Saturday, February 28, 2015

6 Month Update!

Our little JB turned 6-months today! We started off the day by snuggling in bed (we took her helmet off so her head would cool down before we started snapping her 6-month pictures) and she was in SUCH a good mood! When we brought her back into the nursery and put her in the crib to take pictures, she had such a serious face. Shaun and I both had to act like fools to get her to smile, but luckily we got some super cute pictures! 
You can find her 6-month update over in the Elizabeth Christine section of the blog! 
Here's a few outtakes from this morning's photo shoot! 

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Five on Friday

Amen! Friday is finally here! I don't know about you all, but these weeks just seem to be dragging and dragging lately! Spring break, where are you!?!?! 5 more days...5 more days... 5 more days...
As usual, this has been a hectic week. I am looking forward to this weekend. Tonight I'm doing a mom's night out with a friend at Chili's. Margarita? Chips and salsa? Count. Me. In. Saturday we have plans to go to Animal Kingdom and Grandma White is going to babysit the little peanut. We have grand intentions of leaving at 8am, but pretty sure that won't happen, LOL. Oh, and Saturday means that Elizabeth is 6 months. How in the world is that even remotely possible!?!?!
Who knows what Sunday will bring. Probably cleaning. And laundry.
Now that I've rambled on - here's my Five on Friday! 
Speaking of laundry. I am convinced that I will NEVER, EVER be caught up on laundry. Just when I think I am, we have to wash the sheets, or her crib sheet. Or towels. It's outrageous the amount of laundry that I do. I confess that I still have laundry in a basket that needs to be put away in JB's room. Why even bother putting it away when we whip through bibs, burp clothes, and onesies like it's nobody's business! haha! 
Sickness has invaded our house, again. How and why is this even possible? I am a clean freak with sanitizing and Lysol'ing everything. Shaun mentioned over the weekend his throat was bothering him and JB developed a runny nose. On Tuesday, she was bringing her hand up to her right ear so I took her to the pediatrician's office to check for an ear infection. Luckily no infection. Then Shaun came home from his business trip late Wednesday early Thursday morning and he was coughing. Hard-core coughing. I knew enough to have him wear a mask around JB when we fed her in the middle of the night and then again Thursday morning. He ended up leaving work early and going right to the walk-in clinic (I told him he had to, LOL). Thankfully he doesn't have bronchitis, but he's still coughing terribly. He still wears a mask around the house when JB is awake. He is on Predisone, Amoxicillin, and cough medicine with codeine. I swear, it'll be a miracle if I don't catch this funk. 
I've lost more weight! Can I get an alleluia!?!?! Honestly, I'm not even trying to lose weight - most of the time I'm just eating snack foods for the three meals of the day and not really snacking in-between. Right now I'm down to 133 and I was 141 when I found out we were pregnant with JB. Woot woot! My original goal was 130, but since I'm almost there, naturally I want to knock it down to 125. I'm hoping to hit up the gym Sunday morning. I won't need to go on Saturday since we'll be walking around Disney all day. I might squeeze in a workout or two next week right after work. I'll just keep JB in daycare for an extra 45 minutes. I am paying for it, right!?!? 
Spring break is just five days away! My parents (mainly my mom) begged me to come home, but honestly, I just want to stay here and spend the week with Elizabeth. I have a few fun things planned with her for the week and I want to be able to cook dinner for Shaun every night since it just so happened to work out that he'll be in town that week. (Prayers that his schedule doesn't change). So my plan is to stay here and enjoy my break! 

Essential oils are my latest thing right now. Brittany over at The View From Up Here sent me a link to a blog post about the oils and I jumped right on the bandwagon. I ordered a diffuser from Amazon Prime and last weekend I bought a few oils - lavender and lemon. I've been using them in JB's room at night (the lemon one) and Shaun used it today when he came home from work sick. I'm going to order a few more different oils online once I do a little bit more research on oils that are safe for babies. What are your favorite essential oils?

Enjoy your Friday everyone! Maybe I'll catch you sometime before the end of the weekend!
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Day in the LIfe of a Working Mama

Being a working mama is a lot of work. Being a stay at home mama is a lot of work too. I remember being absolutely exhausted by the time JB went to bed when I was on maternity leave. Neither job can be compared because each one has it's own routine - I give props to working mamas as well as stay at home mamas too. Adjusting to working again after having a baby is hard. Not only is it tough getting back into a routine of working (outside the home) again, but the emotional aspect of it is exhausting too.  I remember my first week back at work, I was pretty much glued to caffeine. It was literally the only way I was going to make it through the day. Now that I've been back at work for a while, we have a routine going in the morning that, through some miracle, gets me to work on time. 
My husband travels a lot for his job. He's gone almost 1/3 of the month. I dread the mornings he's gone because getting myself ready, feeding JB, and making sure her diaper bag is ready for daycare is no joke. I literally have to go through my routine before I go to bed in the evening so I know exactly what I need to do and the order I need to do it in. 
Since my husband is out of town this week, I figured I'd share what a day in the life of  working mama is like when she's flying solo! 
Monday Evening (once JB is in bed):
  • Wash/sterilize paci's
  • Turn washing machine on
  • Turn dishwasher on (I've forgotten this MANY times and waking up in the morning to the thought of OMG, I didn't turn the washing machine on is horrible)
  • Make sure daycare bag has bibs, clothes, paci's, etc.  
  • Bedtime for mama is usually around 9pm if it's the mama-show that night!
  • Around 11:30, JB starts chatting and talking in her crib. Mama says "Not happening baby girl" and I let her talk herself back to sleep. 
Tuesday Morning:
  • 1:30am - JB is moving around in her crib, starting to get fussy - mama makes bottle (with one eye open and one small light on) and then grab JB from crib
  • Feed JB a small 4oz bottle while she sleep-eats; burp/keep upright for 20 minutes, and then put her back into crib
  • Stumble my way back into bed and immediately fall asleep
  • 4:30am - JB is moving around again. A few WTF's run through my head (bahaha) and thankfully she falls back asleep.
  • 5:00am - alarm goes off, Mia is purring in my face, and JB is crying for mama. Good morning!!!
  • 5:05am - make JB's bottle, make bed, and then go grab our little sweet pea. Diaper change, morning kisses, and then it's straight to the couch because she's a hungry baby! 
  • 5:15-5:45 - slow eating this morning - mainly because she's so congested that it takes forever to drink a bottle. Mama gave up at 5 ounces.
  • 5:45-6:00 - nebi treatment since she's so congested.
  • 6:00 - put JB into bouncer, turn on Baby Einstein, give paci and then leave the room before she notices I'm not next to her. During this time, I'm gathering bottles to put in diaper bag, giving the kitty food and water, and I usually pack my lunch. But since I didn't eat lunch on Monday, I didn't have to do that this time! LOL!
  • 6:15 - get dressed (and say prayers that JB doesn't spit up on me when I put her in carseat, LOL)
  • 6:20 - brush hair and teeth (ain't nobody got time for makeup this morning)
  • 6:25 - put JB into carseat. Grab diaper bag, purse, car seat and turn on alarm. Whoops, forgot to grab blanket. Turn off alarm, grab blanket, and then reset alarm.
  • 6:28 - load up car and head to daycare
  • 6:35 - arrive at daycare, unpack diaper bag, talk to daycare teacher and give kisses to my little snuggle bug.
  • 6:42 - head to work
  • 2:30 - sign out early because JB has been extremely fussy at daycare - unsure if it's helmet-related or sick
  • 3:00 - run home to grab bottle incase JB gets hungry while at pediatrician's office
  • 3:07 - arrive at daycare, pack up stuff, and then head to pediatrician's office
  • 3:20 - finish feeding JB her bottle, wait forever for pediatrician to come into the exam room.
  • 3:58 - pediatrician comes on, examines JB, says no ear infection but says she's super congested and that her throat does look irritated
  • 4:15 - leave pediatrician's office and head to Walgreens to pick up prescription for antibiotics
  • 4:25 - get home, sans prescription because it's not ready yet... ugh; change JB's diaper, feed her some carrots, change her again and then a little bit of silly play time - also empty out diaper bag, rinse and put bottles in dishwasher, and put dirty clothes in hamper
  • 5:25 - head back to Walgreens to get prescription
  • 5:45 - take a hot shower so JB can sit in her bouncer in the steam to help her congestion - she loved it, LOL
  • 6:00 -  Get JB ready for bath - get wash clothes, brush, pajamas, towel, lotion, baby vapor rub, etc. After bath lotion her up, put vapor rub on chest and feet. Time for bottle! 
  • 6:25 - Get bottle ready, get medicine ready (antibiotic and reflux), get nebi ready. Grab bib and burp cloth, and then start feeding JB. Sneaking medicine is getting easier and easier! 
  • 6:50 - Bottle is gone (took a while because again, she's so congested)
  • 7:00 - Put helmet on
  • 7:05 - Start nebi - she wants no part of it. Luckily turning and watching the television makes her fall asleep
  • 7:20 - Put JB into crib - and she's out!!! :)
  • 7:25 - Turn on white noise machine and diffuser (lemon oil tonight)
  • 7:30 - Start a load of laundry, load up dishwasher, wash paci's and any toys that JB has gnawed on
  • 7:45 - grab bowl of m&m's because that sounds like a great dinner
  • 8:00 - check on JB - move her head a little bit since she face plants
The rest of the evening consisted of watching The Voice and checking up on JB every 5 minutes. I hate when she's sick because she never sleeps good! 

SO that's the day in the life of a working mama, when the dada is out of town for business!
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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Thoughts for Tuesday

Just like that, Monday has come and gone. It's Tuesday, which means it's time for Thoughts for Tuesday! :) 
Luckily the weather was a nice boost to the typical Monday-blues that everyone has. It was totally fantastic to be able to wear a dress to work and not have to worry about bare legs and being cold! I prefer to wear dresses to work (although wearing yoga pants has been kinda fun - no one ever notices! Bahaha! I'll eventually fit into my pre-pregnancy work pants, right? I mean for real). I think it's going to be dress weather for the next couple of days, which is fantastic!
I admit, it took me like three tries to figure out how to
take a picture from this angle. Good thing no one walked 
into my office while I was doing this! Hahaha!!!
I love award-show season, but I just could not get into the Oscars Sunday night. Normally all I watch is the red carpet show, but with trying to get JB into bed and then making pizza, the red carpet came and went by the time I sat down. I watched a few minutes of the Oscars and then I turned it off. With the exception of the opening number, I thought Neil Patrick Harris did a sub-par job. Even my husband commented on his dry jokes. I should also say that I rarely see any of the films nominated for the awards. They are just all too weird for me - with the exception of American Sniper. I do want to see that but my husband found a bootleg version of it online and watched it a few weeks ago, so I guess I'll just have to wait until it comes out on DVD.
JB had an appointment yesterday with the orthotist because I was sure her helmet was too small all of a sudden. Over the past couple days, she has had some mysterious red marks and I was convinced that it needed to be adjusted. Mama was wrong! He said some red spots are fine (even though she lasted over a week without one red spot). He did shave down the area above her eyes again which I was thankful for because I hate when it starts to creep over my little one's eyes! Pretty eyes and lashes shouldn't be hidden by the helmet!
My little #cutie.
I'm actually happy that we had an appointment because I ran into a mom whose daughter is also in a helmet. We got talking and we immediately asked each other if our babies slept in a Rock-and-Play and when we both said yes, we looked at each other with a definite hatred for that contraption. Yes, I know - MANY babies don't have a problem from sleeping in them. I get it. But it seems that everyone (who has a baby with a helmet) I talk to who has a baby who slept in it stated how well their babies slept right from the beginning and how they spent a lot of time sleeping in there. This just confirms it even more that JB's issue was caused by the rock and play. Even when we brought her home from the hospital, she went to sleep with NO issues in it and with the exception of waking up for bottles, never once tossed or turned during the night. Could I be wrong? Of course. But I do know that baby jellybean 2.0 (if and when that time comes), will not spend one second in that thing. I caution mommies out there to avoid the rock and play for extended periods of sleep - nap time is fine from what I've read. But a baby should not be spending every night sleeping in there - and that my friends, is something that I wish I would have known. To be honest, when she was a newborn, I thought it was the greatest thing ever. FAIL. Mega, mega, mom fail!
Well, those are my thoughts for Tuesday! Enjoy your day everyone! 

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Weekend Recap

Why is it that the weekend takes so long to get here and then in the blink of an eye, the work-week is already here. Not fair I tell you, not fair! I'll just keep chanting "10 more days until spring break" and maybe that'll get me through the next two weeks. 

But anyways, our weekend was nice and relaxing. My husband was gone quite a bit last week and the beginning portion of the weekend, so we were perfectly content staying home all weekend. I think my husband only left the house once and that was to come with me to get our taxes done Saturday morning. We are getting a nice return, just not as nice as I was hoping. Apparently we are now in the next tax bracket, which meant we aren't getting as much back. I'll take anything though! We plan on putting it into savings. Last year I don't think we spent any of our tax return and it was amazing. We don't buy a lot of things throughout the year - we do a pretty good job putting money into savings and we have no desire to go out and spend our tax return on one big item. We figure that if the money is in savings, all we want to do is forget that it's in there! Believe it or not, we still have a few hundred dollars left from wedding gifts! Ha! 

Saturday afternoon and evening we just hung out together with JB and we watched a movie and I blogged about spring cleaning. Much to my surprise, we actually accomplished part of that massive list I shared with all of you in my previous post! 

Sunday morning we woke up and I decide to make some banana puree for JB. She's had sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, and green beans, so I figured it was time for some fruit! Bananas are easy-peasy so I just peeled 5 bananas and tossed them in the blender. Once it was pureed, I added about 3 ounces of water and let it puree some more. I then poured it into ice cube trays since each little section is about an ounce and stuck it in the freezer. There was about 1.5 ounces left so we gave that to JB after her morning bottle. She wasn't as excited about it as I thought she'd be, but she did enjoy it. Right as I was making it, she fell asleep watching Baby Einstein and we were going to wait to give it to her until I got back from church, but she woke up and we decided to feed her. She was kinda sleepy, so I don't think she realized what deliciousness she was eating. 

Banana puree for my sweet pea!
I can't wait to mix banana with all sorts
of other fruits!
 Dada fed her.
Mama doesn't ever let her get this messy! HA!

Our little no-nap ninja finally took a nap in the afternoon and much to our surprise, it turned into an almost three-our nap! We were able to tackle part of the spring cleaning list and do our usual Sunday clean as well! JB fell asleep in the swing and managed to turn herself onto her side while in there but since she had fought sleep so hard, my husband begged me not to go move her. Once she woke up, we took her helmet off because I had a feeling there would be a red mark from her awkward position and sure enough, there were two bright red spots behind her ear. After a meltdown and a moment where I wanted to get into the car and run her helmet over with the car, we put some cream on it and after a little bit the redness faded. After a ton of deliberation back and forth as to whether or not she should wear it, we decided to put it back on right before bed. I prayed that there would be no redness in the morning - but either way, we will be going to the orthotist today for an adjustment (I've already spoken to him - he knows I'm type-A, so he gave me his cellphone number and told me to contact him at any time). It's just a shame though that I'll have to leave work for her appointment, but baby comes first! :) 

Sunday spring cleaning was actually kinda fun! My husband thought that when I told him I wanted to spring clean that it meant he had to help (I had every intention of having this as my list, but if he wants to help, I'm okay with that!). As I was sitting at the kitchen table eating a bowl of Easter M&Ms, I look over and he's on his hands and knees scrubbing our baseboards with bleach. Bless his heart. He ended up doing all the baseboards in the kitchen, living room, dining, room, and hallway. I steam cleaned the inside of the microwave and wiped down behind all the appliances. We rearrange a lot in the kitchen, so it actually wasn't all that bad. We managed to get everything done that I wanted to during her nap, which meant mama went on a Starbucks run since we did such a great job! 

 This stuff is amazing.
And it smells amazing too, plus it's non-toxic!

 Shh, don't tell him I took this pic!

My new obsession!!!

I was going to make beef enchiladas for dinner but by the time we got JB down (she's soooo fussy in the evening lately - I think it's a combination of her runny nose, teething, and being overtired), I looked at my husband and asked if it was okay if I just made a pizza. Of course he said yes and I appreciated that! I decided to channel my inner elementary school child by having a giant glass of chocolate milk with it (Wednesdays were pizza day in elementary school and I remember having pizza and chocolate milk, LOL). It was pretty delicious.

I'm actually not looking forward to this week. My husband will be servicing about 8 pharmacies in North Carolina this week, so it's just me and JB until the end of the week. Say prayers people, say prayers. Major props to single moms who do this EVERY day. I am so blessed I have a husband who is also super dada!!! 

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Spring Cleaning

Well, I know I said I wasn't going to blog over the weekend, but our little sweet pea went to bed a little earlier than usual last night since her feedings were all messed up since she slept in longer than usual. This meant that mama and dada had more down time and while we watched Mr. Popper's Penguins (because we are kids apparently), I decided to work on this post! Shhh, don't tell my husband I didn't really pay attention to the movie...
Our house is a disaster. Most visitors would say it looks good to them, but really, it's a hot mess. The kitchen table always has mail all over it, our closets are busting open with clothes that neither one of us wear, and our office/guest bedroom is still not finished. 
Since we certainly can't dedicate an entire weekend to clean, I looked around on Pinterest for some spring cleaning tips. And checklists. I love me some good checklists. You know you love them too. And I confess, I'm guilty of writing things down that I've already accomplished, just so I can cross them off. 
I came across some good ones, but one grabbed my attention because it was categorized perfectly. And it was PAGES long and while at first glance it looks overwhelming, it's doable if you tackle one specific area at a time! 
The checklist, which was created by Little Ms. Robinson can be found by clicking here. Here's a glimpse of it. 


My goal is to work on this massive list a little bit at a time. Of course every item doesn't necessarily apply to our cute little house, but it's a great starting out point for tackling the much needed task of spring cleaning! Today I plan on working on part of the kitchen - such as wiping down behind appliances, steam cleaning the inside of the microwave, and wiping the baseboards. We've lived in this house over a year and I'm pretty sure I've never wiped down the baseboards. Yikes! 
I'll update you guys with my progress and hopefully I will be able to report success! :)
Enjoy your Sunday!  

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Five on Friday

What a crazy week! Although, it wasn't nearly as crazy as last week. It just seems like life is so hectic lately! I'm ready for the weekend so we can just relax as a family of three! 
JB had pink eye this week. AGAIN. But, just like last time, I don't think it was bacterial pink eye. I think she has allergies and when it gets into her eyes, out comes the goopy and crusty grossness. On Monday when I picked her up from daycare, I noticed she had some small crusty stuff on her eye and I told Shaun we needed to keep our eye on it. Sure enough, when we woke up Tuesday morning, her eye was loaded. The pediatrician said it was pink eye and gave us stronger, gel-like eye drops to use twice a day for three days. By Tuesday night, her eye was almost completely better. Of course, we continued to do the drops. Actually, I have to call her pediatrician this morning because he told Shaun three days, but the prescription bottle says five days. I want to make sure we are following the right directions, so I'll need to verify. At her 6-month well visit, I will be sure to ask the pediatrician about allergies because I'm almost certain neither case was really pink eye.

We finally got a white-noise machine for JB's room. I couldn't find one that I liked that also got good reviews on Amazon, used an adapter that plugged into the wall, and that stayed on all night. When I went to a doctor's appointment this week, I noticed one sitting in the corner of the waiting room and I glanced at it and looked it up on Amazon. I ordered it right then and there and it arrived this afternoon! Love me some Amazon Prime! She loves Sleep Sheep, but it doesn't stay on for more than 45 minutes and she needs noise all night long. So we'll see how it goes tonight! Look for a review of it early next week sometime! 

It is so. freaking. cold. I mean, it's Florida people. The temperature isn't supposed to drop below 65 degrees right? It's going to be in the 30s this morning. Yikes! I don't even know what to wear when the weather gets this cold. Luckily it's Friday, which means I can wear jeans to work. Can I wear one of my comfy sweatshirts too!?! ;) I guess that would be pushing it! Luckily this weekend it's going to warm back up. I would love it if it stayed in the low 70s, with no humidity all day long! :) A girl can dream, right?

Interrupted sleep has been the name of the game this week in the White House. JB has woken up every single night crying. We aren't sure if it's because she's cold. Or if it's because of her helmet. Or of it's because she's hungry and going through a growth spurt.  Or maybe it's her teeth that I swear are NEVER going to come through. Honestly, I love the middle of the night feedings this week. It reminds me of when she was a newborn. Call me crazy, but I loved feeding her in the middle of the night. It was quiet, dark, and she was just so peaceful. On Wednesday night, she drank a bottle at 10:30 and then again at 1:30! My little piggy! We are praying she's going through her six-month growth spurt because it's a big one and it could have mega benefits for her helmet therapy. Grow my little jelly bean, grow!

I am considering going for a massage this weekend if my neck doesn't get better. After JB has her middle of the night bottles, we've been letting her sleep with us in bed. When she's in our bed, I literally do not move. She's in the middle and then I have Mia on the other side. So the way I go to bed is the way I wake up in the morning and it's beginning to cause pain in my lower neck/top of my right shoulder. It feels like there is a giant knot there. I'm not sure if going to the chiro would help or if I need a massage. Tips? Suggestions? Shaun tried massaging it out and it didn't work. Perhaps I'll just have him keep on trying though! LOL! 

Well, that's my Five on Friday everyone. Enjoy your weekend and I'll see you back here on Monday morning for my weekend recap! 
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Life with a Helmet, Part 1

Our little peanut, JB has had her helmet for a week now. The transition has been remarkably easy. Almost too easy. The day we picked it up, my stomach was in knots. I was so nervous that the second I saw the helmet, I would burst into tears. I was nervous that JB would scream and cry and pull at the helmet. I was nervous that she wouldn't ever take naps wearing it and that falling asleep (and staying asleep) would be impossible. 
We had NONE of that.
Of course when the orthotist first put the helmet on her last Wednesday afternoon, Elizabeth was quite fussy, but not three minutes later, she was smiling. Her resilience amazes me. She isn't even 6 months and the things she has gone through never seem to phase her. At the office, we practiced putting the helmet on and off and going over the the rules. Yep. RULES. And there are a lot of them!
 Model of what JB's head will
hopefully look like after treatment.

 Our little peanut, looking adorable!

Trying to eat her helmet! LOL!
I'd say she's adjusting just well! 
This was on day 1!

Basically she has to wear the helmet for 23 hours a day and when the helmet is off for that one hour, we should be spraying her helmet with 91% alcohol and wiping it down. That is also the designated bath time. Once the helmet is dry and her hair is dry, the helmet goes back on. You have NO IDEA the amount of kisses I give her beautiful head when the helmet is off. Her helmet and head don't smell yet, but from what I've been told, it will soon smell like a dirty gym sock. To help prevent this, we take the helmet off at random times during the day for a few minutes. Like yesterday when I fed her, I took the helmet off. To me, she deserves breaks during the day too. I won't always remove the helmet while feeding her solids, but it was a nice break (plus I don't want baby food all over the helmet). 

She didn't wear the helmet a lot the next two days because she went to daycare and the orthotist said to leave it off until she's used to it. But when we got her up Thursday and Friday morning, the helmet went on right away and the second I picked her up from daycare, we put it on. 
 Sitting up for the first time,
unassisted! Amazing! :) This was
on the second day of having helmet!

Saturday we did 2 hours on, 1 hour off and she did fantastic. Of course red spots are to be expected (red spots are actually a good sign, as long as they fade within an hour). There were a few times when the redness went away in less than an hour so we put the helmet back on. We made the mistake of overdressing her in the car on the way to my brother's place on Saturday and when we got there, she was seriously sweating. So my husband and I agreed that if it's chilly out that day and she needs a jacket, no helmet while in car seat. Her car seat just holds in hot air and it's not fair to her to have her sweating. She was sweating so bad that it made her eczema flair up. No helmet for naps or sleeping on Saturday.
 This face! She is so silly!

Sunday we jumped right to 4 hours on, 1 hour off and again, a great day! She napped with helmet today and did fine. This was her first night sleeping in the helmet too and she did perfectly. We were worried about her face planting and not moving her head, but apparently face planting is a common thing with babies who wear helmets, so we just kept a close eye on her. 
I should note that by Sunday afternoon, she showed no signs of fussiness or resistance while putting on or removing helmet. She is simply amazing.

Monday was her first time wearing it to daycare. She wore it for 8 hours (except when her PT came to do a therapy session) and we had Chantel the PT show the daycare workers how to remove and put on helmet. They won't ever need to remove the helmet unless she needs to have her clothes changed, but they needed to be taught the correct way to take it on and off. Our PT is amazing and showed them everything they needed to know. That day, I had them remove the helmet at 3 so her head could have a break before our trip to the chiropractor. Once we got home from the chiropractor, I put her helmet back on. 

Monday night was rough. She fell asleep right away in crib but woke up around 12:30 crying. Shaun tried to get her to go back to sleep but had no luck. I was able to rock her back to sleep, but the second I laid her down, she woke up. We ended up feeding her a small bottle because that always knocks her out. After the bottle she slept with us because we knew she'd go right to sleep.

Tuesday was her first day of 23 hours on, 1 hour off. We broke the rules a little bit and had her helmet off for longer. When she went to the pediatrician, they had to weigh her without helmet, so it was off for that visit and then again when I got home from work. Tuesday night was a little bit better as far as sleeping through the night. She woke up around 2:30am and we knew to not even attempt to rock her back to sleep. I made a small bottle that we fed to her right in our bed and then she fell asleep with us. Boy when we woke her up at 6:15 (which was 45 minutes later than usual since I didn't go to work Wednesday) she wanted no part of waking up! LOL! 

When she wakes up in the morning, we remove the helmet to let her hair dry. We have been leaving it off for around 30 minutes, but we should be decreasing that because her helmet really does need to be on for 23 hours. Do I think an extra hour here or there will make a difference? No, but if we continue to do that every day, it'll add up. 
Naps and bedtime are interesting because when she does this (see picture) we hear her helmet knocking into the crib! LOL!
She manages to get herself into the silliest positions!

Wednesday we took the helmet off when she got up and put it back on after her bottle. I took it off again to feed her green beans for lunch. I left it off for 20 minutes and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't even all that sweaty. 
Green beans for the win!
Today we go to the orthotist for her first adjustment. We were already told they will not do any scans to check for progress yet (which is going to drive me crazy). Do I notice a difference? Yep. And to be honest, the day she got the helmet, we were sitting in the orthotist's exam room and I looked at my husband and said that I had already noticed a difference in her head, that it was looking more round. I posted pics on all the FB support groups I'm a part of and they all noticed a difference too. I question the validity of the pics because the angle of the camera was different, so maybe it's not completely accurate. Again, to be honest, I do second guess my decision because if her head is already changing prior to receiving the helmet, why are we proceeding? Well, I hate "what-if"s" and I just want to go through with it. It'll be interesting to see if the orthotist notices a difference. I took some pictures yesterday and started to analyze but I decided to delete them off my camera. I want to just wait to see what the expert says. Will I be disappointed if he doesn't see any changes? Probably. But we are only one week in. One week of a long, long journey. 

There are mega growth spurts at six and eight months. JB is most definitely in her 6-month growth spurt now so I'm ecstatic that she has her helmet. My main goal once it was confirmed that she would benefit from having a helmet, was to have her IN the helmet right when the growth spurt started. And boy, we timed it perfectly!!! JB is sleeping more than ever and eating a ton more, so it's quite obvious she's in a growth spurt. 

So, next week I'll update you on what the orthotist said as well as more stories from Elizabeth's Life with a Helmet! :)

Oh and for those of you wondering - I take pictures all the time of her in the helmet and post them on social media. Not for one second am I ashamed and embarrassed that our daughter has a helmet. I am grateful everyday for the medical industry and the advances they have to correct these issues. We took JB to Target with us on Sunday, and of course, we had people giving us weird looks. Shaun didn't even notice until I mentioned it. The last thing I want is for people to feel sorry for Elizabeth. I hate when people say "Aww, poor baby" or "Aww, that sucks". To me, it's not a big deal. A bigger deal would be her in 15 years asking why her head is misshaped and why we didn't do anything to correct it. I hate sympathy. What do I want to hear from people? How cute she is, how adorable she is, how long her eyelashes are. It's 2015 - people need to get beyond how everyone is different.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What Are You Giving Up for Lent?

I'm a full-blown Catholic school girl. I went to a Catholic elementary school from kindergarten through 8th grade and then I went to a Catholic high school. As long as I can remember, I always sacrificed something during Lent because I was taught it's what we're supposed to do. In the past I've given up chocolate, soda, coffee, and a bunch of other things. Last year I was pregnant with JB, so I allowed myself to break those rules.  Of course, I abstain from not having meat on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays during Lent (this included when I was pregnant). 
I've been trying to come up with something to give up and I can't think of anything. At first, I was like well, maybe Starbucks. But honestly, my husband and I have seriously cut down on our Starbucks addiction and I feel like it wouldn't be fair to give up something that I don't have that often anymore. Then I thought maybe I should give up chocolate. Testing season is upon us and at any given time in an elementary school for the next 6 weeks, chocolate will be in abundance and it would be too tempting. 
I'm idea-less for what to sacrifice. I don't have the willpower to drop Facebook for the next 40 days and I take far too many pictures to not use IG either. But I still feel like I want to do something as we start this Lenten journey. After brainstorming, asking my husband, and googling (what would we do without Google?), I decided to TRY to give up stressing out over the small stuff. Easier said than done, but I figured I could at least try to be successful in this. It seems to me that all the little things in life are building up and causing me to have so much stress that I often feel overwhelmed. I'm going to try and take one day at a time. Maybe even one HOUR at a time. These moments are just FLYING by and if I continue to be stressed out so much, I'm going to miss time with JB because I'm always so worried about everything. 
So how am I going to do this? Journaling. Yep. Old-fashioned journaling. Sure, blogging is a form of journaling, but honestly, there are so many things running through my mind that I can't even begin to blog about them. So I ordered a cute journal today on Amazon and with Amazon prime, it should be here by the end of the week! I plan on sitting down every day and just writing down my thoughts, worries, and what is stressing me out. That way, when I'm done writing, I can close the book on whatever is bothering me and move on. In other words, I'm going to try to LET IT GO. 
Hopefully I'm successful in this new task for the next 40 days. I figured it may not be the same as giving something tangible up, but as long as I'm attempting to fix what is making me so stressed out over everything, it should count right? 
What are you giving up for Lent?
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Thoughts for Wednesday....

I want you to know the entire time I was typing this, I had "Thoughts for Tuesday" in my mind. That's how out of it I am. Today is Wednesday. NOT Tuesday!!! So there goes my "Thoughts for Tuesday" idea.... Oh well!
Thought #1:
On any given day, I have a few freakouts. It's no surprise that my husband has learned to just roll with the punches and deal with me. This morning was no exception. JB woke up with a crusty, red eye and we both looked at each other and said "Yep. That's pink-eye". To be honest, we both expected it. [Yesterday I noticed some crusties on her eyes and I warned Shaun that we might wake up to pink eye.] We then stared at each other and said "Well I can't take off". Before either one of us started to over-react, we had a perfect conversation. He said he couldn't take off because he's on call this week for work and I said I couldn't take off because I was proctoring the 5th grade math assessment this morning and that it would be impossible to find a proctor at the last minute. We discussed alternatives and determined that he would take off the morning and take her to the pediatrician. I said I could leave work at 11:30 so he could then go to work. He did a wonderful job keeping me informed of what was going on and even let me stay at work for the whole day since I will have to stay home with her tomorrow. She is on antibiotic eye-drops but needs to be on them for 24 hours before she's allowed to go back to daycare (I LOVE that her daycare required a doctors note to return as well. Makes me feel better that they monitor the babies and make sure they are healthy). God bless our little Elizabeth because she is such a trooper through everything that she's been through.
Thought #2:
Last Thursday I had a second biopsy on a suspicious mole. Today I received this notification:
I will still have to go every 6 months now for skin checks, but I have prayed so hard that these results would come back with GOOD news and it is just that -  ALL GOOD!!!!!

Thought #3:
Fat Tuesday. Today is supposedly the day when we all are supposed to eat like pigs since Lent begins tomorrow. For the record, I've barely eaten today (which paired with my lack of coffee today) which probably is the cause for my horrific headache earlier. I cried it hurt so bad. Which of course made it worse. I took a mini "rest" when I got home from work since I just can't do naps. It made my head feel a little better but it still hurts. Early to bed for me tonight for sure! Anyways.... back to this thought. FAT TUESDAY means this little (and it's not little by any means, haha) gem ended up in my belly. All of it's raspberry glory and powdered sugar deliciousness.


Well, those are my thoughts for Wednesday! Have a good one everyone!
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup

I've made crock pot baked potato soup a few times since our little sweet pea was born. It's a good recipe that makes a lot and it's delicious reheated. I had a recipe that I was following, but I misplaced the link for it on Sunday when I was trying to make a grocery list. I ended up just brainstorming what I thought would make a good soup based on what I've made in the past. There's so many ways to make the soup that I had a feeling that it would turn out just scrumptious!
Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup
5-6 decent sized baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 white onion, chopped
1/2 bag shredded carrots (why shred when they sell it already done for you!)
1 bag shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 bag shredded colby-jack cheese (or any kind really)
8 oz heavy whipping cream (you could double this, but I wanted this recipe to be less artery-clogging)
Kosher Salt, just a dash (I hate salt)
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1. Wash, peel, and cube potatoes. Toss in crock pot (I always spray crock pot with cooking spray - makes clean up SO. MUCH. EASIER.)
2. Chop white onion and toss in with potatoes. Add the carrots too.
3. Add 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable stock). Stir everything up.
4. Add a dash of kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper (I add A LOT). Stir everything up again.
5. Set crock pot on high for 4 hours (or low for 6).
6. When there are 30 minutes left, add the shredded cheese and heavy whipping cream. Stir, stir, stir!!!
7. Continue to cook in crock pot for the remaining 30 minutes.
8. Ladle into soup bowls and enjoy! 


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Monday, February 16, 2015

Catching Up With The Whites

This past weekend was spent with my beautiful family. I decided I'm going to try and not blog on the weekend because I think spending time with JB and my husband is far more important. To that one reader out there, sorry, but you'll just have to follow my life on IG on Saturdays and Sundays. Bahahaha!!!!! With me being a working mama, I have to soak in all of these moments I have with her at home - especially on the weekends when my husband is in town and it's just the three of us. 
Saturday was Valentine's Day and we didn't have a lot planned. I wanted to take some cute pictures of Elizabeth so we did that in the morning and then my husband left to "pick something up". We had mutually agreed on no gifts since we don't usually do a lot for Valentine's Day, but clearly he had listened carefully to me dropping the "You know, I've never had one of those Edible Arrangements" hint. I dropped the hint a few weeks ago and wasn't serious about him doing it for Valentine's Day, but of course he's a sweetheart and came home with a perfect arrangement of delicious chocolate covered strawberries, heart shaped pineapple, grapes, and stuffed animal and a balloon! I loved it! I did share with my husband, but only a few pieces, haha! Look at this adorable-ness:

 This face!!!

 Oh Mama, I like this book!

 Stylin' baby 
(outfit picked out by The Dada)

Saturday evening the three of us went to my brother's house for dinner. We  He grilled up some steaks, steamed some green beans, and baked this delicious stuffed clam thing. Everything was amazeballs. I'm not usually a steak person, but when I have one, it is always oh-so-good! We brought the dessert, which was a festive Valentine's-themed funfetti cake. Why? Because apparently I am 5 years old. Bahaha.
Sunday was just a relaxing day at home and then an afternoon trip to Target to pick up some essentials for the house (rubbermaid container for her newborn and 3-month clothes - I was going to sell them but if we decide on jelly bean 2.0 and baby is a girl, I figured it might be a good idea to save them so next weekend I will be packing them up to store in the back of her closet.) and snacks for the workweek. It was our first trip out in public since JB got her helmet last week. I'll reserve any other comments about our trip until a post I write about her first full week in the helmet. Let's just say I wasn't surprised one bit. I also made a batch of crock pot baked potato soup. I couldn't find the recipe I made last time so I just made up a recipe in my head and it. was. DELICIOUS.  
 Oh, and JB legit knows how to hold
 her bottle herself. Sigh

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend. Sorry the recap is so late, but again - family time is much, much more important.
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Friday, February 13, 2015

Five on Friday

Yes! It's finally Friday! Goodness gracious was this a crazy week! Every single day this week we had something going on after school - JB had appointments Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and then yesterday afternoon, I had my scary dermatology appointment (read about why it's scary here). I told my husband that all I want to do this weekend is spend time with him and Elizabeth.
So, with it being Fri-yay and all, it's time for Five on Friday! 
I cooked dinner EVERY single day this week. Amen! I actually stuck with our meal plan (minus one adjustment where I switched the days). I find that if I meal plan on the weekend, I don't end up having to run to Publix at all during the week! It's amazing to not have to waste the time running to the grocery store in the middle of the week.  I don't mind these grocery runs if I'm not working that day, but during the work-week, I need as much playtime with JB as possible! Thursday's night dinner was ahhhmazing. I made Parmesan Chicken Bake and it was so, so, so good. I cut the recipe down a lot since it's just the two of us and it worked out perfectly. I would have taken a picture but I was so hungry by the time it was done that I pretty much inhaled it without breathing. Shaun gave it two thumbs up too - even after I told him it had mayo in it! I'm striving for more meal plans this weekend!
I have to get better with scheduling bill payments online. January and February were a hot mess for paying bills on time via web payments. I'm usually so good about it but for some reason, I missed so many bills. Luckily none of them had late fees (I fought the one from Kohl's). I think this weekend I need to get some ideas from Pinterest on how to create a schedule for paying bills. I'm sure there's something out there! 

Saturday is Valentine's Day. Sigh. I'm We're not huge fans of Valentine's Day. But, this year it will be a special one because it means that one year ago, we announced that we were expecting our little baby jelly bean! I cannot believe how fast a year goes by. Seriously. I remember being so utterly excited to make the announcement. So excited in fact, that I remember my hands were shaking right before I hit "post" on IG and Facebook! Gosh, I loved every second of my pregnancy! We have plans on Saturday to hang out with my brother and Becky! :) It should be fun since we haven't seen them since before Christmas! 

How we announced that we were expecting!

We FINALLY found a good daycare. After one daycare in the fall and then a private babysitter for the past 5 weeks, I was determined to find a good one. We needed a place that would follow our schedule and ensure that our little peanut was receiving the best care possible. We ended up putting her in a new daycare this past Tuesday and we love it so far. They have been following our schedule perfectly and even got JB to take TWO GOOD naps yesterday (for the majority of the week, she's been taking two, 20-minute naps). But today when I picked her up and saw that she took two, hour-and-fifteen minute naps, I was so giddy! Bless their hearts for getting our little no-nap ninja to sleep! 

Yesterday I was able to pull EVERY. SINGLE. one of my reading groups. If you're a teacher in a public school during "testing season", you understand my reason for excitement! I was also on time for EVERY. SINGLE. groups. Can I get an AMEN!?!?! Next week will be totally different because Tuesday and Wednesday I'm proctoring the 5th grade Math Assessment and then Thursday I'm off campus for a reading resource teacher meeting. Sigh. You win some, you lose some! Ha!

Well, that's my Five on Friday! Enjoy your Fri-yay everyone!

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