Monday, December 05, 2011


So I clearly took a break from the blog and while I was away I realized that I like doing this. If only a couple times a month as a chronicle of whats going on in our life. So, to catch you up the boy turned 1 and now is 14 months exactly today. He's walking, starting talking more, starting imaginative play, eating more and is really just a pretty good time right now. He's still not a sleeper and I need to try to give him more of a predictable routine but things on his front are pretty amazing. I am loving this age and learning to embrace the some of the chaos as he pulls out my pots and pans to cook, dumps his bowls upside down to finish food, screams just to hear his voice. Its a different stage that definitely takes getting used to but its so much fun seeing the joy in his eyes as he learns knew things and the comprehension; I'm amazed by him every single day. The hubs and I are doing well, we just celebrated 6 years since our first date and 5 years since we got engaged. Things with weight loss are going well, I just added in more exercise in a big way. I've been walking about 3 miles most days for awhile but just added in Jillian Michael's 30 day shred and wow it kicked my butt. I could barely walk the first few days but it felt so good to do something that I haven't done for so long. So thats about it for right now, hoping to update more on Bug's birthday, what he's been up to, pictures, crafts, recipes and all that good stuff.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

11 Months of Bug

Dear Buggy,
We are running quickly towards your first birthday and I wanted to get some of the little nuiances of your 11th month documented. You remain to be such a joy to me and your dad.
You have developed a fascination with the cat. We have an outside cat that you are obsessed with. You love hanging out by the front door and get so excited when the cat comes to the door. When you get excited you quietly and excitedly say "oof oof oof" which is woof to you, it is so adorable. Everything is woof to you, you love animals! You do say meow as well but your first instinct is always woof. I've brought you into the pet store near us a few times just because I figured you would like it and I was right you would be happy to sit there for hours staring at the birds, lizards, fish and love when people bring their dogs in. Two of your best friends Taylor and Rebekah both have puppies and you love watching them play together, you will sit and just crack up watching their dogs run around.
We also went to a Phillies game with our friends Matt and Tracey, we were able to get some amazing seats thanks to Matt and his father. Your second game was spent in the first row leaning up on the dugout. You loved watching the game and everyone near by was amazed at how good you were. You would watch the field then look at the jumbotron then look around. I think you were just so excited by the crowd. There ended up being a rain delay and I got a little momma bear with some people pushing and shoving but you ended up sleeping for the whole rain delay and waking up to watch the rest of the game. It was one of those times that I will never forget, just a great time with our little family and our friends. Thankfully I have some amazing pictures to treasure.
You also lived through your first earthquake and your first hurricane. We were out walking one day when your daddy called asking if we felt that. Felt what? We had no idea that there was just and earthquake we were just having fun on our walk! It took awhile before I stopped worrying that your dad lost his mind and realized that there was, in fact, an earthquake. I'm hoping its your last! That same week we had a hurricane coming. I like being prepared for things but since I've had you I think its gone to the next level. We spent most of that week picking up things just in case we were stuck without electricity. I put you to sleep on the dining room floor just to have you near us, then when they started adding tornado warnings in we all ended up sleeping on a mattress in the kitchen. I just wanted my boys safe and all together! You were none the wiser to all this excitement though and weren't even impressed with our new sleeping arrangements.

This month you continued getting around more and more. You have taken a few steps here and there but you still like to hold hands and hold onto things. You love stairs and will take off like a shot towards any unattended stairs. You are very good at climbing them the problem is that when you are done climbing you just try to sit down and most of the time you would just topple back down if we weren't there to catch you. We've started letting you just crawl up the steps for bath time or diaper changes to let you get some practice and you love to crawl up and visit daddy in his office when he is at home. The look of pride on your face is priceless when you get to the top, if its possible you almost start crawling with swagger like "check me out". You are also starting to love doing things like unroll the toilet paper, run for the toilet to play in the water; basically you are starting this toddler destructive stuff. Its pretty funny right now but I'm sure it will get less funny soon :)

You also had your first year of the Labor Day Races and I'm so excited for the years to come. We've been going to the Island Heights Labor Day Races all of my life and I have only missed one year (last year because I was too pregnant), but more than me your Granny grew up going to the races and we have so much family history and physical family there that I just can't wait till you can participate. You loved watching your cousins do all the races this year, and you and cousin Lily were scouting out your competition for future races. Your dad and I raced in the Potato Relay, the 50 yd dash, the Three legged race and the pie eating contest this year to show you how it was done. You had a good time hanging with Granny, Uncle Wayne or any of the other family that was around while we were racing; I love that you are growing up with such a loving extended family. You are a blessed Bug!
You are just so fun Bug; you are a happy, silly, sweet, loving baby. I can't even describe how blessed I feel to be your mama. I love that right at this age we can make each other crack up with just a look. I can't wait to watch your sense of humor develop because you are so funny right now!! I can't even imagine how much laughter will fill our house in a few years and I look forward to it! Well I just look forward to more days spent with you and your dad to be honest. Now on the eve of your birthday I'm going to go up and kiss your sweet 11 month face and nestle you all snug in our bed.
I love you my sweet boy!
Your Mama

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

10 Month Newsletter

Dear Buggy,
Here we are, another month gone by, it is going so fast! You have changed so much this past month! As usual it was pretty eventful and busy with your very first vacation, spending time with family and doing our normal stuff.

I was so worried about vacation it was crazy, you have never been the greatest for car rides and my anxiety was high. You can get pretty upset and it breaks this mamas heart to hear that; so the thought of 12 hours in the car with you was stressing me out! We ended up staying with friends in Massachusetts on the way up to break things up for you and to visit a bit. Turns out all my worrying was for nothing, you were a champ!!
I was also worried about the sleep situation on vacation, we are still co-sleeping at home and I worried how you would do in a new situation. Well once again you did just fine. Even with three of us on a full bed you did just fine. I did so enjoy getting back to our king bed though!!

The vacation was a good one. Our first week we just stayed around Aunt Karen's and Uncle Wayne's house and relaxed. It was so great we spent most of our days playing with cousin Mason in the lake, taking walks, kayaking (yes, even you!), reading and just having fun together. Mason took great care of you and kept you entertained during breakfast, helped change your diaper, helped give you baths; whatever you needed he was your guy! Your smile when he is around is just priceless!

You also were babysat for the first time ever! Aunt Karen and Uncle Wayne watched you one night so your dad and I could go on a kayak ride, I was so nervous I brought my phone with me just in case but you slept through it all with no problems. You loved Aunt Karen's dog Murdock and kept saying your new word "woof" which sounds more like "oof oof". We also were able to see Aunt Kim and Bruce, Aunt Kim even found a replacement Phillies hat for you in Maine of all places!

We also spent a couple days with Uncle Walter, Aunt Pam, Gracie and Meghan. We went to Ft. Knox with them and hiked around. We also went to the top of the bridge with them, the view was amazing we could see for miles and miles. Gracie and Meghan loved playing with you too, they also gave you baths, read to you, sang to you (they taught me an Italian lullaby that they knew); you are so blessed to have such great cousins as Mason, Gracie and Meghan! We also got to share in Meghan's birthday! Granny and Pop Pop came up right before we came home and you were happy to see them as well. You loved their dog (shocker, I know!)

It was so fun finally bringing you to Maine. I grew up going every year and ever since your dad and I have been going up we have been dreaming of bringing our own child with us. I loved taking you to the places that I remember from childhood. It was also sweet introducing you to our friends up in Maine, they loved you!! I look forward to watching you explore as you get older! Your dad and I did a ton of hiking with you this year; hopefully we will both become more in shape so we can keep up with you in the years to come!

You have become quite the climber this month. You climbed on top of a portable high chair, you then used that to get up on a chair and tried to then climb onto a suitcase on top of the chair. I couldn't believe but soon realized that the time for anchoring our bookshelves has come!! You also took a cardboard box and was using that to cruise around the room, I was amazed.

This month went by quickly and as with all of the ones we have shared with you, we enjoyed you so much. I love showing you the world around us, introducing you to new friends and watching your joy and happiness spread to those around us. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank God for the great pleasure of knowing you and the privilege of being your mom. I love you Bug!
Your Mama

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

9 Month Newsletter

Oh my baby boy,
How is it that another month has past. I have so enjoyed watching you this month growing and changing. Its amazing watching someone adapt and change so much to the world around them, it inspires me to continue trying to change and better myself as well! I love watching you meet an obstacle and see your determination to overcome and get to your goal. You are a determined little boy, I know that the temptation will be there to control that but I pray that your daddy and I continue to encourage you to be the boy God made you. That determination will take you far.

This month brought about so many changes, the biggest is how vocal you have gotten. You have been saying Dada for a couple months already and Mama for not quite as long. Now you say Nana's for nursing which is ADORABLE. You also sing along with me when I sing songs and sometimes you just hum to yourself. You babble, screech, laugh and sing all the time. I love your little voice. You can click your tongue, play the recorder, and you also will hum while I pat your mouth to make silly noises. You also do this funny thing where you scrunch up your nose and breath in and out really fast, its so silly! You are quite the mimic and we will say things then randomly you will repeat them back to us; like Payton, Murdock, Good Boy. I wouldn't believe that you were doing it but other people hear it too.

This month you also took your first trips to the Beach! YOU LOVE IT!! You are definitely a bit timid when it comes to the ocean or the pool. You like to be right up on me with your head on my shoulders watching and you will sit like that and look at the ocean for a long time. If we are back at our blanket that's a different story. You love eating sand, much to Dada's chagrin. You also love the baby pool that Aunt Karen gave you and will happily sit in that for a long time. You also will actually nurse and take a good nap on the beach as well, which is SHOCKING(you are usually too busy in public to nurse or nap)! After we go to the beach we usually will go up for a walk on the boardwalk and you are even good for that!! I love that you love the ocean, I can't wait to watch you as you get older at the beach; jumping waves, making sand castles, having best friends for a day.

fun with the smallest three cousins
You are so happy, its pretty easy getting a laugh out of you. I try to make it my goal to get good belly laughs out of you every day and I don't think I've missed one. You are ticklish right up under your chin and on the top of your chest. Sneezing is hysterical to you, whether you are the sneezer or anyone else is. You love people and if someone is trying to get a smile or laugh from you, you are quick to happily oblige.

You are pulling yourself up on EVERYTHING, while you have stood before (with assistance) this month you have taken it to the next level. You pull yourself up whenever you can. You can also walk with the assistance of hands or furniture and take every opportunity. This is the first that we have needed to babyproof but you have gotten into everything this month. You love ripping books and paper, eating paper and make it your life's goal to grab my phone. You have moved from the army crawl to the full on regular crawl and you are quick to get where you want to go. A good amount of time is spent racing to electrical cords to try to eat them, ACH! So a good amount of my time is racing ahead of you to put them up and away.

You still are doing about the same with sleeping, some days that is harder on your mama than others. Generally though I try to remember that this is just a small small portion of my life that I get to have this special time with you and even in the middle of the night I try to appreciate that. I'm amazed though I can be nursing you to sleep and you will be sitting there with your eyes closed then flip over and start crawling without any hesitation. Usually you start laughing when you do this, you tricky baby :) You are just so curious that sleeping and eating take a back seat to exploring.
Bug and Payton's legs, oh my so sweet
Aunt Anna came to visit you from the frozen tundra of Minnesota and we had a crazy week visiting with them. We got to go to your cousin Gracie and Meghan's birthday party pig roast together. We had a blast visiting with family, singing karaoke and playing with the kids. It was so nice seeing Aunt Anna and her family and finally meeting your cousin Payton in person! You loved Payton but also loved Ryan and Kaila who were soo good with you! You also got to meet your Uncle Bill and Aunt Elrene from Michigan. We spent the week with Aunt Anna and family going to Philly(twice!), Ocean City, Seaside Heights, Granny's and Uncle Wil's then finally having one last breakfast out with them at the diner. It was so cute watching you with your cousins, your eyes lit up with them around you. We are really going to miss them!
We also have been hanging out with some great friends going strawberry, cherry and blueberry picking. You have so much fun with your sweet friends, sometimes you get so excited you bite them (and leave marks! ach!). It was pretty funny the day after you bit your little friend your other friend bit you and the look of indignation on your face was hysterical, I could just hear what you were thinking "why would anyone bite me!?! that hurt!" Overall you play well together, as well as babies play together anyway. Mostly you just steal toys from each other.
This month was chock full of activity and business and thankfully you go with the flow pretty well, sometimes better than your mommy. Having you with me really makes me try to slow down and enjoy things more. I know when we are super busy I'm missing little things like a toothy smile over a long breakfast, how you rub my arm as you fall asleep or the lengths that you will go to zerbert me. Those things make my day and make this Mommy gig, which is the toughest job of my life, more than worth it.
I am excited to see where this next month brings us, I have my ideas of the things you are just about to learn but I know you are going to do things on your own time schedule. I'm just happy to be on this crazy ride with you.

Love always,
Your mama

Sunday, June 19, 2011

8 Month Newsletter

Hey Boo Boo,
Wow, 8 months. Good grief, how did we find ourselves here? Its so incredibly cliche but time has been flying by. It doesn't help that you don't seem to realize that you are a baby and just keep growing up!!
You have a sweet new baby cousin! Its hard to believe you have two cousins younger than you already (soon to be three!!). You look so big next to your little cousin Lily, I know its going to be a blink of an eye before you guys are running around causing havoc! It has been nice going to see them and spending time getting to know your sweet cousin. This coming month we get to meet your other little cousin. Well, we get to meet her in person, we Skype with her and her family often, but it will be so great to all be together.

We also had a visit from Uncle Ardvark, Aunt Nae Nae, Hannah and T! It was so wonderful seeing them and getting to spend some time together, they moved to Virginia before you were born. We miss seeing them so bad, but are so happy for their new life they have. I look forward to going down to visit them and making memories of crazy sleepovers! We had a great time seeing them and playing. You even got to take a bath with T, you two were so cute together!

Sleep! Oh yeah, that! Well this month you had to start taking naps in your crib. You were sleeping on our bed but you move soo fast that it just wasn't safe anymore. Wow, that was quite a transition! I didn't think I would make it. It took so long to put you to sleep the first few days but with patience and coffee we made it and now you nap relatively well. We also put you down in the beginning of the night in the crib and move you over when we go to bed. Its so cute when you wake up though because you pull down the bumper and call to me so the first thing I see when I come in your room are your little eyes looking between the crib rails.

You look so different to me this month. You are thinning out, I knew it would happen when you started moving around but knowing it and watching those rolls get smaller and smaller are two different things. You also have 8 teeth now, yes, eight! Your mouth full of teeth makes you look like such a little boy. Your hair has also gotten very blonde from being outside so much, its also developing curls in the back. Speaking of being outside, it seems like you do not really burn. I have no idea how you have that type of skin coming from the parents you have but its nice! I may be a little biased but you are a particularly adorable child. We get stopped all the time while we are out so people can say how cute you are.

We took a road trip out to Lancaster to visit some friends. I was a little worried on how it would go but it went pretty well. You were VERY tired of the car by the end of the day though. It was so worth it for the visit. We took a walk to a great park, went in a caboose from a real train, and got a tour of a chocolate factory(sorry no samples for you!). The best part of all was introducing you to some wonderful friends and just spending time with people we don't get to see often. I look forward to going out and visiting again soon and meeting a sweet new baby girl for you to be friends with. We also went to a bunch of parties; your Aunt Tink's birthday, Uncle Steve and Aunt Bern's Housewarming Party (in your Great Grandmom and Popeyes house), your cousin Jeffrey's birthday party and we also had a party for Cousin Hannah! Whew it was crazy but so much fun! I love watching you with these people that are so important to us! I hope as you grow older you value relationships with people and seek out people with great character to share life with.
You babble nearly constantly, most notably you say Dada. You LOVE your dada. He's been working from home 3 days a week and your smile when you know he is home is priceless. If you hear your daddy talking on the phone you need to see him. I will just hold you up just inside the door and you will just sit there and smile. You will just sit there smiling quietly until your daddy turns around then you giggle like crazy! You still have your morning time with daddy, he wakes up with you every morning and plays with you until he's ready to go to work. We definitely hit the daddy jackpot with him!

This month it really seems you have become more independent. You crawl around and play with all of your toys. You love having us play with you but can also play by yourself just fine. You love the swing we got for the front yard! I'm still wearing you and you are quite content to be worn most times, you do not like to sit still though so if I'm standing around you start fussing. You love to play peekaboo, you will take a blanket and cover your face then uncover it and laugh! When you nurse or when you are falling asleep you will rub my arms like I rub your back, it is pretty much the sweetest thing in the world.

I enjoy you so much. I am so blessed to be able to stay home with you. Every day I thank God for allowing me this great privilege. You are such a joyful little boy and my heart bursts with every belly laugh you gift to me.
Love Always,
Your Mama

Friday, June 17, 2011

On menu planning

Generally the best way I have found to follow our budget and eat real foods is menu planning. While I have been faithful to following weight watchers recently, I admit I have let this fall by the wayside. I haven't been inspired in the kitchen and so we have been eating out more than I care to admit or just eating boring foods. I'm going to try to break this rut by at least making one new recipe a week and menu planning. This week we did go over budget by about $20 but our menu also includes a special fathers day meal of grass fed steaks.

I have been pretty disgusted with what I am learning about much of our food supply, so in general we buy organic; and our beef must be grass fed. I want to incorporate at least one fish meal as well a week and that must be ocean caught. Its so important to me right now that I would rather eat vegetarian rather than conventional beef or farm raised fish, it really just doesn't seem safe to eat any more. I have been called a food snob before because of this but honestly I feel it's a question of safety. We eat like this at home knowing that while we are out we can't employ the same practices but at least we know the vast majority of our diet is safe.

This has been a challenge as far as the grocery budget so I will be working on following our budget strictly and incorporating vegetarian meals to offset. The fish cost has been offset by buying wild alaskan salmon in a can.

This weeks Menu:

Sunday-Father's Day! Grass Fed Steak, asparagus, roasted potatoes, salad and for dessert Cherry Pie (from the 50 lbs of cherries my friends and I picked and processed). All favorites for Schmoops first father's day.

Monday-honey lime enchiladas made with homemade tortillas (I will be subbing coconut oil for the shortening).

Tuesday-Pizza- store bought crust, store bought sauce. Easy peasy

Wednesday-.Crock Pot Black Bean Soup-served with Greek Yougurt instead of sour cream and flavored with fresh cilantro from our garden

Thursday-Quiche with sausage, onions and peppers

Friday-Alaskan Salmon Chick Pea and Mint Patties served with cous cous

I'm hoping that Wednesday can be a beach day and we can bring leftover pizza for lunch and then come home to some wonderful crockpot soup. Also, did you notice the two low cost vegetarian meals that I snuck in there?

Are you menu-planning? What helps you?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Monthly Update-Month 3 on WW

Weight Watchers-24lbs lost
Pre-preg-36.4 lbs lost
preg-51.4lbs lost

This was a month of plodding along, my losses were very small but steady. I know, especially with as much as I need to lose, there will be times when its slow. As my good friend Shanna told me as I lamented to her that it might take 2 YEARS for me to lose all this weight "Two years will come no matter what". Wow, right?! So yes, plod along I will knowing that if I do keep at it, it will eventually come off. I am extremely happy with some things; I got into a pair of pants bought in January that were 4 sizes down from where I started at. Well I didn't only get into them they didn't muffin top me! I also bought a couple of pairs of shorts in that size and they fit well :)

I can tell in my energy levels that I'm at a much healthier place than I was before. My bug better watch out because as I get more fit I might run circles around him!! I have noticed this month that I've become lazy with cooking as of late, so that is my goal for this month to make more nutritious meals at home and have better planning for when I leave the house to bring something healthful and quick.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

7 Months of Bug!

Oh Boy,
You little man! Thats what I see now when I look at you, a little man. You are silly, curious, happy, vocal, energetic and wonderful! Its amazing to watch you learn about the world around you, express yourself and just growing to be your own separate person.

The beginning of this month you were just starting to be able to sit on your own and now you are an accomplished sitter and you are also moving! You don't flat out crawl yet but you are never where we set you down. You do this cute little army crawl and grunt and whine and just go for it. When you first started you would shove your face into the ground and crawl, how happy am I that you moved on! I have started realizing that I need to sweep and vacuum like 100 times a day to get all the tiny bits and flecks that you seem to find and instantly put in your mouth!!
You are a sleep fighter during the day it takes awhile to get you to realize how tired you are but you do have some tells. I know when you start flapping your arm that you are ready for a nap, when both arms are going watch out I have a sleepy bug on my hands. You also suck on your lips when you are tired. You are still waking up about 2-3 times a night, thankfully you only wake up for a snack and you go right back to bed. Also your wake up time seems to be pushing back to 5 am which is nice, I really wouldn't mind if you adjusted that to 9am :) You are ready for bed around 6:30 or 7 and love your routine.

You are all about the bath and your bath toys. Your turtle is definitely one of your favorite toys and you will carry it around in your mouth from the bath to get your diaper and pjs on and only relinquish it when the hope of food presents itself. You love the bath though and will splash and jump around. Its so fun watching you play with your bath toys!
You also got another tooth this month! You look like quite the hillbilly with one tooth up on top and two below. I adore your little toothy smile and the belly laughs that come out it! You love to laugh and your daddy and I both have our own ways of getting a laugh out of you. My favorite way is to pick you up straight out of the bathtub and kiss your spine, you get the biggest smile and giggle! Daddy goes for the fake sneeze and you go for it every time.
This month you had your first Easter. We celebrated by going to church then having Mom Mom and Pop Pop M over for dinner. Your dad and I aren't sure how we are going to celebrate Easter with you, whether we want to keep it just about our faith or to add in the Easter Bunny to the mix. This year we colored eggs and went to church, I'm glad to have another year to figure it out :) We also had two first communions, one for cousin Mason and one for cousin Grace. I love watching you with your cousins its so adorable to see how much they love you! I can't wait to watch you guys all grow up together, I'm so excited that you have so many so close in age to you! You are going to have 4 within around a year of your age, that just sounds like such fun :)
I can't forget to mention your first baseball game, of course it was a Phillies game! We were surprised with the gift of tickets by some of our favorite people, your buddy Luke's parents. What a treat! You and I took the train into Philly and got so many people commenting on your Phillies hat and sign. Daddy met us over at the stadium and you seemed to really be loving it!! After the game started you fell asleep and stayed asleep for a couple of innings. It got loud though as stadiums do, and I had to fight the urge to shush people! You and I ended up standing in the back of our section where you charmed the ushers with your cuteness. We had such a great time and bonus the Phillies Won!!
I'm a little late in writing this update as we have been so busy. The two weeks leading up to your 7th monthaversary were tough. There was not much sleeping going on and you just weren't acting yourself. Its hard to see when you are in the moment but I should have known that there were going to be some big developments going on and there were(those are for next months newsletter though!). Such is life, if only there was a way sometimes to take the focus back and see the bigger picture. I do try to take it a day at a time, always find things to enjoy in you, and be purposeful about being content in where we are; I'll continue working on this as I pray that you grow up on a house full of peace and joy. Thats not the easiest thing to create sometimes but your Dad and I are committed to it and with both of us working to create that tone in our house hopefully that is the type of home we have.
With the warmer weather you have started waking up with sweaty head and have started having a definite little boy smell. I look at you sometimes and I'm amazed at how big you have gotten. You look so different from that little baby I met 7 months ago and I am starting to see glimpses of the little boy in you. I'm trying to take in each special moment; nursing you to sleep at night as your hand rests on my cheek (or holds my nose), tickling your belly, singing to you, taking walks together, sitting on the front porch watching the neighborhood kids play. There are so many moments that go by that I know I'm going to look back on so I just try to take a mental picture, smell your little boy smell and hold onto it while its here. Tomorrow comes ever too soon.
not the best pic of daddy, I hurt his eyes trying to capture this sweet moment
All my love little one,
Your mama