Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Our Little Thumb-Sucker

I think it's a pretty safe bet that Harper won't need Binky Bootcamp like Shyla did. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I think I would prefer it if she took to a binky instead of her thumb but I guess it's not up to me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

WW - week 4

If you will remember, I gained 0.8 pounds at my last weigh-in. Although I was determined to do better the next time, I was looking at a tough week because we went out of town on vacation. Here's what I was up against and how it went:

  • I knew I would be getting a few runs in due to the cooler weather and the extra babysitters staying at the cabin with us. I only ran twice, but that was probably better than I would have done in town.
  • The water up there is delicious! I drank a lot of it!
  • I knew Chelsea would bring lots of fruits and veggies. She did and I ate them! Thanks Sis!

  • I knew we would eat fast-food at least twice: once on the trip there and once on the trip back. We ate McDonalds on the way there, Taco Bell on the way home, and McDonalds once while we were there.
  • My grandparents always have yummy snacks around them. They had there snacks but I was able to resist most of them, and when I did indulge it was with one of Grandma's 100 calorie packs. I know if I start snacking, I cannot stop; therefore it's much better for me not to start.
  • My grandma makes the best homemade donuts! I made it through the weekend by only eating 1/3 of a donut! Amazing! Shyla, however, ate a lot!
As far as tracking and counting points, I scrapped it for the week.

So, as today is Tuesday it is a school-day for Shyla and a Weight Watcher day for me and Harper. However, Shyla woke up early and cranky so I kept her home from school. She fell back asleep at 9 AM so we missed my usual 10 AM meeting but somehow made it to the 12 PM one. I was worried that Shyla would be a distraction at the meeting, but I really wanted to weigh today. I wasn't too optimistic about the weigh-in but was anxious to start with a clean slate for this upcoming week.

I bought a bag of stuff for her to play with during the meeting including the crayons and coloring book you see below:

I also brought along 2 cuties for her to snack on:

She was a really good girl through the whole meeting!

I was very pleasantly surprised to have lost weight: over 3 pounds of weight in fact! I'm perplexed about how that happened but I am pleased and motivated for the week ahead.

Week 3 Weight LOSS: 3.4 pounds

Total Weight Loss: 9.2 pounds

Pounds to Goal: 35.6 pounds

Monday, September 26, 2011

Have Swing - Will Travel

A few months ago my BFF, Beth, and I had a conversation that went something like this:

ME: I just hope Harper sleeps better than Shyla did. I mean, I can remember nights when Shyla wasn't sleeping so Stevie would put her in her car seat...

BETH: Yeah, and drive around?

ME: No, he'd put her in her car seat then just swing her back and forth and back and forth. Too bad there's nothing that could do that for him.


ME: Oh yeah, I guess there is something that does that!

BETH: Why don't you borrow Sadie's swing while Harper is a baby?

ME: Cool.

So we borrowed the swing and Harper quickly became very accustomed to it. It has become part of our routine. Each night around 5:30 Harper gets the fussies. So I hold her and feed her and walk with her. Then Stevie holds her and walks with her. Then we bathe her. Then I feed her and walk some more. Around 8:00 we put her in the swing, swinging, with the music playing and the mobile moving. She calms down and falls asleep and eventually someone carries her back to her bassinet in our room. Where she sleeps all night like an angel!

It's a great routine and it works.

Until we broke the routine.

We recently took a 4 day vacation to the White Mountains and were unable to pack the swing. Bad idea. The first night we were up with her until about 11 PM, then next night it was about 10:30 PM, and the third night it was about 10 PM (with my mom rocking her for literally hours).

Last night we were home again and she was snoozing by 8:30 PM - in her beloved swing. It took an extra 30 minutes because the batteries were dead so we had to swing it manually and the mobile wasn't moving and there was no music. Today I bought a 10 pack of batteries.

We have a few trips coming up and you can be sure we will have that swing with us!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Our Weekend in Pinetop!

This weekend we took Harper on her first vacation! My parents bought a cabin in the White Mountains about 22 years ago. It is a favorite destination for us all and it holds numerous memories. Now our kids are starting to enjoy it and I can only dream of all the fun yet to come in that barn-shaped cabin!

The best part of the weekend was that we got to spend it with Grandma Barbara and Grandpa Pop who are in route back to Tucson after 4 months in Michigan.

We left on Thursday morning (after a slight delay due to my passenger window not going up) and had a relatively uneventful drive. For the 2 hour drive to Globe we were telling Shyla that when we got there we were going to eat McDonalds and have play-time in the playground. That promise is what kept the whining to a minimum. When we got to Globe we ate McDonalds but they got rid of the playground. Oops! Oh well, there's not much that an ice cream sundae can't fix for a 2 year old. And even though I swore I would never give my kids a DVD player for a car-ride, we gave her a DVD player and 99 minutes of Yo Gabba Gabba and it was like a gift from heaven. (Isn't it amazing what we say we will "never do" as parents, before actually becoming parents?)

The rest of the family came Friday. Here are some pics from the trip:

We are always trying to get a picture of all the grandkids together and we did! Amazing!

The tire-swing was a hit!

Every girl should be carried through a flower patch at some point.

See, I told you the tire-swing was a hit!

Grandma Barbara got to meet Harper for the first time!

My cutie pie!

And that tire-swing again!

Smiles from the baby!

Harper's first slide.

It was a truly awesome weekend! We had a blast and we had lots of uninterrupted family time! The kids behaved themselves really well and we are so happy to be building more memories!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

WW - week 3

Last week when I lost 4.2 pounds I was really excited to write this post. So excited that I did it even though I knew Harper needed to eat. I felt happy and motivated and proud.

This week is a different story.

I'd like to not write this post, but I am making myself do it. I am making myself do it because I have made a promise to myself that this time I am in it for the long-haul, for the ups and downs, and I am determined to succeed. Even when my ego is hurt.

This week I gained 0.8 pounds.

It's funny - when you lose less than 1 pound you still feel good and you still celebrate. However when you gain less than 1 pound you're told, "well it's only less than a pound. No biggie."

In a way, though, I am glad I didn't lose this week. This is because I didn't really deserve to lose and if I had lost anyway I could/would rationalize more bad decisions in the weeks to come.

I didn't drink enough water all week so this week I am going to make that a goal.
We ate Lucky Wishbone for dinner one night. Yummy? Yes. Light? No way.
I indulged in 2 servings of Blueberry Cobbler A La Mode and a bag of Salt & Vinegar Chips.

Am I frustrated? Yes.
Am I confident about the week ahead? No.
Am I going to stick with it? Yes.
Am I tired of asking and answering my own questions? Yes.

Here is where I currently and heftily stand:

Week 3 Weight GAIN: 0.8 pounds

Total Weight Loss: 5.8 pounds

Pounds to Goal: 39 pounds

Monday, September 19, 2011

Harper looking Heavenly in Hats

Like my alliteration?

The other day we came across a few cute baby hats so we had to try them on. And then we, of course, had to take some pictures.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Don't you just love her? I know I do.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Post-Harper 5K

This morning Harper and I completed our first 5K since she was born.

The race benefitted The Ben's Bells Project and My Team Triumph.

It was tough since I haven't been running much and it was a tough course. It started and ended on a wet baseball field; pushing Harper through the thick grass was a struggle. But, due to My Team Triumph, there were dozens of people pushing their handicapped kids through it too. It was equally motivating and inspiring.

We were slow, but we did it. Lots of people ooohhhhed and ahhhhhed at Harper and the timing was perfect! She didn't need to eat until we were in the privacy of our own home with a Starbucks in hand!

I had forgotten my camera, so we had to wait until we got home to take our race picture. You can't see it but Harper is wearing our finisher's medal which is a Ben's Bell. You also can't see it but she is appropriately dressed in an Under Armor UofA onesie compliments of our good friend, Linda. You also can't see it but Harper is thrilled and proud of her mommy.

Eight weeks and counting to our next half-marathon. It might be time to think about training, if I plan to break my habit of not training for things. We shall see.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Harper is 2 Months and Well-Baby Check!

Today is Harper's 2-month birthday! I cannot believe that is has been 2 months already. It sounds so cliche but time has really flown by. Much too quickly - I'd like to slow it down a bit!

Big sister Shyla loves to look at her Baby Sister. Really closely apparently. She also likes to kiss her and tell me when she poops.

Look at that mop of hair. It cracks me up!

This sassy girl is already sticking her tongue out at the camera!

Today we, of course, did our 2 month photo-shoot. It was a little hurried, though, as we had to take the pictures in between Shyla's emotional break-downs.

We also saw Dr. Terry today for her 2-month well-baby check and it went great!

She now weighs 10 pounds, 11 ounces and is in the 50th percentile for height, weight, and head circumference. She is "practically perfect in every way" just like Mary Poppins.

Dr. Terry also explained why she isn't pooping very often. Apparently my milk is just that perfect that there is very little left-over. Her body is using every part of it and, obviously, thriving! Yay me!

Harper got 3 immunizations today and Shyla got her flu shot. Shy was such a good girl (she didn't even yell at Dr. Terry) that we stopped for a cookie on the way home and she ended up covered in chocolate.

In other news Harper slept all night last night! From 8 PM to 6 AM she slept! She is only 2 months old ... this puts her approximately 16 months ahead of Shyla's schedule. I know it was probably just a fluke, but it was a lovely fluke.

But wouldn't you know it, Shyla woke up twice last night. Dios mio!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Don't Forget to Vote, Please!

Look at this precious girl:

We entered this picture into a contest for a free photo-shoot. We would really like to win the photo-shoot to do our annual family picture.

Would you please vote for it, if you haven't done so already?

Here's how to do it:
1) "Like" Stellar Image Photography on Facebook
2) Find their album titled Photo Contest
3) "Like" the above picture of Harper

That's it! Easy-peasy! The contest ends on Friday, September 16th. So don't wait and feel free to pass this along to your friends.

Thank you!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

WW - week 2

As promised, here is an update on my weight-loss journey:

Today I was down 4.2 pounds! Hooray! For a total of 6.6 pounds so far!

I should say, however, that I had an empty stomach because I didn't have time to eat this morning, I had just finished a morning job with Harper, and she had recently nursed.

For this accomplishment Weight Watchers gave me a 5 pound sticker! (I think I am more motivated by those stickers than my 6th graders are!) I also had the opportunity to share something that worked this week. Believe me, I had lots of brilliant things to say but when put on the spot, I came up with nothing. Absolutely nothing. It's amazing how much easier it is to talk in front of kids than your peers. Next time I plan to be more prepared.

For this 5 pound accomplishment I gave myself a Pumpkin Spice Latte (3 points) and a gift-card to I-Tunes!

My "workout jams" playlist on my IPOD is exhausted and dated. My plan is to use it while I train then switch it up using my gift-card to a newer, fresher playlist. I will use it for the first time for the Coronado Half-Marathon to hopefully propel myself to a new personal record.

One thing that worked this week:
I challenged myself to make my plates of food as full as possible, for the lowest point value. This means using lots of fresh fruits and vegetables! Yummy!

Week 2 Weight Loss: 4.2 pounds

Total Weight Loss: 6.6 pounds

Pounds to Goal: 38.2

Question: what songs do you recommend for my playlist that pump you up?

Monday, September 12, 2011

All You Need is a Pair of Shoes....

I heard it said once that to be a runner all you needed was a pair of shoes.

Well, be that as it may, I think there are plenty of other things that make running SO MUCH MORE enjoyable.

For one, girls, you need a GOOD sports bra. After years and years of wearing 2 sports bras I was recently fitted for a GOOD one. More on that in another post...maybe. Suffice it to say, I went to Fleet Feet, got fitted, and got a good sports bra (thanks Mom!)

You also need sunblock, a hat, sunglasses, and some really cute workout clothes!

And tunes...

Now, a simple IPOD will do. It will provide you with the tunes needed to break-up the monotony or interrupt the voices in your head (once my IPOD froze-up at the starting line of a half-marathon and I was forced to listen to those voices for 2.5 excruciating hours).

But, about a year ago I purchased a Nike+IPOD and my life was forever changed.

Look at how cute it is:

The Nike+ part is simply that little white thing plugged into the bottom of my IPOD. I put a quarter next to it to show how small it is.

Note: that may also be the one and only negative to the is so small I cannot believe I haven't lost it yet. In an ironic twist, I have had the most success storing it in an empty pudding container.

Here's the second part of it:

See my left shoe, that little pocket holds the second and last part of it. That's it!

Note: that thing you see on my right shoe is my Road ID. I think anyone who exercises outside should have one. It has my emergency information in case, God forbid, something should happen to me while out on a run (thanks, again, Mom!).

Okay, let's go for a walk!

Shoes? Check.
Sports Bra? Check.
Kids? Check.

You'll notice I don't have Shyla in shoes. This has become a tactical strategy to keep her in the stroller instead of getting out and running (not that I have anything against youth fitness, of course).
And, yes, Harper is in there too! Don't worry!

The beautiful thing about the Nike+IPOD is that it keeps track of your pace and time and distance. You can check it out as you are exercising, and at the completion of your workout it will break it down for you as such.

It also keeps a history and you can upload your workouts to the Nike website where you can join groups, participate in challenges, or just keep track of your progress.

So, no, I think you need more than just shoes for a good run.

What kind of exercise do you do?
What paraphernalia do you recommend for it?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Harper's Nighttime Fussies

As I have said before, Harper is like an angel child. She is beautiful and mellow and usually calm. She is also predictable.

Each day she smiles and looks around and plays. She lets me know when she's hungry and she eats. And then she sleeps and relaxes.

Each night, usually around 5:30 or 6:00 PM she gets the fussies. It's almost as if she saves it up all day to unleash at night.

I know, it's hard to believe that this doll-face is ever fussy!

But, believe me, it is true.

Thankfully, Stevie is usually home by the time she starts.

We have found 2 things that help ease the fussies though:

She seems to like being held like this, and it usually calms for her a few minutes.

She also calms down for a bath (sorry that it's upside-down!)

Eventually she falls asleep and the fussies are gone and we do it all again the next day!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hooray for Dan & Erin!

So I know you've heard me talk about Dan and Erin before....

Dan and Stevie have been friends pretty much forever. Dan was Stevie's bestman, Stevie was Dan's bestman. They are two of the nicest, funniest boys who graduated with us.

Dan and I have been friends since sophomore year. He humored me through three years of "lunch with Dan day" and has the rare quality of making everybody around him feel important.

Dan went away to college and met Erin. I could, quite literally, compose paragraph after paragraph explaining how amazing Erin is and how much we love her and how much she and I have in common. (Coincidently, I also have a lot in common with her sister, but that's another topic for another post!) She is intelligent and funny and compassionate and beautiful. Suffice it to say that we love Erin and everything about her.

We think of Dan and Erin as a Power-Couple and we truly admire them and the way they live their lives.


When Shyla was born it was pretty much a no-brainer that we would ask them to be her godparents. Here is how we asked them:

They said yes and we had her baptized into the catholic church in August 2009.

Now that we have our beautiful Harper Ann in our lives, it was again a no-brainer to ask Dan and Erin to be her godparents as well. Here is how we asked them:

They said yes and we are in the process of planning the baptism.

We were lucky enough to see the Power-Couple this past weekend as they were visiting for Labor Day. Whenever Erin or I am around there will be pictures taken. Here are a couple:

This is one of my most favorite pictures ever! Both Dan and Erin look great, Shyla is thrilled to be with her godparents and she is amazingly looking at the camera, and Harper has a sly little smile that I'm sure we will see for many years.

The only thing I don't like about this picture is my husband in the background. Go ahead, see him? He looks silly and now that I have seen him I cannot look at anything else! I'm probably going to have to photoshop this picture to get him out of there!

Dan and Erin with their soon-to-be second goddaughter. There will probably be few occasions in the years to come where Shyla isn't pictured, so this could be a collector's item.

Uncle Dan with Harpey!

Auntie Erin with Harpey!

We sincerely appreciate Dan and Erin taking on this roll in the lives of both our girls and for being such great friends to us.

Fo sho!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Will You Help Me?

A friend of mine from middle school is now a photographer and is hosting a facebook giveaway that I am trying to win!

Will you help me?

All you have to do is "like" Stellar Image Photography. (click the link)

Then find the pictures below of my girls and "like" them.

The contest starts on September 12th. Starting that day will you vote for my girls? You can probably vote daily...but I'm not sure of that!

Seriously, look at how cute they are:

Strike a pose!

Her shirt says "adorable" so it must be true!

Binky Bootcamp!

Take a look at these first three pictures of my beautiful Shyla May:

Notice what they have in common? Yep, that pesky binky!

Now, to be clear, I have nothing against a binky. There are lots of positive uses for it and Shyla's binky has been a very important comfort to her through the past two years.

Dr. Terry (her pediatrician) did not say we had to take the binky away. He just doesn't like 2-3 year olds to talk with them in because they can affect speech development.

Dr. Pria (her pediatric dentist) did not say we had to take it away because binky use doesn't affect permanent teeth placement and because she let her son keep his until he was three.

But, we felt it was time. Truly, I believe Shyla would have been ready to say bye-bye-binky months ago, but I wasn't ready. I wasn't ready to listen to her whine and/or cry about it. Especially while welcoming Harper into our lives.

And thus began Binky Bootcamp.

It was simple:

Thursday, August 25th: We started telling Shyla that it was almost time to say goodbye to the binky. We talked about it, and talked about it, and talked about it.
Did she hear us? Yes.
Did she understand? Probably not.

3 days later:

Sunday, August 28th: Binky was only available to her during nap-time and bedtime. And we stuck to it. When she wasn't in her crib, we stored to binky on her IPOD shelf so she could see it and know it was safe, but couldn't reach it.
Did she ask for it? Yes.
Did she whine for it? A little.
Each time she asked for it we said, "No. Binkies are for sleeping only. But, you are doing such a great job and we are so proud of you and you are such a big girl!"

I even wrote a note to her teachers so they would use the same reply at school.

Five days later:

Friday, September 2nd: We went to Peter Piper Pizza to celebrate because she did AWESOME! We are SO proud of how she handled herself all week. She is such a big girl. And she has such a beautiful face and I love that we can see it now!

My favorite part: She does not try to steal Harper's binky and she LOVES being the one to give it to her when she cries. Amazing.

WW - week 1

I rejoined Weight Watchers last week.

This is my 4th attempt.

Fourth time is a charm, right?

The problem with Weight Watchers is that it works too well. It works so well that I become overly confident and I dropout because I don't want to pay anymore. Then I fail. It is a vicious cycle; and one that I am determined to overcome this time. I am determined to hit goal and become lifetime. Fo sho!

Anyway, while on maternity leave I will be attending meetings on Tuesday mornings so come back each Tuesday afternoon for a check on how I am doing.

Week 1 Weight Loss: 2.4 pounds

Total Weight Loss: 2.4 pounds

Pounds to Goal: 42.4

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Crazy Hair and Smiles!

My girls have a lot in common.

For one thing, they both have crazy hair sometimes.

For another thing, thankfully, they both like to smile.

See what I mean:

Shyla with crazy hair and a smile.

Shyla with crazy hair and a smile.

Harper with crazy hair and a smile.

Harper with crazy hair and a smile.
This is just a close up of Harper crazy post-bath hair. Rumor has it that Stevie's hair always stuck-up when he was a baby and I think we're seeing the result here in Harper's hair.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my girls and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my family exactly as it is. I am a lucky girl!