Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Brynlie's Baptism Weekend

Our sweet Brynlie got baptized on Sunday the 29th. Her godparents (Leo's sister and her husband) came in from Texas, along with his parents and our niece and nephew. We had such an amazing weekend and it definitely flew by.

Here is my munchkin with her godparents--I LOVE this picture.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

19 Questions for My Girls...

I have seen this idea float around for quite some time and never took the time to do it.

Until today. All of the girls plus me are sick with the worst cold in the history of colds. It has been a miserable few days over here. I took this as a plus--we were going to do 19 questions!

I saw this on Pinterest and loved her list of questions-I modified a few for my girls and we had so much fun giggling over their answers. I hope to ask my daughters these questions each year--it will be a fun way to see how they grow and change.

1. what is something mommy always says to you?
Bella: take a Bath
Maddie: Minnie Mouse

2. what makes mommy happy?
Bella: to clean up
Maddie: dinosaurs

3. what makes mommy sad?
Bella: when you get hurt
Maddie: sad

4. how does mommy make you laugh?
Bella: when you make silly faces! that makes you funny.
Maddie: dinosaurs

5. what was mommy like when i was a little girl?
Bella: you liked to play with us!
Maddie: Minnie Mouse. (anyone else sensing a pattern?)

6. how old is mommy?
Bella: 4
Maddie: little snake

7. how tall is mommy?
Bella: really tall!
Maddie: *claps and plays with toys*

8. what is mommy's favorite thing to do?
Bella: eat
Maddie: drink

9. what does mommy do when daddy takes you all out to the park or to lunch?
Bella: you sit at home.
Maddie: *has totally lost interest in this game*

10: if mommy was to be famous, what would it be for?
Bella: me, me, me!

11. what's mommy really good at doing?
Bella: picking up the stuff in the living room

12. what's mommy not very good at doing?
Bella: i don't know.

13. what does mommy do for a job?
Bella: you read to us.

14. what is mommy's favorite thing to eat?
Bella: chicken

15. what makes you really proud of mommy?
Bella: when we pick up you get really happy.

16. what is mommy's favorite tv show?
Bella: you watch the news.

17. what do you and mommy do together?
Bella: we play games.

18. how are you and mommy the same?
Bella: I'm 4 and you're 5.

19. when we leave the house, what is mommy's favorite thing to do?
Bella: shop!

I had a blast with my girls doing this little activity. Some of their answers really made me laugh--I can't wait until next year when we do this again!

Monday, January 23, 2012

8 at 8

This little cutie is now 8 months old (as of Saturday):

And because I love writing about my girls more than anything, I figured why not create a little list for her to see what she has been up to?

1) She is infatuated with clapping and waving. It's adorable and melts my heart every single time. She's a heart melter, this one.

2) Still in love with cat/dog food although cat food is her nibble of choice. I have now resorted to moving said bowls, although I'm sure me chasing her around has been a huge help in my weight loss.

3) She tried homemade chicken noodle soup last night and LOVED it. She may or may not have also tasted a homemade oatmeal cookie for dessert after her dinner.

4) Story time is one of her favorite times of the day. She snuggles up with her older sisters and just listens to me read to her.

5) Speaking of sisters, when they wake up after she and I do? Her face breaks out in the biggest of smiles. The amount of love that she has for Isabella and Madelyn is enormous and I love it.

6) Still no teeth. I can feel her bottom two--but they haven't made an appearance as of yet. Maybe by 9 months? We shall see.

7) She loves beans. Not green beans, but homemade by her mommy or daddy pinto beans from the Crock-Pot. She cries for more--and she usually gets more.

8) She is loves standing up everywhere that she can--in her crib, at the couch, at the windows. If she can hoist herself up she makes sure to do it.

I cannot believe that my Brynlie is already 8 months...I mean, really--she will be 1 year in less than 4 months! Mind blowing and knowing how quickly time passes I make sure to soak up all of my time with her. It doesn't bother me one bit to rock her to sleep, move her into bed with me to nurse during the night. I want to enjoy every sweet moment with my baby girl.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Counting Calories Really Does Work. Huh, Who Knew?

When I was in the Air Force I taught nutrition. Counting calories. Good foods. Bad foods.

You get the picture.

After I rang in the new year I knew that something had to give. I've started and stopped multiple fitness routines. It's hard to find some sort of workout with three little ones at home, one who never naps and the other two rarely nap at the same time. We don't have an elliptical/treadmill/etc so those are out.

The husband leaves for work at 6:15 in the morning and typically doesn't arrive home until 6:00 or even later.

I've tried the workout videos. I stuck with them for awhile, but I had my teenage stepdaughter here at the time who would watch the girls for that small window of time (which, by the way, she was an AMAZING help!).

Nothing worked out for me. Every time I "failed" at some sort of fitness routine I would eat even more. Baking is my weakness--and let me tell you I love nothing more than a warm chocolate chip cookie straight from the oven. They are therapeutic and make me feel good. Until I have to weigh myself and see the number steadily rising instead of lowering.

I woke up one day and started utilizing my food diary app on my phone (MyFitnessPal). I decided that it was time to accept that I need to lose weight.

I have been on a strict calorie routine for two weeks now. In that two weeks? I've lost 7 pounds.

7. freaking. pounds.

Amazingness, really. I cut out a ton of crap from my diet. I no longer eat cookie after cookie.

I smile now when I weigh myself. Granted my numbers aren't where I would love them to be, but they are getting there. I'm eating in a way that adapts to my lifestyle--not some fad diet that is a temporary fix.

And the biggest shock? Seeing what equals out to my allowed number of calories. I truly have to wonder how many damn calories a day was I eating?! It's insane. I told Leo I want to go for a day in my old ways to count how many a day I had been consuming...

I'm not going to lie, the first few days were excruciating for me. I thought I was going to die without some form of refined sugar hitting my lips. It was as if I was having sugar withdrawals (which I'm sure I was...). If there is a cookie and we are out I will allow myself one and it gets recorded on my app. I am holding myself accountable for what enters my mouth.

Are you trying to eat healthier or lose weight? What's your weight loss goal?

*We are hoping to pay off another credit card and then save for an elliptical. Until then I'm just walking the 3.4 miles on our local bridge on Leo's weekends off.

**I am still eating an adequate amount of calories in order to breastfeed. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Personal Beauty Resolutions

Thanks to Walgreens for underwriting this post. I was paid as a member of the Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all mine. Visit http://www.discoverbeautywithin.com/.

With a new year comes new resolutions. I always hear people talk about the weight they are determined to lose or that this year will be the year to kick the tobacco habit once and for all. But one resolution that I don't hear about as much would be in terms of beauty. 

After thinking about my beauty routine (or lack thereof in some areas) I have vowed to do more for my body on the beauty side of things. 

First, I need to wash my face more. I know, I know. I am in my early 30's and I still don't have a nightly regimen down for cleaning my face. I do wash my face with warm water...but I am thinking I need to add a cleanser to my lacking routine. My skin is sensitive so I have to be super careful to what I place on my skin. My top pick for cleaning my face? The Neutrogena Liquid Facial Cleanser (Fragrance Free). 

My second beauty resolution is to take better care of my nails. Before I had my daughters I was always getting a mani. But now that I am a mom? Not so much. My favorite polish brand is Essie. I love their entire line. I've been eyeing the Essie Disappearing Trick Conditioning Cuticle Remover for some time now. I think I will add this to my list of beauty resolutions for 2012.

My final beauty resolution for the year is to always, always, always wear sunscreen on my face. I'm good at remembering it on my arms, legs, feet. I need to remember that my face needs protection from the sun and its harmful rays, too. The easiest way for me to remember to do this is to use a moisturizer with an added SPF included. I moisturize my face daily so it would be a two-for-one. I want to try out the Cetaphil Daily Face Moisturizer w/Sunscreen SPF 50. It looks to be something that will moisturize and not irritate my skin.

Do you have any beauty resolutions for the new year? I would love to hear what you plan on doing for yourself in 2012!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Need a Good Read? I Have Two for You...

One thing that I want to do differently this year is read more. I love getting lost in a good book and thanks to discovering Goodreads I have been discovering an entire world of books and recommendations on what to read.

The first book of that I have read in 2012 (and, yes, it feels very bizarre to type 2012) is Pretty Little Liars.  I am addicted to the ABC Family series and my Mom recently loaned me the entire series and I am thankful. Book one of the series was great. Nothing too mentally draining, quick to read and I found that I couldn't put it down. If you love the series on television check out the books. It's impossible to put down and a really fast read.

There are four main chacters: Aria, Emily, Spencer and Hannah. When their best friend, Allison, disappears and she is never heard from again they are unsure of what to think. Two years later the four remaining friends have drifted apart. That is, until Allison's body is found. One by one they all begin to receive cryptic and mysterious texts that are signed "A". These texts tell secrets that only Allison herself would know. So who is the one that is sending the mysterious texts to the four girls?

I just finished Skipping a Beat and I LOVED it. Julia and Michael are both from West Virginia and they haven't had the easiest of childhoods. When a chance encounter leads them to one another they both know that they are destined to be with one another forever. Many years later they are a power couple, with a mansion too big for words and more money than they know what to do with. Then it happens. Michael, while at a meeting with his beverage company, dies for four minutes.

The Michael that comes back to life is unlike the Michael that Julia knew in the past few years. He is kinder, loving and realizes that he had focused entirely too much time in the wrong areas of his life. 

So, there you have it. Two books, two totally different genres. What are you currently reading? 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

7 Months (a few weeks late...ahem.)

Happy 7 months, Brynlie! I'm a few days weeks late, but it is only because you have kept me so incredibly busy these past few weeks. Want to see what you have been up to?

~You are my super speedy crawler. You'll be by my side the next thing I know I am running out calling your name trying to find where you have gone. This has made closing doors to bedrooms a must.

~You love getting into the cat and dog bowls. I need baby proof bowls...

~Your nickname is "Trouble". Not in a mean way by any means, but in the way that you are so mischievous and adorable that you are nothing but sweet baby trouble.

~No teeth yet--however, you are teething. That has been fun.

~Still my nursing champ. I tell Daddy that is why you love me so much and cry for me. You just have to have your milk supply close.

~Standing up and even cruising a little bit. Really? Why are you so determined to be an early walker? I can wait for a few more months--I love having a sweet baby in the house. No more milestones for awhile, okay?

~And you can clap. Holy adorableness. It is seriously sweet.

Those are your 7 month milestones sweet girl! I love you so much--and you are such a wonderful baby. I am truly blessed to have you in my life!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Not So Miraculous Hair Oil...

I am a self admitted hair junkie. I love finding amazing products to keep my hair in perfect condition. I love getting my hair done by my new hair girl who is a miracle worker in all ways possible.

Imagine my surprise when the cool weather hit and my hair turned into a disgustingly dry mess. It was awful. I resorted to throwing my not so lovely locks into a quick ponytail and went on with my life.

Until the day I was doing some Google research browsing and stumbled upon using olive oil in your hair. Genius! We had plenty of olive oil and I announced to Leo that I was going to take a shower.

I went into the kitchen and got a measuring cup. I filled it up part way with water and then added the olive oil. I popped the concoction into the microwave and once it was done getting warm I took it into the shower.

I had tested the mixture with a dip of my finger-not too hot. Perfect. My hair was about to be awesome.

I wet my hair and decided to test the oil one more time to ensure that is was not too hot. I dipped in three of my fingers to stir it up. 


That is what came out of my mouth screaming. I had just managed to scald three fingers. I should have taken that as a sign to just stop, but no, I ignored this warning. 

Once I recovered and deemed my oil miracle safe, I used my one good hand and I very carefully drenched my hair with my oil miracle. As doing so I kept picturing perfectly soft hair. I envisioned strangers coming up to me to ask me what my secret was, and I would tell them with a whisper it's olive oil...

Snapping back to reality I rinsed out my hair. Huh. It wasn't rinsing out as well as I thought that it would. 

I did another rinse.

And another. 

My hair felt like a water repellent. I quickly dumped some shampoo on my head and scrubbed it. Crap. This was so not going as planned.

After drying off I went into the living room filled with shame and embarrassment. I had one hand that wasn't functional. And even worse I looked like a duck that had been rescued from an oil spill. 

Leo thought that this was hilarious. I told him once I blow dried it that my hair would be stunning.

I went and dried my hair. I looked into the mirror with sadness. My hair was not beautiful. It was sure as hell wasn't soft. It looked that I hadn't washed my hair in months. 

I learned something very valuable with this hair fail: never stick my hand in a water/oil microwaved mixture. 


Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Cuties

I decided to take a break from blogging during the holidays this year and spend time with my family. This time last year I was pregnant and missing my husband while he was in Afghanistan. I had a lot of time to catch up and enjoy the holidays this year unlike last year where I was heartbroken.

With that being said, Leo bought me a new lens for my camera--I got a 50 mm f/1.8 for my Nikon.

I? Am in love.

Here are a few of my favorite shots that I took on Christmas Day. Enjoy!