Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What you want when...

...your baby starts eating solids.

There are, of course, many, many, many products out there for when your baby starts eating solid foods. And I know not everyone is into the whole Baby Led Weaning thing. But I think this could be good for everyone.

Without a doubt, Ev's favorite food to feed herself at the moment, the one thing she recognizes and claps.her.hands.together for when I pull one out is this...

To me, they taste like a really big rice crispy. {I make it a policy to not give my kiddo anything that I won't at least taste first, so, yes, I ate one.} They seem to dissolve pretty easily, so for those of you who are not doing Baby Led Weaning - I think your kiddo would probably still enjoy them.

She loves these things, and they come in individually wrapped packs of two, so they are SUPER easy to throw in the diaper bag to stave off any hunger melt downs if you get hung up somewhere. I will also admit that this is the first ever product I have opened while still in the store to let my child have one as we were nearing the end of a marathon commissary trip that I did not think for a second would last that long. 

They come in a few flavors, and a Toddler version which I understand is a bit harder consistency for their little chompers. 

They also make hardly any mess. YAHTZEE!

If you haven't tried them yet, please do. They sell them at our local Target and grocery stores, so they shouldn't be hard to find. The way they go around here (like hotcakes, I tell ya), we may be signing up for the Subscribe and Save via Amazon here shortly.

Evelyn is seven and a half months old

...and thanks to Miss Jessica for introducing us to these things!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Find the seven month update (that I just published today) where it should be - on February 11th.

Back tomorrow with more.

Evelyn Rae is seven months old

...and has been for a while. Whoops.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Today we are ignoring housework and schedules and really everything we are supposed to do.

Because we, sirs and madams, are ladies of leisure.

Or at least we are pretending to be, while we lounge in the sunshine and read at the park.

I hope that your day is equally lovely!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What you want when... are a new mom. AKA Courtney's Favorite Things. Just like Oprah! But, you know, without cars and vacations and stuff.

A few weeks ago I put together some packages for my friends who were/are about to give birth, Shelby and Leigh Anne. Well, Shelby scooped me and gave birth before I could get it in the mail...and then Leigh Anne scooped me and sent me a Facebook message asking for my opinion on the very stuff I had already bought for her!

My friends, man, my friends.

Anywho, I got Shelby's in the mail on time, but then the WORST DOG ONE THE FACE OF THE PLANET (I say that with so much love) ripped into Leigh Anne's package and destroyed everything (grumble grumble grumble), so hers had to be redone and took a little longer to get out the door then I thought.

They have both received them now though, so I thought I would share. My idea was to put together a few of my favorite things for a new mom, with little notes. You get plenty of stuff for that cute little bundle, of course, but since both of these ladies are too far away for me to bring them a home cooked meal...I wanted to do something for them!

(I have included Amazon links for everything, but they are almost all bulk items. Apparently, Amazon doesn't think people would go online to buy a $1 pack of gum. Whaa? So, if you *really* trust my taste...ha.)
  1. PerrierCitron - Because sometimes you get sick of plain water.
  2. A little note from moi.
  3. Nature Babycare wipes- Because you will always need wipes. And these are my absolute favorites.
  4. Ibuprofen - Because you will need it at some point, period.
  5. Medela Pump and Save Breastmilk Bags with easy-connect adapter- These are my favorite breast milk storage bags, mainly because of the adaptor, which is clutch. The adaptor is the new design and I find it soooo much easier than the old design with the sticky strap thing to attach to a pump. 
  6. 100 Calorie Packs of Nuts- "Healthy" snacks for a mom on the go. I love these little packs, especially the cocoa roasted almonds. I sent both those and the walnut almond mix packs. You need to keep those calories up when breastfeeding and these are always easy to throw in a purse...or diaper bag.
  7. Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares- as my dear friend Leigh Anne said when she received this, "I like how there was no note for the chocolate - because chocolate needs no explanation." Truth. 
  8. Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads- These are my favorite nursing pads, hands down. I have never had a leak with them, they don't show through shirts, and I don't even adhere them to my bra...just stuff em in there. 
  9. Boogie Wipes- Because there will be a first cold, and nobody likes to be covered in snot. These are saline wipes that smell awesome, and clean up a snotty face like none other. I am in love with these things, seriously.
  10. And finally, Trident White Gum- Because, inebvitably, unannounced visitors will drop by before you have a chance to brush your teeth.
So, there it is, my new mom care package. Between this post, and the fact that I clearly post better when on some sort of a schedule, I would also like to take this opportunity to announce a new blog feature - "What You Want Wednesdays". The plan is that I will be doing product reviews/recommendations every Wednesday. Of course these companies are not giving me stuff for free, nor do they have any idea who the heck I am, etc.

I am thinking of incorporating a giveaway of said products, as well, every so often. Because they are my favorite things and because I want to share. Almost like a "real" blogger. Ha! I dunno how any of that would work just yet...maybe if I get at least 10 comments or something, I would randomly pick one of y'all to send whatever it is. We will try it out and see what happens.

Sounds like a plan, glad we had this little chat.

Evelyn Rae is seven months old

...and let's face it, I was kind of glad the dog destroyed Leigh Anne's first package...because that meant leftovers from the second one for me!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Big Ol' Fat Tuesday.

It's Mardi Gras!

A few years ago, this day would have made me so excited. Parties, parties, parties.

Today though? Well, it's been one of those days. And I didn't even remember it was Mardi Gras until I saw it on Facebook.

Within the first twenty minutes of being up today, we were dealing with a very unhappy little butt (red, red, red out of nowhere!...maybe a food allergy? Who knows...poor little baby butt), someone did both #1 and #2 on the changing pad (I'm not saying who...but it wasn't me), I had to chase the dog away from the trash where he was ravaging used nursing pads (gross dog, gross) and dragging them all over the house, and then when we came downstairs for breakfast we had a momentous spit up incident all over the floor.

Holding a squirmy, hungry baby while cleaning spit up off the floor and using a foot to keep the (have I mentioned GROSS) dog away who wants to lick up the spit up? Now that is talent my friends, talent that only motherhood can bring you.

And that was only the first twenty minutes.

Add to that a refusal to nap for longer than 30 minutes, and a washer that keeps getting stuck on the rinse cycle, and well...that's my day so far.

On the upside, my baby girl is feeling much better now that her teeth have cut through, and I have my normal smiley, (although refusing to sleep today) happy baby back. And thankfully those smiles seem to make everything else not matter so much.

Oh, life. Sometimes you just gotta sigh, shake your head and smile.

Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Evelyn is seven months old

...and for those of you who don't speak French, that means "Let the good times roll." And roll they shall.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Day Off

We are lucky enough to have President's Day off 'round these parts, and after a full weekend of painting so.much.trim.omg we are planning to spend today being lazy and cuddling, since it finally decided to be winter outside.

Welcome to anyone meandering over from the Navigating the Mothership Day in the Life Roundup! I apologize for the light posting today, but as previously mentioned - we are on vacay!

In the meantime, I thought I would share some of the absolutely lovely six month photos of Evelyn that my friend Jessica did for us.

There are plenty more where these came from, but these are her Daddy's favorites...and he let me sleep in this morning while he fed Ev her breakfast, so he gets a little something back today. I can't wait to share more of them with you. <3

I would just like to note that these first ones are before her Daddy came home, and these last few are when he walked in the door. Every damn day he gets a reaction like this.

(which really melts my heart, lets be honest)

Evelyn Rae is seven months old

...and she and her dad are both asleep right now. I think this morning together may have worn them both out.

Friday, February 17, 2012

As promised.

The conclusion of the GLORIOUS WEEK of theme posting is one about making time for relationships. Well, kinda.

I bet if pressed to make a judgment call you thought this was going to be about date night with the hubs, and how important that is...GOTCHA! it's not. I mean, that is important, I guess. But hubs and I have successfully had 3, count 'em 1-2-3 date nights, by ourselves in the last 7 months. So, I don't think I am qualified to talk about that.

Not that we aren't doing great. Check out this lovely candlelit dinner for two, er, three we had on Valentine's!

Wedding China and all...Ev's future partners are going to have to be way creative and romantic. "Candlelit dinners? Psssh. I have been having them on the REGULAR since I was seven months old, loser."

Now don't get me wrong, I do think your relationship with your husband, and your child(ren) are of course at the top of the list. But, a girl needs friends too.

See, here's the thing. This post is really about the fact that sometimes I am a bad friend. Not in the, "I'll sleep with your boyfriend and then talk about it behind your back" kind of way. Number one, I am MARRIED. Number two, duh, that's not me.

The kind of "bad friend" I mean is with communication. I am a pretty great friend, actually...when you can nail me down.

Generous to a fault, yup. Willing to paint, or help clean or help you move, sure no prob.

If you can get me on the damn phone...or email...or text...or anything.

Every year the only New Year's resolution I make is to be better at keeping in touch with people. I love my friends, really I do...I just lose track of time. Especially because of all the social media stuff...I feel like I know what is going on in my friends' lives without actually reaching out to them. Bad, bad friend.

My biggest excuse before Evelyn was born and I decided to stay at home was lack of time. Well, turns out I have no more "free" time now than I did then. 

But, I do have something important, even as I strive for more structure in my week, and that is flexibility of time. Hands down, the single greatest benefit to staying at home. I plan on valuing it as much as possible while I am at this phase in my life. If you are too, do not lose track of this benefit.

You know, and the benefit of all this time with your kiddo.

Because I have no real "set" schedule, I can now do things on a whim, and work better around people's schedules, which is helping me to be a better friend. And put more time into relationships. I love being able to do what we did last week, and drive to Richmond for dinner to see a friend in town. I love that I get to schedule lunch dates with my friends who have alternative schedules from the typical 9-5.

Even if A had gotten out early that day, when I was still working, I wouldn't have been able to leave early for such an occasion. I love that when he gets a day off, I don't have to go into work and sit at a desk and wish I was able to spend quality time with him. The military pulls you apart as a couple, physically, so much...when your partner does in fact get time off - you want to be there too. And now I am.

It is also really easy as a stay at home parent to slip into being alone at home with your baby...and being completely satisfied with that. I have always been an extrovert (hello Myers-Briggs, look! I am using stuff I learned in grad school! On a blog! Yay!), which essentially meant that I got my energy "recharge" from being around other people.

But, more recently when I have been looking at myself, I know that I have been sliding down the scale toward introvert. I still love being around people, but my recharge was starting to come more from being at home, with my husband, relaxing on the couch. That's totally fine, but add a baby to the mix, and your home being your new office and...well that is a recipe for a hermit if you let it happen.

I still like going out and doing things, and was glad when I did them...and I still had my days of "HOLY SHIZZ WE MUST GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE. RIGHT.NOW." For the most part, though - I have been really happy chilling at home with my baby, checking things off the to-do list.

But, I have found that I still do need my people. And for that, you have to carve time out of your day, and make a commitment to seeing said people. Sometimes life isn't like college or Friends (sadly) where you just see your people all the time, because "your people" aren't you know, at your house with you, or just swinging by all the time. It was pretty easy to keep up with friends then. Now the hard work begins at making time and prioritizing that time.

Some girlfriends and I have started meeting up regularly on Monday mornings. Yes, it is time for our girls to all play together, but really the most benefit comes to us. We get a set time to look forward to where we can catch up a bit while chasing our kiddos around whomever's house. We typically meet up for an hour or two, but just that little bit of time really makes a difference. You have to be committed to reaching out and scheduling it though, these things don't just happen magically.

My biggest advice on this, only because I have learned it myself recently, is that if someone reaches out to you, really think about making it work before you say no. Don't just assume, "Oh goodness, I dunno, I'd better not because more than likely if I plan something the laws of chaos will ensue and my child will be off their nap schedule or whatever that day..." Blah, blah, blah.

Your kid is always going to have good days and bad days. And more than likely those bad days will be when you are out in public. Relax and realize that this is going to happen, inevitably, but if you shy away from all opportunities, you will NEVER leave the house. The more relaxed you are while out, the more relaxed your kiddo will be. Plus, you always think your kid is way worse than anyone else does.

{Probably. You know, unless you are the mom who lets your kid run around screaming their head off and don't say a word to them. Then, worry about it.}

All this is to say, I think I am able to be a better friend because I am at home, and I have been able to concentrate on being a better friend.

Do I still miss phone calls and forget to call people back and let my voicemails pile up to 12 at a time? Um, yes.

Do I still completely miss emails from people I actually care about because I don't check my mail in days and then have to mass archive hundreds of messages from 12 million "coupon sites" that I signed up for when I thought I could do that too because I can't deal with the number next to "Unread"? Yes, that too.

But, I'm working on it.

Evelyn Rae is seven months old

...and I really hope that I continually strive to model good friend behaviors for my daughter as life goes on.

Thanks for sticking with me this week!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day in Our Life: Evening


We pick up approximately five minutes after where we left off...

3:20 pm
I bring a sleeping baby into the house...and she has decided that 10 minutes of sleep in the car is enough of a nap for her. Check this energy. "Wow Mom! That was such  refreshing little siesta!"

3:25 pm
We are another diaper change down -I think that's 5 so far- and I have grabbed the iPad to keep me sane while I try and get Ev to go back to sleep for at least a short nap. It's already pretty late in the day for a nap, and she slept for so long this morning I am not optimistic. On the same hand, I'm not totally worried either if in fact she does not show signs of wanting to go back down, since she usually does three hours across two naps.

3:50 pm
My waiting has paid off. Once she started rubbing her eyes and doing her tired routine, I knew it would be worth it, and turns out, I was right! She is asleep for at least a little while.

4:00 pm
I head into my room and decide to give myself 15 minutes of quiet time with Twitter and Facebook.
Mr. Bingley notices that I have no baby with me and decides it is his turn to cuddle with Momma. Don't worry pups, we still love ya, buddy.

4:15 pm
I head downstairs and realize our champagne glasses (toasting flutes from our wedding! How romantical.) are still on the table and need to be washed.
As does the rest of the kitchen mess I left earlier. Whomps.

4:40 pm
By now I have emptied the dishwasher, reloaded it, washed down the delicate stuff, swept the floor, changed over the laundry and my whole kitchen smells like lemon verbena thanks to this stuff - Yum. I also pull out some split chicken breasts to defrost for dinner.

Then, since the kitchen is semi-clean I decide to take a few photos since the hubs and I are thinking of submitting the quirks of our kitchen to HGTV for a show. Momma needs a new kitchen! (those counters are hideous, yes? Laminate that looks like butcher block? Gah. Such a tease.) Plus, we've got that awesome Chinese, er, something on the idea about that. It's attached with about a thousand nails on the back though, so we can't remove it without ruining the cabinet door. 

4:45 pm
I head into the laundry room to put my detergent into my new solution container that I found earlier at Target (the trip was mostly a failure, by the way, did you know they don't sell individual sheets anymore? just the sets? lame.)

...and I get about as far as cutting off the wrapping when the monitor starts showing those familiar red lines. I head upstairs to find one super unhappy baby. I mean look at that face! I grab her, change her diaper (6!) and head downstairs to settle in for a nice long feeding.

5:00 pm
We are settled in, watching the DVR show that I didn't finish from earlier, when in walks my sister from work. Why, hey Aunt Ashley! Daddy seems to be running late so we will need to bump dinner back a little bit.

Which means a later bedtime. Oy.

It shouldn't be too big of a deal because Nana might be swinging by later tonight anyway.

5:20 pm
Ash plays with Ev and the puppy while I head in to start dinner. Chicken Shephard's Pie...since I didn't make it to the grocery store this morning, we are rocking a dish I can make up as I go with what's already in the fridge and freezer.

While I'm in the kitchen Daddy comes home and I miss getting a good shot of him and his baby before he heads up to take a shower. Booooo. He's also not feeling great, it seems that his lunch is upsetting his stomach. Hooter's food can be like that. Uh huh.

5:45 pm
Dinner is well on its way, and Ev is hungry, so she gets a little preview. A stick of celery and some attention from the pup. I think he is warming up to her. Couldn't have anything to do with the food.

6:15 pm
I throw dinner in the oven and A starts the kitchen clean up so we won't have as much to do after dinner. Love that man. Making up for that lunch at Hooters with the waitress "who wasn't even pretty."
Mmm hmm. Sure husband, suuuuure. ;)

7:00 pm
Dinner is served. Evelyn is getting some chicken, sweet potato chunks and mashed potatoes, plus the rest of the Spinach, Apple and Rutabaga puree. The grown ups get the pie and a salad. Tons of veggies on tonight's menu.

7:30 pm
...and we have successfully destroyed our dinner. There are even potatoes in her hair. Geeze. We get the phone call that Nana is not in fact coming over so we get the hurry up defense going on protecting some semblance of bed time. 

7:45 pm
Ev gets some snuggles from Daddy before we head upstairs to get her cleaned up and ready for bed, while Daddy does the rest of the dishes. Once up there, she proceeds to act like a crazy baby smiling and yelling and laughing. 
Oh boy, we are in for it tonight.

8:00 pm
We rock out our goodnight feeding, and then this crazy baby decides to have one last surge of energy while we get ready for story time. In that last photo she had just launched herself forward off my lap to shimmy down my legs toward the dog. Because she ALWAYS wants to play with him. And sadly, he only wants to play with her if there is food involved. Poor baby.

8:30 pm
Daddy finishes reading and we stick Ev in her crib. WIDE AWAKE. And yet, strangely there is no fussing. We do three rounds of "You are My Sunshine" and boom, she's out. Preferring to not question this miraculous occurrence of a tear free bedtime, we tiptoe out of her room and congratulate ourselves. Only a half hour after normal bedtime! Wee!

9:00 pm
By now I have poured myself a glass of wine and gotten caught up with husband about his day, while I finished my little detergent project from earlier. Much more scoop able container, and the excess went into an old clean milk jug until I need to refill it. And, the new jug was only $7. Check that off the list!

9:15 pm
I decide to reward myself with a few Girl Scout cookies for a job well done. Pat self on back, and we get the cute new Valentine's gifts from Grandma ready to go in the wash.

9:30 pm
I get these blog posts going and try to start uploading some pictures while my loving husband brings the trash bins out to the curb. We decide to head upstairs to catch a couple of DVR shows before bed. Wednesday night comedy = awesomeness. Modern Family, Happy Endings. Yay TV.


Evelyn Rae is seven months old

...and whew. I am exhausted from all this posting. Still my favorite blog project to date.