Our year with Abbie

16 Dec

Abbie will be turning one year old in 5 days and I am still in denial about the whole thing! This year has been the most challenging, stressful, wonderful, crazy, and joyful year of my entire life.

I wouldn’t change a thing that we have gone through.

To be honest, and perhaps a bit selfish as well, I feel like the “one year” milestone of the first child is not just for the birthday girl (or boy). It is a HUGE milestone for the mom as well! I mean…I survived a year of breastfeeding (still going strong!), a terrible postpartum healing journey, a year of constant night wakings, losing the 40 pounds of baby weight (plus some extra….72 pounds total!), change in the dynamics of our marriage/relationship (a baby changes EVERYTHING!), and most importantly I kept my baby alive and healthy!

Despite all of the challenges that come with adjusting to parenthood, Abbie has been the biggest JOY of our lives! She definitely lives up to her name’s meaning 😉

I have seen her larger- than- life personality shine and I am beginning to get  a sense of who she is as a person….it is just amazing. Our little fireball is full of determination, wonder, happiness, adventure, and LOVE!

I see SO much of my personality in her. She is so determined, so strong, and so goofy!

I see SO much of my husband in her looks. Her baby blue eyes, her happy little smile, her albino  fair skin.

She is such a mix of us both. Such a sweet little girl. The joy of our lives 🙂

Here is our year of Abbie in pictures!

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Aaaand…no “12 month” photo yet since it isn’t official yet 🙂 But we had an awesome “turning one” photo shoot with our amazing friend, Katya, and I am so excited to show you all the photos once they are done.

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*sigh* ….my heart is so full.  (and so is my garage… embarrassing!)

Look out for an “officially one” post where I can gush over my daughter some more. I’ll talk MUCH less about me and more about her 😉 hehe.

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Trick Or Treat!…or not…

31 Oct

We had big plans to take Abbie trick-or-treating on her first Halloween, but she was ready for bed before we got a chance to eat dinner!

So we just took pictures in her costume, put her to bed, ate dinner, and watched Downton Abbey.

This was our first year not handing out candy to trick- or- treaters (didn’t want to wake Abbie with the knocking or doorbell!). So it was definitely a different Halloween…but then again, everything is different when you have a baby 😉

We are so looking forward to next year! Here are some pics of the evening.

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Pinterest FAIL: homemade tortillas

29 Oct

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Mmmmm. Warm, homemade tortillas. Sounds pretty good, right? When I saw this pic on Pinterest, I just had to pin it and try it out for myself! Seemed easy enough….flour, vegetable shortening, salt, and warm water. Who could mess that up?!

…..me. I could.

Normally I’m a pretty good chef and I love trying new recipes (or making up my own). But I totally jacked this recipe up. Looking back, it could very well be the fact that I used rice flour. But whatever.

You are supposed to mix the flour and shortening together with your hands “until the shortening is no longer visible”. Well, shortening is white. Flour is white. How am I supposed to know if it isn’t visible when it all looks the same! I mixed it for a decent amount of time since I had no idea what “no longer visible” meant. It all seemed the same consistency when I was done so I figured that was enough.

Then, with a fork you mix in “very warm tap water with 3/4 tsp dissolved in it”. Done. Easy.

Once I did that, I was supposed to kneed the dough into a ball, separate that into 12 balls, and let them sit for about 30 minutes before rolling into a tortilla shape.

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This is what I ended up with. A big doughy ball with a weird consistency. Then I tried to roll it out….and it kept crumbling around the edges.

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I should have just stopped my endeavor right here. This has fail written all over it. It felt more like nasty, stale playdough rather than soft tortilla dough.

Then I thought I might as well try frying it. Just for kicks to see what would happen….

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Fail, fail, fail.

I guess there is no hope for homemade rice tortillas. We ended up just eating taco salads for dinner and they were delicious (and carb-free! 🙂 )

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Ignore my dirty kitchen and strange face. My husband said “try to look sad, disappointed, and grossed out all at the same time”…what?

The summary: I probably won’t be attempting these again.

Easy Recipe #3: Sarah’s Fall Soup

16 Sep

So I totally made this recipe up….although I’m sure if I searched enough, I could find a recipe pretty darn similar to it. That’s the funny thing about soups, I guess. Either way, this recipe totally hits the spot if you are looking for a warm, healthy, and hearty dinner that you can let simmer in a pot all afternoon.

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  • 1.5 pounds ground turkey
  • 5 carrots sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 2 cups kale (not pictured)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
  • 2-3 cups water (you COULD use chicken stock if you want more flavor)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oregano
  • Rice

You just need one pot, a couple of hours, and you’ll have a meal!

Cook down the turkey and onions, add the carrots and cook (with the lid on) until soft, add the rest of the ingredients (except the rice), and cook as long as you want! The longer you cook it, the more flavorful it will be 🙂 I cooked ours for 2 hours and served it over rice.  It was delish! Enjoy!

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Air travel with Abbie

10 Sep

We took a flight to Minneapolis on 9/2 and I thought I would share our experience because I know how stressed parents get when they are flying with babies. Because, let’s face it, babies can be pretty unpredictable and traveling is stressful as it is.

We booked our flight back in June and I had been stressing/ worrying about how Abbie would do on a plane ever since then. I researched and googled “flying with an 8 month old” multiple times, watched Youtube videos on the topic, and grabbed all the magazines that had articles about baby travel. All of the info I read was great, but honestly nothing made me less nervous about our pending flight.

Abbie actually ended up LOVING the flight so I wanted to share some tips for air travel with an 8- month old. I think these tips would work for any baby, you would just need to modify things based on your individual baby.  Anyways….here are the things that worked well for us!

Tip #1: Pack smart! Here is what we packed in our “diaper bag” (we actually used a large tote bag for the plane and packed her empty diaper bag in our checked baggage):

1. A Ziploc freezer bag filled with new toys. I went to the $1 section at target and bought some fun toys and made sure I didn’t show them to Abbie before the trip. I got a little bath toy that is meant to squirt water (she enjoys being shot in the face with air….weird, I know), an ABC picture book, and a little duck that quacks. Bare essentials are key. These three toys were perfect for a 3 hour flight. Between those and my empty cup that I got from the flight attendant, Abbie was entertained the entire time!

2. 5 diapers along with wipes. We really only used 2 diapers, but I like to feel prepared. You never know when you will have a blow out or leaky diaper.

3. 2 extra onesies. Again…prepared 🙂 We didn’t use either of them but you never know!

4.  Nursing cover

5. Extra blankets. I packed two and used these for peek-a-boo, laying one on the airport floor to change a diaper, and covering her on the cold plane.

6. Sanitizing wipes. The nice thing about flying with an infant is that you can board early. Once we were on the plane, I held Abbie and Justin wiped down our seats, the window, the seat belt, the trays, the arm rests….pretty much everything in sight because Abbie likes to put EVERYTHING in her mouth.

7. A quart-sized bag with our liquids: hand sanitizer, teething gel, and diaper cream.

8.  Snacks for myself since I have diet restrictions

9.   Nursing pillow. This is optional- but since I usually still nurse with the Boppy I wanted Abbie to have a comfort from home with her wherever we went . It was also much more comfortable for her to sleep on when she fell asleep nursing on the plane 🙂

Tip #2: Nurse during take off and landing! This helps take pressure off the ears and calm the baby. This is a pretty popular piece of advice so most of you have probably heard this before. If you don’t nurse, have a pacifier or a bottle/ sippy cup on hand.

Tip #3: Wear your baby through security! This way, you don’t have to worry about getting asked for a body scan. We pushed the travel system (Stroller/ car seat) through security and just checked it at the gate. This was also great for holding our carry on luggage! Here’s what we looked like rolling through the airport. Ignore the blurry photo and my morning hair haha.

Tip #4: Go with the flow! 🙂  You can plan all you want, but you just can’t control how a baby is going to react to any given situation. Just be calm, cool, and collected and pray that your baby feeds off of your cues. We approached the entire ordeal with excitement and tried to show Abbie how exciting and fun this was (but on the inside, I was a nervous wreck haha). I really believe that the way YOU go about the situation says a lot to your baby. But , hey, melt downs happen. You just have to do go with it. This happened to us when we were on the taxi on the way home, but I just nursed Abbie and she calmed right down and fell asleep.

That’s really all there is to it! Just keep it simple 🙂 Happy travels!

Rethinking Birth

29 Aug

I know twelve friends/ acquaintances (do old friends on Facebook count as acquaintances?) who are pregnant. TWELVE! Something is definitely in the water.
With all of these baby showers, nursery makeovers, and gender reveals going on…I am definitely getting a slight case of baby fever. Let me emphasize SLIGHT.
I find myself thinking that now is a perfect time to get pregnant with baby #2. We do, after all, want our children to be somewhat close in age.

But to be honest, that’s where my “baby itch” stops. Right at the thought of it. When I think of giving birth again, I always tell myself “never again!”. It wasn’t the act of giving birth, it was everything that went into it: being overdue, back labor, LONG labor, the Pitocin, the epidural, severely tearing (the worst thing of them all. Took 6 months to heal!), and feeling out of control of my birth. The more I have been thinking about it and relive those almost 40 hours of labor/ delivery, the more I realize I have some major issues that I have to hash out with myself before I have another baby. I feel very cheated of a beautiful and natural birth experience and I wonder all the time what could have been done differently.

Many people say that you just have to jump back on the horse and no two births are alike….but I am TERRIFIED of having to have another hospital birth and going through that healing process again. I prayed SO hard for Abbie’s birth to be natural and drug-free, but I feel like everything was backwards. Nothing went the way we hoped and prayed it would ….and I don’t see God’s reasoning behind any of it (not that I have to….He is in complete control. Don’t get me wrong!).

I’ve been watching a lot of natural birth documentaries and that is helping me understand more of what “went wrong” with Abbie’s birth. I could have relaxed a lot more in the beginning of labor, I could have gotten less “membrane strips”, I could have exercised more, I could have rested more in early labor, etc, etc. I think I will just drive myself crazy thinking about all of the things that could have gone better. And if I continue getting jealous of all my friends who have wonderful birth stories…that will drive me crazy as well. And jealousy rots the bones (Proverbs 14:30 “A heart at peace gives life to the body , but envy rots the bones”).

Anyway. This is just me, thinking out loud, and thinking about our next child (if God grants us one).

Late.

28 Aug

Oh. My. Gosh. I have really dropped the ball on blogging. But, hey, that’s what happens when your 6 (now 8) month old decides to get mobile! I spent a good 90% of my day chasing her around. And Abbie has decided that naps are a thing of the past so…yeah. No breaks for me these days(and if there are breaks, you better believe I’m sleeping right along with her)!
Currently, she is sitting next to me in her high chair being entertained by a spoon. We will see how long this lasts….
But enough excuses.

We have a lot to catch up on! Too much to go over now (a spoon can only entertain for so long). So I’ll give you the cliff notes and elaborate later.
Abbie has started crawling, pulling up on EVERYTHING, and walking along every piece of furniture she can get her hands on. There is a lot of “house-proofing the baby” happening over here. I have a feeling she will take her first steps on my birthday (October 3). I took my first steps on my brother’s 3rd birthday and he still hasn’t forgiven me for stealing his three-year-old thunder. Maybe Abbie will keep with up the trend? 😉 Who knows. Either way, I’m pretty sure she will be walking in the next couple of months….craziness!
My mom came to visit us for Abbie’s 6 month celebration and Justin’s mom just left town the other day to see Abbie turn 8 months old. It was her first time meeting Abbie so that was special. Other than praying that the hurricanes dodge us here in Florida, not much exciting has gone on this summer. Just staying busy chasing around a baby all day!

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