Monday, February 23, 2015

Liebster Award Nomination

Thank you to Faith Filled Feathers & Simplified Mommy for the Liebster Award Nomination. Sorry it took me weeks to get to it, but I am sure you understand with a toddler and a growing belly that things aren't always easy to get to.

Not only that, but I was skeptical and considered the Award a massive chain letter. After a thorough Google search I know there is much more to it than that.

The Liebster award, an award that only exists on the internet,  is a great way to recognize other bloggers, find new friends, and help get them out there. Finding new friends is one of the main reasons I decided to start blogging in the first place. I think everyone gets to a point in their life when they realize they no longer have that much in common with current friends. What is better than the commonality of being a mommy?!

The Liebster Award is also a fun way for new bloggers to gain more followers on their blogs! Everyone loves followers! I know a lot of us beginner bloggers aren't sure how to gain followers so why not nominate for the Liebster Award?

Don't forget that Bloggers have to have less than 200 followers and be sure to notify the Bloggers you have nominated!

11 Questions from Faith Filled Feathers

  1. Why did you start blogging? I decided to start blogging because I love to write, I would like to meet Mommies with my same interests, and to show my children one day. 
  2. What is your favorite food? This is a hard question to answer while pregnant. Right now anything and everything sounds pretty good. I don't think honey mustard really counts as a food, so I will say chicken.
  3. What was your first job? My first job was teaching gymnastics. I actually taught for five years. Three in high school and two in college.
  4. What are you having for dinner tonight? Probably chicken.
  5. Pick one word to describe your blog. Fun. Hard question!
  6. If you could go to any place in the world on a free vacation for a week, where would you go? Iceland. I have always wanted to go. It is gorgeous there.
  7. Who was your favorite teacher? I know this says teacher, but I have to go with Mr. Chancey, my high school counselor. He is one of the main reasons I became a school counselor.
  8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Living happily with my family of four .... possibly five.
  9. Who would you say has been the most influential person in your life? Definitely my Mom. She has made me the person I am today. She is always there for me and gives the best advice. I am so lucky to have her.
  10. If you had to be any animal for the rest of your life , what would you pick? A dolphin. They live in the water and are highly social.
  11. What is your favorite color? Teal

11 Random Facts About Me
  1. I hate mustard and pickles. Yuck.
  2. I grew up on a farm and loved it. I even went to my own house on a field trip. I was the cool girl in school that day.
  3. I had my appendix out and then found out that wasn't needed. I was just sick.
  4. I love traveling but didn't do much of it until I met my husband four years ago.
  5. I used to not want children because I thought I was too selfish. That didn't last long.
  6. I am a clothes hoarder and honestly believe I am going to fit back into those size 0 pants from college.
  7. I am obsessed with the tiny house revolution. I love watching Tiny House Hunters and Tiny House Nation but would never want to live in one.
  8. I love crafting, digital scrapbooking, and sewing but do not get to it often.
  9. I absolutely love my job as a school counselor. I am so glad I chose the right career.
  10. I just gave up my Blackberry for a Samsung over the weekend. Hard decision but I know it was the right thing to do.
  11. I hate driving. I would rather be a passenger any day.

Nominees for the Liebster Award

11 Questions My Nominees Need To Answer For the Liebster Award

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What is your favorite food?
  3. What was your first job?
  4. What are you having for dinner tonight?
  5. Pick one word to describe your blog.
  6. If you could go to any place in the world on a free vacation for a week, where would you go?
  7. Who was your favorite teacher?
  8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  9. Who would you say has been the most influential person in your life?
  10. If you had to be any animal for the rest of your life , what would you pick?
  11. What is your favorite color?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

How NOT to make cake pops

I mentioned in my Valentine's post that I attempted to make cake pops on my own. I was so excited about making these cute little cake balls. I even talked about selling them with my husband. Hah. That is funny.

I did learn how NOT to make cake balls, but I am not too sure I am going to try again.

First of all, these tasty snacks take a really long time to make. I may have mentioned before I am impatient. I am not talking a little impatient either. My bunting tutorial was full of shortcuts. I like to half ass a lot of things. Luckily, the bunting was a success. I can't say the same about my baking skills.

  1. The fist step is basic enough. Bake a cake. I probably should have stopped here and slapped on the icing.
  2. After the cake is baked, make sure it cools. I actually did this. I baked the cake the night before and was just too tired to continue the process, so I put the rest of the steps on hold until the next day.
  3. Crumble the cake until there are no big chunks. I think I did okay on this too. Sure there may have been a few bigger size crumbs but looks good, right?
  4. Here is where I think I made my first mistake. Do not skip on icing in attempt to save on calories. These cake balls are full of calories, so extra really don't matter. I thought half the can of icing would be enough to make the cake crumbs sticky enough to make balls. Mine ended up with cracks. Not cool!
  5. Also, do not listen to your husband when he says to make giant cake balls. You should probably stick with the normal ping pong size pops. Mine ended up too heavy and a few fell off the sticks. Again not cool!
  6. Don't let your chocolate burn. I was feeding Mila lunch and melting chocolate at the same time. It is probably best to do all baking while your toddler is asleep. Determined to finish, I added ez thin dipping aid, but the damage was already done. My candy ended up clumpy.
  7.  Make sure you have enough chocolate dip for your pops. I ran out halfway through and was not about to open up another bag.
There you have it, my failed attempt at making cake pops. I am glad Mila and the husband liked them anyway. They ate them up.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine's Weekend in Photos

We had a great Valentine's weekend with Mila. She was in a great mood all weekend. We didn't get her much for the holiday, but we did get her a board book and the dragon puppet from her favorite video. I thought this was going to be a huge hit but Mila was scared of the funny looking puppet. I am hoping she will warm up to it and like it as much as she likes the Baby Einstein video.

Mila is still figuring out the gift opening thing. Here she is with her presents. She is posing for the camera but not that interested in her Valentine's presents.

After some prompting, she rips into them.

And her favorite is a valentine from a boy at her daycare. She carried the Minnie cup around with her all morning.

I really wanted to get Mila a cake pop but was unable to find them anywhere. I looked at local cupcake shops and grocery stores but they were nowhere to be found. I decided to make them myself. They were not as much fun as I thought they would be, but I did it and Mila and my husband liked them.

And here are a couple other favorite photos from the weekend.

Great weekend!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mila's New Digs

With a baby boy on the way, we decided to make some room changes. Mila's old bedroom is currently in the works of becoming the new nursery and my husband's office became Mila's new "big girl" room. This made the most sense. Mila will now have a bigger closet and her own attached bathroom. The transition was much easier than I originally thought it was going to be. Mila had no problem moving across the hall. In fact, I think she is happy about the move.

I decided to go with a fuchsia color for the walls. Although the paint job looks good now, it took about five coats to get it right. It was a lot of work but turned out how I wanted it to.

I fell in love with teepees after seeing them all over the internet. I knew I had to make one work in Mila's new digs. I saw this one on Amazon for $150 but did my research and found it at walmart for $89. Score! Mila was a little scared of it at first but now she loves it. I think it fits perfectly in her room.

I really like the little bit of turquoise accents in the new bedroom. Baby girl rooms are usually pink and I wanted to spruce things up a little and make it not such a cliche girl's room. The turquoise really seems to tie the look together.

We were expecting to leave the brown rocker in the nursery, but quickly realized we had to have it in Mila's bedroom for her bedtime routine. I was worried about how it would look since it wasn't in my original design. It turned out much better than I expected. I am just hoping we don't have to buy another rocker!

Now that Mila's room is complete, I have been planning the nursery. It is almost finished, but not quite yet. Only fifteen weeks to go!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Say What?

I have known for a while that adolescents do not have a filter. I am just discovering now that neither do adults! It is so funny what people will say to you when you are pregnant. I have been documenting responses to my pregnancy for a couple months now. I plan to continue. Some of these statements, I do not want to forget!

"Ewwww you are nasty. This is the second time you have been pregnant." - former student, 9th grade

"You blew up." - 6th grader

"You are so little. It looks like you are smuggling a turkey in there." - 6th grader

"Are you sure you are not having twins?" - 7th grade student, coworker

"You are a lot bigger this time than last." - husband, mother, coworker

"Your face has filled out." - coworker

"You are going to have a ten pounder." - mother-in-law, coworker

"I can tell you are pregnant. Your nose has gotten wide." - coworker

"Who is the baby daddy?" - 7th grader

"Are you pregnant?' (25 weeks +20 lbs) - 6th grade student

"Wow. You popped over the weekend." - coworker

"You are gaining weight all over this time. Must be a boy thing." - coworker

"This must have been an accident." - stranger

"You are getting big. Your jacket is too short." - coworker

"You look like you swallowed a watermelon." - coworker

"Oh, you look pregnant." - coworker

After being out of work for nearly a week because of snow and ice, "what did you eat over the break?" - coworker

Monday, February 9, 2015

I don't want to breastfeed!

Breastfeeding comes easily for some mothers and for some it just doesn't. For me, it just doesn't. Like many babies, my daughter had jaundice. Before even leaving the hospital, Doctors were making me supplement with formula. I had no choice. I was told to supplement at home as well. I tried breastfeeding my daughter at the hospital. I just didn't have enough milk and was never able to produce enough milk to meet her needs. I pumped and breastfed every two to three hours as told. I took fenugreek, drank plenty of water, and talked to my Physician about my shortage in milk. Even with my lack of liquid gold, I stuck with it and breastfed for seven long months. It was devastating. I felt like a failure. One of my friends had so much milk that her freezer was full. She even donated her milk because of her overabundance. I did not freeze milk once. I just didn't have it to freeze. At my peak, I pumped twelve ounces a day. Usually, I would produce two ounces of milk in a twenty minute pump session. I was supplementing half of all feedings if not more.  

I really do not want to go through this again. Is two hours of pumping a day even worth the measly twelve ounces I was able to pump a day? I am just not sure. I have done the research. I know the benefits of breast feeding. I also know that formula is a healthy choice.

A few of the reasons I want to force myself to at least try to breastfeed are it is free,  it can help prevent SIDS (according to the American Academy of Pediatrics) and breastfeeding can help new mothers lose weight more easily. There is also the pressure of just about everybody not to dare formula feed my child. Everyone from doctors, nurses, family, friends even strangers will throw out sentences like everyone can breastfeed if they try, your baby is going to be sickly, you are not going to bond with your child, and even your child is going to lose IQ points. The stress and pressure are overwhelming,  A happy, unstressed mother has to be better than the contrary.

New evidence and more recent studies are actually concluding that there are no significant differences in breast-fed and formula-fed babies. Joan B. Wolf, professor of gender studies at Texas A&M University, and author of “Is Breast Best? Taking on the Breastfeeding Experts and the New High Stakes of Motherhood,” writes in the New York Times that, “I have found the benefits of breastfeeding in the developed world nonexistent, marginal or impossible to disentangle from other aspects of a child’s life.

The mixed data all over the internet is not making my already hard decision any easier. I don't want to be selfish in my choice and I surely don't want to hurt my child in any way. I am still undecided about what to do. All I know right now is that I don't want to breastfeed. When that sweet baby is handed to be in the delivery room, my feelings may change.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

24 weeks

How far along: 24 weeks. Baby is the size of a cantaloupe.

Total weight gain: 19 pounds.

Maternity clothes: I love Jessica Simpson pants. They fit perfectly and aren't too long. I am also really big on long sleeve henley type shirts. The more comfortable the better.

Sleep: It is starting to get harder to get comfortable. The getting to sleep easily days are over.

Best moment this week: Our house was reappraised for $50,000 more than we paid for it just over a year ago. That was pretty awesome.

Food cravings: Bojangles honey mustard on anything!

Food aversions: None. I pretty much want to eat everything in sight.

Gender:  We are told 100% baby boy!

Labor signs: Thankfully none yet.

Pregnancy symptoms: Moody, popped belly, hungry.

Belly Button in or out? Almost out. It won't be long.

What I miss: Wine, sushi, being able to get to sleep, being skinny, normal size nose.

What I am looking forward to: Meeting our Baby Boy!

Milestones: Baby is considered viable. If our baby was born today, he has a chance of survival. That is a big deal to me and a small relief.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Failed Photoshoot

Mila is not exactly the model type. Although she hams it up for my husband and I, at our last photo shoot she ran from the camera. She cried and threw a temper tatrum right there at the park site. This is our only picture from the day. As you can see, she is bolting out of there as fast as she can.

I was so excited to get a cute photo and send out valentine cards to my family and friends, but it just did not work out. Not only was this going to be our vday pic, but it was also Mila's eighteen month birthday. I thought this was perfect, a two in one deal. Anyone that has a toddler knows, things do not always turn out as planned.

Our photographer was great. She was so patient and not irritated at all. After twenty five minutes of screaming, my husband and I decided to give up. It seemed like torture for Mila and just didn't seem right. As soon as we put Mila in her car seat, she was giggling and in a great mood. I really think she was scared of those balloons! Look at her when we got home. Back to her happy self.