A night just for moms!

National Mom's Nite Out: the Ultimate Celebration of Motherhood

What mom doesn't want to enjoy a night out with the girls?  Here's your chance, ladies!  The 2nd annual National Mom's Nite Out is May 6th.  For only $20 (which is the cost of a night out at the movies these days) you get lots of cool stuff...

Mini makeovers, complimentary photo, a pampering station, chocolate and wine.  There's also a swag bag filled with info., free goodies and coupons.  And, that's not all... there will be TONS of door prizes including baby carriers, Ocean Isle weekend getaway, tennis camp, Rubbermaid, Tupperware, a family portrait session and much more!

To top it all off... ALL ticket proceeds go to Nancy's Butterfly Fund, an organization created to help women and children to free themselves from the danger of domestic violence.

So, what are you waiting for?  Get your tickets by May 3rd as there will only be a limited amount being sold at the door.

See you there!


Happy Earth Day!

It was a gorgeous day here today but unfortunately I spent half of it at work and then I ended my evening at the dentist.  I am NOT a fan of the dentist!  Turns out I have yet another old filling that needs to be replaced.  :(

But, on a happier note, Lea had a fun day of playing in her door jumper (she loves that thing!) and eating more peas and carrots.  After getting her jammies on, we read Good Night Moon, nursed and then put her to bed.  I make a point to wake her up before putting her in her crib as she always falls asleep nursing.  I wake her just enough to say good night and for her to fall back asleep on her own.

In honor of Earth Day, here's a list of 'earth friendly' things we do around our house to help ensure a healthier planet for Lea as she gets older...

  • Use a solution of water, vinegar and lavendar oil for a natural dissinfecting cleaner
  • Use Seventh Generation, chlorine & latex free, diapers (and use cloth diapers every once and awhile)
  • Breastfeed and make our own baby food
  • Use glass containers in the kitchen instead of plastic baggies
  • Recycle as much as we can, including boxes, grocery bags, bottles, cans, etc.
  • Turn off lights when we don't need them on
  • Use CFL light bulbs
  • Limit the amount of our AC and heat usage
  • Turn off the water when brushing our teeth, washing dishes, etc.
  • Shop resell, such as Children's Orchard, Kid to Kid, consignment shops, creigslist.com and sometimes thrift stores
  • Limit the amount of processed and individually packaged foods that we buy
  • Buy organic when possible (including 'cage free' eggs)
  • Grow our own herbs and buy local produce when possible
While the above list are things we often do, there are also some things I wish we would do more.  I would like our family to walk and ride bikes more, use less chemical cleaners, waste less food and take shorter showers (to name a few things).  I admit we are not the greenest family and probably never will be, however I am glad that there are things we can do to help in small ways.  Every little bit counts, right!?


Peas and Carrots

It's hard to believe Lea is already seven months old.  But she is!  And she is still growing and changing every single day.  I swear there are days that I get her up in the morning and she looks different to me. 

Besides being so close to crawling, she is now eating some 'finger foods'.  We've given her steamed peas and tiny bits of steamed carrots.  She loves the carrots... and tolorates the peas.  It's so much fun to watch her pick up a piece and get it in her mouth.  Every move of each finger is thought out.  She has a look of concentration on her face as she opens her fist to reveal the little bit of food she's managed to pick up and then, with her other hand, she pinches the bit and finally gets it to her mouth... sometimes.  After a few attempts with no success, she gets irritated and I help her.  She is getting better, though!

Her most favorite thing to eat right now (as it will change in a few days) is pureed blueberries with banana.  She devours it... hardly getting down one spoon full before opening her mouth for another!  We love letting her try new foods and watching her expressions with first tastes.

Here's Lea after her Blueberry/Banana dessert...



Mom n Me Monday

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We had a busy weekend... AquaMoms, baby pool, football game, neighborhood yard sales and a local kids expo.  So, Saturday evening, Lea and I enjoyed some time together just 'hanging out'.  (I'm not kidding... Lea is the coolest baby in the world and will often just 'hang out' for quite some time before getting bored.)  We cuddled on my bed and watched some Caspar Babypants videos on the lap top...



Water Babies

Remember "Water Babies"?  I had one when I was little.  I thought it was the coolest thing!

Our little 'water baby' is really getting the hang of playing in the pool.  Friday we put her baby pool in the yard and filled it with about three or four inches of water.  She loved splashing around and even got onto her belly for awhile.  We are loving this fabulous weather!

We went to AquaMoms again Saturday morning. One of the things we do is blow bubbles in the water. Well, this morning, Lea actually tried to copy me! She put her face into the water three times. Maybe after a few more classes she will actually be blowing her own bubbles. :)

Saturday afternoon we went to the NCSU Red and White game.  It was Lea's first football game and she really enjoyed it.  We actually stayed until the 4th quarter (and, honestly we could have stayed until the end but we were exhausted).  Lea squeeled and smiled at people around her.  It was a lot of fun!


Writers Block

Ok, so when I am out and about... running around taking care of things, shopping, working, whatever... I always think of fabulous blog post ideas.  Then, as soon as I actually have a second to write/post something, I can't think of a thing



New Pictures!

Easter weekend my friend (and co-worker), Tess, came over to take some pictures of us.  She did a fabulous job and got some really cute shots!  Here's a few of my favorites...

If you're in the area and need a photographer, I reccomend Tess Jensen Photography!  :)


Mom n Me Monday

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I take a LOT of pictures.  I am, by no means, a professional photographer, but I really do love taking pictures.  I also, however, love to be in front of the camera... even though I often over critique myself.  "Ugh, that's a big wrinkle!" or "Dang, my hair looks terrible!" or even "Geesh, I look too skinny."  I don't want Lea or myself to look back on these days of our lives and wonder, "Where's Mom?"  (and I certainly don't want to raise her to have low self esteem.)  So, in an effort to be in more pictures with my daughter and to stop worrying about the details, I am going to participate in 'Mom n Me Mondays'.  :)

Here's the first one!  Lea and I enjoyed a few minutes of playing on the floor while Daddy captured the moment.


It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Lea's first visit to the neighborhood playground!

"Not so sure about this, guys."

Daddy makes it fun!

"Hey, mommy!"

"Ok, I got the hang of this now."

On the slide with Daddy.

Stressin' over nothin'!

Last night we had absolutley no crying!  I rocked Lea long enough to sing one song and when her eyes became heavy, I placed her in her crib.  After a quick kiss good night, I slipped out... waiting outside the door as I just knew she would begin crying when she noticed I was gone.  I waited... nothing.  And waited... nothing.  So, I went downstairs to look on the video monitor and she was fast asleep.  We did it!  She didn't wake up until 4a.m. and after allowing her to nurse for only 5 minutes, she went right back to sleep until we had to wake her at 7:30 this morning.  Maybe I've been under estimating my daughter?  Maybe this was just luck?  Only time will tell!

This morning we went to AquaMoms class, again.  Lea really enjoys playing in the water and I get a good workout.  We sing songs to our babies and help them be comfortable being in the water, all the while exercising.  Needless to say, we're both pretty tired afterwards!  Here's a couple pictures from our first class a few weeks ago.


To cry or not to cry? That is the question.

We're having a slight dilema in our household.  Should we let Lea cry... or not?  For the first four months or so of her life, we never let her cry.  The first sign of distress and we were there to the rescue.  Even at night, if she began to squirm or fuss, I would immediatley run to her and nurse her back to sleep.  This actually worked great, believe it or not.  She was always a great sleeper and would only wake once, around the same time, every night and sleep until well past 7 in the mornings.

Our pediatrician said there is no physical reason why Lea should still be nursing in the middle of the night.  He also said she should be placed in her crib awake but drowsy at bed time.

So, we've tried putting her to bed awake.  It works ok... some of the time.  Sometimes she will play a little, then fuss, then fall asleep.  Sometimes she will go right to sleep.  And sometimes she will scream and cry.  I've also tried to avoid nursing her in the middle of the night a couple times.... MUCH more difficult than putting her to bed awake.  If I don't nurse her, she will scream and cry until we help her back to sleep.  Then, an hour later, scream and cry again.  And, an hour later, scream and cry again... the entire night.  Needless to say, I have continued to nurse her at night.  I am, however, only nursing her for about five minutes, hoping she will wean herself from midnight feedings.

Now that you know the background... here's my problem...  While I have heard and read that a 6 or 7 month old should be able to put themselves to sleep and shouldn't be eating in the middle of the night, I have also heard and read that babies do just that because they are babies and it's ok for the caregiver to assist them in getting and staying asleep.  Everything I've read says the most important thing is to be consistant.  no matter what you decide to do, just be consistant.  How can I be consistant, though, if she isn't being consistant?

Perhaps I am just trying to talk myself out of letting my baby girl scream and cry.  I can't stand to hear her upset!!!  When she cries, my heart aches.  I hear her cries as if she's saying "MOMMY! MOMMY! PLEEEEASE HELP MEEEE!!!"  Now, you tell me how I am supposed to ignore that?!  It seems impossible!  But, is it?  And is it in her best interest to let her cry herself to sleep?  Is there really such a thing as "sleep training"???  And, what's so wrong with me wanting to comfort my baby?

Please let me know your thoughts.  I am seriously at a crossroads.



Lea has tried several foods now. Here's a list of what she's had, in order of when she tried them, and what she thought/thinks about each one...

Organic Rice Cereal - yummy, at first.
Avocado - yummy mixed in with rice ceral. just ok by itself.
Sweet Potato - really yummy!
Green Peas - the yummiest so far!
Beets - pretty yummy.
Cheerios - after a few tries, super yummy and fun to play with!
Carrots - not so yummy but we'll try again.
Banana - really yummy, even though the texture is slimy and weird!

It's so much fun to watch her expressions and reactions when she tastes something new.  And, yes, I am making all of her food.  I'm actually pretty proud of myself but I must say that the Beaba Babycook makes it so easy!  I can make a couple batches (steam, puree and freeze single portions) in less than 20 minutes.  I have baggies in the freezer filled with single portions of peas, carrots, sweet potato and beets.  I simply put a few in the fridge the night before and they are thawed and ready for her to eat the next day.  I hardly ever warm her food.  She will gladly eat things cold, room temperature or warm.  I'm trying not to raise a picky eater!  I'll let you know how it turns out.

She really likes Cheerios, although she hasn't perfected eating them by herself. She can grab one in her fist and bring her fist to her mouth, but then she can't figure out how to get the little Cheerio out of her fist and into her mouth! After a few tries, she gets frustrated and requires adult assistance. :)

What should we try next?