Friday, February 25, 2011

We have a Roller-Overer

Well, it's official. It wasn't just a fluke. MaryCollis is 100% rolling over. Like, all the time. I'll put her on her back and not 30 seconds goes by without her throwing her left leg over her right and wiggling her way to the tum-tum. I hear that most babies usually go from their stomach to their back first - I guess that makes MC gifted. :) See my girl in action:

And just because it's so stinking cute:

Have a sweet weekend!
aarp

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Diet

I've been dieting this week. Like, hard core. We finally booked a beach house for the summer, and I decided it was high time to get my butt in gear. After I had MaryCollis, I dropped 45 pounds almost instantly... without lifting a finger. I gained 50 while pregnant, so I have 5 more pregnancy pounds to lose, plus the 20-30 pounds I needed to lose before I got pregnant. And I've been putting it off for too long. This is my inspiration photo:
Christmas Dance. Senior Year. Fall 2002. I realize I'm too thin, but it's still a great motivator.

SO... Since the weather's been nice, Jenna and I have gotten back to our daily hour to hour and a half walks every single day, and I've been counting calories. It always works. Always. Here's a sample of my diet from Tuesday:

Breakfast - No breakfast that day (I know! Terrible!)
Lunch - 1 cup tomato soup (200 calories), 20 Sun chips (200) & a FiberOne bar for "dessert" (90)
Snack - Wheat thins (130)
Dinner - Ravioli lean cuisine (220), HUGE salad with fat free dressing (100) & granola bar for dessert (190)

TOTAL = About 1,200 calories

Ravioli lean cuisine with salad. DELISH!

In other news, MaryCollis tried prunes this week.... LOVED THEM! I seriously cannot find a food this child won't eat, and I am grateful. She loves fruits and veggies equally and has a ball exploring new things.

Prunes

Also, this morning I woke up at 6:15 to the sound of MC playing in her crib... and my first thought was "Gosh! She slept from 7:15PM - 6:15AM. She hasn't done that in a long time. I guess it's because she did not nap a lot yesterday." Then I got to her room and I found her like this:


She rolled over!!!! In her SLEEP! It figures that the first time she rolls over is in her sleep. She slept great, so she must a tummy sleeper like me. I'm like a whole new woman with those 8 full hours of sleep (Typically I have to get up at least once or twice to re-insert paci and put the lamb up by her face so I'm not really getting good sleep). I feel like I can conquer the world today! And I almost have to... I'm working in the Lucky Luxe Studio today, I have a Julep Events client meeting at 3:30, then I'm meeting up with my pal Patrick around 4:30 to see about buying some of his camera equipment, then I'm going to the Northeast HS art show from 5-6. And somewhere in there I've got to eat and exercise. Y'all have a great day! :)

Cheers!
aarp

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunny Weekend in Starkville

This weekend we went to Starkville so the boys could enjoy baseball and basketball and the girls could visit with our other Mommy friends. Chad and Dad spent the weekend walking back and forth from The Hump to Dudy Noble (and once again, MC was our little good luck charm!), and Mom and I visited with Emily and Little Liza (6 weeks younger than MC) and Jenn and Sims (1.5 weeks old!).

Liza was much more lively than the last time we visited... and she is SUCH a cuddle bug! It was so nice to just love on her and have her lay her sweet little head on my shoulder because MaryCollis has gotten to be so independent and does NOT want to lay down. She wants to sit up like a big girl. I'm glad she's independent, but shoot, she's only 6 months old and the snuggle stage is over! :(

Sims was PRECIOUS. He is only 1.5 weeks old, and what a sport he is! He was 8lb. 10oz. (3 oz. larger than MC) and he felt like a bag of cotton balls compared to the 16-pounder I've been lugging around. I have never seen a newborn keep their hands open and move their little fingers around... usually new babies have tiny balled-up fists and keep them right up against their face (because that's how they've been in the womb). Not Sims. HUGE hands, HUGE feet and not a care in the world. I love him.

MaryCollis wearing her MSU gear. Always the good luck charm!

Cheers!
aarp

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Date Night... Sorta

My mom watched MaryCollis tonight while Chad and I went to dinner with Erin, Ben & Jim (Mal's out of town) then went to the first open mic night at City Centre Crepes & Coffeehouse (C4). Erin was playing a couple of songs, and it just so happened that Chad was in town so it sort of turned into a date night. Raz was awesome... truly. We have sing-alongs all the time in their apartment, but seeing her onstage with a microphone and amp made me realize how outrageously talented this gal is. Check it out!


Before the show, we were running a bit late (read: Chad was making us late), so we ran upstairs and into Erin & Ben's apartment and Raz says, "Hey... something came for you today." Confused, I said, "Me? What was it?" A package, she said. "A package? Here? For me? What in the world?" She brings this slightly large box toward me with the lid half-opened. "Who would send something here?" I continued as I opened the box completely.

And there it was..... this. I have never been more confused in my entire life. "What is this?" I said. I looked around at Ben, then Erin, then Chad - who all seemed to be in on the secret. I just assumed it was from Chad - a late Valentine's gift... or even just a surprise gift... "No you didn't," I said. "No... I didn't," he responded. "Well, who did?" I asked. "It's your bonus. You've been working so hard, and we wanted to show our appreciation," said Erin and Ben in unison. I was completely verklempt. I didn't know what to say or how to respond. I was so emotional - Literally, I was moved to tears.

It is the sweetest, most thoughtful gift I have ever received from anyone other than Chad or my mom. And I will never be able to show my complete appreciation. I am so lucky to enjoy what I do - I mean, I basically get to talk to excited little brides all day long about their wedding inspiration, colors and themes. It's a joy and a privilege in itself... but to be able to have such a wonderful "boss" who is also my dear friend is just the ultimate situation. I couldn't be happier, and I am so blessed to have such kind people in my life. I love you, Napiers! :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mommy Tips & Julep Events

Hi, readers!

I've had a lot of mommies ask me about my homemade baby food. I'm no expert, but I have a few more tips for you:

1. If you're freezing your baby food, you may do so for up to 2 months. When you're ready to serve it, simply take out a few of your 1 oz. cubes (MC is on 2 ounces right now, so I use 2 cubes) and you can either let it thaw on the countertop or microwave it for a bit. Here's what I do: If I'm going to be serving the food at 12PM, I'll get it out first thing in the morning and let it sit on the counter until it's eating time. It will be completely thawed by then; however, if it still has a chill to it, I pop it in the microwave for about 10 seconds.

2. If you need to add water back to your veggies/fruits during the pureeing process, add the water that you used to steam/stew it - that way, you'll be adding back some of the nutrients lost during the cooking process.

3. Use whatever fruit/veg that is on sale that month. If you notice that apples are on sale, make applesauce.

4. Avocados, bananas, etc. do not need to be cooked. You can just remove them from their peel and smash. Avocados are also great first finger foods.


Also, you may not know that I have another blog - julepevents.com - that I use for event planning tips. Before discovering I was pregnant with MC, I started Julep Events in hopes that I might be able to use my love for planning as a career (or at least a second income). During pregnancy and after MC was born, it became an impossibility... until now. I haven't planned in over a year; however, I have rejuvenated my website and hope to get back into events soon! If you have a shower, party or wedding coming up - give me a shout! :)

Happy cooking!
aarp

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentimers

My friend Mindi - who is a newlywed - did a cute little thing today on her blog. She wrote 14 reasons she loves her hubby on Valentine's Day. Now, I hate Valentine's Day... not because I'm a cynic but because I firmly believe Valentine's Day is a Hallmark-created holiday invented to sell CRAP. Who needs a teddy bear or a singing telegram? Lame.


Don't get me wrong - I'd love to get flowers. But I'd prefer a single rose or some randomly thrown together flowers in one of my own, personal vases than a huge arrangement made by some florist who assumes that red roses are everyone's favorite and does not know when to stop with the Baby's Breath (the answer: don't even begin).


I'd also like to get a gift ... because I love gifts. Who doesn't?! But don't give me an appliance, a membership to Weight Watchers, a Snuggy or a book of "love" coupons - coupons that you threw together at the last minute because you forgot to buy a gift is rubbish.


Having said all that, here are 14 reasons why I love Chaddy Poo:


1. Even though you don't do it that often, you're a great cook. The steaks tonight were amaze.
2. You like to travel as much as I do.
3. You slow dance with me in the kitchen... even when there's no music.
4. You love my family - or at least tolerate them ;)

5. You're charismatic and charming... especially on the telephone with a client. You have the ability to make anyone fall in love with you over the telephone. It's truly amazing to watch.
6. You're a great dad - both to MaryCollis and Gertrude.
7. You hate diet and exercise as much as I do - which is really a bad thing because I need some motivation right now.

8. You always, always, always outdo me in the gift department which both irritates and thrills me... because you "winning" really means I win :)
9. You pay all the bills and do the taxes which I am eternally grateful for. I don't do money.
10. You let me hog the bed... and the covers... and the bathroom... 
11. You have great taste in homes, furniture, antiques, artwork and jewelry.
12. You dress really well but have the ability to wear shorts and a t-shirt too.
13. You let me stay home with our baby girl every day (at least for now), which makes me happy.
14. You still surprise me all the time - both with trips/gifts and your actions.


Tonight we dined on steak, home-grown corn on the cob, peas, salad and rolls. By the way, if you haven't tried those crispy onions on your salad instead of croutons, you're totally missing out. DO IT! We also ate on our fine fine fine fine FINE china that we've had for 2.5 years and have never used... because we're scared of it. Chad got me another place setting of our Match china for V-Day, so I thought what better time to break it in?

Hedgehog outfit from Pumpkin Patch (via Aunt Ashmo!)

Big Ben had flowers waiting for me on my desk this morning. What a man.

And chocolates. Can't decide if I hate him or love him for that.

Then these two guys went to get their women some steaks.

Chad thought Raz needed this for her kitchen.

How many cars can two "straight" men joyride in on a given day?


Oh! I almost forgot... Chad got MaryCollis the PERFECT gift. A story book with 17 Disney fairytale classics. The best part? It was $12.50! :)


Happy Valentimers!
aarp

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I heart Agnes

Last night my parents had the Doodle Bug, so Chad and I feasted on homemade lasagna, corn and rolls (Okay, you got me... it was a frozen lasagna and Sister Schubert rolls. Sue me.) and watched Despicable Me. We first saw the preview for it when we went to see A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve 2009. We were making our way to Disney World when we stopped in Pensacola to rest. While watching the preview we both said, "Oh my gosh. We have to see that when it comes out."

Well, the movie wasn't coming out for another 7 months and little did we know that in 7 more months I would be 7 months pregnant (That's right. I was already expecting MC and didn't know it. You know the story.) and would not be interested in going to the movies. So by the time it came out on DVD in December, we were knee-deep in raising a newborn. Last night Chad was scrolling through the On Demand movies and found it. I said, "Ew! Ew! Let's watch it!" So we did. And y'all.... I fell in LOOOOVE with the tiny one named Agnes. I want to put her in my pocket. See a clip here. It's so FLUFFY I'm gonna DIE!!!! Ha. Go watch it. :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

VIP

I got my new Gold Hilton Honors card in yesterday. That's right... GOLD, baby! (Chad is probably thinking, "What are you going on about, Woman? I've been Triple Diamond for, like, 5 years." But I'm pumped about it.) I have exactly 204,530 points saved, so if I combine that with Chad's 250,000+ points, we'll have a right dandy vacay in the works! :)

I'm very proud of the fact that Chad and I haven't paid to stay in a hotel in a really, really long time. Engagement weekend = free. Honeymoon = free. Disney World = free. All of our NOLA trips = free. I'd say we've saved nearly $10,000 in hotel costs.

So the big question is this.... where to go next?? Here are the options:

(Obviously my first pick would be anywhere in the Indian Ocean - Maldives, Mauritius or Seychelles - but a plane ticket alone costs more than we have in the bank. Fo real.)

Hawaii - Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Wailea or Ho'olei at Grand Wailea in Maui.

Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort (Again! The honeymoon was ah-mazing. The pictures don't do it justice. We'd love to go back.)

New York - either Waldorf Astoria or Waldorf Towers (Chad's never been & I haven't been since I was 12. I'm desperate to go back!)

Fiji Beach Resort & Spa


What do you think??


Have a fab weekend!
aarp

Beaba Babycook, what?

Isn't it silly that just 2 months ago I was pining over this? Yes, yes, it would make my life easier to press one button and the machine do all the hard work but it was kind of fun to make my own baby food all by myself yesterday. I felt very mommyish and VERY homemakerish. Not to mention that MaryCollis will only be eating pureed baby food for another 7 months or so before she's fully on semi-normal people food so that investment wouldn't have been a very good one.


I did carrots & peaches yesterday. Here's my process for steaming veggies:

1. Place 1-2 inches of water in a pot and put on high heat until it reaches a boil.
2. Peel carrots and cut into hunks.
3. Put veggies in a steamer basket with a lid and place on top of boiling pot.
4. Steam for about 10 minutes until veggies are fork tender.
5. Place veggies in food processor or blender & puree until smooth. (You'll probably have to add some water to make it the right consistency).
6. Scoop puree into an ice cube tray with a lid (each ice cube slot is a perfect 1 oz. serving :) or into old baby food containers and freeze.
7. Once frozen, place in an airtight freezer bag and store for up to 2 months!


Process for stewing fruits:
1. Place 1-2 inches of water in a pot and put on high heat until it reaches a boil.
2. Peel peaches and cut into hunks and put directly in pot. Cover with a lid.
3. Stew for 8-10 minutes until fruit is fork tender.

4. Place fruit in food processor or blender & puree until smooth. (You probably WON'T have to add water because fruit is usually very watery on its own).
5. Scoop puree into an ice cube tray with a lid or into old baby food containers and freeze.
6. Once frozen, place in an airtight freezer bag and store for up to 2 months!


It sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn't. Because I did one fruit and one vegetable, it didn't take any longer because one uses a steamer and one uses just a regular old pot so I was able to cook them at the same time. MC is on green beans right now, but Sunday I'll start her on the peaches. Exciting! :)

I upped MaryCollis to 2 solid feedings per day yesterday. We start with a couple of tablespoons of oatmeal & banana in the morning before her first bottle, then at noon before her second bottle she has whatever fruit or veggie we're trying that week. (Side note: Am I the only one who doesn't necessarily mean two when I say a couple? Or three when I say several? Anyone? My aunt and I argue all the time about that. I believe a couple is somewhere between 2-4 and several is 3 or more. No? I realize that the literal meaning of couple is two; however, in baking or everyday language I don't just assume it means two.) 

It might go a little something like this:

Me: "Just mix a couple of tablespoons of oatmeal in with her green beans." 

Ily B: "I added two tablespoons of oatmeal but it was still runny."

Me: "Well, why didn't you add more?"

Ily B: "You said two tablespoons."

Me: "No, I didn't... I said a couple."

Ily B: "A couple is two."

Me: "Not necessarily."



And on and on it goes. Anyway, check MC out eating her banana oatmeal:



It's not as cute as it would be if I weren't filming. When she spots that camera, buddy, she just can't help it. She has to stare at it. But notice how she opens her mouth and waits for me to bring her a bite and then goes "Mmmm" after. Ha!


In other news, MC's reflux is rearing its ugly head again. I noticed this week that some of her symptoms are back (arching back, eating hand, fussiness, not sleeping well and doing this new scream/grunt thing that I'd never heard before - see video below), and I just assumed that's what it was. I spoke with the doctor yesterday, and we came to the conclusion that it is indeed reflux again. She told me that the 15mg of Prevacid that MC is already on is as high as they like to go in an infant, so maybe I should try milk of magnesia. I didn't understand... I thought MOM was for constipation??

After she explained that it's also useful for heartburn, we figured something out: MC is probably teething, which produced more drool. More drool produces more acid. More acid = reflux. MC has been constipated since the day she came out, so about 2-3 times per week I use milk of magnesia in her bottle. Well, since we've started solids I haven't needed to do it that often (especially this week with the green beans!). So because I haven't been doing the MOM this week, her reflux is acting up again! Problem solved.

See how it's more of a hurting scream/grunt than a playful scream?

And just because it's sweet:


Also, a shout out to my MacBook. She's 4 years old today. It's been a great run, babe, but I'm afraid you're on the downhill slope. :(

Have a great weekend!
aarp

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I've noticed that a lot of my friends do "Wordless Wednesday" on their blogs. And so shall I. Keep in mind that my photos might have captions, and that doesn't count. :)

We're trying green beans this week. LOVES IT!

She even makes sounds like "Mmmm" when she's eating.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Beaux et Belles Party, The Lost Diamond, MaryCollis' Baby Dedication, Mary Clayton's Birthday Party and Fantastic Friends

What a title for a blog post! Ha.

Friday morning I got my hair did, and even though I was wearing my nighttime glasses and had no makeup on, I felt like a million bucks afterward. Right after I left the beautiful parlor, my best pal Lauren came into town for a HUGE weekend of festivities. We grocery shopped, arranged flowers, tidied the house, made about a million dips and other appetizers and got hardly any rest.

Friday night we feasted on taco pie and my homemade salsa and guacamole (which is unbeatable - and that was proven that very night). You see, Lauren HATES avocado and hates guacamole even more but she used the word "obsessed" in reference to my guacamole. It's that good, y'all. After a very long day, we stupidly decided to watch The Social Network, which kept me up until 10:30. Review in short: The first 5 minutes were painful, the rest was very good, but it's not something I'd watch over and over again.

Saturday morning we did more tidying and appetizer-making for a Beaux et Belles party I was hosting for my friend Emily who recently started repping for them. Oh my gosh. That party was easily the most fun I've had in several months. If you are a mom, grandma, aunt or even just a good friend of anyone with a child, you must order something from BeB. ADORABLE! After the party me, Lauren, and Mac cleaned like crazy and then did little of anything else.

At the Beaux et Belles party.

Sunday morning I woke up feeling tired, but what are you gonna do? I fed MaryCollis, washed some bottles then immediately started getting ready for the big day - her baby dedication. As mentioned earlier in the week, we had about 30 or so people coming to see her, so we had to be looking sharp! I was feeling good about my new haircut and about the way my makeup turned out that morning. I felt confident about my dress selection, Chad looked very dapper and MaryCollis' outfit could not have been more beautiful.

At about 9:15, I was mostly finished getting ready (other than hair), so I decided it would be a great time to clean my jewelry. I cleaned my engagement ring and both of my bands and moved onto the brand new diamond earrings Chad bought me when I had MaryCollis. Without thinking, I picked up one of the delicate earrings while the sink drain was still open. As I put the brush to it, it fell out of my butterfinger hands and clinked its way down the pipe. Oh God.

I stood very still and stared blankly into the porcelain bowl as the water kept running quickly down the drain. I gasped and said, "Oh no! No. No. No. NO!" Chad heard and ran in. "What?!" He saw I had the cleaning brush in my hand and said, "What was it? What WAS it?" knowing already that it was one of the expensive earrings. In the biggest voice I could muster, I said, "One. of. my. eaarrrriiinnnngs." He shouted, "Shut the water off! SHUT IT OFF!!!!" I did as I was told while big, huge, real tears poured down my freshly applied makeup. My eyes turned green as they always do when I cry, and I knew the day was ruined. I was devastated and Chad was upset - there was no way that day could be anything but awful.

But we pressed on. I dressed MaryCollis, and we headed to the church. Everyone oohed and ahhed at how beautiful she looked, and she really did, but I was such sick about my earring. Dr. Randy called us up and said some very kind words about our relationship over the years and then ended with a lovely prayer.

After the service, Mom had everyone to her house for lunch and cake. It was such a special day. Some of my best friends and mentors were there, as well as my loving family. MaryCollis received some very sweet gifts, including her first (and second and third) bibles, a sterling silver cross and a gold bangle bracelet. I was overwhelmed by the love and generosity upon us yesterday. It made my lost diamond feel like a very petty thing to worry about.

Me, Lauren and Mac

Chad said, "How many women does it take to change a baby?"


We didn't get back to our house until about 2:15, and MaryCollis and I had to be at Mary Clayton's birthday party at 3:30. I threw MaryCollis into a casual outfit (I didn't even bother changing my clothes), and we rushed to Hattiesburg. The party was so much fun - we didn't get to stay long, but it was just precious.

I picked up some leftovers from Mom's on the way back to our house, then I got into my pajamas and sat down for the first time since 7AM. Luckily, MaryCollis was in a VERY good mood last night (as she slept all the way to Hattiesburg and all the way back) so I was able to relax for a bit before I bathed and fed her.

The girl slept wonderfully last night and this morning (until 7:45AM), but I still felt tired when I woke up. Nevertheless, I fed her, put on a load of laundry, changed her clothes and rushed off to work. When I returned this afternoon, the plumber still had not come to try to retrieve my earring. So Chad said, "Want me to try?" I was extremely hesitant but allowed it. I carried on with household chores - unloading the dishwasher, washing bottles, etc. when he came back into the kitchen looking deflated. Then he flashed the diamond in front of his face and exclaimed, "I'm the magic maaannnnn!" I was so happy that I threw my arms around him and didn't let go for about a minute. "You're my heeeerrrrooooo!!" About a million apologies came pouring out of my mouth. "I'm so sorry. I won't do it again. I promise. I'm so sorry. Thank you! I love you. I'm sorry." Gosh, what a fabulous turn of events.

This morning, I woke up to find this:

"I'm gonna getcha, lamby!"

"Victory!"

Happy Monday!
aarp

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I want...

THIS for Valentine's Day. :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

5-Month Update!

MaryCollis is 5 months old today, and between months 4 and 5 she did some serious growing - both intellectually and physically. Here are her 5-month stats:

-She weighs about 16 pounds (75th percentile) and is 26 inches long (85th - 90th percentile).

-Feeding schedule: I just upped her to 6.5 oz. instead of 6. So she eats 6.5 ounces every 4 hours totaling 3 bottles: Around 7:30AM, 11:30PM and 3:30PM. Right now we're doing solids once a day right before her 2nd bottle. I feel certain I'll go up to 2 feedings per day soon. She is LOVING solids.

-Nighttime routine: Bath is always around 6:30PM, she eats 7 ounces with 3 TB of oatmeal in her nighttime bottle at about 7PM and goes down by 7:30PM.  You'll notice we've pushed her schedule up 1 hour since last month. I started noticing a whole bunch of eye rubbing and fussiness around 6PM so I nipped that right in the bud. :)

-Solids: We started solids about a month ago, and it couldn't be going better. We've conquered oatmeal, rice cereal (she doesn't eat hardly any of that since it causes constipation), oatmeal with banana cereal, sweet potatoes, bananas, squash and pears. Her favs? Sweet potatoes, bananas and pears. She was less than enthused with the squash, but that didn't stop her from eating the whole bowl.

-About 4-6 diapers a day. That sounds low, but I change her every time I feed her (4x per day) unless she has an extremely wet diaper or a pooper. Dipes be expensive yo. And MaryCollis has never once had diaper rash, so I say that's plenty.

-Size 3 diapers - Baby is growing so fast!

-Mostly in 6-9 month clothing. Still a few exceptions.

-She sleeps 10-12 hours total at night and takes several cat naps during the day (about eight 30-minute naps). Yesterday she took a 3.5 hour nap - I don't know HOW it happened. I wish I could retrace my steps and duplicate that every single day.

-She is grabbing now - anything in sight. Plates, cups, toys, her feet, you name it. She's also rolling onto her side to play and sleep but has not shown any interest in flipping over. And that's A-Okay with me. She's also screaming a lot - you've seen it.


I think that's about it... her hair is finally coming in, and we can't decide if it's going to be blonde or brown. Andrew said he thinks she's going to be a Ginger like Aunt Lauren. I don't think so. She is being dedicated to the church this Sunday, and we have no less than 40 people coming into town to help us celebrate. Mom is preparing a fabulous meal for everyone to enjoy afterward, and I have ordered a 2-tier half strawberry flavor half wedding flavor cake from Sugar Bakers (THE BEST!) - it's going to be a great time. MaryCollis is going to wear the gorgeous champagne Strausberg dress that Gamma bought her along with the pearls Aunt Kathy gave her. I can't wait to see everyone!

Happy Hump Day!
aarp

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