Friday Five

1. Tim Tebow is a Philadelphia Eagle and I am not happy about it. I was one of those people who jumped on the Tebow train when he was on the Broncos; Jim even bought me his jersey. And don’t get me wrong, I am so happy that he has a job playing football again. I’m glad he will be doing more than just guest hosting on GMA next year (I kept wondering what that was all about), but I hateeee the Eagles. I feel like they’re going to ruin the good, innocent guy that he is. I could be wrong and maybe he will spruce the Eagles up a bit, but you won’t see me rockin’ an Eagles Tebow jersey, ever.

2. It’s official, Full House is coming back as Fuller House on Netflix in 2016. (I don’t know how I am going to wait that long!) Of course my inner child is jumping for joy. I wonder if the Olsen Twins really will be in it. It’s not like they can play the same person because that ship has sailed. The Olsen Twins are NOT identical, even though they both played Michelle on Full House. Do you think Fuller House can make it to 192 episodes just like Full House did? I sure hope so. I also hope that everyone comes back for at least one episode. And honestly, what is Full House without Michelle? We all know she was/is the star.

3. Did you see Grey’s Anatomy last night? If you didn’t SPOILER ALERT: I can’t believe Derick is dead. Who is Meredith without Derick and vice versa? Will she find a new love interest? Next week is going to be tough. I told myself I wouldn’t cry when I was watching, but then I did…twice. I have been faithfully watching Grey’s since it started 11 years ago; It will never be the same.

4. Jimmie is finally starting to realize that he can move is feet forward. He will sporadically take a few steps with his push walker if I am holding onto him. It’s progress but I’m still predicting that he won’t be walking by his first Birthday, which is only two weeks away. (SECRETLY FREAKING OUT THAT MY BABY IS ALMOST ONE!)

5. Starbucks is kicking butt in the stock market. I miss working at Starbucks. It’s an amazing company and a product that I still support. I just heard about the new mobile ordering. I wonder what that is all about. Since we don’t have smart phones, I won’t be using it,  but I am interested in finding out what it is all about.

Blog posts I’m loving this week:

Mothering is Hard: Here’s Why I Think It’s Vital That We Keep Saying It. Seriously though, it’s not all fun and games. No one has the perfect child, no one is happy all of the time. Why do people pretend to be? I love being a mom but sometimes it’s hard and sometimes you just have to be honest and admit that it’s hard.

30+ (Busy) 1 Year Old Activites: This is an amazing list of really fun activities for 1 year olds. I already got a jump start on the list and did the muffin pan brain building game. (See photo below. Jimmie had fun!)

When You Struggle to Breastfeed: I’m not happy that other women have breastfeeding issues,  but I am glad that I’m not the only one and that they are other women willing to talk about it. It wasn’t any easy choice to stop and I still feel bad that I couldn’t do it longer. but I don’t regret it. Formula is a blessing, as Sara states, because some women don’t have that option.

Parents Reveal What They Wish They’d Known Before Having a Baby in In Tear-jerking Video: I kid you not, Jimmie started to laugh at #8. He’s like, “Yep, I may be an easy baby but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard!”

101_8574

101_8594

101_8599

101_8600

101_8633

Book Review: Food Fights by Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP, and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP

food fightsNow that Jimmie is pretty much eating solids all day, every day, I wanted to share a fantastic book for parents that are just starting to feed their babies solids or for parents who have been struggling with feeding their toddlers.

Food Fights by Laura A. Jana and Jennifer Shu teaches you how to not fight with your kids at meal times. The authors make it sound simple: give your kids food, if they eat it, great, if not, there’s always time for more food later. The doctors stress that kids will eat when they’re hungry and if you try to force them to eat when they’re not hungry, someone will always lose, and usually it’s the caregiver.

I loved every word in this book. Sure some of it is common sense, but some of is isn’t. I remind myself of many of the key ideas every day when I am feeding Jimmie. Food Fights talks about how it’s not just about getting your kids to eat, it’s about getting them to eat healthy. If you want them to eat healthy foods, you should only give them healthy foods. If they eat a few bites. you’re already winning. But if you give them something they like, and it isn’t healthy, just to get them to eat SOMETHING, ANYTHING, then you’re losing.

One big lesson I learned from this book is that you shouldn’t bribe kids to eat food by promising more food. “If you eat three peas, then you can have ice cream.” Food should not be a reward because children then begin to think of food as more than just food. If you make these promises, then they will only eat their peas if you give them something else afterwords. We need to teach our kids that veggies are just as good as fruits and ice cream. Kids are born as clean slates, sometimes the only reason they think green foods are “yucky” is because we, as parents, do too.

Food Fights explains how to begin feeding you child solids. I wish I had this book when I started feeding Jimmie solids because I had NO IDEA what to do and my doctor gave me no help what-so-ever when I asked her (needless to say, she isn’t our doctor anymore.) I always thought trying to figure how much formula to feed Jimmie was hard. That was cake compared to figuring out serving sizes, piece sizes, and how much of each food group I should be feeding him on a daily basis. This book is a huge help when it comes to explaining every detail of feeding your child from that first bite to their lifelong eating habits. One exceptional early feeding idea that I read in Food Fights, which I use on a daily basis, is giving your child their own spoon while you feed them. Jimmie won’t even let me feed him with a spoon unless he is holding one too. When I do put food on his spoon, it goes everywhere BUT his mouth; practice makes perfect.

Food Fights also touches on breast feeding and giving up the bottle. I never would have thought to mix formula and whole milk in Jimmie’s bottle when we started weaning him. Since reading this, I have been mixing a bit of whole milk with his formula every once and a while, as well as, giving him one cup of whole milk per day to slowly transition to whole milk. I also would never have known how continued sippy cup use is just as bad for children as extended bottle use if it weren’t for this book. I’m glad we went straight for the straw cup. I stopped trying to force the sippy cup on Jimmie once I read the downfalls of the sippy cup and how it can be just as hard to get rid of the sippy cup as it is to get rid of the bottle.

I can’t stress enough how much this book has helped me deal with and accept Jimmie’s new eating habits. (Don’t make your child be a part of the “clean plate club” this could lead to overeating.) Even though Jimmie is only 11 months, I feel like this book has taught me lessons that will not only impact his life, but my own as well. The lessons in this book are priceless. Please, if you have any questions about feeding your child, and I’m sure you do, buy this book. It is more informative than googling “how to feed my child solids.” And trust me, I have googled this phrase more times than I can count on two hands.

jimmie eating2

jimmie eating1

jimmie eating 4

I was given this book through the New Parent Support Program sponsored by the military. All of the opinions are 100% my own!

Book Review: City Love by Susane Colasanti

ity

Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna are moving into University of New York student housing the summer before their freshman year for summer internships and summer classes. They have never met in person before, but have video chatted a few times. Sadie was born and raised in New York. She is looking for her soul mate and believes he is “just around the corner.” Darcy is from California, has money to blow, and is looking for a summer of carefree fun after a hard breakup. Rosanna is from Chicago. She is one of five children. She came to New York with a pocket full of dreams and an empty bank account. Three very different girls, with three very different backgrounds fall in love with New York, boys, and their new found friendships.

City Love by Susane Colasanti is just an okay book. I know that is a very vague description but I really can’t give it a good or bad review. When I started reading City Love, I wanted to stop after a few pages. Sadie, the character that opens the book started to annoy me as soon as she began describing her life in great detail. The whole book is written in first person narrative and each character has their own voice. If it weren’t for Rosanna, I would have stopped reading. Rosanna’s story intrigued me and kept me interested throughout the novel. Darcy’s story kept me slightly involved but Sadie’s story just made me roll my eyes.

City Love is the start of a trilogy, something I did not know when I started the book. I haven’t been interested in reading any new series’ lately, but now I’m semi- hooked on this one. This surprises me because at first, I thought the novel was going to be a huge disappointment.  A lot of the conversations between the characters seem to be forced and awkward, this alone made the book less attractive to me from the very start. The novel doesn’t progress as fast as I would have liked it to; each characters description of events were long winded, leaving the book open-ended by the last page. City Love ended in a spot where even if you’re mildly interested,  you’ll at least start the second book to see where the three girls choices take them. City Love is written as an in-depth look into three young girls who have big dreams, big hearts, and potentially big problems.

Sadie is the most up-beat character I have ever met in a story. She is full of happiness, sunshine, and unrealistic views of the world; this girl needs to leave New York and realize that life isn’t perfect. As much as we all may want to have Sadie’s attitude towards life, it isn’t possible.  Sadie believes that random acts of kindness and warm fuzzies (her way of spreading love) is all one needs to live life to the fullest. Even though I think Sadie needs a wake-up call, I do love her career choice. Urban design sounds awesome. Making more outdoor spaces unique and inviting is just what our country needs to get people out of the house and into a reality that doesn’t require our faces in our cell phones.

Speaking of cell phones, Rosanna doesn’t have one. That’s mainly because Rosanna is living day to day on very little money. Rosanna is working at a day camp in the city and eating a lot of bagels for dinner. I like Rosanna. She is taking what the world has given her and using it for the greater good. Rosanna meets a guy who is completely different from her. He was born into a rich family and continues to make his own money so that he can be even wealthier.  I like the way their relationship grows and matures; I was rooting for them the whole time.

Darcy moves to New York thinking that she will play the dating game all summer long. She soon learns that the best laid plans don’t always pan out the way we want them to. Darcy is attending classes to get a jump start on her Freshman year. She took a year off between high school and college to get some real-world experience. Even though Darcy has money from mommy and daddy, that doesn’t mean she is spoiled. Darcy likes to treat her friends to nice things just because she can afford to.

City Love is about all about different types of love. Love of New York, love in romantic relationships, and love in friendship. The love of New York and the romantic love are explored in great depths by each character. On the other hand, the friendship love is lacking. I feel as if the love between friends living together is not pursued by each character as much as it should have been. Since City Love is the first book in a series, it should have been dedicated to building a relationship between three new roommates. Some of the love experienced by each girl made me think, “Come on, this is too good to be true. Where’s the catch?” There was a lot of cheesiness going on. Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna throw themselves into romantic relationships too soon which could ultimately open themselves up for potential heartache. The series has potential and is quite similar to MTV’s Real World. I think some of the cliche lines and the lack of real friendship needs to be reevaluated to make the book more attractive to people who don’t think the world is full of just rainbows and butterflies.

I was given a copy of this book as a part of the Spread the City Love Campaign. All the opinions are my own!

city love

 

Friday Five

1. Disney Dancing with the Stars this week was so good! Val and Rumor rocked it; Rumor was a fantastic Ursula. Chris Soules was kind of an awkward Hercules, but he made it through another week. I’m thinking he only has 2-3 weeks left.

2. Jimmie’s bottle weaning is going okay so far. We are down to two bottles a day. He still isn’t drinking a ton from his straw cup, but I’m hoping that will change once we cut out the morning bottle over the next week. Just as his bottle relationship is coming to an end, he is finally figuring out how to hold the bottle himself (he has been grabbing onto it for a while). I know this is way late, but he has been using glass bottles his whole life which are way heavier. Add 8 oz of formula to that and it’s a lot for little arms to hold. He also started pulling up this week! I really think he didn’t have something that he could actually grab on to. The toy box finally did the trick and now he loves to pull himself up.

3. Jimmie did great at his first MLB game! He wasn’t scared when the crowd went wild and didn’t get too too fussy until the 7th inning. He actually napped for some of the game, which was surprising. I must admit, I spent more time watching Jimmie than I did the game, but it was nice to be at a baseball game again (we didn’t go at all last year!) and it was also nice to be outside on a beautiful spring day.

4. This weekend isn’t going to be as busy as last weekend. We may hit up some yard sales (one of our guilty pleasures) on Saturday and then we are going to a Phillies/Nationals game in D.C. on Sunday with some of Jim’s friends. Hopefully we don’t hit too much Cherry Blossom traffic.

5. As you can tell from the picture below, Jimmie needs new summer hats. I’m not sure how this kid’s head is SO big. I’m going to have to look for 2T hats because this one is 18-24 months and it barely goes under his chin. He isn’t too keen on hats, therefore baseball hats get pulled off rather quickly.

101_8515

Jimmie’s First MLB game: Baltimore Orioles Vs. Toronto Blue Jays.

101_8553

Little man is going to need a haircut soon and Mommy is going to cry.

TBT3

I don’t remember him being this small.

Book Review: The Berenstain Bears God Bless Our Country by Mike Berenstain

god bless

Mike Berenstain, son of Stan and Jan Berenstain, has written another enlightening Berenstain Bears book for children. In God Bless Our Country, Brother, Sister, and Honey Bear learn about America’s Birthday, the Fourth of July. There is a big parade in Bear Country and Mama Bear and Papa Bear are hard at work getting ready for the big day. Mama Bear is making bunting for the parade route and Papa Bear is marching in the parade, in his old uniform, because he served his country.

God Bless Our Country is a wonderful story to read to your child to teach them about how America was born. The story briefly introduces what the Declaration of Independence is, as well as, the Statue of Liberty and how it was God’s will for our country to be born. You can elaborate on these ideas with your children as you look at the pictures. The pictures are very detailed and bright. Since the story was a bit long for my 11 month old, I think the pictures are what kept him engaged.

I really enjoyed reading this book to my son. I know he will appreciate it more when he is a little older, especially when I can give him some of the stickers that came with it; they’re really cute. I can see us reading this book every Fourth of July to honor our country. As an Army wife, I love finding books like this one to share with my son. Not only does it shed light on our nation’s history, but it teaches about God, and the importance of serving your country.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday Five

1. April showers bring May flowers. We are getting soaked over here on the East Coast, but thankfully, the weekend is supposed to be nice. And thank goodness for that because we have a busy one. Tomorrow, Jimmie and I are spending the day with my best friend, Ashley, while our husbands play some board game that takes longer than Monopoly and Risk, combined. On Sunday, we are going to church and then to Jimmie’s first MLB game, the Baltimore Orioles Vs. Toronto Blue Jays.

2. I’m currently reading the 11th Pretty Little Liar book in the series, Stunning, and I’m sorry Sara Shepard, but it’s pretty terrible. The quality of the story has gone down hill since it started, which actually runs parallel to the show’s quality. I’ll keep reading and watching, though, because I have to know who A is.

3. I started to transition Jimmie to a straw cup a few days ago. He has only been using straw cups since we started regularly giving him a cup around Christmas time. I’m glad we avoided the sippy cup because from what I read, it’s just has hard to get kids off that too. I’m only trying to transition his snack bottle right now, and so far there has been refusal and tears. He drinks water our of his cups at meals (sometimes) and he doesn’t like juice (yay!). But this whole milk out of a cup thing isn’t his thing. The best resource I have found on how to take the big leap is from Web MD. We will get there by his first Birthday, I am determined. He really isn’t that attached to his bottle, so I thought it would be a breeze. Boy, was I wrong!

4. My new thing is to watch Dancing With the Stars the day after it is on. I can focus on the dances and the scores, without all of the boring stuff. It really is a time saver. (I know my tips on how to speed up your reality TV watching addiction are riveting.) Noah and Sharna’s dance on Monday was beautiful. And although I don’t think they are the best to win,  I am still amazed by Noah’s heroism and talent. I really like watching Val and Rumor Willis dance. I have always loved Val and his partners on Dancing With the Stars.

5. I think they’re building a WAWA closer us here in Maryland. We have one about 15 minutes away, but it isn’t in the direction we usually drive, ever. I’m pretty pumped because that is the only place I feel comfortable pumping my own gas. Plus, 2 for $3 breakfast sandwiches; YUM! In case you didn’t know, April 16 is free WAWA coffee day. Maybe I’ll make the trek for some caffeine.

101_8495

easter outtake

Easter outtake, but still cute!

 

Happy Eleven Months, Jimmie!

One more month until Jimmie is one. ONE! Some days sure are long, but this year has been one of the shortest.

Favorites: Waving, clapping, pasta, crawling towards things he isn’t supposed to have.

Weight: We went to the doctors last week because I thought Jimmie had an ear infection (he didn’t) and he weighed 22 pounds 11 ounces. 

Firsts this month: Jimmie crawled, waved, and clapped this month. He also reacts to his own name and when you call him monkey. Jimmie had my gravy (red) for the first time, mac and cheese, kiwi, and blueberries. He is eating a lot of the same meals we are eating. (At least we attempt to give him what we have and then he picks and chooses what he likes.) I also gave him his first taste of whole milk. Let the transition from bottle to cup and from formula to milk begin.Ugh I’m already hating it!

Nightly sleep schedule:  Goes to bed around 7 and wakes up around 7:15 am. He hardly ever wakes up for his pacifier anymore and he finally stopped fighting his naps.

Favorite toy: Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Puppy’s Crawl along ball – this actually got Jimmie to crawl for the first time and he still enjoys chasing after it. I give it five stars for finally motivating my laid-back kid to crawl!

Hardest moment of the month: Honestly, seeing some of my friend’s kids, who are younger than Jimmie, do more than him when it come to gross motor skills. I know every kid is different and I know he can do a lot of things other babies may not be able to do, but it’s still hard NOT to compare. I remind myself every day that he will be able to do it all soon enough.

Best moment of the month: Spring finally arriving. I am finally able to carry Jimmie to and from the car without lugging the car seat along too.

101_8270

101_8343

101_8378

101_8399

101_8449

101_8453

101_8462

101_8470