Thursday, August 30, 2012

8 Months- 8/30/12

Dear Hunter,
Well little man, another month has flown by and you continue to grow like a weed and learn new tricks everyday that make mommy and daddy laugh. In the past month you've become so much more independent and mobile but also so much fun! You play and smile and laugh and want constant attention. Now that you can get around so much on your own you've really been keeping us on our toes, it's like you know exactly what you shouldn't be playing with and yet that's exactly what you want to be playing with. I blame your daddy for this character trait (I was never like that!). The summer is coming to an end but I can't wait for all the fun we're going to have this fall and during the holidays.
Weight/Length- When you went to the doctors a couple weeks ago you weighed 22 pounds and were 27.5". I suspect you're still right around those measurements.

Eating- You are eating A LOT which I think has helped you sleep better. You still nurse in the morning and get three 6 oz bottles of breastmilk at daycare and an 8oz bottle of formula before bed. In addition to the milk you are now getting 3 meals of solids a day. You get some kind of fruit/oatmeal combo for breakfast, a veggie for lunch and meat/veggie combo for dinner. In addition to the purees we've started to slowly give you some easy to chew table foods like scramble eggs and mac n cheese. You mainly just play with it but if I put it in your mouth you will chew and swallow. You still LOVE your MumMums and eat those quick.

Sleep- You're still sleeping really well with the exception of a few bad nights here and there. Still going to bed around 8pm and waking up around 6-6:30am which works great during the week, on the weekends it would be nice if you slept a little longer but I can't complain about you sleeping straight through the night. Sometimes you'll wake up once and just need to be held for a minute before going back to sleep. You still typically take two naps a day, one long one in the morning and a shorter afternoon nap. You always seem to end up rolling onto your belly.

Clothes- Mainly in 9 and 12 month clothes. You have a tough time wearing shorts because of your chunky thighs.
Diapers- Still in size 3 diapers and hopefully will be for a little while.
Appearance- Your hair has really filled in and has a slight wave/curl to it when it's wet and is nice and thick on top. It's still a very light brown and you still have grey/blue eyes that in some lights look green. And still only two teeth on the bottom. Thankfully your eczema still hasn't come back, whenever you start to get a little flare up I use your prescription cream and that helps a lot.

Personality- You're still a very happy and active baby whose getting more curious by the day. You don't really like to be held, you just want to be on the ground crawling and exploring. Whenever I'm on the ground you try to crawl on me like I'm your personal jungle gym. You get so excited when I get from work and give me the biggest smiles and will crawl towards me if you're on the floor. It melts me everytime. You only get fussy if you are overtired or bored or not getting attention.

Pretty much all the same likes as last month:
-Love bathtime
-Love daycare
-Love the swing at the park
-Love your exer-saucer
-Love playing on the iPad
-Love crawling around

-You are still belly crawling but you are really fast, I wonder if you will ever crawl on all fours since you can get wherever you want to go on your belly.
-You can climb the two steps from the living room to the dining room! Babygates have started going up.
-You can say da-da and mama (though not as often).
-You've tried some "real" food and are learning how to chew.
-You used the baby swing at the park for the first time and loved it.
-You had to get a special cream for a bad diaper rash you had.
-You've started imitating funny faces, actions and sounds we make.
-When we call your name you will crawl towards us.

8 Month Photo shoot

Looking like a big boy

Not a big fan of his "cage"

"Let me out Ma"

Sporting the preppy look

First time going down a slide with mommy

Trying to climb the big steps

Hunter and Moxie aren't fans of the babygate

He can now climb the two steps out of the sunken living room into the dining room.

Fascinated by Norah Jones on Storytellers
Ready to go hunting with daddy

Feeding himself mac n cheese

Trying to climb "the mountain"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


It's Wednesday which means it's time for another So What Wednesday link up with Shannon.

This week I'm saying So What if:
-Seeing so many pregnancy and newborn announcements gives me baby fever...then I smack myself back to reality and go take my birth control pill.
-The only time I have for any leisure reading is on my Kindle while I'm pumping.
-I'm the only person is who is actually sad summer is almost over. Despite the ridiculous heat I love summertime.
-I'm not really looking forward to fall, yes there are things about fall I love, but I don't like cold weather, it getting dark earlier, the back to school traffic or that I become a hunting and football widow every weekend.
-I realized today that I've been working in my current industry for 10 years this September which is about 9 years longer than I ever imagined.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Show & Tell Wedding Bells

Today I'm linking up with From Mrs. to Mama for Show & Tell Monday.  Since the topic is marriage and this started out as a blog to document my wedding planning I couldn't really pass up this link up.
Are you married? If so when did you get married, and tell us about your special day. If not? How would you describe your dream wedding?
Yes I'm very happily married. Kristian and I got married on May 22, 2010 after a 15 month engagement. I had always wanted to have a May wedding and we picked the date because it's a combination of our birthdays- Mine is May 12 and his is Oct. 22. I figured it would be an easy anniversary to remember!
We had a smaller wedding with about 95 guests at a venue in Alexandria VA. We were supposed to get married outside in the garden but it decided to start raining about 20 minutes before the ceremony so everyone scrambled to move everything inside and set up the reception room for a ceremony. I was STRESSED the entire day about the rain and had a hard time enjoying myself which I regret. The ceremony ended up being beautiful with candles and flowers and felt very intimate, so I think it was even better than being outside. And we were able to get some cool pictures outside afterwards.
My favorite part was walking down the aisle towards Kristian who had tears in his eyes. I actually didn't cry, I kept wanting to laugh the whole time because it just felt so surreal to me that this moment was FINALLY here.
The reception was fun and a lot of our guests got quite intoxicated so I guess we did our jobs as host/hostess.
I wouldn't say it was my "dream" wedding per se but given our budget and having to do so much of it on our own I think we had a pretty damn good wedding and there isn't much that I would change looking back.
Show us some wedding pictures. Either yours or of some that you love.

How about the engagement? Tell us your story. If not engaged, what's your dream proposal?
Kristian proposed on Valentines Day (2/14/09) after only about 6 months of dating. We had been talking about marriage since around month 2 (insane I know) and even gone ring shopping so he could see what I liked. I didn't realize that when we were looking at rings in Dec. he had already purchased my diamond in Nov. and was already having the setting designed. Yep he bought me a diamond after only 3 months of dating (again, insane i know).
He invited me over for dinner at his place for Vday and had the whole dining room decorated with balloons, streamers, flowers etc. We had a wonderful meal that he cooked and afterwards were sitting around the table just talking and listening to music. Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" came on (this ended up being our wedding song) and he got up and went into his bedroom. I wasn't pay much attention and thought he had just gone into the kitchen but he came back out, made me stand up and got down on his knee. I thought he was just messing with me and was a little annoyed to be honest so I kept telling him to stand up. When I looked down I saw him holding open a box with the prettiest ring I had ever seen. That's when I knew that he was serious and freaked out. I don't remember what he said except for the the "Will you marry me?" part. I think I said "Oh My God" and "Shut Up" a dozen times before finally saying yes.
He actually hadn't planned on proposing that night since he thought it was cheesy. He wanted to wait until our Jamaica trip in May but he said he just couldn't wait any longer so he did it then.

Show us your wedding rings or an engagement photo! If not engaged/married ... show us your "dream" ring.
I love my engagement ring, the center stone is a 1.25 carat cushion cut stone with smaller diamonds around it and on the band. The boy did good!
My wedding band has small diamonds going halfway around the band. His wedding ring was his grandfathers wedding ring that he wore for over 50 years of marriage before he passed away.

    Tell us why you think marriage doesn't work out for so many? What can we do to make things last?
While I do think there are certain reasons when divorce is unavoidable like abuse or infidelity I think a lot of times one or both parties aren't willing to put forth the effort to work on whatever issues they may be having in their marriage. Communication and patience and learning how to pick your battles is so important as well as remembering that marriage is hard work and even though it may not be all flowers and sunshine everyday that doesn't mean you should run from the commitment you made. With that said no one should stay in a marriage where they are completely miserable for the rest of their life and if getting divorce is truly the only way to be happy again then that's what you should do.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Better Than College

Four years ago today I went on my last first date ever and met the man that would eventually become my husband.
The past four years have been a whirlwind.
Starting with a 6 month courtship.
*our first picture together*
Then getting engaged.
Then taking a wonderful trip to Jamaica to celebrate our engagement and my birthday.
Then after a 15 month engagement a beautiful wedding.
Followed by an amazing honeymoon in St. Lucia

Then buying our first home together 9 months later.

And adopting our dog Moxie after our first anniversary.

And of course the highlight of our 4 year relationship, our baby boy Hunter.

I used to say that college was the best four years of my life but the past 4 years with Kristian have been the happiest so far. My life today looks completely different than it did 4 years ago and I couldn't be happier or more blessed. Since meeting him so many of my dreams have come true and I can't wait to see all our future has in store for us in the years to come.

I love my family.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The daycare post

The other night I was talking with Brittany on twitter about daycare and she asked me if I had done a post about my feelings about Hunters daycare and I haven't so I decided now would be a good time.

Hunter has now been in daycare for 6 months, ever since he was 6 weeks old. It wasn't my preference to send my 6 week old to daycare but unfortunately that's all the time I had for maternity leave. Since I work for a very small company it's difficult to have any of us to be out for an extended period of time. And due to finances staying home with him just wasn't/isn't an option right now.

At first I hated it, not because there was anything wrong with the daycare, I just hated leaving my squishy little newborn with someone else. The first day I cried all the way to work. Each day it got progressively easier but even now I still have days when it's incredibly hard to leave and I spend the day counting the minutes until I get home to see him. It's tough but I'm glad he's there.

Both Kristian and I really do love his daycare and all of his teachers. I typically drop off in the mornings and Kristian will pick up so we both get ample opportunities to see the facilities and talk to the teachers and see how he's doing. Since Kristian doesn't have a set schedule he doesn't always pick him up at the exact same time everyday which I like. I like the fact that he will just pop in and get to see what's really going on. Usually Hunter is playing or being held (though not as much now since he just wants to explore everything). Sometimes he's still napping or getting his bottle. Kristian has never once been concerned about how Hunter is being treated when he's picked him up.

When I drop him off in the mornings both his teacher and the teacher in the adjoining toddler room will fight over who gets to hold him first or who can make him smile the biggest. They all seem to really love him there and I love that. Hunter also loves daycare and his teachers. When I carry his carseat inside every morning as soon as I sit it down he's anxiously trying to get out of it because he's excited. Everytime someone says hello to him he smiles. And as soon as he's down on the ground he's crawling around getting into all the toys.

Everyday we get his little report noting what he did, when he slept, ate and pooped. I've used this sheet to help me figure out a good nap and eating schedule on the weekends because I want to keep things consistent.

He's done a few art projects which include finger painting and playing with non dairy cool whip and chocolate. He has a ridiculous amount of toys to choose from, other babies to interact with and plenty of baby proofed areas to explore.

Another benefit of having him in daycare is that I've learned a lot from his teachers as well. When he was having skin issues his teacher would recommend different lotions to try, when he had a bad diaper rash she recommended a different butt cream. They've offered tips and tricks to help him sleep and other activities to do with him at home. As a first time mother I really like having that extra set of eyes so to speak since I basically am flying by the seat of my pants here.

Now, this isn't to say that he wouldn't thrive just as well if he were home with me everyday or to knock stay at home mothers. But after seeing how much he's benefitting from being there I think even if I had the ability to stay home with him I would want to send him at least a couple days a week so that he could still get all the benefits of socializing with other children and adults. Not to mention the much needed break that I would need from time to time.

So despite the fact that I desperately wish I could spend more time with Hunter during the day, if I can't be with him all day long I'm very happy with where he is and who is taking care of them. I know that those women adore Hunter and take great care of him and he's happy and that's what is most important to me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Are you prepared?

*Yep two posts in one day!*
One thing I've talked about in past is how now that we have a child we've been trying to prepare for the future and this preparation includes drawing up wills and buying life insurance. Two topics that most young people don't want to talk or think about. Unfortunately death, like taxes, is one of those unavoidable realities of life. Now that I have a family it's very important to me that they will be taken care of whenever I pass.
My father passed away this year and even though he was never good with his finances and had a good amount of debt the one thing he did do right was keeping up with his life insurance payments. He didn't have a large policy but it was enough to pay for his funeral which despite being very small and modest was still over $10,000!  Had he not had that policy we would have had to pay for that out of pocket. It also provided me and my two brothers with some unexpected money that we've been able to put towards paying off some of our own debts.
I have purchased a policy on myself which will cover funeral expenses, pay off my student loans, pay off the house and pay for Hunters childcare cost should Kristian need to raise him alone. We are in the process of purchasing a policy for Kristian as well. We've run into some bumps in the road due to his past medical history but we're determined to get a policy even if it's for a lesser amount. The thought of something happening to him terrifies me in general but the thought of having to raise Hunter alone on just my salary puts me into full panic mode.
Because I feel so strongly about this I'm joining Jeff Rose's Life Insurance Movement to help spread the word of the importance of life insurance. Go check out his site and link up and possibly win some neat prizes *cough*iPad*cough*


Today is another episode of So What Wednesday with Shannon.

So what if:
-I haven't been very sympathetic to my sick husband the past few days. I was sick with much worse for over a month and still went to work everyday and took care of Hunter. He gets a cough and the world comes to an end. Men are such babies.
-I got a bit irritated yesterday when Hunters daycare teacher said that she thinks the reason he has been drinking his bottle slower than usual is because he may be tired of breastmilk? Umm what? Trust me my kid loves the boob milk. Never tell a nursing mother that their kid may not like their milk. *despite this remark I actually do really like his daycare teacher*
-I spend all week wishing I could be a stay at home mom but after spending a whole weekend with Hunter non stop I'm grateful to go to work on Mondays to get a little break.
-I'm already counting down the days until my coworker comes back from maternity leave and she hasn't even had her baby yet.
-My heart melts every night when I get home and see how excited Hunter is to see me. He will actually crawl to me with a huge smile on his face. Love.
-I really wish I had some local mommy friends to hang out with. All my friends live far away. It's hard to make new friends as an adult.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sometimes doing nothing is the best thing

We had a very low key weekend which is exactly what I wanted. Just time spent with my husband and child being lazy and that's pretty much what I got.

On Friday night we put Hunter to bed and actually stayed up to watch a movie together which I don't think we've done since he's been born. Normally I try to go to bed as soon after him as I can, trying to stay up to watch a two hour movie is near impossible nowadays but we did it and got some much needed cuddle time.

Saturday morning we woke up early thanks to our 22lb alarm clock, made a quick Starbucks run then stopped at the Tot Lot by the house on our way home. We put Hunter in the baby swing for the first time and he loved it. Especially the higher and faster we pushed him. Kristian now knows where to take him on his fussy afternoons.

Some people on IG pointed out that it looks like I'm in the swing with him.

He loves it. See

That afternoon I dropped Hunter off at my inlaws house so they could watch him while I got a much needed haircut. Kristian has a bit of a head cold so he wanted to nap and his mother wanted some grandma time. Win win. I also got my hair to look pretty again.

Before and After

On Sunday, after seeing the rain outside, I decided it was a stay in your pajamas kinda day. Hunter took a blissful 2 hour nap and I had time to paint my nails AND take my own hour long nap. While we slept Kristian and his buddy installed a ceiling fan in the basement. That damn ceiling fan has been sitting on the floor of the basement since we moved in so I'm very happy it's finally off the floor and where it belongs.

Another before and after. Please pardon the mess on the floor.

Once the Huntsman was up from his nap we spent the rest of the day playing and have some quality mommy/baby time while Kristian made a huge pot of chili. Something about rain makes me want to eat pounds of chili. I was worn OUT at the end of the day. I wish I had his energy.

Watching the world go by....until he spots the floor vent that is.

Kid is obsessed with the floor vents and having the cool air blow on him.

Overall a nice and relaxing weekend.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Kitchen Re-do

For the past few months Kristian and I have been discussing and starting the planning process for redoing our very outdated and tiny kitchen. When we bought the house, one of the things I hated about it was the kitchen (and the master bath but that's a whole 'nother post). Fortunately the things we liked about the house (the view and the price) outweighed my hatred of the kitchen.

We knew we wanted to renovate the kitchen in the future however, kitchen renos aren't cheap and since we aren't trying to do the whole thing ourselves a la One House Love we didn't think we would be able to update it anytime soon. Well after receiving some unexpected funds after my father passed away we decided that it would be a good investment to go ahead and redo the kitchen with some of that money. Not only would it make us happier to have an updated kitchen but would add value to the house if/when we ever sell.

Construction hasn't started yet but we've paid our deposit, picked out the tile and ordered the cabinets. We still need to pick out the granite and decide on a paint color (something light and creamy most likely) but I suspect our contractor will get started in the next couple weeks.

Below are some pictures that I took after we moved in. The one good thing was that we had all new appliances (which we are going to trade in for stainless steel). Our biggest issue with the room is the lack of counter space and small cabinets that don't provide much storage.

Very early 90'stastic

We have two doorways. One doorway is to the left coming in from the entryway and this other doorway going into the dining room.

We actually love our pot rack and plan to keep that where it is.

We also have a nice large window and the plan is to build a bench underneath that you can not only sit on but will open up and where we can store lesser used big items (ex: crockpot).

Kristian found a photo online when he googled "townhouse kitchens" that we've been using as our inspiration photo. We are trying to make our kitchen look as much like this one as possible. This means that we will be closing up the second doorway leading into the dining room and just adding a window pass through. That way we can still see into the dining and living rooms but we'll get the extra counter space underneath. We will also be repositioning the location of the sink, oven and dishwasher so that it looks like the picture.
Hello 2012!

The tile that we picked out for the back splash and floor and is very similar though not exactly like the picture. Actually I like our tile better. We plan to pick our similar looking granite for the counters as well.

Below are the photos that our contractor sent us of what the kitchen is expected to look like with the cabinets we ordered and using our kitchen layout. We will probably go with a slightly lighter granite and wall color, more cream and less yellow.

We will also be adding a microwave over the stove so that we can get rid of our teeny stand alone microwave that we hate.

We responded to him with a few tweaks that we want to make but this will give the basic idea of what it should look like when it's finished. Also, it's hard to tell in the photos but the appliances will be stainless steel.

This shows the doorway closed up and the addition of the pass through.

We plan to change the small drawers to two large cabinets doors instead. We will also still have our pot rack hanging over these cabinets.

He didn't include the window or the bench that will go underneath the window but we plan to include that as well.

So what do you think? Any ideas for things we should change/add?