Monthly Archives: January 2016

Mini Meals

I promised a quick rundown of meals that Brandon eats so lets jump right in! He is eating three meals a day, has one bottle before his nap and one before bed and sips on watered down juice from a sippy cup the rest of the time.

Breakfast: Typically still spoon-fed since there’s not a lot he can have just yet. We mash apples and pears and freeze them in ice cube trays for easy prep. Thaw two cubes, mix with full fat plain yogurt and some baby cereal. If it’s a weekend and we have extra time, he’ll also get something like pancakes, egg yolk or cheerios.

Lunch: We try to give him a well rounded meal for lunch and since he’ll eat anything it’s usually pretty easy. He always gets protein (chicken, ham, egg yolk, turkey), a vegetable and fruit. I buy frozen steamed veggies so they are always on hand and a quick go-to if the fridge is empty. For cold cuts, we buy Applegate because it’s Natural and not cured.

Dinner: The easiest (but sometimes hardest) meals to plan for the little guy. Again, he always has a protein and veggie – we will then give him a fruit or starch to go with it. Whatever we’re making for dinner, we make a kid-friendly version for him. Last night we had BBQ Pork Naan Pizza. Brandon got plain pork and veggies. If we have pasta or spicy chicken – we make a “plain” version for him. The hard part comes leading up to dinner because we’re cooking and he’s starving and whines and whines until it’s time to eat. Brandon eats at the same time as us and gets out of his highchair when everyone is finished. Trying to teach table etiquette early (HA).

IMG_7063Dinner: chicken, potatoes and carrots with some peaches.

image1Lunch: egg yolk, avocado, peaches and blueberries.

IMG_6848Lunch: grilled cheese (I was jealous), avocado and tomatoes, blueberries

DSC_0011Lunch: grilled cheese, avocado, blueberries and mango (note, we took the mango away because it was too hard to gum)

Hope you enjoyed a quick little roundup of the meals we feed Brandon on the daily. It’s so easy because he will eat anything! We HAVE to eat at the same time as him otherwise he’s climbing our leg trying to eat whatever’s on our plates.


Fitness in 2016

The word that makes everyone cringe come the beginning of a new year, Fitness. We have ALL said it, thought it, did it – “I’m going to get in shape next year”, “I will start working out January 2nd”, “I plan to eat right”, “my resolution this year is to workout more“. We all start. We kick ass the first 3-4 days, then we kick mediocre ass the next 7-10 days and by the third week of a brand new year we’re ALL back on the couch, stuffing our faces with cupcakes and french fries. One, because we got bored and Two, because we are mad at ourselves for giving up so quickly and now we’re in a rut until next month or next year.

Getting in shape will not happen overnight or even over the course of three months. It’s a lifestyle and it’s a new mindset. It’s not dieting, it’s not cutting things out of your diet or about counting calories. It’s about eating what you love, eating it in moderation and learning to make a healthier option so you don’t feel the guilt. But the other thing to help you accomplish your fitness goals is new workout clothes. Laugh, go ahead, I’ll wait. It’s true – when you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you have the confidence to keep going. So lets help boost that confidence with some new apparel to keep us looking hot in the gym or at home.

workoutSneakers are THE most important thing when it comes to working out. If you want to get technical, have different styles for each day of training – but you can cross that bridge when you get to it. Something substantial, good grip and comfortable to run, walk or weight lift. Right behind the sneakers (for me) are sports bras and headphones! I like a sports bra that isn’t too thick and bulky, but supportive and lets my skin breathe. My headphone of choice depends on my workout. If I’m planning on doing a lot of running/jumping/bending then I want my earbuds (I swear by my Apple ones), but I also really like these wireless Jabra ones for weightlifting days – no cords to get tangled in.

Clothing is obvious. The top is just as important as the bottom when it comes to feeling good about how we look. Choose items that hide aspects of your body that you don’t feel confident about. If you don’t like the extra skin in your midsection, go for a tank that is blousy. Not a fan of your back or arms, opt for a cute t-shirt – black is always the best choice!

Yoga pants, yoga pants, yoga pants! Buy em, wear em, love em! But I suggest having clothes that are strictly for the gym. Not ones you slip into when you walk in the door after work. That way, your mind is saying “it’s time to sweat, not time to slouch”. These leggings or this cute sweats will get you in the frame of mind right away! The last thing is a no-brainer…find yourself a cute water bottle. These two from Kate Spade are just adorable, but Whole Foods has cute glass ones or splurge the $1 at the gym for a plastic one. Either way, you must stay hydrated.

weightsAside from my mindset and my clothing, the other things that keep me accountable are:

planning my workouts ahead of time

making a gym date and checking in with each other

being mindful about my meals

allowing myself to have a rest/cheat day and not let it ruin how far I’ve come

The key to being successful is allowing yourself to rest when you need to rest and to cheat or indulge when you need to. It’s ok to spend 40 minutes on the treadmill in the back of the gym and watch people workout. I’ve done it. You get bored with the same exercises or just feel overwhelmed or intimidated with machines and other people working out. Don’t get embarrassed. You can ask for help too from someone you see or from the employees at the gym.

Plan your workout. Get in and out of the gym in 40-60 minutes. Anything less and you don’t feel like you accomplished much, anything more and you can get overwhelmed. If you aren’t a gym type of person, workout at home. There are SO many home fitness programs floating around the internet it’s amazing. They all have communities so you can talk with others and keep accountable for your meals and workouts.

I hope this helps get the motivation you need to jump start your fitness and increase activity. It’s always a work in progress, here I am when Brandon was about 5.5 months old (so about 4.5/5 months ago) and how I looked 2 days ago. I started and gave up multiple times, but I am trying to live by my own words and dig deep for motivation. You can too!



10 Months

brandon10Don’t mind the Michael Jackson crotch grab, this child is a total male!

Age: 10 Months

Stats: Next appointment will be 1 year which will be the saddest day of my life.

Clothes/Size: MOSTLY 9 month clothes still. Brandon can wear 12 month jackets/sweatshirts/ pullovers and some onesies. 9-12 and 12 month pants are too large in the waist but he need those for the length.

Favorite Foods: Is it possible for him to even have a favorite at this point? Brandon still loves any and everything. He wants anything Kevin and I are eating – and typically gets it. (I’ll be doing a post soon of mini-meals for him). He LOVES avocado probably because it requires no chewing. Not a huge fan of meat but I wouldn’t either if I had to gum my food too. And he loves anything orange. He picks out all carrots and sweet potatoes 10 times out of 10.

Diaper size: Size 3

How much am I eating: I think it’s safe to say Brandon eats more than me. Breakfast is pureed apples/pears mixed with whole fat plain yogurt and baby cereal. He also gets either cheerios or pancakes on the side. He’ll have a 6oz bottle late morning. Lunch is whatever leftovers we have but always a protein and a veggie, egg yolk, ham, turkey and veggies. He can normally hold off eating until dinner where he usually has whatever we’re eating – baby-fied. Again, some protein (shrimp, sausage, chicken, turkey…) a starch and a veggie or two. And another 4-6oz bottle before bed.

Words: Some words are popping out. Book is “bough” and cat is “cou”, blue is “bough” and everything else is “duh” or “dit”. When he’s upset it’s “mamamamamamamama”. He points at everything and wants us to tell him what it is. There’s still no official “mama” or “dada” yet, but we can sometimes get a “da” out of him.

Activities: We now enjoy: standing up holding onto everything, opening and closing cabinets, doors and drawers, banging, hitting two items together, picking up toys and throwing them to see them bounce/roll and going “whoaaaaa”, playing with a jar of sprinkles and cutting boards, climbing the stairs when no one’s watching, walking along the couch and refusing to let go. If this child would gain some confidence to let go, he would be walking on his own.

Sleep: We have had some rough weeks since about late November with Brandon waking up anywhere from 1-4 times a night needing his pacifier put back into his mouth. It’s been brutal and really taking a toll. It would happen most between when he goes to bed and midnight. We changed some of our ways for nap and bedtime and now has been sleeping through the night like a little champ! 8pm-7am.

Favorite Things: Anything that isn’t a toy. Zoe’s toys, Zoe’s food, remote controls and our cell phones. He most enjoys splashing in the toilet and eating the cat’s food (more than once). Brandon does not care much for the TV or cartoons or movies. He LOVES music and loves to carry his little bath book around. He’s just starting to enjoy sitting on our laps being read to. We do flash cards and he thinks it’s fun to look at us and laugh. He wants to hold anything we give him and continuously flips it over and over and over again examining it.

 Signature Moves: Dancing. Making a mean/scrunch face. Climbing the stairs.

Mom’s Proudest Moment: I just love this child to pieces. He can test my patience (more often than not) and make me want to pull my hair out (daily), but when he snuggles into my lap, rubs his face on my shoulder or pulls on my pant leg it just melts my heart. I could almost die when I said “can mommy have a kiss” and he comes towards me, mouth wide open and tongue out. ahhhh, I just can’t even stand the sweetness.

Dad’s Proudest Moment: Kevin has really enjoyed seeing Brandon change and interact with us and his toys. He’s much more verbal with us and seems to want to learn what everything is. Brandon has been starting to play independently lately and it has been a lot of fun to see him play and talk/whisper to himself.

Weaning from Exclusively Pumping

Disclaimer: This is just based off of my experience, so I cannot guarantee this will work for you by any means. I’m just stating how I weaned and that it worked for me. 

Get a snack – it’s a long one!

If you’ve been following me on this journey of Motherhood, you’ll know I exclusively pumped since Brandon was born because the little monster had NO interest in direct nursing (sorry I’m SOOO boring, Bud) – a long, tiring, but extremely rewarding 9+ months. I’ve heard all the fears of weaning – engorgement, mastitis, hormones (the dreaded menstruation to start again) but our trip down Mother’s Milk Lane was coming to an end and I was ready to have the, “it’s not you, it’s me” conversation with my pump (ok – it really was you).

UntitledI never had a goal in mind for how long I would breastfeed – in my case, pump. I literally went on a day-by-day, hour-by-hour basis and did what worked for me, Brandon, Kevin and our schedule. If I missed a pump, I wasn’t concerned…if Brandon napped an hour later than normal then I pumped an hour later. I was fairly diligent but not to the point where it REALLY took over my life. The early months did suck, don’t get me wrong. But I got to a point where it was almost relaxing. No matter how fussy Brandon was, the company we had over at the house or how much laundry had to be done, all I had to say was “gotta pump” and I was guaranteed those 10-15 minutes of “ME” time without any questions asked. I learned to embrace that time. It wasn’t work for me, I didn’t dread it, I began to enjoy it.

As the weeks went by, I realized we were at 7, 8, 9 months post partum and I didn’t know where the time went. I can also say that I naturally weaned when I felt it was right. My schedule would start changing, Brandon would sleep longer, or shorter, or be more active or more fussy. I couldn’t plop him on the bed next to me and pump for 10 minutes because he could roll, or crawl away and that was no bueno. Each milestone brought on its own set of challenges and the made pumping even more difficult. Every 3-4 weeks I found myself dropping another and another pump and shifting around the pumps I had left. If I had 4ppd (pumps per day) it would look like morning, late morning, late afternoon and before bed. When I dropped to 3ppd it turned into morning, noon, before bed. Some women need to slowly morph into this change (if you pump at 10am and then 2pm – they would change daily – 1030am and 130pm, then 11 and 1, and then just one at noon). That was not necessary for me but works for others.

Around the 8.5 month mark my supply was dropping but we were still able to give only breastmilk (since he was 4 months old we had not supplemented). But it was literally going boob to bottle with little to no extra to freeze. I decided at his 9 month appointment I would drop to 2 pumps a day and by 10 months drop to 1 and begin the weaning process. With every pump drop came a huge supply drop. 2 pumps a day was not yielding much milk and we found ourselves side-eyeing the tub of formula that we had “just in case”. We had a little milk in the freezer so I was hoping that would get us to 10 months and then I would be done. This is why I never gave myself goals. If you don’t meet the goals, you feel let down. My body was weaning by itself so I just let it happen.

Since my supply was NEVER substantial (I busted my butt to try any and everything to max out my production) At 2 ppd, late morning and night, I was getting about 6-8oz each but over the course of a few days that diminished drastically!

This was all happening in the two weeks leading up to Christmas and the week after Christmas leading to New Years – so it was a busy time besides! A week after Brandon turned 9 months I was still pumping 3 times. I missed my motd (middle of the day) pump while I was busy working out, last minute shopping, wrapping and meal prepping and that’s when I automatically was down to 2 ppd. Easy as pie. Like I said, my body was weaning itself and pretty much told ME when to stop. We had gone through all of the frozen milk and the milk I was getting between 2 pumps was hardly enough to fill one bottle (Brandon was taking about 2 bottles a day – 6oz each). I dropped to 1 ppd a couple days after Christmas. The day after New Year’s (Saturday) I pumped and decided this was probably my last pump. I got about 2.5oz. It was kind of sad but I was kind of relieved. I went about 6 days and everything felt fine. Come the following Friday my boobs were getting a little sore (not overly full feeling) but sore – clog type of sore. I asked Kevin what I should do (thinking a man may have insight that I don’t). But then I turned to the Private Facebook Group I am a part of (Milking It: Exclusively Pumping with LM) and asked them. I got a few different answers. “Pump one last time until empty, this should be your last pump.” “Don’t pump, just wait it out or hand express until comfortable. Your body will think it needs to produce if you empty completely.” Knowing my body, I knew that if I pumped until empty it DEFINITELY wouldn’t think to start producing more milk because let’s face it – we don’t work like that here! SO, I pumped 1 last time. For 5 minutes. I got 1.5oz and felt much more comfortable. It has been 4 days since that last pump and I think the pump has been retired.

image1I’m sorry if this post seemed extremely long but I felt like I had a lot to say and share. Pumping is different than direct breastfeeding because I’M telling my body when to ‘feed’ which could be completely different than if my baby was calling the shots. We have to manually wean and make all the decisions (a guessing game if you will) which is not the easiest thing to do. I don’t feel guilt, I don’t feel like I let my baby or my family down. I feel so thankful I was even ABLE to produce something for my baby to help him grow. He’s healthy. He’s smart. And he’s well fed – whether it was/is breastmilk or formula. I did what was right for me and what worked for us. Kevin was by my side the ENTIRE time, I was never pressured one way or the other, every decision was my own. I feel for women who’s husbands/boyfriends/support system make them feel guilty because they spent “too much time” away from the baby, him or company attached to the pump. I was very fortunate to NEVER have that from Kevin, family, in-laws or friends and I feel beyond thankful for that.

And if your eyes don’t hurt from reading by now, here’s a great (quick) read about mother’s needing to stfu and help each other instead of putting each other down because your beliefs aren’t the same as theirs. I don’t care if your baby gets milk, formula, breastfeeds, sleeps in your bed, uses a pacifier, sucks their thumb, is over weight, underweight, watches tv, plays with your phone, or climbs the stairs when no one’s watching (oh yeah, that’s just us!). I really don’t care and you shouldn’t either. What matters is you are doing what is best for you (sanity), your baby and your family. Every baby is different and this parenting thing is all about trial and error until you find what works. A daily guessing game that you never really find the answer to. Enjoy the read!

9-10 Month Favorites

It’s about time I do a little round-up of some items we have been liking and some toys that keep Brandon entertained for a whole 85 seconds!

9monthtoysPout Pout Fish / Stacking Cups / Zoli Teether / Cloth Book / Baby Einstein / Bowls / Blankets / Crib Shoes / Cup / Blocks / Bath Book

This has been one of my most fun “collections” yet because I can say it’s all things that Brandon (or we) love and actually get some use! He’s really interacting with everything since he hit about 9 months and it’s been SO fun to watch him learn and just absorb it all!

Books, books, Books – or as Brandon says “bough”. He has one bath book (which I have no idea who bought it or where it came from), it’s Garanimals Colors book and he has worn. it. out. Between that and his green turtle which came from a bath toy set – the two things I couldn’t actually find to link up here, he is set with toys! But books, he loves his books and loves to repeat “book” after us. He crawls up on our lap at bedtime so we can read Pout Pout Fish which is his (and mine) favorite book ever. The cloth book is beyond awesome. There are animals inside the front and back cover and they each have a “home” within the book. It’s beyond adorable and can be personalized.

Teethers, suction cup bowls/plates, and sippy cups are always a must. The Dr. Brown’s have worked best of Brandon. I have bought a few others and he can’t seem to get anything out of them. I have the 6 and 10oz Dr. B ones and they are great. The handles are removable so it can grow as your little one does.

Shoes on a baby – I know, pointless. But when it’s below freezing out and your little one is starting to cruise around, you gotta give some support and warmth to those feet. I recommend Crib Shoes. They’re soft, easy to put on and comfortable. We get all Brandon’s shoes at a Second-hand store for children so I don’t cringe at the price tags and wonder if he’ll ever get use out of the clothes. For $2-$8 I am much more content if he wears it only once.

His music table is till a favorite. Our friends bought him the Pum Pum Drum and he’s still learning what it is. The little egg shaker he’s a pro with but Daddy is teaching him the drums. He is obsessed with the stacking cups and likes his blocks as well. I can’t say enough good things about the Aden and Anais blankets which we keep all over the house and car especially in the cold weather.

I think that’s pretty much all of our favorites from the last few weeks and I am so happy to finally get to share something that’s actually Brandon’s favorite and not just mine! What are your kiddos loving?

Holiday Food and More

I wanted to share a little bit about our meals from the last two weeks! I feel like all I did was grocery shop, cook, wash dishes and EAT! To the point where I don’t even want to look at food anymore. I even let Kevin order Chinese the other night –> something I opted out of (blech!).

Meal planning has been something I really enjoy doing for a few reasons…easier grocery shopping, spend less money, we waste less food and it makes my week less stressful when I already know what’s for dinner (or Kevin can start something if I’m running late). Aside from our day to day planning, I also do it when we have parties or people come to visit. I want to spend my time enjoying company, not stuck in the kitchen!


I used a planner from Erin Condren which are very pricey – and I’m not sure if it was worth the money, but it was great for meal planning! This planner breaks down the year by month (split between two pages) as well as weeks (broken down into morning, noon and night).


DSC_0903Eggs, Egg Whites, Milk, Shredded Hashbrowns, Onions, Peppers, Cannelloni Beans, Mushrooms and topped with Cheese.

image1Eggs, Egg Whites, Milk, Potato, Onions, Peppers, Ham, Chick Peas, Mushrooms topped with Sausage.

I know I’ve shard similar items before – but here is my breakfast “quiche”. I’ve become a HUGE breakfast person over the last two years or so and these really kick-start my day. I never make it the same way – mostly because I use whatever is in the fridge at the time. Eggs, egg whites, milk or cream, potato, onions, peppers and some sort of bean are always included. The meat is hit or miss along with some leftovers – yes, I’ve added quinoa, rice, even pasta to this dish. Why not? I cook the onions, peppers, mushrooms, beans (kale, spinach, tomatoes…) and meat ahead of time and let it cool. This is a GREAT dish to make if you’re raiding the discount produce section of the grocery store. Mix everything together (grease the pan with Avocado oil as it has a higher burning temp, then lay down the potatoes), bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until egg sets.


DSC_0956Oh em GEE! These Turkey Empanadas were out of this world. My company gifted a Cookbook a couple years back consisting of recipes collected from employees and customer’s, this happened to be one of those recipes. Kevin made these ahead of time which we wouldn’t suggest as they stuck to the plate HARDCORE! But the dough is easy and really great, filled with ground turkey and veggies. We made an easy dipping sauce, paired it with a beer and VOILA! I can link up the recipe if anyone is interested.


DSC_0961 DSC_0966Went a little “easier” on Christmas dinner this year to lessen the burden – but that doesn’t mean the meal has to be unhealthy and tasteless! We had a Pork Roast (which brined overnight), Sweet Potatoes topped with Goat Cheese and Honey and a Tomato and Corn Casserole. That casserole alone will make you drool!! All recipes can be shared if there’s interest.

Hope everyone had a filling Christmas and New Year’s – now time to crack down and keep that waistline in check. I hope to share some more healthy alternatives to everyday (comfort) favorites soon!

Brandon’s First Christmas

DSC_0854Little hands learning about the world

Christmas this year was exciting and exhausting all at the same time. Nothing beats wrapping presents for a baby then having to unwrap them yourself since he’s too small. That’s what Christmas is all about though, right? Holidays take on a whole new meaning once you have kids. Brandon was still a little young this year to enjoy it, but I can’t wait until he’s older and really lights up on Christmas morning.

We’ve had about two weeks worth of celebrating and lucky for us, everyone traveled to our house. Being in a different state than the rest of the family has it’s challenges, but I want Brandon and any future kids to be able to enjoy the holiday at home. The weekend before Christmas we ALL were sick and confined to the couch! Sadly, we have the only child who gets sick and still goes 110% all day. Bummer. Kevin’s Mom, sister and nephew came down and we were able to exchange gifts with them (while still in our pajamas!). They brought food AND cooked – no complaining here!

IMG_6710IMG_6712My parents and brother headed over on Christmas Eve, we had an easy crockpot meal and then early to bed to prepare for Santa. I have kept gifts in my closet for weeks now – not because I was afraid of Brandon seeing them, but trying to keep a cat AND baby out of tissue paper is nearly impossible. Seeing all the goodies for our little man was so special. Christmas day was spent opening gifts and enjoying each others company. I think we (Brandon) was opening until 3pm…but it’s not like we had an agenda. This pretty much sums up his day….

DSC_0922We ate, talked, played cards, ate some more and then just when we thought it was over, ate some more! I love Christmas but I also love when it’s over and we can put the house back together.

We finally caught up with our good friends and their babies as well as Kevin’s Dad and Stepmom (and more food!) as well as Kevin’s younger sister! It’s a never-ending holiday but that’s the way I like it!

DSC_0880 DSC_0941 DSC_0916Brandon got some pretty cool goodies that we can’t wait for him to grow into more! Lastly, the ONLY family photo we were able to get…oh well, there’s always next year!

DSC_0970Happy 2016 to all our Family & Friends!