Saturday, March 31, 2012

Success so far... {day 1}

I don't know who I am more proud of... Riley Q. or me? I didn't give in! I really think this is one of the best decisions I have made so far and I want to share it with anyone who wants to try. Today went SO much better than I ever imagined.

Granted this was a message board from 2006, I googled how to get rid of the paci around 6 months and this is what I came up with. You can read the message board here.

In summary, I learned that cold turkey is the way to go. Now, let me preface by saying my Riley was never the huge paci addict that she could have been. We never even gave her one until she was about a week old. (I didn't want to, but gave in one night.) She only used it to fall asleep for naps sometimes and in the car to calm down... Well... it didn't really work in the car. (Remember, there are demons in her car seat that stab her. No, really. There must be.) That's another blog for another day. I just assumed today would be rough at nap time since she is used to getting her paci and blankie and laying down in her crib until she falls asleep. I was so wrong!

So- Riley = paci sometimes for naps and sometimes at night if daddy gave it to her. Now, she never really needed it to fall asleep, but we started giving it to her if she woke up from her naps to try to make them longer and that just seemed to start a vicious cycle. She's always been a fabulous night sleeper but a super cat napper (I'm talking 30-45 minutes tops. Occasionally we would get an hour or hour and a half but that was rare.) At night, she usually falls asleep after her bottle and is laid down. For some reason the last few nights, Daddy has put her down and he has given her the paci when she finished the bottle even if she was almost asleep. Not that he was doing anything wrong, I just didn't give it to her in that situation, so usually it was just a nap time thing. But anyway- the last few nights we have noticed her waking around 2am and then again around 5 or 6 wanting the paci to be put back in her mouth.

My child has NEVER woken in the middle of night after about 2 weeks of life and this was kicking my butt! (Yes, I am spoiled getting my sleep, but who cares... I didn't like getting up to put that dreaded thing back in her mouth!) And not to mention this meant she wasn't getting the best sleep either.

A lot of things I have been reading say that if a baby doesn't go to sleep sucking, they are less likely to wake with the desire to suck. I think this was proven today during nap time. Now don't let me toot my horn too much, because yes, this was only day 1 and it could be worse tomorrow, or it may not... But today- Riley napped for not one, not two, but THREE hours! (She also took a 1 hour nap this morning and about 30 minutes this evening also on her own.) But back to that beloved THREE hour nap... She woke up right around the 2 hour mark. I heard her squirming and headed to her room from the kitchen. Dude, my house is NOT that big. By the time I got outside of her door (maybe 15 seconds) she had already soothed herself back to sleep. At three hours, I finally went in and made a lot of noise to wake her because we had to get to the birthday party.

Granted, she used to be able to be laid in her crib and put herself right to sleep without a whimper, I did let her whimper (NOT CRY!) for about 10 minutes today. At the ten minute mark, she had put herself to sleep. The same tonight. I rocked her after her bottle, kissed her goodnight and laid her down. She moved around and made some grunting noises, but after 10 minutes she was sound asleep.

I thank God for this wonderful baby and I pray every day and night that he keeps her safe with me and healthy. I know not all babies are this easy, but I hope this works for someone else as it seems to have so far worked for me. Most ladies on the board say that this usually is good after the first 24 hours. About 8 hours to go when we hit that 24 hour mark. Hopefully if she wakes tonight she will fall right back asleep like she did during the nap.

This may make for a slightly fussier baby for a couple of days around nap time, but I think after at least a couple of days she wont even remember what a paci was and she will be perfectly content! I am hoping we don't have to give it back and by the time we head to Vegas she is completely over it and fuss free with a thumb or without. Say a prayer for us as we bark on this first weaning stage of her life!

And really- check out the link I posted if you need more details. I really suggest cold turkey if you plan to do it at this age. Many moms love the paci. "It's easier to take away than a thumb." I am totally OK if that is your way! I don't judge. This is just my opinion and I don't have to find her thumb for her in the middle of the night, in the car or on a trip... So far so good.

~let go laughing!

Corona Cupcakes and bye bye paci!


So, I decided it was time to say bye bye to the paci today. We started this morning and so far you can't even tell anything is different. I did have to rock her a little before I put her down for her nap, but this is the longest nap she has ever taken. I have read tons and tons of articles that say it is best to wean a baby before 6 months. I have always hated a paci anyway and didn't want to deal with it at 2 or 3 years old. I truly believe in the cold turkey approach. In doing my research as well as knowing my kiddo, if Riley doesn't go to sleep with it in her mouth, she doesn't wake up looking for it. She has always been a baby who only used it at nap time and in the car seat anyway. Even at that, she rarely kept it in. But recently, her naps have consisted of me putting the paci back in a few different times to keep her asleep. I realized though, at night... if she doesn't go down with a paci, she doesn't wake up for a paci. So... why not get rid of it right?! She woke up right at the 2 hour mark of this nap, but before I could get to her room she was back asleep... without a paci! I totally believe in this method and granted the next couple of days might not be wonderful, it will be SO much better in the long run. We are not giving in. The pacis are GONE!

Since we are going on hour 2.5 of this nap sans paci, I decided to get started on uncles birthday cupcakes! You can find the recipe here. I want to say they are SOOOOO good! I am so glad I found this recipe and I cannot wait to try the blue moon ones!

Time to get ready for the birthday celebration!

~let go laughing~

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Random Thoughts Thursday...

I don't know if there is anyone to link up to with this or not, so I thought I would make my own and you can link up with me if ya want... but I don't really even know how to do that... so yeh.

I want to buy a mega millions lottery ticket.

I wish picking airline tickets wasn't so difficult.

My five month old has been crawling for a month
and is now pulling up onto things and its crazy...

I really want some chocolate chip cookies
right now and I never made them today....

I wish I had my milk filled/ nursing boobs back.

I love that my child is spoiled rotten.
(not only by me, but by everyone)

I really need to get my flowers planted.

I kill everything I plant.

I ate a ham/cheese croissant for breakfast
(i just googled how to spell croissant...)

I had chili cheese fries for lunch...

I considered ice cream for dinner, but went
with pasta, vodka sauce and a glass of wine

My child could quite possibly
have more clothing than all the real wives of...
wherever those real wives are from.

my family

this is the life i have always dreamed of.

Friday, March 23, 2012

5 months already?

March 24, 2012 (5 months old)

Here's my boogie at 5 months! - Dressed in one of her
Tar Heel cheerleading outfits in support of March Madness.

Dear Riley,
I cannot believe I am writing this post. It seems like yesterday, I was just five months pregnant! Half way to meeting you! Was that really ten months ago?! I just can't believe it. You are crawling, talking (cooing and babbling), pulling up on your crib, mommy's legs and anything else you can get a grip on. You are so close to sitting up on your own too. In fact, yesterday you did in the bath tub with daddy! You love toes for some reason. Yours are OK, but you are really into other peoples toes too. It's pretty funny to watch you crawl at lightning speed across the room to get to someones toes. It could end up quite embarrassing though, so I hope you grow out of that fetish. :) You are still loving food and I am making almost all of it. When we are on the go, I take the store bought stuff with me, but I am having so much fun making it fresh for you! Yesterday we went to the museum for the first time and when we got home I noticed your very first tooth is finally popping through! I need you to slow down because you are growing up way too fast for me. It makes me sad to see you all grown up and not my newborn baby girl anymore. I am so proud of you though.

You are super social just like everyone says I was as a baby. We went to the coffee shop on Thursday morning. Daddy was ready to kill me when I let you get on the floor and crawl. Youimmediately crawled over to the little boys and started "talking" to them. It melted mine and daddy's hearts and he got over the fact that I put you on the floor. I mean heck, you're only gonna be a kid once, right?! I washed your hands as soon as I picked you up. :) Speaking of germs... you also had your first cold this month. You got it from ma-lolo. It wasn't her fault though. She just loves you so much, you got her germs. You took it like a champ and even though you had a fever and were SO congested, you never really got cranky. You are such a good baby Riley Quinn. You were a little fussy last night and went to bed early because your tooth was hurting you, but so far it hasn't seemed to bother you too bad. It's almost popped through at the top and boy is it sharp! You have this biting fetish too. I also hope that one goes away! Especially now that you have a tooth! Riley Quinn, your personality amazes me every day.

We have been so blessed. I thank God for you every day and night and I pray for your safety and health. I also pray that I can be the best mommy to you possible and that we always make the right choices. I thank God for allowing me to be home with you. I think it plays a big role in your personality. We are always going somewhere and are around a ton of people all the time. At lunch yesterday we went to a new deli. Two ladies walked in and you were in my lap having your bottle. They looked at you and commented on how cute you were and you turned your head to follow them and gave the biggest smile. They came back over to you and talked to you for five minutes and you just kept smiling at them. You're such a goober and I love it!

I love you boogie!!!!




Boogie takes on the museum!

And it wore her out!

We had a blast today. After someone being home sick for about two weeks now I decided it was time to get out! The forecast was perfect for a Friday out so I sent Heidi a message yesterday and said we needed a play date. We picked the Museum of Life and Science! I haven't been in years! I remember we would go about every year in grade school. It's just so fun! In fact, we're going to get a year long pass! We met Heidi and D there around 10:30. We started off inside and played for a little while. There is SO much to do and we didn't even get to it all. Riley saw real owls and birds just like the ones her room is decorated with. She saw clouds and tornadoes and even a little bit of space from afar. We didn't go into the space exhibit this time. We also didn't get to ride the train because all of the rides were sold out until the 1:00 and we weren't sure if that was too close to lunch time for us or not, so we skipped it.

After we played inside, we headed out back. There was so much to do. The water machines, train car, play grounds, farm zoo, butterfly house, lemurs, bear (Ursula died and we didn't see a new one yet), the dinosaur trail... We didn't get to it all but we had so much fun walking on the beautiful trail and seeing everything. Riley loved the sail boat racing. You get to direct your own sail boat through the water. She watched D play and loved it. She even rode in his stroller for a little while since mommy is silly and thought hers was in the back of the car and... it wasn't. lol. I had the snap-n-go but I knew she would want to be facing forward to see everything. It's Ok though because she was great in the bjorne and could see everything. And when D wanted out, Riley got in.

This picture is at the sail boats. It was 80 degrees and beautiful!

This is the bear habitat. The picture does it no justice. It was beautiful.

After we had enough fun at the museum we headed to Brightleaf and had lunch outside on the patio at El Rodeo. We are going to be on TV! The were filming the WTVD 11 news commercial and we were in the background. You know, the one that says "keeping you connected" with that silly little jingle. Just watch for the El Rodeo manager to be flipping a sign in Spanish and look for us in the back! :) Riley and D were perfect while we ate. Riley sat in the big girl high chair and had some squash and her bottle. We walked back to the car to get her snap-n-go and decided to see if she would stay in it so we could take a walk downtown. I was amazed! Not only did she get in it, I am glad she did. She slept! The entire walk all the way downtown to the coffee place that had loco pops for D and then around the middle of the square downtown and back to the car. I popped her in the car and she slept all the way home! She had another bottle at 3:30 and is back in her crib napping again. I think her fun morning out wore her flat out. She had a blast. NEVER a single whimper. I am so proud of her.

Oh and on a side note: When we got home and she finally woke up in her car seat, she was scared because she couldn't see anyone. I went to pick her up and she opened her mouth to cry... there it was... her very first TOOTH! It's just the white starting to show through, but I think this is it! I am guessing this could be why she didn't nap yesterday afternoon. She wasn't fussy, just didn't sleep. Oh, and she woke up at for a bottle at 5:30am this morning. She hasn't had a bottle that early since the time change mix up junk. I guess that could be the reason. But hey, if she does this good at teething, I am A-OK with it!

Time to get to the kitchen and bake some of my good luck tar heel cookies for game time tonight! Let's go heels!

~let go laughing!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

making baby food

(This is an old picture from when first I began making Riley's baby food!)

As I sit here waiting for the sweet potato to finish cooking in the oven, I decided to blog about baby food...

I knew from before I was pregnant that I wanted to make my baby's food. I'm not a 'crunchy' mom and I am by no means an organic kind of person. In fact, I will likely eat 95% of what you put in front of me. (That other 5% is left for chicken livers, pigs feet and all that crazy stuff some people eat...) I don't even care if she gets organic fruits/veggies. In fact, I prefer local stuff!

I tried breast feeding and you can read about that here. So yes, I am a formula feeding mom and guess what... My baby is FINE. In fact, she is excelling in height and weight as well as motor skills and strength according to her pediatrician. Did I mention she was crawling at 4 months old? You can see that here. Oh wait... formula is poison, I forgot. {insert sarcastic eye rolling here} Yeh- I think she is just fine. She will also eat the store bought foods when we are on the go and I don't have time to pack up and keep her fresh things cold with a mini cooler and ice packs. I'm all for easy, folks.

You may ask why I wanted to make her food? Well, honestly I fell in love with that adorable green baby food maker at Williams Sonoma before I was ever even thinking about having a baby.

{This handy dandy babycook is awesome. It works as a steamer as wells as puree's. You steam in the basket and then take the basket out to puree.You can also use it to re-heat baby food, but we use the bottle warmer instead. We try to stay away from the microwave because it takes away nutrients at lightning speed!}

Stupid reason, right? Who cares. I started to read up on it and realized that when baby food is produced in factories... or wherever the heck they make it... when it is heated to such high levels in order to be canned or stored, it loses SO many nutrients. According to a book I have called 'The Best Homemade Baby Food On The Planet', peas cooked in the microwave contain twice as much vitamin C as commercially prepared baby food! And that's the microwave, which already takes nutrients out. (I prefer steaming, boiling or baking.)

Did I mention how much money I save? Today I bought a rather large sweet potato for aprox. $1. It made 16 oz of pureed baby food. The gerber baby food containers are 2.5oz a piece and cost around $1 for 2. I made 6.4 times the amount of food for roughly the same price (Actually less but let's pretend it was a huge potato and cost a dollar). So if Riley eats about 5 or 6 oz per meal (and were about to start 2 meals a day) - that would be approx. 38 cents per meal instead of the $1 or more we would spend per meal using the store bought food. For comparisons sake, zucchini squash is $1.99 a lb and 2 large pieces cost me $1.87- It makes around 16 oz pureed. The peas are $1 total and make around 20 oz and the yellow squash is $1.93 for two pieces and it makes about 16oz.

What is the method to my madness, you may ask... Or you may not care at all... Everyone does it differently, so I thought I would share my way. I start by picking the veggies from the local Target or Harris Teeter or if time I swing by the farmers market! We started off slowly at 4 months (per her pediatricians orders!) She was introduced to one new veggie every 2-3 days. You want to give time in between in case there is a rare food allergy, you don't want too many variables. Riley's first was avocado (I know- it's a fruit!) You should always start with veggies so they get used to eating first before they get addicted to the sweet foods and wont touch their veggies. So far we have a fabulous eater who will truly eat anything and she LOVES to eat. After avocado we tried squash (her favorite) then carrots, then green beans, sweet potato, butternut squash, banana, and pears in that order. Her next veggie is peas!

Ok- back to how I do it...

After I have selected my veggies it's time for the dirty work. I start by cleaning and peeling all of my veggies. After they are clean I decide upon my cooking method. For smaller veggies like the squash and green beans I tend to steam them in the beaba. It takes about 15 minutes to steam and I can get about two pieces of squash or a couple of hand fulls of green beans in it at a time. I often like to work in bulk so when I do, I put the green beans, carrots and peas on the stove in a small amount of boiling water and the sweet potatoes in the over while the little steamer is working away.
When the squash finishes I save a little of the water and pour the basket of steamed squash back into the beaba to puree. I like this better than my other food processors because it seems to get the puree really smooth. I use more or less water depending on the consistency I am trying to reach.

To store the baby food, I either use ice cube trays or the silicone storage trays made by beaba. I have two of those and they have 7 two oz trays in each. The ice cube trays are about 1oz a cube.

After I freeze these over night I then package them into ziplock bags with the date the food was cooked along with the contents of the bag. It should only stay in the freezer for up to three months, but it is best if it is used within a month. I thaw about two-three days worth at a time in the fridge. (Never re-freeze!) I take them out of the ziplocks and put them into small containers with air tight lids. I have about 15 of these small containers. I use them to thaw and to re-heat in the bottle warmer if we heat it. NEVER heat food in the microwave in plastic. If we heat in the microwave (which is rare) we transfer to glass. If we are on the go and I decide to take it with me, I put them in a freezer type bag and take a spoon and she eats it how it is. She doesn't seem to mind. I may even buy some baby food in glass jars just to have the jars to be able to reuse them when thawing my own food. They will also travel better as my plastic ones tend to leak at times.

I have not made any fun food mixtures yet as Riley is just being introduced to each food individually. I plan to do so soon though. I want Riley to have a wonderful appetite and grow up a good eater. I have tons of recipes in my baby cook books. I also have learned SO much from There are tips and tricks along with tons of recipes!

I hope some of this information is helpful for anyone who wants to embark on this journey. I'm no expert, this is just my way of doing things. Tonight I made 7 large carrots, 1 sweet potato, 2 pieces of yellow squash, 2 pieces of zucchini squash ( a new veggie to try!) and a ton of peas and got it all done and kitchen cleaned up in an hour and a half.

~let go laughing!

Monday, March 19, 2012

change is so good

~October 2005~

~October 2011~

~January 2012~

~March 2012~

Being a mommy is the absolute best job I have ever had. Did I think I would teach 1st grade forever? No, not really. But did I think I would quit after three years and a few months... nope. It was such a hard decision, but the BEST decision I have ever made and I thank God every day that I have the opportunity to be home with my sweet baby girl. Nothing has meant more to me. Ever. And the fact that my husband is so amazing and so supportive to want me to be home with her makes things all the better. He works so hard and I am so proud of him. He just finished his degree in business and was not only going to school full time, working full time and being a daddy, but he continued to be an incredible, supportive and wonderful husband. The love he has for me and for Riley is amazing.

I cannot believe Riley Quinn will be FIVE months old on Saturday! FIVE MONTHS!?!?!? Where has my baby girl gone. She is crawling, giggling, laughing and playing so much. She is holding her own sippy cup and loves to eat at her high chair. She even sits up in big girl high chairs now with her cute cover uncle gave us when we go out to eat! She still hates her car seat, but we are working on that one. :) I have had the best five months of my life and I can only imagine they will get better. She is my everything. I could not imagine my life without her.

I remember a specific trip to the coffee shop with Michael before Riley was born. I broke down in tears and said to him "this could be our last trip here as a family of two." "Why does that make you sad?" he replied... I didn't know how to answer that. I didn't know why in my 9 month pregnant, hormonal state why that upset me... I guess I didn't know what to expect... I wanted Riley more than anything. I was so excited to meet her. Her nursery was ready and I couldn't wait... But I just had this moment where I was scared of our relationship going bad or not having time for each other... I think it came from all the negative people telling us how life would be so different and hard...

I don't know what all the worry was for because now I couldn't imagine going to the coffee shop WITHOUT Riley! I love to take her for story time and go during the week when there aren't a lot of people there. I love to take her on Saturday mornings when it is packed. Nothing has drastically changed in our lives other than things maybe taking a little longer than before and having the BEST company we could ask for with us.

Everyone used to say "oh, your life changes forever..." and "just you wait..." Well, guess what? Our lives have changed forever and it was the BEST change I could have ever asked for. In fact, I couldn't imagine having the life I had before now.

Last night after watching the basketball game with friends at our house, my mom and dad came over. We were laying in the floor watching Riley and Mom asked Michael "what did we do before we had her in our lives?" His reply... "we were lazy." LOL

I just want to say to any soon to be moms or ladies who one day want to start a family. It is what you make it. If you want to be miserable and listen to all the negativity, go for it. But take it from this mom- I am in the best place I have ever been in my life. My child completes me and nothing could be better. I find that she has brought peace to me. I have so much patience and love for her that it is unimaginable. Yes, we were blessed with a baby who basically slept through the night as soon as she was home from the hospital. A baby who I just went and laid in her crib and she put herself to sleep for her nap at almost 5 months old and I didn't even have to do the "cry it out." Did we have our challenges? Yes. Will we have more? Yes. I am up for any challenge as long as God allows me to continue to have this little girl in my life. I pray for her safety every night. I pray that I can be the best mommy ever to my sweet baby girl. And last but not least, I thank God every night for blessing me with this amazing gift.

Please, be positive. If you have a friend who is pregnant- tell them not to listen to the negativity. I am SO glad I didn't. And even if you do have a challenge here or there, it is not the end of the world and you WILL get through it.

~let go lauging

Friday, March 9, 2012

March madness

Started our weekend off with a little sun bathing in the yard.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Today the heels play Maryland at noon. You'll be able to find me by the tv all weekend.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

go heels

Cookies for game time. You can find my recipe here. This time I mixed my royal blue and my teal icing color to make a light blue. After I iced all of the cookies, I dropped in some black icing color to dye the rest of the blue into black. I used that to paint on the heels. I always use a paint brush for my icing because it is easier for me that way. Please share pictures of your cookie ideas! I always love new ideas for cookies since I make them once every other week! Next week = shamrocks!

Friday, March 2, 2012

When My Baby Dreams

Inspired by the book - When My Baby Dreams

This is Riley Q.

let go laughing!