Jimmie’s First Road Trip

Jimmie’s first road trip was originally going to be a one day trip to PA for a family reunion. Very last minute, as in Friday morning, Jim found out he didn’t have to work on Saturday, therefore we could leave on Friday night instead. This changed our plans drastically. We ended up driving to NJ to my parent’s house, spending the night, and leaving Toby there. We then headed to PA on Saturday afternoon to Jim’s parent’s house to spend the rest of the day there, and enjoy the family reunion on Sunday.

To say I’m exhausted is an understatement. I honestly am not normally this tired. Of course I’m getting a lot less sleep than I used to, but this past weekend I hardly got any. Jimmie was back sleeping next to me in his Rock N’ Play, instead of in his nursery, and his baby noises kept me up all night long on Friday and Saturday. He also decided he wanted to stay up way past his bedtime on Saturday and didn’t fall asleep until 12 AM.

Minus the whole sleep deprivation situation, the weekend was great. The weather was amazing and the company was even better. I love having Jimmie meet more family members. I also love giving him the chance to spend time with his grandparents. I don’t know why I hardly took any photos, but here are a few from my parent’s house, when my nephew and my brother came over, and a few from Jimmie’s first trip to our favorite micro brewery, Victory in PA.

jimmie NJ

jimmie nj 2

victory3We obviously didn’t spend a ton of time in either state, but we will be back for a longer visit again soon. So don’t worry, there will be more chances to meet Little Jimmie, next time we’re back!

 

Friday Five

1. It has been hot here in Maryland, but I really can’t complain. It really isn’t “Korea hot,” the kind of weather we have experienced the past two summers. Korea was so much hotter than MD/NJ/PA  (okay, maybe not FL, though). Jim and I were taking a walk the other day around noon, when the day has usually hit it’s peak temperature, and we both agreed it was already that hot at 7am in Korea.

2. Jimmie is taking his first road trip with us this weekend to a little family reunion with Jim’s family. I am trying to get stuff together for it, as well as my own stuff, and I am realizing that traveling with a newborn is no easy task.

3. Speaking of my little man, he has only been waking up to eat once a night. It’s pretty amazing actually, but I am not sleeping as well as I should, constantly waiting for him to wake up and cry. He will either wake up at 2 and 7ish or 4 and 9ish; I prefer the latter because then I can get stuff done in the morning before he gets up. Also, waking up at 2 is kind of painful.

4. I’m stoked for USA making the next round in the World Cup! Jim says they don’t have a chance, but I am trying to believe that they do. How hilarious would it be if they won? (Is that a non-American thing to say?) I only say it because every other team in the world is so much better at soccer than the USA. With that being said though, we are better at a lot of other sports, i.e. baseball! I’m very sad that South Korea did not advance, Jimmie was never able to wear his South Korea onesie because it is still too big.

5. Big Brother started this week. I am not ashamed to admit (okay, I am a LITTLE ashamed) that I have watch every single season leading up to this one, which is season 16. I like the house guests a lot more this year than last year. Here’s to hoping this year is better, or else Jim will never watch it with me again. My winner predictions are: Donny, the groundskeeper, because who would vote out a sweet middle aged man like him? And Christine, the barista, because she obviously loves coffee as much as me and I think she is adorable.

And I leave you with a few pictures from the week:

7 weeks

Time is flying

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Put me in, coach

usa

USA, USA!

jimmie sleep

hanging with Daddy

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7 weeks postpartum

Book Review: Nantucket Red by Leila Howland

redNantucket Red, the squeal to Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland, picks up right where Nantucket Blue left off, the end of summer. Cricket and Zach have a choice to make: stay together and have a long distance relationship or choose to take a break and pick back up the following summer. Fast forward to the next summer, the last summer before Cricket attends college on a lacrosse scholarship to Brown,  the gang is back and better than ever, with new characters and juicy story lines.

This summer, Cricket is working at a restaurant, Jules and Zach have finally made it into an elite country club, and Liz is running the B & B that her and Cricket worked at the previous summer. I think Leila Howland’s followup novel, Nantucket Red, is a slam dunk. I love how all of the original characters are in this book and how she weaves a few new characters in there, as well. I usually don’t enjoy sequels as much as their previous book, but this one is great.

In this young adult novel, Cricket is on a mission to complete a life list she found on a back of a picture of her deceased best friend’s mother. Even though she can’t complete it the way the original writer did, Cricket is determined to succeed in her own special way. Reading about Cricket’s determination was inspiring; she knew what she wanted and she refused to give up on it. Along the way, Cricket gets into a bit of trouble, but that doesn’t stop her from carrying on towards her end goal. During her journey, Cricket realizes that what she thought she always wanted, may not be what she needs right now.

This is a great novel to read right after high school. It encourages girls (and boys) to discover what they want and keep an eye on the prize. Nantucket Red is everything anyone would want in a summer beach read: love, friendship, and adventure. Once again, I fell in love with Nantucket and the quirkiness of all of the shops, restaurants, and people. The more I read about the island, the more I want to go.

My Life List:

Visit Greece

Ride in a hot air balloon

See a show at the Moulin Rouge

Get a Master’s Degree

Own a beach house or mountain house

Write a book

Work for a magazine or book publishing company

Run a 5K

Go to Disneyland in CA

I’ll add to my list when I think of more! What’s on your life list?

Losing Your Baby Weight Postpartum

workoutBaby weight: It’s one of the worst parts of being pregnant. After you give birth to this beautiful bundle of joy, you’re left with a not so beautiful bundle of fat. You can make excuses, you could live with the extra weight because you want to have more kids, or you could just….work out and eat healthy so that you can lose it. I know the saying is, “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” But if you want to lose the weight, you have to workout while the baby sleeps AND you have to stop eating those pregnancy cravings!

During my pregnancy I gained 33 pounds. This was still in the “average” 25-35 weight you’re “allowed” to gain, but I was disappointed. I waited too long to start working out during my pregnancy, (about 20 weeks) instead of just continuing my normal workouts that I was doing pre-pegnancy. I also ate way too much because I thought I was on a healthy diet vacation. Now that I have been cleared to workout, (I was cleared after four weeks) I’m ready to go hard.

Set goals and rewards: When you wake up tell yourself you will workout today. Put on your workout cloths as soon as you get out of bed; ff you shower or put on normal clothes before you workout, you will never workout. I told myself that when I get to 135 pounds, (I was up to 163 and am currently out 138.4) I am going to buy new workout shoes. I also have a specific dress I want to fit into by October for a wedding we are going to, which means I have to be back to pre-baby weight to fit into it.

How do I make time to workout? I try to do my workout while Jimmie is taking his morning nap. First, I take him (and Toby) our for a walk. I strap Jimmie into the Ergo and he usually falls asleep. Once I’m back, I put him inthe rockaRoo and I start my workout. (I set everything up before I leave the house, so all I have to do is press play when I get back.) During my workout, I pray that Jimmie doesn’t wake up, but if he does, I move him from his rockaRoo, to his playmat, or I walk around with him a little bit if he is fussy. (I have also stopped to give him a bottle mid-workout, if I know he is hungry) You have to do whatever it takes to get your workout in, even if a 25 minute workout turns into an hour, just get it done.

What is my workout schedule? I am currently doing Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and then I am going to do Shaun T’s T25. I also walk 1-2 miles a day. When Jimmie is 6 months, I am going to join a gym that has daycare so that I can take him with me in the mornings. I already found an awesome gym with tons of classes.

What do I eat on my diet? I stopped breastfeeding shortly after I was cleared to workout; more on that another time. (No, I did not not stop so that I could workout harder, I was losing a lot of weight by breastfeeding.) Since I don’t need a bazillion calories a day to keep my milk up, I put myself on a diet. I eat cereal for breakfast (usually Cheerios with a banana), Greek yogurt or a protein shake for lunch, and whatever I feel like making for dinner (usually something with chicken). For snacks I eat: fruit cups, whole fruit,  Greek yogurt bars, and/or Special K Bars. (I also sometimes have a popsicle at night, after our walk.)

You need to be realistic: Sometimes I don’t work out when I should, sometimes we eat pizza, and sometimes I eat one too many snacks, but I am doing the best that I can, and so far it is working. I only have 10.4 pounds to go to get back to my pre-birth weight. (I have lost about 4 pounds because of diet and exercise. The rest was from breastfeeding and other normal post-pregnancy weight loss)

Do I think I am going to look exactly the same and have perfect abs? No, I never had abs before. But I am hoping to fit into a bathing suit (that I already own) before the end of summer. I think having Jimmie right before summer motivated me to go big and go hard. I don’t want to have extra weight in the summer, who does? Right now, I am happy with the way I look. I could just settle with this, and call it a day. But I refuse to be lazy and let the fat just sit on me forever. I will make it back to my pre-birth weight, and so will you!

Happy Summer Solstice!

summerThis morning, at 6:51 AM EST, summer officially began! I feel like summer has been here for well over a month already, but when you don’t work, summer seems to last, and last, and last.

Today is the longest day of 2014. Sadly enough, today is the last day that we will gain a minute of sunlight in the morning and in the evening. It’s all down here from today, until we reach the Winter Solstice in December.

The word “solstice” means sun and stands still. Today, the earth will stand still, while tilting towards the sun, before it starts to turn to tilt away from the sun, beginning our journey back towards winter.

I love summer and warm weather. We could use a little less rain, but then again, I have lived through many summers in a drought; I’m thinking we can wash our cars and water our lawns all summer long, this year. This is our first summer together on the East Coast since Jim and I got married. The past two summers we were in Korea and the one before we spent in Pensacola. Oh, I miss you Florida.

Jimmie had a little photo shoot this morning; it was his first official photo shoot. Here are some of the best photos. I probably took about 50 photos in total; Toby kept trying to sit on Jimmie (out of love of course) so it was a constant tug of war between getting Toby out of the way and getting Jimmie to look at the camera. We even did some selfies.

10

“Okay, I’ll give ya a smile if you stop taking photos.”

8

“I’ve got a bone to pick with you, Mom.”

7

“Ready to report for duty.”

5

“When can we sunbathe outside, Mom?”

6

“Can I take off this hat? It’s not sunny in the living room.”

4

“It says Mr. Sunshine, Mom, but I can’t see the sun.”

11

“Uh, oh, costume change. Gerber, I’m ready when you are.”

3

“Is selfie time kind of like hammer time?”

2

“Mom, Toby wants to be in this selfie too.”

“Mr. Sunshine” onesie/Old Navy (no longer available), sunglasses/ Babies R’ Us, bucket hat/Gap Outlet, dog onesie/ Gerber, giraffe blanket/ Aden + Anais

One summer and one boy, and suddenly, things weren’t the same – Sarah Dessen

Friday Five

One of my favorite authors, Sarah Dessen, used to do a “Friday Five” post over at her blog. She stopped a little while ago, and I was pretty disappointed; I enjoyed reading about her week. This week I decided that maybe I could start my own “Friday Five.” Here is my inaugural Friday Five!

1. I started working out again this week. Jillian Michaels is my BFF once again. I am doing 30 Day Shred, for the second time (first time was last February), and then I will move onto T25 with Shaun T. I want to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight by October. I have 11 pounds to go!

2. Jimmie is 6 weeks already! We think he had his first smile yesterday, at least it was the first one we both saw. He also started sleeping in his room this week. He is still in the Fisher-price Newborn Rock N’ Play, but it’s a step in the right direction. He almost slept 8 hours in a row, one night!

3. June 23rd will be the official 10 year anniversary of my graduation from high school. I remember thinking that high school would NEVER end. And then it did. Now, it’s ten years later, and I think, why did I rush it? I miss those days. I never thought I would say that.

4. Today was the first day that I straightened my hair since Jimmie was born. We are finally getting into a routine, I’m starting to clean everything again, and I’m starting to not worry so much. Life is good! (Great, even)

5. Summer officially starts tomorrow! I can’t wait to grill hotdogs, on the longest day of the year, and drink a yummy summer beer. The weather is supposed to be perfect, and sitting on the deck will be a must. Maybe I can start working on my tan while Jimmie naps? Better late than never!

It doesn’t happen all at once.  You become.  It takes a long time.  – Margery Williams

 

 

Skyping with Grandpop

skype

“Oh, hi Grandpop.”

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“Make Mommy stop kissing me, I’m a big boy now.”

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“Is it time to eat, Grandpop?”

skype5

“Less talking, more eating, please.”

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“Alright, I’m bored. If I can’t eat, I guess I’ll nap.”

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“Bye Grandpop. I’m going to go eat now, or nap, or poop. I haven’t decided yet.”

First Month Baby Must-haves

Month one of being a first time parent is hard. I’m not going to sugar-coat it, and I’m not going to exaggerate, plain and simple, it’s hard. But we made it through with as much sleep as we could get, coffee, and going to the bathroom while holding the baby; I kid you not, when ya gotta go, ya gotta go. Don’t worry, during the second month, I have been going to the bathroom solo (most of the time).

Here are a few items that helped us get through our first month as new parents:

first month

1. The First Years Sounds for Silence Nursery Premium Sound Machine: We love rocking Little Jimmie to sleep to the sounds from this sleep-aid. He will calm down almost immediately at night as soon as we put the heartbeat sound on, after he is done eating. There are six “white noise” sounds and then another button for Mozart sounds. This one even comes with a very great book that gives helpful hints to get babies to sleep soundly (and through the night.) Bonus: I haven’t tried it yet, but there is also an MP3 hookup!

2. Fisher-Price Newborn Rock n’ Play: Little Jimmie spends a ton of time in this thing. He sleeps in it day and night. Unfortunately, he still hasn’t adjusted to his crib yet because it is so big and he likes to be nice and snuggled. This item helps him feel safe.

3. Summer Infant Newborn SwaddlePod: Jimmie wore one of these almost every night during his first month. We started off swaddling him with blankets, but these are even better because he usually doesn’t wake up when we put him in it, if he has fallen asleep while eating. He also has room to move his arms and legs if he wants to.

4. 4moms rockaRoo: I talked about how much I love the rockaRoo in this post.

5. Disney Onesies: I love these onesies because there are two different rows of snaps. Disney onesis grow with your growing baby, which makes them last longer. Plus, the designs are just too cute for any Disney fan!

6. OXO Tot Perfect Pull Baby Wipes Dispenser: Who wants dry wipes after spending tons of money on them? Not me. I also hate pulling out more than one wipe at a time. This dispenser is awesome because it gives you one wipe at a time and doesn’t dry out your wipes! We buy the Pampers Sensitive wipes and just stick the package right in; just don’t forget to press the lid closed!

7. Gerber (or Carter’s) Long Sleeve Side Snap Mitten Cuffs Shirt – These shirts are great because you don’t have to put them over your newborns head. They’re also convenient because you can use the little mitten sleeves to keep your baby from scratching their face/eyes.

Book Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

everyoneLet me start off by saying I had no idea who Mindy Kaling was before I read this book (Sorry, Mindy). I also want to add that I kind of despise The Office (Sorry, again, Mindy). (Let me clarify: Not because I don’t think it’s funny, but because it makes me dizzy when I watch it.) With that being said, I thought Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling was hilarious. I picked it up at a book sale because I knew it was a popular book, plus I liked the title and cover. (Shocking, I know.)

From the very first hello in Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), to the very last goodbye, I fell in love with Mindy Kaling’s humor and wit. I thoroughly enjoyed “Alternate Titles for This Book,” which was included in the introduction. As soon as I read, “Harry Potter Secret Book #8,” I knew I was in for a lot of laughs. This is the type of book that makes me think, “Okay, I really can write a book, except for the fact that I’m not as funny as Mindy.”

Mindy Kaling begins the autobiography speaking about her life as an awkward child, trying to find where she fit into this world; she was made fun of in school because of her weight. As Mindy grew up, she fell in love with comedy and making people laugh; she also learned to love herself and not let anyone put her down, a lesson all girls need to learn. (She mentions that peaking in high school leaves you nowhere to go but down, something I can defiantly agree with.)

Mindy Kaling graduated from Dartmouth. While in college, she worked as an intern for a brief period of time for the Conan O’Brien Show. Her first claim to fame is a play that she co-wrote with her best friend Brenda, and performed in, called Matt & Ben. The play is based on the friendship between Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Mindy is most known for her role as Kelly Kapoor on The Office and also for her role on the writing staff.

I read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling to Little Jimmie, my newborn. I kid you not, I sat in my rocking chair and rocked Little Jimmie to sleep while reading it. It probably wasn’t the most appropriate book to read to my 4-5 week old baby, but hey, I wanted to read it, and he likes the sound of my voice. (It seemed like a win-win to me, until his first word is an inappropriate one, then I may regret my bedtime reading choice.) Reading this book out loud to Jimmie made me laugh even more because every time I read a part that was not geared towards a child, (99% of the book) I couldn’t help but laugh louder. Next time, I may just stick with The Cat in The Hat.

Some of my favorite parts in Mindy’s book are: “Franchises I’d Like to Reboot” Pg.124, “How I Write” Pg. 140, “I Love Irish Exits” Pg. 159, “Why Do Men Put Their Shoes on So Slowly?” Pg. 188, and “Revenge Fantasies While Jogging” Pg. 198.

“Franchises I’d Like to Reboot:” I was almost rolling on the floor when I read that Mindy wanted to do a remake of A League of Their Own and play Rosie O’Donell’s part. I love that movie; a remake would be awesome.

“How I Write:” I can relate to trying to sit down and write something and then becoming distracted by everyone and everything, especially the internet.”So for every eight-hour day of writing, there is only one good productive hour of work being done,” (Pg. 143) story of my life.

“I Love Irish Exits:” I learned from Mindy Kaling that an “‘Irish Exit’ is when you leave a party without telling anyone.” (Pg. 159) I pretty much can relate to this whole chapter. Who wants to walk around and say goodbye to every single person at a party that they just spent hours with? I agree, just leaving is the best approach.

“Why Do Men Put on Their Shoes So Slowly?” This has been a question of my own for so long, and I am glad Mindy addressed it. We still do not have an answer, but at least I am not the only one who thinks this is an issue. “When I tie my shoelaces I can do it standing, and I’m out the door in about ten seconds.” (Pg. 188) Me too, Mindy, me too. So why does it take my husband forever? The world may never know…(Sorry, babe. Not like he reads my blog anyways…)

“Revenge Fantasies While Jogging:” These are just too funny. Go directly to page 198 and read them. They will give you more motivation to work out. Thanks to Mindy, I have even more motivation to lose my baby weight because of her revenge fantasies.

I really hope Mindy Kaling comes out with another book so that I can read it to Jimmie while I rock him to sleep. He learned so much from Mindy, from how to be an “awesome guy,” (Pg. 163) to how to act like a man, not a boy. (Pg. 176) Many life lessons were learned by all, plus Jimmie got some shut-eye,

I L-O-V-E 4moms rockaRoo!

rockaRoo

If you haven’t noticed already, I love baby products; it has become an growing obsession that will be hard to cure. One brand that I discovered, since I found out I was pregnant in September, is 4moms. I love their products because they are so modern and functional. I have been holding off on doing a post on the one product I love most, the rockaRoo, until Little Jimmie was born. Now that he is here, I can rave about this great product!

I won a rockaRoo from 4moms back in January when it was a brand new product. I was already interested in getting a mamaRoo, which is another product 4moms makes, so I figured, why not try out the rockaRoo, if I was lucky enough to win one.

After I won the rockaRoo, I realized I didn’t need BOTH swings, (which is what these products are,) and decided to just try out the one I won. I am so happy to report that the rockaRoo rocks! Jimmie loves swinging back and forth in it; it’s just like a rocking chair. It helps him stay asleep after I rock him to sleep in my arms.  While he is awake, he loves reaching for the mobile over his head. Bonus: There is even a MP3 hookup where you can plug in your Ipod/MP3 player in to play music while your baby creates their own rock and roll in the swing.

Jimmie likes his rockaRoo on the second slowest rocking motion out of five rocking settings. I mostly use the rockaRoo right after Jimmie eats. At that time, he will calmly sit in it while I eat my breakfast and drink my coffee. Not only is the swing great because Jimmie has fun in it, it’s also great because it doesn’t look like a normal baby swing. The colors really brighten up my living room, which is a dull tan color, and it’s a great conversation piece; a few of our friends refer to it as the “rocket ship.”

baby rockWhen Jimmie was first born, I wasn’t sure if he would need the newborn insert, so I held off on buying one. It turned it out that I didn’t end up needing one; he was a little over 7 pounds and almost 20 inches long and fit perfectly. Jimmie was also born with the fantastic ability to support his head after about a week, which could have been why he didn’t need the insert. If your baby isn’t as good with supporting their head right away, which most babies aren’t, I would recommend getting the insert, especially if they’re smaller than 7 pounds.