Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What to feed a 15 month old

For me, creating a nutritious meal for Leah has been one of my biggest parenting challenges. It was easy when she was on jar baby food - but then she started demanding real food.
During the week, Leah attends daycare and they supply a nutritious breakfast, lunch and snack for her....so I am only responsible for one meal and a snack during the week which makes it a little easier. But since I work 40hours a week - I need something super quick that doesn't take a long time to prepare.  I figure a lot of people are in the same boat, or need baby/toddler dinner ideas, so here are some things that I normally feed Leah for dinner.
I always try to feed Leah a protein, vegetable, carb and a fruit for her meals.
Proteins: Meatballs, Fishsticks, Scrambled Eggs with Cheese, Turkey Deli Meat,
Chicken Nuggets (I get the organic lightly breaded kind), Salmon, Yogurt
Vegetables: Green Beans, Corn, Peas, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes
Carbs: Tortillas, Pita Bread with Hummus, Toast with Peanut Butter,
Crackers, Mac and Cheese, Pasta (she likes cheese tortellini)
Fruit: Bananas, Pears, Mandarin Oranges, Blueberries, Strawberries,
Grapes (cut in half) (basically she will try all the fruits)
So for lunch and dinner, I usually mix and match a variety of these things together to create her meal. Some of these items are just a simple 45 seconds in the microwave (meatballs, chicken nuggets), some of them require a few minutes on the stove (cooking carrots, green beans, mac and cheese, etc), and some of them need some knife time (grapes, strawberries, pita bread) but ALL of them are super easy and makes preparing dinner during the week soooo easy!
And just for fun: here is Leah eating lunch with her friends at Daycare:
What are some quick dinners you prepare your little ones?

Saturday, July 30, 2016

My List of Happy Things...

Just wanted to end the month of July highlighting some of my favorite moments and the little things in life that make me happy. Hope everyone had a great month, it sure went by quickly!!

Here are a few things that made me happy this month! (in no particular order)
+ my dads plane being completed and ready to fly
+playing peek-a-boo with Leah
+checking out a new park that has a beautiful glass ceiling
+ hot showers and the smell of clean towels
+ summer and the extended daylight hours
+ Leah blowing me a kisses without me asking for one
+ my 8 minute commute to work
+ breakfast picnics at the park with CV and Leah
+ leaving work before 5pm (even if it's just 4:55pm)
+ new pajamas for Leah
+ Leah laughing and chasing Paisley
+ Leah always trying to share her food with me, CV or Paisley
+ our privacy fence finally being installed - and finally being able to relax in the backyard without people looking at me :)

+ a clean kitchen
+foot rubs
+ CV bringing home groceries and always cooking delicious dinners
+ sitting on the couch eating dessert
+ family fun day at the Newport aquarium
+My bestie planning her wedding next year in Mexico
+ working close to the mall and Target for lunch break errands
+ fruit smoothies
+ saving money by using coupons
+ receiving a "your package is delivered" email
+ meeting my friends new baby
+ visiting Nashville and seeing some of my favorite people
+ Making "fish faces" with Leah
+ Leah using a fork all by herself
+Leah's first time in the pool

According to my list, July seemed like a pretty spectacular month!
See ya in August!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bath Time Must-Haves for a One Year Old

Bath time is a fun event at our house. What once was a daunting task when she was a newborn, is now filled with so much fun now that she's old enough to play in the tub.  We try to make bath time as fun as possible - but also keep it an easy task for mom - so here are a few of my necessities and tips for giving this little one year old a bath.

Bath Time Must-Haves
1. Bath Tub:  We use a baby bath tub inside of our big tub.  This seems so much safer to me (even though I'm never more than a foot away) and it saves water.  I honestly think any tub will work, we got one that had a newborn insert that could be removed. So we've used this tub since she was a newborn. I recommend doing the same - and not buying a tub like this - because your baby will grow out of it by 6 months and then you'd have to buy another tub. So read the fine print and make sure you can use it as a newborn and toddler!
*Not needed: Thermometer:  We've never used a thermometer to check the bath temperate. If you want it for peace of mind - do it! But for me, I just check it using my forearm (not your wrist, your forearm!), to make sure its warm. Do whatever works best for you.

2. Elbow and Knee Rests: This is a must have for mom or dad! My knees and elbows never hurt because of these amazing elbow and kneeler pads! I use them every single time, and then I hang them up to dry. And the pocket is great to put your wedding rings in!

3. Bath Toys - This is where the fun comes in: Toys!! One of Leah's favorite bath toys is this submarine. She doesn't know how to pull the string yet, so I have to do all the work. But she loves the sound it makes and loves seeing it move in the tub. (We also play with this out of the tub too and watch it move all across the hard wood floors.) She also loves stacking cups and squirt animals too.
*Don't have the money for a lot of bath toys: Just look at your baby's existing toys and see if they can get wet. We use several toys in the tub that aren't really "bath toys", like plastic rings and old plastic eggs from Easter.

4. Bath Toy Scoop: Where are you going to put your toys? I used to keep an open Tupperware container in the tub to keep all Leah's toys in - it was an eye sore and I knew I needed a better option. We just got the Nuby Sea-Scooper and I absolutely love it. It sticks to the wall great and holds all her toys, and lets them drain/dry out. And I love that it's actually a toy in itself too. Once Leah moves out of the baby tub to the big tub - we will play with it more.
5. Shampoo/Body Wash: We only use Aveeno products, so I'm partial to this shampoo and body wash.
6. Wash Cloths and Hooded Towels: I've heard a lot of different ways from friends on how they get their little one out of the tub. Some put a towel on their chest, pick up the baby, then wrap them in their hooded towel. Some need a second person to help - one gets the baby - the other wraps them in the towel. I'm always giving Leah a bath (while CV makes dinner) so my routine is: I put one of my plush towels on the ground (for extra support), then I put Leah's hooded towel on top of it. I pick her up and lay her down on the towel - covering her head first with the hood, and swaddling her up in the hooded towel.  Then, I put one hand behind her head and the other behind her butt and pick her up and hold her against my chest (so she stays warm) - and carefully stand up.  It will be much easier once she can stand up and I can just stand her up and wrap her in a towel. ANYWAYS - we just got this strawberry hooded towel for Leah's birthday and it's my favorite.
7. A warm room: If you put your newly washed (and damp) baby in an air conditioned room - get ready for that baby to CRY (and shiver, which is so sad to see!) I always turn off the air before we give Leah a bath so her room isn't too cold when we get there. And also so the bathroom isn't blowing cold air on her while she's wet and in the bath. (This is also why I don't bathe her in the kitchen sink - our kitchen is very open, and I don't want a lot of cool air on her while she's bathing.)

8. Lotion or Baby Oil: As I said before, we are Aveeno lovers, so we use Aveeno baby lotion with eczema therapy. And we sometimes use J&J's Baby Oil when Leah's skin is really dry.

9. Coziness: And lastly, coziness! Soft cozy pajamas, a good book and a warm bottle of milk end our bath time fun and gets Leah ready for a good night sleep.

Hope this helped some mamma out there struggling with bath time.
It gets easier - and more fun! :)

*I received two of these products for a review, but all opinions are my own. 
Follow along with Nuby on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/nubyusa

Monday, July 11, 2016

Leah's Favorite Present

Leah's godfather kept asking me what he should buy for Leah's birthday.....but to be honest, we didn't care a lot about presents, Leah has a lot of toys, I always find the best deals on clothes, so unless someone wanted to buy us diapers (nobody did, haha), we really didn't need much.  But every time he asked I would either say "nothing"....or I would tell him to buy her a box of tissues because she loves pulling tissues out of the box.
Well, not only did he buy her a box of tissues, he bought her 16 boxes of tissues and superglued them all together.
 And left an opening in the middle, so Leah could sit and be surrounded by boxes of tissues.
She. was. in. heaven.
 She absolutely loves pulling tissues, about 30 at a time....crawls away...then comes back and pulls some more.
 And since it was a gift, mommy doesn't get mad that she's wasting all the "house tissues".  Pull away, birthday girl. These tissues are all yours.
Isn't this such a sweet gift. I love homemade gifts, but this one takes the cake! So sweet that her godfather took the time to make her a special gift.
Even though he doesn't read my blog - a shout out to B.

Friday, July 8, 2016

ONE YEAR with Leah

Okay, I'm finally caught up with some of my blog postings and now here to talk about my daughter being ONE YEAR OLD! (6-13-16) Can you believe it?!
It seems like yesterday I was in labor at the hospital waiting to meet this little miracle. It's true what they say "the days are long but the years are short!" because this year truly flew by.

Here is my ONE YEAR update with Leah bug.
One Year Update:
Height/Weight: 17 lbs 8 oz and 29.5 inches long.
(Compared to when she was born at 7lbs 4oz and 20 inches long.)
Diapers: Still in Size 3, Pampers Baby Dry is the only brand we buy.
Clothing: She is in 12m clothing but still can wear 9mo pants. A lot of her 12 month pants are too big around the waist. And y'all Leah has sooooo many clothes right now. I hope she doesn't have a growth spurt anytime soon because I want her to wear all these cute outfits.
Eating: Leah is completely off nursing and we have completely run out of breastmilk! I'm so proud of myself for making it 11 months breastfeeding my baby - but after I went back to work, my milk supply dropped, as well as Leah was transitioning to a bottle/sippy cup, so I eventually lost my milk supply. We supplemented with formula for 2 weeks, and then started her on whole milk a week before her birthday. She absolutely loves whole milk!  Other than that - she's eating 3x a day and 2 snacks as normal. She eats so well and I actually love that daycare supplies her breakfast and lunch because it allows her to try a larger variety of foods - versus if I had to pack her lunch every day.
Teeth: Leah had another tooth cut through this month, so now she has 3 teeth, Two bottom and one top! (That 4th tooth will be here any day!)
Health: Leah has an ear infection in her left ear, and fluid in her right ear. The doctor gave us some antibiotics and we will pray they both go away. She always has a snotty nose - and that has unfortunately contributed to an ear infection.  Also, there is another "health thing" that came up during Leah's one year doctors appointment. I don't want to discuss it on the blog - but it was very upsetting to hear and came with an expensive pharmacy bill of almost $400. I'm just praying that everything gets better and stays better. We are super blessed with a healthy baby and want her to stay that way!
Social: Leah's watermelon birthday party was the social event of the season! She had a lot of fun with all her friends.  Also, we took a trip to the bookstore with her BFF Rory, they have a fun kids area and she loved playing with the trains. She also loves waving hello and goodbye to everyone, so I do think we have a sweet friendly little girl.
 Development: Still no walking, or standing on her own. She's crawling everywhere and is very good at it - so probably another few months before she's really walking around. She's also very good at rocking on her horse!
Likes: waving, pointing, Paisley, riding in her car buggy, balloons
Dislikes: birthday cake, being cold, getting shots, having her finger pricked
Well, it's been a fun year updating the blog all about Leah.  I won't be doing any more monthly updates on her like I have here, and in the past, but will just be updating when we hit big milestones as they come along. (Like when she walks! Or eats her first taco! haha!)

I love this little girl to pieces and I'm so happy she is mine. Happy Birthday to my sweet baby girl! You are the light of my life.

If you want to read on previous months, here are the links:
One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven

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!!!