October 7, 2015

New Blog!

A lot has happened with our family in the last month or so and I have decided to start fresh with a brand new blog!  I wanted to mention it here because I have met some amazing friends through this blogging community.  I'm not sure if any of you are reading this since I haven't been consistent with posting, but if you are, and you'd like the link to my new blog, let me know!  Leave me a comment here or let me know on Facebook or Instagram.  You know who you ladies are!

I'm not sharing my new blog publically on my social media right now.  I may do that some day, but right now I'd like to keep it somewhat private.  Yes, I realize anyone can go and find it, but I'm just not ready to share it with all of my Facebook friends and "real life" people.  But I love keeping in touch with a lot of my blog friends so I'd be happy to share it if you're interested.  Hope you're all doing well!

August 11, 2015

It's been awhile!

You'd think since I haven't blogged in 3 months, I'd have a lot of exciting things to share.  But we're just kind of chugging away with our normal, every day lives.

Kenley is now 4 1/2 months and cuter than ever!  At her 4 month checkup she was 15 lbs 3 oz (72%) and 25 1/4 inches (82%).  She is such a happy baby!  She rolls like crazy from both sides, started sitting in her bumbo seat recently, has started in her jumper but only likes it for a couple minutes, loves to smile and laugh at her big sister, loves her nukies now (she wasn't a fan for the first couple months), has started reaching and grabbing at toys, eats about 6 ounces every couple hours, goes to bed at 8:00 every night and wakes up anywhere from 4-6 am, has a bottle and goes back to sleep for a couple more hours, usually will take two good naps a day, but sometimes more little cat naps, she loves to go for walks and just loves attention!

Here's a look back since I have been slacking at the updates!

Pretty cute, right?  Seriously though, her smile is so awesome!

Kase is turning 3 this month and has his checkup in a couple weeks.  Here are some pictures of him, which recently are hard to come by.  He is way too busy for pictures!

In June, he fell and cut his chin open and got stitches.  It was the worst experience ever.  He had to be held down by 3 people while the doctor did the stitches.  And then the same when he had them removed.  This picture is when they decided to give him (and everyone else) a break.  This was after about an hour and a half and they still needed to do one more stitch.  It broke my heart to have to put him through that :(

This is when I took him back to have them removed.  He remembered what happened the last time we were there and would not take his face out from my neck.  I think he is forever scarred from the doctor.  Poor guy!

Here is my happy boy again with a fresh new haircut!

Kyla is 4 1/2 and MORE than ready to start school.  She is starting to get bored being home with me all day.  She's ready to get out and meet some new friends!  She has been a great helper and loves to take care of her baby sister.

I took her to her first movie at the theater and then we did some shopping.  Girl loves her accessories!

She's been working hard on the monkey bars!

Jacket and pants in July?  Crazy!

On Sunday we had a little town festival and Kyla wanted to play the game where you throw a ping pong ball and try to get it into a glass bowl to win a fish.  Well, to our surprise, she somehow managed to win THREE fish!  They are still going strong two days later.  We went to the store and bought fish food and she has loved taking care of them!

Update:  At 2:00 pm today (shortly after publishing this post), we lost a "Goldy".  Kyla is sleeping right now and is going to be devastated when she wakes up :(

Tyler is busier than ever at work and continues to be the most amazing dad ever!

Last time I posted I weighed 169 and was working on losing the baby weight.  Well, I'm still working on it, but as of this morning I am 157.  I'm getting there slowly but surely!  12 pounds in 3 months is ok with me.  I'm hoping to get to 145 so maybe in 3 more months I will be there!  Let's hope that I blog again before that though :)

I also chopped my hair off.  It was much needed!

She curled it a little bit and I have since tried that a few times, but most days I just straighten it or put it up in pony.  It's actually already grown a lot since this picture.  I got it cut end of June I think.

The next month is going to be a lot busier than we're used to and is going to bring some exciting changes.  Kyla starts four year old kindergarten on September 1st.  She will go Monday through Thursday from 8-11 and then one Friday a month.  The school district that we chose has their 4K program in various daycares instead of in the schools.  I'm sure it has something to do with not having room at the schools since the program is fairly new.  But also it is much more convenient since it's only three hours a day and many families probably need childcare for the rest of the days.  So the kids already being at the daycare is really nice.

We are pretty sure we are going to take Kase to the same place and have him attend the 3 year old preschool on Monday's and Wednesday's from 8-11.  I think it will help him so much socially and developmentally.  Many daycares will not take 3 year olds who are not potty trained, but thankfully, this one will.  Obviously I'm hoping to get him trained soon, but he's just not ready.  And I am a firm believer in not pushing them until they are truly ready.  I could (and may) do a whole separate post on this and other Kase updates later in the month.  Can't believe he's going to be 3!

I am also working on a little project with one of my favorite blogger friends that I can't wait to tell you all about very soon! :)

May 11, 2015

Operation Lose Baby Weight

I gained about 50 pounds of that awesomeness while pregnant with Kenley.  And since I had my six week postpartum check last week, it's time to start focusing on losing it!

These aren't the greatest pictures, but I thought it was important to post some "before" shots.  Hopefully that will be motivation to work hard and be able to show off some awesome "after" shots later.

As you can tell, I still have quite the belly.  I'd say I'm probably rocking the 6 month pregnant look.  I wear sweats all the time, and if I need to wear jeans, it is maternity jeans.  None of my regular shirts fit either.  I know some people think it's awful to share your weight with people, but I don't think it's that big of a deal and it's extra motivation.  Before getting pregnant, I was 150.  I wasn't in the best shape.  But it is what it is.  So I got to about 200 by the end.  I never actually saw that awful "2" on the scale, but I know it was there.

Currently I am 169 (and I'm 5'8").  So I have lost about 30 pounds without doing anything really except for breastfeeding.  But I have a long ways to go!

Let's get to my goals!

My goal weight is 145 pounds.  I don't really have a time frame for that.  I'm going to work on my goals and whenever I get there is fine.  I am not stressing over it.

Drink half my body weight in water.  That is 84.5 oz of water every day.  I drink bottled water a lot (We live in the country and have a well...I will drink it if I have to, but don't like to.  Tyler hates this).  Each bottle that I drink has 16.9 oz so I am trying to drink 5 bottles a day.  I started putting them on the counter each day after I drink them (rather than just throwing them in the recycling bin) so I can visually see them throughout the day.  It has really helped.

Start exercising slowly, starting with walking.  I had a c-section, have had some complications since then, a couple infections and some breastfeeding issues.  I cannot just go right into working out like crazy.  I used to do classes at the gym, which I'm excited to get back to some day, but I know my body just can't handle that right now.  I am just trying to do a lot of walking.  Between walking with the kids outside and downstairs on the treadmill, I'm hoping I can keep up with this one!

Track my steps.  I'm not really sure what a good goal for me is right now.  I know most people shoot for 10,000 steps every day.  I'm thinking maybe I will go for 8,000 for now.  But again, I have NO idea if this is realistic.  I've never tracked my steps before.  I'd love to get a Fit Bit (or something similar), but don't have anything yet.  What do you all have?  I'd love some suggestions!  I feel like I need to track my steps for a day first and see where I'm at because I have no idea.  And then create a goal from there.

Track my calories.  I started using the Lose It app again.  It helped me lose weight after having Kase so I'm doing it again.  I think it's just important to see exactly what I'm eating every day.  The downside is I don't think there's a way to account for breastfeeding, but it's still really helpful information.

Eat healthier (captain obvious, right?).  I have never been a healthy eater.  I'm never going to be the perfect eater.  But I can definitely do A LOT better.  It's hard right now to make good meals since Kenley is so needy and wanting to be held all the time.  It's just easiest to put in a freezer meal or something quick.  But I'm hoping soon I can get into a meal planning routine and start making better dinners for our family.  I have started eating some healthier snacks.  Like a banana or string cheese or yogurt instead of chips or a brownie.  And maybe not donuts for breakfast :)  There are definitely some easy changes I can make that I think will make a big difference.

Limit my soda intake.  Ugh, soda.  I am so bad with soda.  I'm drinking caffeine free since I'm breastfeeding, but I have about a can a day.  I'm going to start with a goal of 4 cans a week.  It's just not realistic to cut it out completely right now.  This one is just a constant struggle for me.

Be patient.  Like I said, I don't have a specific time frame that I want to be to my goal weight.  I am going to weigh myself once a week, but also remember that this isn't all going to happen in a month.

So, there it is.  I'm excited to start this new weight loss journey and just live a healthier lifestyle overall.  I'm also excited I have this little blog to keep me accountable!

May 8, 2015

Day in the life (with 3 kids)

I love reading other people's "Day in the life" posts and I love looking back at my own to see what life was like.  I did one a month before having Kase, when Kyla was about 1 1/2.  You can read that one HERE if you want.  I also did one when Kase was 2 months old.  That one is HERE.

Oh, how easy life was with only two, haha!  Here is our day last Friday, May 3rd with a sweet, but attention-loving 4 year old, a wild and crazy 2 1/2 year old, and a needy 6 week old.

12:15 - Kenley wakes up, I feed her, change her, and get here back to sleep around 1:15.

4:00 - My cute little wake-up call is ready to eat again.  Some random nights she will sleep until 4:00 or 5:00 and we get like 5-6 straight hours of sleep.  But this particular night, she was up a lot.  I got her back to sleep around 5:00.

6:15 - Just as I'm finally falling back to sleep, she's up again.  Yay.  I feed her, change her, and she went right back to sleep.

6:30 - Tyler gets up and gets ready for work.

6:45 - Kyla and Kase are up and Kase is sitting at the table demanding some food.  I always have their milk cups full and in the door of the fridge for the morning.  Because a lot of times I'm feeding Kenley and they want their milk right away.  So Kyla knows it's in there and gets it out for her and Kase every morning.  Kase gets a new diaper and some breakfast (cereal on this particular morning).

7:15 - Tyler leaves for work.  Kyla and Kase watch some cartoons and play.  I take some time to check Facebook, Instagram, etc. (and that morning take a selfie apparently).

8:45 - Kenley eats again, gets a new diaper and I get her dressed.  I make some breakfast for myself and Kyla (cereal).  She doesn't like to eat right when she wakes up.  I get myself and Kase dressed and a new diaper on him.  Kyla dressed herself in this...

9:45-11:00 - I put Kenley in her swing while I pump.  The kids play.  I put a load of laundry in.  I unload the dishwasher and clean up from breakfast.  Kyla and Kase play nicely together in the toy room for awhile.  A lot of times during this time we will go outside if it's nice or go for a ride if it's cold or rainy.  But we were going to meet Tyler for a picnic lunch at the park so we just hung out inside.

11:00-11:30 - I feed Kenley again and then pack our lunches for our picnic.  I change Kase's diaper, change Kyla's clothes (no wearing princess dresses to the park), get everyone's shoes on, make sure Kyla goes potty, and we're out the door by 11:30.

12:00 - 1:00 - Lunch and playing at the park.

1:30 - 4:30 - We get home, I change Kase's diaper and put him down for his nap.  I feed Kenley and change her.  Kyla chooses Toy Story for her movie during rest time.  I rock Kenley to sleep and put her down.  Kyla fell asleep on the couch so I laid down and actually fell asleep for awhile.  Can we just take a second to talk about how amazing it is when I can get all three to sleep AT THE SAME TIME?!  It rarely happens, but it does, it's freaking awesome!

4:30 - 6:00 Kase wakes up first and wakes Kyla up on the couch.  Kenley was kind of in and out of sleep so I got up a few times to feed her and rock her back to sleep.  I also ended up getting a terrible migraine.  We just hung out until Tyler got home around 6:00.  We had leftovers for dinner, but I just had some toast because I was really nauseous.

We woke up to some fun packages on the front door.  I ordered these prints on Etsy and framed them.  They will hang above her crib once she moves into her bedroom.

Another Etsy purchase was this headband and bow holder.  I realize these probably aren't hard to make, but I'm the least creative person ever, and I just don't have the time right now.  And it was much needed!  I want to hang it in Kenley's room since it matches perfectly, but Kyla wants it in her room.  We'll see :)

We also got a few things from Gymboree.  I had some Gymbucks so decided to get some swim suits and a new dress for Kyla.

6:30 - 8:00 - We played out on the screened in porch for awhile since it was so nice out.  Kenley ate again around 6:45 and then I took a shower and dried my hair.  We started baths around 7:30 for all three kids.  Kase watched an episode of Mickey, Kyla played on the iPad for a bit and Kenley wanted to be held (per usual).  Tyler and I usually take turns taking her during this time because she's pretty fussy, but we don't want her to go to bed yet.  She does doze off a bit in our arms most of the time though.

8:00 - 8:30 - We get Kyla and Kase ready for bed (brush teeth, go potty, read stories).  They share a room and do a really good job of going to bed.  There's usually a little bit of talking and laughing, but overall, they do great!

8:30 - ??? - Tyler gives Kenley a bottle while I pump.  He usually holds her to sleep and then puts her to bed.  Sometimes she's down by 9:30.  Sometimes it's 11:00.  While he's doing that, I fold my laundry, start the dishwasher, get the kids' milks filled and wash my pump parts.  Usually by the time I do that, Kenley is asleep and Tyler puts her in her crib.  I usually go to bed shortly after.  Tyler stays up and watches a little TV and takes some time to himself.  I think he deserves it!

May 4, 2015

Weekend Recap

Well, our weekend didn't go as planned.

Friday the kids and I met Tyler for a picnic at the park again.  It was so nice out and the kids had a blast.  The park by his work has a huge sandbox so I promised them last time that they could play in it the next time we went.  There were a couple other kids there, including a little girl that Kyla made friends with.  They were very sad when it was time to go home!

In the middle of the night Friday I started feeling sick.  I was in the middle of breastfeeding Kenley and had to put her down quick to throw up.  I ended up throwing up two more times that morning.  I felt awful.  I had a fever, chills and the worst body aches ever.  My lower back was throbbing.

Warning - if you don't like talk about breasts and/or breastfeeding or think it's TMI, you can skip this part.  But this blog is about being a mommy and this just comes along with the territory.

Carrying on...while having all those other fun symptoms, my right breast was hurting really bad.  I couldn't even turn over in bed it hurt so bad.  But I thought it was just full and I needed to pump.  But yet it wasn't full at all.  Later that morning, I thought to look at it more and sure enough, it was really red.  Ugh.  It was infected and I knew it.  I was so mad.  I headed to urgent care and they confirmed it and gave me two different antibiotics.  One for the infection and one for my nausea so that I could keep the meds down.  I have to take it 4 times a day for 10 days.  Lovely.  This is after my c-section incision getting infected and I just ended the antibiotic for that last Tuesday.  The doctor said the two likely aren't related.  I am just THAT lucky.

Unfortunately, we had to miss my niece's birthday party.  Kyla was really sad so my mom came and picked her up and took her along.  Kase stayed home with us since he still likes to take off and not listen to anyone when they tell him to come back so they would have just been chasing him all over the neighborhood.  Plus he still really needs his naps.  He was happy to have some 1 on 1 time with Daddy!

Kyla stayed the night at my mom's, which was the first time sleeping over at someone's house by herself.  She did awesome.  I had no doubt since she absolutely loves my mom and Brian.  But it was kind of sad packing her bag and sending her off for the night.  Especially since I don't think she missed us one bit.  Little stinker! :)

I started feeling better yesterday, but tried to take it easy all day.  My mom and step dad brought Kyla home and then we had a pretty lazy Sunday.  The kids got to play outside so after all 3 had baths, everyone went to bed great.  Kenley even slept until 4:00 this morning!  Unfortunately it didn't mean uninterrupted sleep for Tyler and I.  Kyla is terrified of thunderstorms so she came in and slept with us around 12:30.  I can't be mad at her though since I was always scared of them growing up too (ok, I might still be a little scared once in awhile).

Kenley is sleeping (finally) and the other two are finishing lunch.  Hopefully everyone, including Mama, can get a little nap in today!

Hope you all had a nice weekend!

April 29, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

I'm posting super late tonight, but I saw this link-up and thought it would be a good way to share what's going on with us lately.  Kyla and Kase are in bed and Tyler is hanging out with Kenley before she eats for the last time before bed.

What we're eating... Let's keep it real here.  I have a needy 5 week old baby and two toddlers.  I am not making any amazing meals lately.  My kids love having breakfast for dinner so we've had pancakes a few times lately.  Last night we had a freezer meal that my sister-in-law made.  Tonight was leftovers.  I have made shredded chicken in the crockpot a couple times, which is super easy and really good.  We just eat it in sandwiches.  Hopefully soon I can start making some good (and hopefully some new) meals.

What I'm reminiscing about... sleeping a full night.  Between a newborn and terrible sleep during pregnancy, it seems like forever ago that I got a good night of sleep!

What I'm loving... the weather!  It's been in the 60's, perfect to get out and get some fresh air!

What we've been up to... I'm actually planning on doing a "day in the life" post soon.  I've done a couple in the past and it's always fun to see what life was like back when I only had one baby or when Kase was born, etc.  So you can look for that soon.  But we've been pretty boring here, not leaving the house much.  I feel like I breastfeed all day.  And we're still all trying to adjust to life as a family of 5.  We have some good days and some bad.

What I'm dreading... Cleaning/organizing the kids toy room(s).  Kenley's room has turned into a toy room since she's sleeping in our room and then there is a toy room downstairs.  Both are such a disaster and full of toys.  We plan on going through and selling and/or donating a bunch.  We have SO many!  I'm not looking forward to doing it, but it needs to be done.  I'm not sure when Kenley will move to her room, but I'd like to get it somewhat ready.

What I'm working on... Finding some type of routine.  Kenley likes to be held 24/7 so I'm trying to figure out a balance.  I'm also working on finishing some house projects.  We finally bought a few big pictures for our bare walls.  It's finally starting to become really homey (after almost a year of living here).

What I'm excited about... the weekend!  Kyla asks almost every night if tomorrow is Saturday because she knows Daddy doesn't have to go to work on Saturday's.  We all love when he's home, but she is such a Daddy's girl and doesn't leave his side on the weekends.

What I'm watching/reading... I have American Idol on, but I'm not really watching it.  I watched Survivor while I ironed some of Tyler's work clothes tonight.  I'm rooting for Mike to win!  I used to read for myself, but ever since having kids I really haven't found the time.  I would like to start again, but the free time I have is usually at night and sleep is just more important at the moment.

What I'm listening to... Some dude singing.  I haven't followed this season at all, but I like to have something on in the background.

What I'm wearing... a tank top and lounge pants.  My typical wardrobe.  Tank tops are easiest when I'm breastfeeding so unless I go out in the public somewhere, that's usually what I have on.

What I'm doing this weekend... My niece is having her 7th birthday party Saturday night so we'll be going to that.  Otherwise, just hanging out, hopefully getting outside with the kids, and getting some stuff done around the house (like those dreaded toy rooms).

What I'm looking forward to next month... My six week post partum appointment next week, hopefully a weekend (or day) at the farm and Memorial Day weekend.

What else is new... Not a whole lot!  Just trying to get through this stage where it feels like each day we're just surviving!

What I'm giving (or what I want) for Mother's Day... we just get both of our moms a card.  Hopefully they both know how much we love them and thank them for everything they do.  And I kind of already bought myself something, haha.  I have been eyeing up a new diaper bag so I pulled the plug and ordered it yesterday.  Tyler has surprised me with flowers a few times in the last couple months, which I always love.  My sister-in-law and I are going to get pedicures next weekend so that will be part of my gift too.

Sorry for the lack of pictures.  Kenley is going to need to eat soon and then I need to get to bed!  But I can't leave you without one, so here is my sweet girl at 1 month old!

Hopefully I'll be back next week with that day in the life post!

April 23, 2015

My fertility story

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week.  Obviously I have three kids so I am not infertile, but I did struggle to get pregnant the first time.  It was stressful, emotional and something that I didn't really talk to people about.  I always thought it was kind of strange that people didn't talk about it.  It's an important issue that so many people struggle with and it's important to have support.  My heart goes out to anyone out there who is struggling to get pregnant.  We were lucky to have great doctors that helped us figure out what the problem was so we could fulfill our dreams of having a family.  I decided to share our story on this little blog because in the two years that we were trying, I liked reading other women's stories.  Every story is different and I don't think it's something that has to be kept quiet.  So here is my story.

Tyler and I are planners.  When we were dating, we would separately sit down and write what we wanted in our lives.  When we wanted to get engaged, get married, buy a house, have kids, etc.  Then we'd compare.  We were usually pretty spot on with our plans.  We both agreed that we wanted to wait a few years to have kids after we got married, to take time to enjoy each other (and sleeping in on the weekends).

We got married in 2006.  We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon, were lucky enough to go to Italy and Greece in 2007, bought our first house later in 2007.  We enjoyed going out with friends, playing in several volleyball leagues, sleeping in, and all those other things that kind of lose importance once you have kids.

Then we both agreed, it was time for a baby!  We'd stop birth control and get pregnant.  Isn't that how it works?  For some people, yes it does.  For others, it's not that easy.

We tried for a year and nothing.  I took so many pregnancy tests and was just as devastated with every single negative.  This wasn't how it was supposed to work.

After that year, I made an appointment with some doctors that I had a few friends recommend.  They were wonderful and very positive.  They assured us that they had no doubt that we would get pregnant.

The first easy step was some blood work.  My prolactin level came back high (which can cause infertility) so they put me on some medicine to lower it.  They also had me do an MRI of my brain because one cause of high prolactin is a tumor on the pituitary gland.  Thankfully, that came back fine.  So I took the medicine and had to go in every other week to have my blood drawn to see if it was going down.  I honestly can't remember how long it took, but eventually it was down to an acceptable level.  But after several more months of trying to get pregnant...nothing.  They had no reason to believe there was something wrong on Tyler's end, but they checked everything, and it was fine.

In April of 2010 my doctors decided to do a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), which is basically an x-ray to see if there is blockage in the fallopian tubes.  I won't get into details, but this test was extremely painful.  They said there was some minor blockage, but they didn't think enough to require surgery.  The doctor told us that sometimes the dye that they use is enough to clear the blockage so they wanted us to try for a few more months and then move on to the next step.

I'm actually not sure what the next step was.  The very next month, on May 17th, 2010, I got my first positive pregnancy test!  I was at work and just had this weird feeling so I ran to Walgreens for a test and took it in the work bathroom.  I was in complete shock.  This "story" may not seem like a big deal since it was pretty short.  But when you want to get pregnant so bad and literally take a test every month for two years, not understanding why it isn't happening, it is exhausting.  I know a lot of people struggle for a lot longer so I'm very grateful, but it was a very hard time for us.

My doctors said they believe the HSG is what allowed us to get pregnant and that minor blockage was enough to cause my infertility.  That awful procedure that Tyler almost passed out during (he might kill me for putting that in there), was obviously SO worth it!

Luckily when we were ready to have more babies, we didn't have any issues.  We are so blessed!

1 in 8 people live with infertility.  We all probably have a family member or friend who is living with it.  We likely don't know it though because people just don't talk about it.  It's not something people should feel ashamed of.  Share your story.  You are not alone.