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And we’ve even had a few nice days where we can go outside and enjoy the sunshine!

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I’ve started having Everly sit in the high chair with us for meal times but we won’t start solids until next month.

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She sure likes being part of the action and of course watching her big brother!

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Sleep has been going ok. She easily falls asleep on her own for naps and usually takes some pretty decent naps sometimes she take s a short one but usually makes up for it later. Night time is a whole different story. I can count on one hand the number of times she has fallen asleep on her own with out putting up a big fuss (a.k.a. crying!). And I can also count on one hand the number of times she actually stays asleep for the night once she finally is down. I’m not really sure what to do! I’ve tried putting her to bed earlier, I’ve tried later. Even when I do nurse her to sleep we play this annoying game of me trying to transfer her to her crib without waking her up. When I finally am successful she usually doesn’t stay asleep. Not really sure what is up with that. I’m thinking it’s because eventually I sleep in the room with her and maybe she wakes up and realizes I’m not there (since I would like to sit down and watch TV for an hour before falling asleep!) and that’s what wakes her up. I guess she just knows I won’t be there for naps! The good news is I have her out of the Rock ‘N Play and completely in the Pack N’ Play. I am still swaddling her but we are getting close to stopping that as she is fighting it! We’ll get it all worked out soon (I hope!) she is still A LOT farther along than Hunter was. I think Hunter was still in the swing at night when he was 5 months old!

She is still my little sweetie pie and I just love her more and more each day! I love watching her grow and change and develop her own personality!

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My Dad

I am writing this post in honor of my dad who would have turned 66 this past Tuesday. It has been a month since his passing and as expected I sometimes find it hard to believe that I will never see him in this lifetime again. In reality even though I live in the same town as my parents in the past months (years?) I did not see my dad very regularly. Over the past seven years his health had been declining and he did not want his kids to see him in this failing state. He wanted us to remember him as he was: the fun, loveable dad who was always up for an adventure. Even though I did not see him frequently I still find myself thinking, “I wish I could ask dad about that,” or “I wonder if dad has heard about that.” Not having lost someone this close to me in a long time I’m not use to these thoughts but I am sure they will last for awhile, maybe even forever.

My dad was such a good father and I was daddy’s little girl all the way! I think if he could have he would have given me the moon!

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He wanted to give my brother and I the kind of life he could only have dreamed of. He liked to expose us to things that the “average” person wouldn’t have done like SCUBA diving and down hill skiing. This meant we took lots of trips to fun places like Cozumel, Colorado, Vancouver and many more places.

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We also took many many family vacations to Disney World. I have to admit when I traveled there a few years ago without my parents I really missed them! Disney World is connected to family in my mind. We had so many experiences there as a family and mad such good memories.

I know that dad had a hard time watching me grow up and he wanted me to stay his little girl forever. I remember when I was in 8th grade and I decided to redecorate my room AND got contacts within the same week. He was so sad that I was growing up!

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I know he would have really liked it if I had grown up to be an opera singer. When I was younger I felt like I had disappointed him by choosing a different path. I know that he was proud of me and that he just wanted me to use my gifts and talents.

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For all the important events in my life and even the not so important ones my dad was there with a video and a still camera in hand (or he hired someone like at my wedding!). I think I get my love of capturing life from him. He was so proud of everything I did.

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(I’m pretty sure this is a picture of us using a self timer on a camera he gave me).

I miss him so much! But the hardest part for me is knowing that my kids won’t have him as a grandpa. He would have been such an awesome grandpa!

It was hard for me to see him suffering both physically and emotionally with his medical problems. I could see in his eyes how sad he was that he couldn’t be the kind of grandpa he wanted to be. I find comfort in the fact that he is now at peace and I look forward to the day when I will be united with him again.

I will always love you daddy!

Photo: #throwbackthursday me and dad<br />
circa 1980. Miss you so much!” src=”<a href=https://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/t1.0-9/p600x600/1965011_10152250789103118_755023008_n.jpg&#8221; width=”551″ height=”551″>

Everly Laura 4 months

Well hello there!

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What oh what can I tell you about my sweet Everly? I feel like since the last time I wrote so much has changed! That’s what life with baby is all about, nothing ever seems to stay the same for long!

For one thing Miss Everly is still growing and growing! I had her in for her 4 month well check and she weighed in at 15lbs 12oz and was 26 inches long! She is completely in 3-6 month clothes and quickly growing out of them!

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Ha! Ha! Hunter’s butt photo bombed the picture!

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He just had to get in on these pictures!

Everly started daycare when she was 12 weeks old and so far it has been going really well! It took a few weeks but she eventually got comfortable taking a bottle. AND she started falling asleep on her own for naps! I have my child care provider to thank for that. Of course, since she is busy taking care of the other kids she can’t spend a TON of time rocking and soothing Everly to sleep and she certainly can’t nurse her to sleep like I like to Smile. So she puts her down awake but before she gets too tired and crabby. Sometimes she cries but my childcare provider doesn’t let her cry very long (5-10 minutes) before comforting her. I am not sure how long it takes her to fall asleep at daycare but when I do this at home she rarely cries for more than 5 minutes and NEVER for more than 10.Most of the time she doesn’t cry at all and just chatters away until she falls asleep (except for today when there has been far too much crying!) When it works  it’s AMAZING! It gives me a lot more time to spend with Hunter. However, her naps aren’t always very long. Sometimes if she wakes up early from a nap at home and Hunter is napping (or not napping!) I can nurse her back to sleep for a loooooooong nap. I could never have even imagined trying this with Hunter. Some might say it’s because he was my first baby but I honestly don’t think he was ready to put himself asleep until he was older. Everly has also been doing well at night. She usually sleeps between 6 and 8 hours wakes up to eat and then goes back to sleep for 2-4 hours. Of course we have our off days/nights but for the most part we are getting good sleep!

She is such a happy and easy going baby! Always full of smiles and “talking”

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She is getting so strong! She doesn’t mind tummy time and I’ve seen her flip from her tummy to back a few times. She is really trying to flip from back to tummy!

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She is reaching for everything and putting it in her mouth too. Our thrush is finally gone and the doctor said she is doing great!

Some things I feel I need to work on is getting her out of her swaddle (she’s starting to resist it) and getting her fully into the pack ‘n play and out of the rock n’ play which I still use at night or when I hope she’ll take a long nap.

She got to spend some time with her cousins and aunts and uncles at her brother’s birthday party and even got to wear a fun party outfit before she grew out of it!

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Uncle Mark can always put her to sleep!

I feel so lucky that God has blessed me with son AND a daughter. I love watching Everly go through all these infant changes that seem to happen so quickly. I sometimes feel like I don’t remember what Hunter was like at this age because I was SO TIRED. I am trying my best to soak in these days and make memories of even the littlest moments!

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Game Changers!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE bring a mom! Becoming a mom for the first time was AMAZING but also life changing. Becoming a mom for second time with my babies being less than two years apart was also a pretty dramatic change. It became very evident that there needed to be some adaptations made to our life to make this transition a little easier. Enter two “game changers” that I made to help make things just a little easier.

Number 1: I chopped my hair!

Before:

Before hair

After:

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I have pretty much had the same hair style for several years and just go in and have it trimmed every couple months. Now an then I would have a little more cut off than usual or once I tried bangs. I have REALLY thick heavy hair. With the longer cut it looked ok if I let it air dry but with this cold winter there was no way I was going to sit around or go out with a wet head BUT it took me FORVER to blow dry all that hair. I know a lot of moms pull their hair back into a pony tail but I couldn’t do that because of the weight of my hair I would get headaches. This was often really annoying in the summer when I wanted to stay cool. I just didn’t have time to deal with it. I looked up some pictures of shorter hair cuts and brought them in to a new to me salon (The Orange Pearl)  and a new stylist I was trying because I had a coupon. Some how she knew EXACTLY what I needed. Honestly my hair cut looks nothing like the photos and is A LOT shorter than I was thinking of going but I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! It is so easy to manage and it feels so light! I am using less shampoo and I only need one towel when I shower (I always needed to wrap my hair in a separate towel or it would drip all over me). If I don’t have time for a full shower I just put some product in it, give it a little fluff and it looks pretty decent. I am spending a lot less time getting ready in the morning which is so helpful when you need to get three people out the door and to and from daycare and work at reasonable time.

Speaking of getting around town…. we bought a mini van!

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I have wanted a mini van ever since we had Hunter BUT it wasn’t really necessary and we wanted to finish paying off Brian’s truck before buying another car. With the addition of miss Everly it became very evident that we would eventually need a bigger car. With two car seats in my Saturn there was only room for one other passenger and if you wanted to take a stroller anywhere forget putting anything else in the trunk (and this was only the single stroller!). I had been researching mini vans and decided on a used Chrysler Town and Country because it was affordable AND had lots of bells and whistles. I absolutely LOVE the automatic doors and the easy Stow and Go seats. Plus the back up camera and cool audio system are pretty great too. We even have a DVD player which I think will come in handy on road trips. I don’t mind driving a bigger vehicle and I LOVE all the space!

The kid’s first ride in the van

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So yeah! Two changes that have helped us ease into this new normal. Could I have lived without both of them? Sure! But they sure have made life a lot easier! Now I feel like I’ve got it all! I’ve got the kids, the mom hair cut, and the mom car!

Turning 2!

I was planning Hunter’s two year post in my head for a long time and had planned on writing it soon after his birthday, along with Everly’s 3 month update. Sadly, my dad passed away the day after Hunter’s birthday and our world was turned topsy turvy for awhile. Things have seemed to settle down a bit and we are once again adjusting to a new normal, which has been tough since I still wasn’t fully adjusted to the “other new normal” of being a working mom of two little ones!  I hope to write a tribute to my dad soon but right now I’m still processing and grieving my loss.

On to my two year old! We celebrated Hunter’s birthday with a gathering at Grandma and Grandpa Cuckoo’s house. Just so you know Hunter calls them this because they have a cuckoo cuckoo clock!

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We celebrated with Hunter’s aunts and uncles as well as his cousins and Grandma Chi Chi (my mom). We  had pizza and of course cake and ice cream. Hunter enjoyed eating his cake this year much more than he did last year!

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He also really got into his presents this year. Sadly I don’t think I have any still pictures of him opening them! He got some Duplo’s, clothes, trucks, and more!

Two can be such a fun age, especially with our little chatter box. He just goes on and on about anything and everything. He repeats everything we say (so we have to be careful!) and his memory is incredible. He takes such joy in the littlest things. I love watching his face light up over a truck or other toy (but mostly trucks!). Two can also be challenging. Of course I have heard of the “terrible twos” and I have definitely seen this side of my little man. For the most part it hasn’t been too bad BUT since Everly came along we have had to work on discipline, which has mainly been time outs. He’s such a smart little guy and you can see it in his eyes when he knows he is doing something wrong. I have experienced a full on sobbing hysterically meltdown due to be giving him a time out. I try my best to talk about what happened and why he got a time out but I am not sure he totally gets it every time. He has also expressed some aggression in regards to sharing toys at daycare. This has been really challenging to address since he doesn’t do this at home. For the most part he is my sweet kind delightful boy and turning into such a good big brother!

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I recently started giving Hunter and Everly baths together and for a guy who likes to get pretty wild in the tub he is very gentle and cautious when Everly is in there with him. I usually get her out early then Hunter and can have at it!

Sleep has gone pretty much to hell! He has been fighting, resisting, and skipping naps A LOT! And believe me he still needs them! He is one crabby beast if he doesn’t get one. I’ve read up on this and most “experts” say to keep attempting naps at least giving him some quiet time. Only problem with this is he is NOT QUIET! He doesn’t cry but he yells and screams and jumps around his crib (we have not transitioned to a big boy bed, I am too afraid he’ll tear his room apart!). I will often times go in to check on him (to make sure he hasn’t pooped!) and lay him down reminding him he is suppose to be napping. Sometimes he falls asleep. This would be ok but by now it’s getting pretty late in the day! I don’t want him to nap too late because then he won’t go to sleep at night! Even if he falls asleep late at night he still gets up between 6:30am and 7:30am and is usually crabby! It’s kind of a nightmare to tell the truth. Not really sure what else to really do about it!

We have also ventured into the world of potty training! I have pretty much dreaded this BUT would love to only have one baby in diapers sooner rather than later. I owe a lot of thanks to our daycare provider. She is starting to train her daughter and often times sets the other daycare kids on the potty at the same time (she has more than one potty). One day Hunter peed in the potty! I was so pumped! We recently bought a little potty chair (only had one that sat in the big potty) and we ask him if he wants to sit on it several times a day. He usually sits while we read to him but had yet to really produce anything. Today he told me he wanted to sit on the potty to read and he actually went potty! I never thought I’d be so excited about a bodily function! Thus far we are taking a relaxed approach and still wearing diapers, kind of seeing where it goes from here.

Can’t believe my sweet boy is 2! Not sure if I will continue these monthly updates and just occasionally update on Hunter. I try to soak up as much alone time I can with him (when Everly is sleeping). I do miss all the alone time we use to have but I don’t think he does. He LOVES his daddy! It’s ok, I can deal with that! I love watching our family evolve and change and I know this is only the beginning!

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