when a photographer watches your baby…

Earlier this week, William spent the day with his Aunt Stephanie when I went to work.  As an elementary school teacher, I’m constantly thinking about, referring to, and reading children’s books.  You’re all familiar with the famous If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, right?  Well, today’s post is titled, “When a photographer watches your baby…”

this happens:

Literally twenty minutes after I dropped him off at her house, I received this picture:

william 5months

Impromptu mini photo session!  Yes, having the best photographer ever as your sister is the best thing ever.  Not to mention, she’s an incredible momma, as well!  (And aunt, and sister, and friend, and I could go on and on and on and on.)

All pictures in today’s post are from Stephanie. Many came from either her Instagram (@SCPstudio) or her Facebook page, so I’m using her captions because, in addition to being a phenomenal photographer, she’s also excellent with her words!

Anyway, soon after, this gem came:

jacob aud william

Cousin love.  Do you see how Audrey is clutching William’s arm for dear life?  She always has to be touching him.  And Jacob is just playing it cool, as usual.  He’s got five years of posing under his belt; he knows what to do when the camera comes out.  All they’re missing is their other cousin Jackson!

Their day began as they took Jacob to school (KINDERGARTEN, yikes, when did that happen?!).  Stephanie’s caption, “They love him and want to keep him.”

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Check out William’s chins!

In the morning, I gave Stephanie a quick lesson on babywearing.  Like everything else she does, she mastered it in no time!

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Steph’s caption, “Baby wearing… a pretty cute accessory today.”

Soon it was time for Audrey’s gymnastics class which I can only imagine to be the cutest thing ever.  Steph’s caption, “Baby William watching Audrey on the bars.  She glanced over her shoulder only every two minutes to make sure he was still watching her preform.”

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Jacob was jealous that William got to watch Audrey do gymnastics and he didn’t.  Audrey said we could all come watch her a different time.  “And baby William!” she kept saying over and over.

Steph’s caption, “Can we go wake baby William up now?  Now?  When can we wake baby William up?”

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Steph’s caption, “You may be sick of the Audrey and baby William love fest, but here’s one more… She literally is the most gentle person with him.  She rubs his back if he fusses, asking him, ‘You okay, baby William?’, reads him stories, pets his cheeks, and kisses his hands. #truebabylove”

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Eventually it was time to pick up Jacob from school, so Steph took all three tots to the park for some play time before I came back.

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Do you think they had a good day together?  I think so.

And lastly, my two favorite pictures from the day.

audrey holding william1

Steph’s caption, The only person who might have loved being with William all day more than me was this girl… she was sad to see him have go home and didn’t want to leave his side all. day. long.”

audrey holding william

Steph’s caption, When she is older and I tell her stories about how much she loved and cared for her littlest cousin ‘baby William’ (as we all call him now) when she was only two years old, I will show her this photograph.”

And right when I finished writing this post, Stephanie texted me saying, “Check e-mail.”  I found seven more pictures of the kiddies from the day that are even cuter than the above, if that’s even possible.  But you’ll have to stay tuned next week for those!

Have a fabulous weekend, friends! xo

10-Minute Dumbbell Burn Workout

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Polar.

You guys.  I worked out.  Alert the media, please!  I know, I know.  I’m impressive.  Nevermind the fact that my workout lasted ten minutes.  It was ten minutes longer than I had been doing – gotta start somewhere!  And don’t knock a ten minute workout. By the end, my arms and legs were both burning and I’m sure I’ll be feeling it tomorrow.  All you need is a light set of dumbbells.  I used five-pounders, but that was enough for me as I’m just getting back into the workout world!

polar dumbbells

Oh, and I got a new fancy watch with a heart rate monitor.  More on that in a second.  Last night after I put William to sleep, I did this quick ten minute workout.  I said I was going to try to find ten minutes in the morning, but that’s not working for me.  I normally don’t like working out at night, but this seemed to be the only time.  And you know what?  I didn’t hate it.  I loved that I finally did a workout.  Ten minutes was all it took.  No biggie, but it worked, it raised my heart rate, and it made my muscles burn.  Here it is:

10 minute dumbbell burn

I tried to maximize my time by doing moves that were compound exercises (multi-joint moves – aka works several muscle groups at once).  Since I was using lighter dumbbells, I did a higher number of reps.  I went through it twice and it took ten minutes.  Obviously it could be done more times for a longer workout.  To make it even more challenging, throw in some mountain climbers or burpees between moves.  I’ll try that next time.  I’m just starting out again, gotta take it easy at first.

Now about that watch.

polar ft60

Itz the Polar FT60 fitness heart rate monitor with the Polar FlowLink data transfer unit.

Polar FT60 Features:

  • The Polar FT60 helps improve fitness and keeps you motivated with the Polar STAR Training Program, which adapts to your personal exercise habits, providing weekly feedback and updated goals.
  • It syncs with G1 GPS sensor and S1 foot pod for those who want to begin tracking speed and distance. (RUNNERS!)
  • Itz designed for fitness enthusiasts, gym-goers, runners, and any and all active sport participants. aka ITZ FOR YOU!
  • Stylish watch that can be worn any time, at work or play.
  • Smart Coaching: Polar has 35+ years of developing training features that help interpret training intensity. <– that’s Smart Coaching!

Smart Coaching Features:

Pre-Training

During Training

  • STAR Training Program: Shows you how hard and how much you need to train to reach your long-term goals.  Itz designed to keep you motivated all week and every week by using a personal guidance program that’s no further away from your wrist. (VIDEO LINK)
  • OwnZone: Knowing the right intensity to improve fitness can be a challenge. OwnZone adjusts your heart rate training zone to perfectly match your body’s current physiological condition. By using OwnZone, you can be sure you’re training at an intensity that improves your aerobic fitness.
  • Smart Calories: Calculates the number of calories expended during a training session based on weight, height, age, gender, individual maximum heart rate (HRmax), and how hard you are training.

After Training & Long-Term Training Analysis

  • Training Load: This feature within polarpersonaltrainer.com displays a color-coded graph of your cumulative training load, notifying you when you have recovered enough for the next session, and accurately predicting training developments to prevent over-training (SO important!). This data also provides intelligence to modify training sessions as necessary.
  • Fitness Test: This feature gets a measure of your current fitness level in just five minutes. By regularly comparing test results, you can see what progress you are making and how your fitness is improving over time. (VIDEO LINKItz the world’s easiest fitness test – seriously!

polar test

Social Community and Sharing:

  • Polarpersonaltrainer.comAn online exercise journal and community that provides guidance, tracks progress, and sets goals.
  • You can create a custom training plan or individual personalized program using the build-in planning feature.
  • Join the millions of people in the Polar community with Polar Challenges – based on miles, calories, and more.
  • Manipulate custom reports on Training Load, training volume, and intensity.
  • Share your exercise, and route map with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Price: $179.95

My results from walking in my neighborhood while wearing William for almost an hour:

polar results

Itz pretty incredible just how much information it can provide and how easily accessible it all is.  I still need to play around more with the smart coaching feature.  There is so much it can do, and itz motivating for many reasons.  I like it because you can compete against yourself.  Showing your heart rate at all times really holds you accountable during your workouts. I logged my results from my ten-minute workout, and will be comparing my results in a couple of days (maybe tomorrow??) when I do it again.  Or this weekend when I have the time for another long walk!

polar

William is totally impressed.

To receive 10% off on an FT60, use code FitPolarFT60 (case-sensitive!).  This offer expires October 11, 2014.  Discount codes for Polars aren’t a regular thing, so I’d use it while you can!

Do you use heart rate monitors when you workout?

raspberry granola yogurt bowl

Itz been a hot minute since I’ve linked up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday!  I thought today would be a good day, mostly because yesterday I actually remembered to snap photos of most of what I ate.  But first, let’s begin with some William cuteness.  He spent the day at my parents’ house (his Yaya and Pops), and clearly had the best time ever.

william yaya pops

Itz a shame he’s not a happy baby, eh? ;)

Ok, now for my tasty food.  Breakfast involved a raspberry granola yogurt bowl.  (And itz the name of this post since itz literally the only thing I actually made to eat all day.)

raspberry yogurt granola bowl

We’ve got some plain Chobani Greek yogurt sweetened with Pure Via vanilla stevia, mixed with Cascadian Farm ancient grains granola, and tons of fresh raspberries. Driscoll’s raspberries were on sale for a dollar at the grocery store; I’ve never seen them that cheap, so I stocked up and put an entire container in my bowl.  So good.

When my dad picked up William for the day, he also brought some chicken salad that my mom made.  I love this chicken salad and will soon make my own batch of it.  But for now, I’ll eat hers for lunch (while I pump).chicken salad

My mom’s chicken salad includes chicken (duh), light mayo, dijon mustard, dried cranberries, almond slivers, celery, and apples.  Itz the perfect combination.

You all know I snack ALL.DAY.LONG. and I captured most of them.

snacks

  • Detour SMART bar in blueberry
  • Juicy plum
  • KIND bar in nut delight
  • Dates with peanut butter
  • Turkey slices
  • Banana chocolate chip muffie (made by my mom)

Not pictured snacks included honey wheat pretzels from Trader Joe’s and fruit salad.  So this was the first time I tried the whole date with peanut butter thing.  I had seen it on several other blogs and I love both dates and peanut butter, so I thought why not?  I was at my parents’ when I tried it and my dad immediately said it sounded weird.  To be honest, I didn’t love it.  I felt like the peanut butter overpowered the sweet date flavor and I couldn’t really taste the dates at all.  So after one, I put the peanut butter away and helped myself to a few more plain dates.

I’ve been drinking tons of water lately thanks to breastfeeding.  I usually drink an entire bottle when I pump and I pump three times at school and twice at home on working days.  Usually one of those bottles includes a Cocogo packet.  Use code ITZLINZ to save $$!

cup

My absolute favorite cup ever.

I hung out at my parents’ when I picked up William, and my dad had made a delicious beef stew in the crockpot for dinner.

beef stew

We had steamed cauliflower on the side.

For dessert, I had a bowl of Edy’s slow churned mint cookie crunch ice cream, but instead of showing you that I’m going to show you dessert from the weekend because there is a funny story that goes with it.  It was at the rehearsal dinner of my cousin’s wedding, and the waiters were bringing dessert to the table.  There was cherry pie and a delicious super chocolatey thing (I don’t know what itz called).  Well, they were alternating plates of dessert for the guests at each table, so every two people had one of both.  I noticed our server still had two plates left on his tray after we were served. I don’t like sharing dessert, so I begged and pleaded for him to give me my own set of desserts.  Then my sister chimed in and told this young man that I was breastfeeding. Needless to say, I got both desserts and was pretty happy about it.

dessert

I devoured both.  (See, Uncle Ricky? I told you this picture would make the blog!)  Jonny is smiling in the background either because he’s just as happy as me that he didn’t have to share his dessert or because he’s proud of my skills to get extra dessert!

And just for kicks, let’s end with a picture of the world’s cutest baby.

william happy smile

Bye bye now.

What delicious food have you eaten lately?

I wheelie like you

Well, hey there, friends!  Long time no blog.  I’d say sorry, but I’m not, in the nicest of ways.  Sometimes life gets crazy busy and finding the time to blog just doesn’t happen even though I do love it.  (Still working on finding balance.) Last week felt long at work coupled with the fact that baby William decided NOT to be an awesome sleeper lately. (When does this “four month sleep regression” thing end?!?!)

Aaaaanyway, I’m back now, and let me tell you about my Labor Day weekend as it was spent celebrating my cousin’s wedding.  Quick recap: SO.MUCH.FUN!  As if you didn’t know by now, I have pretty much the most fun family ever, so when we all get together, especially with my extended family, itz an absolute blast.

Saturday night began with a lovely rehearsal dinner at the St. Louis Zoo.

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My cousin works with animals and is going to vet school, so having it at the zoo was very fitting. I’d never been to a formal event there; it was really, really cool and neat to walk through the zoo at night.  Not to mention, I love getting all dolled up occasionally.

jonny

On Saturday, I had a much-needed, long-overdue hair appointment at Preston Salon for color, cut, and style.  I love what they did, and I love even more that I didn’t have to do my hair myself!

Sunday was spent at my parents’ house visiting with my little brother Justin and his wife Dana who were in town for the weekend.  Justin always pretends to be awkward with babies, but we know secretly he loves them. And William obviously loves his Uncle Justin!

justin william

One of my friends just gave us a ton of clothes since her baby outgrew them.  She’s done this once before, and gives us the cutest outfits. Not to mention, we really appreciate her generosity – thank you, Julie!!!  Check out the latest:

wheelie

I wheelie like you

Heh heh.  Sunday was the actual wedding, and my mom treated Stephanie, Dana, and I to a blow out and eyelashes.  We all loved how our eyelashes looked, but they came off after the evening which we were a bit disappointed about. Usually we can get a couple days out of them.  And I didn’t love my hair; I think it looked a little flat, but at least I didn’t have to do it myself, so I can’t really complain.  Regardless, it was fun to get dressed up again!

steph dana

And the whole family…. well, minus our kiddos and Jason’s wife, Amy.

williams wedding

We had fun tearing up the dance floor together!

The hubs and me:

jonny wedding

It was the perfect day for a wedding.  There was a little rain in the late afternoon, but it stopped before the ceremony began.  There was an outdoor patio where we enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

sunset

My grandfather Poppy with the ladies:

poppy

The ceremony was meaningful, the room beautifully decorated, and the bride and groom so filled with love and happiness. We were glad to be a part of their celebration.

Monday was the brunch and we were all off of work, so it was a nice (and delicious) way to wrap up the weekend.  A shot of me and my siblings:

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Love them.

And William decided to dress up and rock his tie onesie.

william tie

Cutie pie.

Last night was Miami’s opening game, and since Jonny is a crazy obsessed die-hard fan, he demanded the whole family sport their Miami gear.

miami

How was your Labor Day weekend?

not sleeping

So….. last night William decided to play the not sleeping game.  Well, actually itz 8:45 Wednesday evening, so I can only hope he’s surrendered now for the night and will get a good night’s rest.  It literally took two hours to get him to sleep which is so not like him.  He’d be tired, fall asleep for a few minutes, but not completely, then wake back up, be wide awake, and want to play.  I tried to feed him a zillion times, I changed his diaper, I rocked him, I sang, I read, I let him play some more, I pulled out all the tricks.  But now he’s sleeping.  Please stay sleeping, Baby.  Momma wants to blog, then needs to pump, and hopefully get sleep sleep sleep.

Let’s back up.  We started the day as we usually do: all smiles!

linz william outside

I went to work, and my dear husband Jonny had the day off and got a lot done around our house.  He straightened up, did the laundry, and cooked this lasagna that I’d been wanting to try.  (It was delicious and we will definitely be making it again.)  After a busy day at work, that was wonderful to come home to!  And he gave lots of kisses to our happy baby boy.

jonny kiss

In the evening, we played.  He had woken up at about 5:15 from a nap, and by 6:45 he was pooped.  William usually goes to bed between 7 – 8, so I figured he was about to go to sleep for the night (well, the first stretch of the night until he needs to wake up and eat again).  After all, we had played hard.  Bumbo, bouncy seat, activity gym, tummy time, rolling over (with a little nudge), and playing with toys in his crib.

play

It was bed time.  He was tired, but not sleeping.  That went on for awhile.

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Baby boy needed to sleep, but the longer this went on, the less tired he appeared.  I tried nursing again, no go.  I changed his diaper. I read him books.  I sang.  I rocked.  I even did some squats while holding him thinking maybe the constant motion would lull him to sleep.  No, no, he literally started laughing.  Ok fine, Baby, let’s take you out of your swaddle and play again.  He was happy with that!  Laughing, smiling, giggling, having the time of his life!  Jonny and I couldn’t help but laugh.  I mean, look at that face:

awake happy

Eventually he started showing signs of being tired again, but nothing I did was working!  I decided to wrap him for some babywearing (I don’t know why it took me so long to think of this).  I also knew he needed to eat because at this point it had been about an hour and a half, and he typically cluster feeds in the evening.  For the first time ever, I nursed him while he was wrapped up.  Yeah, that was quite a sight, but I got everything where it needed to be, and what have you, he nursed and fell asleep just like that!  Then, of course I didn’t want to take him out and risk him waking up, so we stayed like that for awhile.

babywearing sleep

And, finally, when I knew he was good and out, I ever so carefully unwrapped him, placed him back in his sleep sack, kissed him good night, and gently put him down for the win!

sleep

Oh sweet baby of mine.

How have you been sleeping?

Snack SMART With A Detour SMART Bar

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Detour Bar.

Like I mentioned yesterday, I’m trying to find balance in my life these days as a new working momma.  One thing that I’ve got the hang of is healthy snacking, and a big thanks to Detour Bar for that.  I’ve been loving on Detour SMART bars for awhile now, and they’ve come in handy, especially this summer as I’ve gone back to school (work).  They’re the perfect size to fill me up, curb my hunger, and provide the energy I need for a busy day.

detour pump

Snacking SMART while pumping at school.

Detour SMART bars really are smart.  (Haha, no, but for real.)  They’re perfect for summer because they’re not chocolate.  Hear me out.  I love chocolate.  However, I feel like heavy, melted chocolate protein bars in the summer just aren’t that awesome, not to mention they make a mess.  SMART bars are everything you want in a healthy snack bar, and they don’t melt.  I keep all my bags stocked: my pumping bag, my diaper bag, and my purse.  That way, when crazy hunger strikes, I have my emergency snack no matter where I am.  Hanger is never a good thing, people.

One bar contains 130 calories, 3 grams fiber, 4 grams sugar, and 10 grams protein.

detour smart bar

A contemporary approach to healthy eating, that’s SMART.

  • Gluten Free: Detour SMART bars are independently certified to confirm they meet strict gluten-free standards.
  • Whey Protein: The right protein to nourish and replenish your body, whey is a SMART way to support a lean body and to satisfy hunger.
  • 4 grams of Sugar: Switching to a low-sugar diet may be one of the best things you can do for your body, your appetite, and even your mind.
  • Good Source of Fiber:  The grains and fruit in SMART bars are a balanced source of fiber and a nutritious foundation for maintaining good health.
  • Organic Whole Grain Oats: Wholesome and delicious, whole grains are an essential part of a complete diet.
  • Naturally Sweetened with Stevia: A zero-calorie, natural sweetener, Stevia is a sensible choice for those looking to reduce sugar intake without sacrificing taste.

No artificial preservatives. No artificial flavors. No artificial colors.

Follow Detour Bar on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

detour smart bars

They look like pie.  They taste like pie.  Well, protein bar pie.  No kidding.  When you open the package, there is a strong aroma of either Apple Cinnamon or Blueberry, and itz just delicious.  SMART bars also come in Cranberry Flax and Peanut Butter Chocolate, but my heart is sold on Apple Cinnamon and Blueberry.  So is William’s.

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Don’t. Even. Think. About. Touching. My. SMART. Bars. Or. I’ll. Scream!

How do you snack SMART in the summer?  Are you team Apple Cinnamon or Blueberry? (Or Cranberry Flax or Peanut Butter Chocolate? So many SMART choices!)

Finding Balance

I’m not going to lie here… I’m having trouble finding balance as I’ve gone back to school (work).  I feel like this is something many can relate to – finding balance during a new life stage.  And I’m not just talking about mommas today – maybe you’re going to school or graduating from school, starting a new job or switching jobs, having a baby, getting married, or maybe just trying to incorporate more healthy choices in your daily life.  Whatever it may be, usually change takes some time to find that balance, get adjusted, and determine a routine that works for you.

william 4 months

I’m your routine, Momma!

After having William, I definitely went through that for the first month or so (roughly speaking).  Eventually, I found what worked for me.  I was able to take almost daily walks which counted as my fitness; not to mention all the benefits of mental health when I was out in the sunshine.  I even went swimming a few times.  When I was able to get out and about with William, I would grocery shop, and even cook here and there when he slept.  I never really napped, but I felt like I had down time since we were pretty much home all day.

Now that I’m back at work, itz all changed.  My fitness consists of running around my house in the morning trying to get myself and William together along with everything we need for the day.  Healthy eating and cooking?  Ha!  I’ve eaten cereal for lunch more times than I care to admit, and our fridge is bare the majority of the time (with the exception of when my parents, in-laws, or grandparents so kindly provide us with leftovers!).

I only have time for so much, and I know during new life stages, priorities must shift.  I’m still getting the laundry done, and our house is as clean as it usually is (which isn’t really lol but clean enough!).  Priorities include taking care of William, taking care of myself, and the house.  When William is sleeping, I feel like I have to get something done, so when do I ever have down time as a working mom?  I suppose my down time is the time I give myself to blog, and I don’t really want to give that up because I do enjoy it so much.  So what do I do when I feel like I literally have no extra time?  Hmmm.

william 4months6

As long as you have time for me, nothing else matters.

I consider healthy living to be made up of five parts: fitness, nutrition, sleep, social, and emotional.  Here’s what’s working and where I’m struggling with each:

Fitness

I was lucky to the loose the baby weight quickly and pretty much effortlessly (thank you nursing and good genes!).  But “baby weight” is funny as itz a number on the scale and I think the scale is stupid.  Sure, my number has gone down, but I’m soft and squishy and I would like to regain some strength and level of fitness.  Problem: TIME!  Before, I was taking daily walks, but now with working, I’m only finding time on the weekends.  Morning walks are out of the question due to time constraints, and in the evening, I would rather play with William than just walk.  He goes to bed between 7:30 – 8:30, so evenings won’t work either (further explained in the sleep portion).  I may try and sneak in a super quick workout in the morning or the afternoon, depending on how both are going.  And by super quick, I mean like ten minutes.  Literally.

polar

You’re stopping our walk to take a picture of your watch?  C’mon, Mom, let’s go! Move it!

Side note: I’m reviewing the Polar FT60 through FitFluential and wore it on my walk last weekend.  I can’t wait to really play with all itz functions!

Nutrition:

I mean…. I’m eating, and that’s all that really counts, right?  In terms of healthy eating, that’s another story.  I’m doing really well with water; I’m drinking a ton as I’m often thirsty and staying hydrated is crucial for breastfeeding.  I’m finding it very difficult to find time to cook healthy meals.  I like the crockpot, but even that takes time to prepare!  I know a common suggestion is to meal prep for a couple hours on the weekend to make life easier during the week.  Honestly, I feel like I don’t even have a couple hours on the weekend.  William naps for less than an hour at a time, so unless I have someone come over and watch him, I don’t know what to do.  (And I don’t want anyone to watch him on the weekend since he gets watched all week.)

I’ve eaten a ton of sweets and those packaged convenience foods have become way too convenient.  Breakfasts and snacks are good.  I can prep overnight oats in two minutes or cook a couple eggs while I’m getting ready.  Snacks are simple in terms of bars, yogurt, fruit, or nuts.  Lunch has literally been cereal or a pb&j.  And I’m not sure what I’ve been putting together for dinners, but Jonny and I have been eating, rest assured.

Sleep:

This is the one area where I feel like I have absolutely no control because of William.  I do a good job of going to bed shortly after he does, but I can’t go to bed right when he does because I have to pump. Usually I pump at nine, bag the milk, clean the pump, and hit the hay.  I can’t pump earlier otherwise I will explode at night.  Funny enough, I haven’t been overly tired, and I’ve actually surprised myself with how not tired I am considering the lack of sleep and broken sleep I do get.  But I know minimal sleep definitely affects how I eat and my cravings.  The less I sleep, the more junk food I want. Not good.

Social:

We have continued to get together with friends, itz just on slightly different terms than before (read: no bars or drinks).  We’ve made new friends with babies, and our old friends understand that we need to plan around the babe.

Emotional:

I feel good.  There are times where I feel overwhelmed or totally bummed that I have to leave William during the week, but in general I feel good.  And there’s nothing better for me than being a mom; I love every minute!  I’m just working on that balance thing…

william backyard

So the two areas I really want to improve on are fitness and healthy eating.  How do I make that happen?  Suggestions welcome!

How do you find balance during new life stages and changes?

little man

Little man is growing growing growing!  Seriously, major growth spurt this week.  We increased the amount of milk in his bottle, and sometimes he even wants more than that.  And last night, he cluster fed almost 45 minutes apart several times.  Hungry, growing boy, getting bigger by the day.  Cutest little man, if I do say so myself.

william 4months3

Really, doesn’t he look like a little man here?  Real clothes and all!  Those clothes took me about ten minutes to get on him.  He stayed in them for a few minutes for pictures, and then it took me another ten minutes to get them off.  Reasons why I don’t like real clothes on babies haha.  But real clothes are pretty stinkin’ cute!  Though I much prefer onesies, rompers, and sleepers!

Or nakey nakey babies.

william 4months1

I mean, is he just the best looking baby ever, or what?

william 4months

Nom nom nom.  Eat my hands all the time.

And now for his serious look.

william 4months5

Oh, I just love him.

Black and white.

william 4months4

Good looking baby.

william 4months2

Happy baby.

Happy Friday! :)

all photos by Stephanie Cotta Photography

Thursday’s Thoughts

Hey there!  For today’s Thursday’s Thoughts post, itz going to be a whole lot of randomness of cool stuff I want to share with you.  (Ugh, not a fan of saying “cool stuff.” Just yesterday I told my fourth graders that when we write, we don’t use “stuff” or “things;” we’re more specific. Sorry. My brain power is limited after this busy week!)

And I’ll probably use lots of hashtags. #again

Let’s start with the best thing (oy, I did it again) ever – WILLIAM!

tummytime

He’s basically already reading. ;) My mom sends me a million pictures when she watches him when I’m at work.  She’s teaching him everything, I’m certain. #smartestbabyever

Alright, you knew I was going to share about William, now here’s the randomness.  But really, itz cool stuff things information I think you healthy living folks (readers and bloggers alike!) should know about!

Runner’s World is partnering with belVita and hosting an awesome contest: My Morning Run Photo Contest.  Check out the details:

morning run

Amazing prizes!  A GoPro?! Yes, please! My brother has one and loves it. He takes the coolest pictures and videos with it. I’ll use my walking as entries since I’m not running right now. (Still bummed about that. Go run for me, please.) More information about the contest HERE. #MorningWin

As a FitFluential Ambassador, I was able to try Win High Performance Sports Detergent.  Everyone’s gotta wash their clothes, right? Hey, just bein’ real here!  Summertime means more sweat, so stinkier clothes.  (For Jonny, not me.  Obviously I smell like roses all.the.time. haha)

win detergent

Sweat Hard Smell Great <– love their motto

I do like this stuff though, for real.  Jonny is a sweater.  He works out hard, especially in the summer.  He takes walks in the 100 degree weather, a million percent humidity and comes back drenched.  Literally, I could ring out his clothes. (But I try not to touch them.)  This Win stuff gets the stink out.  I prefer the Win Green since itz fragrance and dye free; that’s the one I’d purchase with my own money when my current bottle runs out. Some “green” detergents don’t really leave your clothes smelling clean, I’ve found. Win does.  Win is #winning. (I’m cracking myself up today. #lackofsleep)

Alright, now back to running.  Fellow FitFluential Ambassador Shannyn, from Frugal Beautiful, is hosting a Virtual Pug Run 5k/10k and 1 Miler.  100% of the proceeds go to the cause (no profit) and if they get 375 runners, her husband-to-be will run his first marathon, the Chicago Marathon in a pug wrestling singlet! LOL! #mustsee

virtual pugrun

Check out her post to see a picture of the pug singlet – HILARIOUS! (And her post has way more information about the race!)  Sign up for the race HERE.  Rumor has it, there are unicorn pug diecast medals… #youshouldprobablydoit

And we’ll end this Thursday’s Thoughts post with the happiest baby ever.

william happy

Yes, he’s happy ALL.THE.TIME. #truestory

What are you thinking on this lovely Thursday?

Pumping At Work

Hi there.  I am a mommy of two and a friend to Linz.  We’ve celebrated each other’s weddings, we’ve trained for triathlons, and now we are experiencing motherhood together.  This new role of motherhood means that we can talk to one another about many things, one of which is pumping.   The other day I asked her if I could anonymously contribute to the Itz Linz blog.  So here we go…

My second child, my ‘lil man, is now seven months old and we’re still breastfeeding.  I have to say for all of the love that it takes – love in the form of time, energy, and sometimes frustration – I wouldn’t change it for the world.

wsv1

I breastfed my first child, my spicy two-year old, who was in the NICU for approximately two weeks.  I never thought I would dedicate a year to it, but I did.  Since she had some health related challenges in the first few months of her life, I wanted to give her the best start that I could.

I soon realized that it was beneficial not just for the kiddos, but for me.  It gave me a chance to bond and snuggle with my little ones and made me feel close to them, especially after being away from them during the day.

I relished coming home in the evening and having that special time with them.  Partly because I missed them, but it gave me some quiet time alone with each of them.  It was time that I cherished and nutrition that they needed.

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Plus, pumping at work is pretty unglamorous.  It can be downright daunting at times.  Scheduling the pumping in between meetings can be tough especially when you have back to back meetings or day long seminars you’re attending.  I try to block time a month in advance so that I wouldn’t have xx meeting overlap with my pumping time.  I eventually referred to it as “my buddy and me” time.  I felt like I carried my Madela pumping backpack everywhere – all over campus, off campus during off site meetings, airports, trade shows, my car.  You name it, my pump and I have made the rounds together.

The next step is then trying to find a room comfortable enough to pump.  Working in Cubeville required me to plan in advance by reserving a room. I was fortunate enough to be able to reserve a Mother’s Care Room at work.  Yes, I was lucky enough to have the support of the company to pump.  During a meeting with another coworker on the other side of campus, I joked (to only myself) that I just reserved the Ritz Carlton of Mother’s Care Rooms.  The room came with a refrigerator, an ottoman, an electrical outlet, some parenting magazines, and it was ice cold (great for those hormone sweats)!

Each night before work or a big trip, I prepared a bag with my pumping supplies.  The bag included:  the small cooler, an ice pack which by 5 pm was full of semi-cold milk, Lansinoh bags, J&J soap, a gallon plastic bag and paper towels.

Starting back to work after maternity leave is never easy. Just know that there is a sisterhood of women out there who can laugh about it with you!

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Mommas – what works best for pumping at work? What are some of your challenges?

all photos by Stephanie Cotta Photography