Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lincoln James: 10 Months

ok...i know it's starting to sound a little cliche, seeing as a i say it at the very beginning of every monthly update, but i can't help it. 10 MONTHS! how the heck is my baby 10 MONTHS?! how has it gone by so fast? it's not possible that in 2 short months, i'm going to have a one year old. NOT POSSIBLE.  my little man is weighing in at 20.6  lbs and around 29 inches long....the little bugger wouldn't sit still long enough for me to measure him!

you guys the last month has been so fun and so so so exhausting. little man started crawling the day before he turned 9 months and it's like he's always crawled, because this kid GETS. INTO. EVERYTHING. he is also the BIGGEST DAREDEVIL in the entire world and will crawl out of anything. ok houdini, you can stop now. his most recent near death experience happened just the other day when he decided he was going to jump/nose dive head first off the changing table. i almost had a heart attack, because i kept grabbing for him and didn't manage to catch or grab onto him until i finally grabbed the back of his t-shirt and caught him literally an inch away from the ground. the kid just looked up at me like nothing happened. meanwhile, i'm hyperventilating and pretty sure i had both a heart attack and a stoke at the tender (i.e. YOUNG) age of 25. 31. ;0p the changing table is now officially out of commission and houdini is getting changed on the floor.

he's pulling himself up on anything and everything and walking along while holding onto things. he babbles and coos and is such a happy kiddo (BIG BIG changes from when he was a little dude, sick and battling reflux like whoa). i totally claimed his "first" word since his favorite thing to babble is "mamamamamamaa" although he just started babbling "daddadaadaddda" and i'm totally convinced i heard him say "hi" and "mom" the other day. however, at the rate we're going his first real word is probably going to be "no" since i'm constantly either telling him "no no don't touch that" and also constantly telling poor porter "no!"

he has absolutely fallen in LOVE with the swings at the park. twice this month when i went to pull him out of the swings so we could leave he started crying and wanted to get back in. the first time, we had to go, so he just had to cry and get over it, but the other day, we had some time, so i put him back in and he got the biggest grin on his face. it's so cute to see him actually express what he likes and dislikes in a real way.

as much fun as this month has been, it has also been more trying than any other month. ever since our trip to New York last month, little man has completely regressed sleep-wise. we had sleep trained him and putting him down was a breeze. we were also lucky enough that he was sleeping pretty much through the night. he would go down around 7:30 and not wake up till 4:30-5, we'd give him a bottle and he would go back to sleep until 6:30-7. oh how i miss those days. now, putting him down is a NIGHTMARE (although it's been a bit better the last 2-3 days, knock on wood) and he has been getting up at 12:30-1, 3 am, 4:30 am and has decided that our new wake up time is 5:30 (SO NOT COOL!).  nap wise, he's down to two naps, and while putting him down for a nap is constantly a battle, he's napping SO MUCH BETTER than before. before he would sleep for about 30 minutes and then we'd have to pick him up and hold him for the next hour because he would wake up. the past few days he's gone down and stayed down for 1.5-2 hour naps each time!!! i'm crossing my fingers this sticks, because it has definitely helped me during the day. needless to say, between the sleep regression and the chasing a now very traveling crawler, I. AM. TIIIIIIRED.

little man and i also made another trip out to hat island over memorial day weekend with the fam. it was so fun letting him play on the beach and introducing him to the sand (which went immediately into his mouth). he wasn't such a fan of the water, but it was pretty cold, so i'm pretty sure that will eventually change. i foresee several trips this summer to the island with nana, since daddy is still working away in new york.

i know i've said it at each stage, but this one really is the best and most exhausting so far. i wish i could bottle him up and keep him a baby, but i know that's not possible and i know that's what every mom says. so instead, i'll just say i can't wait to see what the next month brings!

some quick facts:

weight: 20.6

height: 29 in

sleeps: let's not talk about it. :(

eats: little man pretty much eats whatever we eat now, although he doesn't eat as well if we're not eating with him. he just wants whatever we're having!

milestones: lincoln is crawling, pulling himself up, walking (with help), babbling and cooing.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend and Ina Garten's Watermelon, Feta & Arugula Salad

hello! hello! and happy wednesday! i hope this day finds you well rested after the long weekend.

little man and i are back and recovering from an awesome memorial day weekend at my parent's beach house on the west side. it was a long weekend full of fun. we introduced lincoln to the beach (hello sand in mouth!) and the ocean (not such a fan ....#brrrrrmom!) and ate tons and tons of delicious food, because what else do you do at the beach besides relax and eat? and if you don't do those things, we can't be friends. ;0p

below are a few pictures from the weekend, but what i really want to talk about is this AMAZING salad we made. we made it friday night and again sunday night, and probably would have made it saturday night too, but we had a party to go to, and then you know what else. i came home and made it again last night for myself. it was that good.

it's Ina Garten's Watermelon, Feta & Arugula Salad, but what takes it over the top is the awesome homemade dressing she pairs with it. this will definitely be my go to salad for the summer, so if you feel like inviting me to your next bbq, you know what i'll be bringing!

here's the link to her recipe here. the only change i made was to add a little red onion. yum!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful mama's out there! today is my first official mother's day, since last year, little man was still just a bun in my ever growing oven ;0)

i want to take a moment to say a very special happy mother's day to three special mama's in my life. the first one, you can probably guess, is my own mama. she has been hands down the best mom a girl could ask for, even though like most mother/daughter duos we've had our trying moments ;0)

she has taught me how to be a great mom by showing me a wonderful example of one. she is always there to wipe our tears, laugh with us...heck she even taught me how to throw my first spit wad ;0) this past year she has not only been an amazing mom, she's been an even better nana. while husband has been away in New York working this year, she has been at my house almost every single day to lend a hand, or relieve me. this has meant so so so so much to me. lincoln loves his nana and it's such a joy to see his little face light up when she walks in the room. so, without boring you all to pieces, happy mother's day mom!!!! we love you more than you know!

the next mama is my big sister. she was the first one of us to become a mama, and has done an absolutely AMAZING job raising my niece Ocean all by herself. she's kind, loving, crafty, and knows how to have a good time. she's not afraid to get down and dirty with the little ones and truly gives everything she's got to everyone she comes in contact with. she's raised a smart, confident, fun little girl, who is becoming quite the strong-willed young woman. amy, you are the best mom to ocean, the best sister to me and the best aunt to lincoln. happy mother's day!!

the third special mama in my life is my mother in law. she's raised one heck of a young man who I'm lucky enough to call my husband. i hope that i can raise lincoln to be as kind, gentle, smart and loving of a man as his daddy is. chong gives everything she's got and loves her son like no other. she now shares that love with lincoln and myself, and we're so very lucky to have her in our lives. happy mother's day chong!

to all you mama's out there, new or seasoned, happy happy mother's day! i hope the people in your life are spoiling you rotten today! you deserve it!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Homemade Acai Bowl

i have a new obsession! acai bowls. you guys, i've eaten one every single day this week. mostly for breakfast and tonight, i had one for dinner. they're so stinking good. i LOVE it when something that is so good for you also tastes so delicious that you can't get enough.

i tried my first acai parfait at a local juice cafe in downtown spokane, method juice cafe. i immediately fell in love (so did my little dude ;0) and realized quickly that i was going to need to start making them at home or my wallet was going to hurt. i searched everywhere in spokane for acai smoothie packs and couldn't find them anywhere!

so i did my research and found out that they sold sambazon smoothie packs in Coeur d' Alene at the Pilgrim's health market. score! so when little man and i went out to CDA last sunday to hang with my bestie, i made sure to stop by and pick up a couple of packs. i already need to go back because i literally have had one every single day now, and my supply is running low.

while sambazon shares a recipe for a smoothie bowl on the back of their packets, i've found that i like my bowls a little thicker, so here's the recipe i use below!

Acai Smoothie Bowl
serves one

1 Sambazon Smoothie Pack
1 banana
1/3 cup granola
berries/fruit of your choosing
2 tbsp peanut butter, melted
1/4 c coconut water, almond milk, coconut milk or non-dairy liquid of your choosing

run the smoothie pack under warm water for about 5 seconds. just long enough so that you can break it up into pieces. this will make blending much easier. place the broken up acai pieces into your blender along with 1 banana and 1/4 cup of the non-dairy liquid of your choosing. (i like coconut water or coconut milk). blend until smooth.

pour smoothie into a bowl. top with 1/3 cup of granola, chopped berries or fruit of your choosing, and drizzle the melted peanut butter over the top.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Traveling with a Little One

hello and happy almost hump day! as i mentioned in little man's 9 month update, we just got back from visiting husband in new york so today i thought i'd write a little bit about my experience traveling with a little one. having only flown with him to and from new york, i am by no means an expert, but here are a few things i did learn.

on the flight to new york, i had my husband with me, so i felt much better about making the trip there. an extra set of hands was definitely helpful. on the way home, however, i was flying by myself, so i took the time to make sure i was there early, had a decent layover in between flights so i wasn't rushing with the little one and talked (made nice) with the flight attendants so that if lincoln did end up having the dreaded meltdown on the plane, at least they'd be nice to me, haha!

before our flight, i reached out to friends with little ones who had already flown with babes, and that was so very helpful! they almost  all had the same things to say. be prepared by packing lots of diapers, changes of clothes (for both you and baby!), plenty of formula/breast milk, snacks, and a favorite/new toy. bring your stroller with you and an ergo/wrap so you can push baby/luggage through the airport and gate check those larger items. most of them suggested trying to get a window seat, but i found it was better to be in the aisle (but more about that later).

let's talk about what to pack first! in my diaper bag went 10 diapers (seriously 10!) and plenty of wipes. we were traveling all day and i wanted to be prepared. two changes of clothes for baby and an extra shirt for me (little man still has a tendency to spit up), burp rag, bib, a blanket, squeezable baby food (life saver!), teething biscuits and baby "puffs" for him to snack on, a couple of teethers, a rattle and a few other random toys i knew he liked.  i also packed 3 empty bottles and individually packaged formula packs.  we purchased bottled water once we got through security to mix with the formula (for you nursing mamas who want to bring breast milk through security, i would just call the airport ahead of time and make sure you won't have an issue. everything i've read has suggested that you shouldn't!) i also had my wallet, cell phone, etc. i can honestly say i used each and every one of these items and while i probably didn't need 10 diapers, i was happy to have more than enough as opposed to running out. the extra set of clothes was perfect too, because we had a little feeding mishap on one of our layovers and i ended up squeezing food all over the poor little guys shirt.

we made sure to bring our stroller and this was a lifesaver! our stroller is big enough that it could hold an entire duffel bag on the bottom and i could hook the diaper bag onto the handle, so having it to carry both our luggage and the little guy meant that i could be hands free while being in the airport. it was super easy to gate check (you get to board the plane early with little ones, so you have plenty of time to fold up the stroller as you're boarding the plane and leave it at the gate) and if the little guy fell asleep during our layover (he did on the way home) he could sleep peacefully in the stroller and i didn't have to sit and hold him.

we also brought our ergo, but i think we could have gone without this. i had it with me, particularly for on the way back, thinking if i had my hands full with baby/luggage, i could just strap him on me and then put suitcases, etc. in the stroller and push. i never ended up using it and found it easier to just check the luggage and just have the stroller, diaper bag and baby with me.

on the flight there, we had a window seat and a middle seat and then on another flight we had an aisle seat and a middle seat. the perk of having a window seat is you can distract the little one by having him look out the window. everything is so new to them that it can hold their interests for a while. i think this would be a great idea for toddler aged kiddos, but for the younger ones (under one) i found having an aisle seat was much better. lincoln got fussy (ok all out screamed for the first 20 minutes or so of our second flight on the way to NY) and it wasn't until i got up with him and walked to the back of the plane and rocked him to sleep that he calmed down. had we been stuck with the window seat and had to disturb people sitting next to us with a screaming baby, id on't know how well that would have gone down. having that aisle seat allowed me to get up quickly and calm him down quickly. it was also nice to let him sit and "play" in the aisle while we were flying and after the flight attendants served drinks/snacks. it gave my mama arms a rest! ;0p

i think this next little tip is probably already well known, but i'll just reiterate it quickly here anyways. make sure to feed your little one a bottle or give them a pacifier on both take off and landing so their little ears don't start to hurt! if you can't get them to take either, and they aren't sleeping, i found having snacks on hand helped too. at least this way their chewing/swallowing and hopefully that will help their ears "pop."

when it came to boarding the plane, it's pretty easy. if you're traveling with little ones they let you board early so you can get yourself situated. i made sure to take advantage of that and unpack everything i thought i would "need" and put it in the seat pocket right away so i wasn't having to constantly get out of my seat and into my bag. when it came to getting off the plane, i got up and moved to the back of the plane (by the flight attendants) and let everyone off before me, because i knew it would take me longer to pack up my stuff and get me and baby off the plane. this was just a little way i tried to be considerate of people who may of been in a hurry and i think it went a long way/people appreciated it.

finally, since we were flying across the country i knew we were going to have to stop. we made sure to give ourselves a longer layover on the way home when i was traveling by myself, so i wouldn't feel rushed or have to run through an airport with a baby. this was huge. it was really nice to be able to take my time getting off the plane and then have time to get food for both lincoln and myself, change his diaper, and give him some time to play/stretch his legs before getting cooped up on the plane again. if you aren't in a hurry and time allows, i would highly recommend giving yourself a little time to get from one flight to another.

overall, with the exception of the 20 minutes i mentioned above, all of our flights were super successful! little man either slept or cooed and played with the people around us. we were super lucky to be sitting next to very nice people who "played" with the baby and the flight attendants were wonderful and made sure we had everything we needed.

one last tip...i mentioned that i "made nice" with the flight attendants on each flight. this really paid off on my flight home because they ended up switching me seats so that i would have an empty seat next to me which gave me more room and allowed lincoln to play a little bit. this was HUGE! and a highly recommend checking in before each flight to see if the flight is full or not. if not, it never hurts to ask to get moved to a seat with an empty one next to you if you're traveling with a lap infant. that extra room is everything!!