Thursday, August 28, 2014

Name that Baby!

It's that time again. . . Who does Bean look like??  


(Bean -- apparently dad and daughter were both hams while eating)

(Steve - notice how he's playing with a measuring cup??)

(Despite the look of hatred on Bean's face, she loves playing with measuring cups! It's one of her favorite toys)

(Steve monkeying around)

(Bean monkeying around, also known as all mealtimes)

(Steve with his dad)

(So I thought it would be neat to recreate the above picture; however, Bean would not cooperate and thought it more hilarious to ignore us.)

(Lindsey chilling)

(Bean chilling, just with a little more diva in her) 

(Lindsey crawling)

(Bean crawling)

(Lindsey laying with pacifier)

(Bean hanging out with hers)



 Okay, so really there's no contest.  Bean is 100% her daddy!  The more she grows, the less I see of myself in her.  Here's hoping her personality is more like me :)

(She's 100% Bean and we love her like crazy!)

Monday, August 25, 2014

She's At It Again

Not sure why Bean does this, but she loves to shove things in her snack cup.  Then she'll shake the cup and snack goes everywhere.  Maybe she's just an engineer in training?

(First snack cup casualty -- cow.  When I first posted this photo, everyone just thought she was sharing her puffs with cow.  Suuuure.)

(But then how do you explain the plug in the cup??)

(Different cup, same MO -- apparently brushes are good for stirring up cheerios?)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Not-So-Secret Secret

So I've eluded to a little secret in previous posts, and I guess I just need to come out with it.  I've recently picked up running.  I absolutely HATE running, but know it is a pretty easy workout.  I say easy in that it requires you just moving! I figured if I can't be intentional in just getting up and doing something, I'll never really have a good work out routine.

In the past, I've done really well about just doing video workouts.  I was especially good with doing yoga while pregnant (really helped keep me in alignment), but I haven't really done anything since Bean has entered the world.  Luckily, the baby weight dropped really quick and I was back to pre-pregnancy weight in just a few months (I can thank all that to breastfeeding and having stairs in the house!).

So why now?  Well, it all started when my friend "hoodwinked" Steve and I to do a team challenge race.  We thought it was going to be more like Amazing Race, when it was more like "run all over Lima and mark the stops on a sheet".  We had fun, but were really tired from all the running.  A few days before the race, I ran a couple miles on a treadmill and felt pretty good.  I hadn't ran in almost 2 years, and didn't even think I would be able to make it a mile.  But I ran for 2!  Hyped up on confidence, I decided I could pick up running and really stick with it this time.  I pulled the trigger and bought a jogging stroller.  No turning back now!

Now that I have the stroller, I kind of feel like I have to run with it so many times in order for it to pay off.  So it has become good motivation!  In the past 3 weeks, I've logged about 15 miles (with 9 of those miles being in the past 2 weeks).  I still absolutely HATE running, but I feel pretty good about myself after running.

It also really helps to have friends who run.  Even though I prefer to run by myself at this point, I see my friends posting about their runs, which keeps me motivated. Most of these friends are moms to little ones (or about to have a baby!).  I see them posting their times & photos with their strollers, while working full time. Whenever I almost talk myself out of running, I just think, "if they can do it, I can do it!"  I can't use "oh, I have a baby" or "oh, I don't have time".  No excuses! Just do it!

Running with Bean is pretty challenging in just picking a good time to do it!  She doesn't mind being in the stroller, and I actually think she closes her eyes and sort of snoozes.  Although one time, she was pretty mischievous and kept dropping her cow in the road.  So I have to make sure I do it around a time that won't affect her sleeping schedule.  I've figured out, that if we go right after she eats breakfast, it doesn't affect her, and I can't procrastinate and talk myself out of going.

Currently, I just run around our neighborhood.  If I follow a "figure-8" pattern around the neighborhood, it ends up being just over 1 mile.  So for now, I just do a couple of laps.  Tuesday marked the first day that I RAN the entire 2 miles.  While pushing the stroller, I do a 11m15s/mile pace.  Without the stroller, my pace was 10m52s/mile.  I didn't think it would be so hard to run with a stroller, but it actually works out your arms and makes running harder.  And I also just figured out today, that there is a slight incline at the back of the neighborhood, which is harder with the stroller, too.

Things I'd never imagine doing;
-Running while pushing a baby in a stroller
-Run in the morning (i'm talking 8am!)
-Run in the rain (while pushing baby - I tied my rain jacket over the front so she was dry)
-Run on a Saturday afternoon so I didn't have to take the baby with me

Noticing a theme??  I'm doing something i never imagined for myself, and so far I'm being successful.  I'm successful in that I'm doing it!  I'd love to lose some more weight, but my main goals are to feel better about myself, get into shape, and be a role model for my daughter.  I want to set a good example on being active and making an attempt at being healthy.

So far, I've taken the stroller out for 5 runs.  In order for it to pay off, I have to take it out like a bazillion more times.  Haha, I kid.  If I keep up my current running (2-3 times a week), it'll have paid for itself by the end of fall.  Here's hoping my legs don't fall by then ;-)!

(I got a BabyTrend Expedition Jogging Stroller.  Just something simple that gets the job done! The new stroller looks a lot like our first 3 wheel stroller. The difference is that the jogger has real rubber tires which allow for a smooth ride for baby; and it also is a little slimmer.)

(Mom, what on earth is going on?!)

(On Saturday, Steve took on daddy duty so I could go run alone.  When I got back, I laid on he floor and attempted to stretch while Bean decided it was a good time to attack Momma.)

(Bean has some weird obsession with mouths.  She loves to put her fingers into your mouth to feel your teeth, gums, etc.  It's funny like the first time, then gets annoying.  I just want to stretch! Okay, really I just wanted to lay on the floor and not move, ha!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Freezer Meals with a Good Friend

I have a dear friend in Lima that shares my passion for food.  Okay, really I love to eat food and she loves to bake & cook, so it works out in my favor.  Haha, ok, I kid.  I love cooking, too, just am usually at a loss of what to cook.  We are a match made in Heaven, because she is super organized and comes up with all sorts of recipes.

About a year ago (right before I had Bean), we set up our first freezer meal date.  She had found a website that already had recipes, shopping lists, and directions on how to make up a bunch of meals in one setting.  We found a lot of kinks in that system.  So for our next freezer date (in January), Sara gathered her own recipes, made her own shopping lists, and all the directions.  We even made 3 sets of meals, and gave away a set to a friend who had just had a baby.  That system worked much better (especially since we knew the meals would be good and they were more familiar to us).  After a few more tweaks, and another 6 month gap, we conquered another freezer meal day!

We stuck to the January tradition with Sara organizing all the meal planning and doing a 3rd set for another new momma (one of her friends).  Sara did the shopping in advance, dropped veggies off at my place, and I had them all chopped and ready for our big day.  We made a total of 24 meals (3 sets of 8 different meals) in less than 5 hours.  We could have done even faster, but Bean required some of my attention.

It's amazing what all a baby needs to survive a few hours away from home, haha.  I had my car loaded up with all sorts of baby items -- pack'n'play, play-yard, toys, food chair, monitor, blanket, food, bottle, etc.  It was quite the production, but everything was used and made the day go smoothly!  We timed it so that it was morning nap time when we got to Sara's.  I set her up in the pack'n'play upstairs, while we got to work in the kitchen.  It took her a little bit to fall asleep, but she finally did and had a pretty good nap! We had the play-yard set up in the kitchen (it's a gate system that can be set up into a circle), so Bean was a part of the action when she was awake.  She happily ate her lunch in her chair on the floor in the kitchen, and went right back into the play yard until we were almost done.  As we finished things up, we let her roam around the house (who knew a golf ball could be so much fun? and a swinging door!?).

I was super tired at the end of the day from being on my legs all day.  I've picked up running (stay tune for future blog post) and haven't had a non-sore day yet.  So that definitely didn't help!  But I couldn't complain, since my partner in crime was on her feet just as much and she's 6 months pregnant!  And she ran 7 miles the day before.  I'm pretty sure she's got a leotard and cape that says "super woman" under her clothes.

(So now that I see the picture, I don't feel like there's that match.  However, it took me several trips to get everything into the car: pack'n'play, play-yard, high chair, bag with nap essentials, diaper bag, bag with toys, boat toy, bag with veggies and spices, stockpot, small cooler with our lunch and Bean's bottle.)

(Labeling our haul: 3 sets each of -- bbq chicken enchiladas, pumpkin chicken lasagna, gnocchi soup, cheese bread, stuffed italian shells, chicken pot pies, grown up pigs in a blanket, beef burgundy, mashed potatoes, and chili.)

(And Bean was at it again with her snack cup; although instead of a cow, she decided the plug to her monitor needed to share her puffs with her.  What a silly girl!)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

10 Months!

Seriously?!  Where has the time gone!  I feel like just yesterday Bean was turning 6 months and beginning to discover "real food".  Now she's celebrating the big 1-0 Month (double digits!) and continuing to explore the world around her.

About a week ago, Bean came down with a pretty high fever and was officially sick for the first time.  When I took her to the doctor, she weighed in at 18 pounds.  She was diagnosed with hand, foot, and mouth disease.  I wasn't convinced she had it since there were only a few spots in her mouth and a high fever.  My mom watched her while we went away, and since then, my mom has had signs of h/f/m disease, so maybe the doctor was right. Ha!

She isn't walking yet, but she's finally starting to show a little interest. She can crawl super fast, and hasn't figured out that walking will get her to things even quicker.  However, she loves to reach for things, and will often stand near the coffee table and couches to get to stuff she's not able to reach (especially whatever I'm holding - food, computer, phone, etc).  She's "cruised" a couple steps while holding onto furniture, but only takes a step or two that way.  We haven't really been working with her on walking, but are starting to make her hold our hands and take a few steps that way.

Bean has really started to show her independent side this month.  She is happy to play by herself with her toys, but doesn't necessarily like to be left alone.  She will stand at the gate and cry for me if I leave the room (and not to make it sound like I leave my 10 month old daughter all alone, this is usually quick trips to the kitchen, upstairs for something, or to switch laundry.  I can always hear her when I'm out of the room and know what she's up to and that she's safe).  Most of her favorite toys make sounds and sing songs, but she also loves holding little toys like Weebles or rings and just shaking them around.

She's also really shown independence in eating.  She will no longer happily eat pureed baby food.  She will eat some things by a spoon (like yogurt or oatmeal), but she wants to feed herself everything else!  Her favorite foods are cottage cheese, bananas, sweet potatoes, and mac and cheese.  Although, the past couple days she has started to prefer strawberry over banana.  I've learned the hard way that bananas stain AWFUL! So now, she eats her food naked.  She doesn't seem to mind, and would probably prefer to go naked all day.  I get annoyed with the whole taking clothes off, cleaning up food, and putting clothes back on multiple times a day, but it is better than dealing with banana stains!

She is still on a 2 nap schedule and gets 4 bottles a day along with 3 meals (and a couple snacks).  I'm pretty sure she is just like me in that we don't have a "full" trigger.  As long as you put something she likes in front of her, she'll eat it. When she doesn't like something, she'll clench her mouth shut, shake her head and push the food away.

Sometime in the last 2 weeks, we've had a breakthrough in the sleeping department!  Sadly, it sort of corresponded to quitting breast feeding.  But I don't think that is necessarily related.  At her 9 month appointment, I discovered she wasn't getting enough milk in the day.  So we started supplementing formula, but I still was estimating on how much breast milk she was getting.  Now that she's on all formula, I know exactly how much she's getting and we hit our goal each day (technically she should get 18 oz, but we shoot for 16!).  I think now that she's eating real food, and getting more bottle spread out through the day, she's staying satiated at night and no longer needs to eat.

She still has some nights where she cries out a lot, but usually she falls back asleep before we go check on her.  There have been a few nights where I've had to go in and rock her (give Tylenol) and she'll go back to sleep.  We had to say goodbye to the bird mobile (she decided to reach for the birds and pull it down during nap one day, and snapped the rod).  Now, she has a glow worm that will cycle through songs for 10 minutes.  I will still rock her for about 5-10 minutes and sing to her as she falls asleep.  But most of the time, she isn't fully asleep when I put her into the crib.  I'll turn the glow worm on, and she'll be out in just a few minutes.  She knows how to squeeze the worm to make it go longer, but she typically falls asleep and doesn't mess with it the rest of the night.

We haven't made much progress on the talking front yet.  She will say "da-da" and does seem to say it a lot around Steve; but she also says it about food, toys, and especially me.  I'll say, "Say Mom-ma" and her response, without fail, is "da-da!"  Even though she isn't saying words yet, she is constantly babbling away.  If only it made sense to us! I haven't noticed any specific sounds to mean anything.  I'm starting to work more with her about animal sounds, so maybe next month we'll have some progress ;-).

(Bean has officailly graduated to her bigger car seat and we no longer use the carrier.  since we no longer have the carrier, she gets to sit in a high chair - and shopping car - when we go out.  She does so good about sitting with us!  We have a cover that can go in the shopping cart or in high chairs, and makes it nice to know she's secured in and comfortable!)

(Bean will sometimes stand up next to her jump toy to reach the toys and I'll put her in it for a little bit.  However, one day she decided she'd much rather just lay under the toy instead of play with it.)

(Bean's toys are in the bottom two drawers of our console table in the living.  However, she has just recently discovered that there are remote controls and video games in the upper drawer.  So now she pulls them out and drags them all over like she did with the DVD's before I moved them.  Looks like this stuff needs a new home, too.)

(Ha, one day while playing with her animal boat, she decided that cow wanted to eat puffs instead of being on the boat.  What a goof!)

(Have I mentioned how funny this girl is?  She has several ducks that she loves to play with during bath.  She has two "baby" ducks, that just so happen to fit perfectly in her mouth.  When they go all the way in, they tend to disappear for awhile, as I hate digging ducks out of her mouth and fear her choking on them.  Goodness girl!)

(What's Bean's favorite food?  Cottage cheese of course!  She loves it so much, she decided to save some on her nose for later.)

(Trying out her baby pool.  The neighbor's grandkids are all in love with Bean, and were crowding around her while she was in the pool.  I should have taken a better photo of all the kids, there were 4 sitting around watching Bean play with her ducks. Ha)

(Holding her own bottle!  She actually can "palm" her bottle and hold it one handed with just her palm - like how you hold a football before throwing it.  It's quite impressive. Maybe I have a future Peyton Manning-ette in the works?!)

(These two right here are my life.  I love how much Bean looks like her daddy.  They even zone out to the television the same way. We've been trying to cut back on tv around Bean, and limit her cartoon watching.  She gets to watch a few cartoons spread out through the day.  Typically, she gets to watch a little show while drinking a bottle.  Her current favorite shows are Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Curious George, and Arthur -- okay, so maybe it is more like these are the ones I like and can tolerate!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

5 Years & A Sick Baby

It is hard to believe that Steve and I have been married 5 whole years! It seems like just yesterday we were saying "I do" and starting our senior year at Purdue.  But a lot has happened in those 5 years - living in 3 different states, changes in jobs for both of us, home ownership, travelling the world, a baby, and so much more.  I wouldn't change any moment of it!

This past year from our last anniversary, has definitely flown by.  Our time is now consumed by our daughter.  Since having her, it seems like each day goes by faster and faster.  For our anniversary this year, Steve made it extra special by planning a weekend get-away -- Kid Free!

Leading up to the weekend, I was really nervous about leaving Bean.  It marked our longest time away from her as well as being away from her overnight! Steve has been away from her when he went on his business trip, but this was my first time.  It was easier and harder than I thought it would be at the same time!

Just hours before our departure to head to IN to stay with my parents for the night (Bean would stay with them the whole weekend), I was finishing up packing and about to put Bean down for her nap.  When I picked her up to go rock her, I realized she was really warm.  I took her temperature and it was 100.5.  Yikes!  I put her to nap and called the doctor.  I was guessing it was just teething (I had just given her Tylenol about an hour prior because she was cranky and drooling like crazy), but didn't want to risk it with us going away for the weekend.  The doctor just happened to have an opening in a half hour (and the office is 3 minutes from our house).  I let her sleep for as long as possible, then headed to the doctor.

The fever was confirmed.  The doctor came in and after a quick inspection declared she had hand/foot/mouth disease, even though she only had 2 spots in her mouth and the fever.  Since it is viral, there was nothing else to be done other than Tylenol & Advil around the clock.  Wonderful.

With plans set in motion, we cleared the sick baby status with Ahm & Abo (my parents) and headed their way.  Bean was a little cranky at first in the car, but then fell asleep.  We woke her up for a dinner stop, and then she played in the car the rest of the way -- perfect!

(You could tell Bean felt miserable.  For a good 30 min in the car, she just zoned.  She just stared and held onto her toys.)

She did extremely well that night, considering she didn't feel good.  She did wake up a couple times in the night (I woke her up once to give medicine & check temp).  Her fever went as high as 102.5 with medicine in her system - eeks!  I was quite nervous about the temperature, but knew there was nothing we could do for her and she was in safe hands with my parents.  So Friday morning, Steve and I headed up north to Michigan for the weekend.

We stayed at a B&B in Allegan, MI called Castle in the Country.  It was an old Victorian home turned b&b.  The breakfast they served was outstanding! Stuffed french toast, cinnamon rolls & quiche.  Yum-o! During the days, we traveled to surrounding towns to explore and eat.  We spent one afternoon in Saugatuck and the other in Holland.  In the 48 hours we were away, we ate at Hercules Bar & Grill, Salt of the Earth, deBoer Bakkerij, Captain Sundae, and Food Dance.  All of the food we ate was delicious, but I'd have to say my favorite was a toss up between deBoer and Food Dance.  deBoer was a dutch restaurant that served brunch.  We were still full from our b&b breakfast, but didn't want to miss out and ate there anyway.  It was delicious!  Food Dance used only local ingredients and made everything from scratch from hamburger buns to ketchup!

(Castle in the Country -- we stayed in the "Golden Tower" which is the upper room of the turret on the left.)

(Upon entering our room, there was was a hallway with the bedroom off to the left, a closet and bathroom to the right, and a little vanity at the end.)


(Vanity -- boy do I wish I had a set up like this!)

(The bedroom was in the turret, so the room was circular with a very tall ceiling.)

(While in Saugatuck, we took a chain ferry to get to the other side of the lake.  This is the only chain ferry in North America, and only 1 of 3 in the whole world! The ferry is cranked across the river via a chain that lays on the bottom.  You can see the chain on the lower right of the ferry.)

(Sitting on the chain ferry.  It only took a few minutes to get across the river.)

(Once on the other side, we hiked up some steep steps, to get over a hill -- which I later figured out was a sand dune -- and see a beach on the other side. Boy was that a steep climb!)

(Keep going Steve!  The steps really wouldn't have been that bad if it weren't for the fact that we were still recovering from our ridiculous run the weekend before.)

(Made it to the top!)

(Looking out over the lake and down into Saugatuck.)

(So I was a little hoodwinked in the whole, "oh you walk up some steep steps, then back down and we'll hang out at the beach."  I was prepared for sand, but not walking down steep sand.  I had to take off my flip flops, but then was all nervous about stepping on sticks.  Steve thought I was being hilarious and decided to capture my intense sand dune walking.)

(Oval beach! The water was quite cold, but people were still in the water.  We sat on the beach a little bit and recuperated before heading back to the ferry.)

(So instead of walking back up over the hill, we walked around it, which ended up being quicker and easier.  Along the way, we saw my "favorite" animal -- a deer.  Throughout the whole weekend, we saw deer, wild turkeys, chipmunks, squirrels, birds, and rabbits.)

(After spending the day in Saugatuck, we headed to Salt of the Earth.  The restaurant has it's own garden outside that you can walk around and see where some of its produce comes from!)

(The next day we spent in Holland.  After our brunch at deBoer's, we walked up another sand dune via steps.  Only these steps weren't steep.)

(After the little hike, we got some ice cream!)

(And then we went on a walking tour of historic houses in Holland.  Steve loves walking tours and rather enjoyed this one.  I on the other hand thought, "seen one historic house, seen 'em all".  Okay, really I enjoyed walking around with Steve and watching him in his element.)

We got back to Bean a little after noon on Sunday.  We were very excited to see her and she how she was feeling.  Her fever had broke on Saturday and she was doing much better.  Everyone who saw her agreed with me - we don't think she really had hand/foot/mouth.  Not sure what it was, but she definitely had a touch of some virus.  We are very thankful Bean has been very healthy and think maybe she was over it so quickly from having a good immune system.  We hung around my parents for a few hours (we weren't ready to get back in the car), Bean & I even went swimming!

(What Bean was up to all weekend -- playing and being the center of attention!  Since she was sick, plans had to change and she was confined to the house.  That means no visitors - including cousins!  Poor Bean & Poor Ahm!  She now knows what my life is like in caring 24/7 for Bean!)

(We couldn't leave Ahm & Abo's without a dip in the pool!  This child is 100% water baby.  She would be completely happy if I let go of her and she could splash and play all by herself.  She just has to figure out the whole swimming and not drinking water first!)

I am extremely thankful that God has blessed my family in the way it has.  I have a very godly husband who is intentional about keeping our marriage strong, not just for us, but for our little girl.  I am looking forward to the next adventure with Steve by my side. Happy 5 years!

Oh, and I definitely won wife-of-the-year with my gift.  I was so excited to give it, I didn't care about what I got in return.  Steve and I try to keep our gifts along the lines of whatever the anniversary year is.  I.e. 1st year is paper, 2nd - cotton, 5th- wood. . . He got me a build your own bird house, which we'll do together sometime soon.  But here was my gift:

(I spelled out our last name using pictures from our previous trips:
A - eiffel tower in Paris
C - reflection of an arch on water in Rome
K - a knight on a horse in a castle in Segovia
E - coast line of Sausalito looking at Golden Gate in San Francisco
R - statue of a bear and tree in Madrid
M - church front in Brussels
A - Bell of Notre Dame in Paris
N - Arch de Triomphe in Paris
All of the pictures are on put on top of a map we used while in Barcelona.  Steve plans on hanging it up this weekend!)