Category: life

the one with Jack’s 6 month update

Jack is 6 months old. He’s changing almost daily, but still is my little baby boy. My favorite thing in the world is watching him learn. So here’s his 6 month update . . .



Head: 17 3/4″ inches 

Weight:  18.4lbs

Nicknames: Dumplin, babycakes, jackster, jackoby, munchkin, sweet pea

Sleep: 4-5 months was a hard time for sleep, but it got better for about 4 weeks. Then all of a sudden it’s back again. I think he’s going through a growth spurt plus his belly is a little upset from introducing solids. We’re working on it. At least it’s not every day that he sleeps crazy.

Feeding: We introduced solids at dinner time. I am making all of his food myself. It’s much easier than I thought it was. We’ve had zucchini, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes. Jack LOVES to eat. We’re still mostly breastfeeding, and it’s still going really well. His little body is working on processing all of his new foods so he’s constipated a lot of the time (which is why I think he’s not sleeping well). Our pediatrician said to use mommy’s ease constipation (like gripe water). We’ve used that for a few days and we did have 2 nights of regular sleep!!

Fun Stuff: We are officially on the move- army crawling and rolling every which way all around the house. He’s teething like crazy, but his amber necklace and sophie the giraffe are helping. We’re over hating being on our belly. He spends plenty of time there now 🙂 Jack thinks his voice is the coolest thing ever. He’s cooing, squealing, and blabbing all day long – even in his sleep. He’s sitting up on his own which makes grocery shopping and eating out so much easier on mom and dad. It also puts him in a great position to flirt with everyone which he does constantly. The TV is the coolest thing in the world especially when animals are on it.


the one with my birthday list

Happy birthday month! It is the 3rd best month of the year! September and December are better, but March is a very close third. This year my birthday list is easy. Things for me, but will specifically make life as a mom easier. So here it goes . . .

  1. Keurig – I’m pretty sure our keurig is 6 years old. But Scott tells me it’s only 3. But two cups of coffee a day makes me want a new one.
  2. Teething necklace – the drooling and the wining is already in abundance. anything to help is welcome.
  3. Target gift card – but only if you’re also willing to give two hours of babysitting.
  4. Bed frame and rug – I’m ready for a look in the bedroom. It has become my sanctuary. The only place in the house which is mine.
  5. Beauty and beast tickets – and again some babysitting hours, please.
  6. Massage – breast milk is heavy, ya’ll
  7. sugarboo bag – just something cute to make me happy 🙂

keurig . sugarboo bag . teething necklace . bed . rug

Links and Loves

Target’s got some new, cute Sugarfix earrings. I need them in my life.

It’s extremely important to save for retirement. All of us know that, but do you do it?

I’ve been jonesing this old navy ruffled off shoulder dress for months. I need it in my life.

I’m 31 and I haven’t taken a trip since I Was 28. It’s time.

It’s almost spring which means I need a new beach bag. I did that for you . . . I actually need one now because I live in Florida.


the one with Jack’s 5 month update

It’s Jack’s 5 month update!

Height:27 inches

Head: 17 3/4″

Weight:  17.9 lbs

Nicknames: Dumplin, babycakes, jackster, jackoby, munchkin, sweet pea

Sleep: Hello 4 month sleep regression. Little man randomly started waking up 3 or 4 times a night instead of his 1 time. And naps became a huge struggle. There were about 2 weeks there where I thought I might go nuts. He’s never been a great napper, but it just got worse. We came up with a plan about 2 weeks ago and it seems to be working. Naps are getting better and he’s back to his 1 time waking up most nights. There’s still the occasional twice a night, and we’ve had to implement some sleep training at nap time. More on that once I know we’re out of the clear . . .

Feeding: Still going great! Our pediatrician said to go ahead and introduce food if I thought he was ready. But breastmilk is going really well so no worries until 6 months. I think he is, but I have to actually accept it now. Then we’ll start solids!

Fun Stuff: Still no glaucoma after his last appointment! His eye pressure was the best it’s been even after lots of crying! Congenial glaucoma can present anytime between birth and a year so we’re still not in the clear yet. But it usually presents at 3 months so things look really good so far.

Jack loves to swim in the bath, stand on his feet (with our support), grab his toes, suck on anything especially Sophie the giraffe or his thumb, and sing songs. He rolls over all the time now – back to belly, belly to back both together. He still hates being on his belly so it’s not always easy. The best parts of the day are when he’s sleeping or playing independently and then I walk up! He gets the biggest smile on his face, moves his hands to his face, pulls his legs up, and starts to coo! It always reminds me I’m doing something right 🙂 He loves to blow bubbles and stick his tongue out!

He’s starting to be really interested in what’s on tv or what’s on our phones. I prefer some sort of back ground noise and usually have just a random tv show playing the background. Now that he’s paying attention I’m trying to play more music than tv. I also put cartoons or kid shows on sometimes! Can’t have the walking dead playing in the background even if we’re not paying attention. He loves all the shows with animals 🙂

Most importantly, our hair is still red 🙂

the one with parmesan salmon mason jar salad

The husband and I are trying to cut back on carbs for the new year. Not eliminate – just cut back. Which for me as the cook means no more sandwiches at lunch. So I finally decided to go ahead and jump on the mason jar salad train. The first one we tried was a simple version of a salad I make for us to have at dinner quite often. I like to call it the Parmesan Salmon Mason Jar Salad. The mason jar is newly added, obviously.

On our first attempt, which is when I took these pictures, I put the greens right next to the dressing. I learned that’s not recommended. But my greens weren’t soggy this time. My favorite way to cook salmon is actually with these dressing and some bread crumbs covering it. To make it I simply, rub some flour on, dip both sides in the dressing, dip both sides in bread crumbs and cook for 20 min at 350. But you can make yours anyway you prefer. You just a simple salmon recipe that won’t take away from the flavor of the dressing.

For the dressing:
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese,grated
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Teaspoon sugar
* Place all the ingredients except the olive oil into a small bowl. Whisk the olive oil into the ingredients in the bowl in a slow steady stream until well incorporated. Then place any leftover dressing in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Salad Ingredients:

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce – or 1 bag of salad mix
1 cup almonds
12 ounces cooked, diced salmon cooked to your liking.
1 cup raisins
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 (16 ounce/pint-size) wide-mouth jars

How to:

  1. Start by placing an equal amount of dressing at the bottom of each jar.
  2. Then divide remaining ingredients among the jars, layering in the following order: almonds, raisins, cheese, fish, lettuce. Next, twist on the top to seal your salads and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. When you’re ready to eat, just dump the jar onto a large plate or bowl.
  4. Finally, enjoy!

the one about breastfeeding

30 minutes after delivering my son I started the biggest and ,in my opinion, most important undertaking of my life – breastfeeding. 17 weeks later, and it’s also the most rewarding undertaking of my life. I think of myself and my body more positively as well as the obvious – getting to nourish my boy. I am absolutely not an expert, but with the help of my friend Sandy, my mom, our pediatrician, and our lactation consultant Linda it is going incredibly well for us. We’ve had some downs, but no major problems. I by no means think that moms who can’t or choose not to breastfeed are worse than those who do. We all have to work with what we have and what we’re able. But with my research and experience I do think breast is best  – if you can. So I want all moms to be as ready as possible.

There are 3 things I’ve focused on that I think are the key (along with the grace of God), and I wanted to share with new moms who are struggling or moms to be who want to be prepared.


  • Latch – Everybody told me that if it’s working it doesn’t hurt. That’s true, but just because it hurts doesn’t mean it’s not working. You’re having someone suck on your nipples several times a day with a mighty force that will rub them raw. It’s not going to feel great. Eventually the hurt will go away. If it hurts so bad that you’re crying or your nipples are bleeding – then first check your latch  and I’d recommend finding a lactation consultant to help fix it. Here’s the tips that worked for Jack and I to get a good latch . . .

Try the Breast Sandwich – pinch your breast behind the areola to form a longer version of your nipple, match the shape of your breast to baby’s mouth. Make your hand like a ‘c’ around your breast.

Focus on a wider mouth opening – push your nipple on the top of your babies mouth, and he’ll open wider. You want your full nipple in there so they’ll need a wide opening.

Pull out those lips:  While latched, if your baby’s lips are not flared out, you will get sore.  It is okay to pull the lips out while baby nurses, this little difference will make you more comfortable and will provide baby with more milk.

  • Sore Nipples – Your nipples will get sore even if you have a good latch. But it won’t hurt so bad you’ll cry.  If it’s hurting or you’re bleeding, and you’re sure that the latch is correct then you need to take some steps to fix up your sore nipples. Here’s what worked for me . . .

Rub a terry cloth washcloth on them twice a day for two weeks BEFORE delivery. This will get them started on the raw feeling so you’ll be used to it and they’ll start healing before the baby is even here. This is an old school tip, and some of you I’m sure are like ‘whaaaaa’. But in the ’80’s a doctor told my mom to do this when she had me, and she swore by it. I did it, and it helped. Your nipples are already super sensitive with pregnancy so might as well take advantage, right?!

Nipple cream and gel pads – I started putting nipple cream on after every terry cloth rub. Then when Jack was here every meal for the first 8 weeks I would put nipple cream all over my nipples. ALL OVER! The pain went away for a day or two when he was about 6 weeks old. But it started to hurt every time he would latch, and then I started to bleed. So I started back up with the nipple cream, and got some gel pads. the gel pads cooled me off after every feeding and took the hurt away quickly. The nipple cream got me back on track so the pain went away eventually for good.

Breast Milk – Now that he’s 4 months old (16 weeks) I rarely use nipple cream anymore. I don’t use gel pads anymore, and I’m not in pain at all. My nipples are still sensitive, and at the first latch there is sometimes a bit of uncomfort. I rub some breast milk over the entire nipple to soothe the area and we’re good. No more nipple cream! No more pain!

Vary positions – check out different positions and different accessories to help position the baby. If you do the same position every time, you’ll start to bruise in that area. It’s obvious when it happens. So just change up positions – use the boppy once, then do football next time, then repeat – it’s that simple.

  • Mindset – I know this one sounds a little silly, but your mind is a pretty crazy place after you give birth. So for me there were a few key things I kept reminding myself of to get me through when breastfeeding was starting to seem like too much.

Just get through the first 6 weeks. My friend Sandy told me this, and I repeated it to myself many times. I really wanted breast feeding to work and I knew my husband felt the same. So when Sandy told me it gets a lot better after 6 weeks that’s what I promised to do. There were many times my nipples were so sensitive a t shirt was too much or there was once that my nipples were bleeding. There were even times when I said ‘once I get to 6 weeks I’ll have kept my promise and then i’ll stop’  But Sandy was right. Once 6 weeks rolled around it didn’t hurt anymore. Even better I found what worked for us. We have our routine now. Like to have water and a snack ready, and how to comfortably feed him in public.

Feed him on demand for less stress. This was highly recommended by my pediatrician, and by my lactation consultant. From day one Jack has 4 main problems, he’s hungry, he’s sleepy,  he wants attention, or he has a dirty diaper. So if I knew he was clean, not sleepy, was getting attention and was still fussy – we fed him.That resulted in him eating every 2ish hours, and me getting comfortable feeding him in public very quickly so we weren’t stuck at home. Now he eats every 3 to 4 hours. What does this have to do with mindset? In the end it was less stress because he was never colicky. I never worried about if he was eating enough or if i was producing enough. Sometimes it feels like we were always breastfeeding, but I was never worried about if he was hungry or healthy.

It’s a full time job. I don’t look at raising my child as a job. But breastfeeding takes as much time as a job. This is the part that got to me more than the uncomfort. No matter how much I kept repeating  ‘just get through the first 6 weeks’; 6 weeks wasn’t going to change how much time it took. Like I said above, I often felt stuck at home since he wanted to eat every 2 hours. My mom mentioned this is a full time job, and it stuck with me. When I started to think of it that way – I’m a SAHM/blogger, and my 2nd job is to breastfeed. I even started to put it on my to do lists. It feels great to mark that off. It helps me visualize the progress and good we’re doing.

the one with a red wine sangrita cocktail

I don’t drink many cocktails. Usually just a beer or a glass of wine, but there is one liquor I always have in my cupboard. Tequila. So over the holidays I decided to whip up my own concoction and combine my glass of wine with my tequila for a red wine sangrita! Turns out tequila and red wine go really well together especially when you have turkey or ham on the table. I;m not one of those girls that buys fruits seasonally – I should be, but I’m not. So I added whatever fruits I had on hand, but this would taste great with cranberries, grapefruits, or apples as well which are in season! So let’s get to the important stuff – recipe for red wine sangrita!


bottle of your favorite red wine
half bottle of lemon and lime soda
1 cup tequila
bottle of mango juice
orange slices
lime slices
lemon slices
ice to fill glasses

How to

First, combine liquid ingredients in pitcher and stir until well mixed.
Add remaining ingredients.
Then chill for 4-6 hours or overnight.
Stir well and pour into individual glasses over ice.
Finally, Garnish as desired

What is your favorite red wine or tequila cocktail?

the one to flourish

It’s time for 2017’s word of the year! I love choosing a word of the year. It’s just a better option for my life style, and my ‘resolutions’ are usually complete. Last year my word of the year was grace. There were several things going on in our life that I had no control over. That was mostly getting and dealing with pregnancy and new motherhood, even tho I didn’t say it at the time 🙂 When that post went live, I didn’t even know I was pregnant just that we were trying. Grace ended up being the perfect word for last year. I kept it on my mind constantly and could feel it working in my life. It even popped up in my sons name by complete coincidence. Jack – God is gracious.

So it was a no brainer for me to choose another word of the year for this year. 2017’s word of the year is flourish.

I had no idea where to start this year. Since September 20th, I haven’t thought about anything but being a mom. When I gave 2017 two minutes of thought I realized it would be much the same. And then a pinterest search lead me to the image above! Flourish was an easy and obvious choice for me. I want little Jack to flourish in his first year of life and be the best boy he can be!

One of my main concerns regarding motherhood is not lose myself as a woman and person outside of being Jack’s mom. I’ve seen it happen to lots of women – the kids go to school and they’re lost. Then the kids move out, and holy cow. So I also want myself to flourish. Keep giving myself creative outlets, dates with my husbands, girls nights out, etc.

Do you choose a word of the year? I’d love to hear what it is!

the one with Jack’s three month update

time for Jack’s three month update . . .

Height: 26″ 100 percentile

Head: 16.34″ 92nd percentile

Weight: 15.75 lbs 100 percentile

Nicknames: Dumplin, babycakes, jackster, jackoby, munchkin, sweet pea

Sleep: We still have our good bedtime system, but we’ve added and made some adjustments. He gets a bath at 815 with lots of play time, and a good massage with some lotion (he has dry skin) afterward. Then I feed him and we put him down swaddled and sleepy (but awake) with white noise, nightlight, and essential oils in the diffuser at 9.  Most nights, he sleeps 8-7 hours before waking up to eat and get a clean booty. Then he sleeps for another 3 hours before waking up to eat and get a clean booty. Then we’re up for the day!

He usually takes a 3 hour nap in the afternoon and a cat nap at dinner time. But he’s not consistent. Everything I’ve read about naps doesn’t work for my kid. I finally gave up trying to give him a schedule during the day, and guess what, he’s a happy boy. I make sure we eat every 3 hours and that’s it. Sometimes without a nap schedule he struggles at the 7 o’clock hour to stay away before bathtime. But I find that’s better than struggling with each other throughout the day.

Feeding: still eating just from the boob, still feeling incredibly blessed. It’s still incredible time consuming. At 4ish months I think we’ll add in some purees to see how he does and maybe i’ll get a bit of a break.

Fun Stuff: Jack LOVES bath time. He kicks so much he moves his tub around, and he loves to have water poured on his belly and hair. Daddy is afraid he’s drowning because his eyes get HUGE, but then he laughs and smiles real big. When not in the tub, he’s still a mostly happy boy – kicking, giggling, grabbing at his toys. But we still hate tummy time and mostly prefer to be held and up high so we can look at all of the things. My sister says he’s nosy, I say he’s very curious and has a learning spirit.