Friday Five

1. This week has been great. Jimmie got his first shots and he was the bravest boy in the world. He cried, but it wasn’t the worst cry I’ve heard, and he calmed down right after I gave him his bottle (perfect feeding time on my part.) As I type this, he is sleeping in his crib and has been since 6am! I tried to put him in last night, but he woke up too many times so back into the Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play he went. I actually think that thing is causing/not helping his flat head, therefore, he needs to get out of it. Plus, his little legs are getting too long; it’s so sad (and hilarious.)

2. I watched the Men Tell All this week with Andy from the Bachelorette, and I pretty much thought it was the worst Men Tell All ever. I am loving this season, but it was pretty awful, not enough, “Let’s accuse Andy of breaking my heart,” and too much, “Let’s watch Ashley find out the sex (boy) of her baby with a live ultrasound.” Granted, I cried during the ultrasound (shocker!) but still, it was a bit for ratings (duh.)

3. And on another reality TV note, Big Brother is so much better than last year, but the people are just as dumb! My two picks, Donnie and Christine, are still going strong! I still love them. Seriously who is Ariana Grande? Her brotherrankie, is on the show and I can not wait until he actually tells people who he is. (Maybe it’ll actually mean something to them?)

4. Since I hardly ever talk about Army stuff here, why not throw something out there today? Jim is going away for a two months, in a few months for ALC (it’s a course he has to take to get promoted.) This was very unexpected and although it necessary and a huge honor for him to be going so soon, it still stinks! I think about all the stuff he will miss with Jimmie, and it makes me cry. At least he won’t be gone for Christmas, or even longer than 2 months, but such is Army life. “I knew what I was signing up for….” SIKE!

5. I found this great baby resource through Pinterest this week. Baby Center put together a year’s worth of activities for your baby’s first year of life. I have already tried a few with Jimmie, and will continue to use it in the future. The games and activities are a great way to bond and play with your baby every week. Go check it out!

jimmie sleeping

Jimmie being a big boy! He loves to stretch.

11 weeks

Look at that smile, such a sneak!

Top Ten Ways to Survive Postpartum

postpartumI have a confession: I didn’t even know what postpartum was until about five weeks before Jimmie was born. Of course, I had heard about postpartum depression (and feared it,) but I didn’t know what else to expect after I had a baby. As soon as I realized that postpartum was, a six week (ish) period after having a baby, I tried to figure out how to survive it. Here’s what worked for me:

1. Shop for new clothes before the baby arrives: Before I had Jimmie, I went shopping. Yes, I know they say not to buy clothes for your “in-between” period, but I decided spending a few extra dollars to feel comfortable after having a baby was worth it. I bought new PJ’s, I bought a few pairs of shorts, and I bought some tank tops that were one size bigger than I would normally wear. These clothing items made me feel better right after having a baby. I didn’t have to wake up and wear maternity clothes anymore, and I also didn’t have to try to squeeze into my old clothes.

2. Shower every day: I know you always hear about new moms (and dads) who are so busy that they can’t find time to shower. You have to figure it out, and make time, because showering makes you feel 100% better, at least it did for me. After your shower put on REAL clothes; not your PJ’s, not sweatpants, REAL clothes. Trust me, you’ll feel like a real person.

3. Go outside every day: Even though having a baby keeps you trapped inside for the first few weeks, you have to get some Vitamin D. Take a (short) walk, stand on your steps, or just sit on your deck/patio. Getting some sun for a few minutes every day is key to staying upbeat and positive.

4. Make a goody bag every morning: If you have two (or more) floors in your home, you will have to avoid using the stairs for at least a week postpartum (listen to this!) I only went up and down the stairs once or twice a day, for a little over a week, after I had Jimmie. In the morning, I would grab everything I needed from upstairs and threw it in a bag. This bag included my stuff and Jimmie’s stuff. I also put a toothbrush and hairbrush in our downstairs bathroom so that I always had one on both floors. At night, I brought all of my stuff upstairs again. I know it sounds weird, but it helped me stay on one floor all day (or night). By the end of the first week, my bag consisted of less stuff because I was able to go up and down the stairs more.

What was in my bag:

Change of clothes for me

Multiple outfits for Jimmie

Chapstick

Pads

Pain medicine

Kindle

Breast feeding supplies (nipple shield, nipple cream, nursing pads)

Hand sanitizer

Boppy Wedge

5. Use the sits bath: After you have a baby, they give you this weird tub to go in your toilet. Use it. I didn’t for the first few days, and I wish I did. It helps, I swear. Just go to the bathroom before you use it and don’t fill it up too much or you will get water all over the floor!

6. Don’t try to keep the house spotless: I tried to be super woman and I regret it. I should have just sat down and held Jimmie, but instead I tried to clean everything up, all day long. I hate clutter, but I realized I should have just let it go, live and learn. Now, if there is a pillow on the floor, I leave it. I know this sounds extreme, but I am extremely crazy when it comes to random crap lying around.

7. Rest: I’m not going to say sleep when the baby sleeps, because that’s crap. It’s almost impossible to sleep when your baby sleeps, but at the very least, you can sit, read a book, or just close your eyes.

8. Go to the store: If it’s warmer, take your baby out. They’ll most likely sleep through the whole trip and you can just walk around enjoying being outside of your house. It will also help your baby become familiar with outside noises.

9. Eat healthy/drink water: After you have a baby, you want the weight to go away. By eating healthy and drinking TONS of water, you will be able to lose that extra baby weight as fast as possible.

10. Ask for help: If you need help, ask for it. Even at the hospital, I asked the nurse to take Jimmie into the nursery, once, in between feedings. As much as I just wanted to hold and cuddle him all the time, I also knew I needed at least an hour (or two) of sleep and a good shower. (Even if your spouse holds the baby while you sleep, you can still hear them crying and you will want to help rather than sleep.) You have to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your baby. That was one of the best choices I made, while at the hospital, and I felt so much better when they brought Jimmie back to me.

Bonus tip: Bring your Boppy to the hospital to sit on. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

And of course, enjoy every single minute with your new baby. I had a hard time adjusting to breastfeeding and I was going down a slippery slope into postpartum depression. I was crying a lot and Jimmie wanted to eat all the time. Instead of ignoring this, I stopped breastfeeding because I knew (mother’s intuition) it was making Jimmie fussy and me miserable. After I stopped, I was happier than ever, and so was Jimmie; he was a different baby two days after I stopped. Even though it was a really hard choice to make, I knew it was the best choice for Jimmie and me.  If you feel very sad, all day, every day, talk to your doctor. The sooner you do, the better; postpartum depression is nothing to be ashamed of.

Friday Five

1. I am lacking the Friday Five motivation today. I have so much other stuff I should be doing, I even closed Facebook before finishing reading my feed (the horror!) But Seriously, we waste so much time on Facebook. I have considered getting rid of it, but then I thought, what would I do with all that free time? What did we do before Facebook? I wonder if Little Jimmie will have one.

2. Another weekend looms ahead of us. We are making another quick trip to the tri-state area because Jim has a softball tournament with his old church. Once again, I’m going to try not to pack all of Jimmie’s stuff, but it’s hard to choose what he does and doesn’t need.

3. I’m down to 135.8 on my weight loss journey. I wish I could say I have been working out, but I haven’t. My only excuse is that I hurt my knees. (Oh, and I’m super lazy!) They seem to be better now, which means come Monday, it’s back to working out. I’m pretty sure the weight would come off quicker if I was working out and not just starving myself, I mean dieting.

4. I am in love with Starbucks’ new Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade. It is the best summer drink they have come out with in a long, long time. I usually get half the pumps of blackberry because otherwise it is too sweet (and would have too many calories). I found the best Starbucks in our area yesterday; lots of indoor and outdoor seating and NICE baristas, it only took me an hour of driving around to find it, stupid GPS.

5. Jimmie had his two month check up yesterday and he is doing great. He weighs 12 pounds 3 ounces and is 23.75 inches long. He is developing a flat head, my poor guy, which we have to watch and keep him off his back more, which is easier said than done. Good thing we have this Boppy Noggin Pillow to help us in the car seat, rockaRoo, and on his playmat. (I just took his infant insert out of his car seat, ahhh he is growing up!) I also plan on keeping him in the Ergo more, doing more tummy time, and having him on my tummy instead of craddled in my arm.

I leave you with this amazingly cute photo from today. Jimmie is falling in love with Mr. Giraffe; I better go buy a few more just in case he loses this one (or Toby eats it!) Jimmie could potentially eat him too, just before I took this picture, he was kissing him, aka eating his nose.

cute jimmieYou’re pretty much my most favorite of all time in the history of ever. <3

 

Second Month Baby Must-haves

I’m happy to say that month number two with Little Jimmie went way smoother than month number one. Here are a few things that helped us get through it successfully.

second month must haves

1. Born Free bottles: These glass bottles are really easy to clean and are BPA free. The active flow venting system helps prevent air pockets.

2. Tommee Tippee Bibs: These are great because they get close to the baby’s neck preventing milk to flow into their little neck cracks.

3. Boon Lawn Drying Rack: Jim thought I was nuts for buying this, but it’s one of the best things I bought since Jimmie was born. All my bottles and bottle pieces dry in one area, do not get lost among other washed items, and do not get knocked over. I love it!

4. Munchkin Powdered Formula Dispenser: Whoever invented this is a genius! You can proportion out formula and then pour it into the bottle when you’re ready to make one. This is especially great for nighttime feedings (when you’re half asleep) and on the go.

5. Skip Hop Hug and Hide Activity Gym: I seriously want every activity gym ever made; Jimmie loves this one so much. I’m waiting for him to just fall asleep on it one day because he is kicking his arms and legs so hard. I especially love the hanging animals and the pillow for tummy time.

6. Ingenuity Cozy Coo Sway Seat: This swing is a gift from God. I leave it in our room and put Jimmie in it when I shower. I never have an issue with him fussing while he is in it and he is always happy when I’m done my shower. It swings from side to side, vibrates, and either plays nature sounds or music. One time he fell asleep in it and it was the sweetest thing ever. (Bonus: this swing plugs in, therefore, no batteries required!)

7.  Nuk Pacifiers: I swore I wouldn’t be one of those pacifier mom,”Here take it and stop crying!” But when Jimmie was crying, and the pacifier was the only thing that soothed him, I was given no other choice. Sadly, he doesn’t even like them at night or during naps, which is when I wanted to exclusively give him one. They do help in the car though, or when he is overtired and wants to fall asleep in my arms. He honestly usually just spits it out after a few minutes anyway, so I’m sure there won’t be any issues taking it away, which is why I didn’t want to use one when he wasn’t sleeping, originally. I also get a lot of use out of this Skip Hop pacifier pocket, haven’t lost a pacifier yet!

8. Ergo and Ergo Newborn Insert: I am in love with my Ergo, and so is Jimmie. I use it to take Toby for walks and to walk around the house while I’m cleaning up. Jimmie usually falls asleep in it, which is an added bonus, but he loves to just look around or stare at me. He is almost too big for the insert, but we did get a lot of use out of it and it was well worth it.

If you haven’t already, check out my list of items we couldn’t live without during Jimmie’s first month of life; we are still using most of them all the time!

 

 

Friday Five

Thanks to Sarah Dessen for my Friday inspiration “Friday Five” post!

1. Target is having an awesome sale this week.  We picked up this great table (teal) for 30% off! We are using it as a bar, and I LOVE it. We have our wine/whiskey on top, with glasses and cookbooks in the cabinets. Now all we need to do is fill up the wine rack! Target is also having a huge baby sale, no you can’t buy babies, but you can buy some great stuff for cheap! Be prepared to leave with an empty wallet. I was good though and only bought a bottle cleaner (it’s awesome!) and a Skip Hop bib (was 50% off at our Target) that I have been eying up.

2. We ditched a TV show this week. Under the Dome just isn’t worth our precious TV time. Now that we have a baby, we really have to think about what’s worth watching and what isn’t, when Jimmie doesn’t need our undivided attention (which is most of the time, of course.) It’s a shame because we have been looking forward to it coming back and we were just beyond disappointed. I guess nothing compares to Orange is the New Black (which, by the way, I just started reading the book yesterday)

3. Jim and I are now into our hardcore diets and it sucks. Every food looks good when you’re on a diet, even foods you hate. I am happy to reveal that I am back to my pre pre-pregnancy weight (which is what I weighed after coming back from the USA in September 2012, 136 pounds.) I only have 8 more pounds to go to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I am relieved  that I now fit into most of my clothes again, except the stuff I bought at the beginning of last summer when I was super skinny.

4. Speaking of diets, I really want the bacon cheeseburger from Wendy’s that comes on a pretzel bun…and just pretzels in general. Philly Pretzel Factory, I’ll see you soon.

5. We went to Annapolis last weekend and it was like entering another land. We live in a very congested area in Maryland and the traffic is horrendous. Annapolis was a sight for sore eyes. Next time I am sticking Jimmie in the Ergo, though, because it’s not a very stroller friendly place. Jim really wants a big boat, me not so much. But I wouldn’t mind having a friend with a big boat.

Enjoy your weekend!

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sleepy

This is how I relax on Friday morning

 

Book Review: Perfectly Dateless by Kristin Billerbeck

perfectAs a senior at a Christian high school, Daisy May Crispin is questioning her family’s faith and values. Daisy has one goal for her senior year, which is: find a date for prom. There are a few problems with her goal: A) she has never had a boyfriend and B) her parents will not let her date. Even though she doesn’t have a boyfriend, Daisy has made a list of the most eligible guys at her school, hoping that at least one will notice her and ask her to prom.

Daisy’s parents believe in courtship and since she isn’t going to marry anyone she meets in high school, having a date to prom is not an option. Daisy, along with her best friend Claire, spend the days leading up to prom making themselves less invisible and more available. Daisy is trying to figure out how to have a conversation with a boy without spitting out random facts and Claire is trying to figure out if the goth look or the prep look works for her. Together, they manage to create a scenario that you would never expect to find in a Christian novel.

Perfectly Dateless, by Kristin Billerbeck surprised me in more than one way. I went in blind when I started this book: I had no idea what it was about.  Perfectly Dateless is a different kind of young adult novel that I am used to reading because it included a lot of Christian ideas. It was interesting to read a book with a young adult perspective on courtship and having God in your life during high school. I think a lot of Christian girls would enjoy reading this book. Some of the novel was written like a journal: Daisy’s prom journal.

Even though I enjoyed the book, during a few parts, I was confused. I felt like a few scenes were rushed and a few conversations were out of place. I kept going back to see if I missed something, but I didn’t. I also didn’t like how one of the main issues was resolved at the end, it seemed as the conflict conclusion was a cop-out.

There are a lot of hot topics in the book: money vs. God, alcohol, drugs, and beauty within vs. physical beauty. Kristin Billerbeck did a great job incorporating a lot of issues high school teens struggle with, even Christian ones, in her novel. The Christian youth group described in this book is made out to be just an extension of high school cliques. The author insinuates that even at church people judge each other, when though they know it isn’t what God would want. The novel is a real eye opener for young adult Christians. It alludes to the fact that even though you may go to church, and live your life through God, this doesn’t mean you’re perfect and living a carefree life.