Goodbye Betty

August 27, 2012

Today I am joining up with Emily at Knee Deep in the Baby Pool for her series Pinned it Did It Monday.  Check out her site to see her pinterest projects and adorable kiddos.  I am going to attempt to do a pin and post every Monday, we’ll see how consistent I am!

I love brownies, they are my favorite food, yep that’s right, not just my favorite dessert, but food!  Brownie mix just keeps getting more expensive and I don’t always have it on hand so when I saw this pin I decided it was a must try.  Brownie mix for $0.30, yes please!

My review:  They were delicious and tasted like the Betty Crocker box mix.  I’ve made brownies from scratch before and they just don’t taste like a boxed brownie, but these really did.  The thing the pin didn’t state was what size pan to use.  This recipe is perfect for an 8×8 or 9×9.  I will most definitely do this from now on, bye bye Betty Crocker!

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HAHA totally kidding, but I was asked to write a post about my favorite baby/mama items because my friends are pregnant and getting ready to register so this post covers everything from bathtubs to bras.

This is our baby bathtub and I love it.  Unfortunately it appears it isn’t available anymore.  It’s my brother and sister-in-laws tub so they purchased it almost 4 years ago.  You might be able to find it on craigslist though so I thought I’d show it to you anyway.  Two things make this tub awesome.  The built in thermometer and the two section tub.  The thermometer gives a constant temperature and goes from blue to green to red to indicate the perfect temperature range.  The two sections mean you can use clean water to rinse the shampoo out.  There are quite a few thermometer tubs available on Amazon.

Mom’s One Line a Day.  I got this book as a shower gift and I know I’ll be glad I did this over the first 5 years of her life.  So far I’ve kept up on it, but she is only 5 weeks old, 5 years is a long time.

Baby Momo Burp Cloths.  They are a convenient size, cute, wash well, and I love the one side chenille and one side cloth.  If you can sew, just make some, but since I can’t I buy them from her.

Breathing Monitor.  I would sacrifice buying a swing or bouncy seat or baby carrier in order to have one of these.  They do have cheaper versions, but this is the one we have.  It gives me tons of peace of mind.  Baby’s cough and gag and make all sorts of noises in the night and the little green blinking light that shows me she’s breathing is awesome!  They also have monitors and breathing pads all in one. I know Angel Care makes one.

Huggies natural newborn with umbilical cord cutout.  I preferred these over the pampers because the umbilical cord cutout was better in my opinion.

Nursing Bags.  If you have a medela pump these bags are amazing.  You can pump right into them instead of having to pump into a bottle and then transfer it over to freeze.  They are a little pricey so be sure to register for a few boxes.

Dad don’t click on these links…these are the bras that I have and that’s just weird, haha.  I have two of these and really like them.  This is my favorite sleeping nursing bra.  I have one of these tanks and wish I had 5, but seeing as they are $45 that isn’t going to happen!

I also love my baby book, swing, bouncy seat, bassinet, and monitor, but I have a sleeping baby and am in need of a shower so it’ll have to be another day!

What Would You Choose

August 23, 2012

My brother asked me hypothetically the other day if I had money to give away to one organization which would I choose.  You would think I would have had an answer right away, but I’m still stumped.  At first I thought about Autism Speaks because it affects so many people these days and I think awareness goes a long way with this disorder.  Then I thought about Make a Wish Foundation.  I think it is really cool that they grant people their last wish and give families a joyful memory at the end of a loved one’s life.  Yesterday I started thinking about how much of a difference a large sum of money could make for Compassion International and aid in all the work they are doing for so many children across the world.  I was recently watching the today show and there was a story on there about a family who was fulfilling their son’s dying wish to go to cheap restaurants and leave $500 tips.  Luckily they videotaped it and it is so fun to watch the reaction of people getting a huge tip and how many of them really needed the money.  So this is completely hypothetical, but what would you do with let’s say $10,000?  I’m just curious, no we didn’t just win the lottery or anything!

One Month Letter

August 21, 2012

I am going to attempt to write a letter to our Elle every month and capture the milestones of the month and how we are feeling.  We’ll see if I can keep it up.  I’m not a scrapbooker, blogging suits me better, so this is my way of telling our daughter what life is like at the present moment.

To my dearest Ellery Wynn,

People aren’t lying when they tell you a baby changes everything.  You, my sweet girl, changed everything for me.  You made me a mom, something I’ve wanted as long as I can remember.  I know we will have our ups and downs and when I look at you now I wish I could pause time and live in this moment for longer.  You are perfectly innocent, when you cry it’s because you actually need something, you are either hungry, need a diaper change, or are overly tired.  Soon your cries will signal a lot of other things and I’ll have to choose when to give into your demands.  For now I just get to love on you and answer the cries.  I’m so glad we had a plan from the start for your sleeping.  I can lay you down in your bassinet and most of the time you can put yourself to sleep.  Sometimes you lay there for 30 or 40 minutes and just look around before drifting off to dreamland.  Believe me when I tell you that I want to hold you all day long and stare at you and enjoy these moments, but I also know I’m a much happier mama when I get sleep and by doing this method of sleep training this early I am actually getting a lot of sleep and I’m enjoying my time with you.  You are the loudest sleeping baby I’ve ever heard.  You grunt and scream in your sleep.  It sounds as though you are getting ready to wake up any minute, but will be fast asleep, this has taken some getting used to and you will be moving to your bedroom sooner than we planned because the grunting and screaming wakes us up more than we would like.  It’s almost as if you knew today was a big day because you slept almost a five hour stretch last night and woke up at our established wake time today, I can’t thank you enough!  You are an eater.  A very efficient eater.  You never want to eat for more than 15 minutes and after giving you your first bottle at 3 weeks we found out you eat over 4 ounces in a feeding, no wonder you have gained so much weight so quickly.  I thought I would not enjoy nursing very much, but the night you got your first bottle I was so sad that I wasn’t feeding you.  You, my little love, are a daddy’s girl.  You burp the best for him, snuggle him, give him the sweetest smiles, and let him hold you in positions that make you scream with everyone else.  Let me tell you he is crazy in love with you.  He is all about kissing your sweet cheeks.  I tease him that I now have to compete for the number one love spot in his life now that he has two girls.  Don’t be mistaken though, he will always love me more because that’s how it should be.  You have the sweetest giggles, of course you won’t perform on video, but you’ve been giggling almost since you first got home, it’s as if you are living up to your name already, my cheerful friend.  I love being at home with you, we don’t leave the house when it’s just the two of us, I can’t carry your carrier so we wait for daddy to go out.  I am so content to just be here with you reading books, singing songs, playing on the floor, feeding you, taking naps, it is simply the best.  One month ago you came into our lives and we will never be the same, so glad you are here!

Love you always,

Mama

This list makes me cry everytime I read it, I thought it was just the pregnancy hormones, but I read it again today and I cried even harder so it’s just from being a mom.  I am so blessed to be married to an awesome man who will be an incredible dad to our daughter.  I was going to tell which numbers I really love, but honestly I can’t choose.  I will say #14 won’t be chucks, she’ll be rockin the topsiders.  37 and 38 are pretty awesome.  And how true is #50, I can’t read that one without getting grossly choked up!

When I say all my friends are having girls I am not overstating this.  In our small group, I just had a girl, AS had one the next Saturday.  KH is due anyday with a little lady and JH and CD are due with girls on the same day, December 30th!  It’s a wild year and I’m so blessed to be in this group with these couples and experiencing this part of our life together.

Par-annoyed

August 18, 2012

I’m annoyed that I’m paranoid about things. The biggest one right now is West Nile virus. There are 19 confirmed human cases in the Austin area right now and I’m just sure this is going to be the death of us. Somehow driving places doesn’t phase me and a lot more people die from that than a mosquito bite, but I’m paralyzed by the thought that me or someone I love is going to contract the virus and die. Andrew asked if he could take Ellery for a walk around the block and I said no! How terrible that our little one has to be inside constantly because her mom is a paranoid freak!

Divine Appointment

August 15, 2012

I missed posting about my awesome weekend with my sister-in-law at the Beth Moore conference here in Austin.  We went the weekend before Ellery arrived so it kinda got put on the back burner for posting.  The weekend was so much more than just Beth speaking, God spoke to me through several people not just her.  The sessions were just what I needed to hear.  They were all about the spectrum of a cast down spirit and a spirit of ecstatic joy and how to go from one end of the spectrum to the other.  Also how when you are with someone who has a cast down spirit you can’t meet them there, you have to move toward ecstatic joy in order to help them out of their funk, very sound advice for our marriage.  Those were all good things, but it wasn’t what I’ll likely remember the rest of my life.

When we first got there on Friday night a woman and her daughter sat down in front of us and she turned around immediately and asked me when I was due.  I told her August 10th, but it looked like I had pre-eclampsia and would be induced the following Friday.  She said,” I had pre-eclampsia and had my baby girl sitting right here 6 weeks early, you’ll be great, can I pray for you right now?”  I couldn’t really hear her prayer, but I definitely felt calmer with her praying for me.  Then I went to the bathroom and while I was standing in line a lady asked when I was due, I gave her the same response and she said,” I had pre-eclampsia and was induced, you’ll love being induced, you just walk in and they put the IV in and get things going.”  I had never heard anyone talk so positively about an induction and it definitely made me feel better about the whole thing.

On Saturday they had a break between sessions where the worship band played and you could go up and get prayer.  I am not someone who goes up to get prayer unless I feel like I absolutely have to.  I was feeling really emotional and overwhelmed about the whole induction/pre-eclampsia thing and the tears started running down my face.  I had this nagging in me to go get prayer and it wouldn’t go away so I made my way down to the front as the tears were blinding me.  I got up to the front and walked up to the first woman that made eye contact with me.  She asked me what was wrong and I explained my situation.  She got teary eyed and said, she had the same story and her daughter was now in her twenties.  She was so excited because they had prayed before the session that God would send people to each of them that they could relate to and pray for specific problems that they themselves had had.

Beth Moore was amazing, but of course God was so much more amazing.  I do not believe it was a coincidence that the only 3 strangers I spoke with the whole weekend all had pre-eclampsia, were induced early, and had healthy babies.  I call that a divine appointment.  It was such an encouragement and it made me really feel like God was behind this whole thing, even though in God’s perfect plan I would not have been induced He was definitely supporting me through the induction and I knew whatever happened I would be just fine.

Too Beautiful Not to Share

August 13, 2012

I have the absolute privilege of being friends with THIS beautiful woman!  She has an amazing eye and captures moments so perfectly.  She shot Ellery’s newborn pictures and let me tell you I couldn’t be happier with the results.  If you are looking for an Austin area photographer book a session with Shay Wills Photography NOW.  She came to my house, brought tons of props and took a boat load of pictures and her prices are insanely reasonable.  If you want to see a sweet sampling click HERE.  If you want to drool over the entire session here is how to do that: click HERE and enter the password July212012 next to the Baby Ellery session.

Yes my child slept through the entire session besides waking up to eat for a few minutes.  Yes I know she is the most beautiful baby girl you have ever laid eyes on, well I may be a little bias!

Quatro

August 9, 2012

Four years ago today Andrew and I wed.  We were young and stupid and I’m so thankful for that.  I think had either of us known the trials life and marriage brings we would have had a harder time signing up for this.  We are both so glad we did though.  I wouldn’t want to share my life with anyone else and the past few weeks have affirmed that I wouldn’t want to parent with anyone else either. Having a baby really does change everything, I am more in love with my man after he became the father of my child.  My love grows for him all the time, but going through the pregnancy and birth of our babe catapulted my love forward.  When we got married we thought we had our life all figured out, little did we know most of those things would change and our life would look so different than we planned.  After 4 years I can tell you this, we have a beautiful home, a beautiful life, a beautiful love, and an absolutely beautiful daughter.  Not what we planned, but pretty darn good if I do say so myself.

Here is the verse Andrew picked out for our 4th year of marriage.  Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20

Two Weeks

August 5, 2012

Yesterday marked two weeks that our sweet Ellery has been with us.  I’ve been a little MIA which is to be expected I guess.  As odd as it is to suddenly be a parent, it is so incredibly normal at the same time.  I’ve been hesitant to post anything about our daily life because I don’t want to jinx anything, but I don’t want life to go by without recording things so I guess I’ll take my chances.

I recovered extremely quickly from the C-section.  Within a week I felt pretty good and now I’m only taking 4 Ibuprofen a day as opposed to 12.  I feel mostly emotionally back to normal.  I was really concerned about postpartum, but since I basically had postpartum my whole pregnancy I went back to normal as soon as she arrived.  I’ve had a few teary moments, I blame it on the hormones, but I am realizing it might just come with the territory of being a mom.  Don’t talk to me about Elle growing up because I will cry!

We are much more rested than we expected.  While our little lady isn’t sleeping through the night she sure is a good sleeper.  The first few nights frightened us, but then she figured out when it’s dark out we sleep.  And here is where I give unsolicited advice.  If you are having a baby and someone volunteers to come stay with you to help out, TAKE THE HELP!  The first week we utilized my mom a ton.  Andrew and I slept as much as possible and if I wasn’t feeding her I was sleeping and letting someone else watch her.  This set me up to be in good shape for week number two and I’ve only had my mom help a couple times in the night or morning so I could sleep.  I either wake Ellery up every 3/3.5 hours or she wakes up in that time frame.  Yes I know everyone hates me right now.  This means we are usually up at 1:30 and 4:30 or somewhere close to that, I haven’t pushed a schedule yet, I know that’s a huge shocker to most!

Nursing has been going great in most people’s opinion, but to me it’s been tough.  Our sweetie will only eat for 15 minutes max.  I try to get her 10 on one side, 5 on the other, but that doesn’t always work.  She is then content for 2.5 to 3 hours and occasionally wants to go 4 hours.  I know I’m living the nursing dream, but because the books tell me to nurse 40 minutes it has really stressed me out. She is supposed to gain an ounce a day and she is gaining close to 3 a day so I know I shouldn’t be worried, but I am a rules follower and hoped for a “textbook baby,”  instead I got an angel baby and I’ve somehow managed to complain about that.

I officially have the best job ever!  We love being parents.  We are grossly smitten with this little girl and I am forcing myself to try and not get too attached.  It was my goal from day one to keep Andrew a priority and in order to do this I have been forcing myself to leave her.  I left her twice the first week with Andrew to run a couple errands and then I’ve gone out a couple times with Andrew and left her with my mom.  It’s been hard to leave her, but I’m glad I am doing it anyway.  I seriously want to sit and stare at her all day everyday, but that’s not practical so I’m trying to strike a good balance.

We have a smiley baby.  An alert baby. A baby who wasn’t so sure what she thought about baths at first.  A projectile pooping baby.  A sweet baby.  And we couldn’t be happier!