Monday, June 16, 2014

Stella Rose: 17 Months Old

Oh my how you have GROWN and CHANGED. The past 5 months have FLOWN by! This month you will be 17 months old!!! You are becoming ALL toddler these days and are super independent, vocal, hilarious, adventurous, and FULL of energy! 

These days you:

- Live on Spaghetti O's and blueberries
- LOVE dipping sauces like ketchup, hot sauce, and hummus… and you just like the sauce, not the item that goes WITH the sauce 
- Love playing at Splash Pads and swinging! 
- LOVE to dance… especially to worship music :) 
- Sing your ABC's, Old MacDonald (E-I-E-I-O), and Ring around the Rosie (Ashes! Ashes!)
- Take your lovies everywhere… When you wake up you scoop them ALL up to come with you. 
- Still don't like the car
- Still want a bottle every morning and evening and pacifier during naps and bedtime (We will cut you off eventually) 
- Your special treat every day is a cup of ice from Sonic - you are rarely quiet unless you have that cup of ice! 
- You can say: Daddy, Mommy, "Nana" (banana), "Tetta" (Stella), "Bahbah" (Bottle), NO!, "Mo" (More), baby 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Thoughts on Whole 30

I have received a LOT of questions about the Whole 30 Diet so I thought I would do a post explaining it and how we have liked it so far. 

First of all, my friend Ashley DARED me to do this 30 Day Challenge and I am not one to pass up a good challenge. I will be honest, I had NEVER EVER done a diet before.  Unfortunately, eating disorders ran rampant in my high school and so I have tried to stay as far away from calorie counting as I possibly can so that I would never have to walk through that struggle.  BUT I feel like I had taken it too far- Cokes, FAST FOOD, and eating whatever I wanted...Whenever I wanted.  For the first YEAR after Stella was born, I was able to blame the extra weight on Stella and after that, it was just plain laziness so I knew there had to be a middle ground somewhere. So I decided to take on this challenge! 

Instead of all the foods I CANNOT eat (because that overwhelms me) I just focused on what we COULD eat.

The first week was awful.  My system was shocked at how many greens I was eating and I was honestly a bit on edge and cranky.  My saving graces were afternoon Sonic runs to get unsweet tea and my Lara Bars! I LOVE these! For lunch, I just subsituted lettuce for bread on my sandwiches, almost making them a wrap! Not as filling, but still good. 

I started on a Monday and had a doctor's appointment that Thursday and the nurse practices PALEO (Very similar to Whole 30) and gave me some advice.  She said if I took it TOO FAR and was too strict on myself, it would become a "Fad Diet" that I would swear on my life to never do again after the 30 Days were up! She said for her and her husband, they practice Paleo during the week and take weekends off.  Why?  Because you aren't going to UN-DO all the healthy eating you have practiced during the week with 1 cheeseburger on the weekend.  So this was great motivation for me because I knew if I could make it until Friday, I wouldn't feel guilty eating whatever I wanted on the weekends! (Now its not smart to binge-eat, but if I wanted to splurge and have ice cream or pasta, I had that freedom)  She also told me that she had a few non-negotiables in her weekday dieting: Creamer in her coffee and red wine if she needed a glass after a long day.  I have adapted this to MY Nonfat Chi Tea Lattes from White Rock Coffee after my Boot Camp workouts (NON-negotiable after a 5:30AM workout) and also red wine if I have had a long day.  (She did mention that red wine is the "healthiest" alcohol- good for your heart and less sugar than white wine.) 

If nothing else, this "diet" has really been a lifestyle shift for my family.  We are eating MUCH healthier and I am much more conscious about what I buy at the store now.  LOTS of fresh fruits and veggies have taken the place of fruit snacks, trail mix, and goldfish in the afternoons.  I also RARELY find myself craving "Fast Food" anymore and I used to eat it frequently.  AND I am pleased to say, that unsweet tea has now replaced my cravings for COKE!! I had a Coke this past weekend and couldn't even finish it because it made me feel so bloated. I never thought I would say that! 

Some of my FAVORITE things to make now are spaghetti squash.  Recipe HERE.  And then Taco Salad... we do ground beef, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, and sliced up avocado topped with Salsa from Chili's :) Its YUMMY!!!  Logan's favorite lunch these days is tuna salad and my favorite snack has become apples with almond butter from Trader Joes.  
Who are we?!?! I don't even recognize us! Haha! We do NOT keep a scale in our house for said reason listed in the first paragraph, but I have noticed that I feel better and my pants are buttoning up a lot easier than they used to ;) So I would encourage anyone to try it and not be HARD CORE about it, but be REALISTIC.  When you do challenges like this it really makes you take a good hard look at your eating habits and sometimes just a tweak or two can make all the difference in your diet! I am not an expert by any means, but I feel like if WE were able to do this, ANY family can! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Little Moments

I want to remember and cherish these little everyday moments that I have with Stella. I know she's going to be grown before I know it so I thought I would make a list today. 

Stella Bug Quirks:

1. Stella always walks up to me and holds her arms above her head for me to pick her up and then she gives me love pats on my back and rests her head on my shoulder. 

2. When she's eating something she REALLY likes or is drinking out of a cup the "grown up" way she SLURPS like a little dog.  Terrible manners but its adorable! She will literally get her tongue out and lick the water/ juice/ milk in the glass. 

3. When she's in her high chair and you smile at her she will lean her head ALL the way to the side and give a squinty, 2 tooth, mischievous grin. 

4. When you wake her up after naps or sleeping through the night, she will bring 2 of her animals with her... usually by their ears, until she wakes up a bit more. 

5. She dances ALL THE TIME. If there is music, she is walking around, bopping up and down, and typically waving her hands and arms around in the air.  The church nursery has consistently told us that you love dancing during baby worship time. 

6. Clapping.... Its hilarious but if we are listening to LIVE music in the car and the audience claps at the end of the song, I can look at you back in your car seat and you are clapping along. 

7. For SOME reason you have really fallen in love with the " Ring around the Rosie" game and you walk or crawl around in circles while we sing it and you can actually sing "ASHES, ASHES" which is SO random and so cute! For a good 20 minutes at a time we can find you wandering the halls singing "Ashes! Ashes!" well after the game is done. 

8. Although majority of what we feed you winds up in your bib, seat, or the floor... We can always count on you to eat EVERY.SINGLE.BITE. of your PB&J sandwich or anything with Nutella on it. So we do know you are capable of eating. You just choose what you do and do not want to devour and definitely have a sweet tooth!

9. Your babbling never gets old. Sometimes I really think YOU think we are having a conversation.  You will just talk and talk and talk... especially in the car or first thing in the morning when Daddy brings you to bed with me. One of your favorite things to say is "Ah Weeeee" and we pretend you are saying "Ah, Oui!" which means "Oh yes!" in French. 

10. You have an affinity for markers, chap stick, bows, and your toothbrush.  You walk around with them in your hands or mouth all day long. 

These are just a few of the cute things that you do every single day that warm my heart and make me smile. I just love you baby girl! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Hearts Day!

We started eating chocolate at 9am.... because... well, why not!??!? Happy Hearts Day! 

Abby & Stella

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Thoughts on Motherhood

I have been struggling with this blog as you have probably noticed.  I have SO many words trapped in my brain... So many reflections, struggles, thoughts... and yet NO time to do it.  It almost seems like I have SO MUCH to catch up on that I can get paralyzed and just don't post at all.   But writing is therapeutic for me so this afternoon I decided I would get some thoughts down on paper and see how it felt. So here we go! 

Motherhood did not come naturally to me. 

I think my friends and definitely my parents would correct me on this and say "YES! You are a natural! You are a GREAT MOM!"  The thing is, I know am a good Mom.  But it wasn't something that clicked for me, especially at the beginning. You hear stories about how you see your baby for the first time and everything changes and you have never loved something or someone as much as you do in that moment.... Well call it the hormones or my traumatic birth experience, but the beginning months were rough on me.  This baby turned our life upside down and it took time for me to get to know her.  She was a perfect stranger to me. She couldn't play, interact, and didn't have a personality really at all.  I found myself feeling guilty that I was so bored with her.  I could only read baby books for so long or stare at her on the play mat before I felt stupid... It just didn't come natural to me. I felt like I was forcing it or even at times, faking it.  I carted her around and sure, I thought she was ADORABLE and loved dressing her up, but for me, my goal each day was to feed her and try to stop her from crying.  I started feeling the "Mommy guilt" because I didn't have this grand attachment to her like I thought I would. I also didn't feel any different as a person.  I thought I would morph into a "Mom" and somehow feel like more of a woman after having a baby...but I was still ME... with a cute pet. 

But around 8 months, I started to turn a corner.  I noticed a little spunk emerging from Stella.  She started turning from my cute accessory, to my silly sidekick. I started calling our outings "Adventures" even if we were just going to the grocery store. She LOVED riding in the shopping carts and taking it all in and my heart started to swell as I watched her learn new things and take in the world around her.  She started crawling. Babbling.  Flirting with strangers. BELLY laughing. And WALKING. And NOW I can't get enough of her.  

I have been told that some people are "Baby Moms" and others are "Toddler Moms." I think it is safe to say that I am not particularly a "Baby Mom." In fact, I am in no rush to have another one (Lord willing) because I shudder to think of going through all of that again.... I am fully content and present and LOVING where we are at right now in toddler-hood.  Stella may not be able to really talk to me, but she can communicate.  She has started walking over to me and lifting her arms up.  And I know she is reaching up for ME.... because I am her MOM and she LOVES me. There is no better feeling in the world. 

So in case anyone still reads this dusty old blog and has struggled with any of these same sort of thoughts, but has been too embarassed or nervous to share them, know that I have NO idea if we are normal or not...BUT there is someone else out there in the world who has felt the exact same way.  If you are struggling and have a newborn - SOAK up the snuggles and enjoy the fact that you can actually get stuff done without cleaning up every 30 minutes .... AND KNOW, it is only a phase and they will be 1 before you know it! 

That's all I have for today...but it felt nice to share.  Thanks for reading! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Stella Rose: 1 Year OLD!!!

I am a few weeks late, but on January 19th our little Stella Bug turned 1!!! We are now DONE with the monthly stickers (thank goodness!) and pictures :) And I now officially have a TODDLER!!!

What is she up to THESE DAYS?!?!?

Well about 1 week before her 1st birthday she started taking STEPS and it was so cute and exciting! I am thrilled she did not decide to do this while I was out of town in Nashville...  My heart would have exploded and I might have had to come back early!

She is EVERYWHERE! She wants to walk (it looks like a cute little penguin waddle) and remove everything from every flat surface she can reach.  She loves to take books off the shelves and food off her plate.  I am hoping this is a phase as I'd love to have a dog for the sheer clean up aspect ha!  I have also noticed that recently she really does seem to be PLAYING with other kids which is just fun to watch - Talking in baby talk, laughing, smiling, and following other kiddos around.  This was a BIG milestone and made me really proud. Our little social butterfly ;) She doesn't stand a chance on being shy with Logan and myself as parents haha! She also has enough HAIR to have some GREAT BED HEAD!!!

Eating: We are still on 6oz of formula every 4ish hours throughout the day but have started mixing it with whole milk and weaning her off the bottle.  This is a SLOW process as she can't really figure out the sippy cup- She either have to suck too hard and gets frustrated or she gets it ALL over the place because it comes out too fast!  She is also up for trying ANY food item but again... most of it ends up in her chair or on the floor so we aren't sure how much she's actually eating.  She DOES love sliders, fried rice, and cupcakes though.... She is her mother's daughter for sure!

Sleeping: She goes down consistently around 8:15pm every night and wakes up around 7:15am every morning.  She always takes a solid nap in the mornings which is when I work (from 9-10:30ish) and in the afternoons we are hit or miss but more often than not, a nap between 2-4pm.  She has recently started to "talk" and hug her stuffed animals in the mornings.  It is adorable and makes waking up at 7:!5 bearable. 

Teeth: You FINALLY have your top 2 starting to peek through.  One I can see and the other one is just about to escape.  I am ready for those suckers to come out and play! I feel like we've been teething for months without any progress!

Words:  Mama, Dada, Papa, Baby, and ASHES of all things?!?! You picked this up from Ring-Around-The-Rosie... Not an easy word and a VERY random one at that!

MUSIC: You LOVE to dance these days! You are starting to be more intriqued with the TV (We love Sprout) and anytime the songs come on you sway your arms back and forth and shake your hips side to side.  You are also completely awe-struck when your Daddy plays the guitar for you.  I think you may have music in your future...

Stella had her first (DOUBLE) ear infection over the holidays and then this past week battled a stomach bug with me... We think it may have been the stomach flu.  We are happy that one is behind us because last week was NO FUN!  I am ready for warmer weather and for cold & flu season to be behind us! 

This morning, we had her 1 year appointment and things look great! She is healthy as can be but neither of us were prepared for the 4 shots and 2 blood draws.... It.WAS.BRUTAL. So we had cupcakes for lunch to make up for it ha! (You think I'm kidding....) 
Weight - 23 pounds 3 oz (90%)
Length - 30 1/2 inches (92%)
Head - 18 1/4 inches (86%)

Here are a few pics over her first holiday season - Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve in Houston with ALL your cousins in from ALL OVER THE WORLD!!! AND 2 birthday parties!!! One with your cousin Jude and one on your actual birthday :) You have been BUSY girl! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Stella Bug's 1st Birthday!!!

I blinked and my TINY, 7 pound 3 oz Little Miss Frenchy... turned ONE!!! (YAY FOR NO MORE STICKERS!!!) 

I started the day off by waking up at 4:30am in order to catch the red-eye flight back from a work trip in Nashville.  Logan and Stella picked me up at the airport and we went straight to the donut shop where Stella TORE into her first donut hole.  A chocolate & sprinkle covered one at that! She LOVED it...until she shoved the entire thing into her mouth and started choking! Rookie parent mistake. 
Then we came home and while she napped, I unpacked, showered, and we started setting up and decorating for the party! We did a ladybug theme since the nickname "Stella-bug" seems to have stuck :) Gigi and Aunt Katy came early to help prep ALL the food and it was perfect!!! We got SO lucky that the weather was sunshine and in the high 60s.... IN JANUARY!!! Definitely the polar opposite weather conditions she was born into! 

At 3pm everyone started to show up! We had to wake you up from your nap and you were kind of out of it for awhile.  You sat in your chair looking at everyone... just kind of taking it all in.After a little bit you warmed up to the crowd and ran around playing with Laine, Libby, Lola, and Emerson.  Your boyfriend Caleb was there too ;)

You LOVED your ladybug cake and smashed right into it like a champ. It was the cutest, tiniest cake ever! Then you opened all your presents- you got lots of cute clothes, books, a riding zebra, blowing toy, and your own picnic table! You cleaned up Missy! Now we have to figure out where to put it all :)

After everyone went home that night, we invited Pappa & Mimi, Aunt Katy, and Opa & Gigi to stay for dinner.  We ate burgers, watched your 1 year slideshow, and stalked Sprout to see if they would announce your birthday! (We don't know if they did or not...)

It was a perfect day in every way.  We are blessed and privileged to be your parents.  We love you to the moon and back.  You are blossoming into a little girl a little bit more each day and walking around like a PRO! I am sure you will be running before we know it! We hope you loved your day Stella-bug! 


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