z stands for zoo!

Adeline's first trip to the zoo was a success!! We spent the day yesterday enjoying the zoo as a family.  Adeline loves her Sophie Giraffe, so we couldn't wait for her to meet "real Sophies".  She loved them.  She oohed and ahhed and talked to them.  It was so adorable.

What fun! I knew she would love it! We decided to go with a membership so that we can enjoy it for the next year.

Looking forward to more fun memories being created!

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how our garden grows

My hubby has a knack for gardening.  We have lived in our home for almost 4 years and have had at least a small garden each year.  Last year we just did tomatoes and vowed to have a better garden this summer than ever before.

We have had two predicaments in the past...hilly ground and lots of shade.

Hubby, being the handyman he is, along with his dad's help, leveled out a place in our backyard with compost and railroad ties.  They also cut down a tree that was blocking the sunlight from our garden spot.  We now have a level spot that gets about 6-7 hours of sunlight.  Perfect.

When planning what we wanted to grow, we took into consideration what we purchase the most from the grocery and/or farmers market as well as what types of veggies I want to have on hand to make homemade baby food.  We also decided to go organic with our veggies of course.

When planning on the layout of our garden, we honestly just used my hubby's knowledge.  He's good like that.  We purchased the plants from Wal-Mart, as well as purchased some seeds from our local farm store.

We spent the day on Sunday afternoon tilling and planting our garden as a family.  Such fun!

We decided to plant:

-red peppers
-banana peppers
-yellow corn
-green beans

On my deck, I'm also growing lavender, cilantro, and parsley.

Someone even enjoyed planting from afar, getting her feet in the dirt, and eventually snoozing in the shade.  :)

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sleep success!

We have an amazing baby.  Seriously.  She smiles all the time. She's happy all the time.  We honestly can't complain about her being whiny, weepy, or anything like that even since day one.  We have been extremely blessed.

On that note, I've already learned that I have a hard-headed, stubborn baby. :) She gets it from her momma and I'm pretty sure it's God's sense of humor in works.  She's so sweet-natured and laid-back at the same time (that comes from her Daddy).  Her temperament is honestly more perfect than we could have even asked for. As Justin said the other day, we honestly couldn't have ordered a better child.  We didn't even know the extent that God could bless us.  The proof is in the other room right now sleeping like a little angel.

Sleep has been one area where she's shown her stubbornness.  And honestly, to a less A-type, OCD, organized, person, her sleep would probably be amazing.  To me, though, it hasn't quite been as predictable and in order as I would like for all of our sanity.

With the first three months, while I was on maternity leave, we started some loose sleep training.  It worked pretty well.  Minus the nights that I sobbed on the couch as she cried and Justin would go get her and bring her to me because I just couldn't take it.  "She's only this little once," you could often find me saying through my tears.  He agreed.  We've honestly always been on the same page.  Another blessing.

Her sleep was great by 3 months.  Waking up only once and often sleeping through the night.  Naps were still hit or miss because we hadn't been intentional in working on a set nap schedule.  However, I went back to work right around then and she started waking up numerous times during the night (I still say it was she missed her time with me and needed Mommy time.)  Her naps were pretty much just as she wanted to take them...cat napping...and often happened by the time she was too exhausted to take a successful nap.  We have been so, so blessed to have my mom keep her most of the time while I finished the school year, my aunt and grandma watched her a couple weeks, and my in-laws watched her on occasion as well.  We realize the blessing this is and absolutely wouldn't have it any other way.  However, all the place-to-place the past few months haven't allowed us to get into a routine.

In the meantime, she continued to sleep in our bedroom in her pack-n-play.  Mainly for all selfish reasons on our part.  I am still nursing and she is exclusively breastfed with no bottles unless needed.  Therefore, it's just been easy to keep her in our room so I can feed her during the night.  I also had the worries of SIDS and had read numerous places where it is best to have your baby in your room until 6 months, when the risk of SIDS drops dramatically.  Add to all of this, about a month and a half ago she started sleeping on her belly because she had learned to roll over.  Well then I was worried and wanted to check her little breathing and make sure her head was to the side constantly.  And Justin wasn't in a rush to have her in her bed either.

So here we are now at 6.5 months and I feel like I can say we finally have a schedule (I use that loosely) that has invited better sleep for our sweet girl.  I think she's like her Mommy and likes routine, consistency, and to know what's going to take place.  She seems to be thriving with that while also being such an easy baby (her Mommy isn't an "easy" person like her ;)

So here's where we stand with her sleeping as of 6.5 months.  (Now that she's finally sleeping in her room! It was such an easy transition for her.  No issues whatsoever!) I share this for my sake, to have something to compare to with the next one(s), while also wanting to share with other Mommies.  I am always looking for other's advice and stories in order for inspiration to either do something one way or know I don't want to do it that way at all. :)

Nighttime sleep:

-Bedtime routine starts at any time between 7:30 and 8:30.  ("naked time" --she loves being naked-- on changing table which includes lots of kisses, peek-a-boo and often some crazy time with Daddy, California Baby calming everyday lotion on legs and cheeks, diaper rash cream on bum, disposable diaper b/c she pees like crazy during the night, PJs on, sleep sack zipped on, rocking chair with Mommy for vitamins, gas drops, and nursing (she loves all of this and is like a little bird with each stage opening her mouth for each), she falls asleep nursing, she goes down in her crib on her back, Gentle Giraffe wave white noise, monitor on, door closed, and Mommy is out of the room).  All of this takes about 30 minutes at max.  If it's bath night, that comes right before all the other steps.

-We check on her occasionally during the night based on hearing her toss and turn on monitor on occasion.

-She does a little mini cry a couple times during this time some nights.  Usually the paci in the mouth works.  She's not awake, just stirring.

-On occasion she is waking for a 5 am feeding, but that was the habit that was started to help with my supply while I was at work.  She's moving on from this and didn't wake for this last night.

-She's now sleeping about 11-12 hours.  Whoo hoo! She wakes for her first feeding and to start the day at about 8 am.


-2 to 3 a day

-Morning nap starts after nursing, and awake for about an hour which includes rice cereal and fruit while Mommy eats breakfast too.  Nap starts around 9 or 9:30. (Naptime routine when we are at home: diaper change, sleepsack on, calming lotion on cheeks (I am sure this helps thanks to switching to natural, herbal lotion), paci in mouth, rocking while singing and/or reading a short book--usually Goodnight Moon, down in crib with Gentle Giraffe on and her mobile moving with light but without music.)

-Naps take her everywhere between 7 and 20 minutes to get to sleep.  Some naps include more crying than others to get to sleep.  However, I can tell she's getting more and more comfortable just going straight down.  Praise the Lord! This has always been her biggest fight.

-Up until just recently, she has been awake crying after 30 minutes...that's changing! She's easily making it 45 minutes to an hour asleep without doing this.

-Naps are everywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours (on a rare occasion).

-Afternoon nap starts about an hour to hour and a half after nursing.  Same routine.

-On occasion she takes a solid nap or cat naps in the evenings.  She's in-between here at this stage.

-I am not a stickler at all for her having to sleep in her crib.  No offense if that's your opinion, but I've always thought that was silly. Sleep is sleep wherever she is.  If we are out and about, she takes these naps in the car, or in the cart while I'm shopping, or in the stroller while we are running errands, or even in one of these while we are eating out.  Now, I am trying this summer to plan our activities around her naps and I always attempt to plan us being in the car during a "nap time" if we have to be out.  However, she is so good at taking her nap and going with the flow if we are out and moving.  And of course, if we're home, her naps are always in her cribs.

If I could share one piece of advice, it would be to RELAX.  Pinpoint what is most important to you when trying to implement a routine and take it one step at a time.  Make sure you and your hubby are on the same page (that's tremendous!) Take your time getting there and celebrate every little success along the way.  I've read and shared on here before...your baby is a human, not a project.  Let your baby be human.  Remember you are human.  Do things the way that works for you, your hubby and your baby.  Not just because a book says so.  Not just because your family says so.  You'll get there (whatever your goal is your working on with your little one).

Of course, every baby is different! And if it's taken over half of her first year to get here, that's fine with me. We finally have found sleep success in our own way!

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Fitness Friday {Week 19}!!

the blessed life
This was the final week of the challenge...whoo hoo! (And the post is a bit late...oops!)

How did the challenge go?

I started the challenge mainly to just get myself back on track after having Adeline.  I really wasn't at the point I wanted to be physically when I got pregnant, so I felt like I had a lot of work to do.  Although I didn't quite meet all my goals each week...I feel like I have been extremely successful during this challenge! Both my weightloss, eating habits, and activity level have encouraged me to keep up the great work.  This is all about adopting a new lifestyle.  (Plus, I can't help but notice how much exclusive breastfeeding has helped me...if nothing else, for giving me 500 calories more a day to consume!)

Was I active?

I was so great at being active at the end of my maternity leave.  I really got into the habit of working out daily and saw such an improvement with the toning of my body! However, once I went back to work, I got busy and was exhausted by the time I got home.  So although I didn't stay as active as I hoped to throughout the challenge, I have gotten a taste of the actual change being active can do to your body.  And I can't wait to start a fitness routine now that summer break is here!

Overall Weight Loss Success?

Still working toward my goal weight, but.....Yes, yes, yes! :)

Starting Weight: 129 lbs.
Goal Weight: 110 lbs.
End Weight: 112.6 lbs.

Total Loss:  16.4 lbs.

Overall Measurement Success?


Starting:  32"
End:  28"
Total Loss: 4"

Starting:  22.5"
End: 19.75"
Total Loss:  2.75"

Other Successes? 

Goal- Waist measurement: Middle of "healthy waistline" range--middle 20s or so

End Result- Close enough for me!

Goal-  Thigh measurement:  No specific measurement, but I want my thighs to not touch when standing and look less "flabby"

End Result- Success! (Plus, I feel more confident in shorts...that's huge for me!)

Goal- BMI of 20.1 (bottom part of "normal weight" level) from a 23.6 BMI

End Result-20.6 

*Turned calorie counting into second nature thanks to MyFitnessPal

*Found an awesome group of support through blogging and MyFitnessPal that have been and continues to be an awesome encouragement! (Thanks ladies...you know who you are!)

*Found more body image confidence.

*Lost all of my "baby weight" and got to a weight that is even less than when I got married.

*Gained a whole new wardrobe! ;)

I'm so glad many of you joined me along the way and worked toward your own fitness goals! Keep up the awesome work!

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naptime musings

A collection of random thoughts as I enjoy a little Mommy-only time during nap time...

One-We went to Adeline's 6 month check-up yesterday.  Sweet baby got three shots and this round definitely bothered her the most.  She was such a mellow, calm, drowsy little one last night.  We were all a little weirded out by it, being that she is such a rowdy, spunky, on-the-go-all-the-time baby.  I'm glad to have my spunky girl back today!

Two-The doctor stated during our visit...and I quote..."She's going to be walking at 9 months as fast and easy as she's moving already!" Mommy panic.  I'm not ready for her to do this whole growing up thing.  Time, please stop!

Three-I have three more days of the school year left.  That's crazy.  We had no snow days this year...so that means we get out super early.  Love it!

Four-Little lady is loving food.  We eat rice cereal regularly.  However, she's also ventured into carrots, sweet potatoes, and peas.  So far, she's loved them all!

Five-We are slowly but surely working on getting new living room furniture...We keep going back and forth on where to purchase a new couch and possibly a chair.  Plus, I'm pinning ideas like crazy for organization and decor on Pinterest.  Oh the possibilities!!

Six- My little brother graduated from college last weekend from the University of Kentucky! We are so proud of him! (This also makes me feel like I'm getting old...because it means that it's been 4 years that I've been in the "real world" and out of college....8 since I've been out of High School. Oh my!)

Seven- I am loving these pictures my mom took of our sweet fam a couple weekends ago at our annual Derby party/my little brother's college graduation party.  They make me smile every time!

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Fitness Friday {week 18}

the blessed life
Only ONE more week to go!

How did Week 18 go?

Pretty well.  I snacked well, but didn't eat as much fruit as I planned.  I really want to venture out on our fruit this summer.  Hoping to do better with this now that our Farmer's Market is open.

Was I active?

We walked some.  I also stayed active with my kiddos at recess.  I am contemplating starting the couch to 5k program.  We'll see! With summer coming, I know I'll actually have energy to get moving again.

Weight Loss?

No.  I actually had a gain of 0.8 this week.  Doesn't surprise me with all of our festivities we had last weekend with Derby and my little brother's college graduation. I'm down 15 lbs. from starting weight and I am now 4 pounds away from my goal weight.


I lost 0.25" from my thighs this week! Whoo hoo!

Waist: 28" (down 4" from starting measurement)
Thigh: 19.75" (down 3" from starting measurement)

Week 19 Goal?

Do 3 sets of stairs each day.

(See my list of weekly goals here.)

Now grab the button and link-up your Fitness Friday posts to share about your fitness journey! Only one week to go!

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Six Months! (Half a year old!!)

Dear Adeline Grace,

            My oh my, baby girl, you are six months old! That's half a year old! How did that happen? I say it every month, but this was my favorite month! (Your Daddy says it too.) You know we'll say the same thing about the next month, and the the next, and so on.  We say it every month.  But my what a spunky, excitable baby you are these days! We love it...and we love you!! We've already decided that one day you will win Miss Congeniality!

So what have we learned about you this month and what have you been up to in your sixth month of life?

Here are some of your firsts this month...

-On 4.10.12, you pulled a glass to your mouth on your own for the first time to "take a drink".  We hadn't been working with you on this at all! You just seemed so interested and knew exactly what to do.  I would say we can call you very observant!

-On 4.11.12, you said "Dada" for teh 1st time (intentionally, probably not...but that's okay!).  Daddy got very excited!  You were on your changing table at the time and he came running back in to see you and kept saying "Say Dada" to you.  You started cracking up, which was your first time to really cackle and laugh.

-On 4.13.12, it was your first time hiking! We visited a local state park.  We had a picnic lunch, let you swing, and lots of fun family time! You really enjoyed hiking and being carried in the backpack. You slept through some of it!

-On 4.17.12, we caved and you tried organic carrots for the first time! You LOVED them! You had about a tablespoon.  You showed no negative reaction to them...yay!

-On 4.21.12, you used your sippy cup for the first time.  You seemed to think you were such a big girl and acted very professional about it.

-On 4.22.12, we started rice cereal back up.  You now eat a couple tablespoons of organic rice cereal when Mommy and Daddy eat dinner.  You really love it! You open your mouth when we say "ahhh" like you are a little bird! You LOVE to eat!

-On 4.29.12, it was your first time eating in your high chair! You LOVED it.  You feel like such a big girl! You are not crazy about having a bib on, though, and love to tear it off while you eat in your chair.  You like having your sippy cup on your tray and reach for it when you want a drink.  You also have a "mealtime only" toy that you love to play with when you are finished eating and Mommy is cleaning up the kitchen.  (It's this silly light-up monkey that you can make play music.  You adore this!)

-On 5.3.12, you had a couple firsts.  It was your first time in a pool.  We bought you a bright pink blow-up pool that you loved getting in. You splashed like crazy and your Daddy got in with you, which was so fun to you! On this day, you also played with homemade, edible finger paint your mommy made for you.  You enjoyed squishing it between your hands on your high chair tray, but you didn't try to bring it to your mouth.

-On 5.5.12, you celebrated your first Derby! We went to a Derby/College graduation party for your Uncle Matt's at your grandparents.  We went to your Uncle Matt's graduation from UK the next day.  You were such a trooper all weekend and everyone decided that you were quite the partier based on how much fun you seemed to have all weekend.

-On 5.8.12, you tried organic sweet potatoes for the firs time.  You had about 1- 1 1/2 tablespoons and you liked them a lot.  You made a funny face at first, but then kept opening your mouth for more.  At this point, if we let you, you will pull the bowl of food to your mouth like you're going to down all the food at once.  It's like you're saying, "Forget the spoon, Mom!"

This month you also:

-starting reaching out and grabbing toys as you want them (entertaining yourself)
-sitting up on your own (we still give you a little support because you get wobbly)
-became so interested in food and drink
-started eating "real food" at dinnertime (rice and a veggie)
-"fake drinking" and laughing when you are in your high chair
-playing peek-a-boo yourself with us
-started laughing and smiling all  the time (You always smile at someone when they talk to you or smile at you.  You especially do this when Mommy and Daddy smiles at you.  Melts my heart every time.)
-make an "ohhhh" face (even to strangers)
-started chewing your tongue
-make your Sophie giraffe squeak on your own
-reach out to pet Boone (you also catch his eyes across the room and smile and talk to him as though he's another person in the room)
-crawling/scooting backward (we have to watch you close now, because you will scoot right off the end of your changing table if we let you)

So what do you like and dislike?

You love…

-taking walks
-chewing and holding onto your Sophie giraffe
-your Boone
-eating in your high chair
-swimming in your pool
-to touch and grab for things

(continued from last month...)

-your Jumperoo and Exersaucer (this month, you really go to town in your Jumperoo and make it bounce insanely crazy)
-smiling (still all the time); this includes smiling back when people smile at you
-getting your picture taken (you smile when we say "cheese"--oh my! what a ham!)
-chewing on toys

You dislike…

-sitting still
-being in your carseat in the car, awake and not moving (not a fan at all!)
-getting your diaper changed and changing your clothes (you are just so wiggly!!)

What are your sizes?

You are still in 3 month and 6 month sleepers.  You are in mainly in 6 month and 6-9 month clothing.  You are in size 2 diapers when in disposables and are now in the second snap setting on your cloth diapers!

No doctor check-up this month, but you are around 16.5 lbs or so and you seem to be getting longer and longer.  You still have a petite little head and petite little feet.  Your rolls continue to bunch up on your little legs and arms.  LOVE them!!

 What are your eating habits like?

You started the month with the same schedule you followed at 4 months.  However, you started stretching your feedings more on your own and seemed to get yourself into a breakfast, lunch, dinner, bedtime snack and middle of the night snack routine.  We went with it and changed your feeding schedule about halfway through the month.  You are still exclusively taking breastmilk at 1/2 a year old.  (Yay! Here's to another half a year!) During the week when Mommy is working, you now nurse for 15-20 minutes around 5:00 am, take a 6 oz bottle at 8:00 am , take a 6 oz bottle at noon, nurse for 10 minutes at 4:00, eat rice cereal and a veggie at dinnertime (usually around 6ish), and then nurse at bedtime (8:00 pm) for about 10-15 minutes.  When Mommy is home, you exclusively breastfeed.  I really like this new schedule because it makes more sense and seems to set the tone for the rest of your day.  With our work schedules and when you wake up, it wasn't working to feed your right when you wake up.  Now, you are basically eating within 30 minutes of waking up.

You love to eat, but can become distracted.  If your Daddy or Boone is around when you are nursing, I have to make sure they are quiet or leave the room or you will not focus to nurse.  You are so funny.

How is your sleeping?

Well, sweet little one, you seem to be getting more into your naps these days! I really think it's helping that your day gets going with a feeding within 30 minutes of you waking up.  It sets the course for your day.  We still do the same bedtime routine (which is going great!)  We do read some night but some nights we don't, because you're so sleepy.  We put you down between 8 and 8:30 and you go to sleep quickly, with no fuss on your own.  (You love the whale setting on your sleep sheep and your paci in your mouth.  We only cover you with a blanket once you're asleep...because if not, it becomes a toy.)  You sleep until your early morning feeding.  You immediately go back to sleep until you wake around 7:30 (a bit later on weekends).  You now take a nap about an hour after your feedings (so around 9:30 ish and 1:30ish). You still take about 20-30 minutes to get yourself to sleep at naptime.  You also cat nap in the evening.  Sometimes, if you need it, I lay you down for a set nap around 6 ish.  Your naps are usually around an hour.  You often wake up about 30-45 minutes after your go to sleep and need some help getting back to sleep. Your grandma wrote in my baby book around this age, that I fought naps.  Hmmmm...that sounds a bit familiar! ;)

So what makes you, you this month?

You brighten our lives beyond our imagination.  You are so full of life.  I am definitely biased, but I have never been around a baby with such a happy, easy-going, lovable nature.  What a joy you are to everyone you come in contact with.  Strangers immediately melt over you.  You are beautiful on the inside and out.  Your gorgeous, blue eyes have so much soul shine through them.  What a special gift you are...and what a gift I know you will be to so many as God forms and molds you into the little girl He plans.  We love you with very ounce of us.


                                                                                                    Mommy and Daddy

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I love. adore. swoon over. instagram.  Seriously.  My phone is my go-to camera.  Ready to snap our life in an instant.  Ready to text pictures of our sweet girl to the family immediately or quickly post to Facebook without even pulling out a camera cord.  Easy.  That's how I need life right now.  Instagram won my heart....easy, yet an artsy way to put my own, fun touch-up on those photos I snap.

Here is our life in instagram pics from here lately.  Enjoy.

playing peek-a-boo with her changing pad cover.  diaper changes are a work-out these days with her squirmy little body!

what NOT sleeping in looks like.  no matter what time she goes to bed.  same wake-up time every morning.  this is also Adeline showing off her "Ohhh" face she does quite often.

tags.  remotes.  mommy's phone.  whatever it is...the best toys to her, aren't even toys.  Lord bless her little imaginative heart.  love it!

she could watch her puppy, Boone, for.ev.er.  he loves her because she's got tasty toes to lick.

super-mom strikes again.  homemade, edible finger paint.

our little doll baby.  she is the cutest.  there I said it!

and her little 5.5 month old heart enjoying that finger paint.  mommy's little artist! so proud.

I've been dealing with some Mommy guilt too, that I need to get out.  It's the guilt that I'm not preserving our memories/life as best as I can.  I'm not taking enough pictures.  Or I'm not printing pictures often enough. Or I'm not being as organized as I want to be.  Not getting photo books printed as often as I would want.  You get the drift.  I even have a "memory keeping" board on Pinterest.  I'm a memory-hoarder.  For sure.

I know it's all irrational.  And so silly.  I'm praying that God will calm my heart and help me to be content...to quit worrying so much.  As Mom, I feel like memory-preserver is another role that I am in charge of. I gladly take on that role, but I want to be rational about it.  Adeline and our future kiddos (and future grandkiddos, Lord-willing) aren't going to know the difference if I am a bit unorganized about it, or I don't print a book for every occasion.  I know this full well.  I just need to get over it.  Justin constantly praises me and thanks me for the way I preserve our family memories.  That right there needs to be enough.  Okay, whew, got it off my chest.

So a way that I have decided to organize our memories a bit more is through instagram.  I have been wanting to get organized to do a project for each year of our lives where it catches a glimpse into our days.  Random, little moments...because those are often the most treasured.  So here is my plan...praying, praying I can stick with it. It's easy.  So I should be able to.

My "a day in the life" project plans:

-Take an instragram photo a day using those photo-a-day calendars you see on instagram or on the web.
-Download them to a folder in the computer.  (I have an instragram folder, inside that folder a folder for each year, and then inside the year a folder for each month.  I also have a "a day in the life" folder in each month to keep those separate as well as the rest of the other photos I've taken from that month into that folder.)
-Create a collage of each month using photovisi.
-Print and/or create a book of the entire year of collages into a photobook.

So there you have it.  Easy enough for me.  Not too time-consuming.  Organized.  Takes the pressure off.  And enjoyable (which shouldn't that be the most important part?)

life rearranged

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Fitness Friday {week 17}

the blessed life
Only TWO more weeks to go!

How did Week 17 go?

Hmmmm.  I did okay.  I tend to get busy with my week and forget about my goal. ;) I do have to say one huge accomplishment this week was skipping the fries at Wendy's and ordering one of their new sweet potatoes.  It was really good.  Maybe not quite french fry good...but it was good!

Was I active?

We took a couple walks.  I wrestled to keep my 5 1/2 month old on the changing table each time I changed her.  I gave her a bath on my own one night.  I played kickball a couple days with my 4th graders at recess.  It's the little things that I count as being active these days! ;)

I also did a few random sets of squats this week.  It makes Adeline laugh when I do them in front of her and count them out loud.  That's motivation right there!

Weight Loss?

Yes...down 1 more! (down 15.8 lbs. from starting weight) I am now just 3.2 pounds away from my goal weight


I lost 0.25" from my thigh this week! Could the random sets of squats really have been that helpful? Exciting!

Waist: 28" (down 4" from starting measurement)
Thigh: 20" (down 2.75" from starting measurement)

Week 18 Goal?

Eat 2-4 servings of fruit each day.

(See my list of weekly goals here.)

Now grab the button and link-up your Fitness Friday posts to share about your fitness journey! Only two more weeks to go!!

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