Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Watermelon Birthday Party


Ya'll. I have a ONE YEAR OLD.
And we celebrated her FIRST birthday last week. Can you believe it!?!
When I started to plan Leah's birthday party, I knew I wanted to do a watermelon theme.  If you remember, all I wanted when I was pregnant was watermelon. I wanted watermelon for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks...and I even requested it when I was in the hospital after delivery too.
So a cute little "One in a Melon" party was just what I wanted.
Don't you just love the watercolor invites?!
The cupcakes and frosting were all watermelon flavored. And the cake even had little black specs in it to make it look like watermelon seeds. They were so tasty!! And the cupcake toppers matched the invitations perfectly!  
 For lunch, I wanted to serve easy picnic type foods. We served ham, turkey and roast beef sandwiches (on my favorite Hawaiian rolls), potato chips, pasta salad, potato salad, veggie tray, pink frosted animal crackers.
 We also had donut holes that were dipped in pink and green sprinkles.
 And pink goldfish that I placed in little cups for the kiddos!
And of course we had an overflow of watermelon. We made little kabobs with watermelon and honeydew melon to carry out our pink and green theme. 
 For decorations, I kept it pretty simple and just placed a lot of pictures of Leah all throughout the house. I also made a little monthly timeline for our mantle.
 We also had pink and green balloons, pink and green puff balls that hung in the trees and other fun decorations.  And we gave out bubbles to all the kiddos as their gift for coming.
Leah's grandparents (CV's parents) drove from OBX to be here, and Uncle Jeff flew in from FL.
 Leah wore the most adorable watermelon outfit from Oshkosh!
 We had about 50 people attend Leah's party! There were lots of babies too.
 I had a feeling Leah was not going to "smash" into her cake. She of course had no interest in eating the cake, or wearing her birthday crown. And she wasn't a fan of 50 people staring at her. haha. Silly girl! :)
 One tiny touch of the cake...that was it.
 Daddy trying to help and put a little frosting in her mouth. 
 She thought it was average. haha.

 All in all, it was a super successful party. If I could change anything, it would just be the weather - as it was pretty hot and humid and I was sweating the entire time (probably bc I was running around all morning)! But everything worked out perfectly and we couldn't have asked for better family and friends to celebrate Leah's birthday with!
We love you baby girl!!!!
Happy Birthday!!!


Monday, June 20, 2016

11 months with Leah (delayed!)

If ya'll are wondering where I've been the last 2 months and why I haven't posted about Leah being 11 months old (5.13.16) - it's because this momma went BACK TO WORK! Which means Leah started a new gig as well, at a local daycare a few miles away from our house. So, Leah's 11 month update was postponed as getting this new schedule down has been really tough. Let's see if I can remember all the fun things Leah did that month! :)
11 Month Update:
(5/13/16)
Height/Weight: She's still pretty tiny at 16+ lbs. She's tall and thin like her daddy! :)
Diapers: Still in size 3
Clothing: In 12 month clothing, but all her 9 month pants still fit.
Eating: We are transitioning away from breastfeeding!! Leah now breastfeeds in the morning and at night, and has bottles of breastmilk during the day. She's not really great at drinking from a bottle - so we make sure to give her lots of water and foods that have a lot of fluids in it. (yogurt, fruit, etc)
Other that milk, she is eating 3x a day with 2 snacks. Her favorite snacks are yogurt, cheese and strawberries.

Sleep: Leah is still a great sleeper, but there have been several nights when she wakes up in the middle of the night and wants to play. I usually take her for an hour - and then I wake up CV for his 1 hour shift. She's been teething so it's been keeping her up a little more at night.
Teeth: Speaking of teeth, Leah's two bottom teeth are very prominent. The top ones should be cutting through any day now.
Social: We all took a roadtrip to Memphis this month and got to spend time with Leah's cousins and other family. I had my FIRST night away from Leah, as my mom watched her one night so CV and I could party with my BFF.  She also started daycare of May 2nd! She wasn't too excited about daycare the first few weeks, luckily I could stop by on my lunch breaks - and daddy called 2x a day to check in. 
Other: Leah is still crawling and pulling herself up, and she loves holding our hands to walk around the house. She's not standing on her own yet, and still sometimes looses balance when she's holding onto something.
Health: Leah was SUPER sick with Roseola this month. It was her second week at daycare and she came home very very sick. Fever, throwing up milk, wouldn't eat or drink, it was horrible. We went to the doctor twice but with no luck - all they did was rule out strep throat. Luckily, my mom came up from Memphis to stay with us for an entire week to take care of Leah. It was such a blessing having her around and having someone help with Leah, especially since I just started a new job so I felt bad taking time off. Thanks Mom!!
Likes: Grandma, Paisley, Being rocked to sleep, Pointing at everything
Dislikes: Drinking from a bottle, Being Sick, Getting her snot sucked out, Teething

Be back soon with her ONE YEAR UPDATE!!!

Friday, June 17, 2016

My New Job

One big change has happened at our house in the past month:
I got a new job!

To refresh your memory, my company relocated to TN so I lost my job a few months after Leah was born. It was definitely bitter/sweet, as it was hard to say goodbye to my job of 7 years and to all my friends through work - but it was super sweet to have the opportunity to spend the most important months of Leah's life at home with her.

Being off work made adjusting to my new life as a mom a lot easier since I wasn't juggling a work life. And I could really focus on breastfeeding since I was with Leah all day. (Yes, I did pump a lot to, but I didn't really give her a bottle until she was 10 months old.) And we got to spend every day together - playing, eating, napping, and bonding. It was the perfect 10.5 month maternity leave! :)

But my gig of "stay-at-home-mom" was just temporary as I always planned to go back to work, so around January I started casually looking for a new job and talked to a few recruiters to help me in my search. Let me just tell ya'll - looking for a new job is HARD and depressing. I looked online every single night before bed hoping that a company had posted an amazing job that day (which never happened), I would take notes on jobs that sounded interesting and then apply for those jobs the next day while Leah was taking a nap. It was so hard because there weren't many jobs out there I was interested in - and it was depressing because the ones I was interested in didn't call me.

Luckily, in April a new recruiter saw my profile on LinkedIn and contacted me about a job. We emailed back and forth for a few days and then we met for breakfast so he could make sure I wasn't a creep. (Ha, jk.) He apparently approved of me because he called back a few hours later and wanted to set up an interview that same day with my potential boss. A few days later I had a second interview with 3 other people in the company....and a few days after that I got a fabulous job offer!

So, what is my new gig? Well, I'm still in Treasury but I'm mainly responsible for project management and process improvement. I work for a company that NEEDS UPDATING, and it's my job to put new processes in place and make the company more efficient.  It's a newly created position - so we are kind of figuring it out as we go....but so far it's good.

And the best part of my new job is that it's 2 miles from our house and only 1 mile from Leah's new daycare!! I can swing by to see Leah on my lunch break, or stop at home to let out Paisley and throw in a load of laundry. Or I can stop by Target and go shopping like I did yesterday, since it's right around the corner. :)

So that's the new update with my life.
What's new with you???

Friday, April 29, 2016

Ten Months with Leah

Who's idea was it to take monthly pictures of Leah with a sticker on her shirt? hahaha.
This girl is ON THE MOVE and I honestly could not get her to lay down for 10 seconds in order to snap a proper photo. So then I decided to sit her up, and every time I pulled away - she would pull her sticker off her shirt! 
Month 10 photoshoot was a total bust. hahaha. But that's okay! 
I love every thing about this girl and I love that she doesn't want to sit still for one second, although it would be nice if she did so we could cuddle every once in a while. 

Month Ten Update:
 (4/13/16 Oops a little late!!)
Weight/Height:  Still pretty tiny but I think we finally got over the 16 pound mark! Grow, baby, grow!
 Diapers:  Still in Size 3 and we will probably be in this size diaper for a really long time since it has a 10+ pound weight range.
Clothing: Mostly wears 9 month clothing. She's worn a few 12 month footed pajamas because she was getting too long for the 9 month ones.
Eating: Still breastfeeding 3-4x a day and eating 3 meals a day with 2 snacks.  In an average day, Leah eats: Oatmeal and bananas for breakfast, yogurt and blueberries for lunch, cheese stick for a snack, and a scrambled egg with cheese, veggies and toast with hummus for dinner. And some yogurt melts and cheerios/puffs throughout the day for snacks. 
Sleep: Leah is a great sleeper! Sleeping 11.5 hours at night and nap twice a day for 3 hours total. 
Firsts: Leah's first Easter! We celebrated Easter with our second Cincinnati family and at home with Leah checking out her first Easter basket. I filled it with clothes, bath toys, and snacks, and we got a few gifts from her Grandma Bebe.

She got a second tooth, so now she has two bottom teeth.  She's been a little fussy at night so we think some more teeth will pop up again soon. 
Still crawling and pulling herself up to her knees, and has even pulled herself up to standing a few times.  She loves walking (assisted holding someones hands) around the house and does a great job.
Talking: So far she has said "dada" "mama" "doggie" "all done" and "oh toddles" (the last one is from MMC)
Likes: Bath time, mickey mouse clubhouse
Dislikes: being alone, being tired, bedtime, being held by strangers
Love this little sweetie! Be back soon with our next update!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Nine Months with Leah

Ya'll. I love this little piece of sunshine! She lights up my world every single day and I just can't get enough of her. When she's napping or asleep for the night, I can't help but look through photos and videos of her on my phone....I just can't get enough
And I can't believe this little cutie is 9 months old already!!! (3/13/16) Month 9 is definitely my favorite month so far. She's turning into a tiny person, showing us how smart and strong she is, and it's so much fun to watch! I love you, sweet bug! xoxo! 
Here is our update:
Month Nine Update:
Weight/Height: At your 9 month appointment, you were 15 pounds and 10 ounces, 27.5 inches long. Tiny little thing!
 Diapers:  This skinny mini is in Size 3, but honestly she could still fit into size 2 if needed. I just ran out of size 2 so I decided to move her up a size. Using Pampers Baby Dry diapers and the Costco brand baby wipes. (Other brands we use: Aveeno Baby body wash and shampoo, Johnson's baby lotion and baby oil, and Honest Company ointment, when needed.)
Clothing: Still wears 6-9 and 9 month clothing, Her 6 month pants still fit but she's in 9 month onsies and shirts.
Eating: Still breastfeeding 4x a day and eating every 3 meals a day with 2 snacks.  You love snacking on cheerios, puffs and cheese. You like pickles too, but after finding pickle skins in your cheeks, I haven't given you any more pickles! haha.
Sleep: You're a great sleeper! Sleeping 11.5 hours at night and nap twice a day for 3 hours total. 
Social: Still going to tumble bees and meeting new friends. 
On 2/20, I had night plans and it was the first night that I didn't nurse you before bed. Daddy fed you dinner, milk out of a sippy cup and put you to sleep. It took you a little longer than normal since I wasn't there to nurse you, but you eventually went to sleep! You also slept over your friend Patrick's house so we could hang out with our friends. Again, it took you a while to fall asleep since you were in a strange place, but you eventually fell asleep and did great. You also attended your first birthday party for your "cousin" Jake! :)
Firsts: Leah said MAMA on 2/23! (She said her first word, DADA, on 1/24)!!!
She also has a bottom tooth (bottom right)!! It's pretty adorable and I try hard to look at it every time she opens her mouth. She's always sticking out her tongue so it's really hard to see her tooth.
She's also army crawling so fast and I can't take my eyes off her for a second. If she's playing in the living room and I walk to the kitchen....she's on the floor of the kitchen in 60 seconds! She's always trying to find Mama! :)
Likes: Bath time, playing with the blinds, mickey mouse clubhouse
Dislikes: being alone, being tired, being held by strangers

Friday, March 11, 2016

Getting SNUG with Boon Sippy Cup Lids

Do you know one of the hardest parts of being a new mom? 
Well, let me tell you...it's sifting through hundreds of baby products and trying to find the right one for your baby. Babies are expensive as it is...but spending money on products only to find that the baby doesn't like that type of bottle, or doesn't like to relax in the mamaroo, is so stressful....and bad for the wallet.

When it was time to offer Leah a sippy cup of water, I went to the store and what did I find? 
A million options!!

I don't know anything about sippy cups so I bought what I thought was going to be perfect.  
We tried the sippy cup a dozen times, but she just didn't like the spout on it. So I went back to the store to buy more sippy cups, this time buying a few different brands. So....now we have a drawer filled with cups in all shapes and sizes, that all have their own attachments: lids, tops, nipples, valves, straws, etc.  So many pieces for such a simple task.

Then, I was introduced to the Boon SNUG Spout Lids and I seriously fell in love. It's silicone, easy to clean, dishwasher safe, spill proof, is ONE piece and will stretch and fit over any cup! So...all those cups in my sippy cup drawer can ALL be used with this same lid.  Now....I just had to convince Leah how perfect these were. Haha.
Luckily, after the first try....LEAH LOVED IT! The silicone was soft on her gums and an easy transition from nursing. You don't have to suck too hard for the liquid to come out (I had to test it too, of course), and its spill proof which is the best!!! I can just throw a lid into our diaper bag and throw any clean cup - and I have everything I need to let Leah drink while we are out of the house! 
What a great invention!! 
I definitely recommend these for your little ones, and for yourself since you will save time, money and stress!
These amazing lids can be found at Target and Target.com!

*I was given the Boon SNUG 3 Pack Spout Lids with Cup, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

5 Must Haves for Feeding Baby Outside the House

It's pretty easy to feed a baby when you are at home all day.
Baby wants milk? Sit on the couch, lift up your shirt and nurse.
Baby wants food? Get out food from the pantry or refrigerator and utensils/plates from the kitchen, put baby in their high chair and feed them.
Baby wants water? Get out a sippy cup, fill with water and hand it to baby.
However...it is NOT that easy when you are not home.
Luckily, I have a few items that have really helped me be more comfortable feeding Leah when we are away from the house.


1. Nursing Covers - I have two nursing covers that I love from Covered Goods and Milk Snob.  I've breastfed Leah in public a few times (in the middle of The Southern was the most public) but I always felt super comfortable with a nursing cover. It goes all the way around your body so you don't have to worry about it falling down and exposing yourself. And when I wasn't using them for nursing, I used them as a infant seat cover to keep out sunlight, cold air, and especially germs when we had her doctor appointments. I highly recommend them!
Here is my Covered Goods being used as an infant seat cover while I was brunching in Nashville with my BFFs in December. 

2. Squeeze Feeder - I have the Nuby Garden Fresh Squeeze Feeder - this was super easy to use when we are out of the house and Leah was still on pureed food and only takes a few seconds of prep work. While I am still home, I load the feeder with pureed food. The spoon cap seals the feeder preserving the food until you are ready to feed. So when we are out, I have fresh food to feed Leah and almost no mess to clean up.

3. Mesh Nibbler - I have the Nuby Garden Fresh Nibbler. I loved putting Leah's solid foods (strawberries, melon, etc.) in this nibbler until we fully transitioned to solids. I never had to worry about her choking since only a small amount comes out through the mesh, and no big chucks. It's super easy for Leah to hold and made it easy for me to transition from purees to solids. I also loved it on the go because it doesn't make any mess, which is especially great if you are at someone's house.

4. High Chair Cover - When you are out of the house using the squeeze feeder and mesh nibbler....where is baby? Sitting in a sticky, germ-filled high chair???? No thanks! I have the Itzy Bitzy Sitzy Cover and its perfection. I love that it stretches over the high chair, has a buckle, and even hooks so you can latch on a few of baby's favorite toys. It helps to not touch so many germ filled surfaces while eating. (and if Leah drops food on it while eating, it's easy to pick back up and help her eat, since you know your cover is freshly washed and clean!)
Also, I love this because it is multi-functional and can also be used as a shopping cart cover! We've used this grocery shopping and on our weekly trips to Target! My only dislike is it is sometimes hard to put on when you are by yourself. I usually only have one free hand since I'm holding Leah, and you need two hands to put it on. But I still definitely recommend!
5. Teething Bib - I always keep this Nuby Bandana bib in my diaper bag; I love it because it's multi-functional! I don't like carrying teethers while we are out because she will always drop them on the floor - so I love that this bib has a teething corner allowing her to massage her sore gums and not worry about dropping it. It also helps when feeding her while we are out because we can still use it as a traditional bib.

Hope my 5 Must Haves for Feeding Baby Outside of the house help you out!
I'll be back with tips on feeding solid foods soon!!


*I received a few of these products for a review, but all opinions are my own.
Follow along with Nuby at www.facebook.com/nubyusa

Friday, February 26, 2016

What to Pack in your Hospital Bag: FOR MOM

Okay, I realize Leah is almost 9 months old and here I am writing about what to pack in your hospital bag when you go into labor. Haha. (a little late!!)
I have a few pregnant friends right now and just recently helped one out with a hospital bag list - so I thought I would share it here to help all of you! ]
Here is what I brought to the hospital along with some tips.

MOM'S BAG:
1. Towel from home - the hospital towels are tiny and thin. You will be taking at least one shower there (I took 2) so you will want a good towel.
2. Slippers/Non-Slip Socks - I just wore the hospital non-slip socks the first day. But I loved having slippers that I could just slip on to use the bathroom, etc. Bring something you can throw away - you won't want to take these home with you!!! CV bought me a $3 pair from IKEA and they worked perfect. ha.
3. Robe/Gown - I just wore the hospital gown when giving birth and recovery - and it worked just fine. I did bring a robe that I bought specifically for this purpose (wanted a pretty one for photos), and I wore it the whole time I was there.
4. Nursing bras/tanks - If you plan to nurse, make sure you bring a nursing bra or tank. Your boobs are out 24/7 so this way it is easier. I just wore a nursing tank with shorts, and my robe to cover up when I got out of bed. 
5. Comfortable Clothes for Recovery - Like I said above, I stayed in a nursing tank and shorts. Do whatever works for you - just make sure you have easy access for nursing.
6. Going Home Outfit - I wore a big t-shirt, cardigan and maternity leggings.  Just bring something large - or even a maternity size, as you will still not be able to wear your pre-pregnancy clothing. Also, bring flip flops! I brought Toms to wear home and my feet were soooo swollen (more swollen after delivery than before) that I couldn't put them on. So I had to go home in my hospital slippers. Ew.
7. Toiletries - Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Shampoo, Hairbrush, Hair ties, Makeup, etc. Bring what you need to shower and feel human again. I had hand lotion and chap stick by my side the entire time! Hospital air is so dry!
8. Giant Underwear - Buy some cheap Hanes from Target...the big ones with the full coverage....and buy them in black! Haha. I bought 2 packs and threw my hospital ones away, and kept the other ones for the first few weeks at home, as it takes a while for your regular undies to fit again!
9. Lady Items - I brought Overnight Pads (the hospital gives you some, but they are enormous!!), and Always Wipes (dry toilet paper is your enemy). Don't bother buying or bringing nipple cream. The hospital gives you some and you don't really need more than that. It lasts a long time.
10. Bag for Dirty Laundry - you won't want any of your hospital clothes touching your clean stuff. 
11. A large bag to carry all your free items. Diapers, Wipes, Formula, etc! Take everything they give you!
12. Gatorade and Snacks - The minute after I pushed Leah out (and snuggled her!) I demanded a Gatorade!! It was a life saver to be honest - I went 24 hours without eating anything and was starving, and Gatorade was just what I needed.  I ended up eating a hospital sandwich, cookies and chips too - and they were delicious. (Ha. Anything is delicious when you haven't eaten in 24 hours.) The snacks came in handy afterwards, as you never know when you will be hungry!

Also - some people bring focal points, water bottles, gum, etc - but I didn't need any of that. CV was my focal point, I just used the hospital cups and the nurses wouldn't let me have any gum or candy while in labor.


I'll be back soon with what to pack for the baby!!!