Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Favorite Dinner Salads

Since I stopped nursing/pumping I have been trying to eat a good bit healthier.  Gone are the days of eating sugary cereals for breakfast, crushing containers of cookies in a few days, and afternoon fast food and milkshakes.   At the risk of sounding incredibly vain, the thing I miss most about nursing was the ability to eat everything in sight and still be at my fighting weight.

During the weeks, T and I try to cut out alcohol for two days, and I've also been trying to cook lighter and lower carb for dinners.  We've really been enjoying trying out new dinner salads lately.  The ones I've been making are hearty enough to fill you up,  and there's also a lot more to them than just lettuce.  Here are some of our favorites so far with links to the recipes.

Black and Bleu Steak Salads- Recipe Here


Skinny Lemon Garlic Shrimp Caesar Salad (I used store bought dressing)- Recipe Here


Grilled Chicken Souvlaki Salad- Recipe Here


Easy Burrito Bowls (I added chicken)- Recipe Here


Honey Mustard Chicken, Avocado + Bacon Salads- Recipe Here



If you have any favorite dinner salad recipes, I'd love to hear them!




Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thompson is Nine Months

Thompson is now nine months, and SO much fun.  He now has two teeth, is crawling everywhere, and has just started pulling up on things.  He's a rather big boy, 19.47 lbs (47th %)  and 29.5" (90th %). He's been saying Mama since month eight, and just started to say Dada, too.  Sometimes it comes out as Dada, sometimes Ada. We can't keep him still for more than a few seconds, the progression of the pictures below is the perfect example.  Thankfully my ninja mom skills saved him from toppling off the chair during our nine month photo shoot.






Still in size 3 diapers during the day and size 4's at night.  Wearing a few 9 month clothes, mostly 12 month, and even some 12-18 month things.




Per the Moms On Call schedule, he takes two naps a day.  One from 8:30-10:30 ish and one from 1:00-2:30.  He's taking a bottle when he wakes at 7 am, and a bottle when he goes to bed at 7 pm.   He takes 2-4 oz sippy cups during the day at snack times and meal times.  Still loving the Avent Trainer Cup for all of his snack time milk.  The boy loves a good fruit/veggie puree pouch at meal time, but we've had a lot of fun introducing some more solid foods.   Current favorites are yogurt melts, Cherrios, blueberries, and scrambled egg.  I also gave him some peanut butter toast this week, and he demolished it.  (And hallelujah for no allergies to eggs and peanut butter!)

At first Thompson was super picky about what foods he liked.  If we gave him a food he didn't like, (avocados, pureed green beans, squash, etc)  he'd make a terrible face and then eventually gag until he threw it up.  So, trying new foods was a messy experience for a little while.  Thankfully now when he tries things he doesn't like he'll try one bite, swallow it and then just put his hand up to push away the spoon.  Much easier than projectile vomit.  And I'm finding as he gets older and older he's liking more and more foods.

Another thing that's made meal time much easier is pouch toppers.  I read about these from a commenter on my sister's blog, and went out and bought them the next week.  The toppers go on top of the pouch spout (duh) and prevent kids from being able to squeeze the contents of the pouch all over them.  They can suck the pouch out through the topper, but if they squeeze it, nothing happens.  Genius.  Now I can hand a pouch to Thompson, and he can suck it down all by himself.  Game Changer.   If you don't have these, buy them.  You'll thank me later.




He got the clean bill of health when we went for his 9 month check up, but has been battling cold after cold after cold this winter.  Thankfully he seems to handle them well, and it's never turned into anything but a cold.   I am knocking on wood as I write this, but he's made it past nine months without ever having a fever or having to be on antibiotics.

This month we lowered the mattress on his crib.  He's pulled up a few times in the crib, and the mattress was just a few inches too high for my comfort level.  He also got his second, yes second, haircut.   I think he now has the most high maintenance hair in our household.



Our pediatrician recommended to move him to a larger carseat since he's verging on 20 lbs.   I feel like we just bought his first carseat.  I cannot believe its already time to put him in a new one.  After asking friends and reading review after review after review, we decided to go with the Graco 4Ever All-In-One.  Apparently it will last them 10 years,  converts all the way down to a booster seat, and will fit a child up to 100 lbs.  Not sure if I'll be up for using it in 10 years.  A decade's worth of grime, puffs, and french fries sounds pretty disgusting.  But at least we know it will be good for that long!




Bathtime has become the highlight of Thompson's day, and we've made it a family affair.  T gets home from work,  we each pour ourselves an end of the day drink, and take Thompson up to the bath.   T and I sip on our drinks, talk a little bit about our day, and watch Thompson splash and scream for 30 minutes.  It's a great way for all of us to make it through his witching hour.  After a bonk on the head and lots of crying, we decided to order a bath spout cover for the bathtub.   The Skip Hop Moby cover had great reviews, and we've been really happy with it.



While each month with Thompson has been so great in it's own unique way, I definitely think that month nine has been the most FUN.  More smiles, more giggles, more interaction, and more on the move than ever before.  More bumps and bruises, too, but I guess that's just par for the course!





Nine Month Favorites





Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Thompson is Eight Months

Checking in for my monthly blog post (insert monkey covering eyes emoji).  I hate that I have only been posting on a monthly basis, but at least these updates have given me a reason to maintain some kind of presence on this blog.  This post is also coming in about 2 weeks late, but better late than never, right?




Thompson is now 8 months old and just over 19 lbs. This month he's battled cold after cold after cold.   I feel like he's had a stuffy nose and cough for the entire month.   Since it has been going on for so long, I finally took him into the pediatrician the other day to get checked out.  Everything looked good, no ear infection, oxygen levels were at 100%, no fever, etc.  They just advised me to do all the things I had been doing, humidifier at night (this one), saline and suction, and raising his mattress slightly on one side in the crib.  Thankfully it doesn't seem to bother Thompson too much, but I can't wait for the warmer weather to get here so these colds aren't floating around anymore.



He's still wearing size 3 diapers, and has been since October.   The size 3's fit great, but weren't providing enough absorbency throughout the night.  We started putting him in a size 4 at night along with a diaper booster, and it worked like a charm.  If you haven't heard of these, diaper booster pads are the bomb.  They just go in with the diaper and provide an extra absorbent layer throughout the night.



I mentioned in his 7 month update that I thought that month would be the when he started to crawl and got his first tooth, and I was right!  We went the entire month without seeing much progress on either front, but just days before he turned 8 months, he sprouted his first little tooth and mastered the army crawl/scoot.

I'm still pumping and supplementing with formula at this point.  I pump twice a day which yields enough milk for 50% of his bottles, and I supplement the other 50% with formula.   He's also switched to a new schedule through Moms on Call, which slightly reduces his milk intake each day.  He gets one 7 oz bottle in the morning when he wakes up, and one 8 oz bottle when he goes to bed.   And throughout the day he gets sippy cups with 2-4 oz of milk in them.   I use the Avent My Natural Trainer Cup, and he's adjusted really well to it. This cup comes with both a nipple and a sippy cup top, so it's great for transitioning babies from bottles. I usually have to help him with the last little bit of milk in the cup, but he's getting better and better with it each day.  He also now holds his bottles when we give them to him in the morning and at night.

While the 50% supplementation has been working great at this point, I know that month 8 will be my last month of pumping.  I've pretty much reached my limit with it,  so I'll start the weaning process soon.  Since I'm down to two pumps a day I'm hoping it won't be too difficult.


Thompson has also started to eat a few finger foods at snack time.  His absolute favorite snacks are yogurt melts, in any flavor.  If I put yogurt melts and puffs out on his tray together, he'll eat around the puffs and get all of the yogurt melts out.  And then throw the puffs on the floor for George to eat.  
I've gotten him to eat a few pieces of mango and avocado, but the yogurt melts are definitely his favorite.  Hopefully this month he'll start loving another food with a little more nutritional value.  We try something new each week in hopes that I'll discover it soon.




Two of Thompson's favorite toys this month were his wagon and his swing.  We've had several warm days this month,  so we've actually gotten to get outside a bit.  I have a feeling we'll be using both of those on a daily basis once springtime comes.




And that's it for month 8!  I can't believe I'll have a 9 month old in just a few short weeks.   Man this first year is just flying by!

You can read past monthly updates here:




Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Thompson is Seven Months

Thompson is now seven months, and oh what a fun age this is. He's so attentive to what we're doing, laughs when we laugh, and gives me the most heart melting toothless smiles.  He now weighs about 19 lbs, and is wearing 6 and 9 month clothing.

I have a feeling this is the month he will sprout his first tooth, and start crawling.  He's so close to crawling, you can tell just how badly he wants to move.   He wiggles on his tummy, does mini push ups, and has just started getting his knees underneath him.  I'm trying to work with him for a little bit each day on the floor, and every day he gets closer and closer.  He's also drooling like nobody's business, and chewing on everything.




The month of December was just magical with him.  While he won't remember a single bit of it, T and I had fun getting to experience all of the fun kid activities around Christmas.  And, he pretty much stole the show when we went to see Santa.  

In almost every picture where Thompson is smiling,  you'll notice T's arm on his leg.  We've discovered that we can get Thompson to smile and giggle when we squeeze his thighs, so we pull out this trick any time the camera is on him.  Works like a charm.





I'm still supplementing about 25% of Thompson's daily milk with formula, and I can now say this was one of the best things I've done for myself.  I still love knowing he's getting mainly breastmilk, but not having the pressure to pump every single ounce he needed each day was a gigantic weight off my shoulders.  I don't think I realized how much this stressed me out until I started supplementing.  Each day I would stress and worry about not having enough milk pumped for him to eat.  I always kept a freezer stash just in case, but the thought of not pumping enough milk, accidentally leaving a bottle out and having it spoil, or having my supply go down was starting to make me a little crazy.   It consumed my every thought, and now that I can look back on it, it wasn't healthy.  

I've been using Aldi's Gentle formula, which is really similar to Enfamil Gentlease, it's just way cheaper.  He transitioned to it seamlessly, and has never rejected a single bottle I've tried to give him. I also use the Aldi wipes and organic baby food pouches, and have been really pleased with them as well.  


One of the biggest milestones this month was that Thompson is now sturdy enough to sit up in a shopping cart and a high chair.  This was a game changer.  Not having to lug that heavy car seat around with us is such a relief.   I have LOVED my black and white stretchy nursing cover.  I always keep it with me if I need to pump in the car or around other people, but now I can also use it as a cover for shopping carts and high chairs.  This is really helpful right now, because as soon as he's in a shopping cart or high chair he immediately tries to chew on it.  I'm typically not crazy about exposing him to bacteria, but I really don't want him chewing on a restaurant high chair.  

He's still sleeping like a champ, no change there.  He sleeps each night from 7-7 and takes 3 naps a day.  All in all, he typically sleeps for about 17-18 hours a day, which is absolutely amazing.  I think lot of it has to do with the baby, but I also credit the Moms On Call schedule.   His favorite time of the day is bath time.  We give him a bath almost every night, and it is the only thing that can calm him down during his 6:00-7:00 fussy time.  He got some new bath toys for Christmas which he loves, but he still adores the tried and true neti pot.  Yes, that sounds crazy, but I've tried lots of different things for washing a baby off, and a neti pot is seriously the best thing I've found.   It provides enough water pressure in a concentrated area to wash the shampoo out of his hair and is great for getting the fuzz that collects in his double chin.  :)


Products we've loved this month: 





Friday, December 30, 2016

The Christmas Where Everyone Got Sick

Well, this was surely a Christmas for the books.

On December 19th, Thompson came down with a stomach virus.  He handled it like a champ, but the next day it hit me, and then the following morning it hit T like a Mack truck.  The staggered effect was actually quite fortunate, because when I was at my worst T could take care of the baby, and when he was laid up in the bed, I could take care of everyone.   Determined to get better by Christmas, we laid low for the next few days, even skipping out on a Christmas party we'd really been looking forward to.

By the 23rd, we were all feeling back to normal, so we headed down to see my in-laws for a few days.  Unfortunately we had to cut our trip short, because my niece came down with RSV.  She was so dehydrated she wound up in the hospital on the night of the 23rd.  When we woke up on the 24th, we fled their house quickly, scared that Thompson might contract it.  Little did we know, it wasn't my niece that would be spreading Christmas sickies, it was poor little Thompson.  Or more affectionally known as Typhoid Tompie for the rest of the Christmas holiday.

As luck would have it, Christmas Day was the only day that everyone felt fine.  T and I were fully recuperated,  Thompson was his normal jolly self, and no on else had contracted the stomach bug yet.  I'm really glad we took advantage of that time to snap a few family pictures before all hell broke loose.

We spent the day with my mom, dad, and sister Sarah in my parent's new house at Lake Wateree.  We've had a house at the lake for years, but they recently sold our lake house as well as the house I grew up in, and built a new house on the lake where they plan to retire.  I was afraid it would be weird to celebrate Christmas at the new house, this was the first Christmas in my entire life where I wasn't in my childhood home.   But their new house is beautiful, and built to accommodate our entire family, including all the grandchildren.  It's the perfect place for this new season of our lives.

Mom and Dad moved in just a little over a week before Christmas, so it was a mad scramble to get the house in shape for Christmas.  We had a small tabletop tree, very limited decorations, and a garage full of moving boxes waiting to be unpacked.  Definitely still a work in progress, but it'll get there soon.  We had beds to sleep in, a fully functional kitchen, and a table to eat Christmas dinner on.  So that was all that mattered.



Gift-wise, we went pretty simple this year for the baby.  For his first Christmas, I wanted to get things that we'd have for years to come.  Things that we could always look at and remember that we bought them on his first Christmas.  I made an Amazon wishlist for family of some smaller items that we'll be needing soon.  The list had sippy cups, new leather mocs, a silicone placemat, blocks, bath toys, etc.   T and I bought a  Little Tikes swing for our front yard, a piggy bank, and at T's request a dino ball popper.


Thompson's Christmas outfit was extra special this year.  He wore the same outfit that T wore on his first Christmas, exactly 30 years before.  My mother-in-law gave it to us at Thanksgiving, and remarkably, it looks brand new.  He looked absolutely precious in it with his white knee socks and shoes. Those chunky baby thighs of his really made the outfit.  











By the morning of the 26th my sister was the next victim, then came my mom, then my aunt, and then my cousin.  We were dropping like flies.  I never knew a cute little baby could be capable of spreading such a nasty bug.  Thankfully it was a 24 hour bug, so as soon as it found it's next victim, a previous sick person started to feel better.  Of the eleven of us that got together at Christmas, eight of us had the bug, and that number could still be rising.  I felt so bad about bringing this virus with us, when we left for the holidays we had no idea that any of us could still be contagious.  The silver lining to it all was that none of us put on the pounds we typically do over the holidays, so I guess that counts for something!   Now let's just hope I'm invited back to future family gatherings...

Hope y'all had a very merry Christmas full of great food and family time, and free of stomach bugs!



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